I first came across Jonelle as she joined in some of the discussions on the ifthehatfits group. Later I found out that she was the big boss of SWTC who make a lot of yarns in natural fibres that are non animal based
Soy Silk, Bamboo, Tofu, Maize and Hemp
All of these and many more combinations of yarns are interesting options for the vegan knitter but also a refreshing alternative to woolly fibres. Most of them can be found on the South West Trading Company website, go and have a look at their updated website which is now more knitter friendly and less wholesale orientated.
So far, I have knitted one swatch from the variegated shade of 100% Soy Silk,thanks to Viridian who sent me samples. It has a beautiful sheen and the spaces between dyes is similar to a sock yarn. Its also very stretchy and I can imagine it being suited to T-shirts and tops as it can be worn next to the skin. I haven't knitted a whole garment with it, so I don't know how it compares with the bamboo tape yarns from other spinners which have been reported to be heavy.
I am about to receive some samples from The House of Hemp
They grow agricultural hemp which can be made into tree free paper or spun to make yarns which are then spun in beautiful colours chosen by their in house designer. They also provide retreats and weaving workshops. Just looking at their website made me yearn for a retreat, nothing to do but knitting and relaxing without those household matters staring me in the face. I will report back on their sample once knitted and introduce them properly. For now, just have a look at their tempting palette.
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