My First Trip . . .

on my own . . . to Japan.

I wanted to something that was a little hard, something different, something that I would remember well. So I decide to do hiking trip to Japan, that I would hike from temple to temple on an old pilgrimage trail.

Kumano Kodo is one of two pilgrimage trails that is UNESCO World Heritage Site. The other being Camino de Santiago, another hike that I’d like to do one day.

I decided on the tour because I’ve haven’t done this kind of distance by myself, I wanted someone else to do all the planning and the logistics and I wanted company. And I’m glad I did. Just the luggage transfer was worth going with the tour. But besides, that I got to joined a group of very fun and interesting group of 11, 5 from Melbourne, 2 from Sydney, 2 from Vancouver BC, and 2 from London. Our leader was from Tokyo and we had 3 local guides on our longer hikes.

I have posted pictures of this trip in several places. Here are my favorites of great vacation.

Day 1: Osaka to Koyasan

Day 2: Koyasan to Tanabe to Takahara

Day 3: Takahara to Tsugizakura to Yuomine Onsen

Day 4: Yunomine Onsen to Hongu to Yunomine Onsen

Day 5: Yunomine Onsen to Koguchi

Day 6: Koguchi to Nachi Taisha to Kii Kastuura

Day 7: Kii Katsuura to Shingu to Ise

Day 8: Ise

Now I’m hooked and I hope you can see why. Looking for another trip I do. Iceland is looking good at the moment.

A project I could finish . . .

I decided to knit a hat with one of the skeins from the goody bag I bought from Jimmy Bean Wool, Madelinetosh DK Twist Desert Bloom. All of my recent projects at are still on needles, mostly going backward. Lots of ripping out or total start overs, have made those project very boring. I need a break. I needed something to make me feel acomplished.

The pattern I choose was Amida from by Maiko Hikosaka. I wanted something easy-ish but cute (of course) and I like the graphic quality of the lines.

I realized from my recent projects there were many false starts. Cast-on, knit, find a mistake, read the pattern wrong, rip out mistake or total start over. This process may repeat a couple of times and this project is no exception.

To change this habit, I need to read the pattern really well, account for stitches in the instruction to make sure I understand what I’ve been asked to do. Every pattern designer has their own way of writing a pattern, and I need to read the pattern and annotate what it means in my own words. This is what a good educational content designer would do. I’m just lazy. haha.

Once I got this pattern in my head, it was very easy and the yarn was a dream to knit with. I took the project with me on my trip to Japan and finished on my first full day of the tour while on the train to the first trail.

now to weave the ends in

By the end of my hiking tour, I decided to give the hat to our tour leader. We had a conversation on the trail about Hokkaido in the fall and the winter. I thought she could make good use of it on a winter hike.

Here’s a preview on the my next project.
Pattern: Alicorn by Julie Crawford
Yarn: Lecce from Puppyarn.com, color: 412
Bought the yarn from Masuzakiya
Fiber: 90% wool 10% mohair
Cast-on: day 7 of the tour in the court yard of our inn.
Continued to work on in Kyoto. Probably use two skein (40g each) to get this done.

scarp yarn stitch markers to help me track my pattern