Why wool? And three years knitting
It was three years ago this week that I picked up needles and began teaching myself to knit.
Three years ago, I checked out the knitting links a friend (and fellow knitting newbie) sent me. She pointed me to anything and everything online that I could use to teach myself to knit. At the time, I didn't know anybody who was a knitter and knew next to nothing about local yarn stores. (And, as luck would have it, the only yarn store I knew of at the time was going out of business). So I bought my first ball of yellow cotton dishcloth yarn and a set of size 8 straight aluminum needles at Wal-Mart. You all probably know the rest -- through the magic of the internet and the knitblog community, I was exposed to better tools and yarn; but it took the intervention of two longtime knitters (Mariann & Alisa) to convince me to branch out beyond garter stitch. After that, I fell even harder for knitting and grew to believe that I really *could* knit anything. By February 2004, Twisted Yarns opened and became my primary source for yarn, needles and notions. It was then that I discovered the joy of knitting with pure wool. I used to think that wool was old-fashioned and itchy, but in reality, it's nature's wonder fiber. Check these out:
Why Wool Doesn't Stink
"Wool is “hygroscopic,” which means it easily absorbs moisture. Although other natural fibers have this ability, none beats wool. Moisture passes through it and is released into the air instead of remaining on the skin"
Why Wool Still Works as an Outdoor Clothing Material
"Wool will only itch when you get to a certain temperature . . . If you're wearing wool in cold weather, you're not going to itch. It's only when the temperature rises that oils are released from the wool. That's what causes the irritation."
"The high moisture and protein content of wool fibers gives wool carpet excellent natural flame resistance. Wool fibers will not support combustion and are difficult to ignite. In addition, they are self-extinguishable when the flame source is removed."
Why Use Wool for Diaper Covers
"At a microscopic level wool consists of a series of overlapping scales (called cuticles) which have a tendency to repel water droplets. This structure, in combination with a thin coating of lanolin (an oil secreted from the sheep's skin) causes water to run off the fibers."
Benefits of Wool
"Wool provides us with a personal environment that is health-enhancing because it is a natural fibre. Wool disperses moisture from our skin, provides even warmth and body temperature, resists flame and static electricity and helps to reduce the stressful noise levels that surround us every day."
Of course, I knit with and love fibers other than wool, but I lean heavily toward natural (animal and plant) fibers - silk, cotton, hemp, linen, alpaca.
After three years of nearly-nonstop knitting, I still consider myself a beginner -- an enthusiast rather than an expert. I would continue to knit even if I didn't have a blog, but I don't know if I'd blog if I didn't knit. Other than my passion for knitting, there's just not a lot to blog about. But on my three-year Knitaversary, anybody who leaves a comment on this entry through the end of the week will have a chance to win a special handknit prize.
WINNERS are HERE