Artisan Organization: Maritza Oviedo
"I was born in Huancayo and I like to knit. I learned this craft when I was 8 years old, making a sweater for my doll. Maybe it was deformed or some stitches were loose, but it made me happy to make it when I was in Chupaca with my grandmother.
"As a child, I was usually hunting down yarn or undoing some sweater to reuse the yarn. Sometimes I didn't have knitting needles, but I make some from the spokes of a bicycle wheel. I would find a way to keep knitting and made my career during 18 years.
"I think my interest stems from watching my mother and grandmother knit. It was a way of sharing things between ourselves. I remember how my mother would correct my knitting and also taught me new things. She would help me finish projects before I learned to do them when I was young.
"I took up this activity again because I like to knit and have improved and learned about this art. I dream about making the workshop grow along with my son, Juan Aucahuasi, and sister-in-law, María Huarcaya. As we grow, we also want to make baby alpaca fiber popular, which is what we use in our creations. We love doing this work and hope to keep improving every day with the best quality in patterns, designs and colors. What I like about this art is how it varies and how relaxing and entertaining it can be while creating.
"I'm inspired by growing up in a home where knitting was taught and doing it now reminds me of that wonderful period where I felt the closeness of my mother, grandmother and now my sister. It reminds me of those moments of laughter and figuring out solutions during troubled times. We were a family that relaxed while knitting.""