Sunday, January 13, 2008

Vegan Knitting

I have a very good friend named Jack who is also a very angry vegan. In my efforts to cover all of my loved ones in hand knits, I decided to knit him a hat. Well, actually I decided that Andrew would knit him a hat. We went to the yarn store and Andrew picked out the yarn and began knitting. The yarn is Classic Elite Premiere, which is a 60/40 cotton/tencel blend. After about 10 hours of knitting, He had about 1 1/2". With only the mildest patronizing tone in my voice, I offered to finish it for him.

Let me just say that I hate knitting with cotton. I know all of the properties that make cotton the wonderful fiber that it is, such as it's ability to keep one cool and supa crisp stitch definition, but these very qualities make it an incredibly bad choice for a hat.

The first problem I came across is the blown out ribbing. The more I attempted to maintain even tension, the more it prolapsed into some unmentionable blob of stringy entrails. Whatever. I figured that once I got to the stockinette, all would be gravy. Like any good knitter, I used a jogless join for the stripes. With wool, this would result in beautifully even stitches. On cotton, it makes a really gross ladder of gaping stitches 100x more fugly than a little jog in the stripes.

In the end it came out okay. A hat was made using no animal products and therefore another vegan is kept warm.

jacks hat

Note: Next year he gets a juicer.

9 comments:

Mel said...

I started and stalled on a hat for a vegan friend - this one in nylon. Yarns with no give are rough on my wrists, but working with synthetics just doesn't feel right. And then there's the whole ecological dilemma of using petrochemicals. I suppose I should try to crank it out before winter's over, though.

The_Add_Knitter said...

Stringy entrails, egads! I hope your angry vegan pal never sees the Morrissey public service announcement about merino wool, because your friendship might be over at that point...

kim said...

Oh...I have bad memories of one use of Premier. It's still sitting in my knitting bag, waiting for the day I run completely out of yarn and become desperate to pick it up again.

But I think your hat is super nice, I love the colors and it must be soo soft.

Virtuous said...

Haha!!! @ juicer

Yep I have some resentful knitting going on over here too! :o)

KnitXcorE said...

cotton makes my hands hurt. my vegan friends got soap. lol.

VaxGirl said...

I love everything you've made lately, but especially the reindeer hat. And also the cowl and the scarf and the...

jail diet said...

poor vegans are always anemic and therefore totally need hats to keep them warm...perhaps give your pal a juicer with a side of "juice" (if you know what i'm sayin'...)

can't wait to see you. (come to jail diet for an art-school disaster post about a video of my very first commercial for britney spears!)

Stephen said...

Great hat! I made a knitting needle case for the store I work at and used cotton for the first time...not my favorite, but I just found a pattern for some SWEET pants I must make that call for cotton yarn. I may substitute the 100% cotton in the pants for some Rowan Cashcotton DK in a light greeny color. I'll get to it eventually.

Wendy said...

I'm vegan and I knit. I haven't had any real problems with cotton, but you could try bamboo or soysilk as other natural fibers. Both sources are much more sustainably grown than either wool or cotton.