Monday, February 26, 2007


I received my SP9 package today from my pal in Estonia. What a lovely assortment of goodies it is, too.

I started with a pic of the box, because I think it was used in a game of rugby somewhere along the way. Good things yarn isn't fragile! All sides of the box look pretty much the same.

There was an assortment of yarns, some wool (DK?) and cotton (?) light fingering (?). As you can see, I'm not much of an eyeball-er. I'm always at the yarn store holding skeins and debating at length (with myself, cause I'm a crazy foreigner; at least it's inner monologue.) whether or not it will knit up to the gauge I'm looking for.

There was also some plum chocolate which was too delicious to pose for photos. :-) Not shown are some beautiful beads and a cute sheep keychain which I tried to photograph, but my cat was helping too much, so I'll try again later.

I have saved the best for last. I love to travel and I love to learn about other places. So, I was thrilled to get not one, but two traditional knitted mittens books in both English and (I assume) Estonian. How gorgeous are these? How much hubris would I need to think I could knit these as lovely as they are in the book? For the time being I will consider them a goal. For the day when I am far more patient and willing to frog back than I am now.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


I can't believe another week has gone by already. Okay, it was a four day week due to the Lunar New Year holiday, but still. I'm pretty sure time is actually speeding up.

This has been perhaps the most stressful week ever. Some issues with my husband came to a head this week, which I won't go into other than to say that we don't have children or co mingled assets, so I really don't think separating should be this hard. Live and learn and learn and learn, I guess.

Anyway, I made it through and didn't open fire in a public building (or private one for that matter), so hopefully it's downhill from here.

I engaged in a little retail therapy yesterday to take my mind off of things/reward myself for the aforementioned lack of public destruction. Yes, I know I'm supposed to be on a spending moratorium. I went to "the nice yarn shop" and got two hanks of Koigu* KPPPPPPPM 513 (the skeins I have are much darker and less gold than the photo), two 2.25mm circs, and two knitting mags. She's carrying sock yarn now. I would use some exclamation points, but it was five or six skeins of Opal. Still, that's a first in Korea, as far as I know.

The shop is on an arty street called Insa dong in Seoul and is packed with an interesting assortment of people pretty much at all times. On the way in, I passed a gaggle (20 or so) of middle/ high school students (their uniforms look pretty much the same) wearing horse head masks. I was too slow getting my camera, so I just got a pic of one straggler playing guitar. Um, whatever floats your boat.
I also saw a man carving tops. You can't really tell from the picture, but he has an entire table of tops which he has made by hand.

All in all, it was a nice diversion from everything going on in my life.

* I included a link to Koigu's website because it is the absolute most pathetic attempt at a website, commercial or otherwise, on the entire internet, IMHO.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy New Year! (Welcome to the Year of the Golden Pig)

Today is the beginning of the Year of the Golden Pig, which happens only once every six hundred years. It is apparently a big deal, judging from the ubiquitous golden pigs for sale at every possible retail location.

This is a big deal for me, because tomorrow is a holiday. Lunar New Year is a three day holiday here, but two of the days this year are Saturday and Sunday. Koreans would traditionally be spending today at their ancestors graves laying an altar of food and bowing and praying to their ancestors. However, I didn't see anyone at the "cemetery" visible from my window.

I met a friend in Seoul today and am pretty sure I saw the Seoul Stitch n' Bitch having their fortnightly meeting, but I always feel weird approaching people I don't know, so I just surreptitiously checked out their projects (knitting, crochet, and cross stitch) as I passed by. I had wanted to host the Dave and Gary dolls, but they beat me to it and it seemed unnecessary for the dolls to visit Seoul twice.

If you haven't signed up for Sock Madness, it's not too late. Let the Madness begin!

I found out about a new site, Knitting Daily "where life meets knitting", that will give you a free stranded sock pattern for joining (you will get a shawl pattern by email as well.) It is a very pretty pattern, but will I make it?

Since this entire post has been a random hodge podge, even more than usual, I will direct you to a singer I have discovered by listening to Fat Guy Radio, which is a moderately interesting podcast about a guy's trials and tribulations of losing weight. The singer is pretty funny, his songs are about topics such as how crazy Tom Cruise is and a fun way to while away the spring. Not all songs are work safe, but they will make you laugh. Mama, if you are reading this, I don't think you will appreciate the humor.

Okay, maybe a better title for this post would be: All the Random Crap That's Running Through My Head.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Let the Madness Begin!

Sock Madness registration rules have been posted as the contest gets ready to begin. As I have posted before, I have contributed the easy level pattern.

So, let the games begin!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Hayley Rocks

Hayley was my sender buddy in the Townsend Sock Bag Swap. She sent me an absolutely amazing package and now I feel like I kind of shortchanged my buddy. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are some photos of my haul:

This has been a VERY long week. The new semester started at school, so I have four chapter books/ novels (including 1984) for school. One book per fortnight per class. I've also got Korean classes, two hours a day, plus two hours of homework each night. So, I'm on the subway by 8:30 in the morning-- the two hours round trip give me novel-reading time! ;-)-- and getting home at 9:00 at night, at which time I do my homework before collapsing in bed.

I've also got some personal issues I'm dealing with, but I'm not quite as public as Laurie, so suffice it to say it has also been an emotionally draining week.

The point of all this, is that this package came at the best time possible. She put so much time and care into my package. The colors of the yarn are like she looked in my brain-- I could lick that skein of CTH. I asked for "treats" to be regional and she sent me all kinds of stuff-- local chocolates (vegetarian and organic, which was very kind, since I'm on a quest to reduce animal products and unnatural items from my diet), maps and brochures from her beautiful home in Staffordshire, England, sock stitch markers, a plethora of stationery items (notebook, pen, mechanical pencil, bookmarks... that match and even matched the wrapping paper), a knitter's keyring, and I'm sure I'm leaving more out. I'm overwhelmed by her generosity and thoughtfulness.

In contrast you can see what I sent my buddy:
except I changed the yarn, because I realized I dyed it the wrong color. Here is the yarn I actually sent her:
Looks kind of skimpy by comparison, no?

As they say, live and learn. My next swap buddy will come out better...

Complete Waders!

I got an email from Maryse of bag 'n' trash that she had completed a pair of Waders which can be seen here:

They are beautiful-- she used a pale green color, so the stitch pattern shows up much better than in mine.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Soup's On!

A Veggie Venture is having a Soup's On theme month. So, in that vein, here is my favorite soup recipe. Okay it's not really a recipe, more a list of ingredients, but it always tastes great. Except for the time I forgot to add onions and garlic, so it was kind of flavor-deficient.

Not Quite Ratatouille Soup
2 Asian eggplants/ 1 American eggplant
2 zucchinis
1 large onion
1 big can tomatoes
1-1.5 c beans (your choice), cooked
1-2 T minced garlic
2 bouillon cubes/ equivalent volume stock
oregano and basil to taste
water to cover vegetables in pot

I "saute" the onions in the liquid from the bouillon until they are clear, then add the other ingredients. Sometimes I add bell peppers of various colors, if they look good at the market. Just bring it to a boil and let it simmer "till it's done".

Women often use blogs for trifling purposes

I have started taking Korean classes. I know, after living here for the better part of seven years, it may seem like I am rushing things by jumping right in to language classes, but I'm a go-getter.

I'm one of those people who cannot use the dictionary efficiently. You know the kind, we go to look up one word and ten minutes later we have forgotten what we were looking for but have learned ten or twenty new words. So, in the course of doing my homework today, I learned two things completely unrelated to said homework.

First, women often use the telephone for trifling purposes. You need only look up the verb for dial, if you doubt me. Personally, I think using the phone for trifling purposes is an affliction equally striking both genders. Maybe that's just my unbridled hatred of telephones coming through. More interestingly (and less chauvinistically, if that's a word), due to different Chinese characters with the same pronunciation in Korean, "sacred teachings" and "sexual intercourse" are the same word. (Insert priest joke of your choice here.) You know, I think I would have enjoyed catechism class WAY more with double entendres like this. Well, maybe if there were a lot of double entendres like this. ;-)

Because many Korean words are based on Chinese characters, I am always catching my students out for not double checking their translations. My personal favorite was when students had to list the colors of the rainbow and about half of the students came up with: