Vogue Knitting: It’s Green, Pt 2

Ok folks.  Major error on my part…sometimes I skim through magazines because I’m so used to ads that I actually miss something useful.

And here I totally did–the article accompanying the “eco-friendly” designs! (not totally my fault, as it is a special advertising section)

But the article is actually pretty good.

It takes you through “a tour of natural fibers” splitting them up by animal and vegetable, which is great for veggie/vegan knitters that would prefer not to use animal products.  One issue I have with the animal section is the mention of “vegetarian silk.”  I’ve learned tons on Ravelry about Tussah silk, such as it isn’t actually the amazing humane process we would like to believe it is.  Tussah is actually the breed of moth (and not a magical process).  After taking the silk from the cocoon, the moths die of starvation.  So I hear.

The article also provides a good list of known and new alternative fibers, like Sea Cell (which I’ve sampled with Handmaiden’s Sea Silk, and is gorgeous), soysilk, and corn.  But again, there’s no discussion of the energy and resource intensive process required to make them.

The author puts in a really interesting bit about bamboo being rapidly renewable and thus helping to fight soil erosion, which I appreciate.  But I go back to playing my broken record about bamboo (and other similar fibers).

I actually think she touches on some good points, such as the effort required for cotton to “earn the organic label” and the benefits of purchasing locally sourced yarns.  It can be a good source of ideas for people to begin incorporating “green” yarns.

So onto my tip of the day.

Yarnzilla is having a sale on all Rowan yarns, one of which is their (new?) Purelife Organic Cotton.  It’s organically grown with natural dyes–“From start to finish, no chemicals are involved.”

What I really love is when you click on your color of choice, it gives you a little “about the dye” blurb.

One of the colors in my order is Logwood.  “Logwood is a chipped and fermented wood grown in tropical America used in dyeing violets, blues, greys, and blacks. It is also a mild astringent and used in treating chronic dysentery.”   I think this is just super.

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2 Responses to “Vogue Knitting: It’s Green, Pt 2”

  1. Marsha Says:

    Hello! I just happened across your blog–lovely place you have here in the Interwebs. Have you looked at Amy Singer’s No Sheep for You> It has a huge section with detailed descriptions of different types of nonwool yarn and how they’re made.

    Thanks for the heads-up on Yarnzilla’s sale, too. I’ll spread the word to my friends. As for me, I’m channeling Shatner/Kirk: “Must…not…buy…yarn…”

  2. Nadine Fawell Says:

    Hi Mona!

    I am really enjoying reading the fruits of your green research: I am not certain about this, but I did a little research about silk, and it appears that all moths starve to death once they have ‘hatched’. I think they just breed then die, poor things. That’s why they eat so much as caterpillars. So the ethics of silk are still hazy. I have used ahimsa silk before, but I dunno…this stuff always makes me feel like my head is going to explode.
    I agree with you on the topic of bamboo, although it makes a delicious yarn! Organic cotton with sustainable dyes is probably best, but I don’t like to knit with cotton.
    Also, if you live anywhere near a wool mill, that is a great option: as long as the sheep in question are being treated fairly well, local wool will probably trump imported organic anything in terms of low enviro-impact. Yup. That’s why I ordered Twinkle yarn online. Ve-ery eco-friendly. Is it a worse sin when you know better?

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