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Birkeland Wool
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Wool's been a popular medium for peaceful protest recently! The UK "Wool Against Weapons" alliance of knitters and crocheters has been working on a pink scarf that will be 7-miles long when complete in August. The group is protesting the UK government's renewal of spending of nuclear weapons: http://actionawe.org/pink-scarf-rolls-out-on-edinburghs-royal-mile-to-support-nuclear-free-scotland/

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As a child, my grandmother bought me a cheap latch hooking kit which engrossed me for days and ultimately was turned in to a pillow. I loved it because I made it, but my favourite part was the soft green fabric backing and the pillow virtually always lay on the bed face-down. To this day I cannot even remember the pattern on the front (a duck?). If the kit had used wool, there's a strong chance child-me would have enjoyed snuggling against the front of the pillow rather than the back, and I'd have a stronger memory of the pattern.
I never, however, would have achieved the artistry in wool that the accomplished Quoddy Loopers rughooking group from St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick achieves! http://quoddyloopers.blogspot.ca/

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They say a watched pot never boils, so I guess I should stay here awhile longer to make sure the wool doesn't felt. The simmer looks good, but better safe than sorry!
Another 30 minutes and the Ashford Wool dye should be exhausted... then I can move on to another kettle dye. A whole rainbow of choices before me, but I have to get some black out of the way first!
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11,544 feet of crocheted multicolored yarn, decorated with photos and written messages strung by Native fishing boats across the Douglas Channel in protest of the Northern Gateway pipeline: http://chainofhope.ca/about-the-chain/
No matter how you feel about the pipeline, you have to appreciate the amount of effort...

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Summer's here, and it's time to hit the outdoors! Do you know what sheep can do for you this Summer?

In some of the hottest deserts in the world, people have worn thin loose-fitting layers of wool for hundred of years because it actually keeps them cool! Wool is awesome at providing insulation, which during Summer means it keeps the heat AWAY from your skin. It also can absorb 30-40% of it's own weight in moisture and still feel dry, which keeps you from feeling sticky even when you're hot!

Wool is water repellent (i.e. sweat resistant) and has natural anti-bacterial properties which helps minimize body odor on clothes!

Merino wool was tested by the University of Bochum (Germany) and found it can have a UV protection of SPF 30 or higher!

However, even if you could wrap yourself in wool all day and soak up a lot of Sun to produce vitamin D and keep your bones strong, you're probably still taking supplements... which you can thank sheep for, since it is commonly derived from lanolin!
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When the carding machine was new, retrieving stray wool and cleaning the machine would have been allowable child labour. This is the most help I can expect in 2014!
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Have you seen Liz Durian-watson's beautiful felted home-made soap (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153103317340110&set=o.353826611330717&type=1)? Even if you're not adventurous enough to make your own soap, do you know how much value there is in felting even store bought bars of soap?
1. It's penny-wise! - Wool wicks water away from the surface of the soap, keeping your favourite bar from getting mushy and making it last a lot longer.
2. It's healthy! - Wool has natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties which will keep your soap safe to use even if it's sitting around in the guest bathroom for awhile between visitors.
3. It's practical! - Wool acts as a built in wash cloth, which as used keeps shrinking to fit the bar.
4. It's beautiful! - I'll let the picture speak for itself!
5. It's easy! - http://stores.birkelandwool.com/felting-how-to/
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One boot liner done! I'll use the left overs to make some gloves to match.
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Who are you rooting for?
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