May 18, 2009

An Afternoon with Celeste

Oh Mom, I'm so bored. Can't we play? No, not the camera.

Really. I'm serious. Listen to me. I W A N T T O P L A Y. Should I speak more slowly? No, not the camera. I didn't say get the camera. I said I want to play. P L A Y.
This is my best side. If you have to snap that photo, get this side.
While I'm chewing my toy? Is there no privacy around here?
Can we go outside? O U T S I D E. Can you say "OUTSIDE?" Okay. Let's try this: "vamos fuera de la casa." V A M O S. Better? Sheesh. You just never know with people. Could be one language, or it could be another. YEAY! You got it! You understand! I'll get my leash! Mom, you're a good girl!

Oh just in case...Buena chica. Eres una buena chica. (Ya gotta cover all the language bases in this apartment.)

...and we have winners!

So, I had to get Celeste to help me with the drawing. I had three drawings - one for the mitts, one for the yarn, and one for the fiber. I put the names for each drawing in a bowl and let Celeste stick her COLD, WET NOSE in the bowl. The name(s) that stuck to her nose were the winners. The first time we did it, she ate all the names (sorry about that), so we had to re-draw. For the yarn, two names stuck to her nose, so I will honor that.

Fiber: Iron Needles

Yarn: Jude

The mitts: KitKatKnits

Please send an e-mail with your mailing address to fuzzknitterATyahooDOTcom so I can get your loot to you.

May 15, 2009

fruits from the tropics

Here in Peru, we have fruits that I've never heard of anywhere else in the world. For example, chirimoya. It's often called Guanabana, too. The flavor is kind of like tootie-fruitie, and it makes a great sorbet.

Maracuy√° is another fruit that I've not heard of outside of Peru, either. It has a sweet and sour flavor and is popular in ice creams, sorbets, and drinks.

We love both these fruits for breakfast! They are quite common in this area, along with giant mangoes and avocados. I'll be looking for some other unique fruits and veggies from around here, too.

Sunday's the last day!

Wow! Thank you for all the responses! The last day to enter your comments will be Sunday, May 17th. Then I'll have a drawing for names and post the winners here on the blog. Good luck!

May 13, 2009

The Loot

Handspun, handknit beaded fingerless mitts in superwash merino.

3 ounces of soft black merino, gold bamboo, and sparkly stuff.
100% alpaca yarn, mill-spun, approximately 250 yards per skein. Three skeins.

OMG, or It's a giveaway!

OMG! We've surpassed 15,000 visits here at A Bag of Olives! Time for a giveaway! I'll take the pictures of the prize and get them up this afternoon (hopefully. You know me...always on the late side. But this IS Peru, after all. We are always fashionably and frustratingly and irritatingly late.)

You will have your choice between 3 ounces of merino/bamboo/sparkle spinning fiber, a couple of skeins of lovely mill-spun 100% alpaca yarn (enough for a pair of socks, and have some left over!), or a pair of beaded handspun, handknit fingerless mitts (superwash merino) in fun colors. To enter, just post a comment and let me know your preference.

May 12, 2009

June's socks

Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Pixie pick-up stix in action! They work pretty well, but I suspect that these are not the genuine PPS, because the finish on a few of them is terrible. I need to take the sand paper to them for a snag-free knitting experience.

May 11, 2009

Cabaret spun up (mostly)

Here are the pictures of Cabaret, posing in her colorful glory: (click a photo to enlarge it)

May 9, 2009

Socks and the Peace Corps

On Monday, I have an appointment with the Peace Corps. No, I'm not joining, but they are in need of people to help with their training program. They need to practice evaluating people who are coming to work with varyinig degrees of fluency in Spanish. My fluency in Spanish definitely varies from subject to subject. I can talk about the house, the market, and work with fair proficiency, but I have absolutely no technical vocabulary at all. So, I'll give themm someone to practice evaluating and they'll tell me what my Spanish fluency level is. I think it's a fair trade, and it should be interesting and fun.

I've been spinning and knitting up a storm this week. Remember this?

Well, I'm in the process of turning it into socks for my dad's girl, June. June thinks her feet are ugly, so she refuses to wear anything except some big clunky tennis shoes, which realy ARE ugly. I'm hoping that with some colorful socks, Junie will wear some sandals or something nicer. Anyway, another pair of handspun, handknit, sparkly merino socks never hurt anyone.

And I've been spinning up "Cabaret" for socks, too. I'm hoping for knee socks. Sparkly, dazzling, jewel-toned knee socks. I'm in the process of plying about 3.5 ounces of it now. Two and a half ounces are still left to spin. I think I'll have enough! :o)

May 3, 2009

El Mercado Negro

On Friday, O and I went to a place called "Polvos Azules" (Blue Dust). It is knock-off heaven. There are copies of almost everything you can think of, as well as originals, from sunglasses to tennis shoes to music and videos to Waterford crystal. Some of the copies are licensed, but most of them are not. Every year the police go through and seize illegal copies of dvds and cds, and almost immediately after, they start up again.

In Polvos Azules, you can find some very good deals, but you also have to be careful. Buying illegal copies is illegal even here in Peru, and often the copies are of poor quality. You could buy a pair of tennis shoes, thinking they are original Nikes, only to find out after you get them home that they are cheap imitations. After they fall apart the first time you wear them. Professionally done logo, but substandard workmanship.

The black market is very big here, too. Usually the stuff on the black market is stolen. When our car was broken into, we lost three headrests. O went down to the black market (yep, it even has a building where everyone knows they sell black market items!) to see if he could find them. They didn't have them, but offered to "acquire" what we needed by the following day. The strangest thing for me is that while it is illegal to sell anything on the black market, the building is well known and even patrolled by Peruvian National Police.

A quote from "Professional Travel Guide",

"Completely overlooked by the higher-ups, Polvos Azules is Lima's largest, thriving black market. Almost all goods, such as DVDs, CDs, video games, electronics, clothes, shoes and luggage, are pirated or cheap knock-offs. The place is a maze, and you can visit 10 times before seeing everything. Daily 9 am-8 pm. Ave. Paseo de la Republica (2 blocks from Plaza Grau, downtown), Lima."

So weird. I've always heard of the black market, but never thought to find it so conspicuous and well-used by the average citizen. When I think of "the black market", it always conjures up thoughts of clandestine meetings to pass banned firearms and stolen cars, usually between hardened criminals. This place is three stories with a parking garage in the basement, restaurants on the rooftop, and an ATM conveniently located in the middle of the first floor, owned by one of the foremost banks in Peru, Interbank.

I almost said, "Only in Peru," but I suspect this might be more common throughout Latin America than I care to imagine.