Lima’s knitting women // Sumac Maki – Sisi Wasi

During my stay here in Lima I’ve met 2 wonderfull knitting groups. Let me tell you a little bit more abut these amazing grannies.

Sumac maki ,wich means ‘Wonderfull Hands‘, was the first group I visited.

Villa Marie del Triunfo

It is a group of grannies that come out of the ‘knitting social fabric’ project of Worldgranny and is a starting organisation of the best knitting grannies of this project. I’ve met with them in the center of the Villa Maria del Triunfo district in Lima. But as you can see on the photo’s, the contrast between the center, which is in the valley, and the real slum houses that are all build up on the mountain is just ginormous…

VMdT main place

We sat in a small local bar where I showed my designs and we discussed who would be maken what sample. Because they are a starting organisation they don’t really have a meeting room yet so they will be making the products in their own homes or by coming together in public places and knit together there.

Sumac Maki at bar

After my visit I was overwhelmed by everything I had seen in this part of town. I’m now even more convinced that I really want to make a difference for these woman by giving them a secure income that they can use to have a more comfortable life.
They were so grateful that I wanted to do this with them. Pilar from HelpAge and Celia, my Peruvian hostes, had to translate a couple of times that the grannies said: thank you for this opportunity. Heartwarming for sure.

VMdT houses on the hill



The other group I’ve met is Sisi Wasi, wich means ‘Ants House’.

Sisi Wasi

It’s a group that’s already been operative for over 8 years. They live in another part of Lima, San Juan de Lurigancho that also is very pour. But they have established to be successful in their knitting and now they have a meeting room where they can come together and knit. Because of their 8 years of experience they are off course a lot more organised and professional than Sumac Maki.
That’s why I’ve decided to work with both groups. Sisi Wasi will be making my prototypes and will be writing out my patterns in spanish so it will be easier for the Sumac Maki group to follow up the instructions and this will give my grannies in the Villa Maria del Triunfo district the chance to grow by the good example of these Sisi Wasi ladies. A collaboration that will do wonders I think. And in the mean while I can support 2 groups in stead of one. So happy with this!

Both groups will be put to work at the beginning of april to try out every one of my designs. And after another qualtity control everything will be ordered to be put in production and they can really start by earning some very needed extra money.

Beanies, headbands, XL scarfs and… yes finally a cardigan too for the winter of 2015. So proud that my HANDMADE by kloé collection will be all about natural, sustainable, fair and good causes.

It’s all about honest fashion baby!!!