Peru, Part Two

vicuna-yarn
vicuna-yarn

In my last post about all the fibery goodness to be found in Peru, I promised to bring home photos of my spoils. And I am indeed quite spoiled.

The little guys in the front are two status of vicunas, a Peruvian wild camelid. It's the wilder and softer cousin of alpacas and llamas, and back in the day, their yarn could exclusively be used by royalty. Since it costs about $1.40 a yard, I don't know if that has actually changed. Ounce for ounce, still cheaper than gold and cocaine though. Obscenely expensive yarn purchase = justified.

The yarn in the back is a variety pack of natural colored llama wool. It's fingering weight, and I think it's going to be turned into many colorwork socks and mittens. I picked the yarn up at the market in Pisac for a song from very nice lady that at least pretended to understand my poorly conjugated, heavily accented Spanish.

peru_yarn
peru_yarn

This is the first yarn I found in Ariquipa. It's super soft baby alpaca (I actually believe the label) and will be a sweater. In Pisac, I also found the below "natural" fiber dyes. This isn't enough to dye much more than a few yards of each color, but I hope to be able to experiment a bit.

peru-dye
peru-dye

Pottery was another craft that was everywhere, much to my delight. I am contemplating taking another pottery class this winter, now that I have enough arm strength to control the clay, instead of the other way around.

peru_pottery
peru_pottery

We picked up this vase for my mom, and I forgot to give it to her at Thanksgiving. Perhaps I will conveniently continue to forget to bring it north.

Weaving is probably the craft where the Andeans have the most street cred. The Andean people could do amazing things by weaving fibers. Not only blankets and belts, but when the Spanish arrived, the natives could weave pretty much anything, including armor and boats.

Dwell on that a second. They wove a boat. And it floated all the way up to central America and back again, full of stuff. I have yet to sail anywhere on something I've knitted.

peru-weaving
peru-weaving

During Incan times, Rainbows were worshipped similar to the Sun, Mother Earth, Lightening, etc. It's symbol of fertility and abundance.  We saw a temple to the Rainbow at the Forever Young ruins, my favorites of the trip, on the last night of the hike. The rainbow flag is the flag of Cusco, which if you're an ignorant American like me, can lead you to think all the bars are gay bars. They are not, you're just slow.

This blanket really isn't a blanket at all. It's an all-purpose transportation device. Peruvian women use these to bundle up pretty much anything from a  baby to a whole bunch of maize and carry in on their back.

peru_embroidery
peru_embroidery

This is a hand embroidered wool table runner. It's gorgeous, and it makes me really disappointed that table runners serve no purpose what-s0-ever. Right now, I just look at it and pet it.

We also scored a bunch of sweet hats, gloves and socks, which all happened to have disappeared while I was photographing today, but fortunately I have an action shot. Our Andean hand-knits kept us very warm along the Inca Trail.

waynawaynu
waynawaynu

If you aren't sick of my trip yet, here it is as experience by our cake toppers. They had a great time.