Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day everybody! Today marks the 45th anniversary of the modern environmental movement for a healthy sustainable Earth! It’s a day where we take time to admire, appreciate and help our Earth be a better place for us and our little ones.

It is a celebration of our Earth but should also serve as a day to help each other find ways to make our homes, locally or on a global level, be cleaner.  Today reminds us to be more conscious of our actions and the impact they have on Earth.

What does knitting and crocheting have to do with Earth Day?

Eco friendly knitting and crocheting projects!!!

In celebration of Earth Day, here at the Yarn Attic, we have compiled some great patterns and awesome yarns to make environmentally friendly reusable products, that in turn will help decrease waste.

Tahki Yarns Cotton Classic is DK weight yarn of 100% mercerized cotton, that has a beautiful variety of colors.

Rowan All Season Cotton is a worsted weight yarn cotton and acrylic been, perfect for reusable bags!

Rowan Pure Linen is a dk/sport weight 100% pure linen yarn, capable of wonders!

Ty-Dy by Knit One Crochet Too is a rainbow  ball of worsted weight, 100% cotton yarn. It is an awesome choice for market bags, (as well soft transitional garments, summer scarves!)

One of my favorites is Big Ribbon by Katia Yarns, a cotton/polyester blend, in super bulky weight! Great for market bags, and even rugs!

The icky truth about plastic bags…

A major problem, according to marine biologists and scientists, is the accumulation of plastic bags in the oceans and local water ways. Fish and other sea life have been harmed in so many ways, getting caught in the plastic bags.

Why not make a bag?

They not only make great gifts, and really, how many bags can one really have? (The answer is, you can never have enough.)

Here is a round up of great bag patterns

Bringing wine to the party? Why not tote it around in nylon mesh wine bag?

This pattern by Lisette Ariola is available on Ravelry for free!

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Gearbox Bag  by Kate Jackson

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And here is a free knit market bag pattern available by Sugar n Cream on Ravelry as well!

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Oh and one for the little ones who want to join mom and dad at the supermarket!

This pattern designed by Heather Blum is a free Ravlery download

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Other eco friendly projects include:

Reusable cotton face pads! The lovely team at What You Sow, have a free pattern on their website that will replace disposable cotton pads in your home!

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Replace paper a few paper party products with some cute crochet or knit banners or even better some yarn bombing!

Crochet Flag Garland by Maria Bakhvalora

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If you’re local to the Hillsborough, NJ area, The Yarn Attic is hosting a 2 day “Learn to Knit or Crochet The Market Bag” Workshop in May on Sunday 5/3/15 and 5/17/15 at our local yarn shop if you are interested in making these eco friendly beauties for you or a friend!  Register online here.

For more information on Earth Day 2015 and ways to participate visit www.earthday.org.

As always,

Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

Moonraker Knitted Shawl

Moonraker Knitted Shawl

I recently finished this gorgeous Moonraker Knitted Shawl using a pattern by Melanie Berg. This project uses a beautiful Rowan Fingering Weight yarn that is a blend of fine merino wool, royal alpaca and cashmere. It took be about 30 hours to finish this project and is a fun colorful knit.  

This asymmetrical shawl incorporates a knitted broomstick and garter stitch. The skill level to knit this would be intermediate though once you get the hang of the broomstick stitch it becomes much simpler.

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I was considering adding on an 8th block: Colors C,C,C,A (same as 6th block). I wanted the overall design to have an odd number of blocks on each side of the color change. By adding this 8th block and following set pattern, I would have 213 stitches before bind off. I planned to increase last working of Sec 1 in color B from 9x to 15x. Therefore, I would have ended up with 219 stitches before bindoff. Instead, I stuck with the 7 blocks as originally designed. However, I completed 15, instead of 9, repeats of Section 1 (rows 1 and 2). Therefore, I had 195 stitches before bindoff.

Despite being asymmetrical this shawl measures over 6 feet in width and give ample coverage. It can be adapted to suit any color scheme and length making it a wonderful knit for the fall and winter seasons.

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The cashmere in the yarn give it great stitch definition and lends a wonderful drapability to the shawl. The colors in the yarn blend beautifully. When knitted this yarn is extremely soft and light yet warm, perfect for fall and winter weather projects.

Moonraker yarn

This shawl is perfect for a cool fall evening and we are looking forward to featuring it in our LYS. Come stop by to see (and feel) it yourself!

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Is Yarn Still used for Knitting & Crocheting…well that too!

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Nowadays, when a customer purchases yarn, I find out just how creative people are when she (let’s face it, 99.9% of purchases are by women- not the results of a formal poll) tells me what she is planning to do with the yarn. This month alone, customers have made eye-catching necklaces out of a simple chain (like the necklace pictured below), which I “crocheted” in @RowanYarns in their Big Wool. This “necklace” really stand on out a simple black blouse. This chain necklace is simply the very beginnings of yarn creativity, however.

Customers are using bulky weight yarns to make open work infinity scarves that cross into the accessory line as a piece of jewelry rather than a traditional ‘neck warmer”. Thinner yarns are being woven more and more into scarves, clothing and home accessories. While the art of weaving is ancient, weaving with trendy high-end yarns is fairly new to the craft scene. I have read so much “talk” on Facebook about which looms crafters prefer and of course what width loom would fit one’s weaving needs. Believe me, as a crafter…I am definitely tempted to purchase a loom and let me test this ancient craft out with so many scrumptious yarns I carry at The Yarn Attic. I suspect that light-weight yarns, such as wools, bamboos and linens will be popular this spring for weaving.

The irony – yarn is being used for weaving clothing just like yarn is used to crochet baskets. I love how the art of weaving baskets has come full circle and we crochet baskets now of super bulky weight yarn to mimic the durability of bamboo and other natural fibers.

So next time, you are looking at a skein of yarn you love and say…that’s just too thin for me to knit with perhaps weaving that yummy yarn into a different work of art may interest you! Conversely, baskets are hot, hot, hot! So, take two strands of a worsted weight yarn or 1 strand of a super bulky weight yarn and start hooking your way to make a great centerpiece for your table simply out of yarn!

The possibilities are only as vast as your imagination… happy knitting, happy crocheting and happy weaving!

Rhonda

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Knitting Patterns & Teaching by Barbara Benson

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