Redefining Crafting: Eco-Friendly Yarn

The following was originally posted at Redefining Eco and was cross posted here with their permission. 

Over the holidays I picked up knitting.  So far I’m a clumsy knitter, constantly dropping stitches and paying more attention to to the television than my knitting needles, but I’m working at it!  My local fabric store carries hundreds of different options for sustainable knitting, so I thought that I would share a few ideas below to turn your latest crochet project into a sustainable work of art.

Betsy Ply

Photo courtesy of adiything’s flickr stream.

Why chose eco-friendly yarn?   Many synthetic yarns are plastic and chemical based — so not only do they not feel as soft as the real thing, they are derived from petroleum and tons of chemicals.  Some knitters might prefer vegan-friendly yarns and stay away from wool, and others might try to reincorporate gently used yarn from old sweaters into new outfits.  You can find yarn made from bamboo, corn, andorganic cotton.  You can also find yarn made from old plastic bottles, or old plastic bags.

Knit be Nimble even suggests to make your own knitting needles from chopsticks or wooden dowels.  If you are inspired to make your own knitting needles, let us know – we’ll post a picture of your knitting tools on our blog!

Are there any great eco-friendly yarns that you swear by?  Do you have any hot tips on great projects?  Let us know by posting a comment below!

Redefining Crafting: What to do when you love wine and crafting

Originally posted at Redefining Eco, and reposted here with their permission. 

Wine, Wine Everywhere…so what to do with the bottles?

In my house, we drink wine. Which is great, but it leaves us recycling a lot of wine bottles.  So when it came to indulging my crafty nature, I took a look at the wine bottles we had siting by the recycling bin.  And there are a ton of people who have had similar ideas.

My favorites are the ones that bring in color to the room. I love the idea of getting twice the amount of enjoyment out of something. I’ve done some of these crafts, and love my new home decorations!

4 Great Uses for Wine Bottles

1. Use the wine bottles as vases.

2. Use the wine bottles as planters, or a way to water plants.  I love this idea – it’s a great way to use the bottle and to use them in a practical way.
You can also use the wine bottles to plant plants on your wall, or to use as vases for fake flowers(or paper flowers you make from recycled material. But we’ll get to that!).

winebottlevases_1

Photo courtesy of Design Sponge

3.  Use the wine bottles to make outdoor candle holders. They are pretty, bright, and let you burn candle outside in any weather.  This craft requires a glass cutter, but you can find those easily online for fairly cheap. And it’s pretty easy to use!

4. Table decorations. Over at CraveOrCreate, they have a great idea to wrap wine bottles in brightly colored twine and use them as table center pieces or great accent pieces around the house.

Here are a lot of other idea for how to use those extra wine bottles.  We’re using recycled wine bottles for candle holders for our upcoming wedding.  I’ll be sure to share pictures when they are done (as long as they turn out pretty…)