|Knitters in highland village. Photo by Cynthia LeCount Samaké|
I'll be honest, a book like Knitting Around the World doesn't happen in a vacuum. It requires the support and knowledge of whole troves of experts. And when it comes to Andean knitting, no one knows quite so much as Cynthia. I'm incredibly indebted to her for her myriad contributions to the book: scads of trustworthy information, gorgeous photos, even a little backup fact checking.
|Cynthia's goddaughter, Anita, wearing a ruffled bonnet typical of Lake Titicaca. |
Photo by Cynthia LeCount Samaké
Here's a preview from the South America chapter:
LeCount discovered that Andean knitters “have adapted the intarsia method to their circular knitting in order to introduce many more colors into their work. Normally, if intarsia is worked in the round, the yarns end up on the opposite side of the motif, inaccessible for the next round.” Andean knitters use an ingenious method of working around the ch’ullu in one direction, joining the yarn with one of two methods, then turning the piece and working around in the other direction... Presto! The colors are in position to use in the next color motif.
I've only met Cynthia online. You can meet her in person – if you're very, very lucky. In Spring 2012, Cynthia, along with Nancy Thomas, will be leading a two week Textiles and Culture trip to Peru. Titled "Easter in the Andes" and geared, obviously, toward fiber (especially knitting) enthusiasts, participants (I wish one could be me!) will visit Lima, ChanChan, and Machu Picchu, among many other historic cities and sites. Find out more about this trip – as well as a Textiles, Arts and Culture tour of Ghana – at Cynthia's website.
|Yarn junkies, this one's for you: natural-dyed yarns in Cuzco. Photo by Cynthia LeCount Samaké|