Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Yarn in South Korea - No Problem!

I know I have been neglecting this blog. But it is not without good reason. For the good part of February I was preparing to and during March I was moving to South Korea. If you were moving to the other side of the world what would be some of your concerns? What your kids' school would be like? What kind of housing will be available? I was somewhat concerned about those too but if I'm being perfectly honest, and I do try to be, I was really worried about how I would find good yarn.

Well have no fear, within a week I have tracked down two yarn stores that are each within 2 blocks of my apartment and found a local guy selling bags of yarn on the corner by the subway station. I am set.

I haven't made it into the second store. We just found it as we were strolling around looking for a place to eat last night and it was closed when we discovered it. The first is on the way to the subway so I stopped in and took some pictures. The shop owner really doesn't speak English but I had already used Google Translate to translate: "Can I take some pictures? I have a blog."

I'm not sure how that translated but she said yes so I snapped a few of her and her friends. Two were knitting and two were crocheting and she was working on crocheting a purse with a plastic flat yarn.

I stood and watched for a few minutes and then pulled out my iPhone again to translate: "Is that a lesson? May I come back and knit with you when you are not teaching a lesson?" She nodded yes to that so I will return.

I have to wonder what they said after I left. Probably, "What's with the crazy white chick? Don't they have knitting in America?"

I wandered off down the street past the subway to kill some time before I had to go to pick Kayson up from school. I'm glad I did because on the other side of the Jihaeng subway station there was a guy and his wife selling yarn.

A friend of mine had sent me pictures of this same guy but in her pictures the yarn looked cheap and stiff. I was wrong. It was fine and there were nice colors and all kinds of textures. My only concern is that the multi-ply yarns did not seem to have much of a twist to them and may be hard to work with.

His English was minimal but he said $5 for one bag (with 4 balls) and I was trying to tell him I would be back and a passerby realized we were struggling and translated for us.

But that wasn't the last yarn-related event of my day. As we were waiting for the subway home we met one of Kayson's classmates and his family. Take a wild guess what his sister was doing. You have a 50/50 shot!

She was ... Crocheting!! Her mom said she was self taught and when I took a look at her project I could tell nobody had ever told her to chain one between rows. I gave her a bit of help and I could tell she was eager to learn. You have to be if you have self-taught yourself and are already toting around a 8x10" piece of work! I was so pleased to see a young girl picking up the craft.

If I have found three yarn vendors within 500m of my apartment then I am really excited about how many more opportunities are out there.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

FeBREWary Inspiration - Mug and teapot cozy

Noble Teapot Wrap
To me crochet is like walking. I just do it. Just because I know how to do it doesn't mean I can teach someone else how. But a few ladies asked me to give them a little class so I picked a mug cozy pattern (Link Here) from the blog; Tutus and Tea Parties, and showed up with some hooks and stash yarn and a lot of anxiety.

At first it was a bit rough. One of the ladies began referring to the first row as the "Satan" row and I thought that was a perfect description. But after spending at least 75% of our time on that first row they soon got the hang of it. I told them that I had to make about three projects before I really knew where I was supposed to insert my hook to make a single crochet and to chain one after turning each row. I didn't keep either the slanted "purse" or the entire blanket made by crocheting into the back loop only.

I soon realized that these ladies were also anxious. They wanted to succeed and make something they could be proud of. We all achieved those same goals. By the end of the day they each had a nice size swatch and if they weren't quite finished, they posted pictures that night of their finished projects.

I was so inspired that I came home and made a matching wrap for my teapot with the leftover cotton. This free pattern was designed to fit a Noble Teapot from and can be used with any oversized teapot. It also makes a great first project if you are just getting started.

Nobel Teapot Wrap

Yarn: Sugar 'n Cream Cotton
Hook: 4.5mm
Embellishments: 2 medium buttons, needle and thread


Ch 19
Row: 1 turn and ch1, SC across
Row 2-26: repeat Row 1
Row 27: turn, ch1, SC in next 5 SC, ch9, skip next 9 SC, SC in last 5 SC
Row 28-50: Repeat Row 1
Row 51: turn, ch1, SC in next 2 SC, ch 5, SC in next 11 SC, ch 11, SC in last 5 SC, fasten off.

Weave in ends
Position wrap on your teapot and estimate button locations. NOTE: better to make your wrap snug than too loose.
Sew on buttons
Brew a nice big pot of Earl Grey and ENJOY!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

5 Things Not to Knit (or Crochet)

Shortly after I started knitting two years ago I made a list of things I would NEVER knit or crochet:

1. Dog sweater
2. Table-leg cozies
3. Anything with a pom-pom
4. Doilies
5. Barbie doll clothes

I have now decided to put this list in print and publish it in an attempt to strengthen my resolve to vow off these knitting clichés. Why would I feel the need to do this? Why, temptation of course. Not just by one item but two. I actually went to and searched for patterns for two of these items.

Can you guess which two? I'll lay it out like a playmaker game.

-Ken will not see any new clothes
-No toiling over decorative layers
-Cozies are for beer not table legs.
-Poodles or Pomeranians??

Since we are moving overseas we decided (perhaps hastily) to ask my parents who live in Canada to keep our chihuahuas for us. Nellie and Cookie are 7 and 6 pounds respectively. My mom was scared they would freeze like the cement doggie statue we keep in our flowerbed. I actually went to and typed "dog sweater" in the search bar. Someone needs to come over and slap me! Instead of turning to rock statues, they transformed into super-potty puppies getting their business completed with Indy pit-crew speed. YES! Une Cliché averted. I forget what is French for averted. You get the picture.

Then came these horrendous toques that the NFL designed for their players to wear this season. Who looks good in a beanie with a giant pom-pom on the top?? NO ONE. Oh wait thats a lie. I will drool over Tom Brady no matter what he is wearing. Maybe hubs thought if he wore a toque with a horrendous pom-pom I would drool over him too. I love him and all but, no.

I tried to appease him. I knit him a beanie with a patriots logo in intarsia. He said no. My neighbor, Chris, loves it. I tried a striped version with no logo. Chris' son got that one. Finally I got out my pom-pom maker and actually experimented to see if I could make a pom-pom!

Christmas traveling saved me. By the time we got home he had run into an authentic NFL Patriots beanie complete with god-awful pom-pom attached proudly to the top. It is atrocious and thankfully I will never have to say I made it.

Mom is still working on me about the dog sweater but I'm hoping this will give me the motivation to abstain. And you know if I take my glasses off in the right light I can pretend he is Tom Brady now. Added bonus: I spent hours working on this patriots color logo so I may as well sell it at Follow the link to get a copy of the color chart I made for this project with the Patriots Logo.

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