Tuesday, February 24, 2015

fiber consciousness

pictured above: Moeke Yarns Elena (a good start to my fiber conscious journey)

I don't think my fiber story is that different from a lot of knitters.

When I first started knitting I was so enthralled by the process, by the fact that I now had the ability to make something warm and cozy using two sticks and some string, that I wasn't too concerned about what kind of sticks and string I was using. I started on mostly metal needles that had belonged to my grandmother, and with yarn I bought at a big-box craft store. I really didn't know much about any other options. 

I switched from metal to wood (or bamboo) needles pretty quickly. This mostly had to do with the fact that I can't stand the noise that metal needles make- really, it's like sharpening knives or something. (This is basically just about personal preference) But it took me a little longer to start really learning about the fiber and wool I was using. (which I believe, is bigger than just personal preference)

Recently (in a large part inspired by the Woolful podcast), I've been learning more and more about the yarn I'm buying. I read up about Superwash wool a few months ago and was quite shocked to learn what I did about the process. (This post by Ashley is a good place to start if you're interested in learning more.) I had no idea about any of this! It was a little shocking to me to realize that, although I put a ton of thought into planning my projects and a ton of time and love into actually MAKING them, I wasn't putting much thought into the fibers I was using to knit them up. 

Basically, I'm writing this post because I would really like to change that. I would like to start doing more research before simply purchasing pretty yarn and I would like to go more out of my way to support good yarn and small farms and businesses. And I suppose I'm hoping that sharing this goal will help keep me more accountable. 

I've decided that I will keep the yarn I've currently got in my stash and knit through it. I will also continue to knit gifts or design custom orders for friends and family with the yarns and fibers that they choose. I don't want to knit something for someone who's not interested in learning how to care for the fiber, as that isn't really worth anybody's time. But slowly, I hope to make more intentional choices about what I buy and what I knit with.

I'm excited to see where this journey takes me. 

As always, I would love to hear thoughts on this topic. There is so much to learn, and I feel that I am just at the very beginning of this journey. I'm so thankful for the wisdom of others in this community and their willingness to share. 


  1. Hello to you in Germany from me in France!
    I'm Fran and I blog over here: http://www.la-lainiere.com/
    I've just very recently discovered your blog (and have enjoyed whiling away a good few hours working my way through!)

    I was especially so happy to read this post there are so many things in it that resonate with me, where I've come from as a knitter (also taught by my grandma at an early age) and where I'm currently at with my own fibre journey (becoming more and more passionate about mindful making and conscious selection of fibres/yarns).

    Like you, I'm really glad to be able to learn, share and exchange with others on this topic - I never would have thought I'd find a sense of community through the Internet with my making, but I have!

    Can't wait to

    1. Hi Fran! I'm so glad this post resonated with you- isn't it so wonderful the community we can build here on the internet? I wasn't expecting it either, but it certainly is a lovely and welcomed surprise. I'm excited to connect with you more and keep talking about this important topic!

  2. So true. I too was shocked by the process superwash wool goes through. Makes me want to raise sheep and spin my own wool !

    1. Yes for sure! I can't even imagine how incredible it would be to knit with wool from your own sheep.

  3. This is fantastic. I never thought of this until I started reading your blog and following your Instagram. My friend sent me a box filled with yarn to knit for the homeless but I do think as I begin to knit sweaters and socks I will be very selective and mindful of where my yarn is from and what it is made of.