Tuesday, 26 April 2011

What is Recycled Silk Yarn? (part 2)

As the name implies, recycled silk yarn is made from recycled silk, more specifically the waste silk from industrial weaving mills in India (the silk is mostly used to make saris). The yarn is hand-spun in Nepal, giving women there a way to work and earn money. It's beautiful all around.
The Beauty of Recycled Silk:
Because the hanks of recycled silk yarn are made individually, each one is unique. There's no dye lot on recycled silk yarn, and even if you buy two hanks from the same manufacturer at the same time there's no guarantee that the colors are going to be the same.

(photo courtesy of: http://www.ethniccrafts.co.uk/)
But really that is the beauty of using recycled silk. Each piece has its own individuality and everything you make from the yarn is its own work of art, completely unique.
Sarah E White – author of sari, eco friendly, organic cotton - knitting.guide@about.com
Keeping with the theme of loving the planet, it seemed the perfect opportunity  take a look at Labour Behind the Label, a campaigning organisation with a clear mission.
(photo courtesy of: www.ethniccrafts.co.uk)

Labour Behind the Label (http://www.labelbehindthelabel.org/) "supporting garment workers worldwide"

Labour Behind the Label is a campaign that supports garment workers' efforts worldwide to improve their working conditions, through awareness raising, information provision and encouraging international solidarity between workers and consumers.
This is just one of the issues that they campaign to change:
Working conditions
In many countries, a job in a factory producing clothing for the UK fashion industry is a sought-after position.  But workers across the world face a daily grind of excessive hours, forced overtime, lack of job security, poverty wages, denial of trade union rights, poor health, exhaustion, sexual harassment and mental stress.  Even in factories which on the surface look clean and modern, workers are often deprived of their internationally-recognised basic rights. Learn more about the conditions workers face here...
E: info (at) labour behind the label . org (all one word)
Labour Behind the Label provides some real food for thought. 
Sari spiral brooches

These are spiral brooches with the edge – quite literally!  Measuring 5cm (approx.) in diameter, these spirals are handknitted from cotton rich wool (pink/mid blue and navy respectively) and edged with colourful sari silk yarn.  These brooches look stunning set against a plain background…..and the beauty of them is that each will match many colours, such is the rainbow sari palette.

They also make ideals gifts – affordable, easy to post. 
To buy, visit  www.folksy.com/shops/MosaicTree and click on ‘brooches’.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Come visit Rainbow's End! - mobile, blackberry and iPod covers

Rainbow's End is where its at - beautiful handknitted rainbow items and, just listed today - blackberry and iPod covers - 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th generation (there's also mobile ones already listed).  10% of cover price (excl P&P) donated to an online volunteer-led community for women.

Always happy to take commissions for phone and iPod covers.  Please message me to discuss your requirements.

For more fab Mosaic Tree things, and to buy these lovely items, visit folksy.com/shops/MosaicTree......and click on Rainbow's End.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Love the planet – sari yarn and more (part 1)

Recycled sari silk is one of the most beautiful yarns to work with – it is both ethically sound and looks stunning.  It also has a character of its own and behaves very differently to normal yarn – when casting on stitches, the rest of the yarn leading to the ball gets twisted up so make sure you build in extra time to untwist the yarn!
Give yourself a visual delight and enjoy some of the stunning colour combinations from sari yarn.
Ethnic Crafts (www.ethniccrafts.co.uk) is my shop of choice for both its selection, ethos and good value.  I came across it whilst researching this article and it ticks all the boxes and will be getting my custom in the near future.
“We provide opportunity, independence and resources to artisans while offering culture and global consciousness to our customers through the innovation and inspiration of environmentally friendly products. Its our hope to better the lives of people thorough trade, skills and education”.

(photos courtesy of ethniccrafts.co.uk)

Sari necklace from Mosaic Tree - NEW!!!
The sari yarn inspired a knitted necklace of vibrant colours.  Something to be worn to make a statement (it would look stunning against an all black outfit, for example) or, if you wanted to add some colour to lift your spirits.  This one is a show stopper!

It measures approx. 31cm in total (25cm excluding the beaded tassel).  Withe no fiddly catches, this  simply stretches over your head.  It is very light to wear so would be ideal to take away with your holiday wardrobe.   This is a unique, handcrafted item.  Different lengths can be produced; please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

To see more, check out http://www.folksy.com/items/1542921-hand-knitted-sari-silk-and-more-necklace?shop=yes