Saturday, June 6, 2009

Knitting in mountains of India

Warm feet

Hand knit socks bought in a small village in Himachal

We headed up to Himachal Pradesh in March. We were prepared for the cold, but it was certainly colder than we expected. Not unlike early spring in the mountains anywhere, the weather was a little unpredictable. In fact, it even snowed while we were there. People have to walk long distances to get places, and a lot of women knit while walking.

Crocheting on the go

Crocheting on the go.

We visited Chitkul, a village close to the Tibet border. I saw this lady spinning and started chatting with her. She even gave me a spindle, but she couldn't find the wooden base to go with it.



I also saw quite a few looms. They weave large pieces of fabric that are then sewn into vests (we bought some), jackets, pants. In some villages, I noticed that they wrap themselves with a large piece of woven woolen fabric, wearing it almost like a sari, but not quite. They also make gorgeous, intricately woven shawls.


Setting up a loom

Setting up a loom.

I bought some yarn and needles - some sock yarn and a sweater's worth of a wool alpaca blend. For more shots, you can check out my flickr set here.

Yarn store

Yarn shop in India - they sell all kinds of other stuff, including cricket bats.

It was fun to be surrounded by 18,000+ ft snow capped peaks and knit. It had been very warm leading up to the trip, and the cold mountain air was a welcome change. It also made me whip out my knitting needles even though we were still in the otherwise balmy tropics!

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