To those familiar with the craft—and those who can at least spot a doily on grandma’s loveseat—crochet doesn’t typically evoke visions of immodesty, subversion, or the struggles of women in the workplace. There was a time in history, however, when the act of crocheting became bound up with the entrepreneurial dreams of impoverished women, as … Continue reading The “wanton-eyed” crocheter: from Irish lace to pussy hats
It’s mid-morning on the first day of the new year. I’m sitting in my living room, which is still scattered with gift wrapping, almost-stale cookies, and boxes of holiday decorations. My life hasn’t changed much since yesterday, aside from the vaguely shameful memory of going to bed at 10:30 after a night of card games … Continue reading Why we need the “clean slate” rituals of the New Year
Upcycling is fun, en vogue, and arguably a good practice for the planet. The popularity of this form of creative reuse has exploded over the past decade, even making its way into luxury brands. It's got a little problem, though—we can't seem to agree on what it actually is, and which items qualify as "upcycled" … Continue reading Upcycling vs. creative reuse: what’s the difference?
Before you launch into the rest of this blog post, I want you to sit back, take a deep breath, and say these words to yourself: I won't let plastic pollution drag me down or overwhelm me. No, you don't need to fit all of your trash for the year into a mason jar. You … Continue reading One thing you can do to reduce plastic pollution right now
String bags and mesh shopping bags are popping up everywhere, which probably feels like déjà vu for people who grew up in a time or place where they were the norm. For those who enjoy the occasional nugget of history, you might be surprised to know that Wikipedia actually has an entire (albeit brief) page … Continue reading Color Block Market Bag Pattern
Every year, I see a new way of turning simple seasonal decor from something that looks beautiful on its own—and could be composted—into something that will end up in the trash by November and won't break down for a really long time. Metallic painted pumpkins come to mind: Yes, they look pretty fab, and I … Continue reading 13 Natural Autumn Decor Ideas
There are a lot of local soap-makers in the Pioneer Valley, and most have their own unique take on this basic staple of our daily lives. Despite there being many proverbial fish to choose from in this sudsy sea, my heart belongs to the makers of Just Soap, a savonnier (hey, it sounds better than … Continue reading Local product love: Just Soap in Ashfield, MA
Sometimes, the simplest things end up being so satisfying. I've crocheted complicated garments before and felt pleased with the results. It's always been simple, classic designs, however, that make me happiest and produce clothes that I wear over and over again. The added bonus? They are easy to make, easy to modify, and even beginners … Continue reading Cedar Top Crochet Pattern
I'll admit it: I like stuff. I love pouring through sweaters on the rack at local thrift stores, trying to guess what they're made of. I love richly-colored natural fibers, old wood, and handmade pottery. I love a $1 basket from a yard sale that I can give new life toting vegetables. Every time I … Continue reading A different kind of materialism
This year I am phasing out my stash of acrylic yarn, and here's why: our oceans are becoming polluted with tiny synthetic microfibers, and it's bad news for marine life. I don't enjoy being a Debbie Downer, so I promise you that I will end this on a positive note. Here's the gist of the problem, … Continue reading What can knitters and crocheters do about synthetic fiber pollution?