Monday, August 29, 2011

One Lucky Little Bean!





Why am I such a lucky little bean, you may ask? Well, all the other little beans pitched in to work extra so that I could go to Peru. I can't thank them enough! This was an amazing adventure! From Lima to Macchu Pichu and back, we saw so much that one blog couldn't possibly hold it all (but I'll certainly try)!


Peruvian dancers

We had so much fun experiencing all that Peruvian culture has to offer - delicious food, beautiful dancing, and of course a lot of fiber!

Fiber in the Andean region is primarily Alpaca. I found it just a tad ironic that I wore my Never Not Knitting Autumn Vines Beret knit out of Isager's Alpaca 2 yarn most of the time I was there. Since most of the world's Alpaca comes from Peru, I am pretty sure that I wore my hat right back to the source. Cool, huh?


Museo Larco was fantastic!

We saw so many amazing things, including the Museo Larco which boasts 45,000 pieces of Incan pottery in its private collection. There was also an amazing example of weaving that dates back to 800 B.C. but since flash photography can damage ancient artifacts, I wasn't allowed to take any pictures of it! What's really interesting about Andean textiles is that it was their 'written language', where certain weaving styles and colors were used to symbolize anywhere from grandiose spiritual concepts to accounting methods!



It never rains in Lima but it is very humid due to it's coastal location. Lima has the most extraordinary fish and seafood I have EVER had in my life!

I ate Ceviche which is an amazing raw fish (yep, raw) concoction!!! I have to say that Peruvian cooking is FANTASTIC!! I will be working on a couple of recipes for my family soon.





As you can see, I found the LYS in Lima. However, it was very different than what we are used to here in the States. I bought a set of very nice circular needles, which I am happy to say made it all the way back home. I have heard horror stories of needles being confiscated when people are trying to return but I thankfully didn't have any trouble. I did get my small scissors taken away in Lima but that's it! Phew!






Here is an amazing example of traditional back strap weaving. To be able to see this artist weaving was truly spectacular. The Peruvian government is working to preserve this tradition and the costume is actually everyday wear for a lot of Peruvian peoples. There are, of course people, wearing modern dress, but we saw people dressed like this everywhere and in the fields on the outskirts of the cities.

No show here - this is the real deal!







I don't know if you have ever heard of Vicuna fiber but it is super duper expensive (if you can find it) and that is because this adorable little guy is endangered!!! The Vicuna is the smallest in the camelid family, which begins with camels, llamas, alpacas and then the oh-so sweet Vicuna!! Soooooooo soft!! Unfortunately, they have been hunted to the brink of extinction for their amazing coat. The good news is that they are now protected by the government so hopefully they will be able to build back up their populations.


Machu Picchu





We hiked all around Machu Picchu and it is truly breathtaking! This extremely rugged terrain was home to the Incan people up until the Spanish Conquistadors came to Peru. The precision with which the stones are laid is mind boggling and the fact that they climbed these mountains everyday is incredible!






Well for now this will have to wet your appetite for all things Peruvian! I will write in more detail about my fiber adventures, which were many to say the least! Let me know if there is any specific part of my adventure you would like to hear about in more detail and I sure will do my best to accommodate you all!


As always, happy knitting, crocheting, and adventuring!


Jeanne


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