Quest for Fiber

A main theme of my travels is to engage with people who spin, knit, weave, felt, or do anything to create handmade textiles.

Quest for Fiber: Chapter 11: Serendipity Too Blatant to Ignore

There are no such things as coincidences. This is a lesson I am learning repeatedly on my travels. The theme that I picked for my journey before I began was “Expect the Unexpected” because I wanted to keep my heart open to every possibility. Little did I know how profoundly this theme would manifest itself …

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Quest for Fiber: Chapter 10: A New Tradition in Herding Sheep

 I guess this falls into the “Quest for Fiber” category… I was certainly following behind a bunch of  fiber on the hoof today! Since I arrived in the English Yorkshires two days ago, I have been hoping to see some sheep dogs working on a real farm. I have seen them at sheep dog trials, …

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Quest for Fiber Chapter 9: The New Lanark Cotton Mill

I am backing up a bit to write about some of the spectacular places I have visited up until now.   In late June, I was in Glasgow and the first “go-to” place in my plans was the WorldHeritage Site of New Lanark. From Glasgow, it was only about a 45 minute train ride to …

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Quest for Fiber Chapter 8: Picky about my Hentilagets on Bressay

I had a day on Tuesday so overwhelmingly wonderful, that I had to take time to get a blog post out finally! I have actually had several of these kinds of days since I left home, but just have not gotten around to sharing about them. This one was really special because it combined my …

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Quest for Fiber Chapter 8: Chinchero Textiles

I had been wanting to visit the Centro de Textiles in Chinchero for quite a while and finally had a day free to go on April 16. I had met Yiqian, a wonderful artist from China when I attended the natural dyeing workshop at Apulaya. She also wanted to visit Chinchero, so on Thursday morning …

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Fiber: Chapter 7: Colores! Colores!

Since I arrived in Calca, I have been trying to find a natural dyeing workshop to learn how the Quechua traditionally dyed their fiber. I was especially interested in a four-day homestay in a small village sponsored by an organization called Awamaki which is located in Ollantaytambo. However, they would not have any excursions until …

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Fiber: Chapter 6: Revisiting Arequipa’s Fiber Mills

Last year, when I was in Arequipa, I wrote about my disappointment in trying to find natural alpaca fiber and yarn in the city that has several large fiber mills.  This year, I made another attempt to explore Arequipa’s fiber and was a bit more rewarded for my efforts. However to find women (and men) working …

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Islas! Islas!*

* Islands! Islands!   For the weekend of my 60th birthday (March 22), I decided to take a little tourist jaunt to the island of Amantani via boat. You can purchase a tour  from one of many agencies in Puno, but Juan, my host at Posada Santa Barbara, told me that if I go to …

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Fiber: Chapter 4: The Alpaca Ladies of Acora

While knitting last Sunday with the women in Chucuito, I told them I was looking for lana de alpaca (alpaca yarn). They told me I had to go to the feria de domingo (Sunday fair or market) in Acora another small pueblo about 15 kilometers south of here. That meant I had to wait an …

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