Using Natural Fibres & Yarn to Create Something Special for Your Baby
I believe in the power of slowing down, savouring the small things and making things for our loved ones.
In the past several years, DIY and crafts at home, especially fibre arts and paper crafts have been revived and rediscovered in the Western world. The “old-fashioned” hobby that we tend to associate with grannies and that finds itself in the forefront of this renewed interest is knitting.
So, for those of you who haven’t discovered the power of making something beautiful and functional, out of something insignificant at first sight, like a thread of wool, might be wondering why all this fuss. Well, let me tell you a little story.
I’ve been always interested in ‘crafty’ activities. As a little girl I remember being most of the time surrounded by people sewing, knitting, crocheting. My mom taught me to knit and purl and crochet basic chain. I used to spend hours looking through fashion magazines and creating clothes for dolls, or dressing up with different fabrics from around the house.
In recent years, with the easy access to information I retaught myself to knit, crochet and to spin fibre into yarn.
Fibre, and in particular wool, is my way of life, of weaving joy
into my everyday. I knit for relaxation, stress relief and creativity.
REASONS FOR THIS RESURGENCE IN POPULARITY
- Fibre arts are productive and creative, and after the initial learning curve, are often very calming and meditative.
When I spin fibre into yarn, or when I knit, I become present in the moment, feeling the yarn slipping through my fingers, or the clickety click rhythmic sound of the needles allows the mind to pause and refocus, and soothes worries.
- With a vast array of colours and textures available nowadays the possibilities of creating unique handmade little clothes for your baby are infinite. And don’t forget yourself, when you wear something you’ve made, the sense of accomplishment and ability is deeply fulfilling.
- As it turns out, the bilateral movement of knitting fires neurones all over your brain. Just like playing the piano, the act of using both hands at once to make different movements stimulates a whole host of brain functions that scientists haven’t yet totally decoded. As a result, there are 4 main health benefits of knitting, as evidenced in scientific studies around the world:
1. Studies have shown that among older people, those who knit or crochet had a decreased chance of age-related cognitive impairment or memory loss.
2. Keeping the fingers moving by knitting is great for maintaining mobility in those with arthritis. Taking breaks is important though, be gentle and don’t overdo it.
3. It helps with chronic pain : knitting allows people to think about something other than discomfort, and makes them less aware of the pain for at least a little while.
4. Knitting reduces mindless eating: If you are trying to eat more mindfully, knitting will keep your hands and mind busy and it’ll be less likely you’ll reach for that box of chocolates, or crisps when watching TV.
Benefits of knitting with NATURAL FIBRES
There is a broad range of fibres, depending on the different varieties of animals, sheep, alpaca, goats, rabbits. But for the purpose of this post, to keep it short and sweet, I’m only going to talk about wool from sheep.
A. Using natural fibres in your projects will ensure you’ll get the best results in terms of wearability, durability, softness and aesthetics...
B. Wool is a great insulator and temperature regulator. It will keep you and baby warm when you are cold but also cool when you feel hot.
C. It has breathability, it will let baby's body breathe even when they are tucked in and feeling cozy.
A baby’s delicate skin needs the softest fabrics. The feel and touch of wool relates to how fine the fibre is- the finer the fibre, the softer the fabric.
Merino is a typical worsted type of wool. It is warm, soft and non-irritating, the perfect fabric for babies. It insulates, absorbs body moisture, stays warm even when wet, and breathes, helping regulate little one’s body temperature.
Research at Cambridge University discovered that lamb’s wool has soothing, swaddling effect on babies, resulting in better sleep, reduced stress, greater contentment and improved weight gain. For many years, hospitals in England, Australia and New Zealand have used lamb’s wool pads to line incubators for premature and low birth weight babies.
HOW TO CARE FOR MERINO WOOL ESSENTIALS
Please take extra care when washing woollen garments. Always check the washing instructions as some garments like wool handknits require hand washing.
- Hand knits are better hand washed in cold water with a natural delicate detergent.
- Line dry or tumble dry on low.
- Don't Bleach
- Do not soak or wash your wool garments using laundry powders.
Did you know most laundry powders contain whiteners which act like bleach, even ‘eco-whiteners’ may still bleach your garment creating bleach spots and holes?
Pilling: if the wool has not been treated with a synthetic coating, it may pill. If pilling occurs, do not despair, this is a natural process where friction causes the short fibres to migrate to the surface. Once removed these will disappear.
If you love wool, colour and high quality yarns I invite you to visit my Etsy shop and to follow me at my Facebook page or Instagram @yurwool_ for nearly daily wooly inspiration! Thank you for reading and happy crafting!