Necessary Knits List for Minimalistic Yarn Crafting

Deluxe Storage Case on EverythingMaryCraft on Etsy

As I inch towards minimalism which is interesting, liberating and scary, I constantly rethink my yarn craft needs, wants and necessities. I have a knitting bag that I am constantly trying to make small and efficient. The funny thing is that I know I am just one of many people going through the same eco-friendly minimalistic adventure and I know there are others going through the same thing or have already begun this years ago and there will be people going through this years in the future.

Honestly, I hate reading blogs. Lots of the word “I”. I know. I know. I will keep the rant short and go straight into the knitty gritty.

Here is a list of things that you should learn to make either by sewing, crochet or knit or loom or whatever yarn crafting media you choose. Use natural materials and stick to colors that will match everything. Everything should last for years. Patch up the items neatly if they are just for use around the home.:

  1. Winter hat for you and your family.  Rib is a good choice for kids that are growing.  Headband, scrunchie or kerchief for the summer to keep your hair out of your face.
  2. Winter Mittens. Use 1 or 2 needle sizes smaller than what the ball band recommends. Line them or use liners for cold climates. Fingerless are nice to have for Spring or Fall.
  3. Sweaters, Vests, Tops, Tanks, Cardigans and Hoodies – Learn to make easy sweaters for gifts and for warmth. This is making garments for your wardrobe for real. Functional is key. Don’t waste all that yarn on something that will not be wearable for years.
  4. Neck accessories. A scarf, cowl, shawlette or bandana.
  5. Knit Socks – Winter and Summer. Switch out your store bought socks for handmade. For athletic socks, go ahead and buy functional pairs that have a ton of properties that you can’t get…..yet.  Certain shoes are perfect for handmade socks so think about that when you are shoe shopping.
  6. Market Bags. I still use mine after years and there are no holes. I wash them often so make sure they are a strong washable yarn and are big enough to fit items you buy from the supermarket. I might make some produce and rice bags but they are just temporary storage to get to the house. Bugs go wherever there is food so I prefer glass jars with tight lids for storage in the pantry.
  7. Towels, Washcloths and Dishcloths. Somehow this has been fun for me to do lately. I’ve been testing them out, too. Loose big stitches dry faster. The items for the bath get very heavy in cotton when wet. Loose lace or loose mesh in a small square or rectangle is best if it is something that gets wet often. Spa mitts and dense poofs didn’t do well in cotton. I prefer a fast dry.
  8. Blanket – Everyone needs blankets. Even babies and dogs. This is perfect for getting rid of stash acrylics since you are switching over to more sustainable yarns.
  9. Storage Bags, Baskets and purses  – OK well I started off by learning to make bags and now I have too many.  My advice is not to make too many of course. Learn to line them and make pockets if you can. I have those kind of shoulders that bags will slip off of too easily. My favorites still after years are hands-free types like backpacks and cross bodies. I plop them around everywhere and things keep spilling out so consider a zipper or drawstring or any hardware to keep it closed well.
  10. Pillow Covers – I still think pillow covers are great for putting winter blankets inside to store them.
  11. Baby and Children’s clothes and supplies. Bibs, Pacifier Holders, teethers and toys are great for kids. Keep them safe without plastic parts. Hats and Clothes are always nice. Try DK or Sport Weight. They make great gifts. Remember that babies grow fast!
  12. Dog Sweaters, Toys and Blankets. Cats, need stuff, too! They are our fur babies!
Vintage Aran Sweater Knitting Kit with Yarn, Needles and Buttons from ChickenLittleToo on Etsy

 

Things I don’t recommend but people still make them all the time:

Slippers! Just make knit or loom knit socks or bed socks. I learned the hard way that crochet socks are annoying because I feel the stitches. They look great but it’s just for show in my opinion.

Lace Weight Shawls! Why? They serve no real purpose and they take forever to make. The holes of the lace still allow cold air in. They are pretty and it might look nice for a special occasion such as a wedding,  but as far as function, not so much.

Leg Warmers. My toes are uncomfortably cold in the winter.  Don’t wear short skirts in the winter!

Wrist warmers. My wrists don’t get cold. Wear long sleeves, a coat and mittens instead if it is super cold. Wristers, fingerless gloves or fingerless mitts should cover part of your fingers including the thumb or it’s just for show.

Mug cozies – They look great but it’s not functional enough for me. After you get a wide mouthed double-walled steel container or mug with a lid and realize how well they work, you won’t want to make mug cozies. I have a cup warmer for my few favorite mugs.

 

But what about charity items? This is a good thing to do if you can. Have a clean environment to work in and follow instructions and tips from the charity. There might be a lot of rules. I like doing charity yarn crafting causes but don’t go overboard because the shipping fees are a pain and storing them can take a lot of space. Have a plan and select one or a few of your favorite charities. Make a certain month of the year to do them and not year round because they can drain your life and keep you from your daily chores and tasks if you overwhelm yourself with too many other priorities.

As for my knitting a crochet tools, I have everything I don’t use daily in a cinch sak bag but my smaller bag that I use everyday is a nice looking men’s toiletry bag that fits my knitting needles and crochet hooks, my embroidery scissors, a calculator, a notebook, a pen, my DPNs and a measuring tape. I pared everything down to have the things I need, Figure out what are your favorite yarns and pick out a few yarn weights. I don’t like fingering or bulky weights so that makes fewer supplies. I prefer bamboo, wood and vintage plastic tools because they are very light weight. Keep the yarn stash at a minimum. Keeping them in a storage box with a lid has been nice to keep dust and bugs away.  Keep everything small, organized and tidy and clean. Keep the projects at a minimum. See if you can have no more than 2 project bags. One is a small one that can travel anywhere and a larger one to keep at home. No more yarn hoarding. Make this year the year that you get rid of your yarn stash. Sell and give yarn and supplies away for the things you don’t use.

 

Large Project Bag from SewEasyNewYork on Etsy

 

If you liked this blog article, please consider subscribing or checking out other blog articles. Have a blessed day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eco-Friendly Yarn Changes

#ecofriendly beach

 

I was eco-friendly before eco-friendly was cool. LOL. I like that term a lot. I want to use it more so expect me to say it and post it.  It is a friendly, happy, joyful word. It says you care about your surroundings, love beauty, love people, have good habits, you are probably a smiley happy person and it shows that you are making an effort to make things better.

So what can we do as eco-friendly yarn crafters? Common sense, my friends.

Stop buying unsustainable yarn.

Some people are going to freak out when I say that you should stop buying the acrylic yarn. Yep, this is not an environmentally friendly yarn. I like the colors, the price and the washablity.  I totally understand. But all these synthetic yarns that are so popular are chemically made and they do not break down easily in landfills and the process affects our water, air and soil in a negative way. Use what you have and finish up projects but please say no to the acrylic. Going forward, please use yarns that are more sustainable.

Cut down on the stashing

A lot of vloggers on youtube like to show their stash in the background and people look at it as being impressive. I think it is ugly.  It looks like clutter, it’s collecting dust and may even attract bugs. It shows people with a hoarding problem.  I also see it as people trying to flaunt their wealth. Especially if they build elaborate shelves and do interior decorating to display it like someone who is actually selling it. I am more impressed with the person who has their whole stash in one bag or one box.  Some people might say it makes them happy and some people may like seeing it.  Well then do what you want. I am not going to force people into anything but to me it sure looks like a waste of space and money.  You are going to end up not using it and it will just end up in a pile somewhere.

Buy less and better quality

Someone said this in a video podcast I just posted recently.  She also suggested buying thinner yarn because it would take you longer to finish a project. It is such a good idea! For some of us it the enjoyment of the process and even though the yarns that are better for the environment are more expensive and harder to get, you won’t need a bunch of it if you are using less yarn and are more mindful of how you are using it. Your purchase activity will also influence the market. I remember when organic food was just starting and everyone had the few products available in their shopping carts and from there, more organic products started popping up because consumers have more power than Less.pngthey know. Bamboo yarn costs more than the acrylic yarn.  Just buy less and less often. It is actually are more freeing process. Minimalism goes well with environmentalism. Less is more.

These are three things to think about perhaps to begin a change in the whole industry and it begins with you and me.  Small decisions like these will make a big impact on our wallets, on our environment, our health, our future, the heritage we leave to our children and future generations.

My Disclaimer

As far as I know, I am the only one who believes what I do as far as sustainable yarn crafting goes. Please do not put me into any category because on this subject I am totally far from any political activism on this subject. I want to be far from political influence on this because what I have seen is a lot of alarmism and extremism. I am not for working on any legislation to ban anything even if it is for good because I think we should do this on our own apart from the government. We should self ban and make better choices on our own as individuals. My focus is inspiring and influencing the individual so we do it ourselves.  Do it yourself.  Let’s make it a grassroots movement.

 

Please follow me on Twitter because I am posting a lot of content, links and free patterns.  I think Instagram is pretty awesome but I don’t have a smart phone so only am just an observer. Also follow me on Pinterest because all my free and paid patterns are neatly organized there, my #JITInspiration graphics and my Teespring and Zazzle Designs are there as well as boards I have been working on the past few years. I avoid using Ravelry now so enjoy the freedom.  Feel free to contact me with questions or comments.

 

no
♻️ Be part of the solution and not the problem. No more buying acrylic, microfiber, polyester or anything that won’t break down. Think biodegradable. Bamboo, Hemp, Organic Cotton, Linen, Tencel and humanely sheared wool.♻️

Swirl Eyelet Knit Bag

Knit Eyelet Bag

Gauge: 4 sts  and 5 rows = 1” in stockinette in larger needles

Tools:  #9 – 5.5 mm DPNs and  #10 – 6 mm circular needles 20-24” , #10 straight needles 9-14”

Stitch Markers: 1-3 removable markers

Yarn: Lily Sugar and Cream Super Size 100% Cotton #4 Weight – 2 balls (about 250 yds)

Skill Level: Advanced Beginner to Intermediate

Size:  One size (25 1/2″ x 14″)

 

Instructions: (Starting from bottom of bag)

Round 1: With one DPN in left hand, thumb cast on 12 sts.  With 2nd DPN K4, with 3rd DPN K4, with 4th DPN K4, join in the round and place marker on 1st st. Move up marker every few rounds. (12 sts)

Round 2 and all even rounds: Knit only (12 sts)

Round 3: *K1, YO* for a total of 12 times (24 sts)

Round 5: *K2, YO* for a total of 12 times (36 sts)

Round 7:  *K3, YO* for a total of 12 times (48 sts)

Round 9:  *K4, YO* for a total of 12 times (60 sts)

Round 11:  *K5, YO* for a total of 12 times (72 sts)

Round 13:  *K6, YO* for a total of 12 times (84sts)

Round 15:  *K7, YO* for a total of 12 times (96 sts)

 

Switch to Circular Needles

 

Round 17: *SSK, K6, YO* for a total of 12 times (96 sts)

Round 18: Knit only (96 sts)

 

Repeat Round 17 and 18 for 12” from cast on

 

Next 3 Rounds:  Stockinette, Knit only

 

Handle:

Set up Round:  K48 sts,  Leave on Circular Needles to just sit there until the handle is finished.

 

Knit side (RS): Use the straight needles Sl, K47, turn

Put stitch marker at st #24 to help you know where  strap started. 

On purl side Row (WS): Sl 1, P to end, turn

 

Next Row (RS): *Sl 1, SSK twice, K to last 5 sts, K2tog twice, K1, turn (You have decreased 4 sts)

Next Row (WS): Sl 1, P to end, turn

 

Repeat the last 2 rows until you have 16 sts remaining.

 

Next Round (RS): Sl 1, SSK,  K to last 3 sts. K2tog. K1, turn

Purl Round (WS): Sl 1, P to end.

 

Repeat the last 2 rows 2 more  times until you have 10 sts

Continue the length of the strap until you reach about  23-24” of strap.

Use stitch marker or a little bit after last eyelet to measure.

 

Increase Row: Sl 1, Kfb, K to last 3 sts. Kfb, K2, turn. (You have increased 2 sts)

Next Row: Sl 1, P to end, turn

 

Repeat the last 2 rows until there are 16 sts.

 

Next Row (RS): Sl 1, Kfb twice, K to last 4 sts, Kfb twice, K2, turn. (You have increased 4 sts)

Next Row (WS): Sl 1, Purl to end

 

Repeat the last 2 rows until you are back to 48 sts.

 

Kitchener sts together with  live sts on circular needles. Secure with a good knot.  Cinch up the bottom from the inside securing ends with a knot.  Weave in ends.

 

 

Please share a pic of your finished work on Social Media!

#jitproject

Which yarns are sustainable?

I thought I would make a simple list of what yarns people should look into using for sustainable yarncrafting. I think it will probably take me a while so this list is not a complete list but I am working on it making notes for myself and welcome others to help me. Sustainable yarns are compostable yarns that are eco-friendly.

Sustainable Yarn:

  • Wool
  • Bamboo
  • Organic Cotton
  • Linen
  • Tencel
  • Silk
  • Recycled Jeans Fiber

Unsustainable Yarn:

  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • Acrylic

Bio-based textiles are natural cellulose fibers but are treated heavily with chemicals. I would consider these to be on the fence fibers:

  • Viscose
  • Rayon
  • Modal
  • Lyocell

5-21-19 – I saw a yarn recently with the fiber PBT. I had no idea what that was. It’s a plastic from the polyester family. So I am putting that in the unsustainable yarn list. What a bummer because it looks pretty nice.

Universal Bamboo Sock Yarn – 37% Cotton, 8% PBT and 55% Bamboo

Natural dyes and natural colors of the textile is prefered. Blends with synthetic materials are common but to be avoided. It is ideal to get the yarn locally sourced so that it is not sent on several planes to get to the customer. It takes some research but try to see if you can find places that are close by to support them. If anyone has a directory for this, please bless me with a link. Some yarns are from fair trade sources to help communities of people in 3rd world countries in rural environments to receive a fair exchange of currency to help build small business and to introduce others to culturally resourced handicrafts from interesting countries and the artisans who live there, especially women who might benefit from the income.

 

19a031aef4d61de41e77b7e648b1f015

Vegan Crafters Don’t Use Wool

The title may be a statement but to me it is puzzling that vegans would rather use toxic materials than natural wool.  I am not sure why they wouldn’t use wool because the animal is not killed for its wool. Is it the treatment from the shearing process? I have no idea since I am not a vegan.  I am also not a farmer and I have never sheared a sheep. In curiosity, I looked to see how they do it.  If you see it done, there are many ways they do it. sheepEvery picture is different. Some do it in a long production line and the sheep seems as if they are treated roughly and put in uncomfortable and unnatural positions while they get sheared.  When the pelt is off, you can see a number on the sheep. Sometimes the animal is cut to death while it is happening. Sometimes the farm is small and the farmer does it lovingling and the sheep looks happy afterwards because they look neat and beautiful and considerably lighter in weight. (My dog has the same reaction after I take her a bath.) Of course, the best way is for a farmer to love his sheep and to gently do it.

I look at the sheep plus all the farm animals and I see that they are all cute. Even the pigs and cows look cute to me. Sometimes people look into farming and they see the horrors and awful parts of it that these very observers end up being vegetarian because they are so sickened by what they see.  But I looked at a lot of pictures and videos and could see that there isn’t just one kind of farming.  There are some good ones out there, I promise.  There are small farmer family members who spin and knit and crochet. I can not imagine them thinking of sheep as being mere meat.   I am most definite that there are people who see them differently like the ones preserving rare breeds. There are some loving people without mass production mutilation centers who actually put a lot of time and love into their animals.

Have you ever seen a sheep who is heavy and never getting a haircut? unshearedIt is a sad thing to see especially if they have to go through summer like that in the hot sun. What a total miserable thing to go through. I bet there are farmers who shear their sheep very carefully and treat them well. They don’t think of them as meat but as animals with feelings. We need more compassionate loving farmers and sheep herders. I am sure they are out there and I just want to let those special wonderful farmers know that others and I would rather get yarn from a sheep that is treated well and has a name than one who is just a number and no one cares if it lives or dies. Please treat them well because they are God’s creatures that depend on us.

 

 

 

Starting Your Eco-Craft Journey

earthy yarn

Here are 3 tips that can change everything that you have been doing. Let me know if there are other things and perhaps we can make some changes together.

  1. Stop being a hoarder and instead become a craft minimalist:
I just put this on Etsy today. It’s a lot but I still have more!

I love YouTube podcasts and tutorials. I watch them everyday. Many times you will see a craft YouTuber with yarn cubbies in the background where they keep the whole wall filled with yarn. Many times they won’t use it and if you are in the real world with windows open and pets,  dust gets on it.  Rethink the way you do your crafting and free yourself from the mess of having to inventory, clean up and organize or get out of control and become waste. Buy yarn less often for projects you know you will work on and not because it is nice to look at and later you will probably forget it is there, I put my yarn in a big plastic quilt bag with a zipper. It keeps everything nice and clean and bugs and dust are not a worry. It’s not filled but as soon as spring is over, I am going to need a place to store my big quilt so I am planning on smaller zipper bag that the sheets came in.

I just photographed all my extra tools and tools I haven’t used in a while because I am seeing if I can sell them all. I put all my selected tools into one clean men’s toiletry bag. I suddenly feel better with the extra space in the room.

 

2. Only Use Yarn that can be Composted:

Wool is great. The sheep are well cared for, healthy and eat grass like they are supposed to. I saw that wool sock yarn usually has nylon or polyamide for the stretch and strength. They are still not compostable and even though it might be blended with something that can be, it makes the whole skein uncompostable. Go for 100% wool or a natural blend and knit at a tighter gauge. The less processing for yarn, the better. Not even dye is good for yarn unless it is natural dye. I know it is going to take more work but there is a market for what we are looking for and it is starting to take off. For the cotton, this is actually is not a good textile because most of the cotton is GMO which requires pesticides and corrodes the soil and depletes soil nutrients. It takes a lot of water to process, too. Instead of regular cotton use organic cotton which is more eco-friendly. Linen and bamboo are also good choices. Recycled yarns are out for consumers, now, also.

 

3. Buy locally:

This might be hard sometimes. It’s cheaper to buy yarn when it comes from China, India or Turkey but it still has to travel here. I know that there are yarn and crafting tools that we don’t make in the USA, too. Cheap yarn comes from places where they pay workers very little. Many times they are exposed to toxic chemicals. They wrap everything in plastic as they come into the states. All this is very bad because the people making and handling the yarn are more susceptible to illness and cancer-causing chemicals and the plastics they are wrapped in become landfill waste that will take a long time to decompose and leach toxins in the water supply.

At the same time there are rare sheep breeds in different parts of the world that I want to support and British classic wool. Also because of what happened in Sri Lanka, I want to help at least a little and help their economy. Sometimes I have dilemmas on what I should do because it seems like I will never be 100% eco-friendly as hard as I try. I am still debating with myself to use wood or metal circular needles. It’s been a month, too! The nylon cord is never going to be eco-friendly and as I said in another post, the thin bamboo knitting needles I use are starting to bend!

The plus side is always helping small business in your community within the country you live in.  It supports local craft and textile art businesses. It also takes less transportation to get here. It doesn’t have to be packed, inspected and put on an international flight or ship to get on another plane to get to our closest major city and then on semi truck and then on a smaller truck to get to our home. That is a lot of distance and fuel to get here.

Lastly, I want to conclude with that it is not easy and not always possible so please just do your best and eliminate the stress and worry by having less, creating more space, being more thoughtful with what you are going to do with what you buy and having a cleaner work space. You are learning like I am learning and together we will make better choices and this trend is going to change our lives and the way we think going into the future. We are the pioneers of the eco-friendly craft movement so please smile and do your best because people are noticing and watching you and will love to learn something about it. Have fun doing a little research and be ready to answer questions. God bless you all!

Sustainable Yarncrafting

I’ve been interested in sustainable living for a long time. Even before I was interested in crocheting and knitting.  Last night I had a dream about conservation in New Zealand. I dreamed that I convinced a small portion of New Zealand to allow a small part of their island dedicated to a cultural center for conserving the environment and the native people’s way of life.  Which is kind of interesting in itself because I am not even in New Zealand. But I like how my thinking does not go with the flow of most people and it makes my imagination flow on ideas .  To make things short and to skip the dream details….let’s just say I see it as a new opportunity to dig into the subject again and with new vigor and with new prospects.

 

OK, well I saw this interesting video about a month ago….Rob Greenfield. Have you ever seen his videos? Pretty interesting. His smile and enthusiasm are enough to keep me watching his videos. Anyway, I have been learning a lot. I have so many things I want to say about his influence and all my interests that have seemed to be unrelated but they are all coming together in my head and I praise the Lord just for the interesting ideas coming my way because they all make me happy, giddy and smiling.

Here are some interesting stores on Etsy I just saw today and I really didn’t even know these things existed but perhaps you will dig into the links which will lead to other links and get your mind moving in this direction and see how you can apply it to you! Yes real life. This is not like fictional TV shows where you can’t participate. You can do something.

 

Five Interesting Sustainable Etsy Stores To Check Out:

1) CraftReuseRepeat –  Premium Eco-friendly Yarns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) DiVintageBlessings –   Vintage Jewelry Craft Supplies and Collectibles

Ace Vintage Aluminum Crochet Hooks from the UK – $5.50 

 

 

 

 

 

4) Kinked and Twisted – Hand Dyed Yarn

 

 

 

 

 

5)  WalnutFarmDesigns – Dyed and Undyed Spinning Fibers, Drop spindles and Yarn

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something you can do:

Reduce:

Don’t fill up your room with yarn that you don’t use. It seems like a lot of people are hoarding yarn and using them as back drops and fill wall to wall shelves. Buy yarn and supplies you need, not that you want.  Keep enough that will fit into one bag or box.  Insects and rodents love your yarn more than you do and it is easy to get out of control.

Think about using only natural and upcycled yarns that will break up easier and faster in landfills. Also look into using local textile companies. If you buy yarn from China and you are in the USA, it had to be shipped or flown thousands of miles using so much fuel to get here. It might be cheaper and from Walmart but think about why it is so cheap. It is likely made in a pollution producing factory from low paid workers who make slave labor wages. How else can it be so cheap even having to go through international custom inspections?

There is something called Fair Trade which means it benefits people in other countries such as poor women in Africa, India, Malaysia or Peru who want to make money for their families and get a fair amount of money to help them thrive and be involved in entrepreneurship in a small company setting in a village somewhere.   Buying local or using items from Fair Trade is ideal. All these things are more expensive but might help keep you from buying so much and making things you don’t need. Gifts will be more unique. There will be a story in each item you make.

Reuse:

People might go to the Salvation Army store and take a part a sweater to remake something else using the yarn you pull out.  I got most of my knitting needles from garage sales. People have grandmas who can’t knit anymore.   I even have

Vintage Hooks
BOYE Brand, Made in USA, Hooks Repackaged $7.00+ DaVintage Blessings

some needles that are the same size but 2 different colors because I matched them up when one was missing from the pair. I have some vintage crochet hooks. I only have a few sizes that I don’t have but it helps that most of the yarn I use are about the same weight and I don’t need so many sizes of needles or hooks anyways. I refuse to buy a set of anything. I am a pain in the neck anyways and will find something wrong with the most expensive set. It helps me to have an appreciation of vintage things so I don’t get frustrated that I don’t have an expensive set of needles or hooks. You can also get yarn from local garage sales, too.

Recycle:

I have no idea how they make recycled yarns but I think it is cool they can make yarn with a pair of old jeans. If you buy in the country and state or district or even the town you are in, you help someone’s small business and don’t have to worry about all that fossil fuel it took for that item to get to your country. It takes some time to research but I think it is fun to search for things online.

A Darn Good Yarn – Eco-Friendly Yarns and Accessories

DARN GOOD YARN OF THE MONTH  $10.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

4-14-19 Update

I was thinking about this when I thought of more to add to the typical Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Maybe they can be added to the famous 3, but I wanted to list out some of the many possibilities.

Reverence – God is first in all you do. Pray about everything even if your day seems average. Everyday can be a day to help others, to learn from God and to make God your first love.

Resist – Resist buying anything new. Especially if that item comes from far away. There is a movement called zero waste. People try to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce their trash amount so that they are not filling up their trash cans every week. I think this is important and I now understand how important that bulk food section of the supermarket that everyone passes is. Instead of buying that set of bamboo cutlery so you won’t use a plastic cutlery at food places near you, just use what you have. I have a foldable fork that I saved from when I bought a ramen soup from a convenience store. I have a spoon that is shorter than average still in the plastic it came from from another ramen soup I bought.  I put them in my purse . I should have never bought the bamboo cutlery set. I have a plastic camp fork that I had for years. It is a fork on one side, a spoon on the other and there is a side on the fork that you can use as a knife. It came in 2 other colors but the navy one I have is best because it doesn’t show red or green sauce stains that are hard to remove.

Repair – I was thinking about my shopping bags the other day because I have too many but they all have cute prints that make me want to keep buying them. I love the cotton ones because they are easy to toss in the wash and dry. They did shrink but they are very durable. I like the light weight nylon ones I have but I feel guilty that they are made in China and it is more slave labor and had to go on a ship for days to get here. I think that buying locally sourced goods from local places is the best because it took less energy to get to you and you are helping small businesses around you. Especially if someone made something in town to sell. You are also supporting their handiwork.  If I rip a bag, instead of buying a new one, I do know how to hand sew. I am not looking forward to it but I shouldn’t be lazy and just buy a new one.

Redistribute – I would say this is like sharing and giving. I have so many purses. On top of the bags I already mentioned! Some people buy a lot of one particular thing like shoes. I buy a lot of handbags. I make them and I buy them used too. I love having them but I recently about a year ago tried to stop buying them. My mom still buys me them sometimes when she goes to garage sales for fun. (She’s in her 70s, so that is like super fun for her. LOL) I bought 2 project bags this year. I know I am still obsessed but I am really trying to stop. I need to make the big move and give my purses away.  At least most of them.

Regional – This is about things that are around you. The fruits and vegetable that you can grow instead of getting from other countries. Our world is going haywire over this. In California we used to grow oranges. Orange County California got that name because there were orange groves. Just like 5 years ago all the avocados we used to buy had a sticker that said “California grown” on them. We can grown all sorts of crops here if we wanted. California really does have good weather. Mexico has good farmland as well. Why did we change? I have no idea. I really haven’t researched this. This goes for yarn also. There are indie dyers in my state! I bet we can help support local farmers and local small businesses this way. Think about how it gets to you. You might be buying recycled yarn but you had to ship it from another country. Does that make sense? Would it be more savvy and less damaging to the environment to instead use the wool from local sheep? Or buy locally grown cotton yarn? I just want to say that it isn’t necessarily better to fly something from one side of the state to another. Las Vegas is closer to me than San Francisco. So If I buy something from Southern Nevada or Northern Mexico, that is still less of a trip to get here than Northern California.

I bet there are ‘R’ words you can think of that I didn’t mention. Let me know.

 

 

Check out my Pinterest Board on Sustainable Yarncrafting for some ideas and helping you think of ways to help get this going so that it is not a short lived fad.

Are We Using Toxic Yarn?

kintted rib

I started off this website talking about natural yarns and then I got caught up in lots of acrylic yarn trying to do a lot of charity work and they DO ask for acrylic yarn. But somehow just recently I came across some articles and websites that make me want to stop using acrylic yarn or use it with caution.

Acrylic yarns are popular because of their affordability. But these petroleum-based products are usually made from vinyl acetate or methyl acrylate, both known carcinogens that can cause nausea, nose, throat, eye and skin irritation. The chemical process to create synthetic yarns also uses the solvent NN-dimethylformamide, a chemical linked to liver damage. More chemicals are used to wash, stretch, twist and dye the yarns. – greenlivingonline.com

 

The chemicals in many synthetic yarns are harmful to people. We use this yarn a lot for cancer patients and for babies but could we be doing more harm than good? I don’t know but since I am taking a month off from charity-work because my funds are low and I need to concentrate on my family responsibilities more… I am going to take some time to re-think about ever buying acrylic. I think I will switch to natural fibers as much as possible. I  don’t want to contribute to more suffering but to help suffering.  I know it is a little shocking but we need to face this.

A Canadian study found that women who work with some common synthetic materials could treble their risk of developing breast cancer after menopause.  The data included  women working in textile factories which produce acrylic fabrics   –  those women have seven times the risk of developing breast cancer than the normal population, while those working with nylon fibers had double the risk. – oecotextiles.wordpress.com

 

Here are some links I am looking at now:

acrylic yarnAre Your Clothes Making You Sick?

Chemical Clothing: Which Toxins Are You Wearing?

Should Clothing Have Toxic Warning Labels?

The Health Risks Of Toxic Fibers and Fabrics

Best Type of Yarn To Use For Chemo Caps

6 Synthetic Fabrics You Want To Avoid And Why

How Safe Is My Yarn?

Is Acrylic Yarn Safe?

Knitting with Organic Yarn

 

 

Yarns You May Want To Try That Won’t Break The Bank:

Universal Bamboo Pop YarnNiabi Studios Yarn

Lion Brand LB Collection Cotton Bamboo Yarn

Knit Picks Simply Organic Sport Yarn

Hemptique Hemp Yarn

Himalaya Deluxe Bamboo Yarn

Vinnis Colours Bamboo Yarn