decor

3 Ways To Knit Green And A Big Cable Coverlet (free knitting pattern)

In my conciliatory effort to catch up, it’s time for another knitting project. Before you grab your needles, let’s take a look at the saving the planet side of knitting.

Since I must examine the eco-friendliness of everything, and I must knit, I must help you find a way to knit without doing any further harm to our precious environment.

Let’s be real. Knitting is not the greenest of crafts. It’s expensive, and there’s a myriad of toxic additives and dyes used in the manufacturing of yarn. The process is not energy-efficient, and not great for workers health. And a large chunk of yarn comes from faraway places. All of this can negatively affect people and our planet.

While the yarn industry may have a long way to go, there are a few things conscious knitters can do.

3 Ways to Green Your Knitting

1. Knit Your Stash – Here’s a fact: Knitters horde yarn. Why? Because you’ll never know when you will need a variegated purple fingering-weight merino angora-blend skein. What was I thinking?

2. Unravel An Old Sweater – It’s spring…go weeding in your sweater drawer. I wrote about how to rip out a sweater and reuse the yarn HERE. Try it. For some, ripping out is more fun than knitting.

3. Consider Your Ecological Impact – Purchase organic yarn from a local yarn shop. Organic yarn goes through the same rigorous requirements as organic meat. Sheep are fed organic feed, free of injected growth hormones, and their cushy fleeces cannot be washed in chemicals. Natural dyes seal the eco-deal.

Big Cable Knitted Coverlet

My daughter sent me a photo of a coverlet she wants for her bed (main image). I pinned it onto my Pinterest Knitting Board. Love the big cables. I found the perfect (free) KNITTING PATTERN (right), and beautiful creamy organic yarn at my local yarn shop.

Cabled and caught up!

Photos: the style files, Lion Brand Yarn

Repurposed Over-Dyed Rug Sling Chairs

I am awestruck by the beauty of these sling chairs. The chairs are handcrafted with over-dyed repurposed rugs. The custom designed chairs from Still + Co. for Sit and Read in Brooklyn, viagra sale are hemmed and hand-stitched onto welded wrought iron frames.

Check out the rug-dying process via Design Sponge. Gorgeous.

Still & Co. for Sit and Read from Sit and Read on Vimeo.

Last Minute Holiday DIY

Did you think I was going to go all Scrooge on you and not extend my deep well of holiday DIY projects this year? Maybe you thought the holiday’s predictability with its earlier and earlier seasonal creep, and obsessive waste had taken over my good will and peace towards the blogosphere? Or, could it be you remember last year’s A-Z Holiday DIY Gift-Guide burnout?

The truth is I’ve been collecting and squirreling away these three project ideas.

One of my greatest pleasures is gift-giving. While I may have ditched the mall and mostly shopped local with some online purchases sprinkled in, the bottom line on the greenest holiday gifts and decorations are still the ones that don’t consume our planet’s resources. They contribute in ways that bring beauty, sustainability and meaning…and they can’t hold a candle to those that roll off assembly the line.

So, you have a choice: grab your keys and make that last mad dash to the mall, or make meaning.

Favorite Hanukkah Project of the Season

Twig Menorah: For a Hanukkah centerpiece, you just can’t go wrong with a twig and a candle…or 8.

Favorite Christmas DIY Project of the Season

Crystal Chandelier Ornament (main image): I have a box of mix-matched crystals that my father-in-law gave me years ago. Just attach Christmas tree hooks to the crystals for a sparkling holiday reuse.

Favorite Food Project of the Season

After teaching young kids…and raising a few, I thought I was over playing with food, but sappiness took over and these Black Olive Penguins (cute, huh?) almost got the better of me. But I’ll spare you such silliness and instead share these Good For You Whoopie Pies. Apparently, I’ve been living under a Whoopie Pie rock because I never had one of these compact morsels of sweet goodness until this past Thanksgiving. My daughter’s college roommate visited and brought pumpkin Whoopie Pies from the Whoopie Pie capital of NY…Brooklyn. Enjoy!

Photo credits: HomeShoppingSpy, Shelterness, Eating Well

Keep The Peace With A DIY Peace Wreath

As someone who blends holiday traditions, believe me, peace binds it all together. The universal message of peace is always in season.

Throughout the holidays we sing of Peace on Earth and Good Will Towards…Men!?!

OK, here’s a good place to start.

Isn’t it about time we ditched the men-only lingo?

Now that we have that straightened out…

What do you do about family members who don’t exude peaceful, easy feelings?

Embedded in my Steps For Creating Peace…Someday post is one of my favorite holiday songs — Stevie Wonder’s, Someday At Christmas.

Don’t you just love that song?

Becoming Minimalist addressed the gift of creating overdue family peace…

5 Steps To Create Peace At Home

1. Determine to be responsible for your attitude, not others. (I’ll let the over 90 yr-old relatives off the hook on the…Good Will Towards Men-thing.)
2. Embrace humility and forgive. (Not touching this.)
3. Accept disagreement and put it behind you. (Easy. Done.)
4. Take the first step. (Here you go…)
5. Create a Peace Wreath.

Let’s share peace, even with those who push non-peaceful buttons. Create a handmade spin on the traditional holiday wreath.

DIY Peace Wreath

What you need:

4 wire hangers or a wreath form
floral wire
wire cutters
pliers
evergreen branches

What to do:

1. With the pliers straighten two coat hangers and form them into a circle.
2. Hook the ends together by twisting the wire.
3. Bend the other hanger wire into a circle making sure it is about 1″ smaller than the first one.
4. Hook the ends together, forming a circle.
5. Take the fourth hanger and cut and wrap it to form a peace symbol in the inside circle
6. Cut branches to 4-6″ lengths.
7. Gather the branches into bundles.
8. Secure the bundles with the floral wire.
9. Lay a bundle on the form and tightly wrap it with wire.
10. Without cutting the wire, add another bundle so that it overlaps the bottom half of the previous one.
11. Repeat around.
12. Cover peace symbol in the same overlapping manner.
13. Make a wire loop on top or use the hanger hook to attach.

Don’t forget to add a note and include one of these quotes:

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means at which we arrive at that goal.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix
“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace is its own reward.” Mahatma Gandhi
“All we are saying is give peace a chance.” John Lennon

Decking The Nest Early?

Don’t get me wrong, I love the winter holidays…just not yet.

I ducked into the Apple store at the Danbury Mall last weekend to get my iPhone fixed. Lining the mall, the trees were trimmed, the holiday tunes were humming and credit cards were working overtime…five days after Halloween. I was having a hard time conjuring up warm holiday spirits (like the image above). In fact, I channeled Scrooge to anyone who would listen. Those poor people who had just come in to check their email because they were still out of power from a freak snowstorm thought I was nuts.

Welcome to the Holiday Creep – the commercial phenomenon created by retailers to accelerate the start of the holiday shopping season. When you venture into the stores, you’d better watch out and you’d better not pout.

But not all stores sign on early. Check out my latest Care2 post and find out how Nordstrom’s is obviously not the norm. Not only do they have an eco-friendly shopping policy, they don’t buy into the creepy behavior of other stores that attempt to cash in before the turkey takes center stage. Did I mention they also have a fabulous shoe department?

Tell the truth, when does Rudolph start ringing the sleigh bells in your nest?

Photo: Remodelista