....At last it looks like we will actually be able to open our doors again next month, and we can't wait!
I don't think we will believe it until it actually happens as all sorts of things can change before we get there. We are keeping positive and getting the shop ready to welcome you back. The shelves are positively groaning under the weight of fabric and yarn and we have been busy sourcing new goodies to tempt you with!
I can't wait to tell you about a few of new things that have arrived or are on their way! (More below)
First I want to share a little about how my views have changed over the past year and how they have affected the products I am stocking. I think we have all become more aware of certain issues during this time, racism, sexism and mental health are all being talked about now, more than ever before, which must be a good thing and a huge step towards making the world a more tolerant and caring place. Another big issue that has been in the headlines, is the environment. My lovely daughter Emily has made me much more aware of our individual responsibilities towards the health of our planet. She works for the environmental charity 'ClientEarth' which uses the power of the law to create change and protect the planet, making sure that companies and governments, are following existing laws and agreements that will help reverse the effects of climate change and the pollution of our planet, now. They have had some big successes, but there is still a lot to do. Although it is the large companies and governments who have the biggest influence on our future, there are little things that we can do, which jointly add up to quite a lot.
I have changed my toothbrush head to a closed-loop recyclable head, not much you may think, but apparently something like 264 million toothbrushes are thrown away in the UK each year - that's a lot of plastic in the ground. I am trying to use less single use plastic and have changed from using washing detergent for our clothes to a washing egg, which not only saves about 10-12 large plastic bottles being put in the bin each year, but also reduces the amount of chemicals that get washed down the plug hole every time we wash our clothes. None of these are big things, but collectively, they add up.
As I'm sure you are aware, we do love our natural fibres at Craft Days and we try to stock yarns and fabrics that are sustainable. With this in mind I have been thinking hard about what we have on the shelves. Whilst everything we stock should be beautiful and offer good value (that does not necessarily mean cheap) but I am now more aware of the sustainability of the fibres and the environmental impact of the processes involved in making them. There is no reason why you can't have beautiful and thoughtful together in the same product.
With this in mind, I started by looking at the Spring/Summer yarns and I think we have found some great yarns for you.
Karma Cotton by Kremke Soul Wool
I liked the look of this yarn when I first saw it, but dismissed it when I saw that it is made with 30% polyester. I then found out that it is made from 70% recycled cotton and 30% recycled polyester. So I took a closer look.
Karma Cotton upcycles cotton clothes as well as PET bottles. In order to be able to spin a stable, nice looking yarn from recycled textile waste, you need to add a fibre that stabilises the short cotton fibres. Recycled PET bottles are perfect for this job.
The yarn feels and looks like a high quality cotton, climate properties are also similar to cotton. The yarn is perfect for adult summer clothes as well as baby and children clothes. Upcycling at its best! - and fewer single use bottles clogging up the environment.
Once I had tried it out, I realised what a great yarn it is, it feels really soft and the colours are gorgeous. It is excellent value at £3.20 per 50g ball. 18 colours are on their way, and should be with us well before we reopen.
'Morning Salutation' from Kremke Soul Wool, is our first Vegan yarn!
Although we started stocking this yarn last year, it arrived just after the first lock-down, so it got a bit overlooked. It is made from fine Greek Cotton and Tencel TM. I know that Tencel TM sounds a bit like a synthetic fibre, but it is derived from certified and controlled sources of wood (a totally sustainable fibre). Morning Salutation has cooling and moisture managing properties and is therefore anti bacterial and thus perfectly suitable also for babies. The soft sheen, the even structure and the intense colours make every pattern stand out brightly.
TENCEL TM is famous for its closed cycle production process where all process water is re-used by 99%. PETA calls TENCEL TM the "environmental friendly all purpose fibre".
As well as all of that, it's really nice to knit with! We have a range of rich, as well as classic neutral, colours to choose from and it knits as a dk on 4mm needles. It's available on our website, if you can't wait to come in and see it for yourself! (I'm making this t-shirt at the moment, so you will see it in the shop.)