Friday, October 13, 2017

Knitting Culture: Fibershed (sponsored by Brooklyn Tweed)

Tonight I attended the first event of Brooklyn Tweed's Knitting Culture program. My initial response to what I heard tonight: extreme sadness, for two reasons. Possibly a mixture of frustration and disgust. Let me tell you why.

The guest speaker this evening was Rebecca Burgess, of Fibershed. If you've heard that name before, you must be a dyer. She's written a book, published in 2011, titled Harvesting Color, How to Find Plants and Make Natural Dyes. (That's a link to the book in Amazon. I'm not an affiliate, so purchase it where you will.) Rebecca's personal goal, it seems, is similar to 'foodies' where they pursue known sourced ingredients for their diet -- only with her wardrobe. She wants to find the source of her garments within an area of about 300 miles of home.

To accomplish this challenge, she created a project by studying the fiber of her clothes (keep in mind, unlike you or I, she is not a knitter) and found herself disgusted by the amount of plastics in our clothing that eventually find it's way to our landfills. The result of her yearlong project was a few pieces in her wardrobe she can name the animal or farm it was harvested from AND Fibershed. If you, like me, heard that term and wondered if that was similar to WATERSHED, you are not far from wrong. Like a watershed, a cycle can be nurtured to clothe ourselves in a sustainable, eco-friendly way. Her website www.Fibershed.com says it's goal is to "address and educate the public on the environmental, economic and social benefits of de-centralizing the textile supply chain".

@wearingpurple2017
What Rebecca showed tonight that it is possible to reduce our carbon footprint. How did the leap from knitting and books on this blog take such an enormous leap to such a universally hot topic? It seems that with the help of farms and their concerns to make adjustments in how they function, she can share with them that it is feasible environmentally to reduce our carbon output by making a few changes in how they care for the land and it's resources.

Ever since the plow was invented, the soils natural resources have continually been removed without thought to putting anything back into it, exhausting the earth. By composting, rotating 'events' in a field (one farm she mentioned grows cotton and has sheep, which are allowed to graze the stubble after the cotton has been harvested) and other choices made with thoughtful care of the land. Studies have shown that in the past, only 3% of California's wool crop becomes used for American made products, 30% is imported out of the country and the rest is in landfills or, as Rebecca puts it 'lining a ditch somewhere'. (Note: This was what I recalled from what I heard, I took no notes, and can't find this on her website, so there is a need to verify the accuracy of this statement. I do believe this is not the first time I've heard this, but how long ago or from where, I can't recall.) Not only are they trying to salvage that waste, but as the chart on her website shows, the nutrients are put back into the soil. She shared examples of this from a wool farm including Jacob Sheep, the Cotton Farm I already mentioned, her excitement about linen happening in our area and the hemp production in Australia.

Afterwards, an eastern Oregon resident whose background in sheep ranching raised the question that all of us had, what Rebecca is doing in California, can it be duplicated here? She did point to a pretty woman in the audience who is working toward developing linen, but the really good thing I heard was that the infrastructure for milling the final product is already in place in this area. Without naming that company, Rebecca mentioned that because this company has had to integrate foreign fibers and chemical (unnaturally created) dyes, it would be a big change for them to pursue the solely locally obtained and natural materials. It could be done. We as a consumer may need to convince them that THAT is what we want, but it can be done.

It should be mentioned that Brooklyn Tweed has an interest in these environmentally friendlier produced fibers, as they did sponsor Rebecca's visit tonight, so we may also want to watch for products from that company as well.

So why did I leave sad/frustrated/disgusted? I am sorry to say there were only about 50 people in the room to hear this information. I am one small person, I don't own a farm, a mill or dye yarns in my kitchen. I have never spun yarn. In this cyclical project, I am the end user. The only thing I can do is save my pennies for that yarn to come. I can imagine those first few skeins will be costly. There was already a fabric kickstarter which may have been out of the range of most pocketbooks I know of, Community Supported Cloth, is currently offered at $55 per yard, minimum 2 yards. For a person my size, that might make a vest and/or a pencil skirt, but the bigger picture I can appreciate: If I can afford to support this effort more will come of it, this effort will have a chance to be a success.

The other thing I can do is to look around me and ask, 'Where were you?'



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Video book review of Classic Knit Shawls by interweave

Video Review of Classic Knit Shawls by Interweave


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Today, I have a brief Review of Classic Knit Shawls: 20 Timeless Designs featuring Lace, Cables, & More by The Editors of Interweave, published in April of this year. I was sent a copy to review, it's available at their website.



This is an unsolicited opinion, mine, of a new book. You can find me in Ravelry as wearingpurple, in Twitter as wearingpurple1 and I have a public group in Facebook called Pursuit of Happy Knits. Also, I'm also in Instagram account and in Pinterest.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Video Review of Circular Needles by Loops and Threads

Video Review of Circular Needles by Loops and Threads


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Today, I have a brief Review of Circular Knitting Needles by Loops & Threads. I found 16" length sized 6 and 8 (US) to use for hat knitting, want to share why they are unique. This is also an update on my #OneADay2017 goal to knit a chemo hat every day.



Not to say that these are the only needles I use, but it's exciting and a new find for me, to assist with hand-knit chemo hats that I donate to Halos of Hope. I did find by a lengthy search after posting this that these are a Michael's brand (Normally, I would include a link so that you can find them, but they are not on their website or anywhere else I can think of.) As I said, I don't think they are the only ones on the planet, but if you need them, I know you can find them. 

NOTE: I found some at Makers' Mercantile, look for 16" Addi Turbos and pick your favorite points. If you don't live on the Westside of Washington State, try the Skacel website

This is an unsolicited opinion, mine, of a new book. You can find me in Ravelry as wearingpurple, in Twitter as wearingpurple1 and I have a public group in Facebook called Pursuit of Happy Knits. Also, I'm also in Instagram account and in Pinterest.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Video Book Review, Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman

Video Book Review, Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman


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Today, I have a brief Book Review of Every Which Way Crochet Borders: 139 Patterns for Customized Edgings by Edie Eckman (that link is to her website, here is link to her designer page in Ravelry) published last February, by Storey Publishing. Link is to the book through Ravelry



This is an unsolicited opinion, mine, of a new book. You can find me in Ravelry as wearingpurple, in Twitter as wearingpurple1 and I have a public group in Facebook called Pursuit of Happy Knits. Also, I'm also in Instagram account and in Pinterest.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Video Book Review, Stunning Stitches by Jen Lucas

Video Book Review, Stunning Stitches by Jen Lucas


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Today, I have a brief Book Review of Stunning Stitches: 21 Shawls, Shawls, Scarves and Cowls You'll Love to Knit by Jen Lucas (that link is to her designer page in Ravelry) published last month, by Martingale Press. Link is to the book through Ravelry. You can also check out her website:  www.JenLucasDesigns.com




This is an unsolicited opinion, mine, of a new book. You can find me in Ravelry as wearingpurple, in Twitter as wearingpurple1 and I have a public group in Facebook called Pursuit of Happy Knits. Also, I'm also in Instagram account and in Pinterest.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Video Book Review, 200 Fair Isle Motifs by Mary Jane Mucklestone

Video Book Review, 200 Fair Isle Motifs by Mary Jane Mucklestone 

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Today, I have a brief Book Review of 200 Fair Isle Motifs, by Mary Jane Mucklestone (that link is to her designer page in Ravelry) published in 2011. Link is to the book through Ravelry, as it is similar to a stitch dictionary, there isn't a list of patterns from the book. You can also check out her website: www.MaryJaneMucklestone.com



This is an unsolicited opinion, mine, of a new book. You can find me in Ravelry as wearingpurple, in Twitter as wearingpurple1 and I have a public group in Facebook called Pursuit of Happy Knits. Also, I'm also in Instagram account and in Pinterest.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Video Book Review, 60 Quick Knitted Toys

Video Book Review, 60 Quick Knitted Toys 

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Today, I have a brief Book Review of 60 Quick Knitted Toys, published in 2017. Link is to view the patterns in the book through Ravelry.


Here is the link to my project shared in the video, En-Pointe Pauline.

This is an unsolicited opinion, mine, of a new book. You can find me in Ravelry as wearingpurple, in Twitter as wearingpurple1 and I have a public group in Facebook called Pursuit of Happy Knits. Also, I'm also in Instagram account and in Pinterest.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Video Book Review, WestKnits BestKnits by Stephen West

Video Book Review, WestKnits BestKnits by Stephen West 

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Today, I have a brief Book Review of West Knits, Best Knits (Vol. 1),  by Stephen West, published in 2016. Link is to view the patterns in the book through Ravelry.



I mentioned that I first was introduced to Stephen West on the Fiber Hooligans podcast. If you'd like to hear that episode go to THIS LINK and look for the episode dated 7/24/14 (apologies, there's not a link for the single episode that I can find.)

This is an unsolicited opinion, mine, of a new book. You can find me in Ravelry as wearingpurple, in Twitter as wearingpurple1 and I have a public group in Facebook called Pursuit of Happy Knits. Also, I'm also in Instagram account and in Pinterest.

Extra: The shawl I'm fussing with is the Strandwanderer (link to my project in Ravelry). I purchased the Lorna's Laces Iris colorway from Ewe and Brew when they very first opened, then began the project as part of a KAL, but it took me forever because I only worked on it at knit night AND because I doubled the size. Did I mention I like big shawls? When I moved away from that shop, it bothered me that I hadn't finished it yet, then I bought some LuLaRoe leggings that matched the colors. That made me churn it out to the finish!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Recap Stitches West 2017 or #STITCHESWest2017, Santa Clara, CA

I was able to be at Stitches West at the end of February, but had a cold and lots of drama at work, which prevented me sharing until now.


Links to various vendors or people mentioned: The Stitches Events, Halos of Hope, The Buffalo Wool Co, Marly Bird, Erin.Lane Bags, Knitmore Girls Podcast (who shared items from Miss Babs, Plum Deluxe, Unicorn Baby Fiber Wash, Lo-Lo by Bar-Maids, Lisa Souza, The Fibre Company, you can listen to Jasmin's and Gigi's thoughts about Stitches West at THIS LINK!) Kyle Kunnecke, Slipped Stitch Studios, Signature Needles, Artisanal Yarns (Facebook page, not connecting to their website), Romi Hill, also Madrona Fiber Festival and Canon Hand Dyes.   

And, just for fun, BONUS BLOOPER!



You can find me in Ravelry as wearingpurple, in Twitter as wearingpurple1 and I have a public group in Facebook called Pursuit of Happy Knits. Also, I'm also in Instagram account and in Pinterest.