As crafters, each time we purchase a yarn, we are voting with our dollars to support the growth or destruction of the earth. By choosing yarns that support organic farming and processing, that are not cruel to the animals or the people who are involved in its creation, that use low-impact or no dyes, or have a low-carbon footprint we are helping to reduce the amount of damage done to the earth through the processing of yarn. With each eco-friendly yarn purchase, we’re encouraging yarn manufacturers to continue producing yarns in this manner, and we continue to help our earth. ~ Caterpillar Knits
Green, Organic, Natural. All three have been the biggest “buzzwords” of the last few years on how we can live healthy and have better lifestyles while taking care of our precious earth. Knitting has now found it’s way into this line of thinking by offering many new fibers to compliment our need not only to be more environmentally conscientious, but to be more attune to what we put next to our skin. Who wants to knit a gorgeous sweater and find out it is filled with toxic chemicals or dyes that will irritate or skin, or even more so, has harmed the earth during the growing or preparation of these fibers.
Organic cottons are now harvested without the use of agrichemicals and even wool is spun and processed in accordance with the Organic Trade Association’s Fiber Processing Standards. In their natural state, these organic fibers offer warm, earthy colors and some brands do provide a wider variety of colors, usually obtained from the use of natural dyes. Many of our favorite designers like Rowan, Plymouth and Debbie Bliss have jumped onto this band wagon and now offer many eco-friendly fibers to temp our palettes , some we are used to, like cotton or wool, but we have now be introduced to bamboo, shell-fish, soy and corn.
Knitwear designer Kristen TenDyke has launched Caterpiller Knits, a company dedicated to providing patterns that support eco-friendly yarns which are animal friendly, dye friendly, organic, and leave a low-carbon footprint.
With her fall 2010 line of patterns that she just released, Kristen features six gorgeous designs, in both crochet and knit, that will entice you to try eco-friendly yarns such as O’Wool, Manos del Uruguay, Quince & Co., Cascade Eco-Wool, and Plymouth’s Homestead. These designs include a scarf, a shawl, a top-down knitted raglan cardigan, a bottom up knitted pullover with a front lace stitched panel, crocheted hoodie and a crocheted hat.
Photos: Courtesy of Kristen TenDyke of Caterpillar Knits
Photographer: Carrie Bostick Hoge
I’ve had the fortune to review one of Kristen new designs, Kukui. Knitted in O’ Wool Balance (50% organic merino wool, 50% organic cotton), this pullover with an elegant lace panel, along with a lovely scoop neckline is perfect for end of summer or those chilly fall days. This pattern is available in bust sizes 33 1/4 to 54 1/4 (84.5 - 138 cm), will require 7 to 11 hanks of O’ Wool Balance or 850- 1440 yards in a comparable earth-friendly yarn, one pair each size US 5 and 6 (3.75 and 4 mm) and one 29″ circular needle size US 5 (3.75 mm). Instructions are both written and charted, and like all of Kristen’s patterns, very easy to read, easy to understand and easy to follow.
To celebrate the launch of her new website, Kristen is offering a pattern as a prize for a giveaway to my blog reader’s, which starts today and ends on Friday, September 3rd at 6:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.
Rules of this giveaway:
1. What way are you trying to help our earth?
2. What is your favorite eco-friendly yarn?
3. What is your favorite pattern listed on Caterpillar Knits (the winner will receive the pattern they favor) ?
You can find Caterpillar Knits online at FaceBook, Twitter and Raverly!
Kristen TenDyke, knit and crochet designer, holds a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her designs can be found in various well-known publications such as Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, Knit Simple and in many of Classic Elite’s pattern collections.
For those of you interested, here’s a list of a few companies that offer eco-friendly yarns :
You can also find eco-friendly yarns online at Crafts In Bloom, The Hardy Supply Co., The Water Farms, Marr Haven Wool Farm, Green Sheep Shop, One Planet Yarns, Eco-Butterfly, Nature Song Yarn and the Yarn Market.
If your LYS does not carry any of these brands, urge them to do so. Knit and crochet for a better world today!