For Whatever Reason…

I have been really into ‘homemade’ these last few weeks. Now, I have been baking yummy treats here in Seoul since I got here (using Jason’s toaster oven at first) and now I am endeavoring to move beyond home-baked.

This all started because Jason has his World of Warcraft and I have no tried and true hobbies aside from reading sporadically, writing sporadically, and facebooking religiously. I do play WoW with Jason, I even have a level 70 paladin. But, after a long day of staring into a computer monitor, I needed to establish hobbies away from the desk. Thus I turned to baking. It’s fun, and delicious. I can’t complain about that. And, while I am trying to decrease the sugar intake, I will continue to bake some things, such as breads. Bread here isn’t all that expensive, but homemade bread has that added appeal of being homemade (you know what is in there).

On days when I have very little going on at work, I tend to google. I google recipes and home furnishings. I also google crafts. So, I landed on knitting one day. I was taught how to knit by Donna a few years ago, but never really got too into it. However, since I already knew how to do it – sort of – I deciding it would become my new hobby.

I did a little research, and since we’re (Jason and I) are already planning on more of an agrarian lifestyle when we get back to the States, I thought it would be awesome to have some sheep and alpaca for wool. To make yarn. Then, of course, animal colored yarn isn’t so exciting, I would have to dye it. So now I am thinking that I could make my own yarn, from scratch. This would allow me to knit to my heart’s content, while also resting happily in the knowledge that ‘I know where it came from’. Do I sound like a tree huger yet?

So after considering this whole yarn thing, I want to branch out… soap. I want to make my own soap. I have seen a few documentary videos about the process… it looks tough but amazing. The whole idea behind it would be to use natural ingredients that help your skin (I have combination skin… boo) like oatmeal and the like. I would like to try it here, in Korea, but I imagine that finding supplies, or explaining them to Sonya (my very helpful, loves-to-shop coworker who helps me with buying online) would be exceedingly difficult. So, I will hold off on that. For now.

While I was considering soap, I also considered paper. Making your own paper sounds so awesome. I read about the process (very smelly) and it sounds so fun. This hobby would defiantly be for “upon return” because, again, the supplies. Here to, you get the “I know what’s in there” feel, as well as the sence of accomplishment – I made this.

So, back to knitting…

A few weekends ago, I finally worked up the nerve to hit up the yarn & needle shop near our apartment. Actually, the lady was outside (normally she’s inside with her Pomeranian – which is understandable because she appears to have a sever leg deformity which looks painful and inhibits her ability to walk -and probably stand- for very long) and I picked out a 10,000KWN bag of purple yarn and a 500KWN pair of circular knitting needles (used more for knitting items such as hats, socks, sleeves – anything that needs to be connected in a circle). I let those sit undisturbed for about two weeks before starting. I made sure to watch several youtube and wiki-how videos about casting-on and knitting to refresh my memory.

I stayed home sick last Tuesday, the worst day of the 5 day cold I had. Monday was Korean Memorial Day, so I ended up with a nice (even while ill) 4 day weekend. On Tuesday, I began knitting a scarf. It’s the easiest and most rudimentary thing to knit for beginners. But, after knitting for a few hours (trial and error) and only a few inches of my scarf visible, I elected to take the huge mess of yarn and work it into something more manageable… a ball. So, for the next three days I untangled that mess of yarn… PAIN IN THE NECK! Basically, when I took the yarn out of its package and started knitting from the one end, the whole thing became so entangled that -yes- is took about 10 hours to untangle it. Had I been actually knitting that whole time, I would probably have a decently sized scarf by now. But, this IS a practice run. I intend on using the entire amount of yarn on this one scarf… at least then I will have something for next winter.

Jason wants me to knit him a 3-armed sweater. As a joke, of course…

On another note… Passover is coming up… I wonder if I can find a recipe for matzoh???