Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Malabrigo lace love...

I was lucky enough, a few weeks ago, to have bought a skein of Malabrigo lace in the colourway Cinnabar (though I would describe is as terra cotta) on sale! I've used this yarn before and immediately fell in love with its softness, so you can understand how happy I was to have found this stunning colour on sale! It will be perfect for autumn, and although the British weather has finally (!!!) decided it is summer after all, I reckon you can't prepare too early for the change of the seasons! Besides, I've chosen to crochet a cowl in granny stitch, which in lace weight yarn will take me forever to finish anyway, by which time the British 'summer' will be long gone! I have yet to decide if I'm making this for myself or to put up for sale in my Etsy shop, but I have a feeling it will be a present for me! 

Saturday, 21 July 2012

bioRe cotton: organic, ethical and fairtrade

Debbie Bliss yarns are known by most knitters, are found in most of the yarn shops I've been to but although I've used various yarns such as cashmerino, I've never really looked into its origins. But as I was looking for organic cottons, it was mentioned on one website (www.texere-yarns.co.uk) that the Debbie Bliss Fairtrade range used cotton obtained from the bioRe textile chain. I had never heard of this (and it's also not mentioned on the ball band!), so I looked it up and was pleasantly surprised to find a company with a very interesting philosophy!

Quoted from their website (http://www.remei.ch/en/biore-philosophy/)

"Remei AG established the bioRe® Foundation in 1997 with the goal, to strengthen farmer families by means of organic farming and to improve their living conditions. The bioRe® Foundation is the umbrella organisation of a unique value chain originating from the cotton companies in India and Tanzania.
bioRe® India Ltd. and bioRe® Tanzania Ltd. cooperate directly with more than 8,000 bioRe® farmers. Farmers are treated as partners receiving agricultural advice and support.
Organic farming enables farmers to build up agricultural production on a sound basis giving them increasingly stable income without the need to take out loans for expensive chemicals.
This makes farmers less vulnerable financially. bioRe® India supports farmers by means of both a guarantee to purchase their organic cotton and payment of a premium on the local market price."

There is a lot more information on the website.

Luck would have it that the Debbie Bliss Eco Aran (part of this range) was on sale so I bought a few balls and have made some lovely dishcloths, using probably the most traditional design in the world. There's some traditions you just can't beat! The cotton is also dyed with non-toxic dyes in recyclable water. 

I've loved knitting with this yarn, it's incredibly soft! The only negative point I could make is that the yarn splits quite easily. But that was quickly overshadowed by the softness and the amazing colours. Plus knowing that this cotton is pretty much as sustainable and ethical as it gets (of course other than reusing yarn) probably added to my enjoyment. However, I do find it strange that this information about bioRe is not on the ball band or the Debbie Bliss website. I would've thought they'd be proud to be using ethical and sustainable cotton and that the bioRe Foundation would get more exposure.