In the meantime, I managed to produce a couple of novelty sushi pencil cases...
Traditional nori-side-out (black) sushi roll pencil case:
Materials and equipment:
3.5mm crochet hook
Black or very, very dark green worsted weight yarn
Small amounts of white*, orange and green (or other colours for ‘filling’) yarn for ends. *Beige for “brown rice” sushi!
24cm black zipper (or similar length)
Black thread and sewing needle (for attaching zipper)
Rice and filling ends: With the white yarn, ch 4. Sl st into first ch and ch 2 (counts as first dc). Make 11 dc’s into the loop formed by the foundation chain. Sl st to the ch 2 that counted as your first dc. Ch 2, and make 2 dc into each of the previous dc’s. Sl st to the ch 2 that counted as the first dc. Finish off, weave in end. Attach black and sc around the edge of the circle. Finish off and weave in ends.
Fish/filling: In my roll, I made a 4 sc by 4 sc square ( x2 – one for each side) with orange to represent spicy tuna, and made the avocado chunks by ch 4 and turning without a turning ch (no ch 1 at end of row) to decrease into a wedge with each row. There are infinite possibilities in what you can ‘fill’ your sushi roll with – just be sure to make 2 of each so that your ends match! Yellow can represent oshinko (pickled radish) or tamago (egg), beige for scallop, pink for salmon, white and red for imitation crab (i.e. California roll), dark green for lettuce, dark green edged light green for cucumber, beige edged orange for tempura yam, etc. You could even make a squid tentacle or prawn tail sticking out of the end! Sew on your ‘filling’ with the tail of the yarn used to create them or stitch them on carefully (to hide thread) with your sewing needle.
Nori wrapper: With the black yarn, chain 36 (which is 35 plus a turning chain) or as long as your desired finished length. Sc in the second chain from the hook and along the length of the chain. Ch 1 and turn. Sc across the length and ch 1 as a turning chain at the end of each row. Make about 28-30 rows depending on your tension and the width of the zipper you will sew in. This piece should be wide enough so that the ends are slightly shorter than the circumference of the circles that make up the end pieces (3 or 4cm wide gap for the zipper to fit into).
Stitch the round ends onto the ends of the nori using the worsted weight black yarn and a yarn needle. Weave in ends. Sew in zipper (this is the fussy part – it may even be best to sew the zipper to the side of the nori wrapper before attaching the ends, but I did it the other way around in this attempt). Fill with Earthzone or other recycled newspaper pencils (not the wooden rainforest-timber types, please!).
Itadakimasu (bon appétit)!
Variation: The Kadoya Dynamite Roll Pencil Case (rice side out)
For the dynamite roll, I followed the same basic pattern as above, but the sc layer around the 'ends' was in white (black ring of nori on the end was slip stitched on).
The tempura-covered prawn I didn't really keep track of for pattern purposes, but it was made of sc and the forked tails were two chains that had sc worked back across them, and they were sl st together to join (I used one continuous piece of pink yarn).
The lettuce I did keep track of:
ch to desired length (lay out along the ends to see what you'd like)
add a turning ch, then sc, (dc, trc, dc) in next stitch, sc, (dc, trc, dc) in next stitch, sc - continue to repeat this pattern 'til the end, and finish off.
What I didn't do (and wish I did) was sew on orange glass beads to represent the sprinkling of roe along the length of the roll, which is what they do at Kadoya (very pretty).
Have fun inventing/reproducing your own sushi rolls!
Incidentally, if you are looking for the best "reasonably-priced" sushi in Vancouver, it's Kadoya - I've been going there weekly since its opening in 2005 on Davie Street. They have the BEST spicy tuna rolls in existence, but because tuna stocks are endangered/threatened, I'm going to recommend the spicy salmon roll instead (we have a huge salmon return this year!). My favourites are the dynamite roll (it's a mouthful!) and the yam tempura roll, but any of the deluxe "special rolls" in the front are also highly recommended (mmm, the Canucks roll! The Princess roll is also a favourite of my strictly vegetarian and vegan friends).
Coming soon: instructions for a differently shaped sushi case. Stay tuned to Green, Broke & Living in Kits (and/or follow me on Ravelry.com)!