One would think that in a country where one of their big exports is fiber and fiber arts that it would be not that difficult to find yarn.
One would be wrong.
Oh you can find some fiber here and there but most of what you see in the different markets is fiber that has already been made into something, everything from fabulous sweaters and blankets all the way down to baskets and baskets of finger puppets.
On our last trip to visit the in-laws in Lima HHBL and I took several days to travel up to Cuzco, Machu Picchu and the Golden Valley and I just knew that I would find yarn there. I found a bit here and a bit there but nothing that made my little heart sing…..until the Artisan Market in Cuzco. And I will be honest and say that I might have missed it if it hadn’t been for the eagle eyes of HHBL who found the vendor at the back of the market. Oh so soft and lovely and gray was the yarn. But of course there was no way to tell the yardage per skein because there were no tags on the skeins, just bags of 12 skeins/bag. And I wanted to make SURE that I had enough yardage for a sweater, even though I could see that this was fingering weight and I was already anticipating that knitting a sweater in fingering weight yarn would be a challenge. The vendor only had one bag of skeins in this color but never fear, she wanted the sale.
Wait here madam (she said to me in Spanish). At least that is what I THINK she said.
And off she ran to check with other vendors in the market to see if they had what I needed. The markets are really like a large collective, if one vendor doesn’t have the number or color of what you are needing then someone else does.
She was back in five minutes with the news that no one had another bag of skeins of that particular color BUT if I was set on that color and willing to come back in 30 minutes she would take a taxi to the warehouse where she was sure that there was another bag of yarn in just the color I needed. I could do that. SO HHBL and I wandered for a time, looked at other things, bought a bottle of water and came back in 30 minutes but she wasn’t back yet. Her husband was manning the booth and the baby. So we wandered and killed a bit more time and FINALLY there she was with another bag of skeins in the color that I wanted.
I handed over the money (she gladly took American dollars) and clutched the bags of yarn to my ample mammary glands and walked away a happy girl. I packed the yarn up and flew it back to Lima with me, pulling a skein out every once in a while just to pet the yarn, and then back to the good old US of A where I immediately put it into the stash cabinet to get to know the other fiber. There were some language issues but everyone eventually got along. And I just waited and looked until I found the pattern that I thought would be just perfect for the yarn.
And one day, there is was, Moonshine by Thea Colman at Babycocktails. It whispered to me that my Cuzco yarn and she were meant to be together always and forever. I could not resist.
I cast on in January and I worked for a while. But then I put Moonrise in time out for a bit because miles and miles and miles of stockinette stitch in fingering weight yarn was making me psychotic. But I picked her up again in April after about a 6 week cooling off period and away we went.
I finished her! And she is so warm and comfy and cozy.
AND I really didn’t need to buy that second bag of skeins of yarn because the entire sweater used only 9.5 skeins of yarn. So I have A LOT of yarn left and I am thinking that I need a lovely lace wrap at some point. In fact I know exactly the right one. But that will have to wait for a bit.
Oh, and the total cost of the yarn that I bought in Cuzco?
That is $50 for 24 skeins of alpaca yarn.
Don’t be hatin’!