Monday, January 27, 2014

totally cool hooded cowl

This is Ciara (I think that's how she spells it) modeling her new hooded cowl. I snapped this photo when she & her mom, Denise came in for the buttons. This is worked up in Plymouth Baby Aire - a gorgeous baby alpaca yarn that is cabled or braided. I'll bet she stays toasty this winter!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Slow Clothes - I LOVE it!

This is an article sent to me by a non-knitting friend & I think the message is fabulous. I realize it is "preaching to the choir", but I wanted to share this perspective. Thanks, Nancy!

I’ve started knitting again after a year-long break. I bought some beautiful hand-dyed, locally spun yarn in a brilliant mottled fuchsia, and then I got to work, knitting furiously for two days straight until I realized that my new infinity scarf was disproportionately huge. I had to undo everything and start over, my enthusiasm somewhat dampened.
When I took my knitting to a friend’s house, someone asked an interesting question: “Why would you bother knitting a scarf? It’s so much work and you can buy a great scarf for cheap anywhere.” It’s a good question. If it’s easy to buy a decent scarf for $10 at H&M, why would I spend $50 on handspun yarn and another week of knitting in order to get a finished product? It’s hardly economical.
But there’s more to it than that. The act of knitting is a strange combination of relaxation and activism, of protest and tradition. My urge to pick it up again started last month after reading Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline. The author pushes for a “slow clothes” movement, the fashion equivalent of “slow food,” in which consumers start paying attention to the background of their clothes and what has gone into their production. Knitting is my small contribution to the slow clothes movement for the following reasons:
I’m creating a product of high quality. Because I’ve invested money and time into this scarf, it is far more valuable than anything I could buy for $10. I will care for it and it will last for many years, keeping its shape and colour long after cheaper scarves have fallen apart. Clothing is devalued in North America to the point where it’s practically disposable. It would be far better for the Earth if we stopped buying cheap items that don’t last and invested in fewer, higher quality items that do last.
Knitting is a way to reclaim independence. We live in a world where we depend on certain individuals and companies to perform highly specialized tasks for us. There’s something satisfying about taking on some of the responsibility for clothing production and sending a message to the industry that I don’t need them to make my scarves.
Knitting can help a local industry. It wasn’t cheap to buy two skeins of that locally produced yarn, but at least I’m making a statement with my consumer dollars to a nearby farmer, endorsing his or her decision to make a living raising sheep. According to Cline, if every American redirected 1 percent of their disposable income to domestically-made products, it would create 200,000 jobs. Cheap imported clothes become a lot more expensive when you calculate the loss of domestic jobs.
Finally, it feels really good to make something by hand. There’s something very peaceful about performing a simple, repetitive act with my fingers that results in useful yet beautiful things.
Do you knit or have another ‘slow clothes’-related hobby?

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Block of the Month - FINISHED!

Our loyal local knitter, Peggy Sue Richards has completed her Block of the Month afghan, in lovely Liberty Wool Raspberry. We think she did a very creative thing with the November block - see photo below...recognize the I-cord?

I haven't seen push pins used to such advantage in a long time!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Christmas is over...

This is how Santa greeted me this snowy Saturday. I guess he's done for the season...long live Santa.

& Happy New Year to all our blog followers! A day like today is SO perfect for finishing all the holiday knitting you did not get done. It is not fit for man nor beast outside, having just walked down to the shop from the Chateau.

I am getting closer to completion of the Block of the Month afghan, that was supposed to be finished at year's end. I got a bit bogged with November :-)

Happy Birthday wonderful Ginger!!