Coming to Taiwan meant giving up most of my wardrobe. Now that we’ve been here four months I’m getting tired of the few clothes I brought with me. A recent trip to a night market landed me some comfortable tshirts. They’re soft but are cut for a man and have stifling tight collars. Time for my first sewing modification project! Thankfully, my friend Kim let me use her machine as I’m currently without one. (In other news, if any of my Taiwan friends know of a second hand sewing machine for sale let me know!)
First I cut off the elastic collar and made a more open neckline.
Then it was time to take in the waist. I took in an inch on each side and then flared out the seams toward the bottom.
So much better! Two more shirts to tackle.
This beautiful leaf skeleton was lying nearby. I think it looks like lace.
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.
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.
Oh the joy of a new knitting project! I’m creating an art installation piece to hang over our loft railing.
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.
It’s been years since I last screenprinted. Thank you My Taiwan and In Blooom-it was fun!
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.
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.
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:
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.
These lovelies are both Taiwanese shadow puppets.
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.
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.
I’m making great progress on my new Knucks. This is a great pattern!
Gluten free biscottis have been the snack I’ve been craving most since coming to Taiwan. I used this new recipe that used only almond flour instead of my usual flour mixture.
They aren’t as pretty as I’m used to making but they taste delicious. The recipe called for almond paste which I didn’t have. Perhaps that would have provided a smoother texture?
Formosa Moon headquarters is shaping up nicely. We have a desk to write at and a temporary foam mat that’s standing in for a couch. Walking to the train station one day Josh and I came across an old table that had been thrown out. It was stained and had been scribbled on with pen. We took it home and I began to refurbish it.
Our neighbors P&T loaned me their electric sander for the job. It’s been several years since I worked with power tools and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed using them. I built my own house in New Mexico and owned many tools; my DeWalt set of cordless tools were quite versatile. Working with the sander reminded me how much I love this type of work. As a woman, I find it very empowering.
After sanding I rubbed in linseed oil which gave the wood a smooth finish. Now we have a small coffee table!
One thing I can’t find easily in Taiwan is kombucha. I used to brew my own in Portland and had been craving it for weeks. A neighbor up the road brews his own and gave me a scoby. He had taken a break from brewing and his batch had turned to vinegar. My first attempt unfortunately still has the vinegar taste.
It’s still drinkable but doesn’t have the delicious kombucha flavor I want. The second batch will be brewed for less time.
I spent last night knitting in bed while listening to a podcast accompanied by gentle, persistent rain. This alpaca yarn smells so good! Now that the fingers are made I’m zipping along on the main hand section.
Josh took me shopping in the Song Shang District last night. I did not bring enough socks with me so stocked up. Check out my Gudetama socks!
That lazy little egg cracks me up. There were lots of interesting clothes.
As a costume designer I’d certainly say fashion is important in life! Furthermore, I think it can be incredibly empowering.
We also visited the Puppetry Art Center of Taipei.
Their displays were excellent and they even had shadow puppets.
Hopefully, I will be lining up a puppet gig soon. I am completely enthralled.
Taiwan gets chilly in the winter so I figured a good first project would be a new pair of Knucks. I’ve made this pattern many times and highly recommend it. Knucks make great gifts but these ones will be for me. For the yarn I’m going with this beautiful hand dyed skein from Foothills Yarn & Fiber in their Peacock colorway. It’s currently rainy and cold so the alpaca yarn will keep my fingers toasty. It feels so good to be knitting again!
Gluten free baking here has been a challenge but I’m determined to make it happen. My latest cinnamon raisin bread turned out delicious. I used a combination of white rice, brown rice and tapioca flours.
I’m living a new life so it’s time for a new blog. I envision this will be a place for sewing, knitting and gluten free cooking. Plus I’m in the midst of writing a book! Formosa Moon due out in 2018 by Things Asian Press.