A wee bit knitty thoughts

Choices

The last year has been interesting in many ways. I decided to start on a vegan diet, and after a while I also decided not to buy yarn or wool from sheep that was used for food.

 

Deciding to be a vegan was not a huge step for me personally, since I´ve been a vegetarian since I was 11 years old. What I didn´t take into consideration was how much it limited me.

The last 3 months I´ve been on a sick leave because my mind just couldn´t function anymore. I was feeling all the negative feelings, and none of the good ones. I was criticizing every single thing I did or didn´t do, and I was not able to see the things I´m good at. Or the things I did that was kind of awesome. (And no, it was not because of vitamin or protein deficiency…)

I´ve been doing a lot of soul searching the last month, and it´s clear to me that I´m my biggest problem. I keep setting up boundaries for myself and making up lots of rules that does not apply to any other than myself. Strict rules. Bordering on OCD. Going vegan made me uncertain every time I was going out of the house. Will there be anything I can eat? Will people think I´m weird, stupid, annoying or whatever? Which made me shut myself off from people around me.  And restricting my yarn purchases made me loose interest in knitting and crafting. I could follow every rule I set for my self, but I didn´t feel happier. I felt kind of awful. I had shut myself of from a community that I loved.

In case you are wondering. All these thoughts are mine and only mine. I´m surrounded by understanding people. I´m not pressured into anything. I´m not changing my ways because people are mean. I´m changing direction because it´s what needs to be done.

So I´m going to change paths. From now on I´m a vegetarian. And I will buy “normal” yarn, but I will try to choose yarn that has the environment in mind. I´m still super interested in people who keep sheep or other animals only for yarn reasons, and I´d still love to keep an eye out for them, but it will no longer be my only option. Having one year experience with vegan food has taught me a lot of good things about cooking food. And if I ever come across anyone who is vegan or has food allergies, I have lots of good ideas as to what I could serve them.

But to keep this short and not rant; these are just a few things I´ve come to realize about the way I´ve lived my life so far, but these are the things that are relevant for this craft blog. Animal welfare is still important to me, but for now, I´m putting myself first.

Whenever I´m feeling like I should do more, I try to remind my self of the words: “One cannot do everything, but everyone can do something.”

And that´s what I´m doing.

And It´ll have to be enough.

 

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Knitting with ethical yarn

Baby it´s cold outside!

So cold in fact, that I decided to use the skeins of yarn that I had left over from my Løvfallgenser to knit a pair of Majas Mamelucker.

I decided to knit the shorts a bit bigger, since my measurements was a bit bigger than in the pattern. But I  overestimated my size. My butt is not as big as it is in my head (or my gauge might have been way off…), so next time I might stick to the pattern. But it stays up, and keeps my bum nice and toasty while I wear my favourite skirts! I knitted the woolen lovelies on 2.75mm needles, Chiaogoo of course. I used something between 2 and 3 skeins of yarn. Maybe 400m?  That is less than 500m of yarn. And I could give you a more presice number if I just got my butt off the sofa and go weigh the thing…

It has this genius ribbing in each side, so the shorts stays nice and tight, and is not visible under my skirt. I love it! As I´ve already mentioned, I used yarn I had left from my Løvfallgenser. That is Izzy Lane yarn from slaughter-free flocks. Which makes the knitting process extra special! You can read more about the Izzy Lane yarn on my post about the previously mentioned sweater.  I hope you are all keeping warm out there. Maybe you should knit a mameluck as well?

Knitting

A quick look at 2017

Happy New Year everyone! It seemed appropriate to do a quick review of the year that has come and gone, so here it is, along with my most liked pictures on Instagram in 2017. I do love that my beautiful boy Gustav is right in the middle of it!

2017 was the year I

  • Decided to cut my hear short.
  • Signed up for Veganuary and after that started eating vegan food on a permanent basis.
  • Said goodbye to my old car and bought a new, more grown-up one! (It´s still yellowish though…)
  • Took a long hard look at was I was spending my money on and started buying more ethical, fair trade clothes and stopped shopping at H&M (my former go to shop)
  • Decided that I wanted to do something about what yarn I was knitting with, and are currently in the progress of swapping most of my current yarn for more ethical fibre.
  • Started podcasting again!

Next year I will keep working on all of the above (but I don´t need another car…). And I want to read more books. Thomas and I have decided that we should have a library date every month, so that is on tomorrow! I´m also (yet again), trying to keep this blog a bit more updated, so we´ll see how that goes…

“You can find magic
wherever you look.
Sit back and relax,
all you need is a book.”

Dr. Seuss…

Veganvibes, Yarn

Alternative yarn choices

Ethical wool

From sheep or other wolly beeings that are not going to be dinner. Some of the shops on this list are breeding animals and selling them (And they might or might not become food at one point.) For some, this might be an issue. And to tell you the truth, I´m not 100% comfortable with it either. But, people who sells wool from slaughter-free flocks are few and far between. So maybe we shouldn´t be to difficult? If we raise the demand for slaughter-free wool, we might be able to change future sheep farmers way of life and that is something we should keep in mind. But again, whatever you choose, do what feels right for you!

The companies marked with * has said that they do not sell the offspring. That might be the case with some of the others as well, but this is not yet confirmed.

In Norway:

Kosesauene*

In Europe:

Woolliefarm on Etsy

Alfie Purl 

Izzy Lane

The Doulton Flock on Etsy

The living rug company*

Home farm Wensleydales

A Cookley yarn* (Sells pure mohair yarn and wool from her own little herd of angora goats.)

Other natural fibers

There are so many beautiful yarns that are not harvested from a living being. And if wool is not for you, there is no reason why you shouldn´t be knitting. I would however advice you to take a close look at what you purchase as a substitute for wool. Yarn with acrylic or other non-natural content gives off microplastic particles that does great harm to a multiple of living beings. It might seem like our personal yarn choices makes little or no difference at all if you look at the big picture, but a little goes a long way. If you are somehow not familiar with microplastics, I urge you to read this article from The Guardian. It talks about a lot more than clothing, but it is (or should be) a wake-up call.

As far as cotton goes, it is not necessarily a good, environmental choice. Read about the cotton farming´s impact on the earth in this article from WWF. Some cottons are really bad for the environment. Some are a better choice. (But maybe non of them are great?)

Veganyarn

Olines cotton 8/4 

Blackhill Recycle Cotton Tweed

Go Handmade Tencel/Bamboo

Växbo lin

Drops loves you #6  (Recycled cotton)

Drops loves you #9 (Recycled cotton)

Drops Paris Recycled Denim (Not all the Paris yarn is recycled!)

Pickles Thin Organic cotton

Pickles Booboo

If you have stores or yarns you want to add to this list let me know and I´ll keep it updated. If you have comments or corrections on the companies mentioned in this post let me know, and I will investigate further.

And remember: Ethical yarns may be a bit more expensive than other yarns, but do you really need a gianormous stash? A lot of the yarn I´ve hoarded in the past is just laying around. If I spend my yarn money on ethical yarn and only (or almost only, because face it, once a yarn harlot always a yarn harlot…) buy yarn for spesific projects, it will not be all that expensive.

A blog post written in Guilt Free Vegetarian about the topic of ethical wool that one of my podcast watchers showed me.

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