Archive for January, 2007
i bought myself a skein of beautiful yarn to celebrate re-launching fake sheep. this is “grace”, a skein of handspun hand-dyed viscose by daniela kloppmann/ feltstudio, who sells on etsy. i’m not sure what i’ll make with it yet, but i love the colours and subtle sparkliness. it’s as gorgeous as it looks in the pictures (click through to flickr for more).
more beautiful vegan handspun on etsy that i’ve noticed recently:
- jewels: brightly coloured soysilk single.
- fire on the mountain: flame-red bamboo. there are a couple of other skeins of bamboo on her website.
- space flower: amazing grey & pink soysilk (already sold)
and on an administrative note, i had the bloglines feed for fake sheep fixed, so if you’re subscribed through bloglines you should be able to read my new entries. i have another couple of entries half-written, and this is a long weekend in auckland, so you will hear more from me soon.
interweave press, publishers of “interweave knits” magazine, scarf style and lots of other books, have just started podcasting – the first episode is an interview with amy singer about her upcoming book, no sheep for you (get the audio file here.)
the more i hear about this book, the more i’m looking forward to it. “no sheep…” is almost-vegan in practice if not in theory. the author is allergic to wool and touch-sensitive to most animal fibres, as she explains in the interview – so she explains that the book is not anti-wool, it’s “boy i sure use i could wish wool, but since i can’t here’s what i can use instead”. & her list of things she can use instead includes silk. but while it’s not actually a vegan book, it looks like it will be really useful for this vegan knitter.
the book includes lots of information about different plant fibres. in the interview, amy talks about her year-long process of researching plant fibres and figuring out how to knit wooly patterns, like lace, without wool. lots of knitters, including yarn shop owners, never really knit with plant fibres so there’s not as much knowledge circulating about how these fibres behave, what you can knit with them and what you need to consider when substituting them into a pattern designed for an animal fibre.
amy talks about the importance of understanding your yarn – swatching extensively, washing and blocking, and making notes about how the fabric behaves. knitting and designing with less common fibres requires a bit more experimentation.
and of course, there are lots of patterns included that are specifically designed for plant fibres. the interweave press site has a descriptive table of contents that tells you what all the patterns are about, with a few pictures – the “cables and o’s” cardigan in linen/cotton is gorgous.
i’m really excited about this book, and i hope it gets more knitters thinking about, designing with and using plant fibres.
craftwerk is an alternative craft market that started in wellington last year, but has spread to auckland and now christchurch. i’ve had tables at a couple of the markets, selling zines and handmade books & it’s been lots of fun. here are some photos of last october’s craftwerk, featuring some cute knitted and crocheted things. also featuring james, helping out with the moon rocket table and wearing his fibonacci hat!
craftwerk (in auckland, anyway) isn’t regular, but upcoming markets are announced on their webpage (and the inevitable myspace page).
i knitted this 1×1 rib scarf over the holidays: a ball of patterned acrylic sitting in one of my yarn baskets looked as though it should be a scarf. i’m not sure whether i’ll actually wear this – certainly it’s not scarf weather today – or whether it will be for someone else.
yes, despite all my linking of beautiful expensive yarns made from exotic plants, i still knit with cheap acrylic pretty often. this vegan knitter wrote an interesting post recently about yarn snobbery and the classism attached: how regardless of vegan opinions about wool, not everyone can afford “luxury” animal (or plant) yarns and there’s no need to be elitist about it. i’m fortunate enough to be able to sometimes afford pricey yarns, but most of my stash is actually second hand: inherited from others, bought from people selling off their stashes on trade me, found at op shops.
one website i’m considering buying some yarn from is ecoyarns in australia. yarn traders is no longer stocking south west trading company stuff (soy silk, bamboo, etc), so i think australia is the closest place i can buy it from. i’d quite like to make something a bit bigger with soy silk (e.g. here is a v. cute soysilk tanktop knitted from a teva durham pattern), i think bamboo would make a good clapotis (& check out the beautiful new colours on the swtc blog), & a-maizing (made from corn fibre) looks interesting. ecoyarns also sells pakucho organic cotton (colour-grown & pretty dyed colours) and “black diamond” bamboo carbon fibre for handspinning.
and i probably won’t buy actually yarn from habu textiles because it’s on the other side of the world in new york, but i do like looking at their website. i was updating my vegan yarns page the other day, so browsed through their whole catalogue. some favourites:
- i’ve been liking the looks of shoshenshi linen paper for a while; they also make pine paper and a few different linen paper blends.
- handspun hemp is very handmade: “the fiber is split one by one, then the ends are twisted and connected together all by hand.”
- hand-dyed kasuri cotton is just pretty
- copper bamboo (67% bamboo, 33% copper) bends & keeps its shape, but apparently is still soft like bamboo.
- i like knitting with tape yarns, and knitted ramie tape looks like it has an interesting texture.
- the most amazing though: fishnet yarn. this is 100% linen with a persimmon tannin coating, and is made from recycled fish nets.
& to conclude this post with more beautiful expensive plant yarn, here is some v. pretty handspun soysilk on etsy.
just a very quick post to say that my livejournal syndication is working again. so if you’re on livejournal and you want to keep up with fake sheep, you can add “fakesheep” to your friends list! and if it’s already on your friends list, you should start seeing updates again.
from the “things i knitted last year, but didn’t blog about” archives: a 1×1 rib scarf made from soy silk “oasis” by south west trading company.
i love this yarn – it’s light and drapey but warm, and was really pleasant to knit with. i wore this scarf quite a few times last winter.
i’m mostly just posting this to test flickr’s post- photos- straight- to- blog feature.
this is part of a pile of yarn i inherited on new year’s day – click through to flickr to see more photos. my sister-in-law had a couple of bags of yarn that she brought home from my nephew’s kindergarten – they were tidying up the crafty supplies for the holidays and decided not to keep the yarn so as not to provide a comfortable nesting space for rats. she doesn’t knit, so offered it to me. i left lots of baby pink and blue and hairy angora-type fuzz, but kept a bag full of pretty coloured and textured yarns.
i just finished writing a new page about the calorimetries i knitted. here is calorimetry #2:
& i bought myself a present to celebrate re-launching the blog:
other etsy finds (from searching for “vegan yarn”):
- pink handspun soy silk
- handpainted rayon-cotton boucle in berry colours.
- big skeins of handspun ingeo and bamboo (& the seller offers free samples if you send a SASE)
- purple cow soysilk/ bamboo. so beautiful – i would have bought this if i hadn’t already chosen the viscose.
and while i’m linking, some other plant yarns i’ve noticed lately:
- pine paper from habu textiles! knitch also stocks linen and cotton by habu which look amazing.
- soysilk parfait is handspun soysilk, ecospun, nylon and cotton made by jacey of insubordiknit.
- ray-flax by interlacements is a limited-edition rayon-flax blend in all kinds of bright colourways. some other yarns of theirs are also non-animal: new york is nylon ribbon, for example.
in other vegan yarn news, desirée has started a vegan yarn blog. the aim is to have a big list of vegan yarns referenced by weight and fibre. this looks like it could be really useful.
i’ve now finished migrating all the archives and comments over from the old system, so consider fake sheep officially re-launched!
from my inbox:
- debbie stoller wants to know about your experiences knitting for boys and men for a new stitch ‘n bitch project – you could win a stitch ‘n bitch page-a-day calendar like the one i got for christmas. submit your stories.
- someone emailed me to ask whether anyone i know can sell them a mon tricot knitting dictionary. leave a comment if you have one you’d like to sell, and i’ll pass on your contact details.
(this blog comes up on the first page of google results for the name of the book, as i once bought one from trade me)
hi! i’m writing this in my fancy new wordpress install. i’ve had lots of fun tinkering with the code & moving content across & am excited to start blogging regularly again. i still have a few little modifications to make, and will migrate all my blog archives over soon, but i wanted to post something here.
in the far right sidebar, you can see my most recent knitting-related photos posted on flickr, and links i’ve bookmarked on del.icio.us. i’ve been using these two services a lot lately, so you should see new things appearing on this site more often.
also on an administrative note: if you’ve been following fake sheep though an rss service like bloglines, you’ll need to change the rss feed that it’s checking. there’s a link to this site’s rss in the sidebar.
most recently, i’ve been knitting calorimetries:
check out the photos on flickr, and i’ll post more here soon!