Wednesday, November 24, 2010

shopping day

My stepmom and I had a shopping day in the oldest part of Ankara called the Kale. It's the one part of the city that still has a lot of charm and is filled with shops that sell hand crafts. Much of the rest of Ankara is very modern, a network of highways, apartment complexes, shopping malls, and lots of traffic.

some of my purchases

Here are some of my purchases. A pair of woolen socks that the seller said were from Bursa, a small carpet the size of a doormat that I could roll into my suitcase, and a couple of scarves with crochet edging. The crochet edging, done impossibly small with thread, is called Oya, I think the white one looks like silk worm cocoons.

school girls on the way home for lunch in Ankara

Some school girls on their way home for lunch. I used to wear a uniform similar to that, I'll have to dig out my school picture to show you.

Ankara storefront filled with roving

A view of some storefronts stuffed to the gills with roving. I love the peppers that are drying in the window above too.

Turkish coin purses

The store where I bought the socks had these antique coin purses for sale too, they were a bit beyond my price range but the workmanship is staggering. They are crocheted with thread, blinding work, I'm sure.

carpet shop in Ankara

The carpet store where I bought my wee carpet. I love the crazy bright colors of the carpet, synthetic dyes probably. There was an old couple in there trying to sell some of their own carpets to the store owner. The old lady looked at the one I was buying and said that she used to make ones just like that, she didn't seem too impressed and thought I could get a better deal.


We stopped for lunch and I had my favorite, kuru fasulye! Kuru fasulye is stewed white beans, mostly served at lunch places that cater to workers, hard to find at other restaurants or other times of day. Here is a link for a recipe, but it wouldn't have as many vegetables as the recipe has. On the right you can see a cobbler's shop with leather boots for sale. The leather booties are worn inside of rubber overshoes, so you can slip of the rubbers and the instantly become slippers around the house.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

back home, quilt delivered

It's great to be back home, though I had a good trip to Turkey to visit my folks. I have so much to share that I've decided to split it into a few posts, trip pics and what I did with my yarn will be coming up later. First up is the quilt that I was racing to finish so that I could deliver it to my sister.

a quilt for my sis

The pattern is Kaffe Fassett's Tapestry Garden Quilt from Kaleidoscope of Quilts, fabric and color choices are my own. The fabrics are a mixture of Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler prints. I love the way it turned out, how could anyone not be happy waking up under these colors? My sister loved it too. As I was trying to take pictures of it, I had a woman come up and ask me if I took commissions, which was a nice compliment. Most folks have no idea how much labor and materials cost goes into making a quilt, really more a labor of love than something that would be worth my while to sell. The same goes for knitting, people always say "You could sell that!", but really at what price point can I recoup some of the hours that have been put into it?

a quilt for my sisa quilt for my sis

Above are some detail shots and on the one on the right is a really good view of the quilting, it is nice organic swirls. The quilting was done by Linda Bevins, a really talented long-arm quilter, you can find her at her blog Crazylegs Quilting. She got it done just in time for my departure and I finished putting the binding on while I was there.

sea quilt

This is a quilt that I made for my dad eons ago and had a chance to photograph while I was there in his little spartan room. It's really touching how little he needs, some photographs and his scholarly publications, almost a monk's cell.

This is the first big quilt that I ever made. The pattern is Yellow Brick Road and I chose some watery batiks for him since he loves fishing and the sea. Yellow Brick Road is a great pattern because you can throw almost any grouping of fabrics together and it will work, the trick is laying them all out like a puzzle so that there aren't any of the same fabrics touching. The Tapestry Garden pattern bears more than a passing resemblance to Yellow Brick Road except that there are larger squares to display big patterns with and big patterns really are needed to make it work.

sea quilt

A detail shot of the watery batiks. Somehow I feel like I'm there with him, knowing that he's sleeping under this quilt.

Friday, November 5, 2010


travel knitting

I'm headed out of the country for 10 days and here is my pile of travel yarn. Mostly it's Bugga that I bought at Rhinebeck. Packing my knitting projects takes more thought than packing my clothes, there's the worry that I might run out of projects, egad. Plus I have make sure I have all the right needles and notions. Let's see how much I can make with six skeins of sock yarn in 10 days.

For reading I have The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson, recent winner of the Man Booker Prize, The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt, and Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. All paperbacks and hefty enough to last a little while.


This is my latest submission to drawing Friday on flickr. Weaverknits Albers Cowl got me thinking about Josef Albers. Like the Mondrian drawing that I did, this is more adventures in the inconsistencies of the hand compared with the precision of the artwork that inspired it. I was looking at a gallery page of Josef Albers' series "Homage to the Square". Didn't use a ruler, but did sketch it out with pencil. Despite my best effort, everything tilts up to the right. Am I right handed or what? The scan might be a little off kilter too. Still, I like the little accidents, like the corners that don't quite meet and the watercolor bleeding into each other.

See you soon!