KNITTING ALL THE WAY
I've reached my last stop...Tokyo, Japan!
Had a great night out last night with Reiko -- she took me along to a going away party of a friend of hers. So good to meet her friends and to see her with them.
She and I met as she sells my line in Tokyo, and over the years we've become good friends. Makes my stops in Tokyo so wonderful!
The bus ride from the Narita airport to my hotel was long enough for me to knit up 3 of the fingers on my glove... almost done with glove #1! Yeah!
(Note to you travelers...JAPAN: Don't ever take a taxi from the airport to Tokyo - it'll run you in the 100s of dollars...and always check to see if there is an airport limosine (bus) that goes to your hotel. It's a decent price (3000 yen = aprox $28 USD) and it's door to door. If you take the fast train - although a bit faster innitially - I find that you loose tat time waiting for and taking a taxi the rest of the way. Also - if you take the train - note that there are only a few non-smoking cars - and you need to get a ticket for that car!
My cat-sitter tells me that Loco is getting more and more vocal...he does this if I'm gone for more than 2 weeks. Then I get the cold kitty shoulder when I get home - for about 30 minutes...and finally he'll plop onto my lap and just begin talking to me. And talking and talking and talking. :-) Can't wait!
Sunday, January 30, 2005
KNITTING ALL THE WAY
Saturday, January 29, 2005
I finally found the time to fill out YOUR QUIZINESS. :-)
Friday, January 28, 2005
Heading to THE DOOR
After dinner at Kamii (see entry that will be below...I'll get to it tomorrow perhaps...) we went to The Door, a lounge Steven has been told is very good.
We climbed many floors of beautiful wooden stairs to the top floor. In the
"lobby" has two beautiful paintings, two carved chairs and a statue of
Upon entering, we walk thru a very Medieval looking restaurant,
thru to the back where there's a lovely lounge. Couch-cubbies line the outer
wall while wooden tables with carved stools fill the main floor.
A 1.5 story Buddha sits into the wall where we entered from...just over our
A beautifully carved staircase leads us to our table in the balcony
overlooking the stage for the show we'll see later.
3 large chandeliers hang from the peaked eves just out of reach. They're a
dusty gold with small red lampshades and red fringe handing from beneath
each light. A sort of cross between a fez and a flapper dress. We order
cocktails - Martinis for Louise and I, her first ever and Steven sticks with
his usual vodka-tonic. The waitress was kind enough to snap this photo of
Moments later a large & angry security man comes to yell at me for taking
this one. I do wish it had ATLEAST come out BETTER!
So...I turned the flash off and snapped this one of the couch for Louise - sorry it's fuzzy...
Sarah Brightman's live show is on the big screen behind where the band will
play...a dancey remix of the Gypsy Kings is piped in just loud enough to
want to make you shake-it, but not so loud that you can't hear you the
conversation at your table... Very cool!
The Shanghai youth and young at heart are pouring in... The band is about to
So far it's 2 members --
A fella playing two keyboards and singing an eerie tune, and a beautiful
woman seated playing a 2 stringed Chinese "violin" upon her lap -- both in
traditional dress. He jumps over to start wailing on two kettle drums and
she takes off on that violin -- it's piercing and beautiful at the same
Second Cosmo please. (They are tiny here!) :-)
Apparently they were the warm-up band... As the lights dim, 5 new folks get
on the stage.
They begin with the song from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon that went to
the Oscars... I don't know why, but it always cracks me up when I see
someone boogying down whilst playing the flute! :-) the band is REALLY GOOD
despite my inner flute giggle! There are two seated gals playing traditional
extremely carved Chinese stringed instruments upon their laps, a female
keyboardist, a feller playing a mini-oboe (saw-nah) that has a
husky/rough/alluring sound and the gal bamboo flute player. There's a
drum/percussion machine with the keyboardist.
They sound great...very soulful...very mystical!
The lights dim and 3 leave the stage - the flute player is now playing a
different kind of instrument...a carved string bass sounding instrument that
sits on the floor and she plays from a low seated chair. The mini-oboist
joins her and they duet to a percussion track...amazing. As they take a
break, Louise tells me she's shocked that there was the "Saw-Nah"
(mini-funky-oboe) in the band -- in Taiwan, it's usually only played for
funerals... She's pleasantly surprised!
The first duo is back -- second song is a story -- that is traditional --
but sounds like something I'd expect to play during a Chinese Punch & Judy
show. Sadly no one in my party can understand what they're singing.
Steven and I discuss where I can get a CD of this type of music... New
styling played with traditional instruments -- I wish you could hear it.
Tomorrow looks like it will be a long full day -- but fun! I planned a
little sight-seeing of Shanghai in when I figured out my trip. Mine as well
extend Shanghai one day, I thought, since the folks I'll be meeting in Tokyo
don't return to Tokyo until late Sunday! So there will be fun for all
tomorrow... A trip in the morning to the local trim market followed by a bit
of brewing in this "traditional" part of town...including a surprise which
they won't share (I love surprises!) Then it's lunch and the 1 hour journey
to the factory for real work.
It's only my second trip to this city... I like Shanghai so far!!!
Thursday, January 27, 2005
HK SnB A SUCCESS
So NICE -- SO SO NICE! That's how last night was! I know I thanked you both a zillion times last night -- but, again, Eva & Marjorie ... THANKS!
The night began on a bad foot on my part. The darn pin on my watch had popped out, stopping my watch at some point and I had NO IDEA that I was running about an HOUR LATE! An HOUR? Can you belive that Eva waited so patiently for me to arrive at the exit of the Star Ferry for an ENTIRE HOUR? Poor dear was worried that I was lost and I was completely unaware that I was late! Thanks a million!
We dashed to their favorite LYS in Wan Chai... Cheer Wool Company Ltd, and Marjorie met us there. I bought...MORE YARN...(I swear, I know I already told Mrs. Pilkinton this, but I shouldn't work or leave the house for a few months to clear out my too-fastly growing stash!!!) Why did I buy it? Because I swear I heard little voices saying ---
"wouldn't I make a lovely pair of socks" [Striped wool sock yarn by Steinbach Wolle from Austria]
and "oooh can't you picture me as a scarf??" [Anny Blatt Merino from France]
and finally "I don't know what I want to be but I'd LOVE to see New York City!" [Alpaca Rimisto by Puppy from Japan]
I also got a proper cable needle since I didn't have one with me --- YIPPEE!
From there we hopped a cab to the famous Yung Kee Restaurant for some exquisite Chinese food! Soup, veggies, fabulous beef, oooh and their signature dish - roast goose. YUM! Both gals whipped out their newly near-finished AbFab Stoles -- so pretty and the TEXTURES - ooooooh! Both just need to sew in the ends...which Marjorie would love any voluteers to do for her. :-)
The conversation was lovely -- we laughed a lot! Such enjoyable company! Sadly, Siow Chin was ill and unable to go to work or join us in our night out.
Siow Shin - I look forward to meeting you in either March/April or May when I return! Please take good care of yourself!
(Oooh - have to send Marjorie the information on Katy's special Critter Knitter Challange that's shortly coming to a close. She's got a bag-o-squares that she's considering donating all the way from Hong Kong!)
Then it was back to the hotel to pack and head out to Shanghai at 5am this morning!
That's where I am now! Back to work I go!
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
DIM SUM AT 1am
Last night in Dongguan, China
I'm a bit out of order date-wise here, and may be for the next few entries. I experienced some time in China without electricity...so I'm now catching up. AND - Shutterfly is "down" so I tried using Ofoto --- the clarity is BAD! I'll reload the photos later when it's back up...
So: From Jan 24th ~ Monday night
Work tonight ended around 12:30am. I realized that I hadn't had dinner... and neither had my team - - who usually kindly reminds me that it's time to eat when I'm in full-swing work mode.
That's when I found out it was the plan to go for Dim Sum to celebrate a last meal with both Ho and myself. Ho was leaving for a long journey by train to his hometown for Chinese New Year and the celebration of his father's 60th birthday. It will take him 5 days to get there. He hasn't been home in 3 years because it's such a long and expensive journey! This trip he's also bringing his girlfriend to meet his family -- so it's an EXTRA special trip!
So Dim Sum --- all the usual specialties --- noodle soups, chicken feet, dumplings/ buns/ veggies --- YUM!
Mag, Ho, A-Sau, Yee, Min and myself (Yes - blue sock & pink trousers -- I got dressed with only one eye open...what do you expect...)
And the team (darn it all -- Mag has her eyes closed!)
I was in bed by 3am and started my next day too early...OY - but packed and got the factory in time to get it all done before starting the journey by car to Hong Kong.
This is a shot of the view from the factory --- it's all dirt, that's a bucket-loader in the distance -- a factory is 1/10th built across the street.
This is a shot of what it looked like in 2002. The local government decided that they could make more money if there was a factory there so they relocated the farmers (not onto farms mind you) and sold it (really a 20-30 year leasehold deal) to the highest builder for a factory to be built upon --- a job that has now been stalled for atleast a year.
This region is growing too fast and they are not keeping up with the enviroment - only to the "progress of the economy." Although not for those farmers who have mostly taken up factory jobs now.
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Monday, January 24, 2005
SECRET PAL 4 QUESTIONS/ANSWERS
Yeah -- Secret Pal 4 is about to start!
And -- I was one of the 6 winners of the "How many folks from France will sign up for SP4" contest... Winning answer -- 13! How cool is THAT!
And - there's a PRIZE...something which I didn't realize when I answered! Some homemade stitch markers! Yippee!!!
Thankfully I forwarded this list to my blackberry and was able to fill in the answer on the run! A little Cut and Paste and voila!
1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high-end/natural fibers)? Do you
avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I'm a bit of a yarn snob. I've been using acrylics for donation projects that require acrylic. Otherwise, I love luxury. That said - if it's soft and feels like buttah - I'll knit with it!
2. Do you spin? Crochet?
3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
YES! Smoke, flowery perfumes - they kill me! I'm super sensitive to smells. Thanks for asking!
4. How long have you been knitting?
Started at age 4. Started crocheting then too!
5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Crate and barrel, half.com, Donors Choose
6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Cinnamon (candles), H2O spa or Aveda bath products. They aren't too smelly and I don't start coughing or sneezing! A huge plus!
7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
I'm simple. Chocolate Mmmmm....dark chocolate especially!
NOt a fan of candy and I don't like gummy anything (and licorice is just plain icky!) It's a texture thing.
8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I knit (duh), embroider, sew, garden, cook, bake & read and am in the process of stripping & repainting my dining set (4 chairs & a table - one chair done!)...all while trying to snuggle my ever affectionate kitty.
9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if
your buddy wants to make you a CD)
MP3s - you bet! And I'm an iPod queen! Some musical faves: Beatles, David Bowie, Haley Westerna, Vivaldi, Jonatha Brooke, Ammie Mann, Muddy Waters, Prince, Van Halen, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Annie Lenox, Billie Holiday, Jill Sobule, The Kinks, Ella Fitzgerald, The Cars, the Andrew Sisters, AC/DC, Puccini... Basically: anything 70s or 80s rock, 80s pop, Opera, classical, swing, blues, show tunes...
10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette
Color ROCKS! I love it all! Brights and autumnals my most favored. Pales/pastels would come in 2nd.
11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I'm single (never married) & dating a lovely feller. I've a 27lb (huge but not fat) siamese cat, Loco. I wish I had a dog, but with my travel it wouldn't be fair. Loco has a ton of Aunties/Uncles who house sit when I travel. He's NEVER put into a kennel/kitty care. Yep-totally spoiled...as he should be!
12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
To get 2 books published, have an internationally syndicated TV show and buy the brownstone I live in. Oh - and make enough $$$ so my Mom can retire soon!
13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
I buy so much yarn in Asia, I don't know what they are called (can't read Chinese!) I like Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, I love hand painted yarn. Mmmmmm. If it feels good and it's in yummy colors - bring it on! I also love TEXTURE!
14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
My hands get too dry in the winter and itchy yarn seems to bother them most.
15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Making things for my Niece! Perfecting intarsia. SOCKS! And lacey knits. There's a pillow I'm designing...
16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Anything for my niece and friends/family.
17. What are you knitting right now?
Fingerless cabled gloves using 4 skeins of cashmere lace yarn from Australia (repackaged and sold in China) in blood red. I've had to completely regauge the pattern because the available needled in China were 5s not 8s...and the yarn is thinner. Fun! :-)
And a lacy scarf as a gift for someone who may read this...so shhh...it's a surprise.
18. What do you think about ponchos?
I've worn them for years and will probably wear them when they are out of vogue again. I work in fashion but I'm not a total slave to it. The right pocho will be cool forever.
19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
Depends on the project. Circulare are easier for Subway knitting.
20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Depends on the yarn.
21. Are you a sock knitter?
22. How did you learn to knit?
Was watching my Mom and just had to have the “how's” answered. She answered them!
23. How old is your oldest UFO?
Knitting? 1 year-ish...
Counted cross-stitch (a million stitches per inch)...I started it when I was 16 and figured I'd give it to my brother if he ever got married some day. He hadn't met his wife yet...they've been together for 13+ years now...
Oh- so that makes it...almost 16 years! It's beautiful so far!
24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
Animated character? Only one?
I like: Kimpossible, Hong Kong Phuey, the Wonder Twins, the Little Mermaid... Favorite animal? Any one I call family.
25. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas. It's the time when my family spoils eachother. We are not religious at all, so this holiday is all about family. It's the only time each year when we are certain we can all be together! Although Thanksgiving comes in at 1.5 and Halloween at 2!
26. Is there anything that you collect?
PEZ dispensers. I don't have any of the new Crystal PEZ, Flower PEZ or PEZ Planets. (Still looking for the old rubberhead pez's and the old glow-in-the-dark ones!)
Books - I just can't part with 'em!
Friends - you can't have too many.
Long night last night - worked until 1am (after midnight the night before.) Phew. Got some good stuff done though.
Lunchtime today we had an interesting conversation, as always, about food (as always!) They'd never heard of Fondue. So, after a long description - now they want to try it. So, I sit here and try to think of a recipe that i can either get all ingredients for here on my March return trip...or those I can bring with me...
Any ideas out there? Lemme hear them!
I head out of China tomorrow in the afternoon and head to Hong Kong.
Mag and I are going to a restaurant called Aqua tomorrow night. Schmancy! "Addictive cuisines" and "uber glam bar" are on the business card...
check out the website -- it's cool!
Then **drumroll**, Wednesday night I meet with the Hong Kong Knitters Yeah!!!!
I got only 3 rows on my fingerless gloves done today.
My darn blackberry was beeping and tooting like crazy on my ride to the factory -- knowing I'd be up and able to answer questions.
Yep - BG is back in NYC and emailing me like crazy! Ooof!
Back to work I go!
Sunday, January 23, 2005
CRAB LUNCH PHOTOS
As promised below (see IT'S CRAB DAY!), Lunch photos...
Ginger Crab and Steamed Shrimp
You dip the crab in vinegar - it's YUMMY! and you dip the shrimp in a soy sauce/seasame oil/fresh red chili sauce.
Choy Sum and Spicy Crab
Choy Sum is like Broccoli-rabe.
This meal involves LOTS of eating with your hands - picking apart the crab and shelling the shrimp. YUM! Not for the faint of food.
Saturday, January 22, 2005
IT'S CRAB DAY!!
Hi all! It's CRAB DAY - yeah! I love crab day. What's crab day? Well, we have crab at lunch -- not just crab...CRAB!!! Crab curry, steamed Crab, crab with ginger and scallions...get the point? YUMMY! I'll post photos after lunch!
Mag overslept this morning...thus my pick-up at the hotel was delayed by about an hour. Some of you could look at that as a bummer since I worked until midnight last ngiht and wa in bed at 1am and I dragged my sorry butt out of bed this morning...
BUT instead i choose to look at it as an extra hour I got of sitting in the looming lobby of the hotel in the sunshine knitting my heart out. The looks I get in China when I KIP are precious. The ladies working at the hotel all try to get the closest look they can without letting me know they were looking -- too funny. The male Asian patrons give a confused look usually, and the male Western patrons usually make a comment that it reminds them of home because their wife/mother/sister/grandmother knits. In 5 years I've only seen 2 other Western female patrons...I wasn't knitting either time.
So - I got the calculations done for the increase for the gusset on my fingerless gloves in the sunny comfort of the leather laiden lobby rather than trying to concentrate on the bumpidy ride to the factory.
More importantly --
my BF has a brandy new BLOG:
Dmitheaon's Bucket of Projects.
Apparently I've sucked him in to BLOGVILLE! Yeah!
Knitters...You have to go check it out and leave him an encouraging note! His first post details out his first KNITTING PROJECT! It's cute, even if you aren't his GF, I promise.
First Project: A hat he made his Mom for Christmas! :-)
Yes, I taught my BF to knit this fall. He became intersted in it's allure after watching me for hours on end giddy as a school girl at a cool pattern that I'd try to explain to him
I'm hearing on IM that SNL is a laugh riot tonight...
OK - back to work -- syncronize watches...crab time in 1.5 hours and counting!
Oh - thanks Dmitri for the photos of the snow falling...can't wait for tomorrows with the final accumulation...the gals here loved them! All photos welcome!
I told the ladies here (the ones from the foot massage night) that the Northeastern US was going to get 6-12" of snow... I was asked:
"If you are brave enough to stand on it [snow], will it hold you up or do you actually fall in?"
They are fascinated by snow! Mag said that last week there was a chance that the tallest mountain on Hong Kong may have a flurry... people packed up and filled the hotels nearby, waking up early for the CHANCE to see a flake or two!
Enjoy it while you've got it!
(Hat update: Two new hats done today!!! Yeah...working on the last of the day! Phew!)
SNOW FALLS WITHOUT ME
Today I'm a little sad. I hear that NYC is FINALLY getting a nice snowfall...and as per usual...I'll miss it. I LOVE THE SNOW! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!
It's why there's a winter!!!
I love to sit with a big mug of HOT COCOA and a bigger bowl of ICE CREAM, snuggle and watch it fall...
This is a past time that I haven't been able to do in years since I'VE MISSED EVERY DARN SNOWFALL by being in CHINA. (Can you TELL I'm in one of those moments where I'd prefer to be home?) Then I bundle all up and go sledding (it's NOT CALLED SLEIGH RIDING BTW... that entails an actual SLEIGH pulled by any mannor of animals - which they DO have where I grew up --- not a peice of plastic that you ride atop snow...that, that's a SLED.)
Bernard left today for NYC...I have another 2 weeks befoer I get to go home. :-(
I got 2 more styles finished yesterday. Work work work.
Today I posted 8 books that I've been meaning to add to my sidebar.
hmmmmmmmmmm...I guess that it's for now...other than -- If you live in a place that gets this foot of snow this weekend -- please - AT LEAST GO PLAY IN IT!
Thursday, January 20, 2005
FANCY FEET FUN
The internet connection here in China has been down all day === why? Just because.
Last night we had invited the gals: Min, A-Sau and Fanny to join Mag, Bernard and myself for dinner at the Japanese restaurant in the hotel. Min and A-Sau had joined us on a prior visit, but this was Fanny's first time having Japanese food. Mag joins me for dinner every night on these trips and we have become good friends over the years. Bernard is the top dog of top dogs in my company - and we always (98%) have fun! We FEASTED in our own Habachi room! Yum!
Then, Bernard treated us all to a foot massage at the spa next door to the hotel.
I should've taken more photos -- but I got wrapped up in the yumy massage!
First they ask you what type of foot soak you want. Some options are Ginsing, rose, herbal mix (to promote good sleep)<--- I chose this one.
The chairs in which we sit are BIG (see Asau sitting up in her's waiting for her order to be taken.) We all sit in one section -- six of us, six chairs, six massage-gals.
Here you see my feet in my blue squwooshy bath. There is this gooshy jelly-bead stuff in the blue liquid. It feels great between my toes. The water is HOT!
Min has a different soak - it's brown. That's BG (Bernard) in the side of the picture.
First they ask us to sit on the ottoman so they can rub our backs while our feet soak. Mine was, as usual - a knotted mess. Here is Mag laughing at a loke that was told. I didn't get it...it was told in Chinese and lost the humour when it was translated.
When our backs are done, they plop us back around into our chairs -- which lay you way back, and rub our arms and hands down --- mmmmmm.
Then they work on your feet and finally your legs.
If I had the time - I'd go every night! It's around $5 US!!! For about 1.5 hours!!
I feel a bit guilty that it's so affordable -- but it's considered a lot by local standards. These ladies not only have gained great employment, but have gained a great skill set. Very valuable here!
Now I'm at the office as I write this --- and can't wait until I can try it again. Hopefully I'll get my work done one more night at a reasonable hour!
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
A LITTLE BUNNY FOR US ALL
Upon arriving in China I realized that I'd forgotten my sneakers and since I'd decided that THIS was going to be the time I began my excercising full tilt!
So - instead of resting on the - "Oh shucks, I forgot my sneaks"...I went to the local department store and bought a new pair --- the ONLY PAIR that they had in my size -- not exactly cross-trainers -- but they are made by the #1 most popular brand in China right now (for children AND adults!!)
(click photo for larger view)
Yes, the shoe/clothing brand Playboy is HOT HOT HOT here in China -- and also in Japan.
So - this morning I popped them on and went to the GYM -- gave up an hour of quality knitting time mind you! HOORAY FOR ME! :-)
After breakfast, I had to stop and take a photo of the new plant they put out last night as a centerpiece in the hotel lobby...
So pretty - I had to share!
I did get 30 minutes of knitting done on the way to the office in the van!
It's been a good day so far!
NICE NEEDLES...HEH HEH HEH
Here we go - 3.75" long and growing!
It's moving slower than expected due to the Looooooong 10.5" dpns!
They are the shortest available here in China.
I'm also having more trouble keeping the tension perfect since I do most of the knitting in the van on my way to the factory in the morning...with the shock absorberless-van doing MOCK 10 over roads that are so chewed up you'd have trouble walking over them let alone riding over them -- really it's like off-roading while buckled into a well-used passenger van.
That said --- it's a heck of a lot better than to 70% of the population who traverse it with a moped/motorcycle!
The fingerless gloves.....oooooooooh they are soft and yummy!
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
YEAH - MINI SnB ALERT - Hong Kong
After venting my frustrations this morning (see blog below), I got some lovely confirmation emails for a FUN EVENT in HONG KONG next week! What's this?
I'll be meeting with 3 lovely ladies that I've been corresponding with in the knitting world that live in HK for a mini-stitch-n-bitch ---- Hong Kong style!
Yeah! How FUN! FUN! FUN! There's also talk of visiting a YARN SHOP on HK Island -- oooh -- I just KNOW I'm going to have to buy a small bag! Darn me for packing so light in a small bag for 3 weeks away!
I'll post photos - PROMISE!
Back to work I go!
They all do LOVELY WORK!
Check out their blogs too (In order of how I've emailed with them!)
Little Purl of the Orient
Eva's Knitting Journal
Monday, January 17, 2005
UNREST IN CHINA - IN ME
Good Morning all! I'm sure you all have heard that Former Chinese Communist Party chief Zhao Ziyang died yesterday. If you've watch CNN, BBC or even CBS at all, you've seen a story about it.
It's been written in newspapers from The South China MOrning Post in Hong Kong to USA Today to The Guardian in the UK...
but it hasn't been formally announced in China for fear of revolt and upset by the Chinese people. It's on Hong Kong TV that is shown in China (Satalite) but not a word on the China TV or in the China newspaper (English or Chines according to my friend here, Mag.) There were a FEW websites with it posted, but they were ordered to take the story down very quickly.
This upsets me. Zhao Ziyang was condemned to house arrest as of May 19, 1989, for having gone to Tiananmen Square to warn the peaceful demonstrators that there were troops coming that would cause them harm. So, he was forced out of his career, his life - his world for having been humaine...isn't that what our leaders are supposed to do...be humaine?
It looks like the analysts are right - he was to early for his time.
From CNN.com, "Zhao was rarely allowed to step out, except to play occasional rounds of golf. Even out of power in his twilight years, he remained a threat to the leaders who followed him."
His Daughter was quoted today as having said, "Finally he is free."
Sunday, January 16, 2005
DIGGING INTO THE STASH!
So I couldn't sleep last night - darn jet lag. I opened up the pattern for the fingerless gloves that Jody designed and looked them over.
I had picked up some dpns in the market too - but the largest size they had in short dpns (not long witch are about 18" long!!!) is a US 5. The bamboo dpns were super affordable (8 for a dollar!) I got 2 sizes in bamboo and 3 or 4 sizes in metal (at $1.50 for 8pcs.)
Jody's pattern calls for a US 8... AND, I'm using super fine yarn -- pulling from 4 skeins to make it thick enough for my needs! So - I've begun to rewrite the pattern a bit to accomidate my needs. you know - CO 56 instead of CO 40... etc. Tmis means that with the higher stitches-per-inch count I'll have 2 extra cables across and the cabling is much more delicate. It fits lovely when I slide it over my wrist!
The cashmere yarn is JUST YUMMY to work with. MMMMMMMMMMM!
Not a bad project to work on with jet-lag. Easier than the lacey scarf due to the eyelashes that keep catching. I need to be alert and aware when knitting that project. It's time for gym, shower, breakfast and work. Happy Monday! (I'm 13 hours ahead of you folks in the US!)
TO MARKET TO MARKET: TRIM & YARN MARKET IN CHINA
Today was a bit of a short and easy day compared to the trip I'll make in March. There were no new/fresh fabrics/prints out in the market yet, so I could avoid the fabric section. We just shopped trims and YARN!
Bad girl...bad bad girl!
What, I repeat, WHAT business have I to get MORE YARN???
I had said I'd only get some yarn for fingerless gloves (to try Jody's pattern!) But then I saw it...ALL! My stash went up expodentially, and my niece will continue to be one VERY LUCKY GIRL!
Some of this yarn (1/2 the wool and all of the cashmere)came from Australia. They ship to Shanghai where it's repackaged with wrappers written in Chinese, and then sold only within China.
It's funny - the cashmere -- they'll package 4 balls (average 50-62.5g) into a box with fancy paper in it. Very nice, but I'll ditch the boxes to get it all into my suitcase!
I got some 100% supersoft Wool (periwinkle & green, orange, pink and ivory),
some cashmere (red), some cotton (lavender) with a silver lurex thread through it (for a tank top) and some custom yarn “bundles”.
For the bundles, basically you get to select a few yarns of different weights/textures, and they wind them together. NICE! I got a pink multi for a sweater for my niece and a pair of fingerless glove for me & a blue multi for a sweater. :-)
Oh - I also DID get yarns for WORK - mainly cotton - dyable - will probably become crochet trim to be done on the March trip!
Next we went on my button/bead/shell/ribbon hunt. There is a newly constructed section with trims in this market that I was eager to explore. And it really is exploration! You go through 20-40 booths of crap to find one booth with the perfect button.
Let me paint you a picture. Tiny booths with 1-2 sides open or 1/2 open, with dust/dirt laden products, some presented on cards that are wrapped in plastic (which are also dust/dirt covered.) There's often a hole in the ceiling with a 1/2 ladder hanging from it. When you select something one of the workers jumps up to the ladder rather quickly (over piles of stuff) and works their way through the ceiling to the crawlspace/storage area for your goods.
Here is a photo of one of the notions/trim places with ladder etc.
We came across a great place for seashells. Such fun! Summer 2006 will include seashells! :-)
Manouvering from one market space to the next on the street takes all eyes plus a few you find that are instinctively in the back of your head! Motorcycles, foot-powered trikes with a flatbed on them and small box-cars run every which way, and the pedestrian is considered a mere nusance to them, not something they should bother avoiding TOO much! And the NOISE - it's louder than a NYC subway zooming by! Anything with a horn is blowing it! All at once and repeatedly -- as both a warning and a promiss that they are coming through and NOW!
Today the sun is shining and warms us as we walk outside from section to section.
We see that lunch is in progress with ladies and men bringing around carts and ladeling out food into styrofoam. Once done, all is tossed into the walkway. This means all leftover food, orange bits, styrofoam containers (not necessarily closed) etc. In the warm weather we try to leave this market close to the end of their lunch. If we dilly-dally, the bugs come to feast on the leftovers, and I'll happily avoid them!
Lunch time!! We've become creatures of habit and now always go to THE COW AND BRIDGE for Thai food. If you are ever in Guangzhou, China, take time to eat here! Excellent food and very reasonably priced to boot!
2/F, Xianglong Huayuan, 175-181 Tianhe Bei Road, Guangzhou, China
tel: 020-8525 0693 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Above, lunch dishes and aloe tea (with pieces of aloe in it) with a "shot" of honey on the side.
It's 4pm, we left the hotel at 8:30am. We begin our journey back to Dongguan. Should take about 1.5 hours.
I got 6 rows done on the scarf on my way here...perhaps I'll work a little on it while we're on the smooth highway...before we hit the local roads. The only thing I can compare some of the local roads to would be OFF-ROADING... except that I'm in an eight passanger van, not a truck with decent shocks!
After only 5 hours of sleep last night, I'm beat! It's nap time!
Saturday, January 15, 2005
THE POPCORN EXPERIENCE
I wish I could share this with you all in person.
During my previous trips we have had many discussions about food. Last trip (October '04) the topic of POPCORN came up! I decided this trip to bring with me a variety of different flavour microwave popcorns since the kitchenette off of my workroom is equipt with a microwave. Mag (factory manager) had the same idea and also picked some up in Hong Kong (PoP Secret which she found in a Japanese Department store -- imported from the US!) None of the folks, including MAG, that I work with had ever seen/heard or tried popcorn! So when the bag began to POP in the microwave - they all fell silent! Worry struck a few faces and I had to convince them it was OK - and the banging sounds were SUPPOSED to be happening!
How'd it go over - a TOTAL CROWD PLEASER! I brought a few American DVDs (all having some hat content so that there's an excuse to view them) and a few nights while I'm here we'll pop a bag and watch a film -- AMERICAN STYLE! :-)
I can't wait to hear the oppinions of Kettle Corn as opposed to 94% fat free butter flavour!
It really is the little things in life isn't it?
OK - Here we go -- I have the BEST JOB IN THE WORLD!
Look at the toys! All of the toys! Of course - this is the best part of my job (then there is all of that ugly PAPERWORK!!!!)
This is why I do the work IN China rather than shipping ideas back and forth - I just have to be up to my Neck in it, to have my hands wrapped around it! it's a MUST.
After I select a shape - I can have it dyed-to-match any color. That said -- if I like one layer of this flower and a layer of that flower - I can have them custom made. FUN FUN FUN!
Anything from feathers and rattail to yarn and glitzy braid!
The Beads and Buckles OH MY!
You name it! Voila!