Solstice Hat

Our Australian vacation took place in August which meant we’d experience winter temperatures. I decided Josh needed a new hat for the trip. Alas, Floyd didn’t get a new outfit but I’ll be sprucing him and Hazel up for our book release party next month. (Pre-order Formosa Moon here!)

My best friend Kelly and I designed the pattern back when we were living in Portland. She still knits versions of this hat without a written pattern while I follow my notes and tweak the pattern every time. We both make the hat long enough that the tail can be used as a scarf.

When Josh and I moved to Taiwan I brought my beloved Noro yarn with me as I couldn’t bear to part with it. Knitting with Noro is always a delight. This is the colorway’s natural variation.

The tassel is my favorite part of the hat. I like to make them long and chunky.

A work in progress shot to show the beautiful color pattern.

Name: Solstice Hat
Pattern Source: Me, Kelly
Craft: Knitting
Yarn: Noro Kureyon-#233, Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted-Kiwi
Needles: US 6-4.0 mm, US 7-4.5 mm
Size: Custom

Knitting, hiking, studying

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Grad school is great but  demands most of my time these days. Josh and I recently went to Maokong, one of our favorite spots to get out of the city and into nature.

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This decoration is from a tea restaurant and takes me back to my favorite PSU class-History of the Dress.

My lotus project is slowly progressing. I laid all the petals out to inspire me to keep working. After this next skein is worked out I’ll make larger petals and one day get to switch to green yarn.

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I squeezed some time and made it back to the Taiyuan Puppet Museum.

It’s so nice hanging with Kim and the puppets again! I’m helping her on making a new costume for demo purposes.

It was wonderful to take a day to focus on costume problems instead of international ones. A much needed break!

Maokong was beautiful as always and this time Josh and I joined our friend Olivia for a hike to a waterfall.

So beautiful and peaceful and only a short ride from Taipei.

On an unrelated note, I always take free tissues from people handing them out. Spare tissue is practical to carry but sometimes I get delightful surprises like this package:

These ladies feel my current mood under all this homework. Three more weeks of fall semester left!

 

Petals, Pillows and Pizza

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My flower petals are coming along. This is a long term art piece that will take months to complete. I hope to have it finished by the end of the year.

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My internship at the Taiyuan Asian Puppet Theater Museum is enjoyable. I’m currently making pillows to protect the puppet heads.

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This marionette puppet now has a protective cushion in case of an earthquake. As I put the pillows in place I get to see the gorgeous collection up close which is a real treat.

Speaking of treats, there’s an abundance of delicious food in Taiwan but there’s one thing I’ve been missing-pizza. I’ve only had gluten free pizza here once, back when we were visiting Taitung. I haven’t found a place in Taipei selling it so Josh and I experimented in the kitchen. Behold the gluten free goodness!

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The crust was a mixture of white rice, potato starch and corn starch. We added enough wet ingredients until the dough was actually stretchy. It was scrumptious and completely satisfied my pizza cravings.

Silky petals, Coconut macaroons

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My petals are coming along. I’m thinking of going with five petals per flower. Toying with the idea of making bigger petals as well. The pattern is easy which let’s me listen to podcasts while knitting.

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I made my first coconut macaroons in Taiwan. Our little oven has the option of just turning the top or bottom heat on so I was able to get the tops crispy. It’s starting to get hot here so these will make a great summer treat.

New knitting project and a screenprint bag

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Oh the joy of a new knitting project! I’m creating an art installation piece to hang over our loft railing.

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This is a lotus flower petal. I’ll be making as many as I can and then assembling them into flowers. I wrote a pattern based on several I found on Ravelry. Most likely I’ll make I-cord out of green yarn for the stems connecting them together.

I got to take a screenprint workshop this week and made this print featuring Taiwanese food.

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It’s been years since I last screenprinted. Thank you My Taiwan and In Blooom-it was fun!

Just in time for summer-Alpaca Knucks!

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These Knucks are my first completed knitting project in Taiwan. Made out of Alpaca they will be toasty warm in winter months. I started these when it was so chilly in our apartment that I was wearing a sweater and long underwear. It’s April now and the days are only getting warmer so they will have to wait awhile to get worn.

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I’m super happy with them. This is an excellent pattern and the yarn is super soft.

In gluten free news I found a delicious bread I can eat.

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Heitong Gao ie Black Sugar Cake is made with rice flour and brown sugar and can be found around Taipei. Super delicious and check out this texture:

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So yummy. Plus it’s great to take a break from cooking and just buy some bread from a street vendor.

Exciting news! I’ve started my International Internship at the Taiyuan Asian Puppet Theatre Museum. Right now I’m helping to prep puppets for an upcoming exhibition in South Africa. I got to assist sewing these beautiful puppets to be displayed.

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These lovelies are both Taiwanese shadow puppets.

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Josh and I recently returned from Tainan. We saw a spectacular puppet show by the talented Goodoo Theater. Their show Heart Sea Fantasy was phenomenal and we will be featuring them in Formosa Moon.

Knitting, baking but most of all puppets!

Great progress on the knucks last night. I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off so the cuffs easily stretch over my hands. Every time I do this BO I forget how so Cat Bordhi’s tutorial was quite helpful.

When I first became gluten intolerant I was getting sick almost every time I ate. My naturopath doctor said my body was in crisis mode and overreacting to grains, processed foods and sugar. He put me on the GAPS Diet for two years. Now I am thankfully able to eat other grains but find I still like making GAPS Diet food. This apple walnut dessert is simple yet delicious.

I was able to find all the ingredients and my small bread pans worked great. This is one of my favorite breakfast dishes.

In other news, our puppet Floyd has some new roommates. Our friend C.S. was clearing out his studio and knowing I loved Taiwan puppet theater offered to give us two remarkable puppets.

Guan Yu and Floyd getting acquainted.

The Monkey King also moved in. We will be making videos ostensibly for Formosa Moon promotion but really I don’t need an excuse to play with puppets.