knit | sew

Inside the Ribbon Tin: October

October 29, 2014

Inside the Ribbon Tin is a monthly series featuring a miscellany of bits and bobs, odds and sods, knicks and knacks, all sorts of interesting things related to textiles and making. Come and see what is inside the Ribbon Tin this month.

It seems that everywhere I look this month, there are crafty folks doing good works of all kinds, in all kinds of ways.

Patagonian grasslands. Image by Vincent van Zeijst from Wiki Commons

In Knitter’s Review, I recently read about a great project happening in Patagonia, the remote region in Southern Argentina and Chile. The region is home to extensive grasslands that since European settlement have been used as range land for wool farming. Argentina is fifth largest wool producer in the world, so it is a significant and intensive industry there. So intensive in fact that the land has become increasingly damaged through grazing resulting in loss of topsoil and substantial erosion. In 2008, local farmers, the US based Nature Conservancy and the clothing company Patagonia, formed a partnership to manage a portion of the region for biodiversity and production. Particpating farmers manage the range land according to a set of conservation standards, then sell on the certified wool. Patagonia, the company, agreed to buy the certified wool for its clothing line. The wool is also available as hand knitting yarn through Woolfolk.

In this way, your yarn dollars can directly support farming improvements in Patagonia. But what if you sew? Then perhaps Frocktober at The Drapery is more your thing.

All this month, which admittedly is almost over, any pattern and fabric purchase from The Drapery will be 10% off, to raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Reseach Foundation. The Drapery blog has been full of great indie patterns, sewn up dresses and fabric suggestions.

From purchase power to crowd funding, crafty folks are just making stuff happen: Knitsonik’s Kickstarter project to publish a book on how to interpret your surroundings into Fairisle motifs has come to marvellous fruition. Knitsonic Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook by Felicity Ford has to be one of the most democratically inspired knitting books ever, from concept to funding. This is not a stitch library, rather a guide to generating your own personal stitch library from elements that you find around you, like beer bottles, brickwork, roads and electrical pylons. A genius idea eh, made posible by lots of folks giving small amounts of seed money.  You can purchase the book dirctly from Knitsonik, blog tour details are here.

Image by Misi Photo

In the last week I heard about, knitwear designer Maria Yarley donating all profits from the sale of her Graceful Pullover to her friend, a recently bereaved mum. Maria’s aim is to sell a thousand patterns by the end of November. It is a beautiful looking sweater. Don’t be dissuaded from making this for a boy either. I reckon it would look great in a rusty red or deep indigo on any young fellow but with a bit more ease than shown.

Image by Misi Photo

Now should all these good works be overwhelming you, your pile of promised charity knitting be everlasting, you are not alone.  It seems a few people are reflecting on the subject this month. Fourth Edition, My Life in Knitwear and  Knit You Next Tuesday are all pondering what it means to knit for charity and how to stay true to purpose.

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  1. Thanks for the interesting post!! I have been purchasing Patagonia wool and cotton for several years and just finished a cowl as a gift for a friend. The cotton yarn is carried by Araucania Yarns.
    The Knitsonik Book is fantastic!! It arrived here last week and I am proud to be a sponsor in the Kickstarter effort. Wovember starts next week and Felix is instrumental in this wonderful celebration….a new wooly post every day in the month of November.
    We are so blessed to have all the fiber opportunities around the world from which to partake!!

  2. There are so many ways to give, aren’t there? I’ve been following the Patagonian story too, quite interested to try the wool. Thanks for another great peak inside the ribbon tin, you always find such interesting things to discuss and ponder!

  3. It’s always great to hear of the yarny happenings going on around the world. I like the idea of a book guiding you through knitting your own fairisle motifs, the possibilities would be endless. I’m off to read the post about charity knitting.

  4. I suppose, as in anything, we must all take responsibility for doing a little research into how we invest our time and money and make our decisions according to the conclusions we make. To be honest, I’m not really sure how I feel and think about the articles linked here -though I am most grateful for the opportunity to read them, thank you. LOVE all the woolly goodness – yarn, book, pattern!

  5. Well………while I support the Patagonia project I do not think I would like working with that wool. Something about the shape of the yarn, chainette, that is off putting.
    Froctober…….of course I got the Laurel pattern! I DO love linen.
    Wish I was closer to that store 🙁 the Scourcebook is quite a feat of ingenuity. Super. The Graceful Pullover is very sweet…esp on those 2 dancers!
    Then the reflections on knitting etc and charity are something I always wondered about. I knitted for the NICU where I Know where things go. Thank you for bringing this to the attention of some who might be more trusting………….but who are Always willing to help and GOOD for them!!
    Thank you for all of the above.

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