Magdina is the Queen of Hand-Kitting! She is the Suri Andino women’s knitting group manager, based in Southern Peru near Lake Titicaca.
Working mostly in 100% Baby Alpaca fibres, they craft the most beautiful hand-knitted items for La Sierra.
Magdina and her group produce our luxurious cable knit jumpers and smaller items, including our beanies, socks, gloves and mittens.
Magdina and her husband also lead the way in helping people to maintain skills passed down through generations of working with Alpaca fibre.
In November 2017, René and I met Magdina, who was a contact
we received from our Alpaca fibre producers. Upon arriving to her house, we were greeted with her nurturing mother energy and warm nature.
Unlike our other artisans, Magdina is highly skilled in handknitted, and she exclusively crafts with 100% Baby Alpaca fibre. During our first visit, we learnt that Magdina and her husband, Don José, also work in high schools teaching the craft of handknitting to younger generations. It is a dying craft in South America, and programs are in place to keep this skill alive. Magdina’s expertise has earned her regional awards and the opportunity to travel to Rome, to exchange knowledge with artisans. She has also travelled to Brazil to assist other businesses with their crafting work.
Magdina is the head of Suri Andino, and works with this group to craft all La Sierra’s handknitted products.
Since our first encounter with Magdina and her group of Suri
Andino ladies, they have come a long way. They have transitioned from holding their weekly meetings at Magdinas humble abode, to having their very own clubhouse in a nearby small town. Every week, they gather there to receive instructions from Magdina on what they will be knitting. She distributes the baby alpaca wool to them and some women stay and knit together at the
clubhouse, while some return to their homes to work on their projects.
In 2018, we had the pleasure of meeting around 30 of these
remarkably talented women. It was an unforgettable day filled with a lot of beautiful moments of connection. We wanted to show our appreciation for their hard work, so we threw them a little Christmas party and gifted each of them a traditional Panatone to enjoy with their loved ones on Christmas day.
At first, the ladies seemed a bit reserved, perhaps due to
their lack of experience with foreigners and having their photos taken. However, René’s infectious sense of humour quickly broke the ice, and they all started laughing and chatting away. Their kindness and eagerness to collaborate left a lasting impression on is. Their radiant smiles and contagious laughter have stayed with me every since, and I remember this day with such fondness and gratitude for being able to experience a moment in their wonderful community.
At La Sierra, we’re passionate about working with a community like Suri Andino, location in the Southern region of Peru. It is an incredible honour to be able to provide them with work opportunities, allowing them to continue their hand-knitting traditions while also supporting their families and avoiding the
need for farm work.
Our partnership with Suri Andino, goes beyond just a business relationship. We’re committed
to promoting sustainable development and helping to preserve their unique cultural heritage. By purchasing our products, you’re not only supporting fair trade and ethical practises, buy you’re also helping to make a positive impact on the lives of these talented artisans.