21 hours ago
Wednesday, 21 January 2015
Blue and White and other shopping in Tokyo
We had a change of plan today. We started out at Yuzawaya in Asakusa where we bought some Noro wool, went to their Kamata branch to try to get some more (which they didn't have, but I did get some good sashiko threads) and then went to Amy Katoh's Blue and White shop in Azabu-jūban, Roppongi. It was my first visit to the shop, although I've had Amy's books for years and love that quirky contemporary take on traditional Japanese country style. Getting to Azabu-jūban from Kamata isn't the most straightforward thing, and I think we didn't take the most direct route - after we'd been back to Tokyu Hands in Ikebukuro, Glyn reckoned we'd been on ten different trains today. Finding the shop from Azabu-jūban station was easy enough.
It is a small shop frontage on a very deep building (typical of older shop plots in Japan) and is crammed with interesting things, mainly but not only in blue and white.
We had only been in the shop about two minutes when Susan Faeder turned up with some of her tour group and Amy Katoh. We hadn't planned to meet up at all so it was a real surprise.
We spent a lot of time chatting with Amy about this and that, including the wonderful chikuchiku sashiko made by Akiko Ike (there's several links to her work at the end of this blog post). Blue and White will be celebrating their 40th anniversary next year, so it would be great to come back for that. It is a fascinating gathering of things. I got this year's calendar for my workroom and a few special bits and pieces to include in new projects. Amy loved Glyn's Noro silk/wool sweater I made for him - it looks very much like sakiori rag weaving and has kept him cosy while we have been in Japan - so I've promised to write up a blog post soon with basic instructions for making a similar sweater. It is really very easy.
We finished off the day with a return trip to Tokyu Hands in Ikebukuro for one very small piece of brass for Glyn's turntable project, and very tired feet! Tomorrow is the quilt show at the Tokyo Dome...