me, Mavis

I knit. I garden. I co-manage an eclectic shop. I sometimes work in real estate. I sometimes swing a hammer. I always volunteer in my community. I live in an old house with my nice family of one husband and three beastly cats. I have great friends. These are the things that matter to me, Mavis.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Fake is Good

Treading lightly on the Earth is important to me. I try to make lifestyle decisions that fit as well as possible in my desire to live gently.

One of these is a vegetarian diet. I regret that I don't always follow a strict vegan diet, but I try to stay close. Never any flesh, nor eggs and milk alone; however I do consumer products that were made with dairy products.

In clothing choices, too, I avoid animal products: no leather, no silk, no wool. I know that the "other options": cotton and other natural plant fibers, as well as man-made fibers, also come with a negative price tag in terms of chemicals used in production and manufacture, but my ethically-researched decision concludes that the "other options" is the better path for me. The author of Fake Sheep sets out an eloquent essay on her own thought process, and much of it jives with mine.

Another reason that wool (in particular) makes no sense for me is the wear factor. It itches. I remember back when I was a youngun' and I had a few hand-me-down wool items that looked great, but TORE ME UP when the heat rose only slightly in my school classroom.

I have recently seen many posts from accomplished knitters that sniff contemptuously at ICKrylic yarns, yet yearn for weather cool enough that they may comfortably wear their lovely wool creations without fear of spontaneous combustion.

As to the ICKrylic factor -- yes, there are some heinous products that feel like twisted grocery bags, but there are also some magnificent products too, like Wool in the Woods "Shaggy" (75% Rayon, 25% Polyester) which feels even better than your childhood memories of a favorite chenille bedspread, or Manos del Uruguay "Cotton Stria" which is softer and lighter than a baby's receiving blanket washed 10,000 times AND is produced organically.

Really though, even those utilitarian budget-priced products serve a good purpose too. Some years ago, my Mom crocheted dozens of small zig-zag afghans for our local animal shelter. They needed to be very sturdy to take the daily washings without shredding and thereby clogging the machines. It was heartwarming indeed to see sweet homeless kittens playing on those brightly colored blankies which also brought smiles to the overworked caretakes that had to clean the cages. It was reported that they "wear like iron, dry very quickly, and don't shred" which would be a potential danger for the kitties.

Although others (those knitters that say ICKrylic) say that their companion pets likewise turn up their noses to all but the finest Merino or Cashmere, I can tell you that my street urchins have no such prejudice. That's Beau in the opening picture on his fake (non)bearskin stretching out those paws in the same joyful nursing knead that he used on his Momma -- and yes, I witnessed it. Wally and Bella both routinely do the same.

Good enough for Beau, Wally and Bella; good enough for me, Mavis. Nuff said.


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me, Mavis and The Blustery Day
Beau's Early Morning Exercise
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I M Wee Todd Did
The Jig is Up, the Jinx is on
A Ghoulish Day
Sunday at Chez Schavis
A goal is good .... but what is it?
TGIF - what does it matter?

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