Sunday, January 20, 2013

Slow but steady wins the race

I am not sure what race the title applies to but it sounded good. I didn't spin very much this week, or knit for that matter. I went to Beijing for a series of meetings on Monday. Yes, in the middle of the record air pollution that lasted through the middle of the week. I thought I would take some pictures of the pollution but I doubt my phone would have done justice to it. I had to go because this meeting had been planned for months and a number of my colleagues from the US were coming. We couldn't cancel it at the last minute without a delay in months to get everyone's schedule to line up.

My goal was to minimize time outdoors, use my inhalers to the max, if needed, and breathe as shallowly as possible. Monday was the worst. I was staying in a different hotel from everyone else - about a 3-4 min walk. When I landed, visibility was about 100 ft or less at the airport. It was like being in a yellow fog. It was also very cold - below freezing.

Tuesday morning, it was better though still very high. By Thursday morning, my last day, the sky was blue and it was clear. It just kept getting better and better. The traffic and distances in Beijing are much worse than in Shanghai. I spent about an hour each way in the taxi commuting to work and back. The long days were lengthened by the commute. I am so glad I picked an apartment close to work in Shanghai! So no photos for you!

I did spin a bit after I got back. I am making progress on the gradient. I find that the Jenkins Delight spins a lot slower than the trindles. So I have to pay attention and add more twist without drafting to make sure I have a sound yarn. I won't even begin to tell you how many times I've had to recover when fiber I thought was spun started coming apart.
There is the first turtle that I took off. I put it next to my iPod for scale.

Here is what is left
I may be done with this this week if all goes well. Then I have to wait till my air shipment luggage shows up to be able to ply. I don't have enough Hansen bobbins to ply. I have been filling the one I have up with singles from different fibers.

Chinese New Year is coming up. Every place is decorated with red and gold decorations. There are lanterns and hanging decorations but also small things on desks and other places. I took this photo outside a mall yesterday when I went grocery shopping. This location had a Christmas tree the last time I was there.
Just inside the same mall, there is another decoration, this time the focus is the Snake. The next year is the Year of the Snake. This year is the Year of the Dragon. Being born in the Year of the Dragon is good so there has been a baby boom in China and other countries like Singapore. Being born in the Year of the Snake is also good, maybe not as good as the Dragon, but I don't know that for sure. The expectation is that the baby boom will continue.
I will continue to take pictures of various decorations for Chinese New Year and post them. This is my first one here and I am excited about experiencing it.

Red and gold are auspicious colors so it is considered good to decorate with them and to give presents in red and gold colors. The grocery store has a whole section of gifts in red and gold colors along with decorations.

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