Yes to Yarn

Popular Needlework Crafts Go Green




Coprid/Shutterstock.com

Whether for function, decoration or personal gifting, the skillful hobbies of yarn arts such as knitting, quilting, weaving, stitching, sewing, crocheting and macramé are going strong. The difference these days is that doing it eco-responsibly is enhancing the process.

“More people are making and hand-dyeing their own yarn,” says blogger Ann Budd, of Boulder, Colorado, former editor of Interweave Knits magazine and author of Knitting Green. “The results are beautiful with different color combinations, and even striping.”

Also, more yarn is American-sourced. “Shearing and dyeing are done here to cut down on the overall carbon footprint,” explains Budd, who conducts workshops for shops and clubs, plus two annual learning retreats. This year’s are in Savannah, Georgia, from April 26 to 29, and in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, from September 20 to 23.

GreenAmerica.org suggests Green Mountain Spinnery as a U.S. source of certified organic, natural fiber yarns processed without toxic oils, chemicals or dyes; Ecobutterfly Organics, for vegan-friendly, fair trade and botanically dyed organic cotton yarns and fiber, recycled glass beads, buttons and kits; and Organic Cotton Plus, offering certified organic woven and knit fabrics, hemp and hemp-blended fabrics, threads, ribbons and vegetable-based dyes.

Interweave, a craft magazine publisher, provides video and online education. Learn how to avoid potential hand and arm pain from repetitive motions with the new book Knitting Comfortably: The Ergonomics of Handknitting by San Francisco physical therapist and needlework teacher Carson Demers.

For many needlework fans, charitable volunteering keeps their fingers flying. Members of the nonprofit Mittens for Detroit make mittens, gloves, hats and lapghans for children and adults in need. Donna Davis, of Roswell, New Mexico, has knitted hats for African newborns, wool items for Eastern European orphans and scarves for American artists. Learn more at KnittingForCharity.org.


This article appears in the February 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Eco-Packaging Progress Report

Creative new options include carry-out containers made of wood pulp, baked-goods wrapping paper infused with antibacterial spices, and cardboard made of mushroom roots.

Ease Repetitive Strain Injuries

Any movement we do repeatedly, such as typing at a screen or keyboard, can cause muscle strain and injury, but the right kind of exercises can lower our risk and repair damage.

Kristi Nelson on Why Gratefulness Brings Happiness

It’s not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy, counsels the head of the Network for Grateful Living.

Raw Fruit and Veggies Key to Mental Health

Eating raw fruit and vegetables correlated more with psychological well-being in young adults than eating canned, cooked or processed produce.

Eating Well Protects Hearing

In a 22-year study of 33,000 women, Harvard researchers found that a healthy diet can lower the risk of moderate to severe hearing loss by nearly a third.

Add your comment: