I think you've got it!!!

a_strange_boy's picture

Okay so the latest knitting news...

The most exciting news from me is that I started knitting a jumper last night and it seems to be going fairly well. I was in the shop just looking at yarn and I saw they had a pattern for this cool jumper for free, and it said it was relatively easy...so I decided, fuck it! I might try it and it'll look horrible and misshapen, or it might turn out half-decent! So I went to price the yarn and we were talking 16 (50g) skiens at £3.79 which worked out at just over £60!! A little steep for something that was, most likely, going to end up a complete disaster! So I looked for other similar sized wool at a cheaper price, and I found some of those giant industrial-sized 400g skiens at £6.59 and bought them instead! Cha-ching! So this experiment which was going to cost £60 ended up costing £13....IN YOUR FACE EXPENSIVE YARN COMPANIES!!! Nah, you can quite clearly see the quality difference, but I imagine there's not really much point buying good-quality yarn unless you're a good-quality knitter. So I started knitting the back yesterday and I did all the ribbing (WOW! How tedious is K1 P1 ribbing?!?) and just continued working the rest in stocking stitch. I'm really looking forward to the shaping for the arms and shoulders etc. We'll see how it goes, so watch this space!

On other news...I think I've cracked the concept of knitting in the round with 4 DPNS!!! I was sitting watching a film and I saw the little ball of yarn and the set of needles and thought...I'll try you guys one more time, you little suckers! So I cast on 48 stitches, divided them between the three (16, 16, 16) and just started knitting, and it was actually working. I went on for a couple of inches and there it was....the ankle of my little soon-to-be sock! So I'm just working the heel right now, and we'll see how that turns out! Sometimes it still feels like I'm wrestling with an octopus though...the concept of circular needles just makes so much more sense to me, but I'm told it's worth learning how to use DPNS.

And I currently have two scarves on the go! Yes, yes, I know! I'm a project slut! Haha! The cabled one for my friend looks really good, I enjoy cabling...but I'm finding it hard to start using the new skien because the wool is so chunky! The other scarf is just done in stocking stitch using boucle yarn....which is alright. I think boucle wool looks really awesome but I don't massively enjoy knitting with it, so I'm just doing a couple of rows a day until I'm finished it. I've got quite a good idea for the fringe though!

Wow, it never ceases to amaze me when I see how verbose I really am! Sorry guys! One last series of questions....

Are there any vegans out there?! And if so, do you use wool to knit with or do you use alternatives?! Do you get good quality yarn that doesn't have wool? Any specialist companies I could order from? I don't know if I necessarily disagree with using wool, don't the sheep get shaved anyway?!?! lol

If you made it this far, thanks for reading!


P.S. To anyone who has messaged me...I promise I'll get back soon! I'm a bit of a tech-spaz!


Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Having grown up in sheep

Having grown up in sheep ranching country, I can say that shearing needn't be as stressful for the sheep. It depends on the sheep producer...most spinning flock owners pamper their sheep and hire shearers who take the time to handle the sheep as minimally as possible to ensure an even clip so very little of the fiber is wasted. [Providing they don't shear their own animals.] It's when the shearers are trying to clip as many animals as they can - since they get paid more for more sheep sheared - that you run into injuries. Most, thankfully, are minor: cuts, nicks, etc. Wool is very renewable, naturally, since the very best quality comes from living animals...wool from pelts isn't as vital and diminishes rapidly in quality. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

MMario's picture

That would be my opinion

That would be my opinion (though I am an un-apologetic carnivore) ; but many vegans will not use any animal product at all, no honey, no silk, no leather, no eggs, butter, wool, fiber, etc. Not even non dairy cheese if it contains rennet.

There are some who will use combed silk (taken from "hatched" cocoons) and I read a blog from one who will eat wild caught fish, but not anything raised by aquaculture.

(Of course, if PETA has it's way, fishing will be made illegal, because "sea kitties" have feelings too!)

a_strange_boy's picture

I'm still very much in the

I'm still very much in the process of exploring my veganism; I definitely don't touch anything that requires the death of animals so leather is a big no no, and I dont like the dairy industry so I dont eat dairy or eggs.

So far I've been using wool, and looking for alternatives from the store I shop in and there's next to none!

With the rest of my veganism I feel like I'm actually helping to make a change, but it seems daft to limit the yarn I use if it's not really going to make any difference to anyanimal!?!

I know the label "veganism" applies to those who omit animal products from there lives as much as possible, but there's no point in just omitting wool for the sake of fulfilling the label, if that makes sense?! lol

MMario's picture

it makes a lot of sense.

it makes a lot of sense.

There are any number of *possible* natural plant fibers out there; (sisal, jute, NZ flax, to name a few) though not so many readily available. However, as nice as cotton and linen are, the yarns don't have some of the lovely features of the animal fibers.

Wool, alpaca, bison, etc are certainly much "greener" then a lot of the new artificial fibers that use a plant feedstock; which are in turn greener then the petroleum based artificials....

and yes, the sheep do need to be sheared to maintain their health.
Even the breeds of animals which shed annually can benefit healthwise from being sheared annually instead.

With the exception of New Zealand possum I don't think there is any commercial yarn (aside from silk) which depends on killing the animal for the fiber. Which is not to say that there isn't a certain percentage of fiber reclaimed from animals slaughtered for other reasons.

TheKnittingMill's picture

Congrats for going for the

Congrats for going for the jumper Stuart! That's what I did when I knit my first one, and it turned out great and it wasn't quite as hard as I thought it would be. It would have been easier if I hadn't selected a cardigan with a hood and pockets! Oh well, I have a tendency to jump in head first. I still wear it and it's one of my favorites. I'm a lacto-ovo-pesco vegetarian and I don't see any problems with using wool. They have to get shorn anyways and I'm sure it's not the most pleasant experience, but I don't think it stresses them too much. I'm glad you conquered the DPN's. Even though there are alternatives for small diameter knitting--that you may even end up preferring--it's always a good thing to add all you can to your bag of tricks!


a_strange_boy's picture

So far the work is looking

So far the work is looking good, no mistakes that I can see. The whole idea of knitting a jumper seemed really monolithic but when it gets broken down into individual rows it's much less intimidating.

As far as I can see, there's really no benefit to abstaining from using wool in my knitting. I understand there might be some form of harm to the animals but I think that's to be expected.

And what's this you day about an alternative method to using DPN's?!?! I assumed it was that or circular needles?! lol

Isn¡t it better to use

Isn¡t it better to use something from a natural sustainable source than something which might have started out as part of the petro-chemical industry? I'm not a vegan, just a non-meat eater.