I don't want to be cruel

I’m upset by what I’ve been reading about the treatment of sheep in Australia, whence so much of our wool for yarn. I guess it’s almost impossible to tell if yarn has been made from wool shorn from maltreated sheep; even yarns made in Italy could have started out as Australian wool, for example. I am in the middle of a sweater using Noro Transitions (Japan) I assume the wool came from Australia; I was enjoying the process so much, but now, I feel a little sick to my stomach about the mulesing (there’s a little mohair in there) and the cruel export stuff (the yarn is 35% wool). I know it’s possible to get wool from sheep without gouging them. Is giving up wool the only way?

This has been discussed at great length here on the forums – if you do a post search on “mulesing” and you’ll find quite a bit of information. One post is here and there is another post about cruelty-free yarns here.

You can always write to the companies and ask them. :shrug:

I know recently, since knitting, crocheting and other fiber arts have boomed, many more options have become available concerning where the yarn is coming from.

I can’t remember where it was, exactly, but if you do a search on the forum for mulesing you should get some good threads with some information.

Sorry for bringing up an exhausted topic…it’s just that I’m returning to knitting after a very long hiatus and I am new to this forum as well.

So far, it seems most people concerned about this recommend going with synthetics, cotton, and linen. I think that’s okay unless you want something really warm. Plus it seems to me wool is the easiest kind of yarn to knit with.

Thanks Julie and Friskums for your replies, and I will follow up on my own as you suggest.[size=6][/size]

Alpaca is warm. :thumbsup: :teehee:

another plant option would be hemp. from what i’m reading, it’s supposed to be one of those fibers that is warm in winter and cool in summer. haven’t used it myself, but i think i’d like to try.

Alpaca! OOO yeah
I’ve been wanting an excuse to buy some Debbie Bliss alpaca silk.
I do not in fact have scruples about using silk.
I mean, these are catepillars we’re talking about. They are not even true worms, biologically.
They have the most rudimentary nervous systems, and it takes a certain amount of complexity to suffer. Most likely there is just a simple neuronal connection between any negative stimulus and the motor neurons for crawling away from it. All the emotional angst which goes along with pain in higher animals is most likely absent. Of course, who really knows?
I guess I don’t have the makings of a good Budhhist, who would say that every silk moth catepillar was once my mother.[size=6][/size]

ALso…I bought some sheets made from a byproduct of European Beech trees. They are soft and wonderful. I wonder if one could get yarn of that fiber.

I bought 2 or 3 hemp fabric products some years back, and I’m sorry to say I thought they were all pretty scratchy. I had to get rid of a huge beanbag cover because I couldn’t stand the feel of it against my skin. Another hemp fabric garment went the same way. Very uncomfortable. Maybe progress has been made since that time.[size=6][/size]

I believe that the only sheep where mulesing is necessary is from Merino sheep because their skin is wrinkled. Regular sheep–and there are many varieties–are not cut.

My daughter and I are both knitters, and both vegan. Neither of use (or eat) ANY type of animal products. The only thing I seem to be missing out on is felting, but I can live without it…my conscience is clear.
“Muesling” is a horrible practice, as is all animal abuse. Why can’t we just let them be?
Anyway, I’m happy to see this topic brought up.

I knew I’d be sorry I entered this thread. Not sorry that it was brought up, but sorry, because I’m new to knitting, thought that my new venture was harmless all the way around.

I never imagined that animals could be harmed :grrr:

Well, I’m certainly glad to be informed now. This information will certainly help me when I purchase my next batch.