Saturday, April 18, 2009

Damascene Silk

Yes. I've been knitting in the desert. Those are Roman remains in the background (Palmrya). The project is a top-down take on Rambling Rose

knitting with ruins in background - landscape

My baby brother's been working in Damascus this year, so my Mother and I decided a visit was in order.  The last family holiday together before baby-bro gets married in the summer. Mum and I flew into Istanbul then made the rest of the trip overland.  We explored Crusader castles, sacred churches and mosques (e.g. where St Paul had his sight returned), amazingly empty Roman ruins, drank minty lemonade and generally pretended to be Agatha Christie (we had coffee in the hotel where she wrote Murder on the Orient Express). I've put some of my favourite photos at the trip at the end of this post, but first: the yarn. 

yarn shop display yarn - pinks and purples

After managing to avoid anything more yarny than spotting a lady knitting socks outside Istanbul university, on our last day I discovered a little store hiding in the spice souk of Damascus's old town. Surrounded by a heady scent of cinnamon, cardamon and freshly ground coffee were shelves upon shelves full of gleaming silk, all in the deepest, brightest colours. Plus, possibly the rudest shop-keeper I've ever met (though I suspect he was watching the shop for a friend, he seemed to care so little about selling anything). Above are some of the yarns I saw, these are the two I bought. 

purple laceweight silk gold silk laceweight 2
scaling for gold laceweight scaling for purple laceweight

I had just bought 3000m of cobweb purple silk from Fyberspates, but the aforementioned baby-bro wedding is set to be a giant Malaysian/Scottish triple-event extravaganza, so I've been planning a bit of a summer of lace as it is. 

lights in handicraft market Froth on minty lemonade
carvings on column satellites

Bell in Bel