It used to be that you could walk into a shop and buy a ball of yarn, and walk out with your purchase, secure in the knowledge that the wool came from sheep that lived, if not down the road, at least in the same country as you. Plus you knew that the not only was the raw wool grown in the same country as you, but it was bundled up and made into that slightly scratchy yarn your beloved Nan knit into ill fitting jumpers and cardigans (or on the other end of the spectrum, stunning jumpers and cardigans that your grandchildren still wear). As a knitter, crocheter or weaver, if you wanted an exotic yarn and fibre, you had to travel and buy it overseas.
Fast forward to today, where raw materials fly all over the world to be processed and spun and dyed and made into that squishy skein of satisfaction.
Then speed and immediate gratification seasoned the mix. Fast food, fast clothing, fast fibre. Stir in some other processes such as super wash.
Just to keep things interesting add in the pandemic. Covid 19 threw a huge arse spanner into a lot of lives, and suddenly all of the things we were so used to doing and buying weren't so easy to do and buy any more. Plus, you may not have the means to buy them.
This post is the first in a series meant to raise awareness and inform without being a jerk about it. At the end of the day, we all succumb to what I call "shiny". We fall in love with that beautifully spun, amazingly dyed, soft skein of yarn that we take home and put in a basket, petting as we walk past. It's important to know just where the hell that yarn has been.
The series will also introduce you to the conundrum that is a yarn store owner's life. We won't sugar coat things, and you must know straight away that there may be swearing involved.