Monday, June 25, 2012

What I'm Up To...

I finished knitting this purple shawl some time ago, but just got around to washing and blocking it.  I love the colour, although it isn't one that I would normally wear.  I've knit this simple pattern before, and it really shows off the variation in the handspun, handdyed yarn. 

I love it when people admire a handspun garment and ask me if I made it myself.  "Yes, first I tended my alpacas for a year while they grew the fleece, then I gathered the fleece as my husband sheared it, then I washed and carded the fleece, spun the yarn on my spinning wheel, then dyed the yarn, then knit the garment....yes, I did make it."  (I try not to take all the credit if the particular alpaca is nearby)

Here's my current knitting with handspun project - a very plain rectangular wrap.  I find that garments knit with very simple stitch patterns look like pieces of art, as the handspun, handdyed yarn is interesting all on it's own.

Creating handspun, handdyed garments is definitely a labour of love.

It takes me a while to turn fleece from the alpaca's back into a clean roving that I can dye, and then spin, and then knit.  I showed you the yarn for these two shawls here back in December after it was just dyed.

I picked up a book on the 'New' shelf at the library, "Culinary Intelligence" by Peter Kaminsky.  The author is a well-known food writer/restaurant reviewer.  This isn't a book I would normally pick for a bedtime read, but I am becoming more and more interested in healthy eating in a way that supports sustainable and responsible agriculture.

I'm about half way through the book.  I find it really interesting and Mr. Kaminsky has explained in terms that I can understand, ways to select food that leads to better health for yourself and your planet.  He wraps it all around a term called 'FPC' (flavour per calorie).  In short, if you make the decision to only select the best tasting food - generally, you are going to select food that has been picked when ripe (ie. regional), had less salt and chemicals added to it (less processed) and therefore with less packaging and environmental impact.  He also explains how natural food flavours are meant to be enhanced by salt, sugar, etc...not totally overwhelmed by food processing industry, as is often the case when we buy packaged or fast food.

I like books that make me smarter. 


Prudence Puddleduck said...

"flavor per calorie" but you display natures beauty per name for YOUR book.


luckybunny said...

That shawl is absolutely gorgeous! Purple is my favorite, and it's just lovely. Great job to you and the Alpacas! Sounds like a really interesting read, I've never heard of it, but will have to check it out. Hope you've been getting nice weather and nothing too horribly hot!

Zenitude (formerly Wooly Knits n Bits) said...

You're right, simple stitches gives the handspun, hand dyed yarn room to shine. Your shawl is beautiful and so is that rectangular wrap.

Carol Tomany said...

Love the shawl and the colour!!! Well done!!!