Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hello From Shanghai

It's been a busy month for me. Well, I don't think busy quite covers spending every day with a 2 year old and a 3.5 year old. Crazy. Exhausting. Repetitive. Cute.

China has been good. Tiring. It's difficult when you only speak 10 words of the language. Even though I'm just with the boys most of the time, my sister-in-law's mother is here and while her English is much better than my Mandarin, we don't have a common language.
Still, it's been good. And there are yarn stores. Walking distance. And incredibly cheap online shopping. It's been very tempting. This grey and pink I got almost as soon as I arrived as a birthday present from my brother and sister in law. My brother and I wandered out to the shops one night and he got me this.
It says it's wool/silk/cashmere, but it clearly has some nylon in it. Still, it's so soft and lovely.

I'm making a shawl with it. I'm not done the first two balls and it's already quite big. I'm striping the body, then using a third ball to make a feather and fan edging in the pink.
I'm also writing up the pattern for it. It's quite simple, but something that can easily be worked in any weight yarn.
I went back to the shops and bought some more yarn- just simple grey worsted/dks to go with some of the brightly coloured stuff I have at home. Cardigans!

We took a trip to Inner Mongolia, and while shopping for wool stuff for sister-in-law's sister, we happened into a yarn store. I couldn't resist some cashmere. It's also in grey, and enough for a sweater. It came with 6 balls, and each has not only fine weight yarn to hold along for strength but also sewing thread weight yarn. It also came with knitting needles, not that I need them. It was 400 RMB, so about 70$. For a whole sweater. Yum. Also picked up some nice plain green wool to make my nephew some mittens. He's excited.

Then on the weekend I had my first day off! It was amazing. I met up with 4 Ravelers for a day trip. One of them had a van and driver and we set off to the warehouse of an online yarn store.
It was so much fun confusing the poor, kind driver with our weird yarn shopping, browsing the rather amazing warehouse, finding the bargains, spending time with English-speaking adults and not answering "why?" every five minutes.
I had a great day, and managed to be reasonable with my spending. You can see what I got above. The shiney lurex cones were only 5 RMB each (less than a dollar) and I am excited to hold them along with something to make a glitzy shawl. The fluffy white yarn they gave me for free because it was the last of something they decided was too sheddy. The stitch markers and snag fixer likewise were free.
The pink silk was my big thing- they made me a cone of 3 plys/400g- I'd say it's heavy laceweight, and it's so lovely. It was RMB 8/50g... so my whole cone was 64 RMB, or about 12$.

It was really hard not to buy more. Some of the other women got amazing cashmeres and merinos and just gorgeous stuff. The bargains, I tell you.
I really enjoyed the entire day, and I left with not only bargains but some new friends. They met up the next day too, but I had to help look after the boys, and I've been fighting a rather nasty cold off so one day just about did me in.

Well, it's time for bed. Little monkeys wake up early! Hopefully I'll have more yarny pictures next time.

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