Cusqueña is my love letter to Cusco. Its colors and stitch patterns, including variations on a star motif traditionally used in Peruvian chullos, call to mind the terrain, architecture and history of the region—the mountains and terraces, the colonial structures built into Incan temples, the dusty trails and cobblestone streets. During my most recent trip to Cusco in March, I had the opportunity to meet up with Dana Blair of Pichinku Yarn. She and her team of Cusqueñas dye beautiful yarn that’s locally sourced and milled and then naturally dyed with local materials, 2 skeins of which made their way into this hat. Worked in a DK weight yarn, it’s thick, cozy and sturdy, and in 100% baby alpaca, it’s impossibly soft—a little too-on-the-nose metaphor for life and people in the Peruvian Andes.



Sizes: S (M, L); finished circumference 20 ½ (21 ¾, 23 ¼)”/52 (55, 59) cm

Gauge: 22 sts and 30 rounds = 4 inches/10 cm in charted pattern

Yarn: Pichinku Yarn ISKAY Baby Alpaca, 100% alpaca, 246 y/100 g (225 m/4 oz): 1 skein each in Golden Chicha and Toasted Trigo

Needles: US 6/4 mm 16”/40 cm circular needle, or size to obtain gauge
US 6/4 mm double pointed needles, or size to obtain gauge
US 5/3.75 mm 16”/40 cm circular needle, or 1 size below gauge needle

yarn needle, stitch markers