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Friday, May 06, 2005

MG: deeper into the fiber fold

Lelah has been blocking for a couple of days; this yarn takes a while to dry. here it is waiting impatiently on my towel-on-a-basket blocking system:

my thoughts about the yarn... though there was a learning curve involved, i thoroughly enjoyed Cadiz (50% silk/50% viscose by Jaeger). once acclimated to the 12 (i counted) itty bitty plies (great potential for pulling in different directions or splitting) a lovely fabric emerged. as long as i didn't work against the twist, the yarn created beautiful definition and dimension. post-wash, the fabric plumps into marshmallow-y texture and drapes beautifully. i really love this yarn.

but i don't think i will use silk again... sigh... i recently found out about how most sheep are treated in the Australian wool industry. such practices are... i don't know how to describe such knowing infliction upon living beings...

i'm still working out what this means to me in detail. i will not use Australian wool from now on, unless it's specified cruelty-free, but how much do i know about where the wool in my yarn comes from? most labels do not reveal this.

i don't think petro-chemicals (e.g. polyester, acrylic, etc.) are a healthy alternative for me or for the earth. and for now, i don't think using wool is inherently cruel. i can imagine some ideal situation: if a flock were lovingly tended and caringly sheared, the use of wool would not be extracted at a cost paid by the sheep. it's important my wool should not be bought with physical or mental trauma. but really, how much do i know about how the sheep who produce my wool are treated? how much do i know about whether shearing traumatizes them or not. i don't know... i need to learn more about this.

this prompted me to re-evaluate what i know. i do know cute little silkworms die in silk production. so, no more silk for me...

well, one needs positive conditioning as well as negative, so what fibers can i be excited about? organic cotton, hemp, tencel, bamboo, soysilk; all lovely to covet but expensive and/or hard to find. i know i say this a lot, but i'm a graduate student... i'm poor! which led me to this:

i went to a spinning class at Deep Color Studio this week!!!!!!!!!!! [please tolerate a few more]!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!! i'm addicted. spinning fibers are much cheaper than yarns, but still i have to ration; if i'm not careful, there is the distinct possibility i would spin myself out of house and home.

for the duration of the class, i can rent a wheel at $5/week. which means, there is an Ashford Joy in my apartment RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!! the photo above is the yarn i spun in class--my very first. it's all lumpy, uneven, undertwisted, overtwisted, but Claudia at Deep Color Studio, the instructor, promised it would still knit into an object of beauty.

deeper and deeper... and quite content.


  1. oh my, so much to comment on ~ what a very good post, meowkitty!

    first and foremost: your lelah looks divine! the color is perfect ;) and the yarn knitted up so beautifully. can't wait to see it all finished!

    then, thank you for the link about australian wool. i don't buy leather so why would i buy wool from sheep that were horribly hurt? i know many vegans won't wear wool exactly for this reason. about silk, i have heard that the silkworms don't necessarily have to be killed to get the silk. i'll research a bit about it, since i don't really know anything about silk processing, but if i find something, i'll definitely send it on to you. oh, i hope i can find something because i'm really really loving my new silk skeins!

    lastly, spinning! wow. very cool ~ i tried drop spindle spinning last summer but i haven't tried a bit since then. and an ashford is supposed to be very top-of-the-line, isn't it? and for $5 a day? good deal! wonder if that kind of thing is available here in l.a....

    ;) thanks for great food for thought

  2. oops, why was i thinking your name was meowkitty instead of meowgirl?!?! sorry, just a typical friday memory lapse, i'm afraid! ;)