Friday, April 25, 2008

Jazzy Dyesigns by Jared goes upscale!

Hey All:
The dyewizard is loose and this time his fibre of choice is none other than MOHAIR. Thats right silky, shiny almost as soft as angora (grin) mohair. We had an opportunity to support another local farm who is starting out with mohair goats and made a large purchase of her glorious roving - we're dyeing it in 8 ounce lots and the colours are FABULOUS!! We'll be selling this fibre for $25 for 8 ounces. All fund will be used to support the dye artist known as Jared to help fund his summer vacation trips to the zoo and the baseball tournament in August.

The Port Hope Gathering

Last Saturday I had the privledge of attending the annual Gathering of Spinners and Knitters in Port Hope. What a fun day!!! Lots of goodies including a lamb bbq (organically grown and oh soooo good) -ignore that last post Maggie and don't tell Whizzaroo. It was great fun to watch old and new spinners come together for fun and fellowship. My MIL Barb came with me to help man the booth so I too could have some fun spinning and chatting. Here's some pics!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How green is bamboo fabric?

Thought this article was interesting -with all the clamour about green fibre. as far as I'm concerned wool and angora are two of the ultimate "green" fibres -think about it no chemicals needed to grow or process, use right off the animal and hey they are renewable resources and best of all their "byproduct" is a natural fertilizer for my gardens ;)

(Oct 2, 2007) Found in your favourite Chinese dishes and on the floors of many modern homes, bamboo has made its way into another key aspect of our lives -- clothing. But just how green is this verstaile new fabric with is variety of benefits?

The beauty and benefits of bamboo fibre go far beyond the surface. More affordable than silk, bamboo has a similar drape (how softly it floats on your body) and is slightly stronger, along with having a natural sheen. Unlike silk, bamboo can easily be tossed into a washer and dryer, making it much simpler to take care of. Also wrinkle-resistant, bamboo can be ironed at a low temperature if ever needed and has very little shrinkage.

Due to the fabric’s natural structure, bamboo is very breathable, helping the wearer to stay cool in the summer and warmer in the winter, making it perfect for layers and exercise wear. Thanks to a natural agent in the plant itself, bamboo is also highly anti-bacterial, absorbing three to four times more water than cotton fabric without sticking to your skin.

These are all spectacular benefits and it is hard to believe that there are downsides to this advanced textile … but there is.

While the bamboo plant has many uses and has quickly become a key source of income for many rural citizens of China, the issues behind the production of bamboo fabric have begun to surface. During a recent investigative mission, the Organic Clothing blog from Lotus Organics uncovered detailed information about how dangerous chemicals are used to transform the plant into liquid and then into fibres to be spun into fabric. These chemicals can cause a plethora of health problems and neural disorders for the manufacturing workers. With no Fair Trade certifications or sustainable production credentials, a developing nation like China rarely (if at all) uses systems to help control the production and disposal of those chemicals.

Seeing bamboo as a "greener" substitute for silk, many designers are clamoring to use it in their collection, including couture and everyday brands. This high demand has forced Chinese manufacturers to begin clearing out natural forests in order to plant more fast-growing bamboo. On top of this, many cultivators are starting to use fertilizers that wouldn’t meet U.S. organic standards in order to increase the yield of their plantations. Additional weeding and tilling of the land in turn leads to increased soil erosion in these areas.

Last but not least, China is currently the only manufacturer of bamboo fabric, making it impossible to look for an alternative, local source for this textile. While bamboo can be easily grown in many areas, there are no factories in North America that have the machines to chemically manufacture bamboo fibres. The Chinese have hundreds of generations of experience in growing bamboo - so far, a number of Americans have begun to try grow their own in their backyard, quickly finding that this tall grass can easily overtake all of their land.

Final thought
To buy or not to buy - that is the question. If you are planning on purchasing bamboo goods, the key is to look for some kind, ANY kind, of certification (though there is yet to be any kind of international standard for bamboo). The natural benefits available within the bamboo plant are wide, but a more sustainable manufacturing process is still needed to make this fabric truly green; til then, your best (and more eco) alternative is still organic cotton.

Victoria Everman is a freelance writer, model, on-camera personality and founder of the San Francisco Craft Mafia.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The BIG 1-0 Jared turns 10!!!!!

Holy cow when did it happen? How did it happen?? Just yesterday I became a mom. Holding the most beautiful little boy in the world. Feeling like I had won the lottery in the great big game of Life. And now I turn around and my baby isn't a baby anymore? Jared is a blessing of the greatest kind. There is no other little boy in the world quite like him and I thank God for him every day. He's warm, caring and so funny at times. He thinks of things deeply and shows me and others around him the beauty and mysteries of life. He's also the one of a kind "dyewizard" who's creations are admired worldwide -we just sent a second shipment to Australia to a fan!
Jared came screaming (me not him) into the world at 11:16pm on April 16th after 4 days of labour. He was HUGE at 8lbs 14oz at least to me. We came home on Saturday and the first visit we made was to my Beppe. It didn't matter to me that I could barely walk from all the stitches -it had to be this way. We still have the pictures that show so clearly the joy his arrival brought to her. My favorite is a picture of their hands together -hers so worn by the world and weary -his firm and strong ready to grab the world with both hands. She left us three months to the day later and eeirly enough his time of birth is her time of death -another reminder of the great circle we all live in.
Today at school was "wacky hair day" -appropriately enough Jared dyed his hair green and purple with some shots of electric blue. He's my handsome boy before and after -check out those beautiful eyes -sigh going to have to beat the girls off with a stick -oh wait too late they're already calling for him constantly. But they're all his "friends" no romance on his part. Don't ask about his soon to be wife or so she informs me -they're going to have bunkbeds and get married at 12 and live with us LOL.
Happy 10th Jared!!!!!!!! You ROCK!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The April Challenge

So here was the challenge issued at Cornerstone Fibres- 4 boxes of easter egg dye, 1 pound of merino/ blend sock yarn and the dyewizard himself Jared - the deal to make 4lots of yarn creating as many colours as he could with the dye tabs. Jared's exact response "so what do I get WHEN I win" -not if you'll note. The result -pictured here. So what do you think -did the dyewizard outdo himself and win the gameboy game he wheeled and dealed for -you be the judges :)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

An April Fool Giggle

I could not help myself -I swear the devil made me do it. Jared who is almost 10 is so hard to get up in the mornings-every morning he grumbles and doesn't want to get up. Yesterday being Apri 1st I decided to test a theory about how to get him moving. When I went it in to his room he rolled over and told me he didn't want to get up. I told him it was okay he didn't have to get up as it was a snow day. He LEAPED out of bed and pulled back the curtains all excited. I replied April Fools and now that you're up you can get dressed for school. he looked at me and told me he didn't like me very much. Later on when he got home from school he laughed about it :) Who says grown ups can't have fun with the jokes too.
Happy April Fools Day everyone!