Monday, December 29

eco-friendly knitting

Besides practicing my knitting tension, and sticking to the one method (makes total sense Lisa), I have been looking into how I can fit knitting into two of my philosophies - green and compacting. That is, friendly to the earth - small carbon-footprint, sustainable materials, organic, natural dyes. Also, minimal purchasing as I am on a 'make do and mend', and, 'buy nothing (unnecessary) new', type of lifestyle.

And if you haven't tried purling yet (Courtney, I see you hiding behind that pile of yarn there!), watch the videos over at knittinghelp.com. Lisa, I have to agree (although as a total novice of course) that the Norwegian method looks very easy and efficient! Okay, one technique at a time.

Okay, so, eco-yarns are quite easy to find. Some come from organically reared sheep and alpacas, others are naturally died or even kept in the animal's natural wool colouring. And some are very nifty, like bamboo and soysilk yarns, which are very sustainable.

However, buying eco-yarn can, like many green products, be misleading. One company I came across sells sustainable yarns but they are spun in China and can't confirm ethical working conditions. So you need to check.

These are online sources I found (and I'm not suggesting all these stores or yarns are perfect in their greeness or ethical conditions, but it's a start):

The Yarn Market (USA) sells all sorts of yarns and has an eco-friendly section, that includes corn, bamboo, soy silk and organic cotton. They also offer bamboo needles.

I've previously bought my hemp yarn from The House of Hemp (UK), and can attest to it's loveliness. Although I don't think it's as soft as some wools, if that's what you're after. It's eco in so far as hemp is many times less damaging to the environment than cotton. They also sell undyed hemp yarn.

Soil Association certified organic at Organic Pure Wool (UK).

Ecoyarns is a distributor in Oz.

Himalaya Yarn offers natural hand-spun yarns and helps people in Nepal.

And here's a nice article on not wasting the yarn you already have. And one on recycling yarn from an old sweater.

Now I'm off to curl up with my current book and rest before the Wildflower wakes up. And I promise that my next post won't be about knitting. *chuckle*

10 comments:

  1. Hi Mon, thanks for dropping by my blog. Your comment reminded me of my knitting that I shelved a month or so before Christmas. I must resume my scarf! My mum describes purl as a "back to front stitch", I'm not sure if that's helpful or not ... ;0)

    Thanks for the knitting links and congratulations on your baby this year (I read your bio).

    Shirl x

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  2. Hi Mon
    You seem to be getting into your knitting with relish, congratulations! Living near John Lewis makes it very tempting to just drop buy and pick up some new yarn, so yours is a timely reminder to make good use of the yarn I already have, thanks. Oh, and I've found that knitted toys (Jean Greenhowe's patterns are fab) are a great way to use up those leftover scraps.
    Sam xx

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  3. I love that you are looking into eco friendly knitting options. I have been going over my crafty plans and trying to find ways of being more eco friendly and frugal as well. I'll have to take a look at all these lovely links when I start knitting again.

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  4. hehe...I'm not hiding...I'm merely rearranging the yarn all in front of me. haha. Yes, I will try purling after I finish the purple scarf. I have bamboo needles and like them very much so. Thanks for all the great links! Those links will definitely come in handy.

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  5. Haha! You've caught the knitting bug! I love crafty obsession! It's also highly contagious...the wool I ordered from the lovely Suse's etsy shop arrived this morning. Now for the bamboo needles...

    I get the feeling I won't be honouring her wool the way it should be honoured. But oh, well. Thanks for posting those knitting links. I shall be referring to them as I struggle along with my lot.

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  6. I saw some "eco" yarn in a big store the other day -- it said something about being partly made from postconsumer recycled plastic bottles. But then it was very conflicting as to how much of it was really recycled, and then honestly I don't like working with plastic fibers!

    My goal is to some day have sheep, and harvest and process all my own wool into yarn and fleece. All I need is some land, some sheep, some shears, and a spinning wheel :-)

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  7. Morning everyone!

    Anthromama - I don't fancy working with plastic fibers either. Although I've seen some great bags made from them.

    Apparently spinning your own isn't that difficult, as far as these things go.

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  8. I just learned to knit today! WHOOPEE...and I so appreciate the list of resources. I'm on a "make do or do without" stint too, but will likely have to buy some needles (as I just have a loaner pair from my aunt).

    Don't let Courtney fool you, she is soooo hiding. I guess I'll just have to learn to purl and put her to shame to spur her on!

    Happiest of New Years...Jen

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  9. I am so impressed with you knitting ingenuity - would never have thought of using kitchen skewers! I'm trying to be greener with my crafting too - at the moment that involves using ethically produced yarn (I love, love, love the organic wool from Organic Pure Wool - love how it's helping support rare breeds too), using up my stash and learning to spin on a spindle. Looking forward to hearing more about your knitting adventures!
    x

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