Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Think I'm Turning Japanese

OK, so I'm about to take off for Japan for a week or so. It should be a fun trip. We're going to take a boat over, so that'll be a new experience for me. I'm looking forward to it. Before I go though, I wanted to post pictures of the finished Irish Hiking Scarf:And the close-up:
I also started another pair of Broad Street Mittens. Here's the progress on the first one as of yesterday:The progress has changed from today too because the first mitten is finished and I'm about to cast on for the second one. These are made out of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Buck's Bar colorway for my friend Erica who has been coveting my convertible mittens ever since she saw me making the first Koigu pair.

Anyways, better go finish packing. I'll blog when I can, but if not, I'll be back in about a week with lots of pictures!

Knit on...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm Not Dead Yet

I seem to be gaining a following for the geeky amigurumi crowd. My latest pattern is now out on The Anticraft. All I can say is look at the bones, man!

Run Away!

Enjoy! I'll have more later such as a finished Irish Hiking Scarf and stuff. In the meantime, I expect a horde of killer rabbits to be made!

Knit on...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lasers and Silk

OK, sorry I have been absent from the blog for a few days now. I haven't been near a computer much, and then once I was able to get on a computer, I have to rest my eyes some every few minutes or so.

So the big news is that I had Lasik eye surgery done on Friday! DF had his done in February from this same eye clinic, so I knew I could trust the people there since DF isn't blind or anything. I went in for an eye exam on Wednesday, fully expecting them to say I didn't qualify since I have tried to get this done before and was told that my eyes just suck too bad to laser them into submission.

Well, turns out that I do qualify now that they have these new lasers and micro cutting things. I was thrilled. So I wandered around Seoul with DF on Thursday, then was super nervous on Friday. Everything went well and the surgery was done in about 10 minutes. Hard to believe that 20 years of bad eyesight almost can be taken away in 10 minutes. A few hours after the surgery, I felt like my eyes were in hell, but the next day, they seemed to be all better. They did a vision test at the office and I was 20/20 then. I go back this next week to see how they are doing, but they do seem to be OK right now, just a little dry, but that is normal according to everything I have read on it and should go away within a month or so.

So I haven't done much knitting, but I did spin a little. I spun up the silk hankie that I brought with me and it turned into this:It really is much more pretty than this. Much shinier and more yellow than dull green. And the purple is much more vibrant. Anyways, it's a picture of it to prove that I have actually done something fiber related in the past few days. I'll get to work on the Irish Hiking Scarf some more today and try to finish it by this evening.

Knit on...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Stash Diving

Yesterday I worked on the poor neglected Clessidra sock. I consider this to be stash diving since I haven't worked on this sock since I was in Kentucky. So, it's been well over two months now. Maybe more. But anyways, I worked on it yesterday between classes and discovered that multiple cable patterns on socks can lead to a headache if you don't have the mind to concentrate on them. I will post pictures of the socks as soon as my computer at work cooperates. I should have known it was too good to be true. I started my computer and it actually loaded up Plurk for once. Then it crashed. Horribly crashed. Like blue screen of death, only in Korean crashed. Blah. I thought it might be OK now, but it won't load pictures. Oh well.
Pictures later, even if it means I have to load them from home after work.
Lookie, a picture! Let's see if I can get two now... Ooo, there's two...can I get three? Woot! I got all three in the post now! If only Plurk would load, but that doesn't look like it's going to happen at all. After school today, I'll probably work on the Irish Hiking Scarf and see if I can get that finished today. I think there could be a good shot of that seeing how hot it is and the fact that I don't want to go outside when it's so humid and hot.
On a side note, one of my English teachers, not the main co-teacher, gave me a nice fan since she saw that I was hot, and I had commented on how much I liked her fan she had in class the other day, so she bought one just like hers when she went to Seoul last weekend. She gave it to me yesterday and it has come in handy the past few days in my classes. I'll get a picture of that tomorrow.

Knit on...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Scarf Knitting In Summer

Yep, I'm working on all winter projects right now it seems. Finished mittens and am about half way done with the Irish Hiking Scarf after plugging away on it yesterday:

Sorry for the dark picture. It was early this morning and not very light outside courtesy of the rain from the day before. I'm chugging along on it though and hope that I'll be done with it by the end of this week.

I also picked up the neglected Clessidra socks. I have worked two rounds on it this morning after figuring out the math for adding two more inches to the circumference to accomodate my fat calves. Hopefully that will work out OK.

That's it for today. I must go plurk now :oP

Knit on...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ok, I Caved

I joined the mayhem that is Plurk...

I'm Knittingmagicgirl on there, so if you're there, add me as a friend!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Finished Mittens

Yep, I finished the Broad Street Mittens out of my own Shetland/Angora blend handspun yesterday:

And it cooled down to a balmy 87 today instead of 90ish. See what knitting winter wear can do for weather? Nevermind global warming and what not. If knitters everywhere didn't work with cotton and other fibers, the world may end...OK, can you tell it's Friday and my brain is numb and I'm ready to go home and fondle yarn again? I'm getting this urge to spin, so I might do that tonight and see what I can come up with. Not sure what exactly I want to spin though. Maybe more fingering weight wool so I can make more mittens and such.

Anyways, not much knitting happened yesterday aside from finishing the mitten. I brought the scarf with me to work today, but I have to teach an extra class since one of the other English teachers is out, so I won't get as much quality knitting time in. Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Knit on...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Feast or Famine

On Tuesday I didn't knit a stitch. I had nothing knitting-related to show on the blog, so I decided it wasn't worth trying to post an explaination like it's eleventy billion degrees here and equally as humid and wool is sticking to my hands and what not. So I won't make an excuse :oP
Yesterday, since I stayed in the AC teacher room all day while I waited for my one class, I knit this:

So I go from not knitting one stitch to knitting an almost whole mitten. Since the AC is one again here, I'll probably finish this today and will have the set done. Now maybe winter will hurry up and get here...

Knit on...

Monday, July 07, 2008

Handspun Mitten

Look, I finished the first mitten:
Good thing too since it's about 90 degrees here and 1000% humidity. No tellings when these will come in handy...anyways, here's a few more shots of the finished handspun mitten:
To show the flap.
Flap off.

And one more for good measure. The specs on this mitten are:

Pattern: Broad Street Mitten from

Yarn: My own shetland/angora blend handspun. Might have enough left over to make another whole pair of mittens too, but won't know until I get the second one done.

Needles: Knit Picks Metal DPNs size 1.5

Knit on...

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I Wanna Bang On Me Drum All Day

So this weekend, DF and I went to a drum show in Gwangju two days in a row. Both shows were pretty much the same, but I think we enjoyed them both equally as much. It reminded me of Korean traditional drumming meets Stomp. They were very talented and also funny at times, so it made for an entertaining show. I'll have some pictures of that tomorrow once I get them off the camera.
Knitting-wise, I didn't do much this weekend since we were at the shows. I just now completed the first mitten, so I'll have finished pictures tomorrow. In the meantime, this is where it stood as of this morning:
I also did about 2 repeats on the Irish Hiking Scarf:

Progress was made, even if it wasn't too terribly much.

Knit on...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Look, Something Not Sock-Related

So my lack of fiber purchases over the last month or so was getting to me, and I knew of at least one yarn store here in Naju. Needless to say, I caved. I went in, put up with the crazy old women who think I am the most fascinating thing they have ever seen and insist that I love the color red (I really don't. Can't see it too well, so red yarn is usually not in my stash), and came out with three 100 gram skeins of an Australian wool. This's like butter. I want to fondle it all day. DF even looked at me while I was knitting and we were watching Survivor and said that if I needed to talk about the yarn, he would listen, but wouldn't understand, but would listen anyways. DF is a good man!

I thought these skeins would turn into felted slippers, but with the first horrible failure, I decided that yarn as soft as butter needed to be something other than felted. So I took out the Irish Hiking Scarf pattern that I had written down ages ago and cast on. Started with size 8s, realized it was too loose, so went down to 7s and came up with this:
And the cable glamour shot:

I forgot how enthralled with cables I can get before I started knitting on this scarf. It's an easy pattern to work with and having such a yummy yarn is just icing on the cake. The brand of the yarn is Wool 110% from what I can tell. There was a Japanese movie by this title too that the SnB watched, so I thought that was rather funny. I will be going back for more since it was only 6 bucks per skein. I won't buy more until I run out of this though.

And speaking of, this scarf kicks off the Christmas knitting. I think this will be for my grandfather since it seems to be a masculine color. I might make my grandmother one too in a different color, or in the same if I have enough left after I finish the first one.

Knit on...

Has It Really Only Been This Long?

I skipped yesterday's post because I have been working on this one. Today marks a big day in my life. No, it's not my birthday and it's not the day DF and I started dating or got engaged. It's the day that I met a very special person in my life who ended up teaching me about fiber and who tried to teach me how to crochet, but was as puzzled as I was when my first crochet pieces turned into bird's nests instead of flat fabric. Four years ago, I met Kim. I can't mention her full name on here since her profession requires her to not be blatantly on the internet like that, but when Kim reads this, she'll know who she is.

It all started in college. It was summer time and I really didn't want to be in classes, but I had to be. If I was going to finish college on time and without going into debt, I had to take these classes. One of them was second year Spanish. Anyone who knows me knows that I am perpetually early to everything. So much so that it sometimes drives people crazy. So I walk into class, fully expecting to be the first one there, and there in the front row is this woman. She has a hook in one hand, yarn in the other, and is just crocheting up a storm. I sit behind her and she whips around and asks me if I am a good student. I told her I thought I was and we decided we would be study partners for this class, especially since both of us were early and concerned about our grades.

After a rather comical mock interview with Frida Kahlo (this is just for Kim since it was just me, her, and the teacher who witnessed this fiasco of broken Spanish), I finally asked Kim to show me how to crochet. I has come under a little stress around then and she always talked about how doing that seemed to keep her sane, so I figured what the hell. After class, we drove over to Michael's where Kim introduced me to Susan Bates crochet hooks (which I still swear are the best hooks around), and helped me pick out the yarn to make my friend a baby blanket. We then headed over to my house, sat down, and Kim showed me how to chain. Yeah, I was good at chaining. The rest I rather sucked at.

She had to go before we got to the end of a row, so I continued to try to crochet. For some reason though, my rows were getting shorter and eventually looked more like a nest than a piece of fabric. Conveniently, I had a bird at the time and gave her the crummy piece of crap which she turned into a toilet anyways.

I got frustrated and put the yarn away. The class ended, and I still didn't have a decent piece of frabric. I even confounded Kim with my problems, so I broke down and bought a book on how to crochet. I remember the moment it finally all clicked. It was something magical. I chained, single crocheted, and lo and behold, chained before turning, and created a straight row. I created another straight row. Soon the rows began to pile up and I had about 10 inches on my first scarf. Sure, it was made out of crappy acrylic, and sure it didn't look pretty, but hey, it was my first scarf. I continued for two days on the scarf until I had about six feet. I decided it looked horrid and told one of my coworkers what I thought about it. She thought it was unique since I had made it, so she took it and used it. When Luanne died, I helped go through some of her things, and there were the two scarves I had made her. One was the crummy green acrylic one and the other was the Harry Potter Gryphindor scarf. I cherish them both.

I immediately decided after knitting my first scarf that I needed better yarn. The Red Heart was scratchy and it hurt my hands after a while, so I trotted down to Michael's (yeah, took me 2 years before I learned there were yarn stores....) and bought some Lion Brand Chennille Thick and Quick. I pumped out a scarf in about two hours with that stuff. I liked it so much that I went back and made another. I was obsessed from the very beginning.

Fast forward a year and once again, Kim was doing something that was catching my eye. She was using two sticks instead of one hook. I asked her what she was doing and she told me that her friend Jane had gotten her addicted to making knitted felted bags. I liked how flat the fabric was, so I decided I needed to learn to knit too. I ran to Michael's that afternoon, bought a book and a Boye Needlemaster set (yeah, figured I would get addicted, so might as well get a bunch of needles), and by the end of the day, I had made a really crappy garter stitch blob. I won't even call it a thing because it resembled nothing I had ever seen. I made the mistake of putting it down and then picking it up again, but didn't realize where the yarn needed to be. So inadvertantly, I made a bunch of short rows.

That was all it took. I was addicted to both knitting and crocheting, and I can blame it all on Kim. Now, want to help out on some of my debts since I know that there's some that was fiber related? :oP

I have definitely gotten better at both since three and four years ago. The knitting and crocheting has gotten me through a lot. The adage of I Knit So I Do Not Kill People is more true than I care to admit. It's kept me sane through a lot of stuff in the past few years, but more importantly, it has helped me to make new friends. Kim even introduced me to the blogging community, so blame her for that too :oP I don't know what I would do without you guys! Just to see a comment pop up and know that someone took the time to read about what I was doing is the most strangely comforting feeling sometimes. It fascinates me that anyone would want to read my rambling thoughts as it is, much less my addiction to all things fiber related.
I may have gotten better, but the crochet and knitting fates don't let me forget that they still rule. Point in case:

My first attempt at a felted slipper crochet pattern from two nights ago. Uh, yeah, still needs some work...

But I'm also reminded that I have improved when I see something like this:

A pair of Broad Street Mittens out of my own handspun. Four years ago, I would never have dreamed that I would be spinning my own yarn, much less making something that actually resembles what I want it to look like.

You guys rock! Thanks for sticking with me for over 2 years of blogging and 4 years of fiber-ing!

Knit on...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Socks in the City

OK, I warned you yesterday that this would be a very heavy picture post, so here it goes. We went to Seoul this weekend and pretty much as soon as DF had his eyes checked, we were heading to one of the historical palaces near City Hall:
We managed to get there just in time for the changing of the guard too, so we watched that, then headed into the palace itself:

It really is a place of contrasts. On one hand, you have an ancient palace, then on the other, you have modern day downtown Seoul. It was a pretty place and if you want to see all my myriad of pictures, you can check the link that I'll put up in the sidebar to the flickr page.

When we were done looking around the palace, we were greeted with a nice anti-USA beef protest:

For those of you who have no idea what this is about, just google it and you'll see. So, DF and I figure this is probably not the best place to be since we're Americans, so we scoot our way out of this while telling the people who ask that we're from another country other than America (Yeah, I hate to lie, but we really didn't want to get caught up in this protest, especially since here recently they have started turning more violent). We did buy T-shirts though that they were selling at the protest just so that we would have a souvenier of sorts.

On Sunday, we went to another palace, this one much bigger:They even had costumes you could put on. DF was trying to look all serious there and I didn't realize I should have been too :oP

We did have a stick fight though, but my hat really would not cooperate with this! We spent a couple of hours at the palace with a couple of friends of ours and then it was time for me to go to...The Seoul SnB. DF didn't believe me at first that I would find other non-Korean knitters, but lo and behold, I did. It wasn't hard either since Ravelry rocks. So we SnBed for a little bit (DF went to the roof of the place to read the paper and enjoy the nice day) and then headed back to Naju. It was a fun weekend, and it really made me wish we could be in a bigger city. At least we can travel to a bigger one.

I also promised you pictures of the sock in progress. Well, it's not in progress anymore since I finished it this afternoon:

These are for our Korean co-teacher. I hate this yarn still, but I'm glad she has small feet. These have to be the smallest pair of socks I have ever made.

Knit on...