I’m not sure when I discovered audiobooks. I remember a radio serial that KCJB radio used to play in Minot North Dakota back in the 1990’s. Yep, I’m feeling old now. This was just before podcasts and just after cassette players. Each week a mini drama broadcast far and wide on the mighty am waves. I didn’t have to go far to hear it though – I was working as a radio announcer through college and these radio dramas and Paul Harvey were tied for my favorite part of my work day.
Reading has always been hit or miss in my life. I’m either indulging in book after book insatiably or without one for months on end. I guess the busy life of a Mom can do that to you. But when I started walking and working out (the first time around) I realized I didn’t care to listen to music. I wanted an audiobook. I would leave in the morning with “Twilight” or “The Hunger Games” playing on my iPod and after finishing my walk I’d spend an hour (or two) weeding the yard just so I could keep listening.
Soon I had devoured anything written by Nicholas Sparks, Jodi Picoult and John Grisham – all while walking, shopping, cleaning or just puttering around the house. That’s when I rediscovered Stephen King. I had forgotten that he wasn’t just a ghoul writer. Some of my favorite movies like: The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Stand by Me, Hearts in Atlantis, and Delores Claiborne were all based on SK books. They are great stories and so are many of his other works.
Now I was able to discover his new works: Duma Key, 11/22/63, Under the Dome, and Mr. Mercedes are now my new favorites. I have recently been trying to listen to ALL his books.
I had never read Carrie or Christine and was surprised at how much I enjoyed them. While tales of kinetic girls and psycho cars were playing in my ears, I happened to be working on solving a puzzle that had plagued me for about a year. I wanted to make an entrelac shawlette. Not just a shawl but a long and narrow obtuse triangle. Wanting and doing were two different things however and I could not get the shape of the shawl quite right.
Over the course of about 2 months and right about the time that Christine and Carrie were queued in my iPod, I had a breakthrough. First developing a scarf that starts narrow and grows into a long 90 degree triangle and then my obtuse triangle shawlette that I had been striving for. I named them: Christine and Carrie
If you are feeling particularly generous – give this a look too:
4 weeks in, 13 lbs down and loving the changes I am seeing…
I did my homework and I actually found it therapeutic. I was asked to brainstorm every last thing I can think of that is true about my brand. Since I kind of am my brand – it became a brainstorm about who I am as a knitter/designer. After I was done I thought it was so interesting that I decided it would make a good blog. So here it is. Bad punctuation and all. And like my favorite Stephen King novel – it is just one big long rambling chapter from a singular viewpoint. Enjoy!
When I first moved to Germany a year and a half ago I pictured a small fiber industry with agri-tourism opportunities. What I have found instead is a thriving fiber industry with high-quality and amazingly innovative yarn brands on a much larger scale.
First Projects are NEVER Perfect:
It’s not their fault (or yours)
but typically there is a facecloth test for many new knitters. If they like the finished results – they continue. If they don’t – they stop. Perhaps those that have tried and failed in the past see these simple cloths with appreciation that others don’t have.
6 years ago I borrowed a friend’s crochet hook while she was in Australia and taught myself how to crochet. There were more than a few hiccups along the way. After I figured out how to keep the same number of stitches in each row I tackled my first blanket.
Dongdaemun to Pfaffenhofen… By bike?
I may not have been blogging much lately but I’m still knitting. A lot. I have moved from South Korea to Germany. I traded rice for bread and Soju for Bier. I can’t take the train down to Dongdaemun fabric market on a whim but I can take the train to Pfaffenhofen to the Wollmeise Sale twice a year.
I miss Korea’s food and my family has made it a point to check out Korean BBQ restaruants in Nurnberg, Munich, and even Budapest. We have also tried our fair share of German bread and spatzel, and butter bretzen (pretzels), currywurst, oh lord – I’m going to miss the German food when I leave here. It is so good and fattening. I have finally decided that something must be done to counteract the effects of overeating in Germany.
Luckily the local gym has a Lose2Win program with a very nice BMW bike as the prize. I am determined that I’m going to win that bike! There are so many triails to explore in Germany and I don’t think my cute beach cruiser bike will handle the trails that are yet to be discovered.
|Must have this bike!|
I am trying to enjoy the weight-loss journey but it does not come naturally to me. I loathe every exercise class, every meal that does not include German bread, and every evening that does not involve a Radler (yummy beer/lemonade mix). I do think I will enjoy the results. And along the way I’m hoping that I come to love the energy and abilities I will have with my new body.
I imagine a lot of my knitting students feel the same way when they start. They want to be able to finish a fabulous scarf every weekend and have a wardrobe full of impressive pieces that they have made. The problem is – they want to be able to have the skills to make their dream accessories RIGHT NOW. Those that enjoy the process, the challenge of learning new stitches, new techniques, new patterns; those are the students who will become life-long knitters. One day they will pause and realize that they no longer find lace patterns frustrating and stressfull as they once did. They will not loathe ribbing as I loathe running. They will turn to it for relaxation after a hard day.
At this moment I cannot imagine turning to a nice long run for relaxation. I try to tell my students that knitting and crochet is about the journey. It is not about the finished product. If you do not enjoy the process of making the hat/scarf/sweater/blanket then chances are you will not want to make another one no matter how beautiful it is when it is done.
I want to win this bike. But I am also working hard to make sure that I enjoy my process. I want to want to continue after I have reached my goal. Otherwise I will not be able to enjoy my beautiful goal for long.
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 8×10″ 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.
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 DavidsTea.com 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
Embellishments: 2 medium buttons, needle and thread
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!