Thursday, 1 September 2011

A Book and A Basket

Under the tree last Christmas was a copy of Knit Green. It's a great little book full of information about knitting sustainably weather your focus is on animal welfare, fairly traded products, eco friendly growing practices or reducing consumption. The range of patterns in it is simple and well designed most of them challenging you to knit something that would make your life a bit more green like knee length socks and lofty cardigans. As an aside to the international set the examples of yarns are American however the principles translate and, as a British person, I don't find it too hard to substitute. Besides learning about American craft traditions is fascinating in itself.
A Family of Monkeys Strongly Objects To Being Used For a Photo Opportunity
Knit Green has been teaching me to re-evaluate my yarn. I'm sat here writing this in a fair trade, organic cotton top that's fresh off the needles contemplating my next yarn buy from a company with a strong ethical policy. Recent addictions to my stash include some naturally coloured, supper warm, Shetland wool and some sock yarn dyed and spun very close to were I was born. And I'm also exploring the wonderful world of recycled yarns.

I Tried To Convince People It Was Just a Decorative Large Malteaser and Not Another Unfinished Project...
So following the instructions in Knit Green shortly after last Christmas I cut a bed sheet into bed sheet yarn. I watched a bad action film while I sliced it up. Nobody could walk across the living room for a couple of hours. But because the 15mm circs are a) not terribly easy to find and b) rather expensive once you do the ball of bedsheet yarn languished in my living room for months. But then I visited Purl City Yarns in Manchester, got some 15 mm tips for my knit pros and finally cast on.

Recycled Yarn and Rainbow Needles... Like You Didn't Know I  Was a Hippy
And that was hard. Bedsheet yarn has little to no elasticity and requires a great deal of wrestling, especially when casting on and binding off. I do not recommend this to unrepentantly tight knitters. However if you are a rather loose knitter, like me, and don't mind a bit of manhandling this is quite a fun project.
Abandoned By The Monkeys 
Knitting the increases and the body of the basket went blissfully fast. Even though a lot of the knitting was done with me lying on the couch with the basket resting on my tummy making about four stitches a minute. Even given how exhausted I've been this week I took me three days to knit.
My Incisiveness, Encapsulated In One Picture
I didn't do any of the reinforcements. I find the slouchy look charming and it's contents give it shape anyway. I'm not sure quite what to do with it, apart from storing monkeys. It's machine washable so perhaps I can store gardening tools in it. I'll work it out.

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