Join Us for the Knitting Green Challenge!

April 22 is Earth Day.

For many of us this means planting a tree, exchanging our incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, setting up a compost bin in the back yard, and so on. These are all wonderful things to do for our Earth, our children, ourselves. But what about applying this environmental awareness to our knitting?

Designer Mags Kandis is known for "thinking outside the skein"—in fact, she's come up with some of the most creative ways to use sticks and string. And now she's brought us a way to use some of those old T-shirts, skirts, dresses, sheets; whatever you might put in the Goodwill box, you can use in this project (I'm using an old pair of p.j. bottoms).

So, without further ado, welcome to the Knitting Green Challenge!

Mags came up with the project that inspired the challenge, so I thought I'd share that with you to get you inspired! "Paris Recycled" is made from a skirt that Mags bought in Paris. Here's the story, taken from our new book Knitting Green, by Ann Budd.

Paris Recycled by Mags Kandis

Paris Recycled
For Mags Kandis, being green is less about acquiring new things with green labels and more about repurposing and re-creating the things she has already amassed. On her first trip to Paris, Mags purchased a smoky blue silk skirt encircled with tiny knife-edge pleats. But after a few years, the allure of a high-maintenance piece of clothing faded, and Mags tossed it in the wash. Without the pleats, the skirt was never the same. Mags cut the skirt into strips that she tied together and knitted into a scarf that will always remind her of Paris.

Mags's scarf ended up about 5.5 inches wide and 44 inches long. She simply cast 13 stitches onto size 15 needles and knit in garter stitch with an occasional drop stitch pattern repeat thrown in every 3 inches to 6 inches. For the drop stitch pattern, knit row 1 wrapping the yarn twice around the needle for each stitch; you'll have 2 loops on the needle for each stitch. On row 2, *drop one of the loops of the next stitch off the needle and work k1 into the elongated loop; rep from *.

For a really special touch, Mags added a tag to her scarf that says "Paris." She applied iron-fusible interfacing onto a scrap of the skirt fabric and used a permanent marker to write her label. So creative, that gal!

And now here are Mags and Interweave Knits editor Eunny Jang to take you through the process of turning old clothes into yarn.

For the challenge, we want you to use Mags's technique for making yarn and come up with your own finished objects—scarves, bags, mats, and so on. And we want to see them, so step on over to the Knitting Green Challenge forum, jot down your project details, and post a photo of your creation!

And check out Knitting Green for lots of beautiful projects you can create while keeping the planet in mind. It's a wonderful way to celebrate Earth Day.

Good luck and happy Earth Day!


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