A Junction Update | Harikuyo | Chai

Good morning! Can you believe that it’s Friday? This has been one of those weeks that has been agonizingly slow while also flying by. Know what I mean? So on one hand, yes. I can believe that it’s Friday. And on the other… what is Friday? I can comprehend very little right now. I am trying to end this week with positivity and delight, so this morning’s post will focus on a stitching update, a Japanese ritual for needleworkers, and a link to my newest afternoon pick-me-up. I hope writing about these things will give me the energy I need to make it through the day!


My Junction sweater is moving along quite nicely, despite working on it so sporadically. This brioche yoke has been an absolute joy to knit and so much fun. Every time I pull out this project I wonder why I haven’t been working on it every single day. Just a reminder that I got this yarn from this year’s NH Sheep and Wool Festival and it is Bartlett Yarns’ Fisherman Sport. I love how the colors play together and am so excited slip on this sweater in deep winter and feel like a glowing gem. It’s motivation to keep working on it!

Fanning out all of the stitches was nerve-racking even though I used The Knitting Barber Cords and knew everything was secure. The stitches are still really bunched up because I couldn’t bare to really spread them out. And whew! I was so relieved when all of the stitches were maneuvered back onto the needles and everything was safe. But these pictures are hard to resist, aren’t they?


Have you heard of Harikuyo? Japanese Buddhists celebrate Harikuyo on December 8 and February 8. On these days, needleworkers take the day off from stitching, gather their bent and broken needles and pins, and take them to Buddhists temples and Shrines for their final resting place. While there, they pray for better needleworking skills in the new year. Traditionally, the Japanese would place their needles and pins into blocks of tofu, so that their final pricking would be a soft one. Then they’d bury the tofu and needles, knowing that the needles and pins would return to the soil and join the natural cycle of life.

I planned to do my own little Harikuyo ceremony yesterday but the day slipped away from me. I’m going to do it today, even if a day late. I think setting the intention is what matters here and I am delighted by this idea. Plus, I’ve been thinking a lot about the souls and energies of my belongings (thanks Ruth Ozeki and Marie Kondo), and this seems like such a good way to honor the tools that I can no longer use. Maybe you’d like to join me in spirit?


And finally! You probably know that I love chai and am deeply dissatisfied with the bagged options that I’ve tried. I’ve known for a long time that it’s common for people from/in India to make their own chai, but that has always overwhelmed me. That problem was solved for me a couple of weeks ago. Do you remember Chetna from the Baking Show? She has a YouTube Channel and a video on making chai that is wonderful. And luckily I had all the ingredients on hand and was able to make a big cup as soon as I watched the video. It was magical to watch it all come together on my humble stovetop. I’ve made some every day since and while it’s time consuming, it’s totally worthwhile. It is warming and delicious and healthy, thanks to all of the immunity-boosting and gut-healthy spices used. (Note: the only change I made to Chetna’s recipe was to add a cinnamon stick to the pot while the spices are boiling.) (Also, if you’re like me, you’ll want to watch Chetna’s Chai video just to get a glimpse of her spice drawers. They are so dreamy!)

Okay, I am feeling much better after writing this post. Thank you for humoring me! This weekend is going to be very cold in New Hampshire, so I’m hoping for some more time with my Junction sweater and other stitching projects in the wings. I hope your weekend is cozy and full of exactly what you need. I’m not sure if I’ll have a post pulled together for Monday morning, but until I check back in again — take good care.


14 thoughts on “A Junction Update | Harikuyo | Chai

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  1. A cup of fresh chai sounds like the perfect treat on a hectic day. I’ll confess that I often turn to the ready-made variety, but your experience has given me confidence that maybe I could make my own (it would have to be a special treat, though!). The sweater is looking marvelous! I hope this weekend brings plenty of cozy knitting time for you.


  2. Hurrah for the weekend! I’m not a big fan of chai, though I do love all the spices used. Your Junction Sweater is gorgeous!! Years ago I read about Harikuyo (I think Needleprint did a piece on it – I do miss that web site). I had not realized that this ceremony takes place twice a year – I thought it was only in the Spring.


  3. I am not a chai tea drinker but I do love a good matcha and have been working to perfect my recipe. When you get one in most coffee shops, they are loaded with sugar so my home made version is much better for me. Enjoy your tea and knitting.


    1. I don’t have much experience with matcha but would like to try out a real cup of it. I’ve gotten it at Dunkin Donuts, but something tells me that might not have been an accurate representation of the beverage πŸ˜‰ I love experimenting and creating these afternoon pick-me-ups!


  4. I LOVE your sweater, the yarn is so beautiful! Thanks for the link to Chetna’s site, I enjoyed her so much on the baking show and I love chai tea! Have a pleasant weekend, Blessings!


    1. I also loved Chetna! And her YouTube channel looks full of delicious recipes, so I can’t wait to watch more. And I find that the chai comes out perfectly every time! I hope you’re having a great weekend, Gretchen. Enjoy your Sunday!


  5. oops! I missed this on Friday – your sweater is looking so good! I’m dreaming of a brioche vest, but mine will be one color. Your skill with the two colors is fun to watch! and thank you for the chai video. I have those ingredients also, and it’s finally almost chilly enough here to think about making a batch!


    1. No worries, Mary! Thanks for your kind words about the sweater. I hope you get to cast on to your dream vest soon πŸ™‚ And let me know if you make the chai and what you think about it!


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