Saturday, September 29, 2007

Red Scarf, and the ALPACA

Yeah, I finished it. Today, but I can't actually post any pictures until I get back to Guadalupe, since I don´t have the USB cable for my camera. Oh well, trust me, the short little multi-color mohair wonder is off the needles, safely stashed in my duffel bag, under the new stash of alpaca
lime green, turqoise blue, pale purple, dark olive green, 7 sols per 100grams. That works out to roughly $2.35 per 100 grams. Try finding that kind of a deal in the states! Rosie and I had to pester the shop owner for three days straight, since she was reluctant to part with her limited supply, but I was the customer, and I am always right. 49 sols later, I am the proud owner of 700 grams of super fine, super soft fresh from the farm alpaca. Of course, I´ll put up pictures, when I'm done fondling...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Rib and Cable Socks

For the record, I finished the socks last night. But it was too late to run to the internet café and share my joy with you-I was content just to tuck them away in my basket of {completed in Peru}. Just so you know, though, the date stamp on the photo is correct, no kidding, my conscience forced me to complete at least one of the projects I posted for you to all see. And I even managed to turn the heel on BOTH of Paul’s socks last night. Cheers to me!!
Pattern: Interweave Spring 2005
Yarn: FancyImageYarns Superwash Fingering Weight Yarn

Today I am hopping on the bus to Cajamarca to check out Los Baños del Inca (Hot Springs where the Incas camped out hundreds of years ago while waiting for the Spaniards to arrive in the town of Cajamarca-Incas 1, Spaniards 0)
I am taking the red scarf and Paul´s socks. They will both be finished by the time I get back on Saturday night (fingers crossed)

Monday, September 24, 2007

On the needles...

I must come to terms with my progress to date. I already know that I have too many projects on needles, but maybe if I post pictures you can all see where I am, and continue to pester me until they are complete. If you are a member of the immediate family/friends circle, I apologize if you are seeing your own Christmas in January present.

1. The rib/cable socks grow by a few rounds everyday, slowly nearing completion. Paul’s black socks honestly just saw the light of day for the first time in I don’t know how long, and I knit six or seven rows of the heel flap just for grins and giggles. At least I am working them both at the same time, to cut down on Second Sock Syndrome.

2. The Red Scarf Project sees the most action right now, since I take it to school with me to knit during recess. The blue & green mohair leaves was an ambitious start, but I’ve only added one row since last week.

3. The grey mohair hoodie, as you can see, has everything from the armpit down. I just ripped out the sleeves that I had started, because I decided I didn’t want a fitted cuff, rather a bell shaped sleeve with some ribbing, possibly.

4. The cadet hat looks fabulous, but I am still trying decide how I want to shape the top-possibly some cables worked in the deep ribbing or something of that sort. Once these decisions are made, the last two projects will once again see some action.
Actually, just writing this gave me some ideas for the sweater-see, I was right-just bringing them out gives them life. If only I could figure out a way to knit all day, and never get tired fingers or back cramps. At least I have Dona Juana and her cousin Flor to ask me daily whether or not the socks are finished, since there is no point to only having one sock (in their 81yr old opinions; they’ve never knit socks before!)
P.S. In the 20 minutes it took this computer to download photos, I added another 15 rows to the red scarf. Speed is not of the essence down here.

Friday, September 21, 2007


It is time for me to learn how to knit in Spanish. I obviously already know how to knit in English, but aside from to knit: tejer the only other word I know is stitch: puntos . Each time I whip out my sock (media) or the red scarf (bufanda) I am making for the Red Scarf Project, I am the recipient of a barrage of questions, to which I can only answer “I am knitting a sock/scarf.” Yo estoy tejiendo una media/bufanda. Part of the problem is that weaving, knitting, and crocheting all count as tejer. And all yarn is referred to as lana. There is no highbrow shops chock full of designer yarns (ironic, I know, considering some of the best yarns come from Peru), and specific varieties aren’t really necessary-I am glad I know the difference between lana de oveja (lambs wool), lana de alpaca (you can figure this one), and lana de acrilico(another obvious translation). Where I live, on the northern central coast of Peru, the majority of the animals are stripped of their fleece and it is immediately shipped south, to places like Arequipa (Blue Sky Alpacas), Pisac(Cascade 220), or further north to Malabrigo( yeah, there’s another town by the same name in Uruguay, both produce lots of yarn). There is plenty of acrylic yarn available in the stores, but most of it is more like crochet thread than yarn-lots of doilies and doll clothing are knit and crocheted around here. So, cheers to me spending more centavos searching the internet for a knitters’ dictionary in Spanish-Doña Juana wants me to translate one of my sock patterns to Spanish (Embossed Leaves-Interweave Knits).

I finished the Messenger Bag, and did a trial run at cold-water machine felting – it didn’t work, even though I had added a teakettle worth of hot water. So today I’ll buy some rubber gloves to protect my freshly manicured fingers (don’t laugh, cinco sols and the manicurist came to the house, all the rest of the mujeres in la familia were doing it, and I didn’t want to be rude), boil more water, and give a go at felting by hand. Also, I turned the heel on the second rib/cable sock, although it doesn’t look exactly like its mate-I think I must have used a different method, and I didn’t write it down.

P.S. Thursday, in between the hour and a half classes at the girls school, I saw two niñas sitting together in the yard knitting. Ahh, it warms my heart.

Monday, September 17, 2007

felting without a machine?

I am nearly finished with the messenger bag, just doing the strap right now, when I realized that the Washing Machine doesn´t have hot water-only agua fria here. So, what then? Use the teakettle and boil water, dump it in the sink and stir for hours? Help, someone, please!
I am currently playing with my mohair collection- I knit about eight inches of a scarf from last summers Vogue Knitting-one they knit in white mohair with different shades of green wool leaves orderly throughout-I am using my own koolaid-dyed dusty green and blue mohair, with peasoup green wool leaves randomly throughout. I am teaching Rosita how to knit, and she wanted to learn how to make a shawl (by the way, it´s the same in Spanish, just pronounced differently), so I am making mine out of red/orange mohair (another KoolAid Dye), and she is using acrilico purchased at the mercado. So, my time is about out here at the internet cafe, pictures forthcoming, I promise (once I figure out my flickr and photobucket accounts!)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Washclothes, and pictures.

It dawned on me last night, as I was wiping soap out of my eyes with my TurbiTwist, that I should probably have a washcloth. So I asked Cecilia if there were any washclothes. Any what? was the answer I got. Nevermind, I´ll solve this problem myself rather than try to translate it into Spanish. I think I remember reading a pattern for a washcloth, since I can´t seem to find one at the tables in the market. But can I use Cotton-Ease?, or Cotton Fleece?, which are the only two cottons I brought with me, aside from the manos del uruguay, which is a bit too expensive for facecloths. In anycase, I am spending precious nuevo sols to surf the internet for washcloth patterns that I can copy down longhand into my notebook, because my beautiful house doesn´t have internet and the internet cafe doesn´t have a printer.
Take a look at the little Flickr picture spread right over there--------------------------------->
I added the pink bonnet, and if the rest of my photos finish downloading I can squeeze some pictures of works in progress here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

the universal language: yarn

I didn´t do as much knitting on the plane as I had planned, but the first leg of the trip I was quite literally crammed into a window seat alongside a portly gentlemen with a slight tendency to hog the armrest, and periodically elbow me in the ribcage when he adjusted to get the stewardess´s attention. I did however, manage to get a bit done on the second sock (I would insert a picture here, but plugging in my USB card disables the mouse on this computer(?)) I have also finished the body of the messenger bag, and have moved onto the flap-I may actually run out of the two green yarns, so modifications will definately be made. I also knit up an entire baby bonnet, the one from knitting for two(?) by Erika Knight (I think). That quick little project happened because the night I arrived in Guadalupe Peru, Dona Juana was sitting on the couch, crocheting. CROCHET? What happened to knitting with the tejadoras of Peru? In any case, I whipped out my socks, and she promptly began inviting in passerbys to look at the American, knitting. Then she asked to see my yarn. Oh, my yarn. Well, for starters, the duffel bag I used to carry my yarn and binder of patterns was larger than the one I brought with all my clothing, shoes, and toiletries. Almost the entire prize pack from Jimmy Beans Wool, two of those enormous wheels of green, half a dozen skeins of the red alpaca I purchased down here in March, and so on and so forth. Dona saw the pink cotton (algodon) tucked in the bottom of a ziploc bag (left overs from another project, the yarn Jenni and I dyed last year, or the year before), and wanted to see what it looked like, knit. She then browsed through my binder, and saw the bonnet, and the next evening I was binding off the garter stitch ties (to replace the satin ribbon that I probably couldn´t buy down here even if I could say it in Spanish) Yeah, I can whip a bonnet out while sitting on cement benches in the dance hall watching my new amigito Kevin(pronounced Kay-beeen) at marinera dance lessons. All of my yarn is still spread out on one of the living room couches, because when a new friend comes to visit, Dona shows them what the Amerian brought, instead of clothes.
More later, and possibly pictures since Jenni was kind enough to lend me a digital for this trip, and if I can find a computer that doesn´t shut down when I use my USB card.

Monday, September 3, 2007


This is my last in America post for this year, we leave first thing in the a.m. (3) to get to the airport in time for check in. Didn't finish the messenger bag to use as a carry on, but it is still going with me, as are the rib and cable socks and the bobble bag. I didn't want to bring too many needley things on the plane with me, since last March the airline in Peru wouldn't let me have needles during the flight (maybe they'll let the crochet hook through). Adios, the next post will be from South America!!