MKG Cable Gram - Volume 23, Number 1
Dreaming of warm tropical breezes? Look no further than your yarn basket.
How about yarn made from the leaves of the pineapple plant? Habu Textiles, everyone’s favorite stop on the Web for its unusual fibers, carries a yarn called “Fique” that is 100 percent pineapple fiber. The distinctive qualities of pineapple leaf fiber are its strength and lustrous sheen. Fique is said to work up like hemp, but it is softer on the hands. Suggested uses are placemats and other hard-use items. Habu also carries a lace-weight yarn that is a blend of pineapple fiber (60 percent) and ramie (40 percent). This blend works up into a lightweight fabric with a bit more drape than Fique. Check out these yarns at www.habutextiles.com.
Take a walk on the beach by trying TOFUtsies, made of 50 percent superwash wool, 25 percent soysilk, 22.5 percent cotton, and 2.5 percent chitin. (Chitin, since you asked, is made from shrimp and crab shells, which are considered to have antimicrobial properties.) It’s a fingering-weight yarn, so suggested uses include socks. Call your local yarn shop to see if they have this South West Trading Company yarn in stock.
What’s next? Watch out for falling coconuts! Champion, the sports apparel company, is selling a line of clothing called ChampionVapor. The fiber used in this line (made of trademarked Cocona polyester) is derived from coconut shells and claims to provide “activated carbon” for quick evaporation, odor reduction properties, and the blocking of 96 percent of harmful ultraviolet rays. Might we soon see it as an option in our yarn baskets? Time will tell.
So don’t despair if a “real” spring break is not in your future. Just mix a piña colada and knit your way to a tropical vacation!
By the way... If you are interested in learning more about unusual plant and other “vegan” fibers, look no further than a just-released book from Interweave Press—No Sheep for You by Amy Singer (the editor of the online magazine Knitty). (Read a review of this book in “The Advanced Beginner” column on page 8 of the current Cable Gram.) You can hear an interview with Amy about her new book by going to Interweave’s new podcasting site.
To meet knitters who are dedicated to vegan knitting, check out this website from New Zealand. (Sorry, there seems to be no site for knitters interested in crustacean knitting!)
Wendy J. Johnson, MKG member and Cable Gram designer, is forced to live vicariously through fiber for her tropical vacations!