Alina

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Peruvian Week. Sol Alpaca.

Sol Alpaca. The Gift Of Knitting Blog.

Today I wanted to tell you about a Peruvian alpaca brand that I accidentally discovered while wandering around Lima – Sol Alpaca. As it turned out later, it is one of the most famous brands in Peru and it is earning the recognition way beyond the Peruvian borders. The store is the explosion of color and textures, you can only imagine how excited I was to find it! First of all I was lucky to see the sweater knit in vicuña yarn, as you might know the fleece of this beautiful animal is considered to be the finest in the world and, as a very friendly and helpful shop assistant told me, it used to be reserved exclusively for ancient Inca royalty. The sweater knit in vicuna is sold at over $5,000 usd, a 100 g yarn ball is around $1,000 usd. Quiet a pricey pleasure, as you can see…

Most of the store was featuring alpaca, of course. Historically alpacas were of a great importance to Peruvian people, providing food, clothing and means of transport. Until the present day they are considered by the indigenous communities to be the property of the mountain gods that they have been generously loaned for this life and that caring for and preserving them are divine commandments.

Sol Alpaca. The Gift Of Knitting Blog.

Sol Alpaca. The Gift Of Knitting Blog.

Sol Alpaca. The Gift Of Knitting Blog.

Sol Alpaca is selling not only ready-to-wear knitwear, but also beautiful yarns. They are so soft to touch and of a very high quality. I highly recommend checking their small yarn selection on the website – they ship worldwide! The profits from the sales are also used for Mirasol project, committed to improve the living conditions of the impoverished children of alpaca herdsmen and provide the access to proper education and health.

Sol Alpaca. The Gift Of Knitting Blog.

Sol Alpaca. The Gift Of Knitting Blog.

It was such a great experience that I am infinitely grateful for! Tomorrow I will post the last article about my trip to Peru, which was one of the most emotional and beautiful experiences of my life – see you then!! Thank you for following along!

P.S. See all the articles on the Peruvian Week.


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By | 2019-02-16T10:30:42+00:00 February 16th, 2019|Peruvian Week, Travel|1 Comment

Peruvian Week. Cusco.

Peru. Cusco. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

After I was done with the paperwork in Lima, I decided to escape the city and treat myself to one of the most memorable adventures of my life – my birthday gift to myself 🙂 I had to see famous Machu Picchu with my own eyes! To get to Machu Picchu, you first fly to Cusco – a small town high up in the mountains. When we were approaching the airport, I could not believe my eyes – those mountains are so breathtakingly beautiful! You do feel like in a completely different country. If Lima was humid, sunny and hot (it is summer in Peru right now), Cusco met us with chilly wind, grey skies and drizzle. My heart was racing and breathing was hard – the change of altitude really hit me, I felt nauseous and weak in legs. And I consider myself pretty healthy and I do not skip my cardio, so be prepared if you ever go there – it might take you awhile to catch your breath. It is recommended to spend one night in Cusco before heading to Machu Picchu, so your body can get used to the altitude and you do not faint up in the mountains. But I didn’t have any extra time to stay in Cusco. I had a couple of hours in town before I was heading to Machu Picchu, I walked around the main square, had breakfast and felt much better, the air was so fresh and crispy.

Peru. Cusco. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

Peru. Cusco. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

 

To get to my hotel at Machu Picchu, I had to drive an hour and a half in a car and then take a train. I did not expect to see so much beauty along the way, wow – the adventure really starts with this road – it was just so incredibly powerful, I wanted to cry.

Peru. Cusco. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

Peru. Cusco. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

Peru. Cusco. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

As we were getting closer to the train station, it started to rain and there was something so magical about this  – mountain road, the rain drops running down the windows, fresh air and the sound of mountain river.

Peru. Cusco. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

We got to the train station right in time and I felt like I was a part of Harry Potter movie – those trains are so adorable! The roofs have the glass windows, so you can enjoy the view to the fullest from all the angles. You are running along a mountain river through majestic mountains, covered in lush green vegetation, see the waterfalls, birds and feel something inside, such an inexplicable feeling of gratefulness and the sense of wonder that is filling up your whole body. It was the best train ride of my life!

Peru. Cusco. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

Two hours later (that flew by in a moment with so much beauty around), we arrived to Machu Picchu. It was pouring! This little village along the train station is basically the collection of hostels, hotels, restaurants and gift shops. It is safe to walk around and you will hear so many languages!!! Love, love this kind of places when the borders do not exist and people from all over the world come together to wonder at the beauty of our planet. Peru. Cusco. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

I checked into my hotel that was right on the edge of the river roaring through the mountains. Was an absolutely amazing feeling to go down to the restaurant, open the window, feel the fresh wind and water on your face, while drinking hot chocolate.

Peru. Cusco. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

I had all afternoon to myself, I just walked around, smiled to people and could not stop repeating inside of myself “Thank you”!

Peru. Cusco. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

To be continued… See you tomorrow!!

P.S. See all the articles on the Peruvian Week.


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By | 2019-02-15T08:28:17+00:00 February 15th, 2019|Peruvian Week, Travel|2 Comments

Peruvian Week. MATE.

MATE Museum. Peru, Lima. The Gift of Knitting Blog.

I am continuing my Peruvian week with the entry about MATE museum.

While riding in the taxi from the airport, I asked a driver if he could recommend a museum to his taste. He mentioned Mate, a museum by Mario Testino. I didn’t even think about it!!! I absolutely love this photographer who revolutionized the fashion and portrait photography.

MATE Museum. Peru, Lima. The Gift of Knitting Blog.

Originally from Peru, Mario Testino is a man of a world right now, creating his magic with the camera for major publications. Princess Diana, Prince William and Kate, numerous celebrities and models posed for him. His works have been published in the leading editorials and he created numerous campaigns for the beauty and fashion houses.

The museum can be found in Barranco, one of the most beautiful neighborhoods of the town. It turned out to be a small blue house with several exhibition rooms each of them showcasing Testino’s work.

MATE Museum. Peru, Lima. The Gift of Knitting Blog.

It was such a different feeling to see his photos in real life, rather than in the magazines or internet. They are really powerful – bold, edgy, sexy. What a vision! I love how he sees people and brings life to the photo, even if it is just a commercial campaign.

I try to make the image perfect- and then I break down that perfection. I have to find the way to destroy the image because I always need to find that unique moment, not the perfect one” – Mario Testino

 

 

MATE Museum. Peru, Lima. The Gift of Knitting Blog.

In the middle room was a video installation with Testino’s interview and kaleidoscope of changing images, I stayed there for awhile; taking it all in. I absolutely loved this experience and recommend to visit it if you are into photography.

MATE Museum. Peru, Lima. The Gift of Knitting Blog.

The only thing – it was just not enough for me, there were just 5 rooms I believe. I hoped to see and read more about his work process. But it definitely inspired me to explore more about his work.

MATE Museum. Peru, Lima. The Gift of Knitting Blog.

I will see you tomorrow with the part III of my Peruvian adventures!


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By | 2019-02-14T07:38:21+00:00 February 14th, 2019|Peruvian Week, Travel|0 Comments

Peruvian Week. Lima.

Peru. Lima. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

Peru was always on my must visit list, but I had no idea I will have the opportunity to visit it so soon. I guess some things are just meant to be. I had to do some paperwork for my job outside of the country and I thought it is the perfect opportunity to combine some boring bureaucracy with exciting adventures.This week I am going to devote to Peru and things I was so fortunate to see with my own eyes. First stop was Lima.

Peru. Lima. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

I booked a small boutique hotel in Miraflores – this is the best neighborhood to stay as a tourist – safe, clean and beautiful to walk around. I can recommend this hotel if you are not planning to spend there lots of time, as the rooms are pretty small, but other than that it was perfect for a short stay. I spent in Lima just a couple of days, but they were filled with such numerous beautiful experiences that it seemed much longer. On the first day I decided to explore the city and just walk around without any plan – my favorite kind of tourism, I do feel that this way you get to know a new place much better rather than a planned excursion, at least this is how I feel. Those are my personal notes from what I have seen and how I have interpreted them, my experience might be really different from others. The first thing that really stands out is the nature that is integrated in the city’s landscape.

Peru. Lima. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

Miraflores neighborhood is very urban and quite minimalistic with high apartment buildings mostly built with the use of stone, wood and lots of glass – most of the windows are ceiling high, which is understandable – the views from there must be breathtaking! The city is very green – not only in parks and streets, but the nature is integrated in the architecture and the exterior design of the buildings.

Peru. Lima. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

Peru. Lima. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

Peru. Lima. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

The other thing that I noticed and experienced – is the absolutely crazy traffic, I thought Moscow traffic was bad, but gosh, this city is moving so fast and seemingly hectic (or maybe it just seemed this way because it was new to me), but to be honest I had a lot of trouble crossing the street in the area marked for pedestrians – the cars just would not stop, had to be very careful!

Without an actual plan I walked out to the city’s promenade that stretches along the rocky Pacific ocean coast. Wow, what a feeling. The combination of a megapolice with its stone and glass skyscrapers and its sound of active traffic with the waves crushing against the rocks is so powerful.

Peru. Lima. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

 

I always wonder how local people see the beauty of a place that they call home – do they get used to it and treat it as granted or they stop and wonder at how lucky they are to live surrounded by so much beauty. I think we are all guilty sometimes of digging our head so deep into the everyday routine and forgetting to appreciate what’s around us, this is like air – we do not really notice it while it’s here but as soon as we are cut off from it, we feel the lack of it oh so strongly, I know as it happened to me… Anyway, back to Lima. So, I did notice how local citizens are enjoying and using the beauty of this place – running and cycling along the coast, walking in the park with their families and stopping to stare at the magnificent ocean. Those scenes of simple life always make me peaceful and happy.

Peru. Lima. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

Peru. Lima. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

Peru. Lima. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

Peru. Lima. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

I reached a little shopping mall that seems to be floating over the ocean, there you can find little cafes and restaurants with the breathtaking view. I chose The Sun and had probably the best sushi of my life with the fresh fish and the view.

Peru. Lima. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

Peru. Lima. The Gift Of Knitting blog.

During the second part of the day I took a city bus excursion where we visited the main neighborhoods of Lima and a cathedral, it was beautiful, but to be honest I realized once again that this is not my type of exploring – I love wandering around and stopping at places that catch my attention without a certain plan or guide, I feel like this way I remember them better and some of them will always stay in my memory.

See you tomorrow!

P.S. See all the articles on the Peruvian Week.


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By | 2019-02-14T07:34:50+00:00 February 13th, 2019|Peruvian Week, Travel|4 Comments

S.O.S. Gang

Wool and The Gang. The Gift Of Knitting.

When a couple of weeks ago Wool and The Gang team contacted me to share their new yarn line – New Wave Yarn – I immediately was interested in this project! First of all, I will always support them – WATG was the first company that believed in me and supported me in March, 2015 (wow, I cannot believe it is been almost 4 years!!!), secondly, I absolutely love their style and how they are reinventing the knitting!

WATG team has been working on this line for several years and finally let it out into the world, with the hope to make it better and cleaner. Each 100 g ball of this yarn contains 3… plastic bottles! We all know how much excess of plastic is out there and especially in the ocean, through this project WATG is trying to contribute to minimize the damage being made. On a big scale it might seem like it won’t make that much of a difference, but I do believe that big things always start with smaller ones and with passion that turns into ideas that turn into actions that become changes. The fact is the plastic is already out there and why not to reuse it and put into something wearable and fun to knit with!

Personally I think I am only at the beginning of this whole eco conscious journey, I try to make my best and make the right choices in my everyday life to avoid the excess in everything, to share the things that might be useful for others and not throw them away, I still have a looong way to go, but I am definitely grateful for this time that we are living in right now when we connect better and can share the knowledge and be more aware of what is going on around us.

Wool and The Gang. The Gift Of Knitting.

Wool and The Gang. The Gift Of Knitting.

Wool and The Gang. The Gift Of Knitting.

When I first read the letter from WATG, it was hard for me to imagine what the yarn made with cotton + plastic bottles would actually look and feel like. The whole process is quite fascinating – the bottles are being collected and cleaned, then melted into a liquid plastic, which is squeezed into shape and cut to size and then spun with the cotton to create a thread. Pretty scifi, right?! 🙂 When I got the package I was presently surprised how soft and airy it is! It is amazing how something damaging can be converted into a pleasant tactile experience! The yarn is spun as the ribbon, it knits up super quick and creates beautiful stitch definition.

Wool and The Gang. The Gift Of Knitting.

The color choice is very rich. I went for Space Black shade. I think this is just the second time when I knit with black yarn, but I  after all black is my favorite color, so I thought it would be amazing to create a classic black sweater that will be wearable and environmentally friendly at the same time. And it looks so elegant!

Wool and The Gang. The Gift Of Knitting.

I hope you will try this yarn and support WATG team for all their amazing effort! See all the patterns created specially for this yarn line – New Wave Collection.

I hope you are going to have a wonderful weekend! As for me I am heading to work right now and tomorrow I am going to… PERU!!! I am so excited about the trip, it has been on my bucket list for awhile now. Cannot wait to share with you everything that I will see!!!


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By | 2019-01-26T08:41:09+00:00 January 26th, 2019|Yarn|0 Comments

Birthday Sale – Hello, 30s!!!

The Gift of Knitting Pattern Store

My dear friends, I am turning 30 today!!! I am grateful and happy to arrive to such an important life milestone in good health, with beautiful people in my life, with this digital crafty place created from scratch one day, with my job and with love, oh so much love in my heart that I hope I will learn how to share more… I am promising myself that I am going to make my 30s better than 20s – love more, share more, work more, be more grateful and savour each moment of this amazing, unpredictable, sometimes hard and challenging, but always beautiful, LIFE!!

As you can’t share my birthday cake I wanted to share with you my birthday sweater cake and run the BIGGEST SALE of the year in my Ravelry store!

To welcome my 30s I am offering 3 for 10 promotion – 3 any patterns of your choice for $10!!! Just add any three patterns to your cart and use the promotion code HELLO30.

To say goodbye to my 29, I offering 2 for 9 promotion – 2 any patterns of your choice for $9!!! Just add any two patterns to your cart and use the promotion code BYE29.

It is up to you which promotion you would like to choose (or use both of them!) and you can use each one an unlimited amount of times!

Thank you SO much for your support, it means a lot to me!

The Gift of Knitting Pattern Store

The Gift of Knitting Pattern Store

 

The Gift of Knitting Pattern Store

 

 

By | 2019-01-17T06:47:46+00:00 January 17th, 2019|Gifts Of Life|5 Comments
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