June's post about funny Minnesota politeness got me thinking about Japanese politeness. I've never really lived in Japan but I've visited many times growing up and spent the majority of childhood Saturday mornings going to Japanese school (this probably explains my love of sleeping in on Saturdays and doing nothing). From what I understand, in Japan, it is common to refuse a gift at least 2 or 3 times before accepting, even if it is something you really really want. Or a ride. Or anything that puts someone out of their way for you. "No no, I couldn't possibly..." As a Japanese Canadian/American, I don't fit into Japanese culture. I'm direct enough that, though I've figured out when to do the head bobbing (I even do it on the phone), I will never be a true Japanese. I'm not direct enough that I feel comfortable in this culture, either. Stuck between worlds; it's typical for people like me who grew up with one foot in each.

I was reminded of a funny story about my brother. When he was 10 he visited Japan for 2 or 3 months, alone. He mostly stayed with my Dad's side, where they didn't understand English at all. My grandfather wanted to spoil him and took my brother shopping for toys, clothes, etc. Each time they came home empty-handed, my brother incredibly frustrated, my grandfather at a loss. It wasn't until towards the end of my brother's visit that my mom found out what was going on. When my grandfather asked my brother if he wanted this or that, my brother would say, "Yeah!" In Japanese this sounds like "iya" which means, roughly, "hell no!". Hehe, poor kid. All the toys he could have had.

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Thanks for the compliments and feedback on Picovoli! I'll try Grumperina's suggestion of giving her a firm ironing to get the bottom edge to lay flat. Depending on how it looks then, I'll decide whether or not to add length.

I was hoping to show you the flu-influenced-dyeing I did this weekend -- not my best work, :D -- but working on taxes yesterday and an unexpected but much needed nap today got in the way. Instead, here's the tussah silk I had dyed before pre-drafted:

dyed Tussah silk, sunfires

I was struck by how the base honey color warmed all the reds, oranges and yellows, very different from how it looked on the white wools:

dyed Tussah silk, sunfires

I wasn't sure what to do with it: spin it straight? From the fold? The last time I tried silk did not go well at all, but that was on a spindle and before I learned the magic of pre-drafting. This time I went with regular spinning with enough twist for a 2-ply and it went pretty smoothly:

dyed Tussah silk singles, sunfires

That's about half an ounce. I was careful of my drafting hand and making sure it didn't hold onto the fibers very long so that I didn't get clumps of silk in my hand. This required a lighter (and less sweaty) hand. I was also careful to keep the to-be-spun lengths sufficiently unrolled in my lap and not let it fall to the floor: the silk sheds and wanted to stick to itself and instead of easily unrolling from the little nests.