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needles and the moon

February 8, 2018

in Japan, it is the day of Hari-kuyo

at the local shrine broken needles and pins are placed in a block of tofu

to honor them and give thanks for the work they have done

finally finished – except for the finishing

it has taken a ridiculous amount of time to reach this point

first – I wanted to see if I could use wedge weave for the background and fit it around a shape

then, I wanted to weave a cottage – maybe a village another time

like my ceramic village

and finally, a circle was on my list of shapes to try – they are tricky

and so – in honor of the super blue blood moon

and now to stitch in all the ends

not my favorite part

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Erik permalink
    February 16, 2018 6:44 pm

    Hi Jean, in your blog post from Dec. 17, 2011 you stated that you have a collection of Kateigaho magazines dating back to 2003. Would you be willing to sell those magazines you no longer want?


  2. February 10, 2018 3:45 am

    I’m fascinated with the shrine to broken needles–it seems so right to me! What’s tofu got to do with it, though? I like your tapestry a lot–you keep trying different things and pushing yourself–not that that comes as a surprise!


    • February 10, 2018 8:46 am

      Kerry – it is a very old tradition, tofu would have been easily available, inexpensive and soft so easy to insert needles. I would like to know how they dispose of it all. Tapestry has been more challenging than I expected.


  3. Louisa permalink
    February 9, 2018 8:35 am

    I keep my bent and broken needles and pins in a mini Altoids box. So far it isn’t full so I have no idea what I’ll do with it when it has no more room. Perhaps metal recycling? And about the ends on the back of your cute tapestry – have you seen Sarah Swett’s method of weaving the ends in as you go? She recently had a blog post on it. (Sorry I don’t have the URL handy.)


    • February 9, 2018 9:59 am

      Louisa – to dispose of the broken needles and pins I wrap them in masking tape – so nobody can get stabbed – and put them in the garbage. Sarah Swett’s blog is wonderful, I have tried weaving in the ends as I go but it doesn’t work on the selvedges and with some of the handspun yarns it is too fiddly.


  4. February 8, 2018 10:11 pm

    Darn! Yet another year I have forgotten to honour my bent and broken needles. I have saved them for several years now. Love your tapestry!


    • February 8, 2018 11:11 pm

      Hi Heather – so nice to hear from you, how is everything on the island? I almost forgot but with all the stitching I’ve been doing have some very bent needles and lots of bent pins. Don’t think they make them like they used to.


  5. February 8, 2018 5:33 pm

    Lovely weaving…I appreciate the Hari Kuyou tradition too 🙂


    • February 8, 2018 6:44 pm

      Kjerstin – I would like to know what the temple actually does with the needle filled tofu, never been in Japan at this time.


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