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.