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Friday, October 9, 2009

Working on a new design

I am knitting a tunic for Cascade Yarns using their beautiful yarn called Soft Spun. It is barely ply twisted and looks very rich. My design involves many different cables and the yarn is showing them just the right way. I always loved cables and do not mind doing them; although I have to tell you that if feels like this tunic has 1000 of them... But it's o.k. I really do not mind. I am planning on knitting this weekend, so I might get the bodice done. I am so anxious to see it done since the cables are all over the place and they are not simple looking (not difficult to knit at all) and not easy to comprehend how they fit in the shape. I guess I am a very visual person and I need to see it to appreciate.
Going off the topic of knitting, I took some pictures of three Russian lacquer boxes which are done with tempera paints on varnished objects made of paper-mache. These are the gifts brought from Russia by friends and relatives. Aren't they gorgeous? My aunt was a painter in one of the art factories where these boxes are produced. The place where she worked was in Fedoskino, village near Moscow. When we were leaving Russia, she gave one box to me, so it will remind me of her. It had a portrait of a beautiful young lady in a light-blue dress on a lid of the box which was red inside. I loved how it smelled just like two boxes she gave to my mom when I was little. At the border the Russian custom officer took it away from me and said that it is not allowed to be taken out of country. I was lucky that our relatives were there saying goodbye to us and I gave it to them. Otherwise, the same officer would take it for himself. Now I have these beauties.

They do not have the same sentimental value, but it is as close as I can get to the real thing. These boxes and pins are made
in Palekh and Mstera, not Fedoskino. Each of these villages have their own choice of colors, so if you know about these boxes, you can tell right away where they are from. Fedoskino used silver as a background and highlight color and Palekh used gold. In my house they are just decorations since I do not want to disturb the paint, but my mother was using her boxes for jewelry and kept some stuff that was small and really not of any value, but it was a treasure hunt for me when I looked in there. I hope you admire these boxes as much as I do. I am not always that sentimental, but the loss of my mother-in-law made me think about my life in Russia. I do live in America longer than there, but that was the first part of my life. I do not have any nostalgia and do not miss much from that life, but I love Russian culture, literature, and art.