Sunday, February 1

eco-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*

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