Vickie Howell: AwareKnits

Last autumn I suddenly remembered my love for the band Green Day and went to see them in concert even. For a while I felt like the fangirl I used to be 10 years ago - it felt fantastic! So when I learned that Billie Joe's wife Adrienne Armstrong is a knitter and has made a book with Vickie Howell, and learned that the book will be concentrating on ecologically conscious knitting (something very close to my heart), I just had to get the book!


So I ordered AwareKnits: Knit & Crochet Projects for the Eco-Conscious Stitcher. I looked through it, and for some reason it then was half forgotten in my shelf for a few months. A few days ago I decided I didn't buy this book just for the sake of having it, and read it through.


This is not a pure knitting book, it also has several crochet projects as well as lots of tips and tricks on sutainable living and crafting; both aspects I really like.


Now I can't crochet, but these projects make me want to. There is also a good reference section for basic techniques in the book - I might give it a try at some point. Most of the knitting patterns are lovely as well, I very much like the Camisoul and the Cardigan Neutral.


The tips for sustainable living are mostly quite basic, like recycle your paper and buy local and organic, but there are a few good things here too: a great tutorial on making plarn (plastic bag yarn) and a decent one for t-shirt yarn. Other things I liked were the presentation of jute, the conciderations regarding bamboo yarn (the goods and the bads and encouragement to think for yourself), info on peace silk and the recepie for Adrienne's favourite salad - it sounds really yummy.


All in all I really like the book and am happy I bought it. I'm sad it didn't mention my pet peeve, the mulesing of Australian merino sheep - they use merino in the book's projects, but I couldn't identify any directly from Australia. It would have been nice to at least mention the terrible practice.


I would recommend this book to anyone interested in (but not yet very educated about) ecologically conscious and sustainable crafting, as it gives good ideas on what to consider when choosing yarn, projects and generally making choices in life.

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