Saturday, September 14, 2013

A little taste of Tibet

On one of my trips to Beijing, I had the opportunity to visit the Yonghe Lama Temple. The temple is a place of worship and photography inside the temples is not permitted. But it is set in a lovely garden and there are a lot of buildings - each one containing one or more shrines. So I took some photos in the garden and around the outside of the buildings. It is a lovely, peaceful place.

I was surprised by the fact that this is a very old temple that was set up when Tibetan lamas lived in Beijing and taught the Emperor and his children. I thought it was a relatively recent temple. There is a museum in the temple that has a lot of artifacts which were gifts to the lamas as well as gifts to the temple. 

The buildings all are beautifully decorated...

Here are some closeups of the painting
There was a giant bell there. I wish I could have heard it but it was silent.
And many prayer wheels. I spun all of them and sent my prayers out to the wind.
Inside the shrines, people were worshiping with incense and prostration. There was a huge Buddha statue in one of the shrines. Others had much smaller ones. The large Buddha is a couple of stories high and carved completely out of one block of sandalwood.

And that, dear readers, is all I have from a travel perspective. I have to travel some more before I have more travelogues to write for you.

Therefore, we will move on to the next topic - fiber.

As you remember from my last post, I have been spinning some Briar Rose BFL. I finished the two singles on Thursday evening.
Now, my plan was to do a sample ply and see how the plied yarn looked when knit up. But as I started plying, I realized that the look kept changing as the colors of the two singles changed. So a sample would not be representative of the yarn. I therefore decided to go ahead and ply it up but I stop every so often and look at it. I wasn't able to photograph it at each stop because my hands were in the singles. But I did take a few photos when I had to stop for other reasons. Sometimes I liked the yarn, sometimes I didn't. But I will say that it looks better than some of the green by itself. The green has some gorgeous spots and some that just look like mud. The rose also has a few spots that look like mud. So the combination, while more muted than the best spots in either one, makes for a more cohesive look. I think it will look like an Impressionist painting with tweedy flecks of both singles visible. But that is left to the future.

Here's a composite of the photos I took. I am a little less than half way through the plying. I had to stop as the battery ran out of charge. I will finish it up tomorrow.
There were some muddy bits where the rose yarn was brown and the green yarn was green. But overall, it is not too bad. The purples in the photos are a bit brighter than in real life. And some of the sections are rather green where the rose yarn was a yellowish tan. On the whole I am happy with the result so far but of course, the proof will only come when I knit it up.

The fiber is gorgeous. It has a lovey sheen that you can see and it drafted like butter. Even while plying, it feels silky and smooth. And it is going to be a cardigan which means that all these colors will be affected by what I wear with it.

Next time there will be more knitting as I think I am going to take a break from spinning after this long spinning project.

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