May 27, 2011

Knit Designs made by Pippa

The other day I was shopping with my mum and as it is starting to get very cold here in Melbourne, I looked around for knitted woollens. I could not believe the lack of thick, warm, soft knitted products available. All I could find was squeaky, thin and clearly synthetic tops that didn't look like they would warm my pinky.

It made me yearn for natural fibres, for handmade, for comfort. I kept thinking of the synthetic jumpers I had bought on the run that only lasted one season before they started creating those annoying little balls. That somehow smelt bad and after a couple of washes, just didn't seem to retain their shape. Wool may well cost a little more to buy initially, but when you think about it, in the long run, ends up saving you money as it lasts much longer.

Other wonderful benefits of wool are:

* Fire retardant (I'm sure many mothers would feel safer with natural fibres rather than synthetics that melt in case a child accidentally comes near flame)
* Warmer - It insulates yet breathes. "Because of the crimp, wool fibres have a greater bulk than other textiles, and retain air, which causes the product to retain heat. Insulation works both ways, Bedouins and Tuaregs use wool clothes to keep heat out." Wikipedia
*Resistant to Static Electricity - so less likely to cling to the body and causes little shocks (which I am prone to!)
*Children's woollens can be passed on once they've outgrown them as they retain their shape and quality.

So my next step was to search for makers of clothing using natural fibres and I found Pippa!

Pippa has just opened her Etsy shop and has a collection of Children's wear in just the most sublime fibres: Merino, Cashmere, Alpaca, Wool, Bamboo. She uses gorgeous stylish patterns from Drops Studio (such a collection!!) I have spent many an hour browsing through their patterns, dreaming about what I would like.

I'll let Pippa tell you in her own words why she chooses natural fibres.

"I don't like to use acrylics, I grew up in New Zealand where natural yarns are available in abundance and as a child my mum used to knit lovely woollen items for me. I love merino for its warmth and lovely stitch definition when knitted up, and bamboo for its durability and softness. I'm doing more and more in alpaca which is a beautiful yarn which knits into beautiful little garments.

Are natural fibres hard to clean?

As a mum I know how important it is to be able to put things into the washing machine (who has time to hand wash?!) so the majority of my items are machine washable - the bamboo is especially good in this respect.

How did you learn to Knit?

I was taught to knit as a child by my nana and my mum and did it right up until I went to university. Life then got in the way for about 17 years, and I picked up my needles again about a year ago after being inspired by a friend who started running Craft Workshops. My kids (4.5 and 3) love helping to choose yarn for things I make for them!

Knitting is very much a hobby, my business is just little - and has grown from the fact that many of my friends started asking me to knit for them. Their praise has given me the confidence to branch out.

You see!! Knitters are needed!!!

Here's to the growth of Pippa's business, to the continued tradition of sharing the skill with the next generation, to wonderful natural fibres and to more and more people learning and sharing this well worthwhile craft.

Pippa's Facebook Page: - Come have a browse and a chat.