As you may recall I attended my first Vogue Knitting Live event last year. And after that amazing experience I was genuinely looking forward to attending this year’s Vogue Knitting Live New York City. Last year I had very little idea what to expect, but was overwhelmed by wealth of information I was able to learn from so many of the vendors. Not to mention all the amazing yarns on offer.
A bird’s eye view of just one of the two full floors of vendors at Vogue Knitting Live NYC 2014
This year I went eager for those same interactions and was not disappointed. And of course I wanted to make some great yarn purchases, but I knew I needed to keep to a budget. This past year, more than possibly any other, I have been impressed that the worldwide garment industry needs to make some major changes. The negative impact it has on both our environment and the health and lives of the workers who are exploited by it, all so that we can have cheap clothing, has to change. With that in mind I decided that all of my purchases would recognize these issues. Happily, I still had to make some difficult choices about what to purchase as there were so many environmentally friendly yarns. In the end I decided upon three yarns.
Some of the amazing colors of Costavolcano’s alpaca yarns, all achieved with 100% natural dyes, or just the natural coloring of the alpaca fibres.
My first selection was made almost immediately. I had a great conversation with some very kind people who came all the way from Chile to represent their venture called Costavolcano. They pride themselves on becoming one of the most environmentally friendly fashion companies in the world. While they have quite a few projects within their company, possibly their most proud is their local production of alpaca yarns with an almost zero carbon footprint. I quickly seized upon this HUGE skein of alpaca sock yarn in a beautiful heather grey. The grey was achieved using only the natural color fibres of the alpaca.
The natural umber and new burgundy baby yak yarn from mYak.
Next I returned to my favorite vendor from last year, mYak. This Italian company primarily produces fabric composed of Baby yak fiber. Last year’s event was their first foray into retailing their yak yarn, and I left with just enough to make myself a skull cap for under my cycling helmet for riding in the winter months. (Confession: The cap has not progressed very far, as I was not overly motivated during the hot summer months. But now that winter is fully upon us, with all this talk of winter vortices, I need to get this done.) Yak, warmer than even Merino wool, is often compared to Cashmere in both warmth and softness. Last year mYak had their signature yak yarn in one color, a beautiful umber, the natural color of yaks. This year they have expanded to a dark burgundy and soon will add black. Both of these colors are achieved with all natural dyes and no artificial additives. I left with two skeins of the new burgundy yak, enough to create some beautiful and warm gloves.
I love the color as much as anything about the Silver Spun yarn from Feel Good Yarn Company – incredibly soft cotton, spandex, and silver!
Finally one of the yarns I am the most excited to experiment with is called Silver Spun from Feel Good Yarn Company It features some incredibly soft cotton sourced from North Carolina, silver that has been bonded to the cotton, and a small amount of spandex for stretch. Although it is only currently available in a heather white/silver grey, it is far softer than my current choices in cotton spandex. The addition of the silver allows it to naturally fight odor. And if you were to make gloves, the conductive properties of the silver will let you use your touch screen phone, pad, or other device without removing your gloves. I definitely have some ideas for this yarn that will debut right here. So stay tuned.