Knitting and EcoYarns

2 May 2013
Knitting is, by far, my favourite pastime, although maybe I shouldn't call it a pastime because that implies I do it only for pleasure. Knitting is a pleasure for me but I do it for necessity - to provide clothing, warmth, household cloths and gifts for my family and friends. Knitting is one of my household chores. I have written about this subject before because I could see women online blogging about taking a lot of time with their "crafts" and often feeling guilty about it. I see craft work as part of a simple home. If you want handmade dish or face cloths, organic cloths for baby, tea towels, tablecloths, jug covers, various muslins for straining, napkins, curtains, homemade nappies/diapers and clothes, then you, or someone in your home, will be making them. Those items are not made for pleasure then, although there certainly is a lot of pleasure in the hours spent making them, they are made for the purpose of self-reliance and frugality.

When I knit I always use the best quality cotton or wool I can find. I am so fortunate to have EcoYarns as one of my sponsors and I know that without doubt, Vivian always sends me yarns that are an absolute pleasure to work with. If you're looking to stock up on winter wools, alpaca yarn, organic cotton or wool, Vivian is having a sale at the moment so you can take advantage of that and stock up on the finest quality for  a good price. One of my favourite products of hers is the organic 100% cotton (above and below). Vivian tells us on her site:  By buying EcoOrganic Cotton, you are helping to revive ancestral techniques of hand spinning and hand dyeing of the Peruvian dyers, especially of the Paracas Culture. You are also contributing to the welfare of the women (and their families) who work to bring you this yarn. The women often come from the poorest localities in Lima. They are given Fair Trade conditions and a litre of milk per day that they work. The money that they make helps their children obtain an education.

When you buy the eco cotton it's in a loose coil called a skein. You'll need two arms to hold it for you while you roll it into  ball, which is much easier to knit with. Or you can use a swift, like mine below. I found this one in a local antique shop.

 These red skeins are super fine, machine-washable merino.
 Baby alpaca.

I've knitted quite a few baby garments with this cotton and all of them knitted up beautifully. I could give those gifts absolutely sure they would be safe on a baby's skin. You can't always say that about wool or cotton because quite often harsh chemicals are used in the processing of them. Vivian has reduced the cotton by 50 percent, it's now only $7.50 a skein.

 The tall cone of yarn in the middle is the Qoperfina.

When you have a spare 15 minutes, pop over to Vivian's site and have a good look around. You may find something you like. There is a fine selection of fleece, fine wools and cottons and yarns you won't find elsewhere else. At the moment Vivian has a 2ply Qoperfina which is 50% alpaca, 48% cotton, 2% copper. She sent me some to try but I haven't decided what I should use it on yet. Any suggestions?  It's 2 ply.

You know what I really love about knitting with Vivian's yarns? It's knowing I will spend all that time finding a pattern and knitting it up and that will result in a quality garment that I'm proud to give away or use myself. Before I found EcoYarns, I knitted up wool that looked worn out when I finished knitting it and a year later looked five years old. I want the time I put into my knitting to produce something that I can happily use for many years. I want quality. I recommend EcoYarns to you, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

I finished it!

And now I'm going to, hopefully, finish off a cotton shawl/scarf I've been working on for a few weeks. I wanted one similar to these but I didn't want to tie it and I didn't want a pointed back, so I just made the pattern up as I went. I want to use it at home to keep my neck warm on cold winter mornings. I was half way through this shawl when up popped Kate at Purple Pear with hers, almost the same as what I was knitting (great minds). Mine is made using the steel grey EcoCotton and when I wrap it around my neck it's so soft and comfortable, I feel like I'm wrapped in a bunny rug. I hope I can finish it before I post this tomorrow morning so you can see what it looks like.

I've got this on my to do list.
Beautiful patterns

Happy knitting everyone!