fake sheep

a website about vegan knitting

Archive for October, 2005


it’s amazing how much my creative productivity increases when i should be doing other things. we’re probably about 65% through packing the house, but in breaks between thinking about the best ways of putting things in boxes, i’ve started this:

mutineer singlet

i did some more gauge swatching and practice stitch patterns with the mutiny! yarn yesterday:

mutinous stitches

and came to the conclusion that this yarn actually wants to be a sleeveless top rather than a cardigan (which is just as well, because based on how much i’ve knitted so far, i think i have exactly enough for something singlety. of course, now i’m tempted to buy the rest of this yarn to make a matching sleeve-thing.) so, i cast on and knit a moss stitch border and some straight stockinette, and i’m about to start on waist shaping!

okay, i’d better go and pack some more now.


a book about knitting with plants

i forgot to mention earlier: amy knitty is working on a new book about knitting without wool or other animal fibres (except for silk, which isn’t considered an animal fibre for the book…)

she is looking for patterns at the moment – if you’re interested in submitting, check it out.


so, in my last entry i wrote that i wouldn’t be buying any more yarn until we’d finished moving house. well, i haven’t bought any more yarn since then, but yarn has arrived in my p o box that was bought online in the previous couple of weeks.

first, from trade me:

new yarns - pink cotton/ viscose and green-grey acrylic

i got lots of each of these yarns. the pink is schachenmayr nomotta capriosa – a 73% cotton/ 14% viscose/ 8% acrylic/ 5% polyamide blend. the shiny bits are a bit shinier than i was expecting, but i still like it. i’ll have to see what it knits up like, but i’m imagining making some kind of cardigan. a close-up:

capriosa yarn

the green/grey and white is sirdar “hawaii” chunky in “smoke signal” – it’s 50% nylon/ 50% acrylic. i’m not sure what it will be yet.

also this week, i got yarn from the black stitch!

mutiny! yarn

this is handpainted egyptian cotton in mutiny!. i rolled it into balls this afternoon in between packing boxes:

mutiny yarn in balls

and started knitting a little swatch to see what it looks like knitted:

mutiny yarn, stitched up

i think this wants to be something with 3/4 length sleeves. & pretty much all my other yarn is packed, so if i knit anything this week, it will be with this!

lichen jumper


finished lichen jumper

the ribbed tube i posted about in my last entry turned into this! the green & brown section is sirdar “sheba” acrylic in “lichen”, and the grey is a mystery acrylic i bought on trademe (it wasn’t a mystery at the time i bought it, but i accidentally left a bag of yarn in the lounge one day while i went to work, and tinsley decided that yarn was fun to play with. the big skein of grey acrylic turned into two skeins, but was otherwise undamaged. some of the other yarn was less fortunate).

this jumper was knitted without a pattern, but with gauge swatches, maths, a measuring tape and an intuitive sense of the geometry of my body. it turned out a bit baggier than i was planning (in retrospect, my gauge swatch for the lichen yarn wasn’t big enough) but it’s really comfortable, and i’ve already worn it a couple of times.

i’m really excited about how it’s possible to just start knitting and end up with a wearable piece of clothing. how it’s all ratios and geometry and measuring, and you can design a shape and then make it.

lichen jumper, on the needles

knitting in the round was really fun too: the only seams on this whole top were the diagonals along the front shoulders.

i want to learn more about different ways of knitting shoulders; i might make a top-down raglan-style top next (bad penny, maybe?). the shoulders for this jumper ended up being raglanish, but i don’t know if i was doing them “properly”.

i don’t know what i’ll start next. we’re moving house the weekend after next (did i mention we bought a house? we bought a house!) so most of my yarn is packed up and most of my brainspace is occupied with house-moving details. & i’m not buying yarn, either (uh, except for a couple of cheap trademe auctions last night), but if you’re in a yarn-buying mood, check out this amazing handspun nylon! also, yarn traders has 10% off all south west trading company yarns (bamboo, soy silk) for the rest of october.

patternless knitting

i’ve kind of been between knitting projects since i finished the ballerina top – i haven’t wanted to buy new yarn, but no patterns seemed to exactly match anything i already had. i’ve just been knitting swatches of different yarns to see what they look like knitted. & eventually, i started knitting this:

a tube of 2x2 ribbing

it’s a belly-sized tube of 2×2 ribbing, and it will eventually turn into some kind of jumper. the more rows i knit, the more i think it will be cathode-ish, with a bulkier, more colourful yarn in the middle (probably the lichen acrylic i used for these booties). we’ll see. for now, the ribbing pattern on a circular needle is nice, easy knitting.

vegan yarn

as promised, here is a page about vegan yarns! i’ll definitely be adding to it over time, & meanwhile some of it’s pretty basic, but i hope this version is helpful or interesting.

as i was making notes about petroleum-based synthetic yarns, it developed into a bit of a rant about environmental objections to synthetics – it’s a complex issue that i’ve been thinking about for a while, and i probably have more to write about it. i’d appreciate any feedback you have.

& while i’m posting, here’s another gratuitous picture of beautiful yarn:

casablanca yarn

this is the skein of casablanca recycled rayon/ cotton yarn i bought a while ago, all balled up and ready to knit.

a few random things

i’m a bit distractable this morning, and i thought posting here might help empty some stuff out of my brain. so, here are some recent knitting-related things:

  • apparently knitting needles are allowed on planes in new zealand again! this is cool, even though flights within new zealand aren’t particularly long anyway, & you’d still have to put your knitting in your checked luggage if you were flying internationally. i might be going to wellington again next month for work, & if so i think i will knit something in-flight, just because i can.
  • knitcast, the podcast about knitting, continues to be good. i haven’t actually listened to the most recent episode, but the recent interview with amy “knitty” singer was interesting.
  • yarn magazine is a new (online and print) knitting magazine. it’s based in australia, so its seasonal biases are more relevant to me than most other knitting publications. unfortunately, i didn’t find any of the patterns or articles in the first issue particularly interesting, but i’ll be keeping an eye on future issues.
  • speaking of online knitting magazines, i wonder what happened to spun? its next issue was meant to come out in mid-august…
  • and, the september issue of magknits is up. i’m not usually a fan of magknits (not that i actively dislike it, i’m just not usually interested in the patterns), but i’m considering knitting vegetables. it’s weird, i was thinking about the design of my blog the other day, and was seriously considering knitting some vegetables (i was thinking broccoli) to use on the page about vegan knitting! i was actually considering properly learning crochet for the sole purpose of making crocheted broccoli, because i suspected it would be easier than knitting it. i still might, because i don’t really like the magknits broccoli pattern, but i think the tomato is great. the pigtail hat pattern in this issue is also pretty cute.
  • & speaking of vegan knitters, i finally got round to joining the vegan knitters webring! hi vegan knitters!

& here is some yarn i’ve bought recently:

nettle yarn
yarn traders had a limited amount of nettle yarn from nepal, and i bought a huge blue skein of it. this took some untwisting, but it’s now in balls, waiting to be knitted into something. i have enough for a short-sleeved top, i think, but it’s a bit scratchy so it might be better as an over-garment or not a garment at all. i love how this looks, and i’m excited to knit with it. i’ll post more photos soon of the little swatch i’ve knitted with it, and how it looks in balls.

hemp twine
i bought a couple of balls of handspun hemp twine from trade aid – it’s twine rather than yarn, and so is thick and tough rather than soft, but i’m going to knit with it anyway (maybe a bag or something?) the colours are amazing – this deep indigo blue and a really pretty green.

soy silk yarn
i already mentioned that i bought a ball of soy silk oasis, but this is a better picture of it. i’ve been taking photos of my yarn because i’m working on a page about vegan yarns with information and links about different plant & synthetic fibres. i’ve almost finished a basic version of it, so i’ll link to it soon.

that’s all for now, but i seem to be going through another knitting-obsessed phase lately, so expect more posts soon.