Sunday, July 11, 2010

Knitting Green: a review

Knitting Green is a book that I submitted some designs for. They were accepted but didn't make the book - which is not unusual. I'll post them at a later date for your viewing pleasure. Anyway, the premise of the book is a broad brush across eco-friendly knitting. In some cases, it is the object that is eco-friendly, in other cases it is the yarn or both. It is an interesting set of designs that result from this idea.The cover shows a market basket, a tank and a jacket. I really like the jacket. All three are made from eco friendly yarns (Eco wool, jute twine and organic cotton).
This montage is across from the cover page and I picked it as it shows a number of the other designs. A cashmere shawl, a skirt, slippers and a market bag. There are 22 designs in the book along with 8 essays on wool, knitting green and other related topics. 7 designs are for tops, 1 skirt, 1 hat, a set of fingerless mitts and matching socks, 2 wraps/shawls and 2 scarves. There are also some miscellaneous items which I will show you.

The first is a soapnut sack. Soapnuts are the round objects in the pictures. In India we call them aretha nuts and they are used for washing hair. We boil them and then squeeze them to extract the soapy liquid which is strained and used as shampoo. In this case, you put the whole nuts inside the sack and throw it in with your wash to clean your laundry. The sack is made of hemp yarn so it should hold up very well for many years.The next item that I liked is this organic cotton/linen lace tunic.
This is cute baby rattle (there is also a pattern for a bear) in organic cotton. Not sure how practical this is but it is adorable.
Here's the hat - in organic wool
I also liked this soy-silk kimono.
Here's a knapsack in naturally dyed pima cotton. I'm not sure how practical this is either as cotton will stretch with weight but it is a very attractive knapsack.
This is the only recycled item in the book. The yarn here was recycled from a silk skirt. I was disappointed that there weren't other projects that could use recycled materials.

All in all, it is a reasonable addition to a library with a variety of classic patterns that will remain in style over time. I see these as patterns that can be used over and over which is also ecologically friendly. Given that it is not clear how ecologically friendly many of these yarns are, it would have been nice to have more projects that used leftovers or recycled yarns or objects. But since yarn companies want to showcase their yarns in books, I can see why that might not be the best business decision.

I found the book pleasing to look at. I haven't read the essays yet. I am looking forward to that on my trip.

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