Thursday, August 18, 2011

More foreign fiber

And you thought you were done with Peru.  But there was more fiber!  And I'm here to tell you now that when other people (read: people who aren't interested and fiber and textiles) ask how we liked Peru and whether we have any pictures, what they want is pictures of Machu Picchu and Colca Canyon, etc etc.  It's amazing how quickly their eyes glaze over when I show them pictures of vicunas.  I don't understand it, but it's true.

We saw other camelids than vicuna, of course - we even got to feed some at a wonderful little camelid farm that had all four of the Peruvian camelids: llamas, guanacos, alpacas, and vicunas.
They were greedy.

So was I.
But the vicuna were too far away to pluck, alas.

There were also a number of women there, spinning and dyeing and weaving.  We got to see one of them grinding cochineal.
She showed us all of the shades of red that can be made with cochineal diluted with various other things.  They also had a lovely display of the colors that Peruvian weavers get from local native plants.
Too cool.  She demonstrated spinning, which didn't seem to entertain the other tourists as much as it did me.
Tucked away in corners were the products of her spinning:
and her tools.
Of course, we did go to the more usual tourist places, like Machu Picchu - where we found llamas.
And took the kind of pictures that all those other non-fiber people expect.
Next time, I'll share a few more of this sort, and then, with luck, I'll actually have achieved something worth sharing in my various knitting and spinning projects.

Meanwhile, I'm trying desperately to catch up on my never ending pre-semester to-do list.  I'm almost looking forward to meetings - at least then, I can knit!


Mary Lou said...

I'm sighing enviously - what a great trip. Good luck with pre-semester struggles.

Willow said...

Wonderful wonderful trip to Peru! I don't understand why people wouldn't be THRILLED to hear all about the fiber animals there--

Anonymous said...

What fantastic pictures! It was fascinating to enlarge the one of the various dye stuff and the resulting colored yarns. Would love to see all four Peruvian camelids in one place to really see the differences.

Hope Oldest Daughter got off to a good beginning in High School!

AlisonH said...


twinsetellen said...

I am currently spinning some indigo dyed East Fresian wool on my Peruvian spindle. It looks quite a bit like the indigo spindle in your color display.

I don't understand why anyone wouldn't find those fiber photos of greatest interest. No accounting for taste, I guess.

Nana Sadie said...

heheh...that's what makes the world go round - different strokes for dif folks, right?
Amazing photos!

Lynne said...

I'm glad you showed us the fibre related pictures - what else would we expect? LOL

Your holiday (sorry, vacation) sounds like so much fun!

lori said...

sigh. What a wonderful trip. Did you go to Lake Titicaca? We climbed about a zillion stairs to the top of this crazy mountain in the middle of the lake and I shot a picture of a woman spinning.

I hope all these wonderful memories sustain you through the pre-semester rush.

Wanderingcatstudio said...

Machu Picchu is definitely on my bucket list!

EGunn said...

So fun! Even better to have fiber in all those wonderful places. It's too bad that the vicuna were too far away, though.

Alwen said...

Fascinating! Wow!

Carrie#K said...

Why would they want to see the non fiber pictures? People.

Such a fab trip! Thanks for sharing!

twinsetjan said...

I love how much you enjoyed, reveled in and appreciated your trip to Peru...and now I want to go too!