Zero waste: why fully fashioned knitwear is ecologically justified

The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. Think of the immense amounts of water necessary for the cultivation of cotton, oil as raw material for synthetic textiles, chemicals to improve characteristics of textiles, dyeing chemicals, machineries, wrapping and transport.

The production of a simple t-shirt affects most of the above mentioned parts of the chain. Regarding the huge quantities of fashion articles we annually buy (as well as an equal amount of (scarcely) used items we discard), every improvement somewhere in the chain contributes to a less polluting fashion industry. But today I want to talk about waste.

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Troubleshooting II: using cotton

foto 7I’ve been exploring a new material: cotton. I have long felt a hesitation towards using cotton on the knitting machine. Woven fabric made of cotton makes a terrific summer cloth. But as cotton has little to no elasticity, knitted cotton fabric tends to grow heavy, loose its shape and make baggy tops and dresses. Not very appealing to me.

Still, in summertime you don’t want to wear woollen stuff, you ‘d rather want to feel the airy coolness of cotton on your skin. Consumer yarn is mostly too thick (OK for baggy jumpers). To avoid too much weight the yarn industry adds a certain amount of acryl to the cotton yarn (OK for sweaty sweaters and quickly smelly tops). Thin cotton yarn is often too stiff and won’t drape well (OK for grandma’s crocheted rugs). What to do?

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Troubleshooting I: making a scarf

SjaalIt’s been quiet around Lena. What has she been doing lately? Well, she has been busy troubleshooting. As you know, troubleshooting is a frustrating and time consuming occupation, but it is part of the deal. I cannot avoid it and must go straight through.

People frequently ask me if I can make a scarf for them. It is easy and fast for me to make, they think, and so thought I. How wrong I was! What can be so difficult about knitting a scarf, you ask?

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The Beautiful Scar project



Saar & Soof

Two years ago the daughter of my friend had developed a severe scoliosis. She was thirteen at the time and had to go through a long and risky operation. She ran the risk of becoming lame and had no choice but to hope for the best. We all were relieved after the operation had turned out to be successful. But for Sarah a time of painful rehab began. She never complained and just did it.

A couple of months after the OP I was invited by my friend for dinner. Spontaneously her daughter pulled up her shirt and showed me the oblong scar on her back. It could have been the gesture or de scar itself, I don’t know, but it made quite an impression on me.

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Free knitting pattern for an iridescent bonnet!

IMGP2420It won’t be long before spring is in the air. Already I hear the birds singing their song at dusk. Nevertheless I want to present you a bonnet. My old bonnet was really worn out and I desperately needed a new one for the cold mornings. My bonnet came from some department store. It had been expensive and was no good all the same. To make it fit around the head they had put rubber yarn in it. It made my front and earlobes itch for hours after I had worn it. Whereas I had only wanted warm ears!

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