by Vickie Howell & Adrienne Armstrong
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Lark Books (October 6, 2009)
Everywhere you look these days, there's something new that you can do to "go green" and be eco-friendly. The fiber world is certainly no exception and stitchers around the world can easily create "green" projects with one of the many earth-friendly yarns now available. Just take a look around your LYS and you'll find labels that include organic wool & cotton, soy, corn, bamboo, linen, banana silk, cashmere, recylced newspaper, hemp and more! AwareKnits jumps on this growing trend with 31 stylish patterns for the body and the home.
Taking a socially conscious approach to knitting and crochet, crafty diva Vicikie Howell teams up with activist-knitter Adrienne Armstrong to present a beautiful collection that’s part pattern book and part crafty call to action. Throughout the book, both Vickie and Adrienne provide tips for greener living and stitching, as well as information on yarn sources, responsible manufacturing, energy consumption and more.
AwareKnits is divided into two main sections - For the Body and For the Home.In For the Body, the standouts for me include: Solar Sweetie, a most adorable infant/toddler summer dress knit from SWTC A-Mazing; Cardigan Neutral, a simple silhouette cardi with asymmetrical lace panel that is sure to become a wardrobe staple; Neck of the Woods, a simple, yet soft and cozy alpaca scarflet and Pash-Greena, a luxurious travel wrap made from Lobster Pot Cashmere (which I've been dying to lay my hands on... this could be a good excuse to splurge).
In For the Home, my personal favorites include: Alter-Eco, a reuseable lunch tote crocheted from "Plarn" (plastic grocery bags - instructions on how to make your own are included); Animal Planet, an adorable crocheted plush bunny rabbit; Extra! Eco!, a picture frame cozy knit from Jessica Mattingly Recycled Newspaper Yarn (ok, I admit... this is a favorite mostly because I must find and try this yarn!); Save the Tees!, an oversized basket made from recylced t-shirts ("yesterday's trash can be today's crocheted treasure" - now if only I learned how to crochet) and Tree Hugger, the fabulous felted tote pictured on the cover of the book. The photography throughout AlterKnits is wonderful. Projects were photographed in real life poses/situations, allowing the details to really shine through. A section on Basic Techniques is included in the back, as well as the standard abbreviation charts for both knit and crochet, yarn weight chart and needle & hook size charts. AwareKnits is a great addition to your crafty bookshelf. You'll enjoy both the patterns and the facts & tips scattered throughout. And, I can't end my review without noting that the book is printed on recylced paper with agri-based inks! Now Stitchers... do your part to Go Green! About the Authors: Vickie Howell is a self-proclaimed crafty grrrl. In an effort to mobilize the feminist-based knitting movement, she founded successful chapters of the irreverent but socially conscious knitting group Stitch ’n Bitch in Los Angeles and Austin. Vickie was the host of DIY’s Knitty Gritty and has written four previous books: New Knits on the Block; Not Another Teen Knitting Book; Knit Aid; and Pop Goes Crochet!.
Co-author Adrienne Armstrong is a knitter, environmentalist, and owner of the sustainable living shop The Atomic Garden in Oakland, California.