December 14, 2012 Ghosts from Christmases Past

The Staff of Peruvian Connection has always taken great pride that we offer some of the most beautiful sweaters in the world. It took a lot of digging to find some ugly sweaters, but lurking in the depths of our closets were some glitzy treasures from decades gone by!

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PC staff in their "Ugly" Sweaters.

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The winner of the "ugly sweater contest"

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November 12, 2012 A skirt to die for.

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Normally we would not be flattered if our skirt was upon the body of a murder victim and dumped along with her into the cold ocean depths.  But when PC is worn by the latest corpse in Patricia Cornwell’s book “The Bone Bed”, we’re happy to be the fashion victim.

In chapter 15, Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta tracks a killer as she examines the body:
“…like ragged transparent gauze loose around her sallow dead skin. Did she rip off her hose mid-thigh? If so, why? Or did someone else do it?The same person who stapled the skirt around the waistband and arranged jewelry so it wouldn’t fall off the body and be lost. Like the jacket, the skirt is distinctive, quite stylish, constructed of two jersey layers that flow into a raw-edged handkerchief hem, Peruvian Connection, size six. I spread it on the sheet to dry as Marino resumes reminiscing about our early days together in Richmond, when apparently he became quite the treasure hunter…”
Scarpetta fans will soon know the answer to the mysterious killing.  Our internal investigations lead us to believe the victim wore our lovely Oyster Bay Skirt before she met her untimely death.

Again we are mentioned in chapter 25, when Scarpetta investigates the closet contents of a plane crash victim:
“…I see nothing to indicate she made any effort to be alluring or attractive beyond what the dentist did to her, and I suspect she was talked into those procedures.

“No Tulle or Audrey Marybeth or Peruvian Connection, not a single label like that.” I look at a men’s outback hat box, thick with dust, on the closet floor, PHOTOGRAPHS printed in neat block letters on the lid. “Most of her clothing is size eight or ten, not size six. I’d like to open this.”

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October 11, 2012 The Colours of Kaffe

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The Colours of Kaffe

Kaffe Fassett, renowned designer and textile artist, is featured in the Sept/Oct 2012 issue of Selvedge Magazine.  Kaffe Fassett’s extraordinary vision is in his sense of color. His spirited designs have been a source of inspiration to handknitters, quilters, and needlework artists around the world for more than two decades. PC has been honored to collaborate with Kaffe on limited edition knitwear designs, as seen in this Fall’s colorful Chiclayo Vest and Mekori Cardigan. Browse all Kaffe Fassett designs.

Learn more about Kaffe Fassett in his new autobiography, Dreaming in Colour, or visit the Fashion and Textile Museum of London’s upcoming retrospective of his work in March 2013.  Meet him in person at one of his lectures or workshops: visit kaffefassett.com for the latest schedule.

Read PC’s February 2011 blog: Kaffe Fassett: 10 Years of Collaboration with PC

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July 16, 2012 The Colors of Peruvian Connection

At Peruvian Connection, ethnographic inspiration from the diverse patterns, costumes and textiles of global cultures is essential to our unique vision. We are equally in love with color, and anything with beautiful colorations can spark an idea. We are most inspired by the authenticity of weathered shades, and we carefully duplicate these as part of our large and beautiful palette of Peruvian pima cotton and alpaca yarns.  All are dyed to our specifications, so that we can have as large a kaleidoscope of colors to use in our designs, as an artist would use a paint box.

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We love the way plant-dyed yarns subtly fade over time: the cochineal reds used in ancient Aymara textiles, ranging from pinks to deepest crimson, are a core part of the palette.

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For blues, we look to indigo: from everyday denim blue to the intricate hues of vintage Kasuri kimonos and the patchwork tones of Boro textiles.

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We are especially fond of the subtleties in the range of alpaca yarns from purest ivory to brown and black and every shade in between: these natural colors produce the most environmentally friendly yarns in our palette.

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Each new season begins when we look at all of our yarns and tweak our color palette by adding or subtracting colors here or there to reflect the mood for the season, based on the inspiration boards our design team creates.

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Playing with yarn windings and trying different combinations of colors by knitting or crocheting swatches, twisting colors together to make marls, or even wrapping little cards to create new stripes based on inspiration boards – these are the starting points to each and every design.

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Our color palette is purposefully large to be able to produce the subtle colorations and marls that are essential to our eclectic style. Our art knit pieces such as our Winter Forest Vest and Pima Cotton Ukuku Vest may use as many as forty colors in various yarns and colors to create the subtle nuances of texture and hue that our customers appreciate and love.

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June 12, 2012 From Peru: Corpus Christi celebrations

by guest blogger Kezia Huseman
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Altar representing the fifteen saints and virgins

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San Cristobol being paraded around the Plaza de Armas.

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Saint Peter (San Pedro)

Sixty days after Easter Sunday, the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi is observed around the world, celebrating the Holy Host.  In Peru, the biggest Corpus Christi celebration is in the heart of Cusco in the Plaza de Armas.  This year Corpus Christi was on Thursday, June 7th.

In Cusco, fifteen saints and virgins from area churches are carried to the main square from their chapels the Wednesday prior to the celebration.  The holy fifteen sleep in the Main Cathedral until the following day.  On Corpus Christi, following a blessing of the Plaza de Armas, the fifteen saints are paraded around the plaza in a grand procession that lasts around six hours.  Each saint is carried by faithful followers and accompanied by a band, dance troupe, and other members of the church.  After their procession, the fifteen saints and virgins reenter the Cathedral where they stay for a week.  The next Thursday, la octava, the fifteen return to their home churches, carried once again and accompanied by faithful devotees.

While the festival seems strictly religious, in Cusco, it is actually linked to the prevalent Incan heritage.  Before the Spanish conquest of Cusco, the Incas paraded around what is now the Plaza de Armas carrying sacred mummies.  These mummies were kings and other royalty and high officials; the Incas paraded around the bones of their ancestors to demonstrate and celebrate the continuation of Incan reign.  To ease the conversion from Paganism to Catholicism, the Spanish maintained the traditional Incan rituals and procession, but with holy saints.

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A young child dressed in traditional clothes, parading as part of the procession

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Devotees carrying the saint.

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Saint Blaise (San Blas)

The traditional dish that goes along with this religious holiday also connects Cusco to its historic past.  Chiriuchu is Quechua (language of the Incas) for “cold spicy.”  This traditional Cusqueñan platter, served with chicha or beer, is compiled of chicken, pork, sausage, cured meat, a corn tortilla, seaweed, caviar, toasted corn, hot pepper, cheese, and, the star of the meal, guinea pig – which was a common source of meat for the Incas.

Nowadays, nearby the procession in the Plaza de Armas, San Francisco Plaza is converted into the Chiriuchu Gastronomy Festival.  The small plaza is filled with over a hundred stands, all serving Chiriuchu.  To get out of the sun and get some grub, people stroll up the side streets taking them to San Francisco Plaza.  Well over a thousand guinea pigs are served on Corpus Christi in Cusco.

Corpus Christi really exemplifies how Cusco is a city full of traditions blended from the old and the new.  Just around the corner now is Inti Raymi (Festival of the Sun) which is a celebration that epitomizes the rich Incan heritage of Cusco.  Because of all the festivals going on, June is considered the month of Cusco, and Corpus Christi is just the beginning.

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