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Why wool? And three years knitting

It was three years ago this week that I picked up needles and began teaching myself to knit.

December 2003


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."

Why Wool?
"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

Comments

Good entry. Wool is cool!

Do I win a prize?

Love all the cool facts about wool (I had no idea it was flame resistant). I have been knitting for over a year, but since school gets in the way of knitting time, I am still a long time beginner as well.

Such useful information about wool. Especially the itch factor :)

Wow! I didn't know you had only been knitting for three years. I thought you had been knitting forever. Happy Knitaversary!

i just realized i will be coming up on my 3 year anniversary of knitting too. i got the stitch n bitch book for christmas and started right after. and i am with you on the no blogging if i didn't knit!

Happy knitting anniversary! I think you are much beyond a beginner. I'm glad you found knitting and enjoy it so much.

I love wool too. I have fancier fiber yarns, but my favorites are good quality wool like Cascade 220.

Congrats. I have been knitting one year and almost a month. I am the only person I can find near me that knits. So I taught myself from the net and a video from the library with yarn and needles also from Walmart. Funny that you bought your first notions from there too. Of course, now we know better. I love the net and your blog. Keep it up.

Isn't wool just the most wonderful stuff. Have you ever tried spinning.......come on give it a try! You will fall even harder for wool!

Niki

You do seem like you have been knitting forever! Thank goodness for the internet - that's pretty much how I learned too. Since my parents moved from the Woodlands to Katy I never get up to Twisted Yarns but I need to. You're lucky to get to work there - I'm afraid I would owe THEM at the end of the month!!

Happy Knitaversery!!! Glad you enjoy it! That is some really great info about wool! I for one can vouch for wool. The Army made us wear wool socks for a reason! I still have a pair. Knit on!

Happy Knitting Anniversary!! Hmm. I have to say that I have a ridiculously sensitive neck, and I haven't found a temperature at which a wool scarf won't drive my neck nuts. This makes me very sad.

Janet,
Time for my annual comment {waves...hi! It's Jamie from WAH}. I sub to you on bloglines just to look at the pretty pictures...I had no idea you were only in three years. I have no experience, and have held back from lack of confidence...I mainly look at your pretty pictures. Anyhoo...I also sub to another site (non-related to knitting) and they posted an article, and I immediately thought of you (because of the pics). Thought you'd like it, sorry I don't know how to make it a live link: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/pillows-decorative-office-accessories/christien-meindertmas-giant-knitting-015692

Isn't wool just the coolest? Er, warmest ... no, that's alpaca ... or angora ... or ... Anyway, glad to have you in our (knitted) ranks!

WOW! Three years!!
Happy Knitaversary :-)

I am so, so behind on blog reads. Sorry I have not been commenting.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm coming up on my two year anniversary of knitting and I seriously don't know what I did with myself before that - and I'm with you, I probably wouldn't blog if I didn't knit.

I think this week may be my knitaversary week as well. All I know is that it was the night before an exam in college and I taught myself how to knit instead of studying!

Congratulations on three years of fiber fanaticism :)

Wool is also reputed to be naturally antimicrobial - another good reason for wool!

I love our wool diaper covers! If only my babe didn't grow so darn fast.