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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Picking a Green Yarn

Who thought that the task of picking a "green" yarn would be such a learning experience?!

 Photos by Ian Britton @ www.FreeFoto.com

When I was looking for a "green" yarn for my "Home Run Jersey" submission for the Spring 2010 issue of Petite Purls, I didn't realize what it takes to make a yarn. Don't get me wrong, I've been knitting and crocheting for three decades (has it been that long already!?) and love my yarns. But do you truly know how your yarn is made beyond "take starting material", "wash, spin, dye" and "ship"?

When I went on a web crawl around the world to find out more about "green" yarns, it was quite an eye-opener. A quick search produced lots of "green" yarns (what a pleasant surprise!) but also some interesting information that a "green" yarn might not be as "green" as it sounds.

There are 5 major steps to the finished yarn that you buy in a store:
  1. Source Material
  2. Yarn Processing
  3. Yarn Dying
  4. Shipping & Packaging
  5. Disposal
 And at each step you have the opportunity to make a "greener" choice.

I learned a lot on my journey to picking a "green" yarn and you can read all about my yarn choice for the "Home Run Jersey" in the article: Picking a Green Yarn. I've also included links to resources and other interesting tidbits.

And just like with organic food and "green" appliances, you the consumer can "vote" with your dollars to support "green" yarns and ask your LYS to carry a larger selection. Go for it! Make your voice heard! :)

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