Yarn on four feet with a head and tail. Somewhere under all this natural-state-fiber is a real life alpaca having a snack.
Awana Kancha, located outside of Cusco, Peru is a fabulous location for learning about the Andean weavers and South America's four camelids (alpaca, llama, vicuña, and guanaco).
Naturally, I loved feeding the animals and they love the constant influx of alfalfa offered from the hands of tourists. There is much education to be had at this learning center.
The examples of natural dyes were fascinating.
Click on the photos and check out the colors that result from dyeing with grasses and other flora. When I have time, there is research to be done so that I understand more about the ways of the Andean weavers and how to get the vibrancy of color without harsh chemicals.
I will start with the info to be had here and then move onward further learning. For instance, the skin of the chapi plant produces orange.
Kinsacucho makes shades from blue to teal and naturally I was drawn to what my family considers "mom's color."
I did not take a photo of the educational part of the actual dyeing which seems to involve a yarn swimming in pot of solution and slowly simmering over a dung fire for hours.
All in all, Awana Kancha is a great stop with lots of education and fun. If the fates allow you a visit to Peru, be sure to include this on a day trip.
PS - there is shopping!