Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Campaign for Wool

HRH the Prince of Wales is a true friend to knitters and shepherds worldwide. The campaign was started at the beginning of 2010, and is international, extending beyond the United Kingdom to include industry associations in Australian, New Zealand, Norway, and even the International Wool Textile Organisation. The goal, of course, is to raise awareness of the versatility of wool.

The home page at http://www.campaignforwool.org/ reminds us that wool can be used not only for clothing and accessories, but in home furnishings and even building materials. So I guess the Yarn Harlot was right when she talked about using stash to insulate your home! If you download the presentations, you will discover wool has wonderful properties such as:
  • Green: Wool is produced naturally by allowing sheep to graze. This is a sustainable method of farming that has been practiced for hundreds of years. It is not only good for the sheep, but it is good for the land and the natural species that share habitat with the flock. Sheep are sheared annually and harmlessly. Wool products often have a greener manufacturing footprint than comparable synthetic products. When wool products do wear out and are discarded, wool will decompose safely in only a few years. And wool itself tends to lock up carbon dioxide which has been identified as a contributor to global climate change.
  • Durable: Wool can last hundreds of years. It can be bent thousands of times without damage to the structure. Quality wool goods -- whether clothes or home furnishings -- will wear better and last longer, making them a good investment. This is not only good for your budget but good for the planet, because you won't have to replace wool goods as often. And the small amount of oil in wool can help repel spills, as well as protect from dirt and grease damage, which means wool products will continue to look good while they last.
  • Safe: Wool tends not to burn, and will usually self-extinguish when removed from the flame. This is good in homes, but also good for people in dangerous lines of work who might be exposed to open flames. Synthetic fibers can melt on to the skin and cause injury beyond just the simple burn. Synthetics can also give off noxious or toxic fumes when they burn, but wool is much less dangerous when it burns. Wool carpets tend to be non-slip, so they can be a safer choice for someone with mobility challenges.
  • Breathable: Wool can absorb and release humidity. Wool in the home can help maintain a more consistent environment. Wool clothes keeps you warm or cool, as need be. And wool can absorb water without becoming cold or damp. In building materials, the insulating qualities of wool are consistent across a wide range of temperature and humidity.
  • Clean: The microscopic structure of wool causes it to trap dust in the home, which can be easily vacuumed away later. Because wool clothing will absorb moisture including perspiration, wool can reduce personal body odor.
  • Quiet: In the home, wool can reduce sounds and echos from room to room.
In addition to educating us all on the wonderful properties of wool in fashion, interiors, and building materials, The Campaign for Wool has also staged some out and out fun. Last October the Savile Row Field Day involved setting up a couple corrals of sheep on Savile Row in London to remind consumers of the advantages of wool garments. Wear your woolens with pride!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Periodic Table

A link to a Knitter's Periodic Table of Fibers.
How many are in your stash?
Gotta knit 'em all!

Friday, February 11, 2011

How Does Bronze Stay Warm?

Something about metal statues outside in the cold elements just doesn't sit right with fiberistas.

The crochet is by Olek, a Polish artist who lives in New York City. The sculpture, of course, is Arturo Di Modica's Charging Bull. More information at CNN.

Or follow this link to see more found fiber art in Lexington Kentucky. The sculpture installation in Thoroughbred Park is by Gwen Reardon. Someone has made sure the horses and jockeys don't catch a chill while they snatch victory.

And of course, you can always check out Waiting for the Interurban by Richard Beyer. The group sculpture in Seattle is rarely naked, regardless of the time of year. Just search in Flickr or Google images.

Raising the question, does our local Buckhead Triangle Park sculpture The Storyteller by Frank Fleming need some knitted love?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Filling Out That 2011 Dayplanner

Just a couple reminders:

1. Advanced registration for STITCHES South ends tomorrow, the 10th. That means prices go up. If you haven't registered yet, get thee over to the STITCHES South portal page. Registering online is very easy. Furthermore, there are extended descriptions of the classes and the homework is listed, so you can plan accordingly before you register for a class.

2. Lucy Neatby is coming to the Atlanta area! Lucy is booked through 2014, but she will be here at The Whole Nine Yarns in Woodstock on 6, 7, & 8 May. This is Mothers' Day weekend. In fact, a special Mothers' Day Tea is planned on Sunday. Classes are filling up very quickly. You can find the complete list here. You can also call the shop at 678-494-5242.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February Bear

Once again this month we have a new pattern for teddy bear clothes. This month's pattern is for a cabled vest. If you haven't yet learned how to cable, you really must treat yourself. Cabling is so much easier than it looks, and non-knitters tend to think that a cabled garment means you are a very skilled and accomplished knitter. This is what we like -- a technique that provides a great finish without a lot of work.

Not only did Debra write this pattern and knit a sample, but she even includes graded sizes for 9-, 11-, and 13-inch bears! As always, the pattern will be available for download on the AKG website in the Trauma Bear Patterns page of Community Service section.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Craft a Guild

A local knitting guild is a wonderful resource, but what if you live someplace that doesn't yet have a guild? Nancy Smith Kilkenny has written an e-book and started a website that can help you start a guild or nurture an existing guild. The site is http://www.craftaguild.com/. Nancy interviewed presidents and board members from a variety of craft guilds around the country, including Atlanta Knitting Guild, while she was writing her book. Her site has resources such as a newsletter, links, and a blog -- all to give you ideas about how to keep that guild active and interesting. Nancy's e-book, Craft a Guild is a solid how-to that will walk you through the basics of founding a guild. It contains some things you expect, such as a list of officers, sample by-laws, and a discussion of non-profit status. But her book also talks about some of the less obvious things, such as the need to cultivate good members or deal with change. And the list of ways to kill a guild should be required reading!