(I have decided to do the VK review in two parts, because this stage is more a massive rant than a review. Patterns tonight or tomorrow. Plus I've got a sinus infection and am pretty incoherent at the moment. And enraged.)
See that on the cover? Organic Knitting? I should have known right there. But I bought the damn magazine anyway. There may be a day I quit doing these reviews, because I'm sick to fucking death of paying such idiotic prices for shit like this.
Organic knitting is a myth, to begin with. Technically anything with a carbon molecule is organic, so the term has no real meaning. As for the idea of 'green' or environmentally friendly knitting, while it's certainly possible, this obsession with plant fibers as eco-friendly is just bullshit. Even organic cotton uses a lot of power for processing, and these 'new' fibers, like bamboo, sea silk, viscose (that one's not too new), soy, etc? They're some of the worst polluters in the fiber world, along with industrially grown cotton. The rayon family of fibers all require an unholy, toxic soup to break down the cellulose during the processing. (Think paper mills in the fifties, before the EPA made them clean up; same general process and mess. It's really that bad.) Cotton of course uses all kinds of pesticides and crap, and even organics use dyes and mordants and processing oils that are chemically icky.
Green knitting is for those people who use canvas shopping bags and drive around in their gas-guzzling SUVs and feel all smug for being environmentally friendly. The same assholes who buy huge houses that suck power and cost a fortune to heat and cool, and buy organic produce and pat themselves on the back for it. Next time someone says "it's ORGANIC!" like that makes it safe and friendly, I'm feeding a nice dose of organically grown belladonna.
There's no way to do ANYTHING without environmental impact. There are six billion plus people on the planet. Let's get real. Please. Before I lose my mind.
For low-impact knitting, which IS possible, humanely raised animal fibers are actually better than most of these plant fibers. (And I won't even BEGIN on those PETA assholes who would rather poison the soil than shear a sheep.) Of the plant fibers, I'd say the least polluting ones to grow and process are the bast fibers - linen, hemp, ramie, and nettle (among other, more obscure ones like yucca and beech bark). If they're allowed to rot on their own and not chemically broken down. Otherwise they're just as bad as the bamboo and soy silk.
So now Vogue Knitting is claiming to go green. Because it's a fad. And they're using pollution-heavy yarns to do it.
I hate those assholes.
(On the other hand, I think that recycled sari silk yarn and other recycled fibers are an awesome idea and that attitude is just what this planet REALLY needs.)