knits by sachi

Dory Promotion

This is from my publisher, Search Press Art and Craft Books yesterday.

SPECIAL PROMOTION!!

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To celebrate the release of Finding Dory, which hits cinemas today, we have a special promotion of ‘Mini Knitted Ocean’ by Knits by Sachi.

Pre-order the book and get £1 OFF rrp and FREE delivery in the UK. You will also receive the dory fish pattern from the book early, simply use promo code ‘KNITDORY’ at checkout*.

‘Mini Knitted Ocean’ will be available September 2016, pre-order your copy here: http://www.searchpress.com/book/9781782212324/mini-knitted-ocean

The book was also featured on a cover of ‘The Bookseller’ last week, and there was a brief write-up inside, too!

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It has been a while since we saw “Finding Nemo”. It was released in 2006, three years after we came to live in England. My boys were 7 amd 8.

They spent their early years in Waldorf school and were growing up without television or computer games. This movie was one of few we watched. Actually, it was the first ever movie that my boys watched in a cinema.

They are much too old for Nemo and Dory now, but I am quite intrigued how this new film is made.

Happy knitting Dory!

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Japanese summer treat

I have just received the next issue of Let’s Get Crafting, Knitting and Crochet magazine.

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My cat is on the cover! How exciting!

The cover mount kit has a collection of warm colours this time. The cat’s body is knitted with the orange and yellow gradation yarn. If you knit stocking stitches following the pattern, you will get this colour effect naturally.

I found this yarn surprisingly soft. It is 100% acrylic but it feels almost as nice as wool. Maybe because it is not plied. It also gives you much more yardage than other yarn in the kit. I am quite pleased with how the project came out.

The cat is accompanied by two friends mice.

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The colours make me think of the recent hot weather we experienced in the UK. On Tuesday, the temperature reached to 32 degrees in the South. I am sure lots of ice creams and lollies are consumed on that day.

As a child, my favorite was “Kakigouri”, a Japanese shaved ice dessert flavored with syrup and a sweetener.

It looks like this.
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Popular flavors include strawberry, lemon, green tea, grape and melon. Some shops provide colorful varieties by using two or more different syrups. You can also make it very easily if you have the machine. Syrups are available from supermarkets if you live in Japan.

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The machine is usually hand operated and nothing is at all complicated. You freeze water in the cup provided and shave the ice. The machine spins a block of ice over an ice shaving blade.

What I loved the most about Kakigouri is we could have a lot of fun together as a family. We would gather around the kitchen table and my dad would shave the ice as rest of us anxiously watch our favorite treat made. In 70’s,families spent much more time together.

It is similar to a snow cone but has a much smoother fluffier ice consistency, much like fresh fallen snow. I don’t think you can make this with food processor which is a bit of a shame.

A few years ago in London, I let my boys have their very first kakigouri experience. They had it with green tea syrup and sweetened adzuki beans. They absolutely loved it. You can get it virtually everywhere in Japan. I wish we could do the same here.

Or maybe I should import the machine.

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English summer and strawberries

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My wild strawberries are going really wild in the back garden this year again. I am busy on weekends just to keep them under control.

However, it is such a lovely plant. It is very English, too. We don’t get to see them much in Japan.

My mum used to enjoy collecting china, and Wedgewood’s Wild strawberry was one of her favorite designs. I have given her five sets of cups and saucers on her birthdays. She still treasures them.

She would love my real wild strawberries.

I guess the English climate is perfect for strawberries. We can buy 400g packet for less than £2.00 at supermarkets, but in Japan, it usually cost more than £4.00. They are usually grown in greenhouses with lots of TLC.

Strawberries were treat for us when we are growing up. The price hasn’t change much over the years but the average Japanese household income was considerably lower then. Having strawberries in the fridge excited me. It still makes me happy.

Wimbledon’s “Strawberries and Cream” is well known. We enjoy strawberries in many different ways, but I think “Strawberry shortcake” is our national favorite.

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They are so pretty.

It must be the most popular and classic cake in Japan. Whether it’s for birthdays or Christmas or any type of celebration, we enjoy Strawberry Shortcake all year around. My grandfather used to buy a whole cake for Christmas and personally deliver to our door. It was super special.
The cake is usually made of 2-3 layered sponge cake with fresh strawberry slices, whipped cream filling, and whipped cream frosting. The sponge cake is very moist, airy, light, and it’s not overly sweet.

I make the sponge without adding any oil to the mixture.

Ingredients for 20cm cake
3 eggs, separated
100g flour, shifted
100g sugar
1tsp vanilla

This is all. Beat egg white until the soft peak. Add sugar little by little and make meringue. In another bowl, whip egg yolk until it is double in volume and the colour turns creamy lemon. Add flour and vanilla to the egg yolk mixture. Add meringue and mix until combined. Bake in the preheated 180C oven for 25 mins.

For filling and frosting, I usually add 1 tbsp of sugar to 100ml whipping cream. Chill your bowl and cream so that cream will stay cold longer.

In Britain, we don’t see sponge and whipped cream combination much for cakes, but is is worth a try.

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This boy is 18 now. In this photo, he is trying to make a piece sign with his fingers but hasn’t quite managed it.

I should make a cake to celebrate when he goes off to university.

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Orange Page

I have been subscribing a Japanese lifestyle magazine “Orange Page” since I came to England. It has been over 10 years now, and I still look forward to receiving each copy.

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It comes out biweekly. It has lots of home cooking recipes as well as tips and information on a variety of things such as health, craft and needlework. I honestly do not know how the publisher manages releasing issues so often with so many pages. And it only costs 350 yen per issue which is under £3 pounds! (in today’s awfully weak sterling rate)

If you read Japanese, you can subscribe magazine from this site. https://www.japancentre.com/en/products/271-orange-page-biweekly-magazine

Just a few days ago, I received another issue, and this one had a curry recipe collection.
As I mentioned in the past, we love our curry. It may be a little different from the original Indian curry, but we often cook it at home.

The magazine was featuring T-shirts with curry logos. Funny.

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I saw many interesting cooking ideas in the magazine, and some are very new to me. For example, there are detailed step-by-step instructions on how to make chapatis. After my son came back from World challenge in Africa, he said he really loved chapatis over there. Maybe we should have a go at making some at home.

My mum used to make this dish with curry spices and she would call it “dry curry”. I think “dry curry” is the curry without much liquid, which resembles to Keema curry. But my mum would stir fry cooked rice with spices,the same method as egg fried rice.

I cook it at home and it is one of my boys’ favorite.

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It is so easy and quick. It is a good way to consume leftover rice, too.

Recipe for one
a bowl of cooked rice (as much as you want to eat)
1/4 onion, minced
small amounts of chopped pimento, carrot, green beans or any vegetable of your choice
minced beef (or any meat)
1 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp pureed tomato
1 tsp Worcester sauce
salt and pepper

I cooked it for boys’ lunch so that the portions is bigger.

Stir fry vegetables and meat with seasonings. Add cooked rice and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

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That is about it. I can’t think of any further instructions.

I think my boy can manage that when he starts living on his own for Uni.

If you are interested in Japanese home cooking recipes, you can find a lot here: https://cookpad.com/uk

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More publishing updates

This month’s Knit Now magazine has my little boy on a goose.

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Obvious where I got the inspiration from?;”Wonderful adventure of Nils” by the Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf. Isn’t it great if we could fly like that?

This can be a toy, but you can also enjoy it as a room ornament. If you knit the goose with good quality wool, the wings will have volume and be sturdy enough to be hanged as a mobile.

Also for this month, you can see my knitted baby rattles in “Let’s Get Crafting”. I was requested to make two or three rattles from the cover-mount kit.

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They are much bigger than my usual knits, but it is always fun to do something a little different.

And finally, this book has just just gone to the printer. From Search Press 20 to make series, “20 to make mini knitted charms”. The book is already listed here: https://www.searchpress.com/book/9781782213758/mini-knitted-charms

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I have posted some photos of my tiny dangler knits a while ago like these.

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I shared the pattern for this little bird which should be still available from previous post.

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The link is this here.

The editors liked the idea and decided to make a book with them. I created some new designs for the book, too.
The projects are tiny, but knitting is very straight forward and take only 10-15 minutes.

This time, the projects were sent to a freelance photographer. I am always nervous about sending projects away and getting the photo shoot done without my presence, but the photographer did a fantastic job. Not only all the photography techniques have been perfect, her styling is outstanding. I could tell she spent a lot of time and care for each shot.

The book is bright, cute and very girly. This is exactly how I wanted.

The book should be available in autumn. Christmas is arriving early for me this year.

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