As said before, the first 2 days of my trip would all be about finding the perfect yarn for the LN|Beanies collection. I’m planning to have approximately 1000 beanies made in Peru, Ayacucho, where my LN|Andes collection is made too. As you all know, LN|Beanies aswel as LNAndes is all about quality: beautiful yarn, polar linar inside, pretty details, … These beanies would be the ‘Collection’ beanies, namely basic 1 color beanies. The customized beanie & limited edition LN|Beanies & scarves will still be made in Belgium by my kick-ass team of grannies!
In Peru there are 3 major yarn manufacturers, namely Itessa, Incadrops and Mitchell. The problem with most of them is that the yarn is too thin, since it is made for machinery work and not for handwork, where LN|Beanies & LN|Andes is all about. So, first stop, Itessa, was a no go. Gorgeous colors, yet way too thin. This might sound like Chinese for you guys, but I need yarn for a crocheting & knitting needle of a number 6 or 7 maximum.
Second stop, dodgy Alpaca meets Arcylic yarnshops in the outskirts of Lima. Cool experience, yet absolutely not what I am looking for. Quality is key. Only 2 more manufacturers to go and I was already starting to freak about a bit. Finding the ultimate yarn is of the most important goals of my trip. So yes, jetlagged, headache, bloated and swollen from a 12h flight, I started to lose a bit of my drive, and that’s a no go! So, powernap and up to the next: Mitchell.
Mitchell is might be the best yarn manufacturer in Peru. For the LN|Andes collection we are working with one of there yarn’s, namely the ‘Ipanema’, 100% baby Alpaca, leightweight.
Again, at Mitchell I found exactely what I was looking for: amazing yarn of the very best quality that I can completely customize myself. I choose the quality, the thickness of the yarn and I can even blend my own colors! How cool is that? I will need to place an order of at least 60kg. For 60kg I can get 3 colors, so 20kg of each color. Since I’m planning to have at least 1000beanies made, and 1 beanie maximum weighs between 70-100 grams, I can go up to 6 colors.
Next steps for me is to calculate how much yarn I will need for the 1000 beanies and the entire LN|Beanie collection that I will have made in Belgium; cable knit scarves, fashion headbands, fashion headbandbeanies, mittens, etc… And to search for the top colors of Winter 2012-2013! All you fashionista’s out there, feel free to sent me pictures, ideas, lookbooks, etc… from beautiful Winter colors. I’ve been thinking about a bordeaux red blend, dark salmon pink, and the basic colors such as light & dark grey, beige, navy and black. Hm that’s already 1 too many. It’s going to be difficult!
So today (it’s 4AM right now, still jetlagged, went to bed ad 7PM, so I guess it’s my own fault), I’ll be calculating, brainstorming, etc… in cosy coffeebar in Lima, waiting until Griet arrives! Griet is a highly talented photographer I met thanks to LN|Beanies. She ordered a pair of mittens last January and in here e-mail signature I found here website, www.griethendrickx.com . Beautiful, stunning pictures of her travels to Africa and her work for many ngo’s. As impulsive I can be I literally said:
Beautiful pictures btw… You wouldn’t want to travel to Peru with me by accident in April?
And so she did ;-)! After our backpacking trip of 1 week trough the ‘hot-spots’ of Peru, we will head to Ayacucho for one week where will we make a photo documentary of every young mother that knits and crochets for LN|Andes & LN|Beanies. Griet is going to make beautiful portraits of every girl. Positive images of how they all benefit from the employment I am generating, offering them a steady income in humane conditions.
In combination with an interview or a travel documentary we will sell this entire story to Weekend Knack. It has always been my dream to achieve such a goal! 4-5 pages of LN|Andes in one of the top Belgian magazines… In Flemish I’d say ‘Topper!’.
Exciting days a head!
Should try go get some more sleep, otherwise I’ll be knackered again by 6PM.
More updates tomorrow!
You go LN!!!
Great Blog/Travel plans!! I wish you luck and continued success on the road! Any chance of you adding a post on your business; why? how you started?, etc. Thanks!
Stumbled onto your blog via Freshly Pressed and now off to shop your lovely beanies! Hope you’re enjoying Peru, and congratulations on being featured.
PS – love your glasses!