Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Knitters are Natural Recyclers

A while back I was at Weaving Works in Seattle. I was purchasing some needles, and a couple skeins of yarn. The clerk was ready to give me a bag when I told her I could just stick the items in my bag if that was okay with her. She was delighted.

We talked about how many of the knitters that come in usually put their purchased items in their own bags since they have them with them anyway.
Think about it. Knitters are recyclers.

They will use the same little shopping bag over and over again until the handles fall off and the bottom falls out. Knitters will use big shopping bags until the handles fall off and the sides rip open.

Knitters will use plastic freezer bags with the zip enclosures until the zip no longer zips, and the bags themselves start ripping from all of the holes the knitting needles have made.

Canvas bags, we love canvas bags. We will use these canvas bags over and over again. If a charity is offering a canvas bag as a “thank you gift,” the money is theirs and the bag is ours.

And then there are the plastic bags with zippers that bed linens come in. We love it when someone buys a king size comforter and gives us the bag. What a perfect yarn storage container. You can see what‘s in it, and it holds a lot of yarn.

What about yarn? Do you know of any knitters that throw away yarn into the garbage? No, of course not. Knitters will save any little piece of yarn. We end up with little balls of yarn for a stash busting project. We will save the little clippings from finishing to stuff a toy or pillow with. If we have part of a skein of yarn left, we save that too. Never know when we might make a stripped hat or scarf. If we have some really awful acrylic, we knit it up for doggie blankies. We won’t throw it away.

Patterns. We never toss out patterns. Even the patterns that were miserable failures or were poorly written. Nope, might want to pull an idea out of that pattern some day. We are attached to those patterns.

Knitting magazines. Knitting magazines pile up everywhere. In the bookcase, on the bedside table, in the living room, kitchen, on the dining room table, even in the bathroom. They are great reference guides, and we all love to spend lazy afternoons just looking at the designs.

Knitting books. There is no way we would get rid of a knitting book. No, no. We place them proudly on our bookcases. They are next to our bed for reading before we fall asleep. These are pulled out to answer questions, provide ideas, and to keep up focused.

Needles. Hate those bamboo double points? Willing to give them to someone or use them as plant stakes. Didn’t think so. You might need them one day. However, if you did just hate them, you would use them as plant stakes rather than tossing them out. Have you received a bunch of needles from an elderly relative that aren’t like the Addi Turbos you love? We all have, and yet, we love them and will knit with them on some projects. Do you have any bent needles? Did you toss them out? Of course not, you love them and continue to use them.

What happens when we are tired of a knitted garment, or outgrow it? Yarn still looks good, has a lot of life left in it, so we will frog the garment and stash the yarn for another project. Recycling at it’s finest.

What about those little metal boxes that mints come in. We don’t toss them, we use them. We use them to store stitch markers, safety pins, and needles. How about prescription bottles? Those get used for the same thing. Got a wooden ruler the dog chewed on? What does a knitter do with such an item? Cut off the chewed end and use the 8 inches left for measuring small projects. Fits like a gem in the knitting bag (little shopping bags or long, long lasting canvas bags).

We are a mindful bunch, we knitters. We are also the ultimate recycler.



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