Tag Archives: organic

My First Hand Dying Adventure

1 Sep

Today is my last official day of summer. Tomorrow I start my online classes, Saturday I have my first on campus knitwear design class and Tuesday I go back to work.  I’m using today to wrap up some projects I started over my break, clean, organize and of course, knit.

Here’s one project I finally finished today. A couple of months ago a yarn shop in my area went out of business and had a huge sale. I grabbed about 9 skeins of this:

Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton

And because it was on sale for about half off the sticker price, I convinced myself I really liked it. I mean, how could I not? I could make  an entire sweater, plus maybe a hat, or mittens for so cheap. But then I got home, swatched it up using a few different stitch patterns and of course I absolutely hated it. It was just too…beige and white? I’m sure it could be great for something, but definitely not a garment. Sorry, Blue Sky Alpacas, you know I still love you.

So I bought some blue dye and went to town on it.

Now, I’ve never dyed anything before in my entire life. Not even tye-dye. Not even easter eggs. I was really just making things up as I went along. Next time I know to dye on the table and not the floor (back ache!) and the wear gloves that go up to the elbow (I had a very blue index finger for a few days). I had fun though! I enjoyed myself and as soon as I find out exactly what the protocol is for rinsing hand dyed yarn (I was in the bathtub for hours wringing out the yarn) I want to do it again, and maybe even give hand painting a try!

The results?

My first hand dying project

I like it! I didn’t expect the brown to still show through after dying since it’s just naturally grown to be that color, but oh well. I think it swatches up quite nice.

Who Me? Cardigan Swatch

I’ve already cast on for the Who Me? Cardigan from the latest issue of Knitscene. I want a go-to cardigan I can wear year round, but still have some interesting details. I think the yarn will help it stand out and match the grey jeans I wear all the time.

The tank top I’m working on is going swimmingly —that is until I decided I wanted an entirely different hem and ripped the whole thing out. Like I said, things are always subject to change with me, I’m definitely a perfectionist when it comes to design (and absolutely nothing else). I’d rather do more work than be unhappy with the finished product. Hopefully I can catch up on it soon.

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Current Obsessions

12 May

Since we’re all still getting to know each other I figured I’d do a little roundup of all the yarns I’m in love with at the moment. Maybe it will introduce some of you to a new favorite yarn, or inspire your next project!

Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton


I can never get over how soft this cotton is! When I buy a new skein I usually spend roughly an hour petting it and day dreaming about what it will become. I’ve by far used this for more projects than any other yarn & have 9 skeins in my stash as we speak. It’s been telling me it wants to be a sweater. Bonus points for being organic.

Crystal Palace Panda Soy

I’m a sucker for any of those odd plant fibers and this yarn is a two-fer with bamboo and soy in the fiber content. This is definitely my favorite sock yarn, but you don’t have to use it exclusively for socks! It’s also great for gloves, mitts and other such hand-coverings. I actually kind of hated variegated yarns before starting a pair of Soybean Socks in Provence, but now I find myself oddly drawn  all sorts of multi-colored yarn.

Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy

One thing you will learn about me is that I love knitting for spring and summer. I live in San Francisco so I can almost justify it for the few days a year when it’s nice enough to head outside in short sleeves. When I pick out a pattern for a tank or vest the first question I ask myself is whether I’ll be able to use Hempathy, and if not I pout. It’s a little rough to touch at first but I promise it will soften up as you work with it.

Ecobutterfly Organics Farfalla Organic Worsted

Did you know there was an almost entirely vegan yarn company out there? Because no one told me until like last week. Eco-Butterfly cotton and hemp yarns are certified organic and fair-trade and come in a wide variety of natural and vegetable based dyes. Awesome! Be careful though because the 1% of their product that isn’t vegan is dyed using crushed bugs, gross! Lucky for us they clearly label their yarns “vegan”. How cool is that? Anyway, the yarn is super soft and they have a wide variety of weights and colors to choose from. It’s probably one of the most ethically produced yarns on the market today, so give it a chance next time you’re picking out something for your next project.

Classic Elite Yarns Cotton Bam Boo

Cooper begged me to be in the photo shoot.

Another great yarn for summer knits. The cotton/bamboo blend makes it light, soft and breathable. It’s absolutely awesome to work with!

So what’s everyone else in love with lately?

Baumwolle

10 May

Knitting is one of the final frontiers the vegan community has yet to carve a niche for itself in. There aren’t a lot of great vegan yarns out there, especially for winter knits, and sometimes it can be difficult to find help navigating the fiber world, either as a new vegan, knitter or both. So, after writing this guest blog post for Vegansaurus a couple months back, I decided that I had more to share.

I graduated from college where I majored in fashion design about a year ago. Since then I’ve begun designing my own patterns and started interning for a small yarn company. In two weeks I’m moving on up will begin working at a small knitting pattern company.

With this blog I hope to share with the rest of the world my current projects, designs, a little insight into my day job, and some tips for knitting (and crafting) without animal fiber.

You might be wondering to yourself ‘what’s up with the name Tree Wool?’ Well, in my first few days as a lowly intern I was given the assignment of researching German yarn shops and retrieving their email addresses. The great thing about most German yarn shop website is that they’re pretty well exclusively written in German so I picked up a good amount of knitting lingo. My favorite word was Baumwolle, which means cotton in English;  literally translated it means tree wool. Cute!

So thanks for stopping by! Here’s a picture of Baumwolle that I bought today, Blue Sky Alpaca’s Organic Dyed Cotton. I hope I’ll have something neat made out of it to show you in a few weeks!