Friday, June 3, 2011

Polkupyöra, Knitting and an Award

Ah the time has gone by since my last post. My parents came and visited us for some time and before and after their visit, not much happened outside the usual studying, working, etc. The weather is warm now, in the 20s (that's 70s for you F folks) and so the windows in the apartment are wide open and there is green everywhere we walk. Lately I haven't even needed a jacket, which is exciting stuff.

The biggest thing to happen lately is that I got a bike! It's white, 28", Jupiter brand (made in Finland). It's quite retro but very sturdy. It's a 3 speed, which is great. In the front there is a little bell by the brake. In the back there is a small rack where I can put things and maybe in the future put a basket to transport groceries easier. There is also a pink flag with a reflector on it that can be pulled out (like in the photo) or just normally alongside the bike, so that if I ever would ride at night, people can see me easier. But the most fascinating thing to me about this bike is the lock. Most bikes in Finland don't use the coil or U-lock locks that I am used to, that you attach to the bike and then to whatever it is you are locking it onto. Instead, most bikes in Finland come with locks attached to the bikes on either the front or back (mine's on back) wheel, between the spokes, so that when it's unlocked it is out of the way and you can ride freely, and when it is locked, you can't move the tires at all. So you can just put the bike on a rack (this one is in front of the apartment btw), lock it and walk away. I like it.

The actual ,getting, of the bike was an adventure. We found the ad in a local newspaper and actually called about a different bike listed. The owner lives in Valkeala, which is 11k from here. But the bike we called about wasn't in great condition when we saw it in person. Then the guy told us about a different bike he had that wasn't listed in the paper, namely, this one. This one was much much better. So we bought the bike but had no way to bring it  back to Kouvola. So we went out and got me a helmet (blue and white, like Finland flag), and then posted an ad in our building, asking if anyone had a bike rack we could borrow. But alas no one responded (I don't think anyone reads the board) so we planned our expedition. We would get a (car) ride to Valkeala and then I would ride the bike back while Niko jogged alongside. And we did. The whole 11k. In 70+ F temperatures, which in Finland is devastatingly hot. It was quite an adventure. But we made it and now my bike has a home on the bike rack out front and when it rains there is also a bike room on the ground floor inside where it can stay dry. 

I made this
Niko made this
For those who don't know me I am an avid craftster and knitter. I always have at least one project going at a time and it's quite common when I have free time to sit in a chair, listen to a knitting podcast and knit some project. When I visited here last June I taught Niko the knit stitch and this past week we went out and got some yarn and he got a refresher course and we have spent the evenings just sitting together and knitting. It's very nice. He is a very fast learner. He has already knit up a dishcloth and two sports wristbands. At the same time, I knit up a dishcloth too, so that he could see the same stitches. My next project is a hat, using circular needles. Hopefully it ends well.

Lastly, my friend and fellow blogger (and craftster) Anna has bestowed upon me a Stylish blogger award. Apparently those who get the award have to write 7 facts about themselves, link back to the person who gave it, and give it to 4 new ones. So here goes.

1. I live in a little town in Finland and Finnish is my fourth language. (The others are English, German and Danish)

2. My hobbies include learning languages (which atm is 100% Finnish), knitting, sewing, reading, watching movies and cooking/baking. I introduced cream of potato soup to Niko last week and he made us Pannukakku this week. It's like a giant sweet pancake baked in the oven and then covered with jam or fruit.

3. I am a process knitter. I find it more fun to plan a project, enjoy the project as I am knitting and then before I am even finished, start planning the next one. The opposite of a process knitter is a project knitter, those who know exactly what they want to make and then make it. Me, I could be happy with a hat or scarf or anything as long as I have needles and yarn in my hands. And if there's some interesting new technique involved, all the better.

4. I like supermarket ads. In any language, from any country. Whenever the mail comes, I always jump to check out the latest sales and just see the interesting food items available. The LIDL ones in Finland amuse me because you can see ads for bread, milk and hardware tools and paint all in the same ad. And it's a small store. I am also a pro at finding the good deals and identifying which ones are just spaving.

5. I like to watch movies (even in English) with subtitles. This works out great with Niko. :)

6. My favorite board game is Scrabble. I brought this travel version from the US and the tiles actually stick into spaces so you can close the board/folio anytime and open it back up to play later and the tiles are still there! It's super nice. Niko and I have also played Finnish Scrabble at the local library, which is also very fun. Unfortunately, the photo from our game is on my cell phone and I have no idea how to get the photos off from there. :)

7. I always order extra cheese on pizza (extra juusto, tupla juusto).

That's all for today, folks. Happy knitting!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, I love your bike! I've been wanting a bike lately, similar to yours (retro and sturdy all the way!). And, what a great story of how you had to bring it home :-)