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I will be more careful with these socks. I want them to last a long time. So I won't be running around in them stocking-footed. They are warm and cozy and bright. I love them!
The textiles Coni bought are exquisite, beginning with this diaphanous Pashmina scarf:It is the softest fabric I have ever felt. Just luscious! The most amazing thing about this piece is that it is woven in singles in what looks to be a collapse weave, but little paisleys are woven in for texture. They are so subtle, they are barely noticeable. From Wickipedia.... The fibre is also known as pashm or pashmina for its use in the handmade shawls of Himalayas. The woollen shawls made from wool in Kashmir find written mention in Indian texts between 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD. However, the founder of the cashmere wool industry is traditionally held to be the 15th century ruler of Kashmir, Zayn-ul-Abidin, who introduced weavers from Central Asia. Cashmere shawls have been manufactured in Nepal and Kashmir for thousands of years. The test for a quality pashmina is warmth and feel. Pashmina and Cashmere are derived from same mountain goats. One distinct difference between Pashmina and Cashmere is the micron size. Pashmina fibers are finer and thinner than cashmere fiber, therefore, it is ideal for making light weight apparel like fine scarves. However, these days the word PASHMINA has been used too liberally and any scarves made from natural or synthetic fiber are sold as Pashmina creating confusion in the market. Pashmina from Nepal are the best in quality because of the conditions the mountain goats have adapted over centuries. The high Himalayas of Nepal has harsh, cold climate and in order to survive that the mountain goats have developed exceptionally warm and light fiber which might be slightly coarser than cashmere fibers obtained from lower region goats, but it is much warmer. To distinguish Nepalese Pashmina, the Nepal Pashmina Industries Association has registered a Trademark around the world, called "Changra Pashmina". Coni said that the fibers used for Pashmina are taken from the neck underneath and under the front legs (arm pits?) of the goats, because these are the areas of the finest, thinnest fibers. The goats are shorn once a year. Her piece came from Kashmir but she bought it in Darjeeling.
Khādī ClothI love this cloth. Coni bought this in Varanasi. It represents so much suffering and emancipation for India (see below). From Wikipedia....
Also in Varanasi, Coni bought this 100% silk scarf and a little purse from Kathmandu. The photos don't do them justice.
Embroidery on Pashmina
This is the stellar piece, bought in Darjeeling. Coni was told that a "true" pashmina is embroidered. At first I thought I was looking at a printed fabric. This shawl was handwoven in a twill, and then embroidered by a man from Kashmir who took seven, yes, SEVEN, years to complete it. That just boggles my mind. The love and care he used to create this masterpiece is so very evident.
A Cotton Piece in What Technique?
Here is an interesting piece. I am not sure how it is made. Is it Tunisian Crochet? Is it somehow knitted? The fringes look like I-cord. It is a local tradition in Veranasi.
And last is this sweet pair of slippers Coni bought in Kathmandu, Nepal.
I hope you all enjoyed this foray into Indian textiles!
I feel energized by this spaciousness. Now to keep it that way! I am busy planning my year of teaching, which will start soon. But I am distracted by iMovie. I have had a lot of fun playing with that on my new computer and making up tutorials that I will put up on my website soon (I hope). I have four movies on YouTube now with two more to process before I need to resume filming. I am open to hearing any suggestions you might have for tutorials. I have a list a mile long but may not think of something you would deem pertinent. Let me know! Thanks to all of you who have subscribed to both my YouTube movies and to this blog! If you are interested, you also can subscribe to my newsletter. Cheers!
Here is Margaret's journal, with the photo of a lucky little guy who scored a sweater from her. Behind the journal is the same sweater knitted in a different color of Margaret's sumptuous hand-dyed Mostly Merino yarns. The journal is so lovely to look at, it would certainly motivate me to put stuff in that rather than my funky manila folders!
I love this! Margaret has put it all together! She teaches knitting-journaling classes here in Vermont every year, and is offering one in January! Here's the info: Record & Reflection: Creating a Knitting Journal A Workshop by Margaret Klein WIlson Significant life events often have a memorable piece of knitting attached to them. The knitting may leave us, but the memory of the piece and its place in our lives lingers. This workshop explores how to create and shape a journal/ portfolio of our knitting to be used as both technical reference and an archive of how our creative work and the time of our lives intersect. If you are interested in simply organizing a record of your projects or extending your creativity into keeping a journal, this workshop will give you the tools to achieve both. Materials: bring in the bits of projects (pattern yarn labels, swatches, photos, etc.) your favorite writing sticks and a notebook, along with your sense of humor and an interest in looking at your knitting in a new way. Date: Saturday January 29, 2011. Time 1-4 Place: Margaret's studio; directions sent upon registration. Cost: $35, limited to 8 people. Contact Margaret at 802.254.7436 or email her: merino at together dot net So, have a wonderful New Year's Eve and Day (and YEAR!) everybody! What ways do you keep your knitting history organized?
We went into her studio and talked and laughed and played with our Flip cameras (for future tutorials on my website) and had the best potato-leek soup for lunch that I ever ate. I thought about one time, long ago, when I heard her talking about color. She had pointed to a mustardy yellow (that I thought was unimpressive) and proclaimed it was such a wonderful color. It wasn't until I was in Mexico in San Miguel de Allende, that I saw that gorgeous color in its true context on a wall next other incredible colors. It took a trip to Mexico for me to see how lovely it was indeed. Therein lies the lesson. There IS no ugly color. Only weak or strong color combinations. Kristin has been inspired by color from nature, by great works of art, and by ethnic textiles. She is so successful at conveying this in her eight books and her website and blog! Even her downloadable pattern leaflets are a profusion of color which cause me to look at my own patterns with a critical eye. She is now offering weekend workshops (see her blog Getting Stitched on the Farm), so that others may learn from her and get a glimpse of her life. She even wrote about our day on her blog! More than 80 sheep and many chickens were wandering outside in the pasture adding to the rich landscape that is her life. I sadly had to go before I could meet her daughter Julia, for whom Kristin's yarn line is named. But with some freezer lamb in my thermos lunchbox and her new book, Color by Kristin (which has a lot of photos of her home's interior), in my basket, I felt I was taking a bit of her world home with me. As I was getting into my car, I realized I had meant to take photos that day, but was so absorbed in the experience of being there, that I forgot! So you'll just have to get Kristin's book to see what I mean!