Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hari-Kuyo: Laying our Needles to Rest

Today is Hari-kuyo, the Festival of Broken Needles in Japan.

As you know, I've been busy preparing for this day for a few weeks now. I've got a few butterflies and a bit of nerves, but I am mostly excited and can't wait to share this great little book with all of you.


What better way to celebrate our needles than to launch an E-course that creates a home for them. I remember very distinctly this day last year when I began my year of honoring my needles and caring for the ones which broke along the way. And I wouldn't have even made a needlebook if it hadn't been for my friend Carol Ann who encouraged a whole group of us on Stitchin Fingers to do something to honor our needles on this day.

So this morning, following last night's full moon, I went out to my back yard and buried my broken needles.

I had read that the Japanese remove the needles from the shrine, wrap them in paper and toss them in the sea. I'm not sure if this is true or not but the closest body of water to me is the Patapsco River down the street. Unfortunately, too many fishermen wade into that river for me to want to place the soles of their feet in danger. So...the backyard it was.

I wrapped them in an old piece of pattern tissue...


And I buried them in the ground along with a prayer of gratitude and a few wishes for my new needle year.


And then topped them off with this grave marker...


I buried them on the mossy side of the yard so I'm hoping mother nature creates some magic on that rock as well.

My crazy friend's husband, Lane, is a student of all things Japanese and prepared this poem for us honoring this day, A Needle's Lullaby.
It was such a gift to all of us that he chose to share our observation of this special day. And it's nice to know I'm not the only one full of sentiment for this tradition.

It leaves me with a good feeling to lay my needles to rest and honor them in this way. And I'm really looking forward to sharing my special book with all of you.

So, here's a link to the page that gives you all the details about the Hari-kuyo Needlebook E-course. There's a tab for the page under the header of my blog.

I've set up the course to be flexible for those who would like to make a needlebook similar to mine and for those who just want the pattern and would prefer to use their own supplies and perhaps design their own cover. One course price kit includes the kit, the other does not.

Many of my friends from the pilot group intend to make another one now that they have the pattern and have successfully made one.

I will eventually offer a .pdf pattern for download but it won't be available until after I finish offering the E-course.

For those that are not interested in the E-course but are interested in purchasing a set of labels for an existing needlebook you may already own...


You can find them for sale individually in my Etsy shop here. They are woven sew-on labels with the text embroidered on the label. You will also find pre-cut felt for the needle pages for your convenience.

Thank you all for coming on this adventure with me. I have lots of fun planned over the course of the next few weeks and I cannot wait to get started.

Should you enroll, you will be receiving a welcome email from me early next week inviting you to the private course blog and giving you more specifics on how we'll get underway.

And here's a button for your sidebar...


Happy happy day to you all.

And thank you to all of your broken needles.

24 comments:

Teresa said...

What a lovely little ceremony you had to honor your needles.
Teresa's Heartfelt Stitches

Maura said...

あなたを知って光栄に思っ
I am trying to say that I am honored to know you. So thrilled that you are taking this exciting step in your journey...

Saturday Sequins said...

I love that you celebrate Hari-Kuyo!

I'm starting a tradition of my own to honor broken needles (I have two now). I have a little wooden box that looks like a coffin, and I'm going to paint it and line it with a little cushion so my needles can rest comfortably. They do so much for me, so I think it's only fair!

I continue to adore your needle book. The ribbon embroidery on the front is fantastic!

Lisa Dunn said...

I love how you honored your broken needles! I have a spot for my broken needles on my altar.

I love your needlebook, and I have signed up for the class. I'm looking forward to it!

Jane said...

What a lovely way to cellebate our needles. I wish you much luck in the e-course and your new ventures. Looks like it's not just Jack who is looking forward to lots of exciting life changes ;-)

Miriam said...

Thank you Susan.

Jane said...

By the way, I've linked to your post from my blog, hope it helps spread the word.

Linda H said...

Is it "correct" to say Happy Hari-Kuyo? What a lovely tradition/ceremony, to honour our needles... Your needle book is wonderful and the silk ribbon flower is exquisite. I wish you much luck with your class, I know you will enjoy it every bit as much as your students will... And I too, feel honoured to know you, Susan.

Nicki Lee said...

Hi Susan!

I'm sooo excited as I just signed up for your class - really looking forward to it.

When you get my payment it will be under my first name "Barbara" (From Plympton, MA) bet you didn't see that coming LOL! Yep...Nicki Lee is my middle name. Can't wait!

Catherine said...

Your book is so pretty! Love your take on the tradition ~ and the create stone is just perfect!!

Marsha said...

I'm all signed up. I can't wait.

Sue said...

Thank you for sharing and to honor all broken needles, thanks Sue

Ati. said...

just one word: Touching...

Sonja said...

I was there waiting and had my own little ceremony with my one broken needle (not a lot of stitching done this year). Loved your little book and I have enrolled. Cant wait.

Wanda-Maria Roszak said...

Susan, you're happy with virtual I met you, you're also on my blog, and then I know what is happening with you.
And, as always honest, helpful, thanks, I wish you success,
greetings :)))

Mouse said...

lovely ceremony and how you have marked them as well .... gorgeous wee mouse holding the labels there too .... and good luck with it all .. so far not broken any needles but a few are bending ..lol
love mouse xxxxx

coral-seas said...

I wasn't going to do your ecourse, I have far too much on already. Really, I wasn't! Who am I kidding? How was I going to resist this?

I absolutely love Lane's poem, it is beautiful.

Elizabeth said...

You are something else again!! I am so excited for you and your new ventures!! I see many more e-courses in your future!! Your attention to detail, care in presentation and beautiful words will carry you very far!! If I did not have too darn many things on my plate right now , I would be joining you!! I know that it will be a huge hit and hope that you will offer this course again!!
HUGS!!

sudukc said...

What a lovely tribute to your needles. I had my own festival too but not nearly as touching as yours. I also signed up for your needlecase class and can hardly wait. Thans

Rachel said...

My congratulations to your friend's husband for joining in!

Daphne said...

I'm signed up and linked up on my blog!!! Hooray! I have some bent pins but no broken needles yet - I think that means I haven't been doing enough stitching... So excited!

Cari said...

You amaze me... I love your work, your pictures, your writing, your kindness. In fact, I think of you as one of my most favorite needlewoman I've never met. It's always a delight to read your blog. I won't be able to join your needle book class but I did order your ribbon labels. I'm so excited to watch all the needle books come together. Have fun !!

Nouli said...

I've signed up for the e-class (using my real name!)...
I'm very exited ....can't wait...

Hélène said...

wonderful !

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