Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Crafts keep me sane

Still working hard on these books. When I stop and think about it, it's absolutely crazy that I've been given the responsibility of writing 6 books by the end of May, however easy the content. But I've given my word, and they will get done. Lately I feel like I'm back at university, writing my thesis. I think I wrote most of my thesis in the last 3 weeks before the deadline. I was pulling all nighters every other night. I've only pulled one all-nighter so far for this project (that was to get in the first book on time), but I have a feeling there will be more to come. The good thing is that it'll all be over by June, and then I can take a couple week off to recover.

I visited Dongdaemun Shopping Town last week, and was very pleased to see that all the vendors have their cotton out! I've been waiting to see the cotton. The thing is, I don't have a lot of experience knitting or crocheting with cotton (aside from doilies), so I'm excited to try it out. So far, it's quite different from wool. It's less stretchy and I'm finding my hands hurt when I use it. I think I just need to ease up on my tension. This was a good day:

Also last week, I had to go to Kyobo Bookstore to get some new materials for new classes. Of course, I stopped by the Japanese Knitting section on my way to the English section. Always a mistake. The books and the patterns inside are too cute for words. And the worst part is that they're pretty cheap. Each book goes for about $10, which I'm sure is a lot cheaper than what people in the West pay to get Japanese books shipped over. Anyway, I picked up the two cutest ones, this time with some cute bag and scarf patterns. These are the patterns I'm particularly interested in:I couldn't resist giving something a try with my new cotton, so I made these little coasters, which I just love. They only took me about an hour each.
So, as the topic of this post suggests, doing these little crafts keeps me from going crazy. If I work well, I allow myself to do a couple rounds of crocheting. If I just goof off on Facebook or Ravelry, I can't. Very simple, but it works. I'm getting both work and crafting done, which keeps me satisfied. Last week I completed both my red silk doilie (which was not fun because of the twisty thread), and Antlia, which was for the Doilie Heads crochet-along. I like how both of them turned out. Now, I'm working on Crocus Doilie. I'm very excited about this one because I've been eying the pattern for months. I hope it turns out how I picture it.Oh yes, and yet another time waster has entered by apartment -- a piano. I've been wanting a piano for years, and it's here. I bought it used, and I'm pleased with it. Nice sound. Surprisingly I haven't been drawn to it too many times. I'll likely play it more when these books are done. Toto loves the bench! Well, back to work!

Friday, March 14, 2008


Haven't been able to post lately because I've been unbelievably busy. But good busy. I'm working on two book series simultaneously which is harder than I thought, but I think I can do it. It's only until the end of May, at which time I can take a couple of weeks off to breathe. Until then, though, I'm not leaving the house too often. I teach all day on Monday, and I occasionally go out for coffee with a friend. That's about it. I don't even have time to knit or crochet, which is the worst part! I started a vintage doilie a few weeks ago and I'm still not done. Saturday, the Ravelry Doilieheads group doilie crochet-along starts, so I'm hoping I'll enough time to join in on that. The pattern looks simple enough.
My big news today is that I'm getting a piano tomorrow. Someone on Daves is selling theirs and it looks like a good deal. I really don't have any room to put it, but I'll stash it somewhere until after May, when I have time to play it. Luckily it comes apart easily. Very excited about that. Now I just have to get my sax over here...must be quite dusty now at my parents' place.

Last weekend I had a late housewarming party. Sejin and I had been meaning to have one ever since we moved in, but we kept putting it off. Finally we decided to have a potluck, and it was a success. Around 17 people showed up and everyone brought something delicious. Most people left around 11:00pm, but a few stayed on much later. We hit the noraebang, which is only fun late at night, and had a blast. I'm not much of a singer, but it was fun to watch Sejin and the others.

Sejin has discovered a niche market in Korea, which is selling insurance to foreigners. It seems a lot of foreigners actually want extra insurance, but it's really hard to find a representative at any company that speaks English. Furthermore, from what people have told me, many companies prefer not to sell to foreigners at all, which is really dumb. Although Sejin will not make much money selling term life contracts to foreigners, he enjoys speaking English, dealing with foreigners, and helping them make their lives easier. Slowly, he is becoming aware of the many inconveniences foreigners face in Korea, and I think he takes pride in helping them through it. He's very excited actually.

That's about it for now. I am now going out to meet Meg for a coffee and I'll have dinner with Juyeoun, my friend and language exchange partner.