Sunday, September 7, 2014

Goodbye Tibet!

When we last left our intrepid (NOT!) travelers, they had just returned from Shigatse and were becoming acclimatized to the altitude. Sadly, the next day was their last! So much for the acclimatization.

The original itinerary had us just hanging out in Lhasa till our flight left. But the flight was at 3-something pm so I felt we could squeeze in some sightseeing. I asked the guide if we could go to Norbulingka, the Summer Palace of the Dalai Lama. And while he could not make it as he had been allocated to another group on that day, he found a peer guide who could take us.

Unlike Potala Palace, Norbulingka is flat. It is set in a park and there are multiple palaces where the Dalai Lamas spent their summers. We didn't see all of the park, just some parts and then visited a couple of the palaces. We saw the one that was in use till the current Dalai Lama built a new one. And the new one that he occupied for just a few years till he escaped to India.


The expanses are wide and the park is beautifully landscaped.

The entrance to the Summer Palaces.

This building was for performances that the Dalai Lama and Lhasa citizens could attend. Opera, music, etc.

Looking at the palace building. As with all the buildings, there is no photography inside so all the photos are of the outsides of the buildings and the park. The interiors are more open than the ones in the monasteries and have more light.

Each palace has a meeting room where the Dalai Lama held meetings. These are also shrines because that is where he worshipped. We didn't go through the living rooms of the older palaces - just mostly the audience chamber and shrine. The Dalai Lama was the head of state so these audience rooms would be where he met with foreign dignitaries. The decor is mostly Thanka paintings and cloth hangings along with beautiful images of the Buddha and other deities in Tibetan Buddhism.

The palace of the current Dalai Lama (pictured above) is different. It is built like a modern home with rooms for living, prayer and sleeping, along with the audience hall and other public rooms. The furnishings have been preserved. There are couches, an old radio set with knobs, credenzas and tables with items that were donated by foreign leaders. The Dalai Lama also had cars - some of which were gifts.

Since the Dalai Lama was brought to the monastery as a young child and then was raised by lamas, his family didn't get to see him very much. One of the poignant things we saw was a small room where his mother slept when she visited him.

In the audience hall, there are murals on the wall - as there are in many of the monasteries and palaces. But this one is different. The current Dalai Lama is portrayed in a mural here. It is the only place where you can see a picture of him. He looks young and serious. Tibetans revere him. When we were there, there was an older woman who was genuflecting in front of the mural. She touched our hand and pointed to the mural and made sure we saw it. We couldn't speak to her but we communicated that this was a special place.

I am glad we had the time to see this. It was very different from the Potala Palace and yet had the same spiritual feeling.

Beautiful ponds are part of the park.

Lush landscaping with paths for walking, shaded by trees.

Lupines in bloom in the park.

After this, we still had a few hours so the guide suggested we go to see a carpet factory. Since Tibetan carpets are quite famous, we thought this was a good idea. It wasn't a high priority on our list but I thought it would be nice to see the carpets being woven - being of a fiber-y bent. But, it turned out that the carpet factory was just a showroom. The actual weaving is done outside Lhasa. We looked through the carpets on display and were not in the mood to buy. The prices were also not that great compared to carpet prices in India. But a small carpet caught our attention and we ended up buying it. The showroom quickly folded it up and strapped it and made a little bag for it. We were able to check it in on the flight back so saved on shipping. I was also able to bargain the price down to the cash I had on hand so didn't pay the credit card transaction fee.

And then it was time to head to the airport and fly back to Shanghai. All too soon our adventure ended.

We had a connection at Xi'an on the way back - there are no direct flights from Shanghai to Lhasa. It was amazing to me how much easier it was to walk in Xi'an. I walked off the plane pulling my carryon behind me and had no trouble walking at my usual brisk pace. It really brought home how much the altitude had affected us.

Thursday, September 4, 2014


On Tuesday, when I was cooking, I had to stop and think about where we keep the colanders. For a few minutes I was completely confused. Then it came back. I've had a few moments like that when my mind has been on something else and I am working from habit. It is very strange to be acclimatizing to one's own kitchen!

The other thing I've noticed is time. I work with people all over the world. i am used to Europe being 6 hours after me, not before. So trying to figure out when to schedule a meeting with a colleague in Germany took 3 tries! It didn't help that my calendar still thinks my home is in China though my local time is here. I don't know why it does that.

But it is nice to have fast internet, to not have to worry about turning on VPNs to check personal mail and to actually watch TV without mismatches between the video and the audio - which happens quite frequently in China. You have to change channels and then change back to get it sync'd up again.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


I still have to put things away but I photographed the loot from the Shanghai meet-up. Jane has also blogged about the weekend in her blog, so you can get additional photos and perspective from her.

First of all yarn....

These are the 2 cones I got at MIC MIC. The left hand side is 100% silk and the right hand grey one is cashmere and something else. Both are 600 gms each - so a lot of yardage.

This is the mink/cashmere blend that I am using in the Nymphalidae shawl. I bought 3 skeins because I didn't want to run out before the handspun did. Extra can be turned into a scarf or cowl or mitts.

Lovely cashmere from one of the Ruijin 2nd street shops. This was a steal as Jane found out. It is priced higher on Taobao and is a lovely fine yarn.

Stuff for spinning art yarns: the top photo contains the 5 cones of glittery fine thread from MIC MIC. All synthetic and I picked ones that weren't too scratchy; the bottom left is the beaded thread that I showed you in the show room; the bottom right is sequins from the bead shop at the wholesale notions market. Each of those is about 1/3 of the bag. Jessica, Dawn and I shared them.

Next up beads! From the top: the 10 bags we split 5 ways, the glass beads I picked up on the street on the second trip to the wholesale market and the non-glass ones - plastic from the weight. I want to make some earrings and necklaces from the bottom ones.

The elastic buttonhole strip. I want to make magic buttonhole placement devices from this. A strip of say, 20 buttonholes, would be one device. Let's say you want 8 buttonholes. You pin the top of the strip to the top of the center front, and stretch the elastic so the 16th buttonhole is at the bottom of the center front. Mark every other buttohole on your front (left or right) and then when you make your button band, you put the 8 buttonholes where the pins are. You want 10? Pin the 20th buttonhole to the bottom and mark every other one. Child's garment? Use every button hole in the elastic instead of every other one. Genius!

This is more jewelry making supplies. The top photo is colored strips of leather on which I can put pendants or intertwine with the bottom chains for a mixed media necklace. My vision is to put a loop of fishing line at the end of each of the chains. We got some jump rings and clasps also. I can take the chains I want and use the loops to put them on the jump rings which will go on the clasp. I can twist them or use them stacked or intertwine some ribbing or the leather ties or....

...use Chinese knotting cord braided or twined in the necklace. Ta da!

The left bag has the findings - clasps and jump rings. But Jane and I also split a 100 (I think) split key rings to make stitch markers. The right side bag is our gift from MIC MIC - locking plastic stitch markers and a tool to fix snags in knits.

These are the buttons I picked up from the street vendor. Each bag was 1 yuan. They are mostly wood with painting on them. A couple are metal with fabric, one is a holey button on which I can wind yarn to match a sweater, one is plastic with knitted sts on it. Each bag has 6 buttons. I got two of a couple of them.

I will never lack for stitch markers again! This is my share of the 1000 markers Jane and I bought together.

DH came with us the second time and got bored while we were shopping for chain and leather strips. He found a shop with tools and I bought these two snips. Jane got a cooler looking one but this one is more comfortable.

I had been eyeing (and trying on) this necklace at the pearl market. I finally caved and bought it. I love looking at it.

Cate of Infinite Twist had some very fine micron merino she had sourced from China and dyed. She had just a little bit and a few of us split up what she had. She calls it sheepmere as it is like cashmere but from sheep.

It is my spinning souvenir from Shanghai. The one and only.

And last, but not least, the gorgeous silk project bag that Dawn brought for each of us. I picked red as it is a traditional Chinese symbol of good luck. Plus, what is not to like about a red silk bag?

On my return, I have come to a very sad conclusion. I am a costume jewelry addict. I cleaned out my jewelry drawer but there is no way I can get all the jewelry I have acquired in the past 2 years in there with what I already had. I used jewelry as a souvenir wherever I went. So I have necklaces from Johannesburg, Australia, Korea, China, as well as what I took from here - from the US and India. Add to this the stuff I make or improvise - from scarves and the chains and leather and ribbon and other stuff.

I have been googling jewelry organizers. The.end.

How do you like the open floodgate of posts! It is so much easier to post when you can link the pictures faster and not have to worry about VPNs to access the blogging platform.

We will be returning to travelogues after this. I may add in a bit of fiber status but will mostly be trying to catch up on the travel diaries while I still remember the details.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Time management, to-dos and keeping track of stuff

This is mostly related to my work but I plan to use it when I am retired also. Right now, I wing most of my creative work because it isn't that complicated.

I am a fairly organized person but not a great note-taker. Somehow I have survived for years without taking great notes. Most of the projects I worked on were long term projects and there were enough reminders about when things were due.

However, in the past few years, I have been working on many different unrelated things. Note taking has helped keep me focused in meetings and I started doing it on a regular basis. But the notes weren't too useful afterwards so I did some research on various methods. I still read about new ones but I have been using the Bullet Journal technique for many months now.

Last year I started with it in my existing notebook and immediately made a few changes to the basic system to suit me. I put the index at the end as it was easier to access. But as time went on, I found it harder to go back to the calendar and to-do for the month in a few quick page turns. Therefore, when my notebook ran out, I switched to an online method.

I tried this in Evernote and I probably will use Evernote when I stop working for my current employer. Unfortunately, most of my projects are confidential and I can't put them on Evernote. So I had to come up with another alternative.

A word processing application has turned out to be right for me. I use Microsoft Word, supplemented with Notability. And here's how I do it:

At the beginning of each month, I create a table for the month. I usually just copy, paste and edit the previous month's table. The table is pretty basic:
Col 1 is the date, Col 2 is the day of the week, Col 3 is for an 'x' to indicate where we are in the month. Col 4 is for any markers I want to put in there, Col 5 is for comments and Col 6 is for location.

I don't keep meetings in this calendar. Its main purpose is for planning and I like the fact that I can create one for months in the future and have it eventually end up where it will finally live. This was one of the problems I faced with the notebook. I need to now block off some dates for November. But I don't have November's calendar up since it is only Sept. With the online notebook, I just create November's calendar and mark off what I need to block and if it changes, so be it. I will just add October before November and eventually November's calendar will be after October's notes.

At the beginning of the month, I set up the calendar and a to-do section using Heading 1 levels for both. This means they automatically show up in the Table of Contents. Just as in the bullet journal, I use special bullets for various things - an empty square for an incomplete to-do, a check mark for a completed one and an arrow for a to-do that wasn't completed in the current month and has moved to the next one. To-dos that don't apply have a strikethrough font used to draw a line through them. So far this is classic bullet journal.

To aid in my online journal, I have created bullets to use for the first 3. This makes it easy to change the bullet as the status of the to-do changes. I originally used Wingdings for the boxes and used a box with an x in it for completed to-dos but found that it was too many clicks to change the font. The bullets are easier.

The calendar needs to be emptied as I copied and pasted the previous month's entries. And I need to edit the days of the week to match the current month. This takes me a few minutes. Then I copy the to-dos and edit the previous month's to-dos to reflect whether they were moved over to the current month or if they were no longer needed.

Lastly I edit the current month's to-dos to remove the completed ones from the previous month and I'm all set.

The calendar is used to indicate if I have an all-day event or travel on a particular day, if I have some personal commitments on a weekend that might mean I can't leave for a business trip that day and the location tells me if the event requires travel. It is a high level view of the month uncluttered by daily meetings and appointments.

The to-dos are used as to-do lists usually are but I don't put small items into the list unless I am unable to do them immediately. My usual method of time management is to complete a quick task immediately rather than add it to a to-do list. But sometimes I can't do it right away and then it goes on the list.

As the days go by, I create a Heading 1 entry for each date. Underneath that I just put in a line for each meeting along with Attendees and Notes. Notes are simple bulleted lists. I use highlighting to call out anything I want to quickly pick up on later. Sometimes the quick to-dos are highlighted so I can catch whether I need to add them to a to-do list or complete them on a break.

Each meeting also gets a bookmark. This bookmark is set up to categorize the entries along with the page # and the index consists of the categories and the page numbers with hyperlinks to the bookmarks. So I can click from the index to any page for any category. I usually do this as I add the entry for the meeting.

I also have a Table of Contents that contains entries for the calendars, the to-dos and for each day that I have notes for. So I can quickly go to a date via the ToC. The index also has entries for the calendar and the to-do sections for each month. I add these when I set up the current month's calendar and to-do sections.

Now, this method means that I have to carry my laptop with me to all meetings and I don't always do that. I frequently just take my iPad. I use Notability on the iPad to take notes in a very similar way except that I color code any to-dos for myself so I can add them to my journal to-do list. I then email the notes as a PDF - one for each meeting - to myself. These go in the same folder as the journal and I add a hyperlink from the journal to the PDF with the notes taken in Notability. It is all very simple and easy to find anything in the journal and go from there to the actual notes for a meeting.

This brings me to a key reason for the online journal: backup! My notebook was a single point of failure. If I lost it, I was dead. The online journal is backed up to an external hard drive. I also create a PDF of the journal at the end of each month in case the original gets corrupted.

I hope this helps some of you become more effective and efficient at what you need to do. For me now, it is the only way I can keep track of what I need to do and get the work done in the least amount of time.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Spinning and Knitting update

I've neglected to talk about my fiberlicious pursuits, in addition to not talking about the travel, nay - in addition to not talking at all! This is a catch-up on what I've been up to.

I did a lot of business travel in addition to the personal travel. This enabled me to finish Nuvem in the Marging Colors yarn. Unfortunately I finished it after my blocking wires were packed and shipped. So it was a rough and ready blocking.

That is the window sill and the ironing board. The bed had no sheets or comforter and the mattress was covered in plastic. So not good for drying. The floor is wood. I put my towel on the floor below the lowest points of the shawl to catch the drips.

Post-blocking shot. It turned out well. It is soft and drapey, but rather large. I can see this being something one cuddles into in the cold.

I also started and finished a sock to complete a pair I started before I went to Shanghai

Pretty basic pair, top-down in Opal Bumblebee from the Rainforest Collection.

After I finished my first TdF project, I started this as part of the TdF 2014. Fine, fine, fine spinning on my Nano trindle. I had not used this one before and am loving it. The fiber is camel/silk from Corgi Hill Farm. The color is Deep Purple 2.

TdF this year had a heavy metal theme. I finished Twisted Sister from last year and started on Deep Purple.

Here's Twisted Sister, all done. Chain plied using the ply-on-the-fly technique. Spun on my microXL and regular trindles.


Yes, it is a bit bright. I was afraid of it being a bit like a clown collar in a shawl. So I got some lovely teal/purple tweed cashmere/mink on the Shanghai yarn crawl and started this. It is looking lovely and is breaking up the clown barf rather well. It is Nymphalidae from Knitty.

I started this in the airport in Shanghai on the way out and got this much done on the plane. Now I am almost to the end of the first purple segment and will be going back through the rainbow to the orange again.

And now I am all caught up!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fiber and Fun in Shanghai!

As I mentioned in my last post, the apartment in Shanghai looked a bit desolate and bare towards the end. But shortly before that, there was much merriment and mess. And if you think that the alliteration is accidental, be very afraid. I am in a very alliterative frame of mind.

Our last 3 weekends were fully booked. First we went to the Painter's Street in Shanghai with friends and then we went to Guilin, a very scenic place in China. More on that later. The last weekend in Shanghai was devoted to friends, fiber and fun.

Even before I got to Shanghai, I joined China Knitters - a group on Ravelry consisting of people in China and of Chinese origin. In my time in China, I met a few of them in person but we really got to know each other online more than in person. 1-2 had already left China by the time I left, one will be leaving shortly, and others are just coming in. Our fearless leader, Jane, announced that she was going to visit Shanghai and thus the meet-up was born. Since Guilin involved travel, which in China means that you have your passport, we had to do this the last weekend I was there. In retrospect, we could have done it earlier as my passport came back from the customs clearance in time. But the shipping company wouldn't guarantee that, and we didn't want to take the risk of not being able to go to Guilin or trying to go without a passport. Therefore, the meet-up was scheduled for my last weekend in Shanghai and fortunately, the other Ravelers could make it.

There was a rotating cast of 5. Lynn was able to come on Sat and Jessica could only make Sunday. The rest of us (4 in all) made both days.

We started by visiting a Taobao store. Taobao is like ebay. It is a site where individual small businesses can host their shops and sell. It is a great place to shop for all sorts of things and is much cheaper than buying in a brick and mortar store. Chinese knitters purchase yarn from Taobao where you can get imported, export quality as well as Chinese only yarn. I had never explored Taobao as it is all in Mandarin and the payment options are limited. You have to pay via Alipay which is like PayPal. Apparently you can link your Alipay account to your bank account, or set up a prepaid account and top it up via vending machines and the post office, or link it to a credit/debit card. But lots of the other expats have trouble with this - mostly because of the language. Since I had no patience for this, I decided that I would only purchase if I could get someone to do the buying and I would pay them. At one point, I thought I'd have to use it to buy a yogurt maker but I was able to get a better price at a local online store that delivered and collected cash on delivery.

But that is a tangent. One of us had done a lot of yarn purchasing from a store called MIC MIC and they had a brick and mortar location in Shanghai. So that is where we went. It took us a while to get there as it is pretty far outside the city and not easy to find. But we persevered - well the owner of the car and the driver persevered, the rest of us sat in the back and chatted and knitted.

MIC MIC turned out to be a baby clone of Colourmart. They stock mill ends from Italian and other mills and wind off quantities which they sell. It is in a little courtyard with a show room and winding room on one side and a room containing bins of yarn on another. In a corner, there is a slightly bigger warehouse containing the rest of the inventory. This one is not lit or cooled so we just peeked in looking for larger quantities of one of the yarns.

It was around lunch time by the time we got there so we got to hang out in the showroom till the couple that owned the place came back. The showroom had samples of the yarns and threads and other supplies they carry.


Yes, those are bags of hundreds of locking stitch markers

Cones of yarns galore. We all bought a LOT. I just got 2 cones of yarn - 3 strands of silk wound together and 1 of a cashmere and something blend.

I got a bunch of these for spinning. I think I can just add it in while plying to add some glitz and shine.

These were fascinating. They are beads plied onto string so they stay in one place. I bought the gold and the black (the smaller bobbins in the back) for adding to spun yarn while plying.


These are crochet hooks and buttons and some metal circulars.

GIANT cones! Some of us bought a cone that held a kilogram of yarn!

There was even a basket of swatches. Some crocheted, some knitted. All beautifully blocked!

Hundreds of straight needles!

I think these are garments made from the yarns. The labels were cut off.

Once the owners came back, the photography stopped for a while. We went into the warehouse space and were lost in the black hole of browsing.

The yarn fumes eventually wore off as I had to deal with two words - WEIGHT and VOLUME. I had 4 suitcases that I could bring back to the US, which needed to include our clothes for the next 6 weeks, my precious Bohus sweaters, dishes and stuff we needed to live in the apartment for a week, my Hansen espinner, bobbins and flyers, and all the prescription medicines we had in Shanghai. Each suitcase could weigh no more than 23 kg. Remember that my shipment had already left by the time we got here!

The others were not so restricted so they got more stuff.


Each carton had one or more cones of yarn. The labels were in Chinese or non-existent but the owners were vary patient with us. And the fact that we had 3 Mandarin speakers among us definitely helped. It really made me understand how different my China experience would have been if I had been fluent in Mandarin.

Once we decided what we wanted and how much, the cones went to the winding-off room. For example, my 3 stranded cone started off as 3 cones. I told them I wanted 600 gms total. So a cardboard center was placed on the top of the winding machine, 3 cones of the single stranded silk were placed on the bottom on scales and the machine was turned on after the fiber was threaded through the machine. And they run while the womin in the room monitor the weights.


There is also a giant skeiner in the room. Hi Jane!

After all the discussion and agonizing about selection and the winding was done, the owner gets down to tallying up the bills. We went out for a very late lunch while the winding was going on.

Each item was carefully packed in plastic bags and taped into packages. This is our loot in the trunk of the minivan.

The very patient owners of MIC MIC.

And the nerve center for their Taobao store. This is where the orders are received, weighed and packaged up for delivery.

We were exhausted by the time this was over and we had to drive back into Shanghai. So ended day 1 of our 2 day bender.

The next morning, we met up at the Yuyuan Garden subway station and went to the wholesale notions market. This is a 4 story building where you can get just about anything to do with crafts. There is trim with or without bobbles and fringe, zippers, beads, buttons, chain, fur trimmings, plastic glitz of every kind from blingy plastic 'fabric' for making cell phone covers and the like to rhinestones and fake baubles to attach to clothing. Cord, thread, pins, scissors, measuring tape and so on and on and on.

We were in the market for knotting cord and buttons and beads. But Jane and I got sidetracked by chain and spent a lot of time buying chain to make necklaces. Dawn got caught up in the spirit and got embellishments for a crocheted corset. We found embellished pins that looked like kilt pins but nothing in stock wowed us.

On that day, I subscribed to a bit of the knotting cord that Jessica bought. Then we went on a bead hunt. We checked out the place where I had bought beads a few months ago, before heading out to check out a bead store that was on a street outside. Sadly, that was closed. But on the way back, we got sidetracked by streetside button vendors. We squatted down in the heat and bought wooden and plastic buttons for 1 yuan for a bag of 6 buttons. Approx. 6.1 yuan = 1 USD Yup. 1/6 of a USD for 6 wooden painted buttons. I don't know if they will last but they are cute and cheap.

Eventually we worked our way back to the bead shop and bought 10 bags of beads wholesale. The vendor was nice enough to divide each one into 5 bags - one for each of us. I think the big bags were 500 gms each and we each got 10 colors. These are glass beads - not very consistent in quality but very cheap. So you just use the ones that are good and toss the mis-shapen and irregular ones. I think we paid 130 yuan for the 10 bags in total. A little over $20.

On the way out, I saw elastic with buttonholes. These are used for kids clothes so they can be adjusted for fit as the child grows. But I saw a buttonhole placement device. I couldn't buy a meter or two of it. I had to buy the entire lot for 5 yuan. So I did. I split it with another of our party but I have enough buttonhole placement devices for a lifetime. More on that later.

We then went to the yarn stores on Ruijin (2nd) Road. These are regular yarn stores and we mostly browsed, except I got some mink/cashmere to go with my Tour de Fleece yarn. Some others bought that too and then some of us also got a good deal on some lovey cashmere. I will do a post on all my loot and talk about that more there.

Lastly we headed out to meet Cate of Infinite Twist. She has a business in Shanghai where she imports Australian merino, hand dyes it and then has it spun by local hand spinners. She was getting it done in Qinghai near Tibet but more recently is using a group in Shanghai. She mostly sells outside China but she had advertised on our Ravelry group so we found her.

Dawn had had the foresight to preorder dyed fiber. The rest of us were not so thoughtful so we wandered around her studio and petted and oohed and aahed. I also took the opportunity to divide up some sequins that Jessican and I had bought to share - to add to spun yarn.

Cate's rather dim studio. It was rather dreary outside so the inside was not too bright. It is a very creative place with color and texture and fiber all around. We pawed through Cate's kits.

There's Cate in her lovely studio. Yes, that is a Crazy Monkey electric skein winder in the back. And boxes of dyed and undyed fiber and yarn.

Cate's father makes these lovely wheels in Maine. We drooled over them, but wiped the drool off carefully.

Then we rushed back to my apartment where we finished dividing up our spoils and paying each other for the various bits and bobs we had shared. Jessica had to rush off to catch her train and that broke up the group. I was exhausted but elated and exhilirated. What a lovely set of people that I hope to keep in touch with for many years!

Jane and I did a mini-meetup a couple of days later and went back to the notions market. I got some cheap beads (yes, even cheaper) for necklaces and other crafty things she has turned me on to. We bought more chain and also some leather strips for necklaces in various colors. The beads were plastic and wood mostly, although some glass and were smaller than those for knitting. I have some visions of DIY necklaces, stitch markers, and these were for those endeavours.

I also bought some more knotting cord for myself as I realized that the amount I had from Jessica was good for playing with but not for the ideas I had in the interim. Jane and I split 1000 stitch markers - the kind that Hiyahiya sells, which look like safety pins with a circular end.

It was a challenge to get everything into the suitcases without their becoming overweight. Fortunately I was able to shed most of the Indian groceries I had - between some of the Ravelers and a colleague at work. But our suitcases were 22+ kg each except for one which was a shade over 23 kg. Our carryon bags were also heavy - weighing around 15 kg each. I made the mistake of keeping a full bobbin on the Hansen. I should have wound off the single and sent it with the shipment but I didn't.

Anyway, I successfully got all my purchases home. The yarn is in the freezer for one of many freezing/thawing cycles to ensure a complete destruction of moth eggs and then it will still probably stay sealed till it is time to use it.

I have stuffed the rest of the items into a suitcase to deal with after I have the household set up and running. Hence the lack of loot pictures. But they will come.