Okay, so I promise this is the last post about India for the moment. Probably the one many are most interested in. Handmade souvenirs. In celebration of moving my blog to wordpress and as a reward for making it through these extended posts on India there’s also the opportunity to score some Mala beads for yourself too.
Red Beanie and Mittens purchased from the Knitting Man in Rishikesh. I still can’t believe I didn’t pack some from home, I even had them laid out to pack. There was a real satisfaction buying these though from the man kntting them on the path that links ‘downtown’ Rishikesh to the village of Lakshman Jhula. He lives in the room opposite his stand, which I found out when I accidently walked in there thinking it was his shop!
Socks – I bought them from the woman who made them and big heavy jumpers for the Himalayan winter. She runs a Chai stand opposite one the temples we visited in Manali (good chai too). These cost me 120 Rupees ($2.70) and she told me they took her a day to make, that she spends the cold winters indoors knitting things to sell when warm enough to go out. She was quite amused when I told her I also make socks and that they usually take me at least 2 weeks to complete. I wasn’t about to go through the number of works in progress I have at any one time, that I use small needles and yarn etc. We had a lovely ‘knitting in common’ moment which then kept the rest of my tour companions amused as we drove off up the mountain.
Shawls – there were many, here are some of them…
Top left: Black & Blue 100% Pashmina – yum, Purple/Red with gold detail in Cotton. Top right: Kullu Valley Two-toned Purple pashmina and below it Grey/Blue in silk/pashmina – these 2 are my favourites. Bottom left: Orange and Yellow Yoga shawls of silk/cotton with Shiva and Hanuman mantras written on them.
Green/Purples wool/silk shawl – the first one I bought and then wore most of the time at the Yoga Festival
Kullu Valley Autumn tones – present for my mother, which fortunately she loved. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of it before she whisked it away, another time perhaps.
Sarees – which look much better worn than a heap of 6m material I must say. I might just have to have a Bollywood High Tea & Snacks as an excuse to play dress ups! Yellow one I wore at the Yoga Festival; Orange/Purple one – I love these colours together; Dark red – pure silk – for ‘best’ and my favourite of the saree collection
I also purchased a few tunics:
A Coral in pure silk, Red in all cotton as to goes beautifully with the red/purple print scarf in the photo above. Black/White tunic, pants and scarf in cotton which I wore to the Taj Mahal and this
Burgundy/White tunic/scarf is gorgette which I’ve finally decided is a decent viscose rather than silk.
These are used in meditation and help count the number of times a mantra (verse) is chanted outloud or to self. There are 108 Mala beads in each string. I think its interesting there are 54 in the main part of rosary beads. All connected somehow I’m sure…
LtoR: Mala bracelets (27 beads each), and necklaces with 108 beads, in small Rudraksh beads, said to hold great energy and come from a tree native to Rishikesh.
Sandal wood (smells heavenly), Lotus wood (black), Turquoise. The light wood ones are lovely and smooth and were given out at the Yoga Aid Challenge morning when we completed 108 rounds of Sun Salutes, which was a great deal of fun with different yoga teachers leading after 9 rounds each
The really big beads are also Rudraksh beads, each with either 4 faces (creative energy), 5 faces (wealth of knowledge), or 6 faces (wisdom, happiness).
The Give away – I have a set of 27 Rudraksh beads (bracelet), a light wood mala necklace and mala bead pouch to give away for the best reason some one would like them. Just leave me a comment below before end next Sunday 17 April to be in the running.
Whites – How could I forget the Whites?!
The New York Delhi Cardigan was 95% finished when I left Sydney, with just the collar to sew onto the body of the cardigan. Given the yarn used for this was 80/20% Merino/Cashmere it is incredibly soft. There was no way I was going to a 4am yoga class without it. Slowly but surely I sat on my bed in the ashram and put it together, a bit roughly but you have to work with what you have to hand don’t you? Needless to say it pilled very badly as it caught on my backpack. I found a long hair pin (later I realised it was made from Yak bone) with the Eternal Knot symbol on it that was perfect to keeping it together. I do hope the Yak hadn’t suffered for my knitting.