11 March 2007
Get Yarn in La Paz
While also not as easy as you would imagine it to be, it is possible to find alpaca and sheep's wool yarn in La Paz, Bolivia. On Calle Sagarnaga, where there are a ton of touristy souvenir shops (some of which sell great stuff), there is a store in a random shopping center where you can buy yarn in skeins, and two stores where you can buy very very very (light fingering, laceweight) yarn on cones. Even the yarn I bought (seen resting on my seedum at right), four 250-gram skeins in black and dark grey, are very light weight. Each skein cost a rather expensive 75 Bolivianos, or almost $10. I thought that it would be cheaper. In fact, the high price made me angry enough that if I knew of another place to buy, I would have gone there.
If you think about it, what are the chances of all $10 of those dollars, or even $9 of them, going to the women who washed, carded, spun and dyed that yarn? Very very low. The guy who sold it clearly wasn't a yarn expert, so he surely didn't earn whatever cut he was getting. Thus, I'm even more committed to figuring out the whole wool industry here in the Andes, and from that finding a way to get better prices to the producers.
If you want to buy yarn on cones (probably cheaper, and you can double it, but it was too awkward for me to carry back this time), or if you want to go and bother the other guy, the places are on Sagarnaga, below San Francisco by 1/2 a block on the left hand side. The shopping center is called the Galeria Palace Center, and is in the bottom of the Eva Palace Hotel. The stores are on the upper level once you go inside.
Some pics for you:
1) The FINISHED Afghan that I made for a friend as a wedding gift (shhh), using Cascade Superwash (which is AWESOME):
2) A finished scarf for hubbo, k2p2 rib with a 100% wool called Pecora from LHO that I bought at Manos de Hada. The yarn is a single that is wonderfully slubby, and makes a great show:
3) A silk rayon blend being made into the back of a sweater based on MDK's "Perfect Sweater" (losely based on), yarn also from LHO. You really can't tell, but the colorway has such great gradations of color and is really lovely: