I have just returned from a month hiatus in Sedona, Arizona where my husband and I did a great deal of hiking, reading (mostly him) and knitting (mostly me). In fact, I made this from my yarns (sorry its poorly blocked):
This pattern, Mattie Cardigan by Kristin Drysdale is on Ravelry. I made my body a tad shorter, as that’s how I roll. Anyway, this will be steeked and made into a cardigan. It was an adventure in colorwork and catching floats. I am happy with my first go at this pattern. I did have a little problem with some blue coming off my hands which I was not too surprised about as I mordanted this yarn in a cold process. I will need to work on that process! Anyway. The great news is- after I finished the knit, I soaked it in cold water with eco dish soap for an hour, agitated it with my hands and squeezed. Some dye came out but did NOT LEECH into each other! So happy to have this real-life experiment done on such a major project (this is a big knit for me). I get a lot of questions about dye running and leeching. I have not had problems with this but as I expand colors, I want to be sure. I do rinse all yarn I dye until the water is clear at the end of the dye process. But as we know with blue jeans, bright red sweatpants and our favorite t-shirts, fabrics lose color over time, and it has to go somewhere (in the case of red sweatpants, it always finds my white t-shirts). But to know that the dye on the yarns you buy that may soak out in a wash is not dyeing other things is a big deal in the plant dyed yarn world. It happily goes down the sink. All plant dyes behave differently from each other. Some will leave a little color in your water when you wash them, others will not, but the happy fact that the color rinses away is AWESOME. I also held the sweater up to unrinsed, unused yarn left over from the project and there is no visible difference- again – YAY. Why am I telling you this? Because we need to know how to best work with plant dyes to make them more mainstream. We don’t necessarily need to bend the world to us, especially when we can revel in the beauty of what nature offers.
That leads back to why I started The Darling Yarn Company, Ltd in the first place- my philosophy has always been to ask myself- how can I best balance my expectations, needs, wants with what nature can safely provide? I know there is a lot of great work going on in the garment industry to improve environmental practices. Lets keep encouraging that. We cannot walk this world without impact. But we can try to lessen our impact.
More philosophy… One less car ride, one less plane ride, eat seasonally and locally when it makes sense, eat less meat, buy less stuff, repurpose and where we can recycle. I read an interesting article about the buzz we get when we buy something, it is sort of like gambling. It is short lived and needs to be reestablished constantly by buying more and more. Knitting and crocheting is a step to combat that buzz. Take the long journey, buy some yarn, make clothing with it- create intent to what you consume- these are goals for me and I hope may inspire you to create goals that take a good hard look at consumption practices and what that is all about.
Lets keep on the journey together. Encourage each other. Love each other. Look at ourselves before we point fingers. Live, love, laugh- there is so much beauty in the world. Embrace.