Sunday, October 7, 2012

Oooh! Oya!

   We just got back from a trip to Turkey. It was someplace I wanted to visit for years and it more than lived up to expectations. We saw many amazing things like ruins of ancient cities, swam in turquoise blue water, and ate delicious food at every single meal. One of the coolest things I saw were the oya: very finely crocheted lace edges on headscarves.  Here a woman uses a knitting needle to hold loops that she then crochets into. As you can see, the crochet hook is teeny and she has picked up stitches directly in the edge of the scarf. One can also buy oya that are made separately; they come in a 4 meter length as the scarves are very large.
 I bought my oya-edged scarves directly from a couple of women that hosted our tour group's lunch in their homes when we visited their village. After only finding somewhat mediocre oya in Istanbul, it was a wonderful surprise to walk into the dining room and find a bunch of scarves laid out in the most low key sales situation ever created. (I had to ask if they were for sale; I thought maybe they were just a presentation to show us what they did.)
I particularly liked the way the women matched the colors and motifs to the image on the scarf.
Even in the realm of oya, the amount of work in this one is mind boggling. I put in a pencil to give an idea of scale. Although while in Turkey I used one of my scarves to cover my head when I visited mosques, they look very nice as shawls over a blouse or sweater.
Later in the trip, I found an adorable necklace with these flowers that look like fuchsias. It includes seed beads.
I stand in awe of the craftsmanship of the oya artisans of Turkey.


Dennis said...

Looks like you had a great time checking out all the wonderful oya. I also like them as towel edgings. For western people they may seem to be a miracle and what contributes to that is the lack of written patterns. I guess it is hard to learn if you do not have someone teaching you.

gail said...

Whoa, what tour were you on? Can I sign up? I'm ready to run to the airport and catch the next flight!

Queen of the Tea Cosies said...