As a rule I jump on bandwagons at the last moment…when I learned of today’s topic for Knit and Crochet Blog Week: “One Great Knitter” I knew it was about time I introduced you to Cynthia. You may know her as the author of what is indisputably the greatest book on Andean knitting: Andean Folk Knitting Traditions and Techniques from Peru and Bolivia. The book is so wonderful it boggles the mind, scholarly yet entertaining, it includes history, travelogue, techniques explained in detail, charted motifs, charming patterns – everything I love in a knitting book double-plus! I think its my favorite knitting book of all time, and it was the ONLY book to survive our house fire, crazy, lying atop the coals. Sadly the book is out of print, and perfectionist that she is, Cynthia would like to update it before releasing it again.
My recent trip to Peru was hosted by Cynthia, who’s organization Behind the Scenes Adventures takes small groups of fiber enthusiasts on journeys all over the world – Mali, Mexico, Turkey, Laos, India. The theme of my trip was Textiles and Archeology, an apt combination as Peru has one of the most ancient textile traditions in the world, and a perfect combination for my mom and I, since shes an archeology buff and well…you know about me. It really took touring the archeological sites to grasp the full impact that textiles have on the region, and I thank Cynthia for bringing that understanding into full focus.
Cynthia herself is a delight to be with, eminently knowledgeable, effervescently cheerful with a natural curiosity that knows no bounds. She tirelessly herded us from one fantastic location to another. She’s been to Peru a zillion times, knows everyone everywhere, knows what’s good to eat, where to shop and for what, and is never to busy to pause and describe a complex technique. Oh Lordy, I could write all night and into tomorrow and still not capture how truly inspiring Cynthia is and why I admire her so much. She is beyond a doubt One Great Knitter.