Friday, July 30, 2010

DIY chain mail

I am always amazed by the ingenuity of yarn manufacturers in developing new fibres for us crafty people to play with! Yesterday, when I opened my Knitting Daily newsletter, I found a write up for stainless steel yarn. Yep, stainless steel as in knives, forks and fridges. Originally, this yarn was used in oil filters, but one day someone hit on the ingenious idea of wrapping it in a fine layer of silk and using it for fibre crafts, and a new trend was born.

Designers have certainly taken to the idea of knitting with wire! Knitting Daily has created a rather amazing Mobius shawl/scarf thingy using stainless steel and mohair combined (check it out!). The Habu website has jackets and weaving kits. Lion Brand has scarves and jewellery (and free patterns).

On the subject of ingenuity, the Rowan team have pulled out all stops to develop new yarns with an eco slant. The Purelife range now includes Revive (made from recycled clothing), Renew (made from recycled wool) and British Sheep Breeds Boucle (ethically farmed wool). For summer, there is Belle Organic Aran and Belle Organic DK (organic wool and cotton blends). In their spare time, they've also developed Drift chunky yarn, Silky Tweed and Silk Twist (both silk/yarn blends), Lenpur Linen, Lima alpaca blend and Siena cotton as well as releasing half a dozen pattern books to support the new ranges!

And finally, our local New Zealand Naturally are still producing Karamea (wool/possum fur blend) - Mango Moon are still happily spinning up old clothes and yak wool - and we are getting samples from companies who have produced yarn from maize, camel fur, hemp and vicuna wool.

Makes an interesting change from the good old days, when my great aunts bought wool in winter and cotton in summer!

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