Sunday, August 26, 2007

Harajuku Omotesando Genki Festival Super Yosakoi 2007

Upps, my controlls are all in Japanese now ... I have to see if I get this done.

Today was my first day off since I've arrived in Japan. After sleeping in (oh, that was sooooo nice) I got my camera and headed down to Tokyo. This is a six minute train ride to Kumagaya and then another 50min with the Express train (Shinkansen).
My first goal was Harajuku, which is known for teenagers hanging out at the weekends in the weirdes costumes (they call it cosplay), and I just wanted to shoot some (with the camera, what did you think?)

When I arrived in the sweltering heat (it's August, its Tokyo ... there's no other way), I was pretty surprised to see some sort of dance contest / performance going on. Groups of up to a 100 people doing a mix of traditional and modern dance and the only thing in commen I saw in all groups was that they seem to use some sort of rattle in there dances (some also used fans and lanterns, but there was allways the rattles). After a couple of those groups, I wandered off, only to find out that before they go up on the stage they have a form of dancing parade. Very, very cool.

At home I learnd that this was the Harajuku Omotesando Genki Festival Super Yosakoi 2007

Some of the teams were very good and I was also very impressed with everybody's stamina. It's no mean thing to dance for hours in a heat like at the moment and then go up on a stage and do an extra five minute skit.

After some shopping around (and not buying) I went to Shinjuku, which is famous for electronics stores. I've had my eyes on a zoom lens for my new camera. The lens I wanted was circa 25% less expensive than the cheapest I've seen in Germany (via internet) so I did buy.

On my way back I stopped at the Sushi restaurant. You sit on a type of bar and little plates with sushi will travel by on a conveyer belt. All you need to do is to pick a plate and take it down. Payment is decided by the colors of the plate you stack in front of you. Simple.

I think at one point I picked a $12 plate, but I can't even remember which it was, though I suspect that it was the little grilled fish, which still had the bones in ....

I didn't have that much time to work on the Blackwork Dragon, but I got some progress to show.

Monday, August 20, 2007


On Saturday was our annual BBQ in the Hundsr├╝ck.

As you can see, there was not much risk of us starving (actually, that one only one of the two bbq setup - the other one was for meat and chicken and such)
There was plenty of cake too and salats and bread and ....
And it was plenty of fun. We talked and stitched and talked and played and talked and (well, you get the drift)

Stitching: I've got back to the Medieval Tiles from Dracolair. Now that I've got he GAST Midnigh, I've got to finish the two squares that were only three/quarters done.

A prize goes to whoever figures out what mistake I've made (and will no fix :)) in the lower of the blue squares.
Only one of the big squares to be done and to finish the border.

For the Japan Trip, though I've left the tiles at home and started something else.

The beginning of the blackwork dragon by Dragon Dreams on a 28ct white linen and with DMC310. This is after 12 hours of flight - not bad I'd say (I stitched through three movies, but actually managed some sleep). Blackwork has a few things speaking for it, mostly that you don't need to carry many different colors and don't need to change every few stitches.
I've played a bit with blackwork before, but this is the first major project and I'm enjoying it so far - though, it's my second go on him. I've tried to do him with a veriagate thread before, but that didn't work out the way I wanted. I'm much happier with the simple black on white version.

I'm back in Japan for roughly three weeks. More about that next post.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Back to the Roots

Some instant - or at least quick - gratification.

Moon Dragon by DragonDreams on 28ct Cashel linen in the color Millenium (I do love that color)

It was a fast stitch, three evenings for the pattern and another for the backstitch.

Isn't he cute.

Stitching at home is once again hindered by the loan of the CameCube from a friend including Legends of Zelda: The Twilight Princess. I love how Link (aka the hero) has been animated. Cute fellow ;)

Yesterday I went and saw Transformes (second time for me, as I've seen it already in Kechikan). My friend has been/is a big Tranformers fan with quite a few stories to her credit, so I was really interested what she was thinking of the movie. She loved it, and we both agree that they better put out a score (not the 'songs inspired by the movie' which is the only thing available at the moment)

I've got another doctor's appointment tomorrow morning, so I took the day off. I need to do some shopping before flying off to Japan for three weeks next Sunday. In the US I know where to get things when I need them, Japan is a little bit more difficult.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

to knit or not to knit

... that's the question.

Well, there's this:

My vacation sock. My own 'make it up as you go' pattern, toe up.

Then there's this:

Ankletts, another 'there's no real pattern' sock, again toe-up and with a short row heel.

And, there's this:

An attempt on a Faroese shawl using a pattern from the 'shawls and scarves' book I bought a while ago.

And, well, I'm not happy with either of those (well, maybe with the second sock, except for the fact that it's still a single sock, meaning, there's the need to knet a second one some day)

The vacation sock turned out, well, maybe a little much too green - as in 'I will never wear them' too green. And I like green. And I like the wool, but still ...

And the Faroese shawl - everything wrong with it. The pattern discription in the book sucks. Really. It's my first Faroese shawl and I'm totally lost. Okay, I admit to try working the shawl with the wrong gauge, but, heck, it's a shawl, there's no such thing as too small or too big, right? I don't like the pattern (what you can see of it, it's barely recognizable) and I'm still not sure if it should be a third repeat. The book doesn't say anything about how often to have to repeat it, but on the photo it looks like twice and that's what I did. Looks too narrow.
At the moment I'm tempted to rib the whole thing up, and start another shawl and use another needle size for the correct gauge (I've already knitted a test swat on a 6 mm and an 8 mm needle. One's seems to be too much, the other too little ... more frustration)

So, I think, I'm going to go back to my cross stitch :)
After all the missing threads for the 'Medieval Tiles' and for 'King Tut' have arrived.
And I've kitted up 'Moon Dragon' from Dragon Dreams.