Thursday, April 22, 2010

Knit Green for Earth Day

Today, April 22, is Earth Day. In honor of the day designed to bring awareness for the environment, I decided to take the time to review the following book. I think you find the theme appropriate for the day.

Knit Green: 20 Projects and Ideas for Sustainability by Joanne Seiff.

The introduction poses some interesting questions. "What if those purchases were all spent thoughtfully, on yarn that supported your underlying values?"

This book is a combination of essays to introduce "you to issues that relate to the environment, sustainability and concerns that are often linked to these topics." The designs have connections to preceding essay. The tone is not preachy. The overall message is that every little bit helps, so you should do what fits with your values the most. The essays are a presentation of thought into where we get our materials and what is the cost (actual and environmental) to our decisions. The titles of the chapters below summarize the topics of the essays very well.

The Topics
  • Supporting Biodiversity
  • Sustainable Farming Practice
  • Vegan Knitting
  • Maintaining Folk and Indigenous Traditions
  • Promoting Fair Trade and Fair Work
  • Organic and Natural Fibers and Labeling Use
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Buy Local Goods
  • Changing our Habits
There are many things I never really thought about. What fibers require pesticides?

There are fun suggestions. Stash parties (swap yarns you don't want anymore with your friends). Knitting with strips of fabric from an old sheet (the bowl on the cover).

Now local yarns are something that I love. I love using something when I know the story behind it. The problem for me is that without a mode of transportation, it is not exactly easy for me to go and explore for local farms, because that is how I thought I would need to do it. I do tend to buy online, rather than going to the local yarn store. I never really thought about looking there for local yarns. (Yes, it should have been obvious, but I just wasn't thinking about it.)

The patterns in this book and are fun to see after a specific chapter. I am not going to lift the patterns here, because I would instead recommend that you pick this book up to flip through it. Even if you don't want to knit anything it will get you thinking about your practices.