Julia Goes to Bangladesh

It all started back in August by text ….

Me: Are you still up?
Julia: Yes.
Me: Look at this Kickstarter website, down at the bottom. Read what it says.

Screenshot 2015-12-25 14.02.19(Pause)
Me: Want to go to Bangladesh?
Julia:  YES!

As it stated, the Kickstarter reward was a trip for two.  Without even asking, I knew my husband wouldn’t want to go. My DD#1 put the kibosh on my plan to take my 15-year-old granddaughter. And it was trip that centered around fiber and yarn and spinning and weaving. Julia really was the perfect fit, and the perfect traveling companion.  Old enough to take care of herself, but young enough that I could boss her around <wink>.

Besides:  Young people need to experience the world beyond their own homes.  The Internet and Facebook, and all of the other electronic experiences we have, are still a poor substitute for actually immersing yourself in another culture.   You can’t help but walk away with a new mindset, a new benchmark by which to evaluate your own life and all of the experiences you have had up to this point or will have in the future.  Sometimes you also walk away with a new direction.  Without question, this sort of trip changes your perspective on “things.” Which “things?” It depends on the person.

And it all worked out wonderfully.  We had a great trip. Most people assumed I was her mother (at least they didn’t say grandmother!).  Here are some pictures that capture Julia enjoying our trip.

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Bangla Sheep and Goats

If you’re a sheep and/or goat person, then you are a sheep and/or goat person wherever you are, even if you are halfway across the world. On my recent trip to Bangladesh, I tried to capture images for at least some of the sheep and goats that I saw. The ones I missed (because we drove by too fast) looked to be Nigerian Dwarf goats, so they are not represented here.

None of the goats and sheep in Bangladesh are fiber animals; of that I’m sure. I had our driver ask the shepherd who had the herd of sheep about using the wool, and he said they don’t.  It’s very coarse.  We actually saw very few sheep, but there were LOTS of goats.

Goats are for food.   Just to confuse me, goat meat is referred to as “mutton,” the name we use in the USA for meat from older sheep.   I asked one of our hosts if Bangladeshis eat sheep meat and he looked at me horrified and replied, “Oh, no! Oh, no!”  But eating goat meat is common in every part of the world except the US.  In fact, it was even served to us on the plane. (I chose something else.)

Something else that caused me lots of cognitive dissonance — it was Winter in Bangladesh when we were there (December), and there were baby chicks and baby goats running around everywhere, a sight you would see in Spring (March) in the USA.  The Bengalis considered the weather to be cold (it was in the 60’s), which is why one of the goats in the picture is wearing a t-shirt!  The people were frequently wearing sweaters and knit hats with their sandals.

We ate a lot of the small Bangla bananas on our trip, and Julia shared a banana skin with one of the goats.  Don’t tell the Customs and Immigration Bureau, but we might have even petted a head or two.  Enjoy the slideshow!

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Batt Sandwiches

After all that plying I needed to spin something different. But no particular idea was jumping out at me. I pulled Lexi Boeger’s book Intertwined off the shelf and leafed through it. That’s when I decided to go old school and make Batt Sandwiches.

I made the first one myself, then taught Julia how to do it.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my Big Tom? It’s as much of a workhorse today as it was the day I bought it 5 years ago!

This is the final yarn, although my iPhone camera is not getting the color right. It’s really a much deeper teal. I’m happy with it.

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Catching up on some plying!

I finally decided to do something about a large bag of cakes of singles that have been “resting” in a drawer for at least a year.

The funny thing about plying singles that have been around a while is that the spinning twist has gone dormant.

That means that when you ply them, they are going to act like they are over twisted.

The magic happens in the wash — when you wet finish your yarn. Your spinning twist comes back to life, pairs up with your plying twist, and voila! Balanced yarn!

The next time you see this yarn, it will be on a loom!

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When there’s no hay…

When there’s no way to get big round bales of hay out into the pasture, we rely on an alternative.

“Hi, Mom!”

Toolaine, one of our beautiful bucks

Toolaine, one of our beautiful bucks

Chaffhay. It’s what’s for supper.

chaffehayNow can we go somewhere dry?

Gamboge, a gorgeous blue-eyed 3-year-old buck

Gamboge, a gorgeous blue-eyed 3-year-old buck

I can’t help it if the silly boy won’t stay in his shelter out of the rain!

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