Monthly Archives: December 2015

What a year!

 

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As I can be a grumpy so and so, I tend to dislike all of those blogs ‘reviewing the year’ that pop up right now. I don’t really want to know what other people have achieved over the last twelve months, I have enough trouble processing my own adventures.

OK enough of the bah humbug and on with talking to you, my lovely reader (you are VERY much appreciated, I’m still humbled that anyone wishes to read my mutterings, let alone the numbers of readers that have been visiting over the last twelve months. I MUST do a giveaway to say ‘thank you’ very soon).

The BIG NEWS (that means it’s relatively exciting to me) is that Weaving Heart, my precious (yes read that in the Gollum voice…) lovely teeny business, is having a relaunch. But first I’d like to give you a little background.

I have changed. Significantly. Like an awakening kind of change. It came about after a few things happened around the same time, as they tend to do with things like this. Firstly my BFF went vegetarian. This was a shock; we’re friends partly as we have lots in common (like knitting and, well, just STUFF). It made me think, I mean, it was quite a big thing to get my head around, like her values had shifted and I wasn’t sure what this meant for ‘us’.

Then I watched Channel 5’s ‘The Yorkshire Vet’ ( more info here) which showed dehorning a dairy cow. I was horrified, I had no idea that cows went through that process. I won’t go into it, but I know how much I hate going to the dentist however I also know it’s going to help me. Cows don’t know why and must be terrified. Cows are sentient beings and demonstrate emotions including fear and distress (particularly when their calves are taken away).

From that point I looked at my daily milk, cheese and butter differently. I started researching the meat industry. I found the Government’s report published earlier in 2015 into welfare conditions in UK slaughter houses and discovered animal welfare breaches STILL happen (never mind where your meat is produced, whether in a so called ‘Freedom Food’ farm, it still ends up terrified and sometimes badly killed in a slaughterhouse). I discovered that the meat industry in the biggest contributor to global warming. And I learned that cholesterol is ONLY in animal products – if we all started avoiding them there would be no need for the statin drugs that cost our NHS millions each year, not to mention the number of people who die through heart disease that could’ve been prevented if they’d made one simple change.

So I’ve stopped eating animal products,  and using animal products in any way. I’ve read books including this one about the meat industry and books by Gary Francione.

I watched Earthlings, well I watched the first 15 minutes, I can’t get passed that point, it’s too upsetting. I will never eat an animal or it’s milk or egg again. Animals are not there for our use, some compare our treatment of them as similar to the holocaust. I don’t have an opinion on that yet, I’m still learning and digesting all the new information I’m gathering. I do know that it feels good to be making a difference. As a 3 month old vegan, I’ve saved lives, reduced emissions and lost weight without trying. I eat plants and my meals are delicious and I don’t actually miss anything. Prior to becoming vegan, I thought that living without dairy particularly would mean a dull and mundane diet. How wrong I was.

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From 1st January 2016, Weaving Heart is a vegan company. So no more wool, or other animal fibres, will be used. Instead I will be using cotton, linen, viscous, bamboo and faux cashmere (ohhhh). If you spot  something different it is because I will be honouring the choices of a couple of custom holders whose slots were booked prior to the changes or because I’m using up old stash (I do have a fair bit). In these cases the profits will be donated to an animal sanctuary of my choice.
IMG_8503-0We have switched energy suppliers to one using only renewable sources; our new stationary is made from recycled materials and I am exploring the most environmentally safe dyes to use. I’m currently sourcing  dyes from Earthues a fair trade company promoting  environmentally responsible dyeing (although not a vegan company and I don’t use their dyes such as cochineal for example). Everything from the coffee we drink to the suppliers we use will be sourced according to vegan values.

We will be continuing the high standards of weaving and transparency associated with Weaving Heart. This will involve a price rise I’m afraid, as I’m  going to be paying myself and Mr Weaving Heart the living wage. Fair trade  at home as well as abroad.

Happy New Year, may it bring less suffering to animals.

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(apologies as I can’t name the source for that)

Hot socks

I bought some new yarn recently (‘what’s new?’ I hear you mutter). It’s a new one that I discovered after listening to an interview with the maker in a knitting podcast (useless blogger alert: I can’t remember which one it was, I’m so sorry to you, the podcaster and and yarn maker…) and it sparked my interest. 

It’s mainly cotton but the USP is that a small amount of silver has also been spun into it; hence the name ‘Silverspun’.

   
  

Currently there are just two weights: sport and sock. I bought a ‘few’ skeins of the sock hoping it may be good for baby wrap wefts. The silver adds all kinds of useful properties; it’s antibacterial and antifungal as well as being conductive so if you knit gloves with it you can, aledgedly, still use your touch screen.

There aren’t a whole heap of colours (yet, I imagine) and the sock only comes undyed. However, as well as being prohibitively expensive, in real life, it’s clearly not suitable for baby wrap weaving as it’s fairly stretchy (it contains spandex).

So I dusted off my dpn’s and started knitting some socks. Just plain vanilla ones and the yarn knits up wonderfully. A little thick, with a good stretch that’s great for snug footwear. 

  
I might dye them once finished, I’m imagining a bright seasonal red at the moment but I may well just leave them au natural as the yarn is truely lovely.

  
And just in case you’d like to knit some too here’s the link: Silverspun