Jul 13, 2012


As I continue to knit through my yarn stash, I'm reminded just how decidedly NOT earth-friendly most knitter's stashes truly are. We pick up yarn on a whim, ordering it from across the world or buying yarn made from non-sustainable content. Once in our stashes, we keep it there, choosing to buy new yarn for new projects rather than using what we've got.

Knitters tend to be of the magpie persuasion - picking up pretty and shiny things and then storing them away. I've been attempting something quite different for some time now - minimalist knitting. Working through my yarn stash one skein at a time, I'm making conscious choices about what yarn I bring into my stash and how it gets there.

Here then are five ways I've been trying to be more earth-friendly with my yarn consumption.

 ONE // Before purchasing anything, dig deep into my stash to make sure I don't have something I can use. Nine times out of ten I find I have just what I need and want right here in my home, and I not only save a few bucks, but manage to use what I've got!  

TWO // When I do need to purchase yarn, check with folks on Ravelry and in my knitting circles first to see if someone has what I need and wants to de-stash. Again with the saving money; more importantly I'm using what's already out there in yarn stashes around the world. This helps other folks de-stash and reminds me second-hand yarn is still new to me!  

THREE // Buy local! This means shopping my locally-owned yarn shop rather than the big box stores to be sure. It also means checking to see if there's folks in my area who spin their own yarn and picking up Brown Sheep Yarn as well (a Nebraska-based yarn company).  

FOUR // Consider picking up sweaters at thrift shops and unwinding them for their yarn. Time consuming for sure, but for charity projects such as hats and mittens, reusing yarn like this is a great alternative to buying new.  

FIVE // Purchase my wool from sellers like Manos Del Uruguay and Peace Fleece. The environmental impact of the yarn traveling to me from farther away if off-set {in my mind} by the types of companies I’ll be supporting.

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