Saturday, December 23, 2006

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Well, it's been two weeks already. I'll be at the airport at 4:00 tomorrow morning (thanks, Dad!) to begin the long journey home. I've almost recovered from the plague I got on the flight over, but I was really only out of commission for one day, so it didn't affect my holidays. Of course, my dad and sister are getting it now.

I'm thinking about moving to Florida when I return to the US, because Disney is THAT FUN! Daddy and Terry go every few weeks. The weather isn't bad either- it's been in the 70s and 80s (F, of course, I think that's about the mid- high 20s C) the whole time. I'm not looking forward to going back to winter. Apparently, it has snowed in my absence.

It has also snowed in Denver, where my brother and his family live, so they are here for a few more days, too. So, we're having a great big slumber party at my Dad's (one of my sisters is here, too.)
Here are a few photos, in case you aren't jealous enough. ;-)
These are my two three-year-old niece and nephew. She is dressed as a unicorn. :-)
Here's the castle at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party:
and Daddy and Terry, who spent a year planning a reunion for seventeen people who had not been together since December, 1995 (not to mention, paid for it all)!

Goofy needs no introduction.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Home Again Home Again Jiggety-Jig

Well, not home home, but my Daddy's house, so close enough. After three planes and two very short layovers, I'm in Florida. I had to clear customs and immigration, pick up and recheck my bags in sixty minutes. I did a Korean-style queue jump and got there as the flight was boarding.

On Friday, we (seventeen of my closest family members) are going to Disney for a week. Thanks, Dad! This will be the first time we have been in the same place at the same time in 11 years. Although seventeen may seem like a high number, I'm not going to see my mother and "her family" (stepfather and their two kids), so it's not a perfect trip, but I'm sure Mickey will ease the pain. :-)

I got a fair bit of knitting done on the flight- a pair of Noro fingerless mitts (no pattern- so they are not symmetrical, but they aren't for me, so I can live with it) and the first sock for the Sock Madness pattern. I got the pattern written up and sent off (I think tomorrow is the deadline) and I'll get the other sock knit up this week. The mitts are for my mother who was complaining about her cold classroom and getting cold hands when typing. I hope to get her another pair done before the Disney trip is over (so they can be carried back to her by one of my siblings), then she'll have a pair for work (the silk sockweight yarn I bought recently) and another for home (the Noro).

I have been shopping till I drop for the past few days, so it's a good thing I brought my Army duffel bag inside my other suitcase. I'm pretty sure both will be full. I got myself some clothes, since I'm rather too bootylicious for Korean pants and their pants tend to be man-shaped anyway. Is that a word? You know what I mean- lacking in a tapered waistline.

I also got some Kool Aid (lemon and grape) for making those LSU socks that I'm determined to make, but the fates seem to be working against me. Someone on a yahoo group recommended Knitpicks Pansy, but failed to mention the pink, which doesn't show in the photo (I was prepared to live with the black). I got a hefty bag of yarn from them.

I also got myself random and sundry foods, like Crystal Light and cornbread mix and deodorant, that are hard/ impossible to find. I also got a DVD/ VCR combo, which I had been planning to buy when I went back to Korea, which Daddy actually paid for for me (score!). A big box just arrived for me from Amazon. I know there's more, but you get the idea.

So, I guess that's a pretty comprehensive update. I've pretty much just been soaking up the sun (it's been over 70 degrees!) and hanging out with the folks.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hot off the needles

Here is my first FO from my yarn purchases of the weekend. It's one and a half skeins of the "expensive yarn" in a Multi-directional Clapotis style. I didn't actually use that pattern, I found it after I made the scarf, in case you didn't know what I meant. I knit it the opposite from the pattern I linked to- I cast on the total stitches then increased in the first stitch then knit the last stitch worked with the adjacent waiting stitch, if you know what I mean. I can be a little backwards sometimes. At work I always say I don't like reinventing the wheel, but you would never know that from my knitting. I've got wheels all over the place.

It's a little skinny for my taste, only about 4 inches wide, but I was determined to have the triangles match the color repeats as closely as possible. The picture doesn't do it justice, since it's about 8 feet long, but the colors are really nice- dark emerald green, various purple-pinks, and blues- much more vivid than the photo. I think I may go get another couple of skeins to mix in to a black sweater in random stripes.

The shopping Olympics have begun. I'm leaving for the US on Saturday and must buy all of the things that I can't get here/ don't want to pay shipping for. So far I've bought 8,000 skeins of yarn from Knitpicks (approximately) and some books and DVDs from Amazon. What next???

I've decided that 2007 will be my year to save money, so I'm stocking up now. ;-)

Well, I'll have to at least go on one trek around the yarn shops, because I found out yesterday that one of my co-workers knits. Her husband turned up for work wearing a Coronet hat. I kindly offered to introduce her to Yarn Alley. (I really go above and beyond, don't I?)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Have I lost weight?

Oh, no, that's just my wallet $500 lighter. I went to "the city" today to get last minute gifts for my trip (next weekend!!!). Of course, since I went that far, I decided I might as well go back to the yarn shop where I got the Zokni sock yarn. Of course, she was closed, so I went to the shop where I got the yarn for my no-pattern hat to get another skein to make matching mittens.

He was open and had some gorgeous Japanese silk/wool yarn next to the yarn I wanted. So I got a couple (okay, four) skeins. When I went to pay, he told me in Korean and English that it was expensive. Way to make a sale, dude. I bought it anyway, $13 for 50g- he was telling the truth.

Then it was on to the shopping. I got a crap load of presents (the lion's share of that $500) that will hopefully be well-received. Since I was on the street of the yarn shop rumored to have Koigu (the only one in Korea), I decided that TODAY WAS THE DAY. I've looked for it before and never found it, but SUCCESS! To celebrate, I got 3 issues of Interweave Knits, one skein of Kuryeon, and two of KPPPM. Total damage, an even $100. Merry Christmas to me.

High on my success, and a little (lot of) Starbucks caffeine, I trekked back to the original yarn shop, because I had two yarns in mind to buy from her. She was open, but had sold out of the yarn I saw but didn't buy last time (note to self, buy it when you see it). The other yarn I wanted was white fingering weight for the Sock Madness pattern. She doesn't sell white wool in fingering weight and I'm too cheap to get Italian cashmere. So I bought four skeins of sock yarn, two periwinkle/ cornflowery blue, two black.

Then I went back to the "expensive" guy and bought two more skeins of the expensive yarn in a different colorway. He was gone and the woman who replaced him also let me know it was expensive. Really, that's not what I would consider a great business plan.

Along the way, I saw guys in traditional costumes (GITC) guarding a street corner, GITC practicing for a performance, GITC grinding something in the world's biggest mortar and pestle, and GITC having a procession (including a horse and a hearse) down an alley that had not been closed to traffic. This was at various points throughout the day in several different places "downtown" (such as Seoul has).

First- a temple-style building at a major intersection, second- part of the procession, third- a man and woman in costume (for no apparent reason) grinding grain.
I took about 50 pictures, but I'll guess you're most interested in the yarnpr0n, in lieu of that, I'll give you yarn shop pron. These shops are in the same little underground arcade (about one block long). I've included a picture of one closed shop to show typical Korean security. Really. It's one of the things I love about this country. Have I ever mentioned that I've walked home in the middle of the night alone? It's true, I've done it many times.

First and fourth- the "expensive" shop, second- the shop next door, third- the securely closed shop directly across the corridor. Yes, those are sheets.

I took pictures of the yarn, but the colors did not come out nearly so mouth-watering as they actually are, so I didn't post them.
BTW I heard from my SP about eight seconds after I posted last. Not only did she have her baby, but she was sick with a fever. I'm not a jerk, really.
I've got a couple of other swaps on the horizon. One of the yahoo groups I belong to is doing a bag swap- project bag with a yarn pattern and the necessary yarn. The other is a private one. I sent one of my mom's friends some Korean paper a while back and she offered to send me some yarn as a thank you (she's a knitter, too). I declined, but suggested a future yarn for paper swap, which she agreed to. So, much to look forward to in the new year.
Now I must go do my online shopping to buy all the things that I can't get delivered to Korea. :-)