Nettle sock knitting

So, I invested in some sock yarn a while back. It’s Onion nettle sock yarn, a blend of wool and nettle fibre, available in Australia through Say! Little Hen. It’s a totally plausible #tuffsock blend, though it is imported from Europe, so the fibre miles on this yarn, where I live, in Australia–are considerable. The colours are lovely and the yarn is soft and lovely to knit. These socks are my customary “whimsical cable”, knit to the length of the recipient’s foot. Here I am, knitting on them outside the watch house after some of my friends had been arrested doing civil disobedience at the head office of SANTOS. If you’d like to know, in brief, why we do this: this article summarises some of the reasons for people’s current opposition to SANTOS. As climate activists, we understand burning fossil fuels as a key driver of the climate crisis. I was waiting for the police to release my friends for many hours, so it was good to have a sock as one of my companions!

This pair eventually went to a fellow rebel and friend, who sent me a lovely photo of her feet snugly clad in wool and nettle fibre, in a skirt she’d made!

Sad to report, the nettles I harvested at another friend’s house a while back, I have finally abandoned. I failed to ret them successfully, and I have also read a dependable source (from Europe) whose assessment of the minimum size of nettles that it is worth processing is, well, more than twice the size of those I can usually find. When I was in Europe a couple of years ago and did a lot of walking, I could not help but notice that nettles were often growing by rivers and creeks. By this, I mean to imply that even by European standards, in parts of Europe with rivers and creeks that run all year round… they were well watered. I live in a very dry place and nettles are not growing wild by creeks where I live. Nor are soils here rich. So it may be I won’t be creating nettle blends from local blends, ever!

4 Comments

Filed under Natural dyeing

4 responses to “Nettle sock knitting

  1. janewheelercouk

    nettles thrive on lots of nitrogen and so human habitation and animal husbandry and the excessive pouring out of nitrogen artificial fertiliser on our soil encourages them, the blighters! also they are the food plant for several butterflies. they aren’t a particularly wetland plant, but the rich soils there are helpful, I’d guess. not to mention the results of agricultural runoff. all praise for your campaigning and protesting activities! and sock-knitting too ..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marg

    I often have a lavish flush of tall healthy nettles at Mt Cpmpass, you are welcome to an arm or barrow full when they pop up this year again.

    Liked by 1 person

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