Monday, 13 May 2013

On the way to Fergana

We are going to Fergana next which is the centre of silk weaving in Uzbekistan. But we have to fly to Tashkent and then to Fergana so it takes all day. There will be nothing to report on so I thought I would write down a few thoughts.

Uzbekistan is in the rice zone. Sure bread appears at every meal but rice is what you have with the main meal. For example plov is the local version of pilau or pilaff. It has chickpeas in it and vegetable as well as meat or chicken. By meat I mean beef here but further west we were only offered lamb. Soup is g old and is a large bowl of a rather liquid stew. There was a splendid dish of rice, beef and apricots served at lunch time.

The roads may be terrible but there are a lot of new cars around mostly Toyotas. The local buses are frequent and much patronised. They do not pay much attention to numbers. Just pack in the customers until they are hanging on by the door handles - outside.

The drains and plumbing are distinctly dodgy.

The people are incredibly friendly and most of them want their photo taken with a gang of Europeans. They are not after money. The children get taught English from kindergarten!! And they love to practise. The mean mostly wear western dress, jeans, Tshirt. But the women wear long robes based on traditional dress. Mostly with bling. If it is not woven with lured or embroidered with gold, it is not worth having. This appLies to all ages.

The last comment is the local currency which is the som and rate is 2200 soms to the US dollar. The highest denomination is 1000 soms so if you change 50 dollars, you get 110 notes each of 1000 soms. Goodness only knows what you do if you want to buy a car. Take along a forklift truck I suppose.

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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.