Sunday, November 25, 2007

eco-holiday/destash yourself

I've been wanting to write an eco-knitting/crocheting themed post for a while, and I figured now's as good of a time as any. Y'know, since those gosh-darned holidays are coming up. So, here we go:

seven ways to green yourself this holiday season
(and still knit or crochet)

1. Go through your current yarn stash and knit it. If you're like me and virtually any other knitter or crocheter, you've got way too much stash as it is. With less than a month to go (eek!) now's the ideal time to reduce your stash. Knit 10 scarves. Or 10 pairs of wrist warmers. Or ten hats. Entirely out of your stash, no store bought stuff. Set a goal to have these 10 items done within 2 weeks and you'll not only alleviate your stash, but you've got 10 gifts already made for the holidays.

2. Don't buy extra needles or hooks. One (or one pair) of each size is all you need. Buying extra needles and hooks means that more new ones (all made from new materials by the way!) are going to be made. REUSE your needles. If need be, finish your WIP's in order to move on to the next project with those needles.

3. Look for eco yarn. Organic stuff. Yarn made from recycled materials. Every once in a while, your LYS will have it. Substitute that for whatever yarn your pattern calls for, if you can.

4. Minimize the yarn you need to buy by looking for the maximum amount of yardage. If you can buy 7 skeins instead of 10, that's 3 fewer yarn labels that need to be made for that project. I know that Walmart sometimes carries those 1lb bags of yarn, check those out to see if you can use that for a project.

5. Recycle packaging. All those pesky yarn labels, plastic bags, and casings that your knitting supplies come in, make sure they get in the blue box.

6. Rummage through thrift stores and garage sales. Once in a while, they'll have craft supplies. One knitter's surplus is another knitter's treasure. Also, check out what ugly sweaters can be frogged into new beautiful clothes.

7. Save your scraps. All of your partial balls of yarn can be blended together to make ecclecticly striped scarves, hats, and blankets. (Interesting tidbit: the origins of granny squares comes from using up scrap yarn to make afghans!)

There's much more beyond this, but this is a good start for now. Go through these as often as possible to make your knitting and crocheting ecological, and save some money in the process.

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