Knit Green

20 Pro j ec t s & Ideas
f o r Sus t a inability


Table of Contents

Part 3: Making Personal Change

Introduction  00

Part 1: Sustaining Our Environment for Future Generations

Buy Local
  Goods  00
1 SBiodiversity 


Hemp Placemat  00
Zafu: A Churro Cushion  00

Vegan Knitting 

Practice  00

Basketweave Hat  00
Basic Bermuda Bag  00
Pin Check Bermuda Bag  00


ZigZag Butterfly
  Table Runner  00
Vegan Security
  Blankie  00

Gator Gaiter  00
Soft Basket  00

7 Reduce, Reuse
Recycle  00

hanging our
9 CHabits 

Knitted Curtain  00
Waves and Stars
  Knitted Napkins ­00

Part 2: Buying for the Future

Cozy Zip-Up
  Cardigan  00
Ploughed Acre
  Knee Socks  00

Conclusion: Every Little Bit Makes a Difference  00

Part 4: Appendices

4 Mandaintaining
Traditions  00

Math Mobile  00
Knick Knack Paddy Whack
  Dog Toys  00

2 Knit Green

rganic and Natural
6 OFibers
and Labeling
romoting Fair Trade
5 Pand
Fair Work  00

Use  00

Pixie Mitts  00
Spire Smock  00

Knitting Abbreviations  00
Knitting Tips and Techniques  00
Resources  00
About the Author  00

Tank Empire  00
Sari Sack  00
Scrubba Scrubba  00

Knit Green


Take a Peek at Finished Projects from the Book

Knitted Curtain

Basketweave Hat

Cozy Zip-Up Cardigan

Zafu Cushion

Math Mobile

Waves Napkins

Scrubba Scrubba

Scrubba Scrubba

ZigZag Butterfly
Table Runner

Tank Empire

Soft Basket

Spire Smock

Psst. Let me let you in on a secret. I’m a moderate. I want
to support environmental sustainability, but guess what? I
haven’t gone off the grid, given up industrially made clothing,
or sold my car. Instead, I’ve committed to small changes in
my life. These changes are things I can maintain on a dayto-day basis. Some of the changes mentioned in this book
in regards to knitting may initially appear conflicting. How
can you buy “Buy Local” in your town and support a far away
woman’s co-op that produces yarn in a developing country?
Well, at the face of it, many of the options I present here may
appear to be in conflict. However, these different possibilities may instead be complementary

Never doubt that a small
group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the
world. Indeed, it’s the only
thing that ever has.

We have quite a bit of disposable
income in the industrialized world,
and I’m going to bet you’re a lot like
me …. Perhaps you spent a fair amount
of your cash on your yarn/fiber/fabric
stash? What if those purchases were
all spent thoughtfully, on yarn that
supported your underlying values?
–Margaret Mead
What if some of your choices involved
using what you had instead of buying
everything you wanted? All of these
ideas can make a difference in knitting and limiting one’s environmental impact. This book will explain how, but its scope is
limited. No one book can solve all these issues, but it may get
us started thinking about how to do more.
It’s popular right now to fill up environmental literature with
statistics regarding carbon footprint or carbon neutral living. As
you might expect, the statistics regarding the environmental
impact of knitting yarns are not quite cutting edge. Instead of

6 Knit Green

filling up your head with numbers that are hard to back up, I’ve
chosen a different approach. I’ve looked at today’s numbers
quoted in the general media and offered you some guidelines
without the statistics. Besides the fact that the yarn statistics
might not have been readily available, I also think the numbers
are all changing very quickly. Folks are catching on to living
in a more “green” way. In 5 years, I believe many of these
numbers will have changed … and I hope, in my most optimistic
moments, that the statistics will have improved.
You may already know I’m a knitwear designer, a spinner,
and a freelance writer. I’ve also tried to be environmentally
conscious for a long time … as I suspect we all need to if we
hope to make a difference in conserving our planet. I happen
to be married to a biology professor, so I’ve heard my share
of the sustainability discussions around our dining room table,
at parties, and at other events. I even took a year of college level biology, and earned the worst grade of my college
career! However, that’s exactly the kind of person who might
be right to write a book on this topic. I hope this is easy reading, understandable, and best of all, offers you suggestions
for how to make a big difference while still enjoying knitting.
Each of the following chapters will introduce you to issues that
relate to the environment, sustainability, and to concerns that
are often linked to these topics. The designs that follow the
chapters have a connection to the essays and sidebars, but
are created to take you one step beyond this. Every design
indicates both a yarn that you might choose to knit with and
information about how to substitute another yarn. Make your
own choices about what you want to knit, whether it’s local,
organic, vegan, fair trade, sustainably farmed, or another issue
altogether. I hope this book may help you on your knitting
journey towards making a difference … one stitch at a time!

knit green


Hemp Placemats

Hemp Placemats

Hemp is the ideal fiber for table linens as they are hardwearing, machine washable,
and crisp. Many placemats available in stores can’t be washed, which seems entirely
counterproductive, given their purpose on the dining table. Beyond practicality,
these placemats have style, too. Choose two bright colors that coordinate with your
décor or rely on a single color and let the stitch pattern’s texture shine through. Ideal
for all sorts of entertaining, these placemats might look especially nice with glass
dishes in particular. Bon appétit!

One size
Pattern makes four

Finished Measurements
Finished Measurements:
12 × 17" (30.5 × 43.2cm)

 2 skeins of Lanaknits Designs Hemp for Knitting allhemp6
yarn, 100% Hemp, 165 yd. (150m), 31⁄2 oz (100g), color
027 Aubergine
 2 skeins of Lanaknits Designs Hemp for Knitting allhemp6
yarn, 100% Hemp, 165 yd. (150m), 3@@bf1/2 oz. (100g),
color 019 Sprout
 330 yd./300m each of any two colors of machine washable dk weight yarn with the appropriate gauge
 660 yd./600m of any one color of machine washable dk
weight yarn with the appropriate gauge

 US size 5 (3.75mm) straight or circular needle, or size to
obtain gauge

 Row counter
 Tapestry needle
 Blocking pins

18 stitches and 25 rows = 4"/10cm over placemat pattern repeat

Supporting Biodiversity


Pattern Stitches
Placemat Pattern:
Worked over a multiple of 4 sts.
With Color A:
Row 1 (WS): *P2, k2, rep from * to last 4
sts, p2, k1, wyif slip 1 pwise
Rows 2 (RS) and 3 (WS): Work as for Row 1.
Row 4 (RS): *K2, (yo, k2, pass yo over 2
sts),* rep from *.
Rows 5–7: Work as for Rows 1–3 above.
Change to Color B:
Row 8 (RS): Knit.
Row 9 (WS): Work ribbing opposite to
Color A, as follows:
*K2, P2, rep from * to last 4 sts, k2, p1, wyif
slip 1 pwise.
Rows 10 (RS) and 11 (WS): *K2, p2, rep
from * to last 4 sts, k2, wyif slip 1 pwise
Row 12: K2, *k2, (yo, k2, pass yo over 2
sts),* rep between * to last 2 sts, k2.

Rows 13–15: Work as for Rows 9–11 above
Rows 16–22: With B, work St st (knit 1 row,
purl 1 row)
Change to Color A:
Rows 23–30: Work St st, beg with purl row.

Note When switching colors, cut yarn,
leaving tail, at the end of a row. At the beg
of a next row where you have left a tail, work
in ends as you knit, twisting the tail with the
working yarn behind sts on WS as you go.

Make 4:
Cast on 56 sts.
Work Placemat Pattern Rows 1–30, above,
three times.
Work Placemat Pattern Rows 1–15 one time.

Weave in ends, if necessary. Wet block by
dampening placemat. Pin flat to dry.

10 Sustaining Our Environment for Future Generations

Knit Green
20 P rojects & Idea s
f o r Susta ina bility


Paper • 978-0-470-42679-1
$19.99 US • 76 pages • 8” x 9”
100 color photos
25 color drawings
In stores September 22, 2009

Strategic Marketing
• Online publicity
and promotions
• Outreach to craft bloggers

More than 20 projects
for environmentally
friendly knitting
Knit Green offers readers all the knowledge they need to be
more environmentally friendly knitters. From sourcing materials locally and using organic products, to supporting fair work
and fair trade programs, Knit Green is a tremendous source
of information to help knitters tailor their craft to their convictions. Readers can put their beliefs into action right away with
more than 20 fashionable patterns that don’t sacrifice style
for sustainability.
Knit Green gives readers the tools they need to green-up not
only their knitting, but their whole lives!
Joanne Seiff is a freelance writer, knitwear designer, educator,
and fiber artist. She is the author of Fiber Gathering (Wiley) and
her writing and designs have appeared in several books and
magazines. She is the recipient of numerous awards and has
sold handspun yarn nationwide.

For more information or to place an order, contact your Wiley
sales representative, call 800-225-5945, or fax 201-748-8641.

Wiley and the Wiley logo are registered trademarks
of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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