April Club: Magic Carpet

So the clue for April was "Semana Santa." For those of you who didn't rush off to look it up, it means "Holy Week" in Spanish--a very seasonal theme for April & Easter.

Last year at this time I was chaperoning a school service trip to Honduras. We were working at an orphanage outside the town of Comayagua. Honduras, like most of Latin America, is an intensely spiritual country where Catholicism is the dominant faith. Comayagua, the former capital of the country, is home to a cathedral and a rather special Easter tradition.

Each year during Semana Santa various groups from the city make "carpets" out of dyed sawdust (and sometimes other materials like spices and shells). Each carpet is the result of lots of planning and many hours of work to dye the sawdust:

Those are some of my students and some of the kids from the orphanage working to sift the sawdust before dyeing it. Work like this went on every night during the week leading up to Easter, and probably had been going for a while before we arrived.

Thursday before Easter the groups gather on the streets at their designated spot to create their carpets for the Good Friday processional.

The final results are truly stunning--some feature the intricate designs of woven carpets, and unless you look at them from a few inches away it's almost impossible to believe they're made of sawdust. Some feature religious designs, or a message from the group that designed them.

My inspiration for this month's colourway came from two of the carpets we saw:


We had to see the carpets early in the morning, before the processional, because we had to get to the orphanage for our day's work. My understanding is the clergy process along the "carpeted" route to the cathedral for the Good Friday services, thereby destroying the carpets. I'm kind of glad we didn't see that part, because I would have been sad to see all that hard work destroyed!

So, I hope everyone enjoys their April yarn & fiber. And if you're wondering about the future of club, please check out my new website. Club sign-ups will open on April 15 (I don't want anyone to sign up too far in advance, it makes the wait between paying & getting your goodies too long!).