Friday, December 30, 2011

Love in every stich

It is hard to describe how special this yarn is to me. It has such a deep and complex history that it has become one of my most treasured possessions. As many of you may know by reading previous entries, my husband Yonid is from Peru. Before we were married I went down to Andahuaylas, Peru to visit him and his family for the holidays. I planned to purchase some wool yarn while I was there to use on the hats I was selling at the time in a shop in downtown Nacogdoches, TX.   I had done this before on a trip to Ecuador and the wool was a big hit. While there, I chatted with his family  about finding some yarn to see if they had any connections, and his mom said we could go to the market and look before I had to go home. The next thing I knew Yonid's 88 year old grandmother (la Mamacita), who at the time was still living on a mountainside potato farm with no electricity or vehicle access, had brought me a HUGE bag of finger spun yarn that she had made herself.  It must have taken her years to spin all the yarn on her finger tips without even a spinning wheel. All the yarn was made form wool off of their sheep.  I think that she was thinking of trying to sell it, but when she found out that I was wanting yarn to make my living at the time, she simply gave it to me expecting nothing in return.  To give you an idea of how much yarn there was, this photo shows about 1/3.

When she gave me the yarn it was all off-white, or grey, according to the sheep's color. So the next step was to dye it. Yonid and I, took on the challenge ( with a whole lot of help*)We purchased natural pigment powders from the market, which we were told was imported form Columbia. We took those out to the country where his Tia Hermelinda and Tio Leonidas (left) lives, who has experience with dying. It was a very labor intensive but fun process.

Yonid getting some water boiling

The yarns took some time to dry, and by the time they were ready to be balled up I was going to have to leave the next day. to my surprise all of Yonids aunts, uncles, brothers, cousins, and friends got together to help us roll them all up. It took hours. but it was a beautiful moment to see everyone coming together out of love and enjoying each other's company.

La Mamacita y El Papacito

The whole experience was really unique and incredibly beautiful. These people, who I now have the honor to call my family impacted my deeply with their love and generosity. A special thanks to La Mamacita, one of the most amazing women I know. I can now truly know how much love goes into each stitch I make with this very special yarn.

 Thanks for reading!

P.S. all the photos you see with the exception of the first one were taken with my Pentax MV1 in Andahuaylas, Peru and outlying countryside.

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