Wednesday, December 17, 2008

FO: Snowy Lady Sweater

Or my Turkey Sweater!


So, this is probably the most inexpensive sweater I've ever made. I bought five balls of DK weight wool when I was in Turkey for 15 YTL, which was somewhere in the range of $11 CAD at the time, and it made a whole sweater! The ballband says it was manufactured in Turkey for sale in Germany. Granted, this isn't next-to-the-skin soft, but it works nicely as a layering piece.


The buttons aren't amazing, so they're not affixed directly to the sweater. I attached the buttons to smaller ones that can be pushed through the garter stitch. When I want to wear it with a brooch, I can just take the other buttons off.


Notes: (ravelry)
Yarn: Ayda Saf Yün, 100% wool, 200m to 100g
Needle: 4.0mm
Gauge: 20.5 stitches to 10cm
Size: XL to get XS proportions
Mods: none

Friday, December 12, 2008

Eid al-Adha

So, we've just finished Eid al-Adha (also known as the Festival of Sacrifice or the Big Eid) in Sudan, so I thought I'd write a little bit about what has been going on.

The Muslim calendar is lunar, so the dates of holidays aren't fixed. Because the lunar calendar is shorter than the solar calendar, holidays fall about eleven days earlier each year. This year's Eid started on December 8th (which actually means at sunset on Dec. 7), and it runs for three or more days. Eid al-Adha follows the Hajj, which is the pilgrimage to Mecca.

The main event of the Big Eid is the sacrifice of a goat or sheep at some point during the holiday. It forms the basis for a big meal for the family and some of the meat should also be given to neighbours and people in need.

Even my local massage place got into the spirit of things, as I found when I went for a massage on Sunday evening. They had a sheep tethered in the middle of the garden, and one of the resident cats was very curious.

Although he was pretty nervous, I did get close enough to pat the sheep a bit. As you can see from the photos, the local sheep don't grow much of a fleece (but they do have a long tail!) I don't think I'll be able to spin yarn from local fleece. :(

I didn't take any photos, but on my way to work the morning of Eid, there were men sacrificing animals in front of their houses, and you could smell fires burning all day long. As it's a time for family, I didn't get to experience the feast for myself, but I did get a day off work!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Some Christmas Spirit

I saw this on Concateknit's blog, and thought I'd get in on the Christmas spirit!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Well, I was very poor with the wrapping this year, since everything had to be sent by mail. I’m really working on using cloth gift bags, and recycling wrapping materials as much as possible.
2. Real tree or Artificial? I love a real tree, but I haven’t had a tree at all in a few years. There are no pine trees here, so it won’t work out this year either.
3. When do you put up the tree? I think the beginning of December should be the first sign of decorations.
4. When do you take the tree down? Shortly after Christmas, hopefully before going back to work.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I don’t actually remember getting it, but I still have my first Cabbage Patch kid that I got when I was three.
7. Hardest person to buy for? My parents are pretty tough, as they tend to just buy the things they need and want.
8. Easiest person to buy for? I don’t think I have anyone easy to buy for right now, as the ease of purchase comes from proximity. When you only see someone once or twice a year, it can be hard to pick out the things they'll really like.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. It was a gift from my cousins two years ago, and it’s simple but beautiful.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I like to mail cards… It’s actually almost the only thing I do these days.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Several years ago, I remember not being pleased with getting pyjamas (my sister asked for them, and we both got them), but I’m still wearing them today, so it obviously wasn’t all bad.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated version), although A Muppet Christmas Carol is also good.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually in November, although I haven’t been doing a lot of gifting over the last few years.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Nope.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Turkey!
16. Lights on the tree? Yes, although I’ve developed a fondness for all one colour over multi-colour
17. Favorite Christmas song? I have to go with a whole album: Kenny Rogers Christmas!
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I almost always travel for Christmas, as my family is not nearby. This year, I won’t even make it home, but I still plan to travel a bit just after Christmas. I’m thinking of London right now.
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Yep.
20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning.
21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The commercialism, without a doubt.
22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I like white lights, but have been collecting ornaments since I was a kid, so there’s really know theme to them.
23. What do you want for Christmas this year? I have a small list of things I’d like, but there’s nothing big.
24. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel
25. Favorite Christmas dinner? I require turkey, potatoes and stuffing with gravy. All other dishes are optional. This year I’ll be hosting a potluck at my place several days before the big day.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Damascus, Syria

I was mostly in Damascus to visit friends, so I didn't do a lot of sight seeing, but I have a few fun pictures.

Sadly, I don't have any pictures of horse riding, which was one of the most random things I did. I had never ridden English style before, and it was very off-putting to not have a horn and trying to learn how to post.

Anyway, here's what I saw...

The Umayyad Mosque in Damascus

First, we need to go to the 'Putting on Special Clothes Room'

and here I am inside, wearing my 'special clothes'.

A portion of the old city walls

I just thought this was a cool building. I believe it's the municipal water building.

Inside the craft souq, we stopped at a store where they do these intricately painted panels in different shapes and sizes.

This is an example of tile work from the Takiyya as-Suleimaniyya, very near the Artisanat where I bought some lovely silver jewelry.