Sustainable Gift Giving. No, I don’t mean sustainable as in giving or receiving a gift every single day, though that could be fun! Rather, I mean sustainable as in
a) affordable; b)meaningful; and c)thoughtful.
Affordable – Yes, I am well employed, and so is the husband. We make a decent living. We are also raising four children who consume tons of food, wear lots of clothing and require an education. Because of this, we choose not to live on the edge, and spend our money very carefully. Gift giving is wonderful and I love doing it. As much as I would like to shower everyone with extravagant luxuries, I choose not to damage our family budget.
Meaningful – Think about who is receiving the gift! Do they really need more clutter in their lives? More stuff? What small thing would make them smile?
Thoughtful – Nope. Not about the recipient here. The thoughts are all about Mother Earth. How can we introduce our friends to sustainable living, especially those friends who thrive in their throw-away households? By gently leading through example, of course!
So, with these thoughts in mind, I intend to entering this holiday season with a mind set towards affordable, meaningful and thoughtful gifts, which means homemade, consumable, affordable and sustainable! I’ll blog through the season and post tutorials.
To kick off, I’ll start with the Sew Along Holiday Edition Week One Challenge: a Gift for Him. The Him in this case is Teen Son#1. He commented that I had never knitted him anything. Actually, I had, but he doesn’t remember wearing those darling baby booties, sweaters and caps. I haven’t knitted him anything since he became old enough to be aware of the fact that Mom Knits. So! Here it is, with instructions to make one yourself.
Teen Son#1′s Scarf
1 skein, 60 grams, approx. 270 yards bamboo wool blend* fingering weight yarn in a solid color, 3-ply
1 skein, 60 grams approx. 270 yards wool varigated sock yarn, fingering weight, 3-ply
Size 4 knitting needles
Using one strand of each yarn held together, cast on 40 stitches.
Knit ten rows of garter stitch.
Row 1: knit across.
Row 2: knit 3, purl to last three stitches, knit 3.
Continue alternating Rows 1 and 2 until you get to the last seven yards of yarn. Knit 10 rows in garter stitch. Bind off, weave in loose ends. Hand wash in cold water and block square.
Finished scarf is about 6 inches wide and 5′ long,
*I choose organic yarns when possible, especially when working with cotton. Why? Because fiber agriculture, especially cotton, is one of the biggest contributors to pesticide contamination of our natural waters! I look for manufacturers who offer naturally colored yarns or who use less toxic methods to make yarns with a smaller environmental impact. Bamboo is a naturally sustainable product. It grows prolifically without the use of fertilizers or pesticides. And it’s incredibly soft!