About Us​

We are “Mais ou Menos”.

We are "Mais ou Menos".
Mais ou Menos Knitting is run by Maysa Tomikawa and Aya Wada, aka PQ. We make handspun and hand-knitted products, which are almost forgotten in today's hard-living society.

 

Mais ou Menos" means "so-so" in Portuguese. When using this word, we make a gesture that resembles the seesaw with our hand. I think it is a perfect word for our ambiguous existence, neither front nor back, neither good nor bad, neither black nor white.

 
Everything we make is hand-knitted. We begin by mixing wools and spinning them into yarn for some of our products.

 

Yarn spinning and knitting have been handed down from generation to generation since ancient times, and I believe they are the origin of human work. No matter what region you are in, there is a history that has something to do with yarn, textiles, and knitting, and if you magnify that history under a microscope, you will find a family history, from mother to son/daughter, grandmother to grandchildren, and so on. And I think that yarn spinning and handicrafts related to yarn were initially meant to protect the body, protect the house, and protect life, and I think they were made with a prayer. A prayer that makes everything special. 


I learned the basics of knitting from my grandmother, a descendant of Italian immigrants, and learned as an adult that her method was Portuguese Style. I feel the history when I think about the women in my family who must have learned this technique, maybe from Portuguese people at some point in their lives. That is why I do not want this technique to die out, and I hope that as many people can feel the strength, warmth, and softness of things made by hand.

In this day and age, ready-made products may be more beautiful, inexpensive, and can be mass-produced. Still, I'd like to use our hands to treat all the fibers we can harvest from nature. Starting from cotton, hemp, linen, wool, alpaca, silk, and other natural fibers. By spinning them into yarn with the techniques that have been handed down from generation to generation, we can become part of the history that has been connected to us for generations. 

 


It may be an exaggeration, but I think it is one of the ways of women's empowerment. I also believe that we are all like witches and yamambas (a legendary monstrous woman who lived in the mountains; a mountain witch), who have the power to live on their own, and express our wishes and wants. Imagine a mysterious yamamba living in Tokyo, running her spinning wheel like a demon at night, creating yarn, knitting, and weaving as if she is telling a story. That is the image I hold in my heart of myself.

I would be happy if you could feel, hear, or see a story or memory in our finished products. Above all, I hope you can feel the history of handwork that has continued from generation to generation.

Maysa Tomikawa

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​Mais ou Menos Knitting

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