Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas, and I wish you the best for the New Year!

Love, Fujiyamamama

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Mochitsuki or making mochi. 
A traditional Japanese New Year's activity and food.

Mochi has gained in popularity due to mochi ice cream. The mochi is the glutinous rice covering the ice cream. The rice is a special variety - not just your basic Uncle Ben's but a special glutinous and very sticky rice - 
that's why my friend S. compares eating mochi to what eating glue sticks would be like.

This is how mochi is traditionally made:

Steamed rice is placed in the mortar and smashed in. The rice is really hot - see all the steam? 
More smashing, more steam.
Once the rice is ready, and can handle the swinging of the pestles without flying out of the mortar
the real smashing begins!
Each group establishes a rhythm for pounding efficiently - and hopefully no one gets hurt!

Finished and formed mochi, some of it filled with anko - sweet bean paste.
Mochi  photobomb!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I Used to be Cool, Who?

Yep. I used to be cool.
I have been to hundreds of concerts, and had lots of fun and some amazing experiences. 
I had a chance to experience it again recently, it made me nostalgic
and allowed me to reminisce fondly.
The Who
Quadrophenia tour
Stage right set up for tea. The chamomile is for Roger Daltrey.
Roger Daltrey & Simon Townshend's guitars. I sat on the taller of the 2 stools for the show.
A closer look at some of the guitars...
A view from stage right during the sound check.
Simon and Roger onstage, the show is starting...
Show time!
Can't not show Pete Townshend's guitars!
Another view of Pete Townshend's guitars, including the acoustic guitars.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Entrelac Hat Class

I took a class with the Windy City Knitting Guild on making an Entrelac hat. A technique that I never thought I might try. I am technically challenged, I kind of follow patterns as long as it looks okay
...but counting is usually not my friend. 
Well, here it is in progress, not bad, but I hope that by the time I pick it up again
I will not have forgotten how to do it!
This is also my first time using Noro Kureyon, I like the scratchy wooly-ness about it. 
We'll see how much I enjoy it as a hat though!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Oriental Rugs

I took a rug into be cleaned and repaired recently, (a pretty little, old Persian rug) and while at the amazing Minasian Rug showroom a rug was being repaired. I was fascinated!

I wish I could explain the process, but I didn't ask many questions, I was just mesmerized.

The repairs were amazing and skillful, and the tools were quite simple.
I think they told me the dyes were all natural, they look it.

My children even like to see the amazing rugs they have for sale and on display. 
The staff are incredibly knowledgeable, and they have very high quality rugs.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Wonky Whale

A gift for a surprise baby shower, featuring all types of critters, so I knitted this guy.
Brown Sheep, Lamb's Pride Superwash yarn. Size 4? needles.
Okay, it was looking a lot like a tadpole or a bomb here.
With the white belly, but still not whale-ish.
Well, whale!
My modified tail and fins.
Here he is! This is the glamour shot by the way.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Vogue Knitting Live

This year Vogue Knitting Live came to Chicago for the first time. It was awesome!
The marketplace was fantastic, and I ran into so many knitting friends and luminaries!
First I saw Ysolda Teague! (I was too stunned to kinnear her).
By the time I saw the Yarn Harlot, I was ready (not that I was technically adept...)
Really, it IS Stephanie Pearl-McPhee!

Oh, that's better. Stephanie and Maureen O'Wool.
Josh Bennet on his way to the jello wrestling match with Franklin Habit. 
"The Nancy"
Josh Bennett and Franklin
+ Steven Be
Narrow aisles packed with all kinds of goodies!
Beautiful isn't it, now where did I write the name of this pattern...?
Sam from the awesome Wool Dispensary - gorgeous, gorgeous yarn to be had from The Wool Dispensary! 
I am looking forward to next year!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Circus Girl Gets Her Socks

Circus Girl socks. 
Opal Rainforest 6 ply in Schmetterling
She has wider heels than circus boy, so I improvised a simple stockinette heel.
Circus girl socks being modeled at dinner.
Oh yeah, she is a contortionist..that is her foot behind her head.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Circus boy loves his handknit socks. He has loved his Mint Chip socks (knit out of Knit Picks Stroll) so much that they were wearing out. I mended them once, but the color of the yarn I used bothered him. I finally decided that sock surgery was required. I cut off the toes, and re-knit new longer toes (Circus boy is growing) in an acceptable color yarn of his choice (Lorna's Laces Shepherd's Sock).
Here is how it went:

This was the original start of the Mint Chip socks - as they were originally called, in September of 2009.
They were well loved, and well worn. I mended them once - badly, and circus boy didn't wear them after that.
New toes - voila! Frankensocks!
Blech! The old yarn got quite pilly.
Lorna's Laces knitted up quite nicely for the new toes!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Food Fight!!!

Was my high school the only one to have had food fights?
Here is my dear friend J. in position for a food fight, at our old lunch table. Our entire lunch room of over 500 people would duck under the table in no more than 3 seconds and the food would go flying.

High school reunion weekend, we had a lot of fun!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

You're Soaking in it...

In September the Windy City Knitting Guild welcomed Trisha Malcolm, the editor of Vogue Knitting Magazine, and she came bearing some fabulous gifts for all attendees!
I usually never, ever, win anything but this time I did - and I LOVE the colors!
Thank you, Trisha!

Remember Madge? Yeah, well, this is different, but everytime I see Soak part of me just thinks of her.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Love via Facebook

The lovely and talented proprietress of Spencer Hill Spinning and Dyeing, my dear online friend Barb. posted a photo of this beautiful blue yarn and I fell in love. When the dyeing was complete and the yarn was ready for sale, she kindly enabled, I mean notified me, of it's availability. Of course, I bought it!

Even Ollie couldn't resist!

The photos don't even do it justice! It is gorgeous and lovely and dyed with natural dyes.

I am in love.

Thanks Barb.