Alaskan Qiviut Handknits
Since 1969

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Village Letters

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Mekoryuk Village

Oomingmak Knitters

Unalakleet knitter

Hi, I'm sending two herder's caps, two Igloo Caps and two Nachaqs. Right now I am working on another Nachaq. Weather has been very, very cold for whole week now, Northwind. It seems like it is a little bit warmer this morning. And the wind is not too strong now. Still some people are fishing for Tom cods and trouts through the ice now. It has been nice out though. Well you all take care and have a good day. Sincerely, Frances

Letter from a Mekoryuk knitter

Linda wrote: Dear Sigrun: I have two stoles done and I still have some yarn. Have been Tom Cod fishing, so I am slow on knitting, but I will still need more yarn since I think I may not have enough for another stole. Have gathered about enough Tom Cods so I might be at home knitting more, although I still would like to gather more Tom Cods to dry. I have about fifteen strands of Tom Cods drying. Okay until then. Sincerely, Linda

A letter from a Tununak knitter

Elsie wrote: Dear Ladies, Hello! Here I am finally. I am sending all my kinitting in a pilot bread bulk box. So far I have made 9 Nitemute Nachaqs, 6 Igloo Caps, 2 Stoles, 1 Sunburst Cap, 1 Scarf and 1 Tundra Cloche. I have run out of 2/6, a small ball of bleached, enough to make at least one and almost two headbands. This year has been a busy year for my working with 12 five and six year olds without an aide. They are active. At least I get good exercises every school days. Anyway chilly spring is finally here. Yesterday we actually almost had a blizzard. It was snowing and quite windy. The ice floated away from our bay, and the kids are pretty excited about it. They are able to throw rocks into the salt water. Well I guess enough news for now, but I will be expecting to hear from you soon and take care of yourselves. Sincerely, Elsie

A Marshall knitter

Dear Ladies, Enclosed is 2 Marshall Scarves. I have a little yarn left, doesn't look like it would be enough to complete one scarf. More yarn would be good. I hope that business went quite well for the Co-Op this summer. It's been busy for me and my family with fishing and gathering of berries now. Got nothing else. Have a great day! Anna

A Letter from a Tundra and Snow knitter

Hi: Here are 2 headbands. It is so enjoyable knitting them. I feel that I am getting a good dose of geometry, figuring out the patterns. We had our first snow here last week. I stayed inside by a warm cozy light and took advantage of the opportunity to knit. I have finished the yarn that I picked up in November, using it for the Mirror Image headband and the Hearts headband. The Potlatch headband was knitted with the yarn I was sent in the mail. I am starting a Hearts one with the latter yarn, and I may be able to get 2-3 headbands out of it. I am patiently waiting for the Wood River to freeze so that I can go across by snowmachine to the McKlung Hills and hunt ptarmigan. Mmmm! I can almost taste it! It was so nice to meet you all when I was out in Anchorage in November waiting for my grandson to be born. He is beautiful. Take care! Gina

A Bethel knitter

Hallo Sorry it takes me so long to finish my knitting this time. It is because of my left eye has started to give me problems. The Eye Specialist will be here next week to check my eyes. I can still see to knit, but sometimes it is hard. When I need money the Co-Op helps me a lot, since the Govenor has cut the Longevity Bonus, but I am doing ok. Today we have sunshine and the Kuskokwim river ice is almost gone, but there is still lots of small ice floating. I hope my knitting is ok. Say hallo to everyone. Have a nice summer. May God bless everyone of you. Bye Katie

A St. Mary's knitter

To whom it may conern. Hello. Hope everything is fine. It is fine here and we had a nice break up, water rise up a little, but no flood. I finally have finished one scarf and one star cap. I am starting a Harpoon cap, and have lots of yarn. I'll let you kow when I'm running out of yarn. Well, I'm sorry I'm always slow on my knitting. Sometimes I have made a mistake and had to rip and fix them. I'm ripping some of the knitting I am on right now. I'll get it fixed. Nothing more to say, so I'll be waiting for my pay. Thank you. Theresa

Shannon loves the scarf!

Dear Arthur, Thank you for your very thoughtful thank you post card. Shannon loves the scarf! Additionally, Shannon worked with Native Alaskans in the Yukon River area not too far from Marshall so that's why I gave her this gift. I also have adopted Goliath, the alpha male musk ox at the Palmer Musk Ox Farm. We would like to imagine that the qiviut for Shannon's scarf came from him...but even if not, the scarf has provided us a spiritual connection that helped to launch and bond our relationship. We refer to the scarf as "musky"...brining us much joy and fun--as well as warmth and protection for Shannon! Best Redards, Josh F. - Corvallis, OR.

West Virginia warmth

Dear Hillery, Anasusan and I appreciated your "Thank You Card" received in february. We want you to know that Anasusan loves the scarf and wore it a lot this winter. It was very cold here in West Virginia again this year (two in a row of heavy snows), and it helped keep her warm. While we may never get to Alaska again, we have fond memories of our visit and the scarf as a wonderful reminder. She has received many compliments on it and shared the source with several people. Keith I. -West Virginia

The Nachaq is amazingly warm

Hello, It was so nice of Hillery to write a note thanking me for the purchase of a qiviut cap and nachaq when I visited the Coop in December. The Nachaq is amazingly warm and what I wore when out walking in our coldest weather this winter (we live in Wisconsin). My husband was very toasty with his cap on. I also spin and knit and have worked with qiviut so very much appreciate the workmanship that went into these items. I think of my wonderful visit to Alaska (I even got to visit the Musk Ox Farm) every time I touch and wear these wonderful garments - thank you! Best wishes Carol R. Madison, WI.

To the wonderful person who knitted my cap:

Thank you! It is exquisite, and I only wear it on very clean hair! I've read about qiviut since I was a little girl, in National Geographic Magazine; it was one of those things I filed away in my brain for "future reference"; not knowing how or when I'd come across it again. Now, this past June, I was able to purchase "my hat" in Anchorage, and I've come full circle. Wow!

Satisfied Customer

Please give my fondest respects and regards to Catherine in Nightmute, Nelson Island, when you contact her next. She knitted my nachaq and I wear that thing all the time if its cold.

Satisfied customer

Season greetings: I purchased a Qiviut Mekoryuk scarf for my wife last year. She wears it everyday, inside and outside, and it has developed quite a fond following among her colleagues. I was a bit skeptical of the thin material when I purchsed it. But it looks just as beautiful now, and the skill and artistry with which it was crafted continue to enhance its value. It is incredibly warm and durable! Thank you for sharing the warmth of your culture. Joe and Colleen Welker in New York

The Christmas Gift

Dear Staff, My husband and I were in Anchorage in July/August of last year, and visited the store on H Street. I naturally fell in love with your beautiful "works of art." I did not purchase any items while we were there, but my husband had our daughter order the Star cap for me for Christmas. I think it was very nice of you to send her a note thanking her for the order. Be assured that I will not only enjoy, but treasure, my cap forever. When I opened the (huge) box my husband had wrapped it in, I immediately started to cry from surprise and delight. This is truly a gift of a lifetime. The work was done by Francis, it is beautiful. Please thank her for me. Sincerely, and grateful, Marie Rehg

The delivery of Qiviut

I just returned home after a trip to Alaska. Whil in Palmer I toured the Musk Ox Farm and later when in Anchorage I purchased a cloche. It was one knit by Agnes Nevak. I want her to know how very much I like it. While in Alaska it kept me warm, as I'm sure you would know. It also helped keep the mosquitoes off my head, kept the wind from my ears and even helped keep me dry when it rained. It is the most marvelous hat I have bought!!! It is now washed and stored in the freezer until winter. I'm looking forward to wearing it then as I know it iwll help me in all kinds of weather conditions. Thought you should know how much I appreciate your work Thank you. Marlanna Bathel from Discovery Bay in California

Looking forward to winter.

Dear Staff, Thank you for your lovely note. I was surprised to receive it. I am looking forward to wearing my smokering this winter. Indiana weather does not get really cold until November. We start to see a few flakes in the air mid-month and may see snow around Thanksgiving. I have my ring stored in my chest until I need it for cold weather. I have soap and cedar around it to protect it from moths. I enjoyed visiting your store in Anchorage. My Alaska trip was great. My Indiana friends want to learn more about your state. Alaska is a great land. Sincerely, Beverly., the Happy Hossier

My lovely smokering

Janeen M Wilson wrote: I have had my "smokering" for about 6 years now. It is still just as lovely as when I got it. I wash it in cold water and use Woolite and it comes out just like new! I receive lot of compliments every time I wear it. Thank you all very much for your BEAUTIFUL craftsmanship. Take care everyone and God bless you all.

The Cap Kit

My brother lives near Palmer and sent me one of your cap kits. GORGEOUS! As usual, I had to change the pattern a little to suit myself, but I (and everyone I show it to) LOVE the cap. Lucious after washing, and extremely warm. Now if Mother Nature would cooperate and send some cold weather down here to Pennsylvania, I'm ready. Thanks for a great product. Yours, Lisa D from Pennsylvania

An heirloom

have had my nachaq since my Mother died in 1974, and I think I gave it to her a couple of years before that. It has worn really well, having had a lot of use. Only now, after 35 years, there were two small holes in the lacy knit. I have mended them and the nachaq is almost as good as new - the slight fading gives it a warm reddish tinge. Satisfied customer

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