Blog Archive

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My Central Asian Adventure Begins

Months ago I saw a photo on ravelry of an amazing slip stitch stock made in the Pamir mountains of Tajikistan. From that moment I decided to go to the region to find out about more about these socks, their origins and makers. I was most fortunate to obtain a frequent flyer air ticket from New York to Tashkent, in Uzbekistan, and back via Kiev in the Ukraine.

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Mostar: Ravishing and Ravished

Mostar, like Sarajevo, was hard hit in the wars following the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and tensions between Croatians and Moslems living on opposite sides of the river still persists.

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Maire Treanor: A Clones Lace Expert in Kiev

Earlier this summer, I travelled from Ireland to the States, to give some workshops on Clones Irish Crochet lace. While I was in NYC, at the beginning of my trip, I met up with Dora Ohrenstein over breakfast, in an atmospheric French restaurant, close to my hotel in upper Manhattan.

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Long Days Journey Into Albania

Albania was not involved in the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, though it received an influx of refugees from nearby countries at the time. But it had a very tough twentieth century under the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha, who kept the country in total isolation for fully ….

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Holiday in Istanbul, Part One

I first experienced the splendors of Istanbul last summer, when I spent a few hours there while en route to Uzbekistan. This summer, accompanied by my friend Leslie, I planed a full two weeks there exploring its rich history and textile creativity.

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Exiting the Pamirs

It is not easy getting to the Pamirs, and it is even more difficult getting out. Especially if you don’t want to drop a small fortune which I did unwittingly in my luxurious journey in with Yusuf.

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Encounter in Bursa

Near the end of our trip, Leslie and I decided to make a 2 day excursion to the nearby city of Bursa, which had once been the Ottoman capitol.

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Can I Help you Spend your Money?

If you think it’s easy to leave Istanbul without buying a rug, you are underestimating the rug sellers of Istanbul, for whom retail sales is a high art.

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And now, the Video!

One of the most amazing experiences I had on my Central Asian adventure was spending a whole day with a Pamir family. There was crochet, food, babies, plus LIVE MUSIC and dance. Yorali, my Pamiri host, shot most of this footage with my little video camera. My talented brother-in-law Simon Surowicz edited it into a fantastic film.

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A Family in Urgut

Izzat and I drove from Bukhara to the town of Urgut, where I’d heard there was a particularly good bazaar and was hoping for some special finds. Urgut is near the border with Tajikistan, so it was arranged that we come on the last two days before crossing into Tajikistan.

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