Monday, October 29, 2007

We Have Knitting - Honest

Ok, in my last post I promised to have a picture of my Yukon Leaves sock. Well, here it is. It is coming along nicely (that is when I get to work on it), only I noticed that about an inch back there were two stitches that somehow escaped and were just sitting there. I'm going to have to see if I have a small crocket hook with me (I think I brought one, but it might be bigger) and somehow try to work them up to where I am right now. The stitches are right at the seam between the bottom and top so it shouldn't look too badly. If my crochet hook isn't small enough, I don't know what I'll do...I guess try to see if I can find any small hooks at the yarn store. Other than that, does anyone have any suggestions? I don't want to rip back because I would mess up the pattern on the top of the foot and not know where I was at in it.

Anyway, I thought that while I figured out what to do with the above sock situation, I would start in on Monica's Dancing Tulips pattern that I bought from the Loopy Ewe. Well, I decided to go with the Fleece Artist Sorbeto yarn since Monica and her sister both said the pattern would get lost in the darker yarn - and we all know that when you have a pretty p
attern you want to be able to see it! Well, I started winding the yarn up into a ball (I don't have a ball winder or swift - not here in Korea, and not home in Canada either) and ran into a problem. Yarn spaghetti. I had this problem with the last skein of Fleece Artist I bought as well. It will just take a little time and persistance to sort out, but I can do it! I did notice a couple of things in this skein of FA...there was a break in the yarn that was tied up (and will end up being on the foot somewhere because of winding location), and in a couple of places the yarn wasn't plied all that evenly. But, for the most part, the yarn is fine. I'm actually liking this yarn more and more. I was unsure if I'd like the yellows that was in it (thinking they might be too bright), but they actually look nice and go with the other colours. The photo isn't accurate was taken by the window/door so it looks lighter than it actually is. So, once I get the yarn all untangled I will being the Dancing Tulips pattern. I can't wait - it's such a pretty pattern! Check out the Loopy Ewe and see if she has any more of the pattern for sale. The last time I looked she didn't, but Monica had said more of her patterns were on the way so she could have them by now.

And, to close off with today (which by the way is the last holiday I will have until Christmas - it's Teacher's Day in Yesan so we don't have to go to school) here is the Yukon Leaves sock taking a gander at the view out the only window in my apartment (which is on the other side of the door that leads to the laundry area). Not that great is it...a parking lot and bit of the road. The building in back of the sock that you can't see too well has other apartments on the 2nd to 4th floor. The first floor is a restaurant and a bar so it can get a little noisy at times, though it isn't too bad.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Yarny Goodness!

Ok, so I had to visit the yarn store here in Yesan last Saturday with my friend Lorie because she wanted me to teach her to knit. Well, she's knit in the past so basically I was just giving her a refresher course. While we were at the yarn store, I of course bought more yarn. What you see to the right (if that's where the picture stays once I publish the post) are three balls or skeins or whatever of Wool Lux 5 Ply, which is made in Italy. The colours, naturally, are not accurate. The top one is a sort of darker teal shade - I think (it's colour number is 907), and the bottom two are a royal purple shade (colour number 945).

I plan on making a scarf (tentatively) out of the purple, and I believe the tealish shade will be a pair of fingerless gloves or some such item. It's starting to get a little coldish here - not terribly yet, but my co-teacher told me that the school gets cold in the winter because it's an old building. Great. Something to look forward to (insert eye roll here). I figure if it's going to be cold in the school (and I've already had a couple of days where my hands were cold...), it might be nice to have some fingerless gloves to wear so I can still type at the computer or write on the board, etc.

Ok, so last week I placed an order with the Loopy Ewe. Well, I got it today! All the way from the States to South Korea in 1 week!! She sent it first class international, so that's probably why. I wasn't expecting it this soon, so I was surprised to see it. I love surprises like that!
Here's my order...again, the colours aren't accurate. The skein on the top is from The Knittery (which is in Australia, but obviously I ordered it from the Loopy Ewe) in the colour Sea Breeze. It is Merino 4 ply fingering, 100% merino wool. The shades are blues and purples, with a bit of green. The other skein is Fleece Artist in the Sorbetto colourway and isn't far from being accurate in colour. They are a little darker in reality.

The pattern you see is called Dancing Tulips and looks so pretty! It's one of Monica's patterns, and I can't wait to knit it!! I'm not sure which skein will be used for the pattern right now, but I think I might use the Sorbetto for it so that the pattern doesn't get lost. The Sea Breeze colours are darker and might not show the pattern off as well, though I don't really know for sure.

One of my co-teachers drove me home today (one of them usually does), and I was showing her my sock yarn. She thought it was very pretty and we got on the topic of knitting. I asked if she knits and she said no. I told her if she'd like to learn that I could teach her. She said she'd like to make a scarf for her boyfriend for Christmas so by the sounds of our converstation, one day next week when she drives me home from school, we are going to stop at the yarn store and she's going to get some yarn and I'll teach her.

Well, I best be off now and work on my Yukon Leaves sock. I'm just finishing up the heel flap on the first sock, and getting ready to turn the heel. It's looking really nice in the Koigu, and I'm glad I chose that colourway. I'll show you a picture of that sock next time. Silly me forgot to take a picture of it when I did the ones for the yarn...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sock It To Me, Baby!

Well, it finally happened. I got off my butt...well, sort of...and starting some sock knitting. This is the first I've done (sock knitting that is) since I arrived in Korea.

First off, let me apologize for the sideways picture. This computer I am using is all in Korean (except my MSN messenger and any English web sites I go to) and I have no clue what to click on. Also, the program they have on here for saving their pictures doesn't seem to bring them up for viewing so I have no idea how to even do that so I can rotate it.

Anyway, this is the beginnings of my new sock (colour is actually darker than the picture). Yay! It's an inch and a half of 2x2 ribbing. I'm using my new Koigu yarn I bought in Insa-Dong and my new needles (2.7 mm...weird, I know). I'm using the Yukon Leaves pattern by Lela Conrad. I've never used Koigu yarn before, or 2.7 mm needles for that matter. I hope I'll have enough yarn for each sock. The pattern says it's for an 8 inch cuff, but I think I'll make it a little shorter. From heel to top of cuff I usually make my socks about 7 inches. Also, I don't know if this pattern uses a lot of yarn in the design or not. Well, if I do run out of yarn, I'll have to go to Insa-Dong again (good excuse for a shopping excursion) to get another skein. She had lots there so I don't think I'd have a problem finding the same dye lot.
I was debating on doing this pattern or the famous Monkey socks that are everywhere in blogsphere. I printed out both patterns and decided to try the Yukon Leaves with the Koigu and use my Fleece Artist I brought with me on the Monkey socks. Such a difficult choice to make in deciding what pattern to make. I wish I had all my sock patterns from back home with me...not that that would make the choice any easier though. At any rate, it feels good getting back into sock knitting - and having more than one project on the go! I just hope it doesn't take me forever to get these socks done. I'm making them for myself this time, and not in a child's size to put on the mitten tree. But, I can't wait to see the pattern emerge in this Koigu. I am really liking the colours so far which suprises me somewhat since I'm not normally drawn to these colours or the darker colours. I thought I'd get something a little out of my normal colour range, and I'm glad I did.
Well, off to do a little web surfing and possibly some more knitting before bed tonight! Happy knitting to you, my friends!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I Found Yarn!

Thanks to Jen who left directions in the comments on my last post, I was able to find a yarn store in Korea! Actually, she left instructions to find two stores, but I only got to one.

I had the last couple of days off work because the kids had midterms and there was no reason for me to be there. They don't have midterms or tests for my classes, so they school gave me the days off. My friend Tiffany and I decided to take a little trip up to Insa-Dong to one of the yarn shops. We had no difficulty finding our way there, and I even picked up a few little gifts for people back home for Christmas. We'll also be going back that way again at some point (not sure when yet), so I'll be going to the yarn shop again as well.

As I said, Tiffany and I went to Insa-Dong yesterday. We left around 10:15 or so and caught the 11:20 train. On the way, after about a half hour, we broke out the knitting. Tiffany wanted me to teach her how to knit, so we figured this was the perfect opportunity so we both brought yarn and needles. You see, Tiffany already knew a little because at some point in the past she attempted to teach herself. Here she is knitting away on her scarf (she is doing the same pattern I'm working on). Her yarn is a blend of wool and acrylic and is thick; she's also using 10 mm needles, so her project will go fast. At the point the picture was taken, I think she had probably done about 10 or so rows. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of how much she had accomplised by the time we were nearly back to the train station in Yesan. She got a lot done, and she's doing fantastic. I should also say that the train ride to Seoul takes about two hours there and two to get back, so we had nearly four hours of knitting.

Here's a picture of my growing scarf. I have now finished one ball of yarn and just started the second ball. In the picture I put a pack of the DPNs I bought for scale. I guess it's not that good for indicating since I had to take the picture a little far away in order to capture the whole thing. I don't even have a ruler to measure it either, so I can't tell you how long it is. I've decided that two balls should probably be enough for the entire scarf, but once I finish the second one (or get relatively close to finished the second ball), I'll decide then if it needs a little more or not. If not, the third ball is destined to become a hat of some sort.

So, I found some sock yarn at the yarn shop we visited. It was a little on the expensive side (probably because it was imported) and normally I wouldn't have probably bought it from there. I also bought some DPNs which were a little more than I would have liked, but I was feeling the call to knit socks and well, bought them. Anyway, the yarn is Koigu KPPPM but I'm not sure of what the colour is because I don't see it written anywhere. The number written down on the tag is P117328 but I haven't any idea if that is the colour number or not. The picture is pretty accurate, though in real life the yarn is a little darker than in the picture.

Here's a close up of the yarn. I took the picture beside the open window thinking I might get the colours a little more accurate. It looks a lot brighter in the picture than in reality though. There were a lot of beautiful colourways at this shop and I had a hard time trying to decide what to go with. My first reaction was to grab some purple shades, but then I thought I would try to expand my horizons and go with a colourway I probably wouldn't normally choose. I do like it though (otherwise I wouldn't have bought it), and can't wait to see how it looks all knitted up. I haven't decided on a pattern yet, but I've been thinking about trying the Monkey Socks pattern since I've heard lots of great things about it, and seen awesome sock pictures of the pattern. I just hope I have enough yarn and don't run out (each skein...or is it hank...has 50g/175yds/160m), and the needles I got are 2.7 mm - weird size - though I do have some of my DPNs from home; just need to check the size of those needles. Anyway, I'll look into the pattern and make my decision and let you know in a later post.

But, for now I'd better head off and work on my lesson plan for next week. I think I'm going to do the topic of Thanksgiving since this is the Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. Thanksgiving is on Monday though. So, I would like to wish all Canadians out there a Happy Thanksgiving!!