Saturday, May 17, 2008

Think Pink

It's a long weekend here in Toronto and while half of the city's population has packed up and headed north to ready their cottages for summer, I'm reveling in the peace and quiet. As much as the rain is putting a damper on things, at least it will force me to stay indoors and get some work done instead of doing this:

After such a long and snow-heavy winter, every time the sun comes out all I want to do is sit on my patio with a cocktail and do a little knitting. This little number is the Ms.Marigold vest from Zephr style. The yarn is a thrift score from last summer I originally intended to over-dye but I may just keep it as is. Neutral works best for layering, n'est pas?

After last week's washcloth turned out too nice for washing dishes, I came up with a new dish-cloth agenda. I will try out new patterns and techniques with the cotton yarn I have in my stash and use the resulting swatches as dish cloths. Win-win!

This is the Pin Box slip stitch pattern from Barbara Walker's Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns (pg.68). I've been trying work on my colour knitting skills and this taught me a whole new technique: colour slip-stitch knitting. I was under the impression all colour-work was either of the stranded/fair isle variety or intarsia. Turns out these techniques have a lesser known sibling; kind of like the Stephen Baldwin of knitting. Um, except with a more appealing body of work.

Once I got the hang of it this slip-stitch thing was pretty easy and fun. Unfortunately, the nature of the technique results in a less than smooth fabric, but I suspect the cotton I knit with exaggerated the problem.

Despite it's imperfections, it sure beats a dollar-store sponge for washing dishes!

And while we're on a pink-kick, allow me to introduce you to my snazzy new water receptacle:

This little peach is one of the many schmancy designs from Sigg (purchased at Curbside Cycle here in Toronto). I can't say I've totally bought into the whole panic about bisphenol A, however I did need to replace my 3-year old, sorry-looking Nalgene bottle. These puppies are such hot sellers I had to settle for my third choice of design. Third choice, yes, but I still love it! If you're gonna avoid "hormone disruptors", this sure is a cute way to do it:

Enjoy your May two-four!


Anonymous said...

I don't normally get too enthused about dish cloths but I really love yours. I should make myself one to enthuse myself about doing dishes.

I bought a Kleen Kanteen but I'm regretting that I didn't go for a Sigg what with their fun designs and all.

Vaedri said...

I'm one of the rare-ish ones who heads south for the long weekend. I'm in Windsor, visiting my family. The weather's no better here, though.

I've been avoiding colourwork so far - I might have to try that technique, though. It looks less intimidating than most I've seen.

Hope you're enjoying May 2-4, too!

Reckless Glue said...

oh god. I have had a conversation with at least three people a day about BPA for about the last 6 months. serenity now!
love that colour work--so tidy on the back!

amelia said...

Hey All.

FYI - There is no reason to panic about BPA. There is great reason supported by fact (not fashion) to avoid it at all costs. It isn't an issue of being exposed to tons of it at a time. And it isn't an issue of faith. The issue is that good fact-based science shows us that all it takes is one tenth of one trillionth of a gram of BPA to cause the prostate of a fetal mouse to grow an amount in 24 hours that equates that of a grown man over a period of 70 years. THat minimal amount encourages estrogen receptive cells to grow. An environment rich in estrogen receptive cells encourages hormonal cancers among other diseases. Less then 50% of breast cancer is genetic. Since we are exposed to BPA and much more on a daily basis through our cosmetics, our food and clothing, it is a great idea to scale back where ever we can and find safe alternative products and guess what... there are a TON of them.

PLEASE feel free to email me with any questionable brands you would like to find a replacement for and I will help you whether I sell it or not.

I will tell you right off the bat, Sigg is not one of them. Sigg's liner contains BPA and that is why they test for it. THe problem is they don't test for quanitites as small as the one that I mentionned above, which may be small, but is incredibly dangerous. I had 3 Sigg bottles and they now feed my cut flowers instead of myself and my daughter. Trust me, I have done the research and have had a long conversation with Sigg's president, Steve Wasik. He is from Chanel. He knows nothing of product safety, only product sexy and with that, he does a good job.

This message is part info-bite and part shameless plug for my store, Free Market Organics,
which was primarily started to offer people a safe place to shop where they needn't read labels or stress out. Everything has been researched and screened beyond the FDA's wildest dreams.

First off, I have read that Eden Foods and Trader Joe's no longer line their cans with BPA. While it is ofcourse better to source your food locally and fresh and freeze or can it, once in a while we like to save a little time so lucky for us, there are two brand options. If you would like to find a local farm or coop in your area that can offer your local organic produce check out Local Harvest:

Secondly, I care deeply about all of this stuff and have heavily researched BPA. I called Dr. Fredrick Vom Saal, the scientist who discovered the issues with BPA and phthalates after reading his 1997 interview on PBS Frontline.

Dow Corning and other oil/chemical/plastic giants have a lot of clout with the FDA. But I say- lets not dwell on that. There is no time to be afraid or angry or to feel guilty for using Polycarbonate bottles, and this is coming from me, who lost my mother and paternal grandmother from non-genetic breast cancer and from one who has a little girl.

Lets just not support the use of BPA to the best of our ability. Let's vote with our dollar. Let's buy safe and rightous goods for our families and we will in turn do good by our neighbors, our producers and our environment. It is the only way to turn most politicians and the FDA and to minimize the voice of the unethical giants.

This is why I opened my store, Free Market Organics: to get in the game. To open a one-stop shop for people wanting to buy the safest goods on the market that sit closest to their skin and food, with out stressing out about what is safe and what is not. I also work with people's budget to help them get what they need.

we carry all glass food storage containers:
glass baby bottles:
stainless steel water bottles and sippy's:
organic bamboo utensils and prepware:
petroleum-free skin care screened by the Cosmetic Safety Database:
certified organic clothing, undergarments and essentials from newborn on up to mom and dad:

Lastly, avoid any water bottle or sippy that is lined with secret propriatary ingredients. Sigg for instance - is lined with epoxy. One ingredient in epoxy is Bisphenol A. They won't tell you this but they will tell you they test for leaching BPA, but they don't test for it properly. IF they did, I'd be carrying their bottle and getting rico with everyone else.

Remember- alot of this good stuff can be found cheap at estate sales!

Amelia Royko Maurer
Free Market Organics

kgirl said...

that's one pretty flash dishcolth ;)

and the drink bottle? fabbo!

i'm off to learn more about this BPA you've mentined...

Macoco said...

That is a funky dish cloth, I love it. I hadn't heard of that knitting technique either.

Monique said...

mmm i do like that Ms. Marigold in the neutral color. It'll be great for all season and will go with everything. Those Zephyr patterns are lovely.

Nadine Fawell said...

Great water receptacle, great dishcloth! I predictably love the colours. Pink n white, mmmhmmm