Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas in China

I thought it would be good to show you some of the Christmas decorations that I am encountering. The sample is very small as I haven't been going out very much. It has mostly been work that is getting in the way. Last weekend we went to Xi'an but that deserves its own post and I have to do justice to it.

We live near a very high end mall with very expensive brand name stores. They have done a great job decorating for Christmas with a house, nut crackers, Christmas trees, all lit up with lights. The railings on the various floors have garlands on them.
There are also decorations in the lobby of my office building.
And there were some in the lobby of our hotel in Xi'an. A gorgeous purple tree...
The bake counter in the restaurant in the lobby was decorated like a gingerbread house.
In contrast to all this light and festivity, we have also had a very high level of pollution this week. It is not common in Shanghai but our levels were higher than those in Beijing this week.
This is the sun at around 10-11 am
Through the trees...
If you remember the photos from my balcony last winter, here is the same view yesterday. The pollution level has dropped a lot today.
Air purifiers and masks are sold out at most retailers. Our apt doesn't seem to admit the pollution as I could smell the difference as soon as I stepped out into the balcony to take that photo. I did wear a mask on the way to work and back and when I went to the bank.

Lastly, I whipped out this pair of mittens for DH last weekend.
The yarn is the hand-dyed merino I bought in Melbourne. I knitted it at a fairly tight gauge. I hope it holds up. Merino is nice and soft and the mittens can handle some felting but I hope they don't pill too much.

I also did some finishing of handspun. I had some sample yarn spun on the various Jenkins spindles I've acquired over the last year. I had not finished any of them. So I wound them off and finished them. 
Today I finished the yarn that was endlessly plied on the Jenkins Swan. Here is the very beginning of the story. Here is the end... more than 1000 yds of 2 ply yarn - spindle spun and spindle plied. It was made from one 4 oz braid less the singles that I lost when I messed up one of the bobbins along the way. You can see that disaster here. If you want to read the whole story, just look at posts with the label 'gradient'. But all's well that end's well.
That last photo shows the gradient. It goes from a brownish red to a pinky red to a purple.

It is still damp so I won't wind it up into a twisted hank yet to take the shot with the quarter. That is reserved for next time.

I am also spinning away on the Briar Rose Cormo. Progress to date on the first single.
I hope the color counteracts the dreary pollution pictures.


Angela said...

The skeins look beautiful, particularly your gradient.

Nancy said...

Nice mall decorations! The pollution you've been encountering has been on the news here, which made me hope you are well.