Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Turkey trip

There is so much to share from my great vacation to Turkey that it's hard to know where to begin, I will try to cram in as much as possible and perhaps come back to some of it in the next post.


Swatching was what my knitting was all about while I was there. I brought about 10 different colors with me and it is amazing how many different combinations can be had with them. I can't really show you the swatches because they're for a super secret project *fingers crossed*.

a nice knitting spot

Here is one of my choice knitting spots in Assos, Turkey. This is a little seaside resort right on the Aegean with a dozen little hotels crammed into a cliff. The view is spectacular and our seaside dinner of fish and mezes was delicious.

Behramkale knitter

Above is a woman in Behramkale, the newer Turkish name for Assos, doing crocheted lacework. In front of her is her lacework and knitted house socks that she is selling to tourists. I bought some of her lace edging from her for 5 lira, or approximately $2.80. It seems a crime that handwork is so undervalued.

Turkish style knitting has always intrigued me but I've never had anyone show it to me. A woman in Behramkale was kind enough to show me how. The video is short, shot on my little point and shoot and she is using novelty yarn so it is a bit hard to see but you can still get the idea if you look carefully. The yarn is tensioned around her neck wrapping from right to left and is also tensioned around her left hand. She picks up the stitch in the front with the right needle as though to purl and flicks the yarn with her left thumb. She is knitting a lacy shawl and increasing at the edges to make a triangular shape.

The view from the Temple of Athena in Assos where Aristotle spent a few years. The perfect place to worship nature or whatever you feel drawn to, I could feel myself soaring over the sea. This is just above where those two ladies were knitting. Across the water is the Greek island of Lesbos.

Bergama, Turkey

There was so much pattern and color inspiration to be had while I was there. Above is a photo of some kilims in Bergama. I wish my suitcase was big enough to carry a kilim or half a dozen. Click here to view more photos of Turkish kilims. It's amazing how universal simple geometric patterns are, these same patterns pop up in Fair Isle, Peru, Native American work, you name it.

Roman mosaics in Ephesus, Turkey

The geometric elegance of the mosaics in the Roman Terrace houses (1st c. AD) in Ephesus, Turkey were truly striking. The carpets and mosaics will probably creep into all my designs. Click here to view more Roman mosaics.