A guest post from Jo’s daughter Kayla:
Happy Earth Week! To honor the special occasion I am reviewing AwareKnits: Knit & Crochet Projects for the Eco-Conscious Stitcher courtesy of Lark Books. I was excited to see that Vickie Howell co-authored the book. Back when I was a tween learning to knit I HATED all of the patterns geared toward teenagers. They were so ugly! Vickie Howell and her column in Knit.1 magazine was the one cool person to look to for trendy knitwear designs. She’s done it again with this on-trend book featuring eco-friendly yarns.
At first I did not like the idea of the book. It seemed redundant to make a whole book of projects made with eco-friendly yarns. Couldn’t knitters just use organic yarns to make patterns already published?
I was happily proved wrong. Yes, I already have a pattern for a diaper soaker. But what I appreciated was the cloth diapering and natural dying information that accompanied the pattern. I didn’t realize that a wool diaper cover could work as well as a nylon cover.
The diaper cover is just one example. I learned about eco-friendly laundry detergent, yarn made from corn, what makes a yarn fair-trade, and much more.
I am a big believer in making do before buying new. The book features patterns using plastic bags, t-shirts, jute, and newspaper (yes, newspaper!) as yarn.
I’m so excited to give newspaper yarn a try although I probably won’t knit a picture frame, as done in the book. Some of the projects are a little strange like the knitted picture frame or bamboo shawl, but there are plenty of tutorials to balance them out.
I am keeping AwareKnits in my collection. I recommend this book to anyone who is new to using repurposed items for yarn. RecycledN2Yarn is another great resource for you.