Thursday, October 8, 2009

Misti Alpaca

If you've been following this blog for a little while, you may remember the blabs about our meetings with the yarn reps this summer for the big fall buy. For you newcomers, here's what happened in a nutshell. We met with our reps, we placed orders, we cancelled our orders, we were told by Janet to "Land This Fish!, we went to TNNA, we regrouped, we re-ordered, and we "Landed the Fish!".

Well, the Fish has Landed and the Fall yarns are now on the shelves. Each and every one of them was selected, de-selected and then they made the final cut. They are the best of what we saw. One line in particular really excited us, Misti Alpaca. We selected Hand Painted Chunky and Hand Painted sock.

Our favorite Rep. Linda (sorry Kosher Cowboy) showed us this line. She pulled out rings of the most beautiful colorways we have ever seen-we wanted them all and we wanted the rings for display. The handpainted sock was shown to us on a ring of tiny knit socks in every colorway imaginable. What a presentation! We loved the intense colors, the feel of the yarn and the warmth properties of the alpaca.

Misti Alpaca is a family-run company that was founded in 2003 and imports the finest alpaca yarn directly from Peru for the enjoyment of the North American knitter.

Here's their story. Eighty years ago the peasants who lived in remote Andean villages did not have a market for their wool and alpaca fiber. So grandfather Alberto started to buy the fiber and to look for markets in local cities. The annual sale of alpaca fiber and wool represented a large portion of peasant's income. Many of them didn't want to receive money for their precious fiber. They would rather barter for supplies such as charki (a special kind of dry meat), chuńo (freeze dried potatoes), salt, oil, coca leaves, etc. This barter system was so common that Alberto opened a grocery store in Nunoa to barter supplies for alpaca fiber.

Today the family remains linked to the alpaca industry in all its stages from raising alpacas to processing and marketing the alpaca yarn.

Their website www.mistialpaca.com has a lot more history and information as well as a slew of free patterns.


  1. That picture is too cute!

  2. The Misti Alpaca yarn is to die for..I got two different colors yesterday and being the got to get started person I am, I started the cowl that I just needed one color for, and I am dreaming of what socks the next color will be.
    Thank you Janet and Junko for you help!
    Love this yarn store!!!!!