Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Acrylic sheep

Is knitting really considered a sustainable craft anymore?  Have you been to a local yarn store (LYS) lately to check out prices? Maybe if I made my living raising sheep.  This summer my kids and I visited an alpaca farm in Bethel, Maine.  The farm owner had run out of her yarn from her herd as the demand was great but I don't think people were buying her yarn to make socks because store bought were too expensive.

I am a knitter although not the type of knitter who just buys up yarn to have it and awaits inspiration on how to use the skeins.  I see a project, I buy the yarn, I knit the socks or blanket.  Mostly it's a way to keep my hands busy while watching TV.  Serious knitters have a project with them to take advantage of any waiting time that might arise.  I don't do that but I confess during my university's recent faculty retreat, I was knitting while the president and provost were speaking.

Here is an afghan I completed when I was in college.  If you look closely, you will see that it is single crochet, Chevron pattern.  This is why it took me years to complete it.

It's made out of acrylic and looks brand new. It is 27 years old and to this day I wonder "why brown and yellow?"  My mother taught me how to knit when I was young but my Aunt Parma started me on this blanket when I was in high school.  She was married to my Italian grandmother's brother.  My brother and I grew up spending a lot of time at my aunt's house in Bristol, CT as she was our primary babysitter.  No matter what time of the year, when we would visit, she would descend into her "cookie cellar" as my brother called it, and come up with a plate of Italian cookies.    The pepper biscuits were my favorite. 

She helped me to start this blanket and I didn't finish it until years later.  Since then, I've made several blankets for friends and family.  My favorite knitted afghan is 47 years old and packed away. It's one my mother made before I was born but it now really too worn to have out.

Here is one I made for my son.  It's from the Learn to Knit Afghan Book by Barbara Walker.  Each square is a different stitch.  This too is made out of acrylic and should last forever.

This one is my daughter's.  The pattern is from a knitting magazine and the squares are mitered.  This is made out of wool.

Here is the latest blanket.  This one is for my honey and the pattern is Flying Goose from the Mason Dixon Knitting book.  This is out of wool too.

1 comment:

  1. I've never knit an afghan or blanket (except baby blankets). I'm presently knitting up a storm for Christmas - felted bags for most of the women in my life, and scarves for most of the men. My favorite yarn lately is "Ecological Wool" 100% Peruvian Highland Wool (much of it is undyed) distributed by Cascade Yarns out of Seattle. - at my yarn shop - which has lots of expensive yarns - this is a big 495 yard skein for $15.

    I can knit and read - but turning pages or scrolling is a problem.