It’s “Weigh Day”!
There is a lot of discussion among society regarding transparency within the clothing and textile industries, including how things are made and priced. When we are pricing pieces, prices are based on three things: the weight of fibre, the length of time it takes to create a piece (labour), and dyeing costs (materials and time). I’ve always felt this pricing method is fair and transparent as it reflects the different material and process costs, and even more so, the cost of labour.
No matter the piece, labour is always the most significant price factor, which makes sense when you consider our pieces are “yarn forward factory free”.
I always feel it is important, and interesting, to know about how things are made. It is part of the story of our knitwear.
Purple seems to be the color of this time of year, with little violas popping up, and pansies decorating planters and gardens. Inspired by these colors, a few new pieces have been created.
This organic cotton scarf, knit in an open fishing net style knit, has been hand dyed in the natural dyes of logwood (purple) and brazilwood (pink). The colors flow from one tone to the other, creating a one-of-a-kind dyeing effect.
Deeper purples inspired our organic cotton toques. Summer weight toques perfect for warmer weather.
The toques, dyed in natural logwood, feature two styles, a classic turn up, and a lace-inspired textured beanie that fits snug to the head.
Our new purple pieces are currently available in our SHOP . Pieces change frequently as we focus on one-of-a-kind and limited edition pieces.
A quick look at what is currently being created in the studio. We are feeling spring inspired even though snow is still on the ground.
This is a recently finished one-of-a-kind piece. Mountain inspired. Hand dyed in natural dyes. Handcrafted.
At the moment we are focused on one-of-a-kind pieces. Due to the Covid-19 situation supply chains are down, so we are creating with the fibre we have in stock.
Currently the online shop is in maintenance mode as I work on a few new pieces, but if you ever see something you like that is posted, just send me a message.
Today we are working on one of the “100 Mile Wardrobe “ pieces. These are pieces where the wool is either produced or milled within 100 miles of where the piece is crafted.
The “100 Mile Wardrobe” is a really interesting concept from both the standpoint of the local economy, plus environmental benefits . This concept, by utilizing local fibre, supports local mills, local Alberta businesses, and depending on the wool, Alberta farmers. It also reduces the distance the fibre travels .
The “100 Mile Wardrobe “ pieces created this year will feature minimal styles, making the pieces wearable for years and years.
Shop update in progress. Please DM for purchase info in the meantime.
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.
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.
During the month of March many creatives participate in #marchmeetthemaker , which is a way to share with others aspects of their creative process. The first prompt was “story”, which I thought would be nice to share.
W1 Hundred was born out of an interest of textiles, local fibres, and ethical, ecological and historic practices. I started knitting at age 6 and sewing at age 9. Add in an Art diploma and a fascination with natural dyeing, and a business was formed.
As the business progresses, it is interesting to see the challenges created by staying true to core values, especially in a world of mass produced product. However, the core values are the main story: factory free knits, carefully selected materials, natural dyeing, Canadian produced wool, and Canadian inspired pieces. Pieces built out of a belief in quality and process, and pieces crafted to last.
Studios and workshops are the locations you spend most of your time in when creating textiles. When work is going well, it isn’t unusual to put in 12+ hours in a day.
However work spaces, themselves, can greatly impact both your creativity and productivity. My best work is created in fresh, well organized spaces.
I like to have my fibre organized by type, and ply. I like colors to be easy to view and accessible. Patterns in their place. Nice lighting, but not industrial. Great music, or lectures to listen to, are also essential. Artwork has also always played a part in my work space on the coast.
This week I decided to hang some new artwork in the space by the loom. It is a painting I completed about a year ago inspired by one of my favourite west coast hikes. New year, new painting to look at as I work. After all, the more inviting a work space is, the more of a joy creating in them is.
A little west coast influence.
I’m currently out creating in my island workshop on the west coast. Different work spaces provide different focuses, projects and influences.
Waves and west coast greys influenced the style of the zero-waste toque in the picture, which makes sense considering the picture was taken in a spot that is only a short walk from the workshop.
Our pieces often embrace their Canadian roots in style, materials and design. We are proud to be Canadian, and choose to be authentically Canadian in our designs, rather than mimic the styles of European knitwear. We feel by staying true to our core value of producing Canadian products, it allows each of our customers to wear a little bit of Canada.
New pieces are being worked on and will be listed online in the coming weeks.
W1 Hundred offers their products for sale online. We also welcome inquiries from retailers interested in adding our pieces to their offering.
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.