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?
Making your own home goods, clothing, and accessories can be even more satisfying when you know it's reducing your footprint on the Earth. What makes a something "eco-friendly"? It's a rather broad term, and is probably applied in places where it shouldn't be. There's no universal definition. I tend to think of eco-friendly crochet patterns as ones that … Continue reading 7 eco-friendly crochet patterns
I've been on a Fair Isle crochet kick lately, and I decided to try something more muted and a little bit....spooky. A friend of mine is a lover of bats, creepy things, magical things, and creatures of the night. She also prefers neutrals and darker colors. So, the Nocturnal Creatures Bag was born! It's the … Continue reading Nocturnal Creatures Tote Bag Pattern