Sunday, May 30, 2010

Project Progress

I've been working away on mainly three projects right now: Vintage Cardigan, Swallowtail Shawl, and the crochet squares bag. My other two WIPs (doilies) have been hibernating for a long time and I'm going to have to take them out soon and just finish them to get them off my mind.

Here is the progress on Cardigan Sweater IV. I'm done the back, the left front, and I'll be done the right front soon. Then I have the sleeves, collar pieces, and a whole lot of sewing up. I definitely could have chosen an easier pattern (assembly wise), but I'm hoping the results will be worth it. That back piece was a killer. Took forever and very boring.
I started Swallowtail one evening shortly after my Denises arrived (yes, they arrived!). I've been wanting to get into lace knitting for so long and so I just casted on. It's so much fun to watch the lace grow...and it grows surprisingly quickly. I soon memorized the pattern, so it's lots of fun now. Soon I'll be able to start the next lace pattern. I'm pretty excited. I think this is just the beginning of a lifetime addiction to lace knitting.
The crochet bag is going slowly because it's so incredibly boring. For a while I was really in crochet, but since starting these latest knitting projects, I'm not as interested. I don't want to criticize crochet because it definitely has its advantages, but for me right now, knitting is more interesting. There seems to be more to learn and more possibilities.
Oh yes, here's a look at my lovely Denise set. Some parts are not in there now because I'm using them. :D

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Poor Grace has been terribly itchy for the last week. She's been scratching her lower back area, the base of her neck, and behind the knees mostly. Some hives. She hasn't been eating anything that she hasn't eaten before, and she has no other symptoms. It was really bothering her last night. She couldn't sleep and was rolling around and whining. She slept terribly from 10pm-2am, and then thankfully let me sleep for the rest of the night.

So, to the doctor this morning. He said that her itchiness and hives could be caused by any number of things, from something in her environment, to something she's eating. It's kind of hard to narrow it down at this point. But he said despite not knowing the real cause, the treatment is the same. So we have some antihistamine and some special lotion for her. I hope it will clear up. It's terrible to see her itching and not be able to do much.

Although the doctor didn't mention this, I was also thinking about sun exposure, since she's been playing outside more these days. When I'm in direct sun, I break out in a horribly itchy, red rash. I'm not sure why this is, but it's really annoying. I think I'm also suffering from some allergies, as my nose is constantly running, but I don't necessarily feel like I have a cold.

Little Grace is quite the character these days. For the first time today she let the doctor hold her and she gave him a kiss. She also bows when you say 'annyonghaseyo.' I'm going to try to get that on video soon.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Thinking a lot lately about "fresh starts." A new goal in life. ESL in Korea isn't doing it for me AT ALL anymore. Actually, to be totally honest, Korea isn't doing it more me, either. I've really enjoyed living here for the most part, but I find myself easily irritated about almost everything lately. I don't know what to eat anymore. I don't know what to do with myself except work, clean up, and knit -- and I'm lacking motivation to do even those things. It's time to move on. Maybe even a new haircut.

I'm also thinking of deleting this blog and possibly starting another, probably crafting-specific. Friends can follow our family adventures on Facebook and through email.

I think I just need to find a new challenge and focus on it. I will probably start refusing any more writing projects for the next little bit while I get my thoughts together. Sejin's immigration paperwork really needs to get started.

Laundry's done. Grace is on a picnic with her daycare. She was so excited this morning it was hilarious. I'm so grateful she has a safe place to be while I work and get the house in order.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thinking about Maedeup

I've been really wanting to get back into maedeup again. I started learning the knots and was doing okay, but I got swamped with work and had to put it down for a while. I knit and crochet while I am swamped because I'm experienced with those and so they don't require a lot of extra brain power. But maedeup is different. You really have to think about what you're doing, especially when tightening. Some of the knots took me several hours to finally get. I'm sure after a bit of practice they won't take quite that long to do, but at least when you're starting out, maedeup is not easy. But the result is so beautiful.

Yes, so I am swamped. Finished one book, as noted in a previous post, and currently finishing up another. I'll be starting the teacher's guide for this most recent book in the next couple of days, as well as some editing on the side. I'm also writing some samples for a really short term project I hope to get. Life seems a little out-of-control right now, but in another month I'll probably have nothing left to work on and I'll look into teaching some more classes. Laundry is piling up and spring cleaning still needs to be done, but I'm forcing myself to let it go (within reason) until I can breathe again.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I've had so much on my mind lately, I've been sleeping horribly and just been in a constant state of "blah." I think I get overwhelmed easily, and when I do, I tend to shut off and just do nothing at all. But I really need to snap out of this trance because we've got so much to do. It just hit me this week that if we really want to make the move to Canada, there is a list about 10 miles long of stuff that needs to get done. And that's not counting stuff like the laundry. Sejin took a big step the other day and called a shipping company to get an estimate on door-to-door shipping.

It's going to be stressful, but I hope in a of couple years down the road when we're settled somewhere in Canada we'll find ourselves happy we made the move.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Another Anniversary

It's been five years. Sejin got me a beautiful necklace and we went to our favourite sushi restaurant for lunch today before he had to go to work. The weather was as beautiful today as it was five years ago on our wedding day.

I finished a book last night and I feel like a huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders. I am still working on another, but now this one doesn't seem so daunting. As a reward for finishing, I headed to Dongdaemun after lunch to meet my friend A. She needed help tracking down some knitting supplies. Finding what you're looking for can be hard down in the basement of Shopping Town, especially when it comes to needles. I would recommend that knitters coming to Korea make sure they bring their needle collection with them and buy sizes they need before coming. You can find some stuff here, but most of it is bamboo, and circulars mostly come in 80 cm lengths. There are a few stores here and there that sell imported items, but they are pricey and still don't have a huge variety. I'm still waiting for my Denises... very anxious.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I just got on Ebay recently because I needed to order some Addi knitting needles (sizes that aren't included in my Denise Interchangeable set, which is on the way!). My Addis arrived tonight all the way from Hong Kong, free shipping. I'm in love with ebay already. I can see already that it's an addictive site. I know it's been around a while, but I purposefully did not join because I knew I'd find things I wanted.

Aside from my Addi needles, I bidded on and won a vintage filet table runner for 99 cents. I'm not expecting much. I just thought it would be fun to try my hand at restoring something -- something that did not cost me much. Perhaps I will post some before and after shots.

I'm learning a lot about the "bidding" and "watching" items. I have my eye on some more vintage linens, some toys for Grace, and a Boyd's Bears knitting figurine. Online shopping is a very dangerous thing.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Coming to Korea Anniversary

I arrived in Korea eight years ago today for the World Cup -- or at least that's what my recruiter told me to tell immigration. I never thought I'd still be here eight years later. This may be my last Coming to Korea anniversary, as we're thinking of packing up and leaving. Korea has treated me well, but we have to move to Canada some time, and the longer we put it off, the harder it will be to get settled back home.

Thinking of this anniversary caused me to take a look back in my picture files. I don't have much before 2005, which must be when I got a digital camera. Pictures before that I took on my grandfather's old Pentax film camera. Those photos are at my parents' house. Unfortunately, those are some of the more interesting pictures that I wish I had digital copies of. I will have to scan those someday. Here are a few random pictures.

Boseong tea fields, 2006.

Buddha's Birthday celebration, 2006.
Jincheon, June 2005.
Hanging with Sejin's friends in Seoul, August 2005
I worked for a Korean company for one year. After-work dinner and karaoke often mandatory. September 2005.
Sunrise at a temple near Yeosu, 200

Friday, May 7, 2010

Spring in Uijeongbu

Spring has finally come. And it is exhausting. Grace has me running after her outside every day. Sometimes several times a day. When we're inside, she will bang on the screen and whine and whine until I take her out. I am going to be spending a lot of time outdoors this spring and summer.

The area near Uijeongbu Station is quite nice for strolling and shopping. There are a lot of good shops around and they have fixed the area up nicely with ponds, trees, splashing pools, and sculptures. We had a nice afternoon there last Sunday.
The area around our complex is suitable for every day messing about. Grace likes the playground equipment and has dragged me up and down the jungle gym several times. She also likes to look at the flowers and birds. She's still really into the sign language and does the signs whenever she sees something.

The good thing about all this activity is that I think it is good for her sleep. For the past several nights she has grabbed her teddy bear and asked to go to sleep. I have to admit, I relish the peace after she is finally sleeping, even if I am working away on ESL books.

In Progress photos

Some photos of my works in progress. The granny square bag. I'm done eight of sixteen squares so far. Then there will be sewing the squares together, lining the bag, and attaching a handle. The vintage cardigan I'm knitting. Here is a link to the pattern. Sizes were messed up back...whenever this pattern is from. I'm knitting a size 18. I'm really hoping this fits in the end. I'm not experienced in knitting adult clothes. This is slow going because of the tedious stitch pattern. It's made up of two rows. Row 1: Purl 1, Knit 1, repeat. Row 2: Purl across. Why did I pick this pattern again?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

New Projects

I've started two new projects this week. The first is a crochet granny square bag. But it's not as cheesy as it sounds. The construction is really neat. I'm making it from some mercerized cotton I bought at Dongdaemun. So far I'm loving it. It's the perfect project to do around Grace because it's just small squares and it doesn't matter if it gets ripped back a bit. It's so simple. Plus, I've never done granny squares before. They're kind of fun. Maybe I should do a cozy granny square blanket. Man, I'm going to make a great grandmother some day, I just know it.

The second is a cardigan from the free vintage knitting site. I was going to do Mr. Greenjeans, which is a really nice (and very popular) pattern, but I wanted to try something a little bit out of the ordinary. There is more knitting and construction involved in the pattern I chose, but I think I will like the finished product better. I won't provide links just yet. I'll wait and see if I follow through with these things.

As for crocus doily...ugh. It is so boring I can't bear to look at it. But I'm on round 23 of 25. The rounds take forever now. There are hundreds of triple crochets with this tiny thread in each round. I will finish it eventually. It's just too boring right now.