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:


Dawn said...

Wow, the aphgan is gorgeous. It is so cool to read about your life in South America. I moved to the UK 5 years ago and I thought it would be sooo easy to find yarn...but it isn't! I found you through Felicia's blog about letter writing! I'll be keeping an eye on your blog!

Dora Levitt said...

Hi there from NYC! I found you by googling "yarn stores in LaPaz, Bolivia", & when I saw your thread link, I clicked on it! I may be coming very soon to LaPaz to do missions work, & I needed to find out if there was anything in the way of yarn stores or companies in the area.
Are you still in LaPaz? Are you in Ravelry? Please let me know, God bless you! ♡♥♡

DamselFish said...

I haven't been to Bolivia since 2012, so things have probably changed quite a bit. The only places I could find yarn even then were Calle Sagarnaga (as mentioned in the post - same annoying store) and from producers directly in the campo. The yarn that individuals sell independently is not great quality, unfortunately (at least not what I could find).

If you see someone knitting or crocheting there, I would ask them where they bought the yarn. You might find something new!