Local and Natural

If you like to shop at farmers markets, you probably have a pretty good sense of what and who is behind the food you are purchasing. You are aware of the importance of local, natural and organic food and the positive impact it has on your health. But how many of us know much about the fabrics we wear everyday or the people involved in the making? Fiber is a significant but sometimes overlooked product of agriculture in America.

The US imports about 95% of our clothing from overseas, the majority of which is manufactured in China, where human rights abuses are very common. The most commonly used fibers are polyester and nylon, which are derived from petroleum and processed and dyed using synthetic, often toxic chemicals, such as copper, nickel, and cobalt. Unfortunately, a very small percentage of people is aware of this and an even smaller percentage of people seem to care. 

This is why I shop local and natural. Every skein of yarn I purchase and every scarf I knit tell a story that I’m proud of, that I connect with and that I feel is ethical. 

Cloud soft ~ Asolo Neck Warmer

Here is the first of my creations that is officially going up for sale! I love the versatility of this piece. This project was just as fun to knit as it is to wear. I used a hand dyed yarn from Nova Scotia, Canada. 50% Merino wool, 50% Blue Faced Leicester wool. When I first finished knitting this piece I thought I was going to finish it up sewing the edges and turn it into an infinity scarf kind of piece. Luckly that day I decided to wait on it and went visit the yarn store in my neighborhood. I immediately laid my eyes on a basket full of handmade brooches. I fell in love with one in particular, a wavy round wood brooch. That was it! The perfect finishing touch for my Asolo neck warmer.   

Named after the wonderful city of Asolo, Italy, the town where I was born. 

Click here to see the item on Etsy! 

Behind the yarn

Choosing yarn for a project is as exciting as seeing a finished and well executed handmade scarf (or whatever it was that I was knitting..). I love touching and browsing all the different types of fiber. I finally know what I am searching for and understand what I am looking at. When I first started knitting, I chose my yarn based on color and texture. Pretty colors and yarn soft enough I could wear on my skin. Simple as that. My yarn selection was hurried and very superficial. My love for nature and curiosity pushed me to look behind the label of each skein and I soon realized I just couldn't fully appreciate my yarn if I didn't learn more about it. There is a whole world behind colors and textures and a story behing every "ball of yarn".

Just like for wine lovers. At first they all go out to a nice restaurant, or wine bar. They look at a long wine list, recognize their favorite and comfortably enjoy a couple of glasses of that same wine. Then, one day, some of them start realizing that having a glass of wine is an experience that can go far behind the tasting part. So they start wondering more about what's "behind that bottle". They plan a trip to the winery, see Mother Nature at work (my favorite part), get to know the wine maker, appreciate his knowledge and efforts. Next time they order a glass of wine the level of knowledge and appreciation for every single sip makes the experience so much greater.

 

The calming waves of fiber

In a society where we are running late the moment we wake up, we need an app to tell us how we feel, where most of the time technology replaces our brain and machines our hands, we are slowly detaching from ourselves. We feel lost, stressed out. 

I say let's start relying on our own forces to get things done for a change, giving room to our creativity and emotions to come out. Mother Nature has been giving us all the tools since.. forever. No need to reinvent the wheels. We are just too lazy or distracted to use them.

When I grab my needles and start waving yarn into every stitch of my work, my clock slows down and my brain seems to go immediatly on self-defence mode, leaving all the negative thoughts out. Stitch after stitch I unwind and start reconnecting with myself.  

Stitch after Stitch

After two uninterrupted weeks of rain, today the sun found its way out and is finally warming up our beautiful city. A perfect day for a ferry ride to my favorite yarn store on Bainbridge Island, Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. The moment I walked into the shop this morning I felt like a little kid in a candy store. Where to start? After soaking all those colors in, I went straight for the Mohair skeins. Delicate, soft and warm. My eyes scanned every single ball of yarn and my hands touched everything they could. Finally I decided to go for an amazing blend of Mohair and Silk (70% Mohair and 30% Silk to be precise)... Time to go home to play around with my new yarns and needles!