Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hi from Yokohama

Gee, it's nice to have Internet connectinos again. How are you?

It's been a much warmer winter here in Yokohama than I had anticipated so things have gone swimmingly. The entire clan (sans my Ben) went to this beach place last weekend and spent one night together, where from one side we saw the Chiba Penninsula across Tokyo Bay and I got a few sunrise shots, and from the otherside of the building, Mt Fuji! Then we all went back to my folks' place and ate, ate, ate.

Mom and I cleaned her yarn stash over two warm days, (I in short sleeved T shirts from time to time!) and I was awarded wtih a small loot. Yes, small. I also ordered fine boucle in silk and wool from one of her regular sources. I will probably have to send the yarns ahead of me due to, you know, space constraints.

The Mediteranean craze of the 90's seems to have settled and now Scandinavian designs are back in. This time it's a little more colorful and bold than the Zen like Swedish designs I grew up with in the 60's amd 70's.

The recession has hit hard; stores stock much fewer merchandises, people are constantly looking for bargains, including food, but Internet shopping is much more convenient. The gap between the wealthy and the poor have widened, so there are unimaginable (to me) luxuriy items as well. I hear there are new niche stores, too; for e.g. sister-in-law Yukiko mentioned a place near Tokyo Station selling only textiles from les Pyrenees Orientales, apparently sometimes known as les Toiles du Soleil, the cloth of the sun. These are bold, striped cotton (??) cloth in warped faced plain weave, but the color placement of the warp threads are considered so there are saturated strips, vertical lines, polka-dot like area, etc. I shall try to get some photos of her cloths.

Bookstores, sewing and fabric stores, and kitchen/ceramics stores pose grave danger to my credit card; thus far I've resisted but this afternoon I'm venturing back to a not-so-big bookstore near this house. I've yet to set foot in a yarn store, nor look into my mother's sample cards from her rgular sources, of which there are a dozen or so!

A spool of silk sewing thread costs 1/3 that in Wellington, (forget silk in Nelson), and Ben's wee camera parts costs 1/4 as much as the best deals he has been able to find on the Internet in New Zealand, so my suitcase is going to be filled with tiny bits and pieces.

I hope you are weaving happily. I hope to get back online again soon-ish.


  1. Great to hear from you. At those prices "shop till you drop"!

  2. Interesting to note that your comments on social changes in Japan could be applied to Britain too.

    I guess the suitcase space from carrying the cherry blanket will soon be filled! Make sure you have enough nice soft yarn things to wrap up Ben's camera parts ;)

  3. Dianne, I am nearly dropping. I bought four paperback books and had another already - they are so heavy my backpack pulls me up straight when I walk.

    Dorothy, how interesting. Really? Even the social changes are global now? Methinks there is too much yarn replacing Mama's blankets. Ben's little parts are lost among skeins, balls and cones!

  4. SOOooo looking forward to seeing what you bring back Meg. We will be missing you tomorrow at the first Weavers' meeting for the year. (Writing this on Friday night 10.46pm). I know everyone will be wanting to say "have a great time but come back soon."

  5. Interesting observations. I laughed when you said "*small*" loot. My mom the packrat has a particular weakness for fabric. There've been a couple of times when I've said something like, "I want to make it out of cotton voile but you just can't find cotton voile anymore," and she's opened up one of her dozen or so HUMONGOUS plastic bins of fabric, and shown me a nice piece of 30 year old voile. Then, when she's on the verge of giving it to me she gets this panicked look on her face... Motherly generosity battling with stash preservation.

  6. Rose, I know! I hope you all had a great meeting.

    Traputo, I was shocked to hear Mom tell Dad there are no more yarns or fabrics from BEFORE she married hi; they were married in 1955!!! Truth to tell, I think she got rid of most fabric of pre-1990 purchase, but there was one set of pink wool balls that I swear she had at least when Brother was born - possibly Sister!

    No, small loot. Very small compared to after teh 2005 stash cleaning, and she had given away most of her fleeces and slivers and much of her knitting yarns. She, too, wants to concentrate on her weaving.


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