Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Zokni finis

I have finished the Zokni socks that I started over the weekend.

I joined the Townsend KAL yahoo group and got a faboo pattern for aran socks. It may be next, but I'm not sure. I may go ahead and start work on the Sock Madness socks.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Knit God Giveth and Taketh Away

On the giveth side of knitting, this weekend I have used two of the skeins of yarn I bought last weekend. One became a
Zokni sock- look I finally figured it out! (Okay, I finally read the very easy tutorial.) The lace pattern is kind of lost in the color, so its future mate may be in a pattern similar to the Elfine sock (everyone knows it, so I'm not going to bother finding the link), but the same stitch count as this one. The other skein became a hat (no pattern). I knit it in about four hours, so I can see how hats could be addicting, but I rarely wear them.

See how much yarn was left from the hat? That's what I cut out because it wasn't spun properly. The entire rest was used. I would have liked one or two rounds more, but only the very tips of my earlobes hang out of it.

On the taketh side, my sweater which has been languishing in my project cabinet for months (a year?) is heading to the frog pond. I have finally come to terms with the fact that I haven't finished it because I don't like the design. I made the front and back the same, which I knew I wouldn't like but did anyway. I further sealed its fate by knitting the sides in seed stitch. Why? I like pilling, I guess. The yarn is too bulky by far for seed stitch where my arms will rub against it. So, I'm frogging and starting over as it should have been in the beginning. See what I mean? What was I thinking?
Back on the giveth side, I had my idea submission accepted for Sock Madness. But, on the taketh side, I have been rejected (again) by Knitty. I submitted a pattern for a bag for the December issue (not right at the last minute or anything).

My secret pal got her latest package from me (the one with the socks and silk bag). She posted a pic of herself wearing the socks, so that made me feel good. I was pretty worried about the fit, since her feet are a couple of sizes bigger than mine and guesstimating is not really my strong suit. On the other hand, my pal seems to have forgotten about me. I haven't heard from her in about a month. She had her first baby this month, so I'm just trying to tell myself that she's just overwhelmed by motherhood. If you have kids, I don't mean that in a bad way. Everyone I know went through a period of time vacuum when they had their first child.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I know, it's Thanksgiving, but in the fullness of time, here are a few pictures from my school's Halloween festivities. My favorite students of course. Not that teachers have favorites.

First is Chris and a co-worker. He's a dinosaur, if you can't tell. If I were to give in to my urge to pinch his cute little cheeks whenever I wanted to, that child would leave my class bruised everyday.

Here are my most genius-est children. The girls are Disney characters and the boy is a witch of some kind (the spiderweb-caped and pumpkin-hatted kind). The one in the middle can get away with anything she wants, as long as she chicken dances for me. I don't mean the Oktoberfest dance, but her own original imitation of what a chicken would look like if it could dance. Sounds effects included. She is quite possibly the cutest kid ever to exist.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Dok Do Dong Jim

This is my random siting for the week. For those who don't keep abreast of Korea's political issues not involving crazy bouffant-haired dictators, Dok Do is a rock about the size of the average bathroom that both Korea and Japan claim.

Korea ceded it to Japan a century ago, during occupation, so they now claim it was ceded under duress. I'm not going to go into my personal feelings on the matter, because they are not relevant.

I would like to find out the feelings of the person who thought the best way to show their solidarity with the Dok Do movement was to paint a Korean flag on a zebra's butt. I added a bit of Korean culture by giving it a Dong Jim, since it has an amazingly huge butt crack.

That is the Korean version of a wedgie which is basically sticking both your index fingers as far up someone's butt as they will go. Depending on the age of the sticker, this might be followed by a sniff of the fingers and then fanning their nose. Really. I've seen college students do this. My students have learned that my class is a little bit of American soil, like an embassy, and in America, we don't Dong Jim.

I really don't know what's going on with my hair in this picture.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Yarnpr0n- Seoul Style

I was in "the big city" (Seoul) yesterday, so I went to Yarn Row. Okay, it's Yarn and LP Row, because almost every shop either sells yarn or old LPs. For the amount of space dedicated to fiber, there is a relative dearth of goods to be had. I struck gold, though. 2.0mm circs! The only two pair in Korea, as far as I can tell. I nearly did a happy dance. Since I had just fallen down most spectacularly (one of those pinwheel arm moves) spilling yarn across the corridor, I decided that I had displayed enough foreigner crazy for one day.

I also got six 50g skeins of sock-weight yarn. You may notice that they look exactly the same (except for the colors), but in fact they are all different brands. I got 4 skeins of Wendy in black to go with some Noro (after I make sure they really are the same weight) and some cool looking yarn that is long repeats of black with patches of variegated earth tones. It's DK weight and will either be a hat or bag (or both if the first project has left-overs and I like how it turns out).

I also got the new Knit Today. I still haven't decided on this magazine. I think I'm just buying because I'm so excited to find a knitting mag. So far I haven't found anything I'd like to make or even something that I'd like to make something similar to, if you know what I mean.

So, here's the yarnpr0n Seoul style:

Now I just need to sort out some projects to go with it. OR I could finish one of the many UFOs languishing in my yarn cabinet. Basically, anything that is not a sock has no chance of getting finished in a reasonable amount of time these days (ie since I made my first pair of socks).

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Ides of November

That was yesterday, actually. All months have ides, right?

I can't believe the month is already half over. Three weeks until I see my family! Thanksgiving! Which apparently is next week, but we're celebrating this Friday, because that's Thursday in the US and we all thought it was this week. Okay, by we all, I mean, I said it's this week and everyone assumed I was right. Such is the power I yield. Seriously, isn't it supposed to be the third Thursday? Have I been away so long that I can't even remember when holidays are? Well, yes. I usually remember Mother's Day sometime in June. I find out it was Mardi Gras after I see the news on Yahoo. Same for Easter. I know when Christmas is, so I guess that's something.

Anyway, I'm making red beans and rice and pumpkin pie. I usually make jambalaya, but two of my coworkers are vegetarian and I'm trying to cut back on the meat myself. I know what you're thinking- red beans and rice isn't vegetarian. That's okay. They are the kind of vegetarians that just don't eat meat. Meat stock, dairy, animal products of any other kind basically are all fair game. So, I'll just serve the sausage on the side.

Maybe you're also thinking that neither jambalaya nor red beans are traditional Thanksgiving foods. Well, I have found one shop that sells turkey, but they are smaller than any turkeys I have ever seen before (Cornish turkeys, if you will) and I've never actually cooked a turkey before. With the $100-ish price tag, it's not a gamble I'm willing to take. So, we all just make foods we miss from home. We stuff ourselves silly, then as the food coma settles in, we start class.

Monday, November 13, 2006

48 Things You Could Care Less About

1. FIRST NAME? Jennifer
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? I think my parents just liked the name. I have a twin named Amy and I'm pretty sure both names were in the top five the year we were born.
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? I am kind of a crybaby over stupid, schmaltzy crap. There was a CNN commercial a few years back showing an Olympic runner pull a muscle and then hop to the finish line. I'm getting choked up just thinking about it. Really. I don't cry too often over actual real-life drama, though.
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? No. My handwriting is small and cramped, even when I make a concerted effort to make it look nice, or even legible. In the time I have been teaching, my blackboard writing has improved. However, I do little other writing, so my paper (real) writing has devolved commensurately.
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Turkey is the only lunchmeat that doesn't turn my stomach. I'll be in the US in a few weeks and plan to eat enough turkey that it, too, will turn my stomach.
7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? blogblogblog
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yep. I scared them into submission in college. I had tonsillitis over and over until a doctor said the next time, he would take them out. That was the last time I had tonsillitis.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Absolutely not. I was invited today, but I live in Korea, land of no law suits. No thanks. Punitive damages keep (business) people honest. In all honesty, I wouldn't even bungee jump in the US, though.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Does oatmeal count? I like cinnamon flavored oatmeal with raisins cooked in it.
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Yes, which tends to drive Koreans a little crazy, because it takes so long (I double knot, because my laces don't stay tied otherwise. Yes, I am over the age of three, I am just lacing-impaired.)
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Physically strong? Hahaha! Um, I don't need one of those pseudo-wheelchairs for lazy people. Yet.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Hmmm. I am trying to end my addiction to ice cream, but I have two that I can't pass up. I don't know their proper names (I know the packages), but they are both B&J's. One is choc with brownie chunks and the other is peppermint with peppermint Oreo-types cookies in it. Mmmmmm. I could eat the whole pint, shortly before throwing up.
14. SHOE SIZE? Depends on the shoe. US 7.5 to 8
5. RED OR PINK? Red, definitely. Especially darker, bluer reds. Somehow I've got more pink in my closet than red, but I'm not happy about it.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My tendency to obsess and then obsess some more.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? I miss my family. I only see them every couple of years.
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Ummm...okay, by everyone, I'm guessing the three people who read this.
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Now? I'm inside, so I'm not wearing shoes. I'm wearing gray sweatpants and a blue sweatshirt. In my defense, it's 1:30 in the morning.
20. LAST THING YOU ATE? I had dinner with a coworker (previously seen modeling the latest in Korean tableware). We ate something that is called chicken ribs, but it is really boneless chicken with vegetables and red pepper paste grilled at your table. YUM! I hadn't eaten it in about two or three years and I could eat it again tomorrow. It's total student food, but it is so good!
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Yahoo music (country), my newest time waster.
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Something blue-green like a dark teal or dark purple.
23. FAVORITE SMELL? I'm not really into smells. Actually, I don't think my nose is that sensitive, because I rarely notice smells.
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My husband or the pizza guy. I hate talking on the phone, so only a few people have my number.
25. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? How quickly they can make me laugh *with them*.
26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? I like ALL the people I stole this from (I've seen it on a quadrillion blogs, I can't remember whose I actually took it from.)
27. FAVORITE DRINK? Diet Coke (aka liquid crack)
28. FAVORITE SPORT? Is there such a thing? Aussie Rules football isn't as boring as the other kinds (of football, I mean).
29. EYE COLOR? Hazel
30. HAT SIZE? Small. I'm a bit of a small-head , you know, relative to my butt.
31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Glasses. I used to wear contacts, but quit when I got married. ;-)
32. FAVORITE FOOD? Today, it's Dakkalbi (my dinner). I've been eating a lot of tofu stew lately, too. I go through favorite food phases.
33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Scary movies scare me. Yes, I'm a total dork. I accept that. If you refer back to number three, I'm a bit of a cry baby when I watch tear-jerkers, so it's a no-brainer.
34. IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WHERE WOULD IT BE? In a picturesque village Europe, overlooking water with mountains in the distance. A girl can dream, right?
35. SUMMER OR WINTER? I am from the South. Therefore, heat and humidity are fine, but I cannot tolerate the least little bit of cold. Here in Korea, I wear long johns until June. Before I moved here, I didn't know people wore them when they weren't camping. Maybe they don't...
37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Anything that supplies my RDA of chocolate-y goodness will do, the gooier the better, but I'm trying to wean myself.
39. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Most everybody, I imagine. Hasn't everyone already answered this?
40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? My personal reading time is greatly diminished by my ever-increasing knitting time and the fact that I have to read about five chapter books/ novels a week for school.
41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Nothing, it's the one that came with the computer.
42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? About a thousand videos on the newly discovered Yahoo music (I was feeling sick, okay). Okay, I haven't newly discovered Yahoo music, but I have newly discovered that I can watch it on TV, like a DVD.
43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? The last bell at the end of the day.
44. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? Depends on my mood, but more likely to be the Stones.
45. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? Korea or Australia, I'm not sure which is farther and I can't be bothered to look at my map.
46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Putting up with idiots and my humility. Or is it my sarcasm? That's a talent, right?
47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Louisiana
48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Stolen from someone who must have an interesting knitblog, but I read too many interesting ones to actually recall which one was the one that I finally ripped it off of. I read it on scores (or at least ten, anyway).
Okay - your turn. DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT! You know you want to.

One Fish, Two Fish

I have finished the much-anticipated (by me) Dr. Fish socks. I still don't know why this yarn excites me as much as it does. I don't usually (ever) like pastels. I'm pretty sure my Peeps will never again touch my feet, and they're semi-famous. I really like these socks. I've only knit one or two pairs of stockinette socks before and they are really fast! I was sick all weekend and I knit the whole pair in less than 12 hours. Check it out and how much yarn is left over. I'm pretty sure I've got another pair in there.

I also have found out that Yahoo music is the new MTV. Those of you who are my age may recall a time when MTV played videos (and music I would voluntarily listen to). I spent about 10 hours on my couch yesterday watching videos. Well, mostly listening, because I can't figure how to maintain the full screen setting on the videos, it seems to just work for a song or two. I reset it twice, then realized I wasn't really that fussed-- the computer and TV it's connected to are a good five or even six steps away from the couch. So, I've learned about 20 new songs, because that's about how many different songs were played in that length of time. That's the MTV-ness. I heard each song four or five times. On the other hand, there aren't that many ads.

I may have found a new way to waste time. Korean radio is K-pop, which I'll just say several songwriters have been successfully sued for too closely "following the pattern" of Britney Spears songs. 'Nuff said. The only other choice is Trot music (rhymes with "throat") which is even more painful to listen to, especially since it is frequently sung by call-in listener/ participants. It's like karaoke for the radio. You don't know what you're missing.

Actually, for being in my sick bed, ahem, sick couch, I was fairly productive this weekend. I also typed up the pattern for a pair of socks to be seen in January's MagKnits. I also dyed that yarn, but it's a color I would actually wear. I've been putting that off for a month now.
Okay, maybe not that productive.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Say Kimchi!

I went to a new restaurant the other night. The food was nothing special, but the table was.

In Korea, service is usually pretty awful. You get a bow coming and going and the entire staff will stop what they are doing to remind you to come again soon. Period. End of service. You could die of hunger or thirst, even when you are the only customer in the place.

So, this is relevant not because the new restaurant has attentive wait staff, they don't. BUT they have a drawer with utensils in the table and bowls of side dishes in the table! How cool is that? Check it out:

That's my coworker cutting the kimchi.

Notice the shoes just above her arm. When you eat sitting on the floor, you take off your shoes at the entrance. A fun novelty about one time.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Random funny sighting

I actually took this photo over Chuseok. One of the photos I was going to post, but never got around to it. This was taken in downtown Seoul. There was a *huge* procession walking downtown toward a palace where they were doing a reenactment of a ceremony. This being downtown Seoul, traffic was not blocked and these guys got separated from the parade when the light changed.

Directly behind them is one of the original city gates, now the center of a traffic circle.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

It's Out!!

The new MagKnits, that is. The one that I'm in, as opposed to the one that I *thought* I would be in (because I tend to be somewhat memory impaired and mistook October for November). Check me out:

Here are a couple of photos:
The color is pretty retina-damaging for me, but if you recall, the blue/ yellow was my second attempt at dyeing and did not turn out AT ALL as expected. When I saw it, I knew what I had to do with it- add pink. :-)

OTN today, after a small rest in the frog pond, are my swap pal socks. Her feet are somewhat bigger than mine (my first socks knit for a different size) so I hope they fit. She got her yarn and loves it, so one worry off my mind. You know, I really didn't realize how much thought I would have to put into this swap. I don't know WHY I didn't realize it when I buy my own family members gift certificates because I don't want to get them something they don't like. She quilts, so I got her a silk bag with traditional Korean-style patchwork. Those should be in the mail tomorrow or Monday. Anyway, here they are: