Craft, stitchin' and sustainable living

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The socks are finished!

The good news is that the slow/fast socks are finished!  Yay!  What I hadn't mentioned before is that these socks were actually a gift for a friend of mine - hence the hurry at the end to get them finished.  I'm really happy with how they turned out, and I think I've figured out a knitting pattern that I really like - I will try to write it all out and share it here soon.

In other news, another of my colleagues is off to have a baby this week, and so I crocheted some face washers in soft organic cotton as a small gift.  I crocheted into the back of the stitch to give a ribbed effect - looks pretty neat, huh?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Teeny Tiny Beanie

There seems to be loads of women at my work who are pregnant at the moment.  And while I'm trying not to stand too close for fear that it is catching (joking), I am enjoying making all sorts of cute little gifts as their maternity leave time approaches.  This week another work friend of mine is off to have a little one, so I whipped up this tiny crochet beanie (gender neutral as I didn't know if it will be a boy or a girl).

I took the opportunity to try out making a fork pom pom.  This is a good technique to use for making very small pom poms.  This is how I did it:

Start with your yarn between the tines (spokes) of your fork and start to wind the yarn around.

Continue winding about 50 times.  Then tie a second piece of yarn tightly between your middle tines.

Slip the bundle off the end of the fork and cut the looped sides open.

You'll then have a flat pom pom.  Just roll it around in your hands to make it fluffy!

I still can't get over the size of newborn attire.  I always doubt that this could possibly fit on someone's head! But usually it ends up being too big.

Also, thanks everyone for your ethical fabric recommendations.  I have updated the link list on my blog (on the right side).  I also went and checked out all the links and now I have a terrible itch to go and buy new fabric!  Please keep your recommendations coming in for eco, fair-trade or otherwise ethical fabric so that I can continue to grow the list.


Monday, August 13, 2012

On choosing ethical fabric

Today I started cutting out a new pattern - the very excellent looking Pleated Pants from Papercut Patterns (here's hoping mine turn out just as excellent).  The fabric is nothing special - cheap suiting from one of those large chain fabric stores.  I went into the store to find a colour fasting product (which they didn't have) and came out with two metres of this fabric for around $4 per metre.

As I cut into the fabric I had mixed feelings.  One of the main reasons I make my own clothes is because of the horrible effects that the fashion industry often has on people, animals and the environment.  By making my own clothes I know that no one has been treated unethically in the process, and there was no packaging or shipping needed.  But the problem is that I'm still making these clothes from fabric that I don't know the origin of.

Who produced this fabric?  In which country?  Were they paid a fair wage?  Did the production of the fabric pollute a natural environment?  I have no idea.

It's sometimes difficult to find ethically made fabric - be it fair trade or environmentally friendly or both.  So I've decided to start a list of websites where ethical fabric can be bought - you can see it on the right side of my blog.  I'd love for you to share with me any companies that have ethical fabric - just comment here and I will add them to the list.

So far I have:

Some of these companies I have supported previously, others are new to me but I will make a real effort to support them in the future.

Do you know of others?  Please add them here!

Please share any ethical fabric websites that you know of!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cute boots!

Check out these cute boots!  I made them for a work friend who is going on maternity leave soon (or rather, I made them for the little one who will be arriving next month).  I saw this pattern on the lovely (and also expecting) Veronica Darling's Pinterest board and knew that my friend would like them, so I picked up the pattern from I Think Sew and whipped them up last weekend.

I chose a maroon corduroy and grey felt from my stash (I figured the felt would be extra soft and cozy for baby toes).  The boots open and close with velcro, which I suspect is much easier than fiddling around with buttons when it comes to little people, and the buttons on the outside are decorative.

It's such a cute pattern, and with a few of my friends due to have babies soon, I suspect it will get good use!