Monday, March 10, 2008

Nature vs. Future

It is always nice to get a shot of inspiration or information from a fellow knitter. Amy Singer was in town yesterday to inspire and inform us about using non-wool fibers. Any fiber snob is horrified to hear that Amy cannot wear wool, even the finest of fine cashmere. She knows that we feel this way and encourages us to expand our horizons.

The whisper of synthetic makes me cringe, but I have allowed my sock yarn to be reinforced with that bit of nylon. Ok, I am opening my mind, and it does make them stronger and they do live longer. But to knit a whole sweater with a cotton and acrylic blend? Hmm, I am still not sold.
The new synthetics are definitely not the acrylic that I grew up with, I will give it that. But all of those hours of work! Plastic?! Ok, it does lighten the cotton, but close inspection still gives me the notion that there is an intruder in my natural world of fiber.

I like playing with the bamboo and tencel. These, too, were a stretch for me. They are chemically produced, but the natural beginning helps me to accept them. I know that I am not alone. I know that others are trying, and yet others who would not even dream of trying to accept the notion of chemically produced alternatives to natural fibers being introduced to their stash. I mean, if the moths don’t even want it, what does that say?

I recommend hearing Amy speak and can’t wait for her new book to hit the shelves. What great designs! I am sure that there were many knitters out there who recognized the need for wool alternatives and will try some of the new blends. I liked hearing about the options and the gauge considerations to keep in mind when using them. And I especially loved the swatches that we could see and feel for ourselves. Maybe one day, when I really need an alternative, I will wander a bit further into the world beyond animal and plant fiber for some space age alternative, but right now, I am still pretty down to earth at heart.

About my trip preparation…..I started the Bellatrix as planned and enjoyed working on the beginning so much that I am nearly done with sock one. I guess I had better come up with an alternate traveling sock. I have no self-control.

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