Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Para Mi?

First of all, a great big "muchas gracias" to my Secret Pal, who sent me a beautiful "yarn bouquet." As if the outside weren't pretty enough:
Take a look at the inside:
The yarn is handpainted Zen Gardens sock yarn, with lovely shades of pink and green, and the needles are bamboo double points. Isn't the presentation just too cute??

Last night, I went to a great talk at the National Geographic on Andean weaving. I was kinda tired yesterday and was thinking of skipping it, but I am so glad I went. The lecture featured the work of Nilda CallaƱaupa, founder of the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales de Cuzco, whose members make stuff like this:

Apologies for the picture quality (or lack thereof). I only had my camera phone with me and the lighting was a bit dim plus I'm a crappy photographer to begin with. The top pic shows mantas, scarves and runners. The bottom shows bags and cute little chullo (earflap hat) keychains.

Everything is handmade from handspun yarn, handdyed with natural dyes. Phew! That's a lot of work! Let's see Nilda demonstrating spinning:
Here, she's plying two thin singles with a bottom whorl drop spindle. The spindle's in motion so it's even harder to make out (it's the light brown blur about a foot below her right hand). On her left arm she has loops of spun singles held double and ready to ply.

Though the talk was mostly about weaving, spinning and dyeing, there was a bit about knitting too. Apparently, both men and women knit, usually to make chullos. I would guess that weaving is used for the flat stuff and knitting for the round stuff. I found this knit bag at the sale table and just had to get it.
The bag itself is knit, though the strap is woven. Here's a close up of the colorwork.
The design is mostly bird motifs and a geometric patterns. So cool! And it's just the right size to hold a sock project too :)

Speaking of which, I did some monkey knitting during the weaving lecture. Current Sock Status Photo:
About halfway down the leg of sock #2. Hopefully, I'll have a finished pair soon.


Secret said...

I'm so impressed how quickly you've gotten to that second sock! I'm notoriously in the group of knitters with second sock syndrome.

~Tonia~ said...

What a lovely package. So pretty. Sounds like the lecture was wonderful. I love all forms of textile arts. It amazes me at the things that can be done with yarn. The socks look great. You will be wearing them really soon.

Jinann said...

Oh, what a wonderful time you must have had. Are you going to add weaving now to your skillset????