I was planning to be an excellent organised mother before we went to Beijing, and organised yarn and a pattern for mittens for the girls. There is no good reason for my failure to even commence knitting said mittens – but they just didn’t happen. In a fit of desperation, the day before we left I bought some super cheap acrylic/polyester gloves from H&M. These had the advantage of being machine washable, but the very significant disadvantage of not being very warm. Given that it had been -5 degrees when we had set out sightseeing that morning – they really needed something warmer.
Our first day in Beijing, we went to the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace, and after the Summer Palace we took the girls to a small playground. They were having a great time on the see-saw when I noticed a small stall selling gloves, mittens and hats. There were two pairs of girls mittens, in colours that co-ordinated with their jackets, in what appears to be 90% wool, 5% mohair and 5% something.
Given the location next to major tourist attraction on a bitterly cold day, I expected that some furious haggling would be required. I managed to indicate my interest in the mittens to the seller, and he looked at me, found a calculator, and typed in the price – he wanted 10 yuan per pair. That’s about US $1.30 per pair! I didn’t haggle. Here in Hong Kong, there is not much demand for mittens, but for those of you who might be interested in selling them – their brand is Dragon Tiger, and they even have a web-site on the label. I know I am spruiking the company (I promise that I am not connected to them) but the mittens are soft, warm, pretty, and the price! When I saw them, I couldn’t believe my luck – its not often that the shopping fairy visits me. I feel like my failure to knit mittens was justified after all.
The next day, we drove out to the Ming Tombs en route to the Great Wall. I finally got an action shot of my husband’s striped Noro Scarf. As you might notice he was getting a lot of skin contact from it, so I’m glad that I bothered to buy the Cashmere Island.