Sunday, May 07, 2023

Hello! It's Been A Few!

It's May 8th here in Hanoi -

It has been a while since I've had time to sit at my laptop with a wifi connection and download/edit photos and write a post.

We kind of knew it would be this way - our group has had hotel checkouts by 7:30 am, and then we don't get back to our rooms in our next location, or the location we are currently at until 9pm after dinner.

When in Rome, as they say - there will be time for writing later -

The last I was able to write was just a bit about our long drive from Hanoi up to Sspa - and oh, what a time we had in Sapa!

Our first needlework excursion was in the village of Ta Phin where we went hands-on with Red Dao embroidery.

What an incredible experience in every way!

The women all wore traditional garments embellished with embroidery they did themselves - and each piece could take months.

The base fabric is hand woven hemp - with a texture much like linen.  The silk embroidery is TINY!  And we were counting picking up 2 threads at a time with our needles.

I tried - I really tried - but my eyes just couldn't see it on the dark blue fabric.

All of this beautiful embroidery is done in traditional patterns the girls learn from a very young age - usually taught by their mother or grandmother.

Even more mind-blowing - the embroidery is worked from the back side of the cloth, with the finished side not being seen until you turn the piece over.

Working form the back side -

All of the embroidery you see on her tunic, and the white stitching down her trousers is all stitched by hand - it is incredible!

Of course when you are working with hand-dyed indigo fabric, after years it is going to permanently stain your fingernails and nail beds.

Using toes to separate the silk strands.

This was fascinating to watch - they would separate the silk strands, pick up 3 strands or so, and then roll them on their thigh to twist them together into one strand.

I will never take another pre-wound spool of thread for granted ever again!

There was one teacher for every group of 3 tourists - and my travelers were trying so hard!

And oh, how I love the oldest grandma!

She was so precious!

Hannah is our youngest traveler, and big time into cross-stitch so here she is learning to work from the back side from a master embroidery.

I think she is having the time of her life!

I was distracted by this cutie!

And of course, I'm missing Zoey & Mabel - so any dog photos I can get are fun too.

This was one smiley pup!

And of course, there are so many photos that I can't post them all - so here is a little video slide show for you:

Click to Play:

And even this isn't enough to capture it all!

Lunch was served in the home to all of us - and the food kept coming - so good!

What a fantastic experience!

Our Craftours guide Deb with these two beautiful ladies

From the oldest to the youngest!

With love from Vietnam -


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