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Knitting to save the planet.

LynLyn Posts: 23,190
A dilemma.  All a bit tongue in cheek but worth a thought. 

Bought a pattern to knit a top for myself,  now to choose the yarn.
acrylics/poly.......... left over oil,  that’s not good and it never breaks down.
wool/alpaca.......... animals fart.
cotton/linen/flax.....lots of acres of forests cut down for that.  It takes 20,000 lts of water per kg of cotton. 
bamboo/palm........ same as above.

I've chosen soya,  at least people can eat/drink that as well. 

Have I chosen wisely?  I’ve put a lot of thought into the making of this top.

Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 



  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,417
    I knit with either plant fibres or synthetics because I've never found a wool (animal hair based, sheep or others) that didn't make me itch something awful.
    Seriously though, it's usually best to stick with something similar to what the pattern recommends. I once used cotton yarn to knit a sweater from a pattern that said wool (same thickness, needles, stitch gauge etc) and it grew and grew when being worn and ended up more like a mini dress :o. Acrylic would have been a better choice.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • B3B3 Posts: 27,293
    A friend's mum used to buy jumpers in charity shops, unpick them and knit them into something else. That was in the days when we were pretty sure the planet could probably look after itself.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,417
    I think I have so much yarn in my stash that I won't need to buy any ever again :*
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    Me too Jenny,  I have to admit I’ve gone off acrylic,  it’s very clammy, doesn’t breath.
    just finished one in cotton,  bamboo is my favourite but this soya is knitting up beautifully. 
    @B3. The planet will do perfectly well.

    Rocket to the moon next month,  that will burn a nice hole.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,417
    I like some acrylics, not the squeaky "cheap school jumper" ones though.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,294
    My friend has alpacas, and has their fleece spun for knitting.
    It is lovely to knit with and we make wrist warmers and headbands which she sells.

    Alpaca wool does not contain any lanolin, unlike sheep wool, so it isn't itchy.

    Worth seeking out @JennyJ if you fancy something more natural.

    Bee x
    Gardener and beekeeper in beautiful Scottish Borders  

    A single bee creates just one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,417
    I've tried alpaca. It itched :(. So does angora, and expensive merino (I know that's sheep). I think it's the texture rather than the lanolin that's the problem.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • B3B3 Posts: 27,293
    All natural yarns itch me  Angora is torn off the rabbits. You don't want to buy that.
    Man made for me. That being said, I'm not into fashion. If it's comfortable, I'll wear it forever. I suppose if I'm buried in it, it'll be there long after I'm dust. Are cremated acrylics eco-friendly?
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    But do alpacas fart.?
    Whatever we do it’s going to be wrong in some way.
    I’ve got some big cones of alpaca wool,  I found it to be itchy,  I have to wear a high necked long sleeved tee shirt under it. 
    Bamboo is my favourite. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,840
    I’m glad I’m ok with wool … and so is OH. We are omnivores so it seems only sensible to put wool produced in the UK to good use keeping us warm. The yarn I’m knitting with at the moment is a mix of wool, alpaca and viscose. It dyes well, is lovely to knit with, is machine washable and pleasant and warm to wear. 😊 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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