Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Knitting, knitting, and more knitting

Por favor.

Thank you.
Muchos gracias.

How are you?
Como estas?

See you tomorrow.
Hasta manana.

This morning Andrea taught me Quechua while we worked up in the tejedoras' room and I taught her English. Most of the tejedoras speak Quechua (as well as Spanish), the language that is more common up in the higher lands of the Andes like Puno and Cusco than it is in Arequipa. It has a very different sound than Spanish so even my ears can pick up that the ladies are not speaking in Espanol with its soft endings of "o"s and "a"s and lilting cadence. Instead, Quechua has a lot more clicking sounds and harder endings of "ch"s and "k"s.

For the past two days, I've been watching in amazement as the designs Andrea and I worked on come to life. Some of the projects have been pretty straight forward - mismo pero mas ancho (the same [looking at an example] but more wide) - while others have been much more experimentos than anything else - put the button here maybe and a flower between every three leaves?. Sometimes I feel like I'm the biggest gawker this side of the Equator - I watch in amazement as their hands fly through the motions and before you know it, a beautiful piece has been made.

This afternoon, I couldn't help myself. After watching for so long, I dusted off my crocheting skills (Grandma, you'd be proud how quickly I picked it back up) and made a few chains with little decorative flowers myself. Andrea teased me by saying "Mas rapido, mas rapido!" (Faster, faster!). Churning out sweaters and scarves and hats and whatever is not easy work but there is also a tranquility to the rhythm and attention it takes. I've never been a part of a knitting circle but all the quiet concentration punctuated by chatting and laughter makes me wish I was.

Finally, a note on my Spanish - as it turns out, I have been spelling tejedoras wrong in my posts (previously I was putting an "e" instead of a "a"). Also, after calling the large marketplace San Cameo for the past two weeks, Steve, Lauren, and I found out that it is San Camilla (Saint Camille not Saint Camel! whoops.).

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