Knit Therapy and Other News in Nepal

These past few weeks I’ve fallen a bit off track with keeping things updated on the blog. And because I knew wifi on the Annapurna circuit would be limited (although it is pretty amazing that it is still possible to get wifi in such remote places!), I figured that I would take another break from technology. Which, as an added bonus, gave me a lot more time to get updated on some much needed knitting therapy and even read a book or two!

So here I am, in a cozy café with a good ol’ Nepalese milk tea, while I skim through my long list of emails and sort through travel photos! It’s a lovely afternoon.

What’s new on my needles this week

WIP Wednesday in Nepal

For my 14 day trek, I knew a good and relatively mindless knitting project would come in very handy. I decided on taking a skein of the recycled silk I mentioned in my last post, and started working on a simple pair of cabled mittens. The yarn proved to be a bit tricky to work with, given it’s very uneven consistency, as well as it’s tendency to break in the most inconvenient places!

Also, although the colour of the yarn is gorgeous and was sold to me as “recycled silk”, the actual feel and texture says otherwise. I’m guessing the actual silk content to be 10% at best, with the bulk of it likely acrylic or some other man made fiber.

WIP Wednesday in Nepal

And, unchanged from last week (and the week before that), is my continued effort in completing Aroha Knit’s #initiateknitdesign challenge which I started well over a month ago! I can’t guarantee that I will complete this cowl before my trip is over, but I can guarantee you that it will get completed … eventually.

Observations while Knitting in Nepal

Trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal: A Photo Essay
Hats being sold in an outside stall outside of Muktinath, on the Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

Nepal has been one of the most interesting places to knit on my travels so far. Although I can’t even pretend to know very much about the history and culture of knitting in Nepal (my feet have been planted pretty firmly on the Banana Pancake Trail), I can at least tell you a few simple observations since arriving here many weeks ago.

  • It’s not uncommon to see women knitting in the streets of Nepal (although I was a bit too shy to ask for a picture so I have no proof of this!).
  • Hand knit items (mainly hats, booties, sweaters, etc.) can readily be found in many of the tourist shops
  • It is also possible to find yarn (recycled silk, yak, sheep) fairly easily in the tourist areas of Kathmandu and Pokhara – most shops selling hemp products such as hemp backpacks also sell yarn for decent prices.
  • The quality of the yarn is questionable … see my previous posts here and here for more detail!

I would love to interview some of the local women to find out more about the history of knitting in Nepal on a future trip.

Do you have any interesting stories to share about the culture of knitting in Nepal? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

What I’ve been reading lately

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you no longer have wifi to distract you! And so, I was recently able to finish a fascinating book about the history and culture of Nepal, entitled “The Living Goddess“. If you are at all interested in Nepal’s history and culture, I really recommend it! I tore through it from start to finish while on the hike.

In other news …

Photo Credit: Arbore de Fogo

Here are a few bright and happy things to help you get through your week!

  • I am absolutely loving the new look of one my favorite knitting blogs, Mason Dixon Knitting! They’ve done a complete revamp of their much loved website, and have also added a fun community forum to talk about all things knitting! You can check it out here.
  • A fellow knitter and friend that I met at the start of my travels in New Zealand has just started a beautiful and exciting new business of handcraft jewelry, called Arbore de Fogo (see the photo above for one of her creations)! If you’re looking for some unique and lovely gift ideas for the holidays, look no further! You can contact her directly for custom orders or check out her Instagram here to see more of her beautiful creations.
  • Reading Julie’s latest blog post on life changes and following your dreams really a struck a chord with me, especially since my own backpacking adventure will soon be coming to an end!
  • If you’re looking for a fresh dose of travel inspiration from truly exotic destinations, then look no further than Lost with Purpose. This young couple writes about some of the most far flung destinations in the Middle East. Believe it or not, they even traveled to Afghanistan and kept it a secret from their parents until leaving the country. Don’t worry Mom … I’m not planning a trip there anytime soon! 😉

P.S.: If you’re looking for more knitting and travel inspiration, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. Even though my 9 months of backpacking is slowly drawing to a close, my subscribers will be the first to know about new pattern releases and future travel plans! The adventure is far from over ;).