fake sheep

a website about vegan knitting

knitting podcasts

Insubordiknit yarn curtain – originally uploaded by insubordiknit

towards the beginning of last year, it seemed there was a huge increase in knitting-related podcasts. i haven’t been following them recently, but my very favourite is insubordiknit podcast. filled with stories from knitters’ lives, the inspiration behind some of jacey’s amazing handspun yarn and hip-hop breakdowns of what’s on the knitting sticks, the podcast is as awesome as everything else jacey does. the picture attached to this post is a “beaded” yarn curtain made from handspun yarn that you can buy from insubordiknit. more pictures of yarn curtains on flickr.

a couple of other honourable mentions that are of vegan knitting interest are:

irie knitsepisode 9: the vegan episode briefly explains what veganism is and how it relates to knitting, and talks about foxfibre organic cotton yarn and other vegan yarns (referencing my vegan yarn page!).

stash and burn – in episode 20: ltb or bust, nicole and jenny both knitted the same tank top with different brands of bamboo yarn, so they talk about the pattern (lotus blossom tank from interweave knits) and compare the yarn they used: plymouth royal bamboo and south west trading company bamboo.

what are your favourite knitting podcasts? are there any other vegan podcasts that have talked about knitting, or knitting podcasts that have talked about veganism?

a different kind of vegan knitting

Knit Night Cupcakes – Yarn Balls – originally uploaded by teenytinyturkey

you may have seen these already, i’m a little out of the vegan knitting loop: knit night cupcakes! they’re vegan in the edible sense, and so famous they were featured on the martha stewart show.

go see more photos on flickr (including pictorial instructions for knitted marzipan) and check out more of lolo’s vegan recipes (& amazing food photography) at veganyumyum.com.

hello again

i didn’t mean to disappear from this blog, again – life turned a little inside-out for a while and i didn’t really knit, let alone write about it. i’m hoping to start writing here again, soon – people have left lots of good questions in comments on older posts, and so i have lots of things to write about.

yarn and books

meanwhile, here is a house-moving tip for people who, like me, have a lot of books and yarn: when packing, don’t fill whole boxes with books. instead, put a manageable number of books in a box and pack around them with yarn. this way you efficiently pack two types of thing at once, the corners of your books are protected from bumping, and the resulting boxes are not too heavy.

classic yarns

made out of trees

yarn on k road

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:

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.

no sheep for me

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

yarncore

i bought this little fimo brooch from alex (lately of cherry bomb) at craftwerk auckland a couple of months ago.

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).

on yarn lust

blurry

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 also added a couple of new fibres to the list: kenaf is a type of hibiscus, with fibre similar to jute. habu makes a couple of types of kenaf yarn. fique is related to the pineapple.

& to conclude this post with more beautiful expensive plant yarn, here is some v. pretty handspun soysilk on etsy.