Saturday, May 11, 2013

A shawl, or two, and a long walk

This is going to be a long post. And I may do another one right away. I have a lot to share and I am going to be busy next week. There is a conference here and I am speaking so many times at this conference that I doubt I will have any energy when I get back home.

One shawl, two shawl...
The Spring shawl is blocked and done. It is too warm to wear it here so it will have to wait till the fall or if I go somewhere that is cooler.
It is light as a feather and extremely soft.
I am so amazed at the stitch definition in the lace weight yarn.

I love knitting with my handspun so I promptly started another. That is the second shawl in today's post.
You probably remember the skein on the left. It is the Briar Rose Polwarth I spun last year. The right hand yarn is Briar Rose Sea Pearl that is also dyed by Chris Roosier. The colors are exactly the same but the difference in the base and in the fact that one is dyed in the fiber and the other is dyed in the yarn makes it different enough. I decided I needed something simple. I went through a bunch of ideas in my head. Originally I was going to do a Faroese shawl with the wool on top and the merino/tencel on the bottom. But somehow that didn't click with me. I combed through my Ravelry favorites and finally settled on a Stripe Study. It will be a tone-on-tone stripe. I wasn't sure if it would work but it is coming out fabulously.

Here is the yarn all wound up.
You can see the difference in the colors and the way the light reflects off the different fiber.
And it is exactly as I had hoped. Sometimes the stripes show and sometimes they don't.
I love knitting it and am making a lot of progress. I have about 3 more stripes done.

And now onto the walk.
Last Saturday, we took a guided tour around the French Concession. Shanghai at one point was divided up among the British, the Germans and the French (and maybe others?). The tour was in our Eyewitness Guide to Shanghai and Beijing. What follows is what we discovered on the walk, not necessarily what the walk highlights.

We started at the Old China Hand Reading Room.
It is a bookstore and tea/coffee shop. We just looked in the window. A little further down, we saw a bridal boutique that reminded me of the bridal couple we saw on the Bund and our little conversation about white.
We came across a lovely little park that seemed to be devoted to the various forms of Chinese opera.

Outside the park, there were plaques about various styles of Chinese opera.
Inside, we discovered a lovely oasis. I love this about Shanghai. There are parks everywhere. And each one is a little gem.
See the group of people behind the kids on the right? They asked us where we were from and we had a little chat with them.

At the far end were some walls with opera masks on them.
After sitting for a bit in the park and enjoying it, we walked on. We passed a couple of buildings that were called out in the walk and then I ran into...
two yarn stores. This is the second one. The first one took me completely by surprise. It was just a yarn store. This one is half yarn store and half clothing and soft goods. See the boxes of yarn in the foreground? I didn't stop to browse. I picked up cards, which are in Chinese but useful to show to a cab driver, and left.

We walked down a narrow set of alley ways that have little shops in them. They are mostly for tourists so we didn't do much more than just walk through them. I didn't take any photos there. After that we stopped to get a cup of coffee and some pudding for lunch. The sandwiches weren't vegetarian and they were sold out of their savory tarts.

Streets in the French Concession look like this. They are wonderful to walk on.
Looking the other way...
The houses are also lovely. Not all of them are in great shape. They vary from fairly run down to extremely posh. Some have heritage plaques on them.
This is the house that the plaque refers to. It is now a library.

We stopped by a much larger park - Fuxing Park. This was originally laid out by the French but maintained beautifully today.
There were people sitting and enjoying the day, kids biking and roller blading, and groups playing a game we didn't recognize and also card games. These games appeared to be serious because there were crowds standing around them and watching.

There were roses everywhere.
We also walked by the first Chinese premier Zhou En Lai's house. It is a museum and you can go in.
Another view.
Sun Yat Sen - who founded the Chinese Republic - also lived in the French Concession. Here is his house, which is now a museum also.
That is the statue of him up front.

We also walked past a former Russian Orthodox church.
After that we ended up on the main drag in the French Concession - Huaihai Lu. And we were immediately thrust into a very familiar world.
But there are sweet seats combined with flower planters. This is what it looks like when you are sitting on one of the seats.
The stores go from H&M (above) to very upscale.
We continued down one of the side streets and came across a bust of Rabindranath Tagore. That was a total surprise.
Once we were done, we took the Metro back home. That allowed me to take these photos of the acrylic barriers at the edge of the platform, keeping people from falling onto the tracks.
The door on the platform opens first and then the door of the train. And I got one photo without the train.
Those bright lights behind are advertising on screens.

So that was a quick trip around the French Concession. Next up, we'll be paying a visit to YuYuan Gardens. YuYuan Garden is redundant as Yuan means garden. So technically it is either Yu Yuan or Yu Garden. But everyone here says YuYuan Garden. Even the Metro says so.

So stay tuned.

1 comment:

Jan said...

Jaya... I love the shawls and seeing what happens to your handspinning! and I love the travel log. It's so interesting to see what you see!