Yolanda, Ana, Elena, Veva and Mari Paz. They are the five artisans that have been knitting with their hands all their lives. They all come together from small rural villages to meet in La Bañeza (León). And these women have chosen to reinvent their economic future by joining the project Made in Slow.
I met them in July. It was a dry 35ºC. Ana was knitting the Cocoon short cape while sitting at the workshop located in the local wool shop. They gather there to work in company and to solve the technical issues as a team.
A curious villager passed by. “Oh! What a precious piece you are knitting, Ana!”, she said. Most people know each other in small villages like that. “Aren’t you hot?”. Ana smiled without lifting her eyes from the stitches and answered: “No”. That piece she was working with is one of the most complex of the collection. She is proudly knitting it in a demonstration of delicacy, perfection and sheer mastery of her art.
These women themselves decide the prices of the pieces they make, and they also decide over their knitting schedule. They are perfectionist. They care for every piece they knit. They love their work and one can notice that. The rest of the knitters smile at the story. There is always someone who stops to watch them work, mesmerized. I am no different. I became hypnotized by the steady movements of the knitting needles. They make something so intricate look easy!
“Sell lots! And come back with more designs to knit! Yolanda tells us while smiling. Complexity does not frighten these brave women. There is no stitch pattern they cannot do. They are artists who create beauty.
Lana Serena supports the Made in Slow project, who has created a net of expert knitters, to help the economic revitalization and women empowerment of those rural areas of the province of León.