You've seen it before, but I like to show it off whenever I get the chance because it's pretty awesome. But it's problematic. I feel awful for buying it, because at the price I paid I know some poor Bolivian was royally screwed in the transaction. Since I can't find fair trade chullos they're just going to have to come off the list of hand crafts I'll buy. I'm not the best at not playing into an economic system that routinely hoses it's workers, but I make an effort. I don't expect a cookie for trying to meet the basic standards of human decency, I'm telling you this to come to a point.
I'm really getting into making hats. And I want to make chullos. I'm a little put off by the cultural appropriation involved, but not enough that I will deny myself the chance to do colorwork alpaca motifs. I could try and rationalize it by saying that I have Peruvian friends or it's an homage to Andean culture but really I'm just kind of an asshole.
I've bought yarn and I've been charting out common motifs found on chullos and playing around with the construction of the hat itself. All is going well. And then I get my KnitPicks catalog in the mail yesterday. What should be on the back cover but this:
|Wow, awful scan. Sorry about that.|
First impulse: Something I'm doing is cool! Yay! Second: I've done a hell of a lot of work when all I had to do was buy this handy kit. Third: Oh, this isn't cool. Wait, then what makes what I'm doing okay?
My moral conflict is reaching the tipping point. This hat may be more of a bad idea than I initially thought. Maybe it's time to put down the needles and get a backstrap loom. That way whenever the urge to make a culture specific garment strikes, I can do the crafts of my people.