Friday, June 27, 2014

Yarn Stores in Viña del Mar

I am a knitter. And like most knitters, I have a stash of yarn, waiting to be made into sweaters, socks, baby, this is not my stash:
This is the interior of my favorite yarn store in Viña, on Arlegui street between Echevers and Quinta Streets, called Lana e Hilo Massu. If you google this, it gives you a different store on the other side of the street closer to Plaza Vergara which is not there any more. Within about half a mile of my apartment, there are 4 yarn stores that I've found. Who knows? there may be more-this is a knitting culture. Not only are there stores full of yarn, the yarn stores are full of customers. And guess what? All the yarn is behind the counter, which drives me crazy. This is the way all yarn stores are set up here, so the only way to pet the yarn was to ask for a skein to be handed to you.
I've stopped in Massu several times, and it is always swarming with people buying yarn, needles and buttons. This is the best out of the 4 stores due to the excellent variety of yarn carried here. It is also the only place where I've found pure alpaca yarn. When I travel, I always like to get yarn that is unusual, typical of the country, or difficult to get in the US. While I can buy alpaca yarn at home, it is easily twice as much.
I've also learned that alpaca raised in higher elevations (which is where they evolved) produces yarn with a sheen to it that can't be found in animals raised in lower elevations, like the US.
So here's what I bought to add to my Peoria stash. Hopefully, it won't be stashed too long. I got a lovely worsted weight yarn, enough for sweaters for me and Steve. The red (for me) and brown (for Steve) is 90% alpaca, 10% wool, and cost less than $6.00 per skein. The gray yarn is fine, 100% alpaca, that I purchased to supplement some yarn I brought from home, when I saw I wasn't going to have enough to finish a project I had with me. I doubled this yarn, and got a worsted weight that worked well with what I was knitting. I have enough left over to make a pair of socks from that yarn. (This cost about $4.00 a skein).

It isn't unusual for yarn to only be sold by grams here, you have to guess on the yardage. I didn't want to do this, so I measured off one of the balls of worsted yarn and found it was approximately 155 yards. That meant I needed to go back and get another all to be on the safe side for Steve's sweater. 

Here's the completed sweater I knit, with yarn I'd brought with me-notice where I added the gray alpaca to the sleeves. It looks really nice on me, but my selfies didn't work, so sorry, you get to see it flat.
I have a morning in Santiago before my flight, and if I need to get rid of the rest of my pesos, I'll be going to Veintiuno de Mayo (21 of May) street, where I've heard there are 5 or 6 yarn stores all in a row!

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