Growing up in the Caribbean coast of Colombia, we often spent vacation time in Cartagena until my dad purchased a property by the beach, and it also became our home. The captivating city of Cartagena de Indias boasts a rich tapestry of history and culture. Its cobbled streets, vibrant colors, balconies, and colonial architecture offer a perfect backdrop for any photographer looking to showcase their unique style. In this blog post, I am sharing with you a visual journey through the charming Old City, capturing the beauty of a couple pieces of knitwear that I was working on and the elegance of a Muud Living Bag against the picturesque settings of Cartagena.
The unique art of Hand Knitting:
Knitwear is more than just a fashion statement; it's an art form, an extension of yourself, as is the case with any art form. The intricate patterns, soft textures, and cozy warmth evoke a sense of calm, a cozy feeling, and comfort. Whether it's a chunky sweater, a delicate scarf, or a stylish cardigan, knitwear adds character and personality to any outfit and, certainly, moments that seem to stop time.
As I wander through the Old City's narrow alleys and plazas, I am constantly looking for a spot that will not compete against the knit piece but enhance the beauty of the piece and the essence of Catagena's architecture. The knitwear comes to life against the colorful facades, and the contrast between the time-honored craft and the historical charm of Cartagena creates a harmonious fusion that is a delight to capture through the lens.
Muud Living in Cartagena:
Amidst the bustling streets and lively marketplaces, I carry with me the Muud Living Bag, Hiba, to be exact, and it carries my current work in progress, an adult version of The Milagros sweater in the making. You may find the Child Sizes of this Knitting Pattern in my Website, Etsy and Ravelry.
The Hiba bag has been crafted in genuine leather, bringing a timeless and exclusive look to the design. The bag is designed with beautiful details that help you keep your precious accessories organized. Some of its features are: magnet closing to keep the content of the bag from coming out, built-in water bottle holder, which was so much appreciated while walking the very hot afternoons in Cartagena, zipper pockets, protection for your electronics, a built-in key strap and a removable and adjustable shoulder strap and two handles. Each feature of this bag was so appreciated when carrying my camera and work in progress as I walked into this beautiful city. I could carry all I needed in style while it blended with all the art around the city.
With the Muud Living Bag in hand, I explored the hidden gems of Cartagena's Old City. From the bustling Mercado de Bazurto, where locals trade vibrant fruits and crafts, to the serene Plaza Santo Domingo, I found inspiration in every corner.
Photographing the Unforgettable Moments:
Cartagena's Old City provides many photo opportunities, each more captivating than the last. As my family and I stroll along the ancient walls that once protected the city, the sun casts a golden glow on the colorful buildings and the castle. The captivating architecture becomes the perfect backdrop for showcasing the charm of my knitwear and the allure of the Muud Living Bag.
In the labyrinthine streets, we find a sense of wonder in unexpected nooks and crannies. Colonial doorways reveal a glimpse into the city's past and with each snap of the camera, we capture the essence of Cartagena—the juxtaposition of tradition and modernity.
Celebrating Diversity and Culture:
Cartagena is a melting pot of cultures, blending African, Indigenous, and European influences. The knitwear, with its vibrant patterns and warm hues, finds resonance with the colorful tapestry of Cartagena's cultural heritage.
Through the lens, we encapsulate not only our personal style but also the richness of the city's cultural diversity. The Old City becomes a canvas for artistic expression, and the knitwear and Muud Living Bag become our tools to narrate a story of fashion and travel.
As the sun sets over the Caribbean Sea, we conclude our journey through Cartagena's Old City with a sense of fulfillment. The photos we have taken hold more than just aesthetic appeal; they are a testament to the interplay between fashion, heritage, and sustainability.
In this journey, I could again see that fashion can transcend its functional purpose and become a means of celebrating culture, embracing sustainable practices, and telling our stories. Cartagena's Old City has left an indelible mark on us, reminding us that every moment, like every knitwear pattern, is unique and worth cherishing.
I have no words to express the feeling of sharing once again with my family, the city that saw me grow up and that made me value and appreciate the world of Handmade. It is common to see indigenous women crochet with their daughters, passing on the richness of their craft. It is quite something to see in what it seems, every corner, a woman singing, a man playing the guitar, a couple rapping and many dancing groups showing us the mesmerizing Cumbia movements or Mapale. Cartagena is a delight to all the senses; there is never a dull moment, and I hope, as I keep bringing my children, as much as I can, that they appreciate and value the richness of such a beautiful culture.
So, as you embark on your adventures, put Cartagena on your list of places to go and capture the beauty of your Craft around you. Because, in the end, knitting or crocheting is not just what you make and wear—it's a story you tell.
¡Adios, Cartagena! Until we meet again.