Wiseheart designed this shawlette
using handspun qiviut that she painstakingly dehaired by hand. The
charts are available in the Winter 2010 issue of Spin-Off.
A note from Kathleen: Here's a truly fun fiber factoid about the fabulous Arctic musk-ox fiber Qiviut!
Knitting Daily founding editor Sandi Wiseheart says "The musk
oxen, cow-sized beasties with shaggy pelts and downward-turning horns
framing their faces, rub up against the bushes and leave clumps of their
pelts behind tangled in amongst stems and leaves. People come along and
collect these clumps, and that's how a ziplock baggie of it ended up
Sandi used that baggie of Qiviut fiber to spin and knit a shawlette she
designed, pictured at left. Beautiful, no?
I love learning about fiber. There are so many fascinating stories out there about how people celebrate their love of fiber, it's really inspiring! I've invited Spin-Off editor Amy Clarke Moore to talk about two worldwide events that kicked off this fall: The Campaign for Wool and FeltUnited.
Here's Amy to tell you more!
Celebrating a World of Fiber with Spin-Off
The Winter 2010 issue of Spin-Off
magazine, a sister publication to Interweave
Knits, is just out.
While the magazine is created for handspinners, there is
quite a lot of information in each issue that is of interest to knitters. I
think Knitting Daily readers will be especially interested to learn that in the
Winter 2010 issue, Knitting Daily founding editor, Sandi Wiseheart has spun and designed
a beautiful qiviut lace shawl (the pattern and charts are included in the
Sandi tells a great story, and her article is all about
the process of taking qiviut, which is the fine undercoat of fiber produced by
the musk ox and naturally shed on the North American tundra, and painstakingly
removing all the vegetable matter to create an incredibly fine, soft yarn.
We pulled a couple of short articles from our winter issue (from our "As the
Whorl Spins" department) that highlight recent wooly events around the world.
|Bowmont Merino sheep on Savile Row, London,
October 11, 2010. Image courtesy of the Campaign for Wool.
Sheep in the Street Campaign for Wool
In October 11, sheep could be found grazing Savile Row, the street in
central London synonymous with fine men's tailoring. Cars were removed to make
space, turf was laid, and fences and a barn were built overnight in
anticipation of the early morning arrival of the sheep. The organizers hoped to
bring as much attention to the wool itself as the products made from it.
The sheep kicked off Wool Week (October 11-17) in the United Kingdom, which
aimed to highlight the natural advantages of wool. Over ninety apparel and
interior retailers, representing four hundred stores, took part. Wool Week
offered the public the opportunity to interact with wool and sheep with events
from Meet the Sheep (highlighting different breeds) and sheep parades to
in-store events and specially organized knitting workshops.
Wool Week marked the start of the five-year Campaign for Wool, aimed at
reconnecting people with the versatility of wool and in turn to help to support
sheep farming as an industry and the international textile community. The
campaign was convened by the Prince of Wales with the support of British,
Australian, South African, Norwegian, and New Zealand woolgrowers. The campaign
will extend globally in 2011 into Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan,
Korea, New Zealand, and the United States.
Check out this video of the sheep on Savile Row!
FeltUnited—the International Day of Felt
|Elis Vermeulen's work Speak friend and enter, was part of the
first annual FeltUnited. Photo
by Elis Vermeulen.
October 2 marked the second
International Day of Felt. Inspired by the designation of 2009 as the
United Nation's International Year of the Natural Fibers, artists Elis Vermeulen (of the Netherlands) and
Cynthia Reynolds (of Norway) created FeltUnited. FeltUnited is a nonprofit
group of artists from around the world that aim to connect feltmakers and to
raise awareness of felt as a both an art and a craft.
For the International Day of Felt, FeltUnited asks felt artists around the
globe to display their felt outside
their homes and studios by wearing it, hanging it, or showing it in large
installations. Participants are asked to take photographs and submit them to be
part of an online exhibit that
is archived on the website. Preparations are underway for the 2011
International Day of Felt and updates will be available on the FeltUnited website.
Spin-Off is full of so many fun and informative articles for fiber enthusiasts—check it out!