Thursday, October 27, 2011

wall street protest & knitting



Hat designed by Kerttu Karppinen, hand spun and dyed Utuna yarn; model wearing sweater designed by Tuulia Lampinen, another wonderful Finnish designer.


ecomodista can hardly ignore the protest that has sparked similar protests globally. What does knitting have to do with the issues of corporate controlled political entities and  the concentration of great wealth in a small percentage of people in the process eroding the middle class? Actually the DIY movement is not only a manifestation of this discontent, but the logical response--eliminating reliance on big box retailers. Knitting one's clothing is inherently more ethical, since much of the clothing industry relies on either child or captive labor in Asia and Africa. 

Furthermore, knitters may choose yarns that are spun from heritage sheep, or other locally grown products. Finns are committed to sustainable practices and hand knitting yarn is no exception. Finnish designer Kerttu Karppinen represents such an effort, relying on  wool from an endangered sheep breed, Kainuu Grey also known as Grey Finnsheep. ecomodista has been knitting mitts from Utuna wool, and it is so lovely to work with, really special. See: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Utuna   

Purchasing the wool from a local farmer who is breeding the Finnsheep, encourages preservation by creating a market for the product. As Karppinen’s production increases, she hopes other farmers will become interested in raising this breed, which were once indigenous. In the course of creating a market for yarn, Karppinen designs clothing and accessories using Utuna wool. Her jackets, hats, and mittens are influenced by folkwear, specifically Toini-Inkeri Kaukonen’s study, Suomalaiset kansanpuvut ja kansallispuvut/Finnish Folk Costumes and Present-Day use of National Dresses.  Karppinen's designs include historical techniques such as rya in a totally new context, see her mittens on the Utuna site. She has even created a tutorial for knitters to learn this technique.


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