Hello, my name is Karin and I am obsessed with knitting. It wasn’t always like this. I used to be a casual knitter. And then we moved to Peru and my knitting world exploded.
We moved to the Andean city of Huancayo in February 2014 so that my husband could conduct field research for his anthropology PhD. The city, at 10,000 feet/3,000 meters above sea level, is a place of striking contrasts. The older generations still wear their “traditional” clothing (for ladies that means a skirt, an apron, a sweater, a manta (blanket) pinned around their shoulders, a hat, and, when it’s cold, woolen leggings that almost resemble leg warmers), yet they also carry cell phones. There are stores that exclusively sell hay and grass for the guinea pigs, sheep, cows, and other animals that live in the city limits; and there is also a Starbucks in the city center.
Little did I know that there would also be yarn and knitting EVERYWHERE. There is an abundance of natural, hand-spun alpaca and wool yarns, either left undyed in their beautiful natural state or dyed with local ingredients. And the women knit all over town, while tending to their stall in the market, visiting with friends in the park, walking their kids to school, or even shopping for groceries!
With access to such great fiber materials and inspired by the culture of knitting, I’ve been stocking up on yarn and attempting more and more challenging knitting patterns during our time here. I made my first pullover sweater, then two more sweaters for my husband, and then over a dozen hats and accessories for friends and family.
I also used this opportunity of living abroad and having more time to start my first blog about life in Huancayo. I love writing about, taking photos of, and sharing our experiences of living here. I also love reading the blogs of others, and have been particularly inspired by the stories of other knitters and crafters.
Now, as the end of our time here in Peru approaches, I’ve decided to launch this blog to share my knitting adventures and connect with fellow knitters in this wonderful online universe. I’ve toyed for months with what to name the blog (more on that in the next post), about its purpose and how it would be different from other blogs out there. Then I decided I just need to jump in and do it! I love knitting. I love learning about knitting. I love trying new knitting techniques. And that’s what I’ll talk about here. So, without further ado, here we go!