Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Time for a Contest

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The rules: The contest will be open until December 1, 12:00pm Central time. There are two competitions to enter and you may choose one or both.

You must write an original composition entitled "Why I am a Yarn Snob". You must include at least 5 facts (not opinions, scientific facts only) about the properties of wool.

The winner will receive a four ounce pack of my dudleyspinner wool roving of my choice. (It will not be the one picured above as it is sold.)

You must write an original composition entitled "Why I Use Acrylic Yarn". You must include at least 5 facts (not opinions, scientific facts only) about the properties of acrylic yarn.

The winner will receive a skein of lovley Red Heart acrylic yarn in varigated blues.

Good luck to all of you, the winner will be chosen by me on the merit of the composition. Just use the comments box. All comments will be visible to the public without any revisions.


At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wool, how I love you! A renewable resource, our sweet lambies need not be harmed to support our habits. The fiber they give can be dyed in the most amazing range of colors, the scales on the fiber cause the light to refract off the surface and add depth and dimension to it's beauty. I especially love purple. Wool fibers naturally resist liquids. I can run through the rain and not get soaked. Wool is naturally fire retardant, no chemicals needed. This means I can get up close to that bonfire without having a stray spark melt my sweater to me! If wool does catch fire, it just turns to ash, it does not support flames. Wool can stretch up to 30% of it's normal length, giving me my beautiful lace shawls, so fun to knit and very impressive looking.

You can keep your nasty acrylic, I want wool!!!


At 11:59 PM, Blogger MrsFife said...

How I wish I could participate in the other contest! But I've never seen wool (I 'm almost sure) let alone used it for crafting.

So, I use acrylic because:
1. It's available
2. It's affordable
3. It's proof against natural pests like moths
4. It's non-allergenic
5. Can be machine washed (mostly) with closed eyes!!

Isn't that clinical?! I also wonder if I am qualified to comment at all, considering my inexperience of the other kind of yarn...

At 7:43 AM, Anonymous mmsfive@yahoo.com said...

Facts about Acrylic Yarn and why I like it.

1. Resists Wrinkles.
2. Resists Moths.
3. Resists Stains.
4. Resists Mildew.
5. Machine wash & dry.

At 1:06 PM, Blogger Lynlee said...

I am a total yarn snob. To prove it, I will not be entering the acrylic competition. Don't get me wrong, acrylic has it's uses - but my fingers hate it.

I love wool because it is readily available, renewable, cost-effective, stong, insulating, has natural oils that keep hands from getting sore when working with it, versatile (as in feltable, or superwashed and usable for a wide variety of projects from rugs to sweaters - even underwear), it is naturally static and flame resistant, takes dye easily, and is even recycleable.

And, in my opinion, there is just very little in the fiber arts world that is cooler than felted objects. Also, no synthetic fiber will ever feel as luxurious as cashmere or angora wool.

Yarn snob. That's me.

At 9:14 AM, Anonymous Wendy said...

Why I Am a Yarn Snob

I didn’t used to be a yarn snob. I used to be a poor knitter. Well, low budget. And I knitted with Wool-Ease because I could afford it and it was nice enough. Then I blocked my first sweater. I blocked it wrong. I took the lovely waist ribbing, eight inches of it, and blocked it out to the full width of the sweater. And, because it was not wool, it was ruined. Wool can be restored to its original shape and blocked again; not so for acrylic.

Once on a vacation, I went sailing with some teenagers (I was a kid). We were on a catamaran and it was amazing. But eventually, of course, we overturned the boat and got soaked. In a lake. In Michigan. At dusk. However, since I had been told to wear a wool sweater, I was not cold. Wool is warm, even when it is wet.

When I was a child someone (I don’t remember who) knitted me some slippers out of acrylic yarn. They looked great! I loved them. Until I wore them. The purl bumps on the bottom of those slippers felt like they were making holes in my feet. And there was nothing to do to soften them up. They were what they were. Now I wear felted slippers. Not only can you not feel the purl bumps, you can’t even see them. Wool felts.

My new addiction is spinning. Spindle spinning, wheel spinning, reading about spinning, thinking about spinning. Even washing raw fleece for spinning. The yarns I make are not perfect but they are unique. And every time they are closer to what I was going for. Or at least as interesting as what I was going for. Handspun yarn really has life, like wool. Handspun wool seems alive in your hands. And if you are working with fiber you dyed or carded yourself and you really don’t know how it will knit up, it’s the most exciting knitting to do. Can’t spin acrylic. And why would you want to?

And that leads to my last reason. Wool takes dye just beautifully. If you want to knit something in just the right colorway to satisfy your impossible in-laws or match your couch or wake you up, dye it yourself. If you are a color junkie (I am) and just want to watch colors flow through your hands one after another and that makes you knit more and enjoy the process and the product, dye your own yarn. If you want to make something that will surprise you at every step, the dyeing, the spinning, the knitting, dye some wool. You’ll be glad you did!

So I am a yarn snob. Even with budget issues and the fact that I live in a warm climate, I prefer wool to acrylic. And thank goodness for Knitpicks!

At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just the facts, remember, not oppinions. And since when is hair flame resistant? Last time I looked, that is how the yarn snobs check to see if it is wool, the burn test. Besides the wet smell test. That should diqualify them from the contest, don't ya think? The only one so far that I see posted as fact is the one on the acrylic.

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Dudleyspinner's Tie Dye Rovings said...

In response to the anonymous comment about wool not being fire resistant. Wool trousers were worn by firemen as part of the turnout gear, or firefighting gear. Wool has a natural ability to resist flame. The source of the information is PBS Nova.
This is an excerpt from the article. The link is below.
Turnout Gear

Always Ready "Always Ready"—This Currier and Ives painting illustrates the clothing of the early American fire fighter. The mid-19th century gear consisted almost entirely of wool, which was used both to ward off the heat of the flames and the cold of the winter air.
Turnout gear, or the protective clothing worn by fire fighters, has come a long way since the last century. In that era, fire fighters wore Civil War-style uniforms that featured heavy wool trousers, a cotton or wool shirt (usually red), and a heavy wool tunic. Wool was the obvious choice, because of its ability to shield against heat and cold, and because of its mild water and flame resistance. Rubber slickers were sometimes worn over the wool uniforms. Fire fighters brought their own gloves to the job, usually standard leather workingmen's gloves. Knee-high leather boots worn in the early years eventually gave way to rubber boots, some of which could be extended to the hips like modern waders (called "three-quarter boots").

I guess the anonymous commenter was not interested in entering the contest to win that Red Heart acrylic yarn.

At 6:12 AM, Blogger Mia said...

Ode to Wool (at the risk of my alpacas running away from home!)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways... I love that you come to be by the grace of God.. a natural and renewable resource. I love the fact that wool can change identity at the drop of a hat (ok, with the help of a few drops of dye, of course) into a hundred different personalities, bright and bold or soft and subdued. I love the forgiving quality of wool.. since it will felt if washed in hot water, sometimes a little felting can make all the difference in fit. I love the warmth that wool gives.. a pure wool sweater on a chilly autumn day.. scrumptious! And if it should happen to sprinkle.. wool naturally resists the water and still keeps you toasty warm.

What's not to love?
(puhleese don't tell my alpacas I wrote this.. I couldn't resist! I just LOVe the me some hand dyed roving!)

At 8:50 AM, Blogger Dudleyspinner's Tie Dye Rovings said...

Have no fear, alpaca is wool. All camelids produce wool. Bactrian Camel, Alpaca, Llama, Guanaco, Vicuna are all wool producers. Alpaca is one of the fibers I cannot resist, so soft, and lofty. Because it is a hollow fiber the insulative quality is
great and lightweight.

At 9:42 AM, Blogger jackie said...

I am , and have been a yarn snob since 1988 when I started a weaving program at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design (then just "The Craft School) I learned of wool and silk and linen. I learned of loft and shrinkage and tried my hand at spinning. My first woven project was a wool blanket. Woolen yarn stretches and is very forgiving for a new weaver whose tension is slightly off. I also learned that wool has been used all over the world including Ancient Egypt. There are wool fabric fragments from thousands of years ago. Wool lasts. Wool comes in a wide variety of colours because it dyes beautifully and easily.
Years ago, I learned that wool shrinks. Much to my fathers dismay when I once did the laundry and shrunk his favorite sweater. His loss, my gain. I have used this trick to make extra warm mittens and a carrage blanket for my baby, because when wool shrinks ,it felts, making a good wind proof barrier.
One of my favorite quotes comes from a National Geographic artical that I read in my early teens. It was about a group of men from Scandinavia (I think) who wanted to see if it was possible to get from Scandinavia to Newfoundland in a skin boat like it was reported that their ancestors had done 500 or so years before Columbus. They used only what materials would have been available 1000 years ago. No gortex or nylon wind breakers, only animal hides and wool. About wool one man said, "Wool, wool, and more wool. It keeps you warm, even when wet". I figure that he should know.

TO recap,

1.woolen yarn stretches
2.wool lasts for centuries
3.wool dyes beautifully and easily
4.wool shrinks and felts
5.wool keeps you warm even when wet

At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have an essay for either, but I just want to say that all of the ones submitted are good!

- MJ


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