Monday 25 January 2016

On my Virtual Sofa - Antje from Wunderwolle

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Antje from Wunderwolle to have a chat with me on my virtual sofa.

Welcome Antje :)

Wunderwolle is a young label. You founded this small hand-dyeing studio in 2014, and you are situated in Switzerland. Please tell me something about it. 
Why did you found Wunderwolle?

I love animals and am a vegetarian for more than 30 years. Also I am a passionate knitter for more than 30 years. When I heard that yarn often means cruelty against animals, eg. with Mulesing, I was really shocked. Moreover: wool is often polluted and usually not fair traded. In order not to give up knitting at all I tried to find hand-dyed yarn, where the procurement is ethical and made transparent, so that me, as a consumer, could be sure, only to use yarn that was made without harming animals, people and the environment. Unfortunately: This was nearly impossible - so that is the reason why I founded Wunderwolle.

What is mulesing?
Mulesing is a very painful procedure, mainly applied to merino sheep, in order to avoid fly strike (this is a parasitic infestation of the body by fly larvae/maggots).

To do this large parts of the skin from the back of the lambs are cut away - without anesthesia - to save on costs! 

The intended result is a scar formation, that prevents the sheep from fly strike - but at a very high price!
Mulesing, named after John Mules, is common practice in Australia, where 90 percent of the merino wool worldwide comes from.

The sheep also regularly suffer through chemical sheep dips, which is not only unpleasant for the animals but also negative for people and the environment – and of course for the yarn, that knitters use.

Furthermore the sheep are shipped for slaughter, when no longer needed for the wool industry, under incredibly cruel conditions.

Most knitters do not know, which cruelties are coming along with the yarn they use for their handicraft.


What are you proud of?
We are really proud to have achieved the aim, to consequently sell yarn, that is manufactured in an animal- and environment-friendly way, in order to take a stand against exploitation of animals, people and the environment. All of our yarn bases are mulesing-free, fair-traded, sustainable and organic, as noted. Besides that, we wished our yarn to be washable, soft and long-lasting.

Where does the name "Wunderwolle" come from?
My idea was, that Wunderwolle should not only be wonderful for animals and the environment, but also be wonderful for the people, who knit, crochet or weave with it, thus being extraordinary soft, cheerful and colourful. We are proud, to have reached these ambitious aims, and are therefore convinced: Wunderwolle (wonder(ful) wool) is definitely the perfect name for our yarn.

If you had three wishes free, what would you wish for the Handmade culture?

First of all, I wished to inform more people about the horrible conditions under which most of our yarn is manufactured - Wunderwolle is my contribution to that.

My second wish: I would be glad if more knitters would take a stand against the big yarn industry by refusing to buy wool where the procurement is not ethical and not declared. It is always the consumer that has to force the industry to make a change of thinking.

And my last wish: It would be great, if people would be willing to pay more, for a) the precious natural product wool and b) for hand-dyed yarn. We should be grateful towards the animal that give us such an extraordinary material as wool is. And we should be thankful to the small hand-dyeing studios all over the world that make a huge effort in order to produce colourful yarn that is really unique. It really takes a lot of time - so this can only be done with lots of love and passion.

Thank you so much for that incredibly informative chat Antje, I myself did not know about things like Mulesing. 

I find it so amazing that there are people out there like yourself making such a big difference, thank you :)

Remember friends, where we shop is like voting, we are telling the market what we want more of!

You can find Antje's "Wonderful Wool" in her online store

or in her Ravelry Group:

Would you like to try her delicious yarn out for yourself?

The quickest way would be to purchase some :)

A fun way would be to win some!!

Antje is one of the lovely sponsors of this year's Sock-Along and has generously donated two skeins of her gorgeous yarn to be won by two of you taking part in the KAL.

When her yarns will come up in the draw will be broadcast to you here on the Blog as well as in the Sock-Along thread on Ravelry.

All you need to do to win a skein yourself is to cast on and bind off a pair of socks in a month.

Every three months (end of March, June, September and December), 3 winners per draw will get chosen from all the finished sock entrants of the previous three months.

I hope you will consider joining us for this super sock-along, it is so much fun already!

Come back soon for some more fluffy wonderfulness when I reveal the gorgeous skeins you will have a chance of winning!

See you soon.

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