Wednesday, November 23, 2011

cloud forest natural dye workshop!

A few (okay, a great many) photos from a four day excursion into the cloud forest two weeks ago, to learn how to use natural dyes with expert weaver Daniel and his lovely family. 

We left Ollanta at 4 AM and caught a fruit truck in nearby Calca - minus the fruit, fortunately, but plus about twenty people, a box of baby chickens, and some furniture.

Parobamba itself is a small town with amazing views. Our first day there, we went for a hike down to Daniel's family chakra (farmland), collected some dye supplies and met his bees: 

... and hung out with his awesome sons, Acknar (8) and Nilson (12). 

Once the supplies were collected, we went back to their and spent the next 48 hours boiling vats of yarn with cochineal, leaves, other leaves, tree bark and fungus:

... with help from (or at least the company of) Nilson and Acknar, of course... 

Daniel's wife Leonarda still managed to get quite a lot of weaving in as well. Their collaborative works are some of the most beautiful things sold in the Awamaki store, and we were able to buy a few things from them directly, which was exciting (actually, I was even able to commission a gorgeous, half-woven piece with the tools still in it - hard to describe but so, so pretty) 

By the time we were done, we had a staggering array of colors in an even more staggering amount of three kilos of yarn per person, which, even for me, is quite a lot of yarn. Fortunately, I was able to find a home for most of it back in Ollantaytambo - the rest is sitting next to me in a flour sack here in our hotel in Cusco, waiting to be taken to the post office, because there is no way I can carry it all with me throughout South America! 


  1. oh my god, what an experience... Thank you so much for sharing your adventures, it is so interesting !

  2. What a trip! I wish you will make a documentary film about your beautiful life as a knitter photographer globetrotter one day.

  3. Your photos spoke volumes!! I love seeing the basic way that Daniel and his family dye their wool -- I'm so envious of the experience that you're having.

  4. That is so cool! Totally jealous ♥