Thursday, 24 June 2010

Knit One Below

I bought Elise Duvekot's Book on Knit One Below recently and so I have been experimenting. Here is the experiment with the variegated yarn from China.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

A day in the Life

The first lily of the year has bloomed just a day before the opening of the last iris.

We also had the very first raspberry of the season yesterday.

It was finally a beautiful day. We went to the gardens and then sat out on the front lawn and sketched and drank lemon water with mint.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Current Projects

Went to the local coffee shop to see work by Sandy Bot Miller and was inspired. She did a whole series of wise women knitters, that was vibrant and enthusiastic. I decided I would do additional pieces for my Afghanistan series. This is what I have been working on recently. I want to do a series on the plight of women in Afghanistan to match the peace to war series.

Here is what I started with some of my yarn from China - I'm not very far with it yet.


Well, this shocked us all, because these guys usually show up in March, but try as he might, my husband could not convince me that these were cardinals.

Yup, there were three Cedar waxwings in this berry bush this afternoon!

Monday, 14 June 2010

State of the Stole - Diva Romana Stole Finished!

My Diva Romana stole is finished! Whew! Big sigh of relief! I've pinned it out on the bed for dressing and it just needs to dry!

Now I get to play with some of the yarn I bought in China and Japan! Yay!

Here are a couple of other shots of the stole which is made from Cherry Tree Hill's possum yarn n the color Spinach. I used less than 900 yards and still got a good sized shawl using number 4 needles:

Here is a detail of the corner that I had to make up.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Sunset Over the Highway

This is the kind of excitement we celebrate up here in Lake Wobegon:

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The Morning in Dalian (At Last!)

For those who have forgotten where we were when I last described the events of the March Craft Cruise to Asia, we had just docked in Dalian and were preparing for an adventure in the Northern port city.

There were colorful cranes (but not what generally springs to mind when Westerners think of Asia - but probably this is the kind of crane one should think of when thinking about China and not this kind:

Dalian is a big bustling modern city with influences of Japan and Russia, both of which have occupied the city at various times in history.

From the ship we could see the tour buses lined up to take us on our various excursions.  This was the only Ship Sponsored excursion that I went on and I have to say I enjoyed every aspect of it.

It is important as a Westerner to remember how modern and advanced China is. We tend to want to look for the quaint historic aspects and miss the beauty of much of the modern architecture.

I gather this was a record store or perhaps a second hand shop. I don't know what the tall basket structure outside was.

Our first order of business was a family visit. The bus pulled over to let us out near a car with these little figures in the back. Japan and China seem to share a fondness for the cute.

We crossed the street led by a kindly student who would serve as our translator and knocked on a nearby door.

We entered a dark stairwell and climbed a few flights to the home of our hosts.

They had a lovely spread of snacks and cookies out for us and we were aso served green tea.

The apartment was small but comfortable, with overstuffed chairs and lots of stuffed animals.

We were told this was a building for retirees of the railroads. The apartment was shared by more than one family (or set of residents).

We sat down to enjoy the hospitality and were offered the opportunity to ask some questions.

On the wall you can see a photo of the family we visited with. They had three daughters.

We never quite figured out about how the couple we visited had been allowed to have three daughters.

Below you can see our translator behind the husband and wife we visited.

They showed us their wedding photo. They were an adorable couple both then and now.

We had no shame and boldly took pictures of all the visible rooms.

The apartment was very sunny and cheerful. The hardwood floors made the home feel warm and pleasant.

The kitchen was a model of efficiency. Small, but with a large Western-sized refrigerator.

The decor was characteristically Chinese. Even the exterior entries had paper decorations.

Just outside someone was industriously selling stuff.

This woman had all kinds of fruit.

Like in Japan, there seems to be a special wardrobe for cleaning activities.

We boarded our bus and headed back through the city on our way to a big market. The buildings were quite fascinating.

We passed some more skyscrapers and apartment buildings. There were some lovely sculptures in front of buildings and in town "squares" (many of which were round.)

Of course some of the objets d'arts were not so inspiring. (Or at least not to me.)

I wanted to include some just normal street scenes.

Watching kite flying was one of the featured activities on our trip, so we stopped in front of a major government building and watched a couple of kites flying in the air.

There were a lot more sellers than kite fliers. Many of our group bought kites to take home with them.  Below is another famous sight we were told. They hire beautiful women to stand in the center of roads as traffic cops, in order to slow the traffic down.

No one told me whether there were more accidents in these locations or not.

Here is abetter view of the square where the kites were being flown.

This is a very typical socialist government building.

I like the contrast below between the hypermodern building and this old monstrosity.

Ornament plays a big role in establishing the city flavor, which is clean and modern.

One does pass reminders of the ancient heritage though, too.

We were fortunate to have beautiful weather for the whole day.

People were out enjoying the weather and the pleasant temperatures.

There were strip centers with regular stuff to buy.

And I had to include a photo of this, but it cannot do it justice. This was a gigantic fish sculpture on the side of a seafood restaurant. I t was on the other side of the bus, so I couldn't really get a good shot of it, nor can you tell how large it is, but there were two huge model fish!

Here is a shot of our bus and our guide. She was very pleasant and informative.

This is just a small part of our day in Dalian. Our next stop was the huge food market and then we got to see a neighborhood festival. I'll cover these in my next blog.