October 27, 2010

glove 2010 in and out

glove 2010 in and out
Originally uploaded by O'Chica

This morning, the low got to 9 degree celsius here in Kyoto. I watched weather forecast last night, and hurried to finish these gloves (one had been done, and the second was just 1/3 of the palm and fingers & thumbs to be done).

Pattern; I frankensteined Annemor #11 (cuff) and NHM #10 (palm) from Selbuvotter, and Butterfly sock by Coriander like I did before.
Yarns; KnitPicks palette (pink, blue and lilac) and Patons Purple Heather (7099, yellow) in my stash.
Needles; KnitPicks Harmony DPNs, US #0

My daughter didn't wear them when she got out of the front door at 8:20. Then, on the street in front of our apartment, she realized her hands were cold. We went back home, got gloves, and her hands were warm.
For, maybe three and a half minutes.
After that, they got too warm and the gloves got pulled off and tucked in her bag.

But, I am so proud of being a knitter and stayed up extra one hour to finish them, to keep her hands warm, even only for three minutes, on the first "really cold morning" in this autumn.

My sleepiness payed off.

October 20, 2010

Healthy egoism

Mom's new bike

Here's my new partner. Yes. My bike.
(The one next to mine is my daughter's.)

Thousands, no, tens or hundreds of thousands of mothers who have small children in Japan does her daily running-around on bikes like this, on busy streets like.... (I tried to find a good pic on the net to show how our neighborhood street looks like, but failed. I think this movie comes close enough. First 20 second or so is inside the Kyoto Univ. campus, but after that the camera comes out on the streets.)

When we came back to Japan, my daughter was already 4 years old, weighed about 15 kg (33 lb). Before Japanese kids grow up to that size, they are usually well adapted to be carried around on mom's bikes. My daughter was not. And I was not fully confident about the safety, me myself have not ever be carried on my mother's bicycle, neither. And my neighborhood has everything within 15 minutes' walk. Grocery stores, post office, banks, doctor's office, kindergarten, play parks, subway & railway station, bus stops, you name it.
So, I happily postponed purchasing my bicycle "until the time comes."

My daughter appealed to me again and again how faster and happier she can go to the kindergarten if only I buy a bike with big carrier on the back and carry her. Like her friends' mothers do.
I just kept saying no. I wasn't sure I can safely give a big girl like her a ride. All these walking to and back from the kindergarten makes our legs stronger, and we can have a lot of fun along the way, like poking the ice on a very cold winter day, like doing word games (almost always shiritori).

Now, the time has come.

My daughter wished for a bicycle last Christmas, and the wish came true. Her bike had those small supportive wheels, and her riding speed didn't go too far faster than my walking/light jogging. This summer, she suddenly decided to get rid of the support (I am very sure it's related to witnessing her friend's riding technique.) and had achieved it. Now she rides faster, farther and oftener. I needed some technological support to keep on safely chasing her around.

I went to a good bicycle shop (on foot, of course) and talked with the bike-loving guy there for almost half an hour. We agreed that;
1) I don't need a child-carrier. (I waited for two full years just to avoid that.)
2) I don't need an electric bike. (It's just too heavy to put up on the upper rack at the apartment bike space.)
3) I ride inside Kyoto city area, which has busy streets and lots of narrow streets crossing each other, that I need a bike that stops and starts easily, hence, smaller wheels.
4) I like it "sporty". (More than a quarter on my "follow" list on twitter are pro bike racers.)
5) I have a good supportive bike store (which I was in at the moment) very close by.

His recommendation, and my choice, is Pulmino made by Gios. (HP doesn't have it listed on their "bikes" page. Maybe it's only for exports to Asia.) My first Italian vehicle in my life.

I needed a front carrier basket, but they didn't have a matching blue one. I would have plain metal one but then, my artist daughter said firmly, "NO, mom, this green one is much, much cuter."
We tried it on my light blue bike, and surprisingly, the color went along so pretty.

Thank goodness, for her artistic sense.

And, she named my bike, too. It's a boy, and his name is Gino.
I'm so happy she has good linguistic sense, too.

October 06, 2010

Summary of this Summer

I had intended to post to this blog AT LEAST once a month. It's a shame I skipped September, and didn't noticed that until today.


I got some knittings done.
Ishbel blocked
Pattern; Ishbel by Ysolda Teague, in Whimsical Little Knits, mine is an autographed copy, gift from my dear knitting friend.
Yarn; Dainihon-KeitoUniversal HI STAR (lace weight), colorway 135, 55 g , which used be in my mother's stash and adopted by me (very happily).
I think this yarn is at least 30 years old, and surprisingly in good condition.
Needles; JP 5 (3.6 mm) 60 cm (24 in) bamboo circular needles

I made this shawl in this delicate grey yarn right as a preyer for my husband's grandmother, passed away in June (in this post). I finished it before her "49-days service" and gave it to my mother-in-law.

During the hottest-in-100-years summer this year, I could hardly touch my wools. My hands reached for some cotton, and for the first time in my life, stainless yarn.
iron scarf in progress

This test piece scarf is made from Avril stainless-silk(grey, thinner one - naturally) and cotton (pale green) yarns, double stranded. I brought it around to everywhere because the pattern is piece'o'cake-y easy and memorable, and the yarns are only one skein (small cone, actually) each. This pic was taken when I went to a baseball game with my daughter.

On the contrary to my first plan (just take a look how this stainless yarn behaves and move on to next project), this 20-stitches wide scarf took forever to knit - and actually, not yet to finish.
reason 1);The cotton yarn feels like paper, which itself is not so bad, but needs a little care to pick up with the needles.
reason 2);The stainless yarn began to tangle badly after my careless tugs at 80% progress.
reason 3);I was busy to teach sawing to my 6-years old daughter.
Amazing piece
This, is her first sawing swatch. I taught knitting before and she liked it, but holding two needles is a little bit too much for her little hands. Sawing needs only one tiny needle to manipulate. She LOVES sawing now.
During the summer break, she made several "pockets" and "mini-bags", and embroidered this bag;
Aika's bag
Aika's bag detail
See the stitches?
Blue line shows the ocean, and the yellow circle above is the sun. (by the stitch artist)
Yellow "pocket" is "to put in various small stuffs - train ticket, hair ties, and candies!"

I love this little crafter/artist in my family.

While she was at it, I made these (and the bag on pics above, for the record);
cupcake smock
A new smock, and
PrettyCureSunshine hair accessory 1
a humongous hair-accessory.
She wants to be strong and cute like Cure-Sunshine.

Now, having a couple of weeks of autumn-ly weather, I'm back to my wools. Between the meetings and organizing a seminar on 10/30 with kindergarten PTA pals, my little non-toe socks projects are being done.

Little by little, one by one, as always.