23 February 2007

Oxfam superfab project: Tejiendo con Las Mujeres (Weaving with Women)

My colleague just handed me a great book about an Oxfam project, funded by ECHO (the European Commission Humanitarian Office), to help women recover from the trauma of Hurricane Stan (October 2005). The project, in Guatemala, taught women in affected communities how to weave, or how to embroider, and brought them together to weave and embroider huipiles, which are the traditional blouses of Guatemalan women.

The book is full of testimonials about how the project helped the women to recover from the loss of family and friends and to regain the confidence to move on with their lives. My favorite quote in the book is, "when we weave, we chitchat and we play. It is like medicine for us."

All of you who do crafts know how true it is that making something is like medicine.

12 February 2007

Yes, Virginia, there is a decent yarn shop...

I found one! On my way back from dropping some things off at our new condo today, I looked to my right and saw a sign that said, "Lanas de Argentina!" (Wools of Argentina). Yeah, I couldn't walk past it. So, even though the shop was closed, the lady let me in because they were having a class. They have classes!

The shop is called Manos de Hada (Fairy Hands). They distribute only LHO yarns from Argentina, most of which are unfortunately not made from pure wool, but all of which are nice for what they are. And cheap! I got four 250 gram skeins of a silk-rayon blend for $24, and two 100 gram balls of pure wool in a sort of slubby heavy worsted for $8. The shop is run by the Fiorella Group, which also sells some scarves and things made by the women in the shop.

Manos de Hada is located on Noboa Caamano 438, between Coruna and 6 de Diciembre, near the La Colina (or La Paz). They are open until 6 on weekdays.

I'll post pics of the yarn when my camera battery is charged.

Back from Guatemala

Yes, Risa, I was in textile heaven, but no, I didn't get any pics. I did, however, buy a bag, a shawl, a pen case, and a blanket for our new bed, so you can see some stuff when you visit.
Overall, Guatemala was a textile disappointment because I had no time to really explore. I'll have to make sure that I have another trip sometime soon with some more free time.

Before going, however, my husband came to visit me and we went up the TeleferiQuo, Quito's cable car, to the top of one of the mountains to the west of the city. I, of course, took my knitting, and below are some pics of me knitting pretty much as close to the sun as you can knit.

This is my Yummy Scarf. It is just a reversible scarf pattern, but the yarns, ah, the yarns. It is knit in blank mohair and a silk-rayon blend, both of which I forget the names of, but knitting it was a dream. A hat to match is in the works, but trapped in my stash in the States.

The next photos are of me knitting a sock at the top of the teleferico ride.