Knitting, veganvibes

A new chapter…

“Not responding is a response – we are equally responsible for what we don’t do.”
Jonathan Safran Foer

 

I will not talk at length about this in my podcast, just because English is not my mother tongue, and when it comes to topics as this one, I find that it´s hard to find the right words on camera. Just because I have to use some time to find the right ones. Trust me. I tried. So I will refer to this post in my podcast, and if you are curious, you are probably reading this right now.

If you have been following my podcast since the beginning, you will probably have noticed that animal welfare and life is very important to me. I started out as a half-way vegetarian when I was 11, and since then I´ve been excluding more and more animal based food from my diet. I´m 35 years old, now, so it´s been a process for sure. I tried out a vegan diet this January, and I was surprised by how easy it was. And how good I felt doing it. So I just continued eating vegan. 95%. I have eaten a few meals with milk and eggs when visiting Thomas´ family. But I´m gradually avoiding animal based products outside of my home as well.

So. Why is this relevant for my knitting you ask? I´ll tell you. It all started with me wanting to find out how one made silk… or… you don´t make silk. Silk worms do. And to make sure to get the best quality silk as possible the worms are cooked inside the cocoon. I was quite upset to read this. I thought for some reason that the cocoons they used for silk was abandoned “houses”. But alas. I don´t need silk in my life if it means killing a bunch of worms. And I´ve had problems even looking at my pink sweater project since. Not knowing what to do with it. It might be up for adoption. Because I´m not trowing it away. Worms died to make that yarn! But I feel no pleasure knitting on it anymore…

All of this got me thinking. I´ve been telling myself for years that I could use wool, because no harm comes to animals when taking their wool. That wool is just a by-product and all that. But after my silk discovery, I couldn´t just assume that it was all good. After a few weeks I´ve come to the conclution that my shopping habbits as far as wool and yarn goes, will change a lot in the future. I will use or sell what I have in stash. And once that yarn is gone my stash will look a bit different. I will use my woollies, and if I´m gifted woolies I´ll most likely wear them. But I will not support the industry with my own money.

Most vegans I know of will not use any product from animals. I will however use wool, if it´s the right one. Acrylic yarn will never find a home in this house. Plastic yarn is not an option. Not all plant based fibers are good for the environment. Research is needed. I´m on it.

I´ve found a few web shops in Great Britain that sells slaughter free yarn from happy sheep. I´ve also looked into a few plant based yarn blends. Which I of course will talk more about in my podcast. This is not an easy thing to do mind you. I feel like I´m missing out on a lot of fun yarn. But my mind will be at ease. And the patterns are mine for grabs hot yarn or not. And I´ve decided to enjoy my new journey to the fullest, proving that one can be a happy knitter without all the latest trend yarns. And I hope you´ll keep following my adventure in the future.

Needless to say that unless I find a slaughter free way to get my hands on yarn for dyeing, I will not dye more yarn for sale. So no updates with yarn in my etsy shop for a long time, if ever. As I said, I will be knitting with stash yarn for quite a while, so the change of mind will be gradually introduced in the podcast.

What are your thoughts about this?  I´ve made up my mind, but I´d like to hear your thoughts if you have any. Are any of you vegetarians or vegans, and what are your thoughts? And one last thing: If you know of any slaughter free wool or alpaca yarn shops online, I hope you will tell me. They are few and far apart as far as I can tell.

– Lena…

Knitting

The knitting that brought the mojo back!

My most colourful knit so far this year has been this shawl. It has been massively addictive, and it sparked my knitting mojo! All in all a wonderful project! The name? You´ve probably heard it before since it has 4373 projects on Ravelry (!) It´s the Find your fade by Andrea Mowry.

The actual knitting of the shawl is quite easy. It´s picking the colours that´s challenging. I had pretty much no idea what I was going for when I sat down with my box of beautiful yarn and tried out colour combinations. The nice thing about this shawl is that you get to use extremely bright colours (like my orange one), that you maybe didn´t quite know what to do with, but you loved it all the same. When I first picked out my colours, I thought there were 6 colours in the shawl. It´s not. It´s 7. But I found the perfect colour towards the end. My colours range from deep purple to bright red/coral. The yarns I´ve used is:

  1. tuLLiBaLL Kos in the colourway Pompøs
  2. A wee bit knitty Hand dyed yarn Tough cookie in a purple speckled experiment
  3. Knit Picks Hawthorne Speckle Handpaint in the colourway Graffiti Speckle
  4. Herbstblatt Regina Hazel Soft Sock in the colourway Melting snowman
  5. Rohrspatz & Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 Twin in the colourway Küken
  6. A wee bit knitty Hand dyed yarn Tough cookie in a red/coral experiment
  7. Decadently Divine Decadent Sock in the colourway Autumn Blaze

…and I used 4.0mm/US6 Knit Pro Zing for this project. (Not my favourite circular needles. The yarn kept snagging at the join between cable and needle.)

I cast on my shawl on May 6, and finished it on May 28. During that time I went on a trip with my boyfriend, and since I´m a morning person and he isn´t, I managed to get a great deal of knitting in on those two days.

My shawl has been the main focus of my podcast in May. Because I was obsessed! I was knitting on it all the time!

I´ll admit that blocking it was a bit of a challenge. I had to remove our hammock and hang the shawl to dry in it´s place. Leaving the blocking up to gravity…

It´s done and ready to wear now! I was able to use it like three days before it got too hot! But come autumn I´m bringing this baby back into my wardrobe! If this isn´t a feel good shawl, I don´t know what is!

If you want to se more of this shawl, you should check out episode number 4 of my podcast!

 …

Knitting, Spin the yarn

Handspun socks? I made it!

Ok, so I tried to take a nice photo my socks fresh off the needles, but failed. I partly blame my dog, who tried to eat my toes in the process… But here they are, my first ever handspun socks! And I love them!

Ok, let´s talk facts:

I think I spun the yarn some time in spring 2015. I started the socks in July 2015… That´s almost 2 years ago… so about time the socks got finished! I´m so pleased with this project! The wool was bought from Tante Ull. I believe it´s a merino/nylon mix, but I have long since lost the card with the info… So… the facts are a bit blurry…

But, I know the yarn is a 3-ply, I used 2.5mm needles, and the pattern is called Monkey Socks by Cookie A. It has this nice pattern throughout the socks that is easy to remember. The yarn is a bit busy, and the pattern is a bit lost in the yarn, but it kept it interesting. So totally worth it!

But I did a grafted toe…

…and my usual heel.

And that was that.

 

 …

Knitting

Finishing all the socks!

On December 11 I showed you a picture of my December projects. Which was all about the socks (and dog…) Guess what? I actually finished all the 5 pairs of socks I cast on in the beginning of December before Christmas Eve!!! (If you are wondering about yarns, colourways, patterns and needles, check out my post about these socks.)

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You might think I´m sick and tired of socks by now, but I´ve cast on a new pair, as a part of #lbkchristmasevesocks2016! Which is the highlight of the year. They could have gotten more attention, but we spent Christmas with family, including two children under the age of 3. So… there wasn´t much peace for knitting. But we had a lovely time. As I´d hoped, Gustav was a very good boy! Showed skills with both children and cats. And we went for long walks in the woods off leash. He was so exhausted after 2 days of Christmas fun, that he slept for a whole day afterwards… Poor lad. But, I have the bestest dog in the whole wide world!

noste