Right off of the Plaza de San Francisco in downtown Cusco, we found a little yarn shop. There were cones full of alpaca and wool, and a variety of blends. One wall was dedicated to naturally dyed (or undyed) yarns, while the others used synthetic dyes. And in the display case below, there was a treasure trove of baby alpaca. Neatly arranged in bags of ten.
TEN balls of beautiful local alpaca for about $25. $2.50 a ball. Yeah, that was worth it. I bought three bags.
This was the only “commercial” yarn shop I found in the city – and I got this tip from one of the women working at the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco. The yarn that is produced by all of the spinners on the street is immediately put to good use by the family – whether for weaving, crochet, or knitting. Yarn is not seen as a profitable product – only the finished textile. Luckily I found this place, who seemed to cater to wholesalers and larger mill shops.
It was at the Pisac Market that I found the last bag of yarn, just slightly more expensive, but in a beautiful blue shade. Four bags seemed more than adequate.
The wheels in my head started turning – I needed a project for all of this yarn. I remembered the RYC Classic Alpaca collection that I picked up last fall, and my mind was racing… once I got home to Maryland, I confirmed that this yarn would be the perfect substitute for the RYC’s Baby Alpaca DK, with a little added yardage too! (and about five times cheaper than the Rowan equivalent…)
The idea of stripes immediately appealed to me, and I asked Kris how he felt about the Oxford sweater. (The colors were almost a perfect match.) I didn’t get an enthusiastic response, so I regrouped and thought that one of the natural shades would actually make a perfect Linden pullover, one of my favorite patterns in the book…
…and the stripes are for me too! I do love the Oxford, so why not the charcoal and blue version for me?
I am feeling a very strong pull to this yarn – I think I just might be spontaneous and cast on with it soon… jumping over the other beautiful knits in my queue.
Which one should I cast on for?