Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Day one Turkey, then Dyeing in Tobermory

My first day in Istanbul began with the airport. A clean, open building that appeared to get no use! It was so quiet!! That was my first impression, until we followed a series of marble hallways to the core of the excitement. The Turkish and their visitors do not queue up for ANYTHING! I found this was also true of driving, no following lanes seemed necessary, just jamming in was the mode for getting ahead. The large room for acquiring a visa and then passing through customs was not much different than a stockyard. A variety of languages and pushy travelers made their way in many directions until they found themselves at an open window. The movement of the crowd changed as officers directed flocks to newly opened windows and allowed non-citizens the opportunity to enter through citizen lines. I later found that there were flight delays that had many flights arriving at once, so, perhaps, it is not always quite this chaotic!
We met our tour guide, Orhan, and he ran us out through the "Taksi" (you got it, Taxi) lanes and onto our transport for the 10 days. A large air conditioned tour bus took us across the city and to our hotel. I was happy to be staying at the same location for the first 3 nights, a good chance to get acclimated. We were assigned our rooms in a lovely hotel with a fabulous rooftop dining view of Old Istanbul. The photo above is part of the expanse that I enjoyed over breakfast for those first few days.
A brief meeting gave us an outline of our trip and a chance to introduce ourselves to our co-travelers. There were teachers from Alaska, Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan (of course), Colorado and Texas. Four teachers represented each of these states for our tour.
We dined that evening at a local Kebap (you are probably getting the phonetics of Turkish) restaurant for a wonderful meal. The cheese, fruit, salads, breads, and many rolled items that accompany the lamb and beef were outstanding, and way too much food. A trend of overeating and over serving that followed us to the end of our journey about 5 added pounds later!
The return to our room allowed for a little evening walk, so a few of us took a stroll. When returning in the moonlight, we heard the last call to prayer from a nearby minaret of the Blue Mosque. The melodic and almost haunting sound filled the evening air, and it was clear, we were in Turkey.

Back to fiber life:
I am glad that so many people like my new Turkish socks! Talk about a coincidence....Heritage Spinning and Weaving in Lake Orion is offering a Turkish sock class with LynnH! She had a blog entry that described some of the Turkish socks in her collection, it may be of interest to you, too.

This past week was spent at the cottage. It was just what I needed to get out of the picture sorting, unpacking and general daily catchup. I finished reading, "The Yoghurt Man Cometh" a story of a teacher from the States who takes a job teaching in Turkey for a year. I recognized so many of the places and familiar habits of the Turkish people. The book was given to us by the Turkish Cultural Foundation as a gift while we were visiting.

The pictures from my traveling companion photo pages have been pouring in. This gives me over 5000 pictures to view when I include my own. I do NOT have Photoshop, nor a Mac, so the minor edits to my own shots and organization of the pictures is a time consuming mess. I need to get these shots in some kind of order and onto discs before we leave for Korea (August 1...just around the corner!)

I could not go to the cottage without a knitting project, a little spinning, and a "bit" of dyeing. So here is the output:

I knit a pair of socks using Lorna's Laces, thanks to Hariett's inspiration. I am not fond of the pooling or repetition of some of the sock yarns, but love the slip stitch pattern that shows off the color while breaking the color pools.

On the way out of town, I stopped by Heritage to get a few dye colors and packed some yarn. The weather was wonderful and everything dried in the sun with no incident. Not even a bat in the batch! (The little critters like to hide in the masses when I hang them to dry!) I may be trying my hand at Etsy sales, since there is more here than I will be able to knit up. And I can't just pass by the stash that has been patiently waiting for my needles in favor of the new batch, can I?


Tempest ina Pot of Tea said...
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Tempest ina Pot of Tea said...

I also noticed while in Egypt that the rules of queueing were completely ignored. I learned quickly to block with my elbows.