Saturday, March 12, 2011

What I Did with My Oaxaca Wool

When I moved to Mexico, I was a novice yarn crafter.  I moved here with a ton of scrapbook/stamp supplies, a few crochet hooks, and about three balls of yarn.  I wasn't sure if I'd like crochet or knitting, and I didn't want to buy too much yarn, you know? 

But I quickly became obsessed and started searching for the rich, beautiful wools of Mexico.  Well, as it turns out, natural fiber is not that easy to come by around here!  There is acrylic as far as the eye can see, but very little wool.  :(

When my family took a vacation to beautiful and rustic Oaxaca City, we visited several small towns that specialized in specific crafts.  When we got to Teotitlan del Valle, which is known for its beautiful woven tapestry rugs, I knew I had finally found my WOOL YARN! 

Beautiful, rugged, soulful- this yarn was so special.  So colorful, so unique.  I was able to choose from a palette of every rich color imaginable, and buy this yarn by the kilo.  The red. The red is dyed from the blood of the bugs that inhabits the nopal cactus and I saw the process of extracting the dye from the plant.  I saw the sheep from which the wool was taken.  It was a magical experience.  I left with a basket full of beautiful yarn.

For a while I just enjoyed looking at the yarn in my pretty stash basket, but as my stash grew and grew, I knew I needed to use the Oaxaca Wool at a much quicker rate.  Recently I took on two projects to that end.  I still have a few balls left, but I'm so happy with the results. 

The first is the Crocheted Stash Basket from Purl Bee which I made from all the little bits and pieces I had from Oaxaca.  It's a perfect project for this yarn because as I mentioned, it is a strong yarn.  It is meant for rugs so this basket is going to last forever.

Single ply makes great stitch definition

I started with a bulky yarn and bigger hook to make a strong (and large) base
Check out my project page on Ravelry.

It's pretty, right?
The second is a simple laptop bag that I designed myself, although there is not much design involved.  I doubled the yarn to make the laptop safe and secure.  I added a lacy flap which I adapted from an Edie Brickman motif.  This yarn is great for laptops because it's strong and thick.  It will provide the needed protection while my laptop is bumping about in my bag. 

turquoise & teal tweed. :)
I have only a bit of this yarn left and I will be using much of it for my Nicki Tote.  :)  Yay, Oaxaca!

I linked here.