Hey, I just found this discussion, and wanted to add a question that I've yet to encounter in discussions about veganism and wool: what about Alpaca? There is a local farm with Alpacas near here (the Port aux Port Penninsula in Newfoundland, Canada) and it certainly doesn't seem as though they are being harmed in any way. I don't think Alpacas are ever used for food, and I right? Would that make them an exception?
I suppose it would depend of the degree of veganness of the person judging it. Some would feel as though using animals for any human benefit is wrong, but I wonder if these people also do not have pets... to me, if you want to totally reject the domestification and utilization of animals for human purposes, then you would also disagree with keeping animals as pets (and if you don't agree with keeping bees for their honey, then you should also probably reconsider Fluffy over there, because I feel that the bee thing is pretty innocuous). It's just the principal of the thing for some people, I suppose. Most people seem to fall somewhere in between the two extremes - just trying to make responsible decisions while still functioning in the world as it is.
I really appreciate most of the things that have been said here on this thread. It's been very informative, and it's important to at least be aware of these thing so that you can make conscious choices.
I created him for an exchange on Nervousness.org. The project was to make a stuffy from this pattern, but to alter it somehow from the original (which seems natural to most craftsters). Once I had finished him, it totally seemed like he needed a matching knitted purse. ^_^ I'm so happy with him - the pattern was really great to work with. Thanks so much to sewing stars for posting it! I love all your sewn critters - especially the little dogs. I just love everything that has been posted on here so far, as well. Great job, everyone!
Great tutorial! I already knew how to make the blind stitch, but your tutorial helped clarify certain things (like hiding the knot at the end) Your instructions were very cute and easy to understand. Loved it!
The pattern is not incredibly difficult - an advanced beginner should be able to handle it. You need to know how to make ribs, increase at the end of a row, knit in the round, decrease (both left-leaning and right-leaning), and finally, a three-needle bind off (which only sounds hard). I used Stitch 'N' Bitch: A Knitters Handbook as a reference for the decreases and the bind-off. The directions in that book are very clear, I find.
You can even learn from my mistakes:
1. Make sure you are doing the ribbing correctly, so the pattern matches up (I did K2, P2, K2, P2... without reading the instructions, which said to do it like P1, K2, P2, K2...) Just do yourself a huge favour and read through the instructions all the way first, and not later, like I did! haha.
2. If you are using double-pointed needles, use the diagram for dpns, not the diagram for two circular needles. Not that I did that, heheh.
There ya go! The pattern is fun and easy and very very fun to wear! It just made my whole Halloween. I can see it being useful in many other cases too: Crazy hat party, mummering, hosting a children's show on TV, or just a really bold hat (I dare ya to wear it while grocery shopping).
In response to greenie's question, the slippers are very comfy and pretty warm too (though I'd imagine that wool slippers, especially felted ones, would be warmer). The best thing about the pattern is how simple and quick it is. This was my first crochet project, and it went pretty smoothly. I'd recommend it, for sure.
Here is a pic of my second pair. These are a going to be a gift, and I stuck to the exact pattern this time. I like the results better (I now know what changes I would like to make to the first pair too - like make the toes shorter). I think this colour is more appealing too - I like the way the variagated yarn made more random patterns this time.