My Makes

Shawl updates; Andong trip postponed

We’ve had a lot of rain in Korea these last couple of weeks, with flooding and landslides concentrated in the middle of the country. This coming weekend, I had planned to visit the historic city of Andong, which is just north of my region, but because of the bad weather, I postponed it for another week.

Just after I did that, the weather cleared up somewhat (of course!) and thunderstorms are now forecast for my new dates. Monsoon season can be an unpredictable time of year in Korea. Normally, I leave the country for most of July and August, so have missed the sweltering heat, humidity, and rain these last few years.

There’s a lot of beauty to be enjoyed in every season here, though. This morning, I was listing in my head all the things I liked about Korean summer (even though it’s my least favorite season here). I love the extraordinary butterflies that sometimes migrate in from the north. Or when I come upon the most perfect pin-cushion of green moss (the landscape is a jungle of overgrowth during the summer). I love Korean summer foods – samgyetang (chicken soup with rice and jujubes), iced omija tea (mixing the five flavors I wrote about in Seoul), patbingsu (shaved ice with milk, bean, or fruit), and mul naeng myeon (cold buckwheat noodles and julienned Asian pear on ice). I love hearing the thunderstorms roll in from the comfort of my air-conditioned space.

There’s actually a lot to love about Korean summers. I also love the lotus that bloom. Every chance I get, I snap photos of the different varieties in ponds around my neighborhood.

I’m in the middle of a great many crafty projects at the moment (no surprise), but mainly focusing on crochet with ultra-light yarns. This is giving me a wonderful chance to practice my dexterity with tiny threads and stitches. I just finished the Tramonto shawl last week, and now I have two very different ones going. The blue one in photos is moving pretty fast, since I’m using a 4.25 mm hook and 2-ply yarn. It’s a challenge to keep the tension well, especially it being merino, which slips easily off the hook. The purple is a much slower make, because it’s a denser pattern with a much smaller hook (2.25 mm). The mix of fibers in the yarn is sublime, and it’s much easier to keep the tension on this one.

Finally, a small update about the mandala. I can’t stop sharing it! Haha. I hope you forgive me. I’m like a proud mama. I finally decided to add hooks to every opening at the hanging edge. I think it distributes the weight, so it will minimize stretching. This is the one thing I’m a bit worried about. So far, it seems to be holding up fine.

PHOTO: mandala at home with rings in each of its end openings.

I’ll be back soon with an update about my Andong trip. I do hope it will still be on for next week. I’ll leave you with some lovely flowers I picked up at the Siji market today.

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