Probably the biggest reason I like crocheting so much is because of the yarns. Their textures, colors and feel and the endless ways in which they can be combined is what keeps me hooking late into the night.
I've had a fascination for natural fibers, fabrics and yarns since I was a kid growing up in Italy and it's a fascination that persists even now. Even if I've had nothing particular in mind to make with yarns when I've found them I've collected them anyway because I like having them around.
So for the most part crocheting Pussy Caps is about indulging my love of these natural yarns and fibers that I like looking at and feeling in my hands. The possibilities for combining the yarns are limitless and that's part of the reason why no two caps will ever be the same - it all happens pretty spontaneously and I just go with what I'm seeing and feeling in the moment.
I use mostly natural animal fibers in Pussy Caps for a number of reasons. The most important reason I guess is because I like the feel of them in my hands and I like the way they look. From an environmental perspective animal fibers are a renewable source of warmth and protection. The farming of most fiber producing animals is far kinder to the environment than the production of fibers from petroleum or those that involve a lot of chemical processing.
From a strictly utilitarian point of view animal fibers are warmer and insulate better than artificial fibers, making them a perfect choice for Pussy Caps. Also, most animal fibers will repel moisture or wick it away rather than retain it. I never use cotton in the caps because it absorbs moisture rather than repelling it. When you're trying to stay warm the last thing you want is moisture trapped in a cap on your head.
Among the domesticated fiber-producing animals, alpaca and llama seem to be the most planet-friendly of the bunch. They're easy on the terrain and they digest their food with exceptional efficiency, thus needing less of it. Their fibers, which don't have grease or lanolin, need little if any chemical processing to be viable for use in garments.
So yes, there are a lot of good reasons for me to use natural animal fibers in Pussy Caps. But more than anything else it's about the way these fibers look and feel and protect. Hold a Pussy Cap made from alpaca or cashmere in one of your hands and then hold a beanie cap made from acrylic in the other and I think you'll easily understand where I'm coming from.
Natural tan Qiviut from Canada with an olive green blend of cashmere & silk from Japan.
A colorful range of millspun and handspun natural animal fibered yarns.
Alpaca in several
of its natural colors.
Natural grey angora fur with red hand dyed virgin wool.
Pure handspun angora fur
in natural white with hand dyed red angora/merino blend.
camel down, cashmere & silk
handpainted angora fur
naturally colored alpaca and cashmere
Natural tan handspun cashmere with millspun Peruvian alpaca
All of the photographs on this page are my work and done with a digital camera using natural light. They're copyrighted images and may not be used in any form without my written permission. All Rights Reserved
It's the natural fibers that I'm most interested in and like working with and so only occasionally will I use any artificial fibers in Pussy Caps. Handspun yarns are particularly beautiful and I try to use them in the caps as often as possible. The stories behind the yarns are interesting to me as well and the links at the top and bottom of this page will give you an idea of what the yarns in Pussy Caps are made of and where they originated.
Natural Colors Peruvian Alpaca with handpainted Italian Cashmere/Silk