So, I’m starting to think about a travel project for Ghana. The kid mohair shawl is out because I’m pretty well convinced it would felt in my pack (although I’m considering bringing it with me anyway to knit on the nearly 24-hour journey to Ghana), plus I would expect to finish it before returning. I need something that will keep me busy for a long time.
At the moment, I’m leaning towards knitting a fine silk shawl, probably in a 3000 yard-per-pound silk or silk/wool yarn on size 3 needles. I had thought of buying and bringing an inkle loom, but as small as they are, they just aren’t small enough to fit into a pack and/or knit on a bus or a plane. About the only two crafts small enough are knitting and crochet, and I like knitting a lot better than crochet.
The challenge is that the project has to be complex enough to be interesting, but not complex to the point where I can’t knit it on a crowded bus full of pigs, chickens, and oh yes, people, bumping over poorly maintained dirt roads. I have some gorgeous Japanese knitting patterns that are out for that reason. I’m leaning towards doing another spiral shawl because the patterns are relatively simple and I only need to learn one pattern at a time. Or I might do a pi shawl, because those are even easier. But I like the idea of a spiral.
Anyway, I’m going to look at several of my pattern-books to see if I get other inspirations.
Meanwhile, I am starting to plan for my trip to China in the fall. My mom, her husband, my brother, my sister-in-law, Mike, and I are all going to China on a seventeen-day package tour in September, but we need to send in our deposits now to reserve space. Plus we need to get Chinese visas, but I will probably do that after I get back from Ghana. Right now, my passport is not leaving my sight – I need it to get to Ghana!
Mixed feelings about the China tour. I would much prefer to travel on our own – I dislike group tours, being herded around like cattle – but everyone else seems OK with the group tour, and it’s probably easier than trying to struggle around with eight of us as a group. I’m REALLY looking forward to going with my mother – it’s the familial visit back to the ancestral homeland for me, and I’ve never been to China before. So I’m pretty psyched about it. Two major travels in a year…yay! My wandering feet are happy.
And, on a totally different topic, I discovered yesterday that there’s no way around it, I need a root canal. I have a filling that’s too close to the nerve and is making chewing tougher foods painful on one side – I’ve sort of been working around it for a few months, hoping it would improve, but I went back to the dentist yesterday and nope, it needs a root canal. This is a little interesting since I’m leaving for Ghana in exactly three weeks (read: no access to Western medical facilities), but I’m scheduled for the root canal next Thursday and the dentist assures me that, barring unexpected complications, the root canal plus crown should be done by the time I leave for Ghana. I sure hope so…because I am NOT going to cancel my trip and I’d rather not wind up having to go to a dentist in Ghana. I have other things to do with my time and let’s just say that my trust in Third World medicine is rather less than in, say, U.S. doctors.