What started as a random trip to Peru for Frank Buchanan, Pick of the Knitter has grown into a leader in yarn importation and retail. With a direct line to the manufacturer, we can offer affordable prices and excellent customer service for people looking for baby alpaca yarn from Peru. Read our story below.
Frank Moves To Mexico
In October 2014, I was working as an engineer in the southern Mexican state of Tabasco when I received news from the US. I was to return to my position in Texas to continue working, which was a little devastating at the time because I was really getting accustomed to Mexico. Part of the stipulation was I needed to use my remaining Ex-Pat vacation before I returned so I saddled up and took a couple weeks off to travel to Peru and Argentina.
My itinerary was like most people’s: Fly to Lima, go to Cusco and make your way to Machu Picchu by train, automobile and hiking (not necessarily in that order). Well, I landed in Lima and had a few days to kill so I decided to walk around the city. Everywhere you looked were some sort of Alpaca garment or ball of yarn. I took some pictures and sent them to our mom (a knitting fanatic) who told me to grab whatever would fit in my bag. I flew to Cusco, did Machu Picchu and then flew to Buenos Aires for a few days.
Meeting the Manufacturers
After Buenos Aires, I flew back to Lima to spend 2 more nights in the city before departing back to Mexico. I decided to ask the vendors where they got the yarn which finally led me to the main distribution center. From there I spoke to the guys and was told the manufacturing occurs in Arequipa. I said I’d love to check it out but I would have to wait until I’m down here next, which Mauricio decided was pretty unlikely.
Fast Forward 2 years, I had just quit my job as an engineer in Oil and Gas and decided to go to South America again, this time Colombia and Peru. Well I arrived in Peru and went back to the distribution center and found, none other than, Mauricio. He said he’d call the manufacturing operation down in Arequipa to see if I could tour. They said it would be great to have a gringo visit so I booked a flight down to Arequipa to see how the yarn was manufactured.
Arequipa was incredible and the time spent with the indigenous people down there was unforgettable. I was able to see first hand how the product was made and develop relationships with the company in order to ship the product back to the US. I researched trade tariffs for this very specific fiber of yarn and was delighted to find out they pass customs very easily – saving our clients money. That is a major reason we’re able to provide the yarn at exceptionally low prices.
I have since been back to Peru on multiple occasions, especially now that I recently finished up graduate school and joined the family business Bluecannon Ventures. We are going to continue to bring this yarn to the US because we’ve received lots of wonderful feedback about it and I want people to continue to make beautiful designs and projects. Learn more about our product here.
“I love it. I’m making Martha Wissing’s Featherline Express and it’s wonderful! Very fast delivery.”