Monday, September 26, 2011


One of the things I like about Cuenca, is that the Chamber of Commerce recognizes the tiny community of extrajernos and is making an effort to help us become aquainted with our new home. The way they do this is to offer field trips to businesses around the Cuenca area that we might enjoy learning about. The Ikat Weavers is a prime example.  This is the Entrance to the Macana Weavers just between Paute and Gualeceo.

Tiny threads waiting for dye and weaving

Explaining how they separate the threads, wrap groups in a wide plastic tie, and then dye the threads..

These ladies were very busily tying the threads per a pattern

This is a very very old loom that the Spanish brought with them.. it is still used

This is all wool he is weaving. We were told that this material was used as diapers at one time.

He has foot pedals on this loom as well and the shifting on on the top.
In each pot is a different medium to create the colors, bugs, plants and volcanic rock!
Telling about the plants they use for colors
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 Thread all dyed, waiting to be woven   

Original looms passed down through the family

He is strapped in and sitting on a leather "saddle" type seat.

 This is the dress of his Grandmother, she did all this on the loom. No knitting or crocheting to make the open work design

These shawls take approx. 2 weeks to weave, scarves 2 days.

It was a great time, I would like to return again.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I have lost myself in a hobby..Weaving.. 
My knitting friend, TOK (the other Karen), said to me.. "I miss you. I have lost my knitting partner." I would think she would be relived.. I run to her when I mess up my current knitting project. Thank goodness I only have to dash across 4 lanes of traffic and down two blocks on the other side!
The infamous PIN (pain in the neck) scarf
So I have been busy most days getting up early, I know you are laughing at that, but yes, EARLY.. like 7:30! Long gone are the days of 4:30 rise and shine for me! So I am impressed at myself! Anyway, I walk a few blocks to catch a #7, and if my friend Brennie is going I hop off at her house, then we continue on the #7 till its time to get off and wait for the #16.. Clarke got us straight on WHICH #16 (yes there are two #16 routes) to take.. " When you are on Solano.. look across the street  towards the bank, If the #16 comes up Solano and around your way... that's the one you want.. don't take the one that comes from 12 de Abril.."  We warily eye each bus that is coming from the correct direction.. (why we dont just go across the street and wait for it over there I do not know..) and when the correct bus arrives we elbow our way onto the bus and find a seat. As early as it is, we usually have no issues with getting a seat. We get off on our stop, walk two more blocks and weaving nirvana begins!

My first project.. the scarf..

2nd project shawl..
A few weeks back, I received an email from a friend in my old home town. Strange as it seems, another friend of hers (Denise) was coming to Ecuador, and would I mind my contact info being shared.. well not at all. Denise was going to go to Montanita, to take TESL classes, and eventually teach when certified.  I contacted my buddy in Olon, and asked if she would mind being put in the loop (No problem), so we were set.. then after about 2-3 weeks I received an email from the Denise. Well to make a long story short, she injured herself and needed to be away from the humidity so her injury could heal properly. We were not going to let a friend of a friend and from our home town stay in a hostel; so we have a new friend and house guest! She is getting settled in nicely, and looks real good in MY chair, wouldn't you say?
The dynamic duo watching a very scary movie.. sans Karen
I think Randy is getting the hang of this social thing don't you.. ?