Gifts From The Sun: part 7

If one is to have fur as an accessory, I think it is a lovely thing to have one that is alive, breathing, and very cuddly, and in Cusco, Peru it is apparent that the llamas have an overwhelming desire to accessorize with their brightly dressed humans too.  In Cusco, llama &  Peruvian indeed have a perfectly symbiotic fashion sense.

Never leave home without your llama!

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Where to go from here?

Some moment in the next couple of days I will post, and you will see,

the new design unveiled!

Watch this space!

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Gifts From The Sun: part 6

As I’ve been researching Things Andean, particularly Peruvian, and can’t help but become most excited about the artful expressions of the high villages in and around Cusco, at the heart of Incas. I am opening my eyes, my ears, and my heart, indelibly imprinted by the culture cradled in the highlands of the Andes mountains, once so isolated, but now tentatively spreading its influence into the modern world.

In the Gifts From The Sun series, I am sharing my best finds with you,   and so another post in this series to fill out the anticipatory space while while I savor the finish work of three sweaters, then one last edit to the pattern. From here on I’ll be staying on topic with the upcoming Andean Thing, until soon  I’ll be done & dusted with this project that has been so long in-the-making.

In  closing, I am sharing some indigenous Andean music, which I’ve listened to incessantly for who knows how many days now, I’m not counting.   I think it is the alpacas, llamas & sheep and their spinning, knitting, weaving humans ~~ and their music ~~ that is the soul of the Andes!


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Gifts From The Sun

Gifts From The Sun: part 5

Mario Testino, a renowned Peruvian fashion photographer, in his Alta Moda series seems to carry the theme of his native homeland into a remarkable modernized, carnival like image from his camera, depicting typical things men and women of the regions around Cusco do in the work of their days. It is everyday life to meet the herd in the early morning with a days worth of spinning to do, walking from pasture to pasture, walking while spinning, as quite possibly these women are doing . . .

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I am excited and anticipating a nice long post-designing break after my forthcoming, to shake off stress from deadlines and the pandemic and just try to enjoy the remaining months of summer. I am hoping to practice walking and spinning in the technique as has been done for centuries in the Andes (sans herd).  But I need to make a little shopping list first, to get prepared.

First I thought I’d get started by finding a sensible wooden drop spindle like I use to have before the wildfire, similar to those used in the Andes, so I am considering either a very inexpensive unfinished Kromski spindle, or a basic sturdy Schacht spindle , both rugged wood that can withstand being dropped on the rocky soil time and time again . . .

A few months ago, when conceiving of the Gifts From The Sun series, I had gotten some Wool Of The Andes roving, which is Peruvian Highland wool. I am wondering now, that I might need or at least want just a few more of these beautiful colors, and Knit Picks has really got it going on!  Be forewarned, although the supplies they carry are exquisite and inexpensive, often they get low on supply and you simply must wait for them to replenish.

Now, as my Peruvian Wool Of The Andes roving and spindle will soon be on their way,  I will be readying to spin around the time my upcoming design is finished. Hoping by mid-August to be celebrating summer solstice belatedly, as well as finished and promoting my upcoming pattern, while studying the lessons from Nilda’s “Andean Spinning” below.  I actually bought the download about a year ago and posted about here , although never really committed myself to spindle spinning.   If anybody out there in the world reading this and wishes to do a little Andean technique in spinning along with me,  I really want to encourage the sale of Nilda’s dvd/books/work because she is my favorite Peruvian, such a brilliant person, and there is no better source to purchase it than from her “Center Of Traditional Textiles of Cusco” …

Lastly, how could I close this post about Andean Spinning without including this little video of a Quechua speaking woman spinning out with her herd up in the high pastures of the Andes.

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Gifts From The Sun: part 4

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Coricancha in Cusco, Peru

The beautiful people of the sun. Colossally inventive farmers, phenomenal textile artists of weaving and knitting using the wool from their llamas, alpacas, and sheep, and dyed from plants in the colors of nature. Stone masons like this world has never seen! Musicians of the most enchanting melodies, wooden flutes and simple stringed instruments, is all a part of their legacy which is so intrinsic of their small but mighty culture. Living so high up in the Andes, they are indeed touched by the sun, able to harness the magnificent from a harsh landscape, the Inca thrive with abundance in a sacred place, with their downy woolly four-legged companions.

I have gotten going after a little break, back to my Andean inspired design, narrowing the field, racing to the finish, again researching, and sharing my good finds here. Please enjoy this little documentary on The Sacred Valley of the Incas…

See all posts in series “Gifts From The Sun”.

Gifts From The Sun: part 3

In previous posts I’ve been going on about the camelids ~~ llamas, alpacas guanaco & vicuna of the ancient Inca empire ~~ but sheep are equally a part of herding, spinning, weaving, and living in the Andes of today.   I have been looking for videos of Andean women spinning while out on the grassy slopes with their herds, and I just tripped over this beautifully filmed very short little treasure!

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Gifts From The Sun: part 2

Second in a little series I am posting while learning more about textile industry and culture of the Inca ancestors who live in the high plains of the Andes, and who are still herding, spinning, weaving, dying, and knitting with the fibers of their beloved llama, alpaca, guanaco, and vicuna. 

In this modern BBC documentary one can clearly see the contrast between the micro scale of the traditional highland farming family with their small herds, living on very little income, and the modern sophisticated macro business of alpaca and wool industry in Peru, but where both micro & macro industries are shown to depend upon the other.  Another must-see documentary!

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Gifts From The Sun: part 1

The ancient Andean herdsmen interbred camelid ancestors to create an animal with endurance, dependability, intelligence and all around good nature ~~ it was the llama, the prize of the Inca Empire!  I am revisiting my interest in textile & culture of the people who live in the Andes mountains, where herders, spinners, weavers and knitters work their traditional crafts of livelihood today still.  In fact, I am posting a little series as I myself learn, and this one is a bit of a sleepy documentary from the early 90’s about the ancient relationship between the Andean people and their animals; the llama, alpaca, guanaco, and vicuna, on which they seem completely dependent. It is  called “Treasure of the Andes” and I do hope you enjoy!

See all posts in series “Gifts From The Sun”.