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Travelogue .001

June 7, 2016

Travelogue is an account of our recent trip to Peru, where we source our new premium wool yarn Woolstok.

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Como estas? Donde está la fábrica? Van a llegar pronto las ovejas?

Well, that’s about the extent of our Español . But seeing as how our trips to South America are becoming a more frequent occurrence, we’ve been boning up on the language. At any rate, back in November we went to visit some alpaca and sheep ranches in Puno, Peru. An important agricultural and livestock region, Puno is located on the shore of Lake Titicaca in southeastern Peru. The textures and colors of this craggy, unspoiled terrain, where llamas, alpacas and sheep graze on its immense plateaus, have inspired spinners, dyers, weavers and knitters for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Needless to say, they’ve inspired us too, as you can see in our latest colors and textures.

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Top: Sheep on a ranch in Puno. Part of the herd that helps to produce Woolstok.  Bottom left: A local woman in traditional attire spins wool on her walk.  Bottom right: Local textiles can be found in the town’s open air Handicraft Market and along roadsides.


From Puno, it’s about a 5-hour bus ride to Arequipa, home to Peru’s vibrant commercial textile industry. (Best known for its alpaca industry, the processing of fiber for both domestic and export use is an important economic contributor in Peru, second only to mining.) Here in Arequipa is where you’ll find the spinning mill where our Woolstok yarn comes for grading (separating the best useable fiber from the waste), scouring (washing away the grease and foreign matter), carding (combing so the fibers align), spinning, dyeing and plying. Only the finest of this clip is used for Woolstok, a worsted-weight yarn, strong and sturdy, gently plied to give it loft, lightness and a soft hand. The mélange colors are achieved through fiber dyeing before it is spun, and then blended to create the unique look.

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Only the finest of this clip is used for Woolstok, a worsted-weight yarn, strong and sturdy, gently plied to give it loft, lightness and a soft hand.


 

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Left: Sorting process in a local mill.  Top right: Fiber sorted by colors.  Bottom right: Fiber testing.


Our trip to Peru was a wonderful opportunity to meet the local herders, sheep shearers and mill workers. And find inspiration in the  local landscape. All in all, it was a fabulous adventure. We can’t wait to return next year. Oh, and by the way, that first line translates to: How’s it going? Where is the factory? Will the wool be arriving soon?


Woolstok: The Wonder Yarn

100% HIGHLAND WOOL /  WORSTED WEIGHT  /  21 COLORS–SEE THEM ALL!

No. 1302: Gravel Road
No. 1314: Deep Velvet
No. 1300: Cast Iron

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