Friday, April 22, 2011

Fee-Fi(ber)-F.O. Friday … and an Earth Day Reflection

I have several projects on the hooks/needles right now; a few too many for comfort, if truth be told. So not only am I really pleased to be able to put one in the finished column, I’m thrilled with my first knit project utilizing cables. I present my Giant Cabley Stole:

At 18 inches wide x 37 inches in length, it is a little bigger than the original. I’m not too surprised, since I added a strand of Patons Décor to the Berroco Peruvia when I wasn’t getting gauge during swatching. I really love the color, and those awesome cables, and the toggle buttons in an olive-y green that add just a little more color and pop. I can’t wait to wear it this fall (which may never arrive, given the amount of time spring is taking to get here).  

Today is also Earth Day. As I reflect on how I treat the earth, I am amazed at my own transformation in the last five years. While I certainly can still do better in the consumption department (at least according to my food bill each week), my days of unconsciously buying are so over. Bottled water? Uh-uh. Plastic bags? Almost never. Recycling and composting? Absolutely – I am so fortunate to live in an area where curbside yard waste/composting is encouraged. In fact, I’ve gotten my non-recycling trash down to about one medium trash bag per week, and I definitely recycle and compost more than I put in a landfill. Public transportation (or walking) over driving? Oh yeah. Reuse/upcycle? Yes … but can still do better. Hey, it’s all a work in progress.

There is something else that is bugging me on this Earth Day. Rachel Carson is widely credited with jumpstarting the environmental movement with the publishing of her book Silent Spring in 1962. Given what I know of her, I find her to be incredibly courageous and a woman ahead of her time.

Ironically, I came upon this essay yesterday, discussing whether or not women have really fulfilled their leadership potential in the 21st century. If one looks at the female presence at the highest levels of academia, business, law and politics as a measuring stick – that answer is a resounding no. While the existing power structures and modes of operating within those structures were definitely set by men, women can be their own worst enemies. A woman willing to speak out and seek cooperation instead of competition will be silenced – by both men and women. Demanding true partnership and equality at home is still a very dicey deal (to wit: the MLB (Major League Baseball) is finally providing paternity leave to its players – for a grand total of 72 hours! Let’s hope Mom didn’t give birth via cesarean section.)

I don’t necessarily want world domination through craft (but, hey, if you like my designs and work, it’s a plus for you and definitely spread the word!), but I do want global cooperation. Humans are hardwired for it. I hope this Earth Day gets everyone to shift their competitive drive into neutral and set their cooperation speed into overdrive. Respect the earth and your fellow citizens, ok?

Oh, and let’s get crafty out there, folks! And since it's Friday, check out Andrea's blog to see what other crafty endeavors everyone is up to.


  1. Happy Fiber Arts Friday! I love the stole. it looks super comfy and the cables and buttons definitely make it sassy!

    I wish everyone would spend more than one day a year being "green". I have to admit, I've changed my views more towards being kinder to the earth once I moved to the country. How can you not be conscience of conservation when surrounded by beauty of woods, marsh and pasture.

    Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

  2. Agree. Agree. Agree.

    The stole is fantastic.

    I've been contemplating our trash and waste over the last couple of years too. Both our garbage and recycling have decreased as our buying and composting practices have changed.

    Have a great weekend!

  3. The stole is lookin' fabulous! The toggle buttons are awesome.
    I wish the whole world composted and recycled and that all vehicles were hybrids.

  4. We are all like minded in our agreement with your post, Happy Earth Day! P.S. the cabled stole is super wonderful, I love everything about it! If you lived in Michigan, you would not have to wait till fall to wear it!

  5. Yeah for big super cables! Looks great.

  6. The big cables are gorgeous! and congratulations on publishing your first pattern on Ravelry, it's very cute.

    I live in a suburb, and our public transit is pretty much a joke. It doesn't take you anywhere you want to go, and it's more expensive than driving and parking a car.

    Gender equality ... I'm so glad to see someone writing about it, as it's not nearly approaching the table, not even remotely.

  7. The stole is lovely-and I try to recycle and re-use in all my crafty endeavors

  8. Hello! Your new Cable Stole became a beauty! I love the pattern and blue colour is always my favorite!
    Thank you for your sweet comment!
    x Teje

  9. Wow, the stole is so pretty! I love blue and the toggle buttons are a really nice detail. Was it difficult to cable with more than one strand of yarn? I've knit with more than one but never cabled. So, how many projects do you have going at the same time?

    Like you, I love my composting. I grew up on a farm and we always had a compost pile. I hate the idea of putting things in a garbage bag that would easily decompose if you just put them outside.

    I was fortunate that my graduate studies were in a department where several women were in important positions, including the department head.

  10. World domination through it!
    Yay...e-mail me and we'll discuss our swap.

  11. Being green on Earth Day is kind of like just giving money/time to charities during the winter holidays -- what about the rest of the year?

    We were thrilled when our (small) city started curbside recycling this year, but the city is already starting to mutter about discontinuing the pick-ups if more people don't start using it. I just don't understand it -- why wouldn't you recycle if all you have to do is carry it to the curb once a week?

    PS - the cabley wrap is terrific. Nice job!

  12. Wow, those are some big cables! That's a beautiful wrap. I recycle everything possible and don't buy bottled water unless going on a trip where the water quality is sketchy. Happy Fiber Arts Friday and have a great weekend!

  13. That is a gorgeous wrap! Well done!

    I WISH things were doing a better job moving forward with earth-friendly lifestyle but did you read the NYTimes article ( about the economy having such a big impact on how (at least in the US) we spend on "green" products. Granted, that is probably the smallest of aspects of the whole problem as you hit it more solidly in discussing recycling and composting and utilizing public transport.


  14. Thanks for all the cabley love, everyone - mucho appreciated! There is also nothing like trash to get people talking. :) I am working on consuming less (especially in the packaging department) and reusing whenever I can. For instance, I bring my own mesh bags and plastic containers to the grocery store and use them for fresh veggies/fruit as well as bulk items like coffee and rice. Of course, that means I need to shop at bulk- and reusable-friendly grocery stores ... and not all of them are.

    @Vivian: I do hear your suburb lament on public transportation. The U.S. generally only does an average job in this area. And we definitely won't get into the gender equity thingy ... :)

    @Melissa Plank: Well, here in the Pacific Northwest, spring is still yet to appear with any amount of staying power or gusto ... ;)

    @Misty: I'm glad you had such a good graduate school department experience. It would be interesting to see some statistics on tenured females vs. males, as well as the female/male ratio in all positions of authority on the college campus. I think those statistics might be eye-opening.

    @Marushka C: I absolutely agree - I can't understand it either! It's telling that NYC did away with its curbside recycling program because of cost. Maybe your area could start a neighborhood challenge? Which ever neighborhood recycled the most (in terms of pounds) would receive some neighborhood improvement of some sort from the local government (like new playground equipment or something). Sometimes it takes an extra incentive to get people jazzed, you know?

    @AllyB: And you definitely touch upon a big issue - we don't realize how fortunate we are to have such an abundance of good, clean drinking water. No bottling necessary (although a little extra filtration might be good ...)

    @kinniccrochet: No, I did not read that article. I'll check it out, thanks.

  15. Nothing wrong with world domination through crafting. The stole is super lovely...

    Our wonderful WI gov. wants to slash the recycling budget for our state, effectively eliminating recycling programs in rural areas. So much for being progressive...