The skittle shape item on the left in the first photo is a Cleminson Pottery sock darner from the US. The two unusual "thread figures" are for darning stockings - the one in the box says "I'm here to darn your hose". The label on the end of the box states 'PERI-LUSTA MENDING MAID Mercerised Cotton Made in England.The other figure says "I'se a maid to mend your hose" ....I purchased this one from the US. They would certainly bring a smile and add a touch of whimsey to the dreary chore of darning your socks and stockings.
The second photo shows the bone knitting needle guards from the US and the lavender "knit stix" knitting needles from Banyan Tree in the UK that arrived today. When I first saw the picture of these "stix" in Simply Knitting, I had to order them. They have the inches marked down the length of the needles......something different! The other pair of knitting needles came from the US, I have had these some time.......they are red heart needles, dont they look great!!
Isn't japanese crafting amazing? The amount of work that goes into each item is done so with great attention to detail. Omiyage and Kokoro no Te are both by Kumiko Sudo. The third book is all in japanese but is very similar to the first two books. I have taken the following paragraph from the inside cover of Kokoro no Te -
"Do you love the simple elegance of Japanese fashions and accessories crafted from fabric? Kokoro no Te - translated from Japanese to mean Handmade from the Heart - invites you to create an exquisite collection of totes, fashion pins, party tokens, and other delightful small crafts. Kumiko Sudo combines surprisingly simple sewing techniques with gorgeous colors and fabrics. There are beautiful purses and keepsake pouches made from silks, cottons, and soft felts, and decorated with pretty beading or Japanese-style embroidery. Or make one of Sudo's irrestible sewing accessories - thimbles, needle caches, and pincushions with a difference. There are even intricately designed Japanese temari balls and a pretty, doll-size kimono".