A blog about knitting, and some other stuff....

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

things that people make

This is a terrifying thing to walk through

In Peruvian Andes this is this place called the Sacred Valley. It’s very pretty (this is an understatement, but I want to talk to you about yarn, not about how pretty Sacred Valley is, so we’ll leave it at that) and it’s rather hard to breathe there because of the altitude but you deal because it’s so pretty. It’s known for its Inca sites, and if you go you will find a lot of very poor villages filled with indigenous people. The Inca social system (not just Inca, but nearly every Andean society before it as well) was heavily based on the creation of textiles – textiles for offerings, for taxes, for weddings, funerals, etc. Some of the finest textiles could have thread counts higher than your sheets – your good sheets. And in the Sacred Valley there are still people weaving these things today. We visited a weaver’s co-op in Chinchero, Peru where they prepare, spin, and dye their own wool, and then proceed to weave it. And so, here are some lovely pictures.

Woman spinning. I did not see one spinning wheel the whole time I was there (that being in the whole of South America), they seem to only use drop spindles - that's a lot of spinning

Hand dying yarns

They only use traditional, natural dyes. These are examples of what is used to make each color.

Weaving belts

If you so happen to want to see more pictures of Peru (and Chile!) I have tons, and you can see them here http://www.zooomr.com/photos/beckylynne/sets/

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I'm back!

Hi there!
Yes, its been a very long time since I've posted something. But I have a really good excuse, I was in South America, and they don't always have the internet there. Regardless, it was good times. I went with school and we restored some 1,000 year old textiles that were found in mummy bundles (which actually makes them rather gross because they were covered in 1,000 year old "body resin" ie/ dead person juice). We did other things too, like tour northern Chile and southern Peru; we were at Machu Picchu for my birthday.
I was expecting more yarn, seeing as nearly all the yarn you find here seems to come from South America, but not so much. I saw lots of alpacas and llamas and sheep and other such animals that yarn is made from, and I found lots of textiles and people weaving and spinning; but I found very little actual yarn for sale. I think it might be because everyone who does the textile thing down there also knows how to spin (like crazy, I have a great video that I'll post when i figure out how to post videos), so they all spin their own yarn. I did find a bit though, a few random balls floating about in the corner of stores. Really I didn't even know if they were for sale half the time, but everyone was willing to sell whatever you were willing to buy, so I have some yarn. Pictures later, I still haven't finished unpacking....

Now.... a meme about books! Which I was tagged for a long time ago by Dancing Knitter, but I've been a bit behind on my blog reading (ummm, so I have 287 entries still left to read....) and I just found it.

I recently finished reading:
Utterly Monkey by Nick Laird. And it's an awesome book that you should read. Let's see, how can I sum this up in a way that will make you want to read this.... It's about a Lawyer named Danny, and he's from Northern Ireland, but now he works in London. And one day his deadbeat friend from home shows up at his door. And there's terrorists. And it's rather funny and I really loved the characters and would like to be friends with them in real life. Here, read this summary, because this man is much better at summarizing than I will ever be: http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article385756.ece

Turn to page 161 of the book, and read the 5th sentence. My book says:
"When Geordie came back into the living room carefully carrying the brimmed mug of tea, Ian had the money in three neat piles, all with the Queen's head on top. "

this is a lie, it's is not the 5th sentence but the 7th, because the 5th was very boring. Yes, I'm cheating, it's my meme I can cheat!

List of some of my favorite books:

1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
2. Slaughterhouse 5, Kurt Vonnegut
3. Beowulf
4. Catch 22, Joseph Heller
5. Sabriel, Garth Nix

And I don't know who reads this, so I tag whoever sees this, and then leave me a comment and I'll check out what you have to say about what you read.