a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

Knit One, Green, Too

Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

Speaking of holiday gifts, handmade/homemade says so much more than, “I went to the mall and bought this for you.” Knitting is the newest of yogic-type activities and is spreading into all social and age groups as a way to slow down, develop a skill and make something. Of course, knitting yarns of old have all the same problems as other modern textiles – cottons and wools and polyesters are full of pesticides and further toxifying in the dying process. I have a distinct and disturbing memory of the rancid smell of the skeins of yarn from my childhood – now I know what it was.

Knitters, don’t despair. It’s now easy to find a wide variety of eco-yarns, many of them also Fair Trade certified. What is an organic yarn? Cotton varieties must meet established USDA standards, grown without pesticides or toxic fertilizers. Wool yarn must not only be processed without toxic chemicals, but come from sheep fed and raised under organic standards as well.

With any problem, comes many more solutions. Eco-Yarns are now being made from many sustainable sources, including hemp, recycled silk, bamboo and Banana Palm fibre. The natural dyes cast beautiful, earthy colors and I was surprised to find so many styles and colors available at this online store,

Here are other features and benefits:

Vegan friendly & low impact – No animal cruelty or wasted resources

Exceptional lustre & drape – Hangs and hugs the body beautifully

Natural fibre cottage industry yarn – Comfortable and individual (not mass-produced)

Fibre Reactive Dyed – Minimal water used for maximum colourfastness

Hand dyed skeins – No two skeins will be exactly the same

Of course, any eco-conscious knitmaster will want the right needles. Laughing gives you sustainably sourced and unique selections.

There’s not much more meaningful in a gift than something you’ve made by hand with both the planet and your loved one in mind. Enjoy.

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One Response to “Knit One, Green, Too”

  1. Mary Says:

    Thanks TAO for the reminders and links! What a great resource.

    I love knitting and find it very zen like–even when I have to unravel half a project to find a dropped stitch–and am working on gifts for this year.

    I must admit, most of my yarn is not organic, but some hand dyed and all beautiful. My local shop is starting to bring in more alternative fibers but I’ve sworn to use up what I have before getting more to create with.

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