Friday, December 19, 2014

Ava

Next up in the FO Parade is Ava, a grandpa-style sweater in angora, designed by Kim Hargreaves.  For a long time I'd thought I wouldn't post this FO, but I decided to go ahead with it after all, because I really like the sweater.

Ava is one of the many lovely patterns in Kim Hargreaves' book Smoulder, published in September 2013.  (The Holt coat I made last fall is also in this book.)  Shortly after I got the book, I ordered the yarn to make this sweater, and cast on in December of 2013.  And shortly after that, there was a kerfuffle about angora yarns and mistreatment of rabbits.  There were LOTS of discussions on Ravelry forums about it, and although Rowan issued a statement that their angora was ethically sourced, a lot of knitters started to boycott angora across the board, and shortly thereafter Rowan discontinued the yarn.

By the time I became aware of all this (I don't actually read any of the forums on Ravelry!), I'd half finished the sweater.  And I had really mixed feelings about it - of course I don't want to support unethical and cruel treatment of animals, and yet Rowan claims this yarn does not fall in that category.  I slowly continued to knit on it, and finally finished all the pieces around April.  Just in time for warm weather! 

So it sat, in pieces, all summer long and through the early fall.  Around mid-October, I got it out again and slowly started to seam the pieces together.  I felt embarrassed to share about it because of all the anti-angora sentiment.


I finally decided that I would go ahead with it - I'd already purchased the yarn; any cruelty I'd unwittingly participated in had already been done.  But I hope that the statement Rowan made was true, and that this angora yarn is "clean."  It's a lovely sweater, despite my mixed feelings about it.





Ravelry notes here.

18 comments:

  1. I hope they're right that their animals weren't mistreated. Hate to have such a beautiful sweater leave you with mixed feelings. This sweater just looks so warm and cozy! It's gorgeous, Gail!

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  2. Lovely sweater. I know how you feel, but I think that it would be more of a waste to not wear and love the sweater.

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    1. Thanks, Rhonda. That's the conclusion I came to as well.

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  3. Awww, I completely understand your mixed feelings but your Ava is truly beautiful and I can't imagine that Rowan would put out a statement like that if it wasn't true. Enjoy your "new" cardigan! You look beautiful!

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    1. Thanks, Evelyn! I agree - as such a big company they have a lot to lose if they misstep. So let's hope it's legit.

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  4. I want an angora hat. I doubt yarny people would harm the animal. Love this cozy cardigan. It's such a snuggle.

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    1. It is a snuggle. It also sheds like a real rabbit!

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  5. I'm confident that Rowan can back up its claim. Don't worry! Just enjoy!

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  6. I often stress out about wool and silk... it's hard to know if anything derived from animal fibres is sourced ethically, but then I feel conflicted avoiding it because cotton takes so much water to produce and man-made fibres seem so environmentally-unfriendly! I'm trying to be more thoughtful about my fabric consumption and only make things that I know I will wear and love, but man, it's a complicated issue, isn't it? Now that you've made this I hope you treasure it for years!

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    1. Exactly! I wish there were an easy answer.

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  7. I completely understand where you are coming from on this issue. I bouht some angora in Edinburgh from a local producer, and I've had similar struggles about knitting with it. I have hopes that they produce their yarns ethically. I will eventually knit it. And, I'm glad that you did post this. It's a beautiful sweater. I can only imagine how soft it must be!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle. It is warm and soft! I think I did right by posting it - at least I know I'm not alone in my ambiguous feelings on this issue.

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  8. Tricky thing about this yarn! I must confess I never heard about the angora boycott until I read your post. I must also confess that I'm glad you finished the sweater because it is lovely. Plus, I have vivid images of your sitting in your pjs on Marilyn's couch knitting this sweater back in April. So great to see it all done and worn by you,

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    1. Was I knitting this? I remember knitting something, but don't remember what it was! But I remember you working on your shawl! Anyway, I too am glad it's done!

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