Tag: sustainable fashion

Summer Knits at Old Strathcona Arts Emporium

Summer is in full swing, and our summer knits are currently available at Old Strathcona Arts Market, in Edmonton (AB, Canada) until this Sunday.

Scarves, ponchos and small gift pieces are part of the offering. All pieces are handcrafted and dyed in natural dyes .

Our summer weight scarves are perfect for the current heat wave. Light and airy in summer colors.

Old Strathcona Arts Emporium is located at  10309 Whyte Ave., Edmonton, AB in the heart of the Old Strathcona shopping district.

Up Close

Do you ever look at how pieces are made, close up?
This is pretty cool, so I thought I would share it. This is a toque being tailored while being knit. It is a detail most people won’t notice, but it makes a huge difference. This tailoring makes for a classic shaped toque that follows the shape of the head. It takes twice as long to make a toque using this method, but the result is so nice. This style of toque is also zero-waste and incorporates hand stitching.
We are currently working on some new pieces. Summer scarves, statement pieces, and some classic knits. With this work in progress, the online shop is in maintenance mode for a few days. However, if you see something that interests you in the next few days, feel free to send a message and we can chat details.


#marchmeetthemaker – time

As we continue with #marchmeetthemaker, the next theme to discuss is “Time” . Such an interesting topic. In creating ethical textiles, everything takes a lot of time. Designing. Prepping . Dyeing. Knitting. Finishing.
Time is also a huge factor in how items are priced. Pricing of items is based solely on two factors, the materials used, and the time it takes to produce a piece. Each piece is weighed to determine the amount of materials used, and timed for the labor allowance when determining price. The most expensive portion of creating a piece is the actual time spent making the piece.
Certain types of pieces have higher price points reflecting the time spent creating it. Large pieces, like scarves, take longer to knit. Technical pieces, like a sweater, take a very long time, as can textured or fine knit pieces. Dyed pieces can be the most expensive, due to the fibre prep, dyeing, and skeining; naturally dyed pieces are very labor intensive.
Time is a major factor in the world of handcrafted ethical knitwear.
@w1hundred  (on Instagram and Facebook)


#marchmeetthemaker – hands at work

Today we continue with the #marchmeetthemaker posts; the theme is “hands at work”.

Textiles created by hand, and factory free, are a rare thing in this era. The majority of the pieces we are currently creating are knit manually on flat bed style knitters.

Knitting, using vintage flat bed knitters is very physical work. Arms, shoulders, back and hands are active for hours. The average scarf ranges from 600 to 1300 rows. That equates to moving your arms, side to side knitting, 600 to 1300 times… constantly. I think most people think of knitting as being serene and relaxing, flat bed knitting is not, it’s physical labour.

In addition to producing knits with manual power, we also dye all our yarns by hand, in natural dyes, prior to knitting. This includes crafting the dyes, prepping the yarn, dyeing, rinsing, and skeining. In a world of mass production, the methods in which we create knitwear is very different.




Proudly Canadian

Canadian is our thing. Canadian farmed wool. Canadian mills. Knitwear handcrafted in Canada. In a  world flooded with imports, we think it is pretty special to create a Canadian made product for Canadians.

Each time a customer buys one of our wool toques, scarves, or even a little Coffee Sweater, they are supporting a whole Canadian supply chain. Farmers, veterinarians, mill workers, and transport workers all benefit in various stages of the production and delivery of the wool yarn we use.

We all work together to create a truly Canadian product, and in this era, that is pretty rare.


Indigo Dip


Indigo, is one of the most loved colors. The calming blue tones are a favourite with customers year after year. While most people are familiar with indigo in its denim form, indigo dyed wool knitwear is also striking.

Indigo is interesting as the color is built up over multiple dips, interspersed with oxidization periods. Dip after dip the color gets deeper and deeper. Depending on the length of the dip time, and the number of dips, colors from light blue to dark blues can be achieved.

Today we are hand dyeing Canadian produced and milled wool in natural indigo. Hand dyeing allows us to work in small batches, creating minimal waste, while providing a unique color depth with each batch we dye.

It will be many days before this yarn is ready to use, as once dyeing is complete, the yarn must then wait 24 hours before being washed. The wool yarn is then left to dry naturally. Once fully dry, the yarn is de-tangled and rolled by hand, and then rolled a second time into a cake-shaped skein suitable for creating knits with.

Time and craftsmanship is the foundation for all the pieces we create. Carefully chosen fibres and yarns, hand dyeing, and our own creative designs are brought together into handcrafted pieces.