Tuesday, July 08, 2008

She's Crafty...

100 and counting... That is how many blog posts I have to read in my Google Reader. Down from 200-300. I spent the morning clearing it out a bit and hope to be a little more caught up soon (until the next trip away anyway...) So if you haven't heard from me in a while please don't be offended!

But now it is time for me to make my ongoing contribution to world wide electronic information overload ;)

Well, first I need to share a bit of good news..... (insert drumroll)

I have a FO!

The Ribby Pulli that I started in the Spring of 2007 was finally finished at the craft group meeting that we had at my house a few weeks ago.

Ta da!
Crappy pic- but you'll have to deal with it as I want to get this post up!

I can't tell you how nice it is to finish something that has been sitting around for a while!!!

Now I just need to finish the Print o' the Wave, and the husband sweater, and... well, you know. There are a few.

Now, at the last craft group meeting... wait, let's call it by it's proper name. Back home I had Bobaknit (that is now boba-less on Thursdays. What is the world coming to???) and here we have Khelana Bajana which means "playing" in Hindi. The name was suggested by Connie. Connie is dynamic, enthusiastic, cheerful and a lot of fun. Connie's husband came here to Bangalore to learn how to make prosthetics. pretty cool. Except now her husband has received a job offer in Ethiopia that starts in a few weeks. Cool, but dang. I am going to miss Connie!

Anyway... Khelana Bajana met at my house and we knit, stitched and chatted, and chatted, and chatted! Usually we meet for about 2-2 1/2 hours. We went for almost 5 hours! We had a lot of fun, but I think everyone stayed to see me finish the sweater! Anyway, it is a great group and I am glad that Gill got it started. I'll share pics of them all another time...

Now, I have also gotten a lot of yarn recently. My husband has taken to saying that I need to learn to knit faster!

I received a package from Cookie in exchange for the test knitting I did... Wow. Really, really nice and can't wait to knit it!

Mmmmm... Bohus!

I received a package from Jo of some absolutely beautiful cotton-linen. She probably got tired of me complaining about knitting wool items in a tropical country! Jo- muah! These are SO gorgeous!!! (psst... she sells on eBay!)

Luscious colors!

I received a package from Jeni and Hannah (who is apparently no longer a blogger, but I love her anyways)- with some items that they picked up for me at Stitches West. Can I tell you how lovely it is to know people are thinking of me as they are surrounded by all of that yummy distracting fiber and yarn?!

These two will match quite well!!!

And lastly, I picked up some yarn when we were in Singapore. Yes, one of the many lovely things about Singapore is that they have real yarn shops, that carry real yarn made out of real, non-petroleum based fibers. Oh my. I unfortunately (or fortunately from my family's perspective!) only had time to go to one shop, Spotlight in Plaza Singapura (conveniently located near our hotel that was just off of Orchard Road). Truly though, that one shop was enough! I was very quickly on overload as I looked at the yarn and dreamed up possibilities...

One of several aisles filled with yarn

Some of it followed me home...

Now, luckily I did have a yarn "agenda". My real purpose was to get yarn so that I could knit a baby blanket for our driver. I really, really wanted something non-acrylic and his wife is pregnant and due on August 24th. Now apparently in India a "good luck" color for babies and such is green. I never realized how hard it is to find a nice color of green! I did pick up some yarn in Singapore though. Unfortunately they did not have enough of the type I really wanted, so I had to settle for this:

The actual color is a little more olive green

I started knitting it and realized that all of these little fibers sticking out, which looked like a "heather" finish in the yarn when it was inside the packaging, was actually little pieces of plastic! Now, the label on this says "100% wool". Sorry. No way are those little fibers wool! After knitting a swatch and washing, I decided that it was not the best choice for a baby blanket. Argh.

So then I was left with option #2. Find some yarn in India. Well I did have that cotton yarn/thread that I picked up on Avenue Road. So I doubled it (to make it thicker) and knitted a swatch. It looked nice, but when I washed it, by hand, in cold water, it lost a lot of the color. Hmmmm. Maybe not a good idea either. So, I went back to Avenue Road and found this. A nice bright green acrylic.

Okay, it is a bit TOO bright. (and this picture is pretty accurate!)

Next, I went to another craft shop. I ended up picking up a softer green (I think at this point my housekeeper thinks I am going a bit crazy about the green yarn thing!) It will work, but I have to admit that it just isn't a color I am thrilled with.

I am stuck - but hopefully whatever I do will be appreciated. It's just that I know that whatever yarn I choose to use, I will not be completely satisfied with it. I just have to accept it. C'est la vie.

Now, there is something else I wanted to share. While we were in Kuala Lumpur we went to the Craft Complex where they had exhibits, demonstrations and several artisans with shops. The exhibit that they were showing, on Embroidery and Needlework, was amazing. Photos were not allowed though so I have nothing to show you. The artisans actually do their work there in little "huts" on site and you can (if you are interested) do a little workshop and learn how to batik. Now, growing up with a mom who owned a craft store, I already knew the basics of how to batik (as well as do macrame, Tole painting, pot throwing/ceramics, beadwork, Ukrainian egg dying, etc...) but these batik pieces were really beautiful to behold.

I walked into one hut and there was a man reclining in a chair, snoring away. He had a large horizontal stand set up nearby that he had obviously been working on nearby as it was still damp with color. As I was looking around he stirred and woke up and then started chatting. Really interesting fellow. Now, there are apparently several different styles of batik work. He worked with many different styles or batik processes, but the one I liked best is called Cap, Tjap, Chap, Chop or simply Stamped.

He explained the detailed process to us and we soon came to realize that what he did took a lot of time and hard work.

He showed some of the pattern blocks that he uses...

I think this one is made from copper

... and in the end I bought a couple of pieces of fabric because they were so beautiful. Below is one of the pieces that I bought alongside some of the other stamps.

Here is a link to a fairly informative site about Batik.

It is SO easy to fall in love with textiles in this part of the world! I just want to hang them all over the walls.

Next time, either a Bangalore update OR Hampi, OR...


MrsFife said...

Yay for an FO! You look so cute!

And oh dear about the green yarn...so there isn't apparently Truth in Packaging in Singapore (even with all the cleanness, neatness and other signs of a well-run state). I still have some horrendous green stuff with long bits of plastic sticking out that I struggle to find things to make with and can't really fathom why I bought the stuff in the first place, except I was starving for yarn and this appeared to be the least objectionable. (Now make sense of that sentence!)

Drooling over your other yarn, though :)

Maya said...

It IS nice to finish something, isn't it? I should take inspiration from you and finish painting the bathroom cupboard doors that I started 8 years ago, or tile the back step that we started 7 years ago, or... so many options to choose from, really!

You should have said about the green yarn - it would have been fun to shop here and stuff it in Ari's - okay, maybe Conner's would have more room - suitcase!

Have fun with them!


Kathy in San Jose said...

I've got lots of green yarn, and would be happy to send some your way! And it's the good stuff, too...

no-blog-rachel said...

A Bohus kit? Holy crap, color me envious! :)

warrenc said...

You certainly have been busy in the time you haven't been blogging!

The Cleckheaton yarn packaging is correct - it really is 100% wool. It's an Australian brand, and there's no shortage of wool down under! But the particular yarn you bought - it's a more 'natural' kind of yarn - not quite as soft as some wools. So you might feel it isn't quite right for a baby blanket. But it would make a great men's vest/sweater ... IMO :)

There's more information at www dot cleckheaton dot biz


Abigail said...

Cute sweater, Cindy! Congrats on a trip to a real yarn shop. :)

Lynne said...

There's a scroatfight in Singapore? (Spotlight that is) It is an Oz crafting and homewares store. Well well well. Talk to damo on Ravelry regarding the woolly status of the Cleckheaton Country 8 ply - I believe he works at ACS who make all the Cleckheaton yarns (Plymouth distributes some in the US).
That 8 ply and Totem are the staples of the Oz hand knitted jumper (sweater) stalwarts.
Nice bohus kit!

Anil P said...

'Playing and Drumming' khelna bajana can be fun.

Hampi post should make for interesting reading, indeed.

cindy said...

I am so happy to see you've established some knitting roots. The discussion about batik is wonderful. I love the intricate patterns for the technique.

You asked about my moon flower. It does have a wonderful fragrance. If you have a chance email me at cindyknitsatgmaildotcom,so I can have your email address to respond to your posts more directly.