So far we are having a lovely quiet 4 day May Day weekend. The days of mandatory local parades with red flags are long gone; people enjoy the time off and go walking about or just relax.
We've just come back from a week plus trip to Almaty. It was SO green -- made me really appreciate it. The two parks, Panfilov and Gorky, were glorious with young adults, roller bladers and skateboarders at Panfilov, and families with small children at Gorky. A trip to the mountains was also great, with a teeny hike up in the sun.
We even made it to what will probably be our last "local" Russian Orthodox midnight Easter service. We were outside for most of the time, and very glad we were, so we could at least do one "lap" around the church at midnight. There were a lot of people, but there were quite a few standing off to the edges with their kulich and eggs to be blessed, with candles blazing on top of the kulich breads. We have NEVER seen this before in the evening service, so it was delightful. This photo was Saturday afternoon, before the evening service.
We were able to drop by Saule Bapanov's to pick up a felt and silk shawl, and to admire hers' and Alibay's latest works. They were off for a long weekend trip to Bukhara where their daughter was having a couture show of her own felted clothing.
I'm still kicking myself over a left bag of felted dolls I bought at the monthly craft show across from TSum -- I just don't know what happened to the bag. I bought 6 or so of the fat girls dolls that I give as presents for pincushions, and a few other items.
I was able to give my arm a good rest by not taking my computer with me, but somehow only got a little knitting done. Last night I frogged my shawl collar project from Knitting New Scarves book -- I loved the Karabella yarn I was using but just didn't like the way it sat on my shoulders -- something about the neck area.
I'm looking forward to Schoolhouse Press' Latvian mitten KAL that is about to start, and also to read Sharon B's May TIF Challenge.. I've pretty much had to bow out of the challenge, but may drop back in from time to time. This month's color scheme would make a good Finnish looking mitten!
Yesterday I spent the day catching up/tidying up my iTunes podcast links and deciding which of the many knitting podcasts I do or do not listen to. Today, I'm making bread: still learning how to use the breadmaker and figuring out what I can do with it. It kneaded the sourdough recipe quite well, so that's rising, and then I made some cinnamon bread for my breakfasts. I'm anxious to try lots of different recipes and then just be able to do things on "auto-pilot." Bread making is so relaxing -- it just calms the clutter in your brain! And I really look forward to reading the bread book from the posting below.
The weather is cool here, but still nice, and luckily there have been no more dust storms like the one the morning I flew to Almaty. It was as if someone was standing in front of the car and just heaving mounds of dirt on the windshield! We heard later in the day the wind below the sign above the nearby Gros supermarket off and it crashed into a long row of cars.