Our great “green movement” has reached into yet another area of our lives: knitting and crocheting. These creative and soothing activities have gained a huge following in the past 10 years or so. No longer are these pasttimes for retired grandmothers (though we love them too); teenyboppers, Wall Street workers, and everyone in between is taking a stab at these arts (no pun intended).
As with any activity, we hope to be able to find an eco-conscious way of following our interests. Select yarn companies are just as concerned about the planet as we are, offering up a delicious selection of colors and textures to choose from. Vermont Organic Fiber recently released a 100% organic wool collection, called o~wool. Other than hand-knitting yarn, they also offer fabric and blankets made from this 100% Certified Organic wool, which is processed in accordance with the Organic Trade Association’s Fiber Processing standards. In the same vein, Garthenor sells the very first Soil Association Certified 100% woolen yarns, made from traditional and rare breeds of Organic British sheep. With their seal and license number proudly displayed on their site, you’ll have no worries about ordering from Garthenor.
While animal fibers are wonderful to knit with, there is a great picking of plant-based fibers on the market as well. This will be of note for the vegetarian and vegan knitters out there. Though the animals are known to be treated very fairly, knitting with an animal fiber may conflict with your current lifestyle choices. Blue Sky Alpacas is one of the most well-known companies, offering a diverse selection of natural and dyed organic cotton. They also offer a beautiful Alpaca Silk in a plethora of colors, 100% royal alpaca, 100% baby alpaca, and a number of 50% alpaca/50% wool blends (for those interested in animal fibers). Mango Moon makes a wonderful recycled silk yarn that is perfect for accents or smaller projects. Classic Elite Yarns features an assortment of solid color and printed bamboo yarns that are hard to resist. For all of you hemp fans, Paivata has you covered with natural and dyed hemp yarns, along with a grouping of organic wool and cotton yarns. If you are interested in buying natural yarn and dying it yourself, they also sell natural dyes. On the forefront of eco-fibers, South West Trading Company has released three new yarns, featuring soy silk and corn fibers. They also have a wonderful color spectrum of bamboo yarns worth checking out.
Nearly all of the above-mentioned yarns can be purchased from the company’s sites. If you are still on the lookout for more variety, check out Earth Friendly Yarns. It is an online store that sells a wide variety of eco-friendly knitting and crocheting fibers, such as: soy silk, bamboo, organic cotton, recycled rayon, recycled cotton, recycled silk, hemp, and linen. Of course, you will find a selection of organic alpaca and wool on their site as well.
The other key element for knitting and crocheting is the needles, which can be found in green materials as well. One of the most popular choices for new and experience folks is bamboo. While using them, the bamboo will actually warm in your hands, making them all the easier to work with. Clover is the major supplier of bamboo knitting needles, and though they have crochet hooks in small numbers, Crystal Palace is another good choice.