Into The Green- Chemicals, Fibers & Organics

Everyone is talking about going green.. from electric cars, to global warming.. Then there is the surge of natural fibers to organic…

I think it is all great! If I had my way, my dream house with be very green friendly, with solar panels, sustainable materials… carpet that does not give off VOC’s (volatile organic compounds)… My house would be filled with bamboo palms. Why bamboo palms? Because they are one of the best “air purifying plants!” The air inside a home is one of the most polluted places of air- even more than outside (that is why you always hear people say open a window for some fresh air).

Here is an excerpt from one of many articles:

“…Studies have been conducted and the results found that plants brought into a room, will absorb these chemicals (Benzene, Trichloroethylene and Formaldehyde) and put oxygen back into the room. One potted plant per 100 square feet will clean the air in an average home or office. Without a doubt, the most important job of an indoor plant is its air purifying abilities… Of the many indoor plants cultivated today, there are a few that show better than usual abilities of absorbing these chemicals than others do. Bamboo Palm, Spider Plant, Dracaena, and Weeping Fig are just a few that have this absorbing ability.” —

So.. guess what is on my wishlist- bamboo palms of course!!

Ok, so my last post I was on a health kick.. I have always been conscientious of things of this nature.. But again, I am not perfect, and like many am still finding my way, absorbing what I can with everything I read and hear about.

Ok, so that brings me to organics.. I touched on this a bit in my last post.. Here is a couple quotes, from the Organic Trade Association. (Read more on the article).

“The Environmental Protection Agency considers seven of the top 15 pesticides used on cotton in 2000 in the United States as “possible,” “likely,” “probable,” or “known” human carcinogens (acephate, dichloropropene, diuron, fluometuron, pendimethalin, tribufos, and trifluralin). (EPA)

“It takes roughly one-third of a pound of chemicals (pesticides and fertilizers) to grow enough cotton for just one T-shirt. (SCP)”

Scary, isn’t it? It makes me think, my goodness, if our skin is absorbent, how much of this is in our bodies? Organic fibers, unfortunately can be much, much more expensive than the chemical counterparts. I do believe though, in time, prices will come down, especially as the demand goes up.

Even so, if one is unable to buy organic, there are many ways to help… recycle! I know many people who regularly visit thrift stores, and purchase sweaters- basically to use the yarn. Here is an awesome tutorial of how to recycle yarns from sweaters.

Yarn Recycling Tutorial By Ashley Martineau

And if you have a program that opens word documents, here is a phenomenal tutorial, with many upclose photos.. including many tips for all kinds of materials, wool, cotton, novelty yarns etc. The tutorial is written by the same person, but there is more detail and although the photos are in black and white, they are very very clear. She discusses bad seams, good seams, what to look for.. this is a must to check it out. To find out more, just do a search in your search engine for “recycle yarn” or things along the same lines.

Download it here: How To Unravel A Sweater By Ashley Martineau (.doc file)

So, if you find a sweater in the closet that looks like a great contender for recycling, and it is either too small, or too big, or you it just not appeal to you… recycle it!

Ok back to organic fibers… I have some yarns to share with you, that are pretty well priced, for being organic. First, is Nature’s Choice Organic. It retails for $5.99 for 3 oz. (85g) 103y skein. It is not a hank, so no need to wind. And oh my, it is so soft! The colors are very natural.. not too strong, but just right.. just the right bit of color. Here it is on the Lion Brand website: Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton from Lion Brand.

I am sure there are many other places you can get it online, but here it is at the Knitting Warehouse (a favorite place of mine with a flat shipping rate- and they have it on sale right now!): Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton at the Knitting Warehouse.

Here is my yummy organic yarn; colors are as follows from top row to bottom (Macadamia, Strawberry, Blueberry, Pecan, Almond):

Nature's Choice Organic Yarn

Closeup of the Almond:

Nature's Choice Organic Yarn

No matter if you use one color or a several, all the colors truly go together! This yarn is so incredibly soft- excellent choice for a baby.. I am currently using this yarn for a baby/young child set (Sizes 12 mos to child size 6!) set.. watch out for the pattern, it should be ready sometime in November- along with some other goodies!!! (Do not quote me on that.. I have many many things for publication to complete first, but then it will be on to these other goodies).

I really love, love this yarn.. it works up so nicely, and even though it has a “nubbiness” to it, I find the stitch definition to still be great. I want to make myself a nightgown with this!!

Another organic yarn by Lion Brand is “Lion Organic Cotton.” It comes on a hank, so you will need a swift to wind it up, or some patience and wind it by hand. The retail price of this is $5.99 for 1.75oz (50g) hank. It too is incredibly soft:

Lion Organic Cotton

The colors above are: Vanilla on the left, and Cypress on the right. Here is the listing page on Lion Brand’s website: Lion Organic Cotton at Lion Brand.

And here is at the Knitting Warehouse (And it is also on sale!) Lion Organic Cotton at the Knitting Warehouse.

You will have to stay tunes to see what is in store for this beautiful natural yarn, and when I discuss how it works up and show you more photos.

So, it is a little pricier than non-organic yarn.. Nobody says you need to throw out your yarn stash (please don’t!), or reform yourself into a complete only-organic crafter. And if you are on a tight budget.. maybe for that new baby in the family one skein for a sweet little baby hat will suffice, and you will know how even more special that little cap is… Put it on your wishlist! You never know.. I know there are some people out there who want to try this yarn.. so why not make you all some great patterns for it!

Ok.. so I am almost done with the things I have on my plate… two due dates for a total of 6 items by October 22. I have been working like a crazy nut.. I swear sometimes the yarn is talking to me. (eek). So then after this deadline.. I have another deadline for more 4 more items in the middle of December. I am hoping after the Oct deadline, I can work a wee bit on some things for the website and squeeze in a launch in November…

Drop me a line of what things you would like to see maybe with the Lion Organic Yarn!

PS… soon I will be working on women’s garments for the website.. write me a note of what kinds of things you are looking for! Be as detailed as you want.. the more I know what everyone is after, the better things I can design.. I am very excited to now step into another realm of designing- women’s attire.. want skirts? Camis? Bikini’s? Casual.. sexy.. modern but hip? Let me know!!

Take care all.. off to having little conversations with my yarn!

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