Saturday, March 14, 2009

China Bound and What I Have Been Up To

I am getting very excited. On March 18 at 6AM, I will be on the plane heading for Shanghai, China. We will be there 3 days and then fly to our boat to take a river cruise down the Yangtze River, stopping along the way to see the sites. Twelve excursions are included like the Great Wall, Summer Palace, Terra Cotta Soldiers and Chinese Acrobat show.

At the end of the river cruise portion of the trip, we fly to Beijing for the final days of the 13 day trip plus two days to travel. I can't believe I am really going. Since this is a knitting trip, we will be getting in knitting classes with Lili Chin after dinner when we are on the boat. I hope to come back with silk yarn to knit and weave with as well as fancy chop sticks and buttons to make drop spindles.

As you can see the Noni Medallion Bag is finished and packed. This was a fun fast knit. It is a little smaller than Norah Bellows had meant because of how it was felted. I did not like seeing the stitches so we threw it back in the washer one more time. I think it is a nice carry on size, 16X20. I plan on making one for my daughter, she wants one with long repeats of color like you get with the Noro yarn. That yarn is too expensive to buy enough to make the bag so I will have to dye the wool whatever colors she decides on. I also plan on making myself another one and not felt it so much with a brown background and have not decided if the other color with be a light turquoise or a warm pink. That decision will be made when I buy the yarn.

I was just a few inches from finishing the Companion Bag and will be ripping the yarn out. I know for a fact that I would not use this bag and I really love the color of the yarn. I think that I will use this beautiful purple yarn to make the Adventure Bag. I already have the hardware for the bag I just had not brought the yarn. This will work and I will use it.

Last Sunday, I went to the Sunday Spinners here in town. Well it is actually out on a farm a couple of miles away. I have never been home to go before and boy have I been missing a good time. Rose, the lady that host the spinners the 2nd Sunday each month, is such a dear. We set on her screened in porch because the weather was so nice.

I met someone I hope will become a good friend, Bonnie. She did not bring her wheel and was drop spindling because she was going to be teaching some 5th graders and needed to practice. We started talking and she said that I should come by her house and she would teach me. I asked when and she said that she was retired and to come anytime. I called my daughter right then and found that she was off on Tuesday, Bonnie said that was a perfect day and for us to come over.

The visit was amazing, we have so much in common. Bonnie taught my daughter and I how she spins with the spindle. She does not drop it but drafts and then spins it. This makes so much more sense. My daughter caught on immediately, my yarn does not look as good but it is still looking like yarn. My roommate on the cruise is bringing her drop spindle and she told me to bring mine and she would help me. So it is packed in the carry on.

The three of us talked for 3 hours. I can not believe we were there so long. That was such an enjoyable day. I look forward to many more.

On Thursday, I went to Thurmont, the next town 15 minutes away, to see what the Thursday knitters were up to at the Eric Mohn Gallery. I have never been before and needed to go to the bank to get my China spending money and then put it in the account I would be using while I was on vacation. Good excuse to go knitting. In one room of the watercolor art gallery, they have a table and chairs we just sit around and knitted. What a neat place to have a sit and knit with beautiful art all around you.

On Friday, I went to see the new library in the same town. The one in our town is so small and does not have a good selection of craft books. Bonnie had told me that she does not go to our library but goes to the Thurmont Library . This is a fairly new building, very modern, beautiful and very comfortable. I can hardly wait until it gets warmer. There is a long covered porch with rocking chairs and tables on one side of the library where you could just sit and knit for hours. There was 4 of us at the sit and knit. I think this varies. So glad I went, I will be going to this library often. They do have a great selection of craft books.

On Sunday, I am going to an Indie Dyers sale. Local independent dyers of yarn and roving will be in Savage Mills selling their wares. I do not plan on buying least that is my plan.

See you in a little over two weeks. I will have lots of stories to tell about my trip.