Saturday, September 30, 2006

Socks of Doom complete

Well, I finished my Socks of Doom, like a week after my assassin, but because I live across the universe from her, I'm still alive. I could rush out Monday and express mail them, because the rest of the week is a holiday, so if the socks don't arrive here Monday, it will be a whole week until the mailman comes again. I could... but i doubt I will. Here they are:

I spent the day today at the Australian Rules Football Grand Final (Super Bowl) party in Seoul. The Australian Chamber of Commerce puts it on and it's a great day out. Even for those of us who are not sports fanatics. I did not knit, though. I'm not shy about knitting in public, but we always go very early so my husband can claim the best seats. I feel a little guilty about sitting in a prime seat and not watching the game at all (or even pretending). My husband's team won. Yay. He's a wee bit sports-obsessed and his team lost last year. Things were not happy around here for a few days. This is a picture of the festivities, Seoul-style. We know how to party. Check out the balloons. It looked like a child's birthday party being held at a hotel function room. The open bar and all-you-can-eat barbecue were not to be mocked, however. Western food is expensive and some mundane things are nearly (or totally) unavailable at any price (like the delicious lemon merengue pie and the not-a-hotdog sausage).

So, tomorrow's the big day! The new MagKnits. The one with my little socks in them. I'm so excited! I actually haven't worn those socks- they are not colors I would ordinarily wear, but when I saw color of the yarn, it spoke to me. Very Easter-y. Or Easter egg-y. Or Easter marshmallow treat-y. I'll stop now. Go to and see for yourself. Tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow. That's the deadline for submissions for the December Knitty. Still not typed (the pattern, I mean). I'll do it tonight. Maybe tomorrow. Afternoon. I'll get it done. I will. Promise. Sometimes I feel like I'm still in college- I need that pressure of the deadline to make me sit down and work.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Sock Wars 2006- over before it started

Well that competition was quicker than a scratch off ticket, I must say. All weekend the yarnmonkey site was showing up as "server down" on my computer, but apparently that was my server being picky, because as soon as I got on the site and saw my email was wrong, I emailed my assassin and my socks were already packed up! I'm halfway through one sock, but I'll finish the pair by the time the socks get all the way here from the US. I suppose I could hurry and finish them and express mail them to my target, but eh... C'est la vie, you know?

I dyed a truckload of yarn this weekend (since I couldn't knit my Socks of Doom) and my interest has been diverted. Here are some pics:

The colors aren't showing up quite right. The sock is lighter- the same Kingfisher and Havana brown I used the first time I dyed, but I dyed separate balls of yarn this time, instead of trying to get the repeats the correct length. The yarn on the right is 150g of that "sock yarn" I got from eBay. I dyed the whole thing Old Gold and then 1.5ish m section bordeaux and 1.5ish m section Madonna blue, so there are no white spots. It's actually darker than it looks. Quite a "happy accident" (I would link to the previous post here if I knew how ;-) ), if I do say so myself. Of course, my cat helped me wind it into a ball, so now it is in two pieces and there is one part that will need to be cut out. I seem to be getting the process down now. Very little dye rinsed out this time and the blue was exhausted. Usually the dye looks the same before and after. Of course, I got myself a little dye pot, so I'm not using the microwave anymore. That may have something to do with it...

Anyway, I have finished a submission for Knitty's December issue, but I'm sure I'll wait until the last possible second to send it in.

I'm going home in December for the first time in 18 months, so I'm starting to think about gifts.
I am a terrible mailer, so I've got 18 months worth of stuff that I've picked up here and there for some family members and nothing for others. So, I need to get on that. I also need to get on buying a ticket. EEK! A coworker is going home in December as well and tickets are over US$2000. Should I tell my family that my ticket is my gift to them? Haha. They might be a little disgruntled when I proceed to go to the mall and drop a month's pay. (I have to buy all the things I can't get here- like clothes that fit.) is a conundrum.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Miracle on LYS Street

All week I've wanted to go buy yarn to make some LSU socks (purple and gold) for the football season, but as you know, the LYS posse puts me off. Finally, I could put it off no longer. The shopkeeper AND the posse (don't they have jobs- they are ALWAYS there?!) were...nice to me!!! I'm still in shock. She actually helped me pick out yarn. Of course, I was in a bit of a hurry on my way to work, so I didn't look at her alternative choices carefully and when I got home, I realized I bought three skeins of DK instead of sockweight. Oh well, I'll just use them for Sock Wars.

So, I can't cast on for the LSU socks yet, but I don't have to dread the next trip to my LYS. They couldn't contain their curiosity about my socks anymore, either. Last time I went, when I told them my frequent purchases of one of this, two of that were for socks they looked at me askance. Yesterday, they asked me to take off my shoes so they could fondle my socks. I had just walked a mile or two in about 80 degree weather, so we'll call that payback. Anyway, I was wearing k2, p2 rib anklets, so I told them I would be sure to wear cuter socks next time. Perhaps my socks soon to be seen in MagKnits made with yarn purchased from her...

In other knitterly happenings, I finished my second pair of self-striping socks from that one skein (with enough left for about half of one more sock). This pair looks better, except I decided to experiment with a picot edge and didn't understand why I needed to knit so many rows just to fold them over. Well, the reason is, the edge just curls out and the hem shows. It's not too noticable when to socks are on, so I'm just going to leave them. I have figured out the best stretchy cuff and I love the gusset heel I've done on the last three pairs of socks.

I finally (about three WEEKS after ordering) have received "sock weight yarn" from a Chinese vendor on eBay. Now, when yarn takes three months to get here from Germany, I understand- Deutsche Post seems to be where all disorganized/ lackadaisical Germans are put to work. When yarn takes two months from the States, I understand- all surface mail takes that long to get from there to here. When a padded envelope takes three weeks to get from China to Korea?! WTF?! For those of you who may not immediately recall the exact location of Korea- it borders China! Okay, technically, China borders North Korea, but since it was airmail, not mulemail, that should not matter. So, was it worth the wait? NO! It is sock yarn (80/ 20), but it is machine weight, ie about a nanometer thicker than thread. I figure I will have to put three plies together to make it usable. Or I could use it for lace. Well, I've got 500g, so I'm sure I could do both. I am still excited by all the dyeing possibilities it gives me- I could dye each strand separately and make a marled yarn, I could dye one ply a bunch of colors and save it for such time as I am ready to take on a lace project that it would be suitable for, or or or... Too many choices. Hopefully I will have some "happy accidents" ala Katsara yarn.

Did anyone else instantly recognize who Lime and Violet were talking about in the 11th episode of their podcast? ( I actually laughed out loud, because I, too, have been put off from ordering from such a bitter, angry person (I was on a bus, so I got the usual "crazy foreigner" glances, of course). BTW, if you could help me create a nicer looking link, like everyone else on the planet seems to know how to do, I would appreciate it. You know, the kind where I could just highlight "podcast" or something. Coloring it half lime half violet pretty much pushes the limits of my capabilities. Ditto for helping actually post a pattern in my "Patterns" category- I still don't know how to actually post a file.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Cabinet kitty

There's not a lot going on here at the moment. The semester started last week and so I've read my books for the fortnight. I'm pretty sure I wrote (whined) about this earlier- my suggestion for two classes to use novels instead of textbooks that they took and ran with- for seven classes. One novel a fortnight each. And I get to make materials for about half of those classes. Yippee.

We've got the usual growing pains of switching teachers. The new batch seems like a good one, but parents don't like change, so any difference between old and new results in complaints. They forget that not long ago they were complaining about the teacher that left. It'll work out, but some of the crap they complain about is annoying, like the teacher didn't correct the student's mistakes for them (I'm talking about homework that was checked together.) Do they want us to stop class and make workbook corrections for their little darlings? One would think they would benefit more from making the changes themselves as they are discussed in class, you know, think about what they did wrong and why it's wrong. Call me crazy. I wish that parents that want their children to sit in class and have their heads filled with language-y goodness without actually using a single brain cell would enroll their children elsewhere.

Okay, rant over. Back to the more amusing matter of my cabinet kitty. Like most cats, he has an insatiable need to be in things or under them. Today, he discovered that I finally trashed the old stereo that had been occupying the cabinet for far too long and got in through the opening in the back and then didn't know how to get out when faced with a glass door. He eventually used his feline wiles and pushed on the door causing the magnet to release the catch. No, I didn't help, because his mime impersonation was too funny. Here's a pic or two.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sock Wars 2006

Bring it on! I just joined yarnmonkey's sock wars and I can't wait to get started. I live on the other side of the universe from most of the participants (I'm guessing there aren't too many others in Asia), so I'll probably get killed because of post lag, but this sounds too fun. Also, that episode of CSI:NY just aired about a week ago and it looked like a cool game (yes, we are a tad behind over here.)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Today's tip: Never ask a drunken GI for help with your signage

I went shopping in Itaewon (aka "the foreign area") and saw not one but two new signs which showed the distinct signs of "help" of the free kind from someone with no vested interest in the success of the establishment.

So after you make yourself "fucking lovely" at the accessories shop, you can head over to the bar for a "memorable" and "erotic time" at 7th Heaven. These two places are about 20 meters apart. Coincidence? I think not.

I have a new favorite toe

No, not a digit, a sock toe technique. I only knit toe-up socks and I was intrigued by the magic cast on used for the Widdershins sock in the summer Knitty, but I realized I would like it better as a half- fishtail cast on. So I fishtail cast on 7 stitches then increased, magic cast on style, with some extra rounds of purl stitches in place of the kfb's to give the illusion of a toe (digit)- length toe, since the magic cast on creates rather stumpy toes. Here's what it looks like:

I used more overdyed yarn, my new obsession. I got a grab bag of self-striping yarn from eBay, since it's not available here on the peninsula. One of the balls was a particularly hideous shade of mustard with a faux fair isle pattern in black and white. So, I overdyed it with dark blue. I've finally, after several missteps which I have chronicled here, figured out how to do it. Anyway, here is a pic of the skein before I knit it:
It's actually somewhat darker, I've conquered overdying, but not photography. I'm such a Luddite, I know. Well, not a Luddite, per se. I'm not opposed to tech as such, just unable to use it efficiently.

As a teacher and CSI fan, I feel obligated to mention that I think it's apropos, as a knitter, to be Luddite-esque, since it was industrial textile machinery that Ludd destroyed. How's that for rationalization of an inability to do an everyday task? I try. Too much detail? I try.

Well, I'm on a roll now. First, was Sock Wars. I know that I'm destined to be assassinated early on, but it seems too fun to pass up. Now I've signed up for a sock swap. I hadn't done one before, because of the dearth of sock yarns that could be used to spoil a pal. It seems a bit silly to me to order yarn from the States and then mail it back. Not to mention the postage roughly doubles the cost of the yarn. However, just today I discovered an LYS with various and sundry yarn/ knitting goodies that the rest of the knitting world probably takes for granted. The best part is, a ball of KPPPM costs the same as the very mundane sock yarn I buy from my current LYS. They don't have needles smaller than 2.5mm. I think I'm just going to have to break down and order several pairs online.