WOMBLEKNITS: THE ESSENTIALS
I specialise in products that can be reused instead of used once and then thrown away - things like gift bags, market bags, soap saver sacks and wool nappy covers. And because I love bright, rainbow colours, I try to find the balance between bright dyes and earth-friendly, ethically produced yarns, to help you bring some colour into going green!
WHAT WILL YOU FIND AT WOMBLEKNITS?
I like making things that are useful, colourful, and kind to the earth, so the items you'll find in my shop are mostly very practical but also make great gifts. Things like mesh shopping bags and tote bags, soap saver sacks and washcloths, water bottle slings, wool nappy soakers, as well as some items that aren't as innately useful but just as eco-friendly, such as decorative letters made from wool, gifts such as pompom keyrings and hair clips (made from tiny ends of wool) and all-wool Christmas stockings.
I love colour, too, so you'll find a lot of bright and rainbow-coloured items alongside the perhaps slightly more earth-friendly undyed, unbleached yarns, or recycled denims.
WHAT ARE MY PRODUCTS MADE FROM?
As well as trying to use up materials I already have, or which have already been used once already, I am always on the look-out for more eco-friendly yarns to knit with. I began by trying to use up manmade yarns from my stash (on items that wouldn't get washed often, to reduce the impact of fibres shed into the water system) but nowadays I only knit with natural, biodegradable yarns.
Wool sometimes gets a bad rap, especially with the rising trend towards veganism, but it really is a wonderful material – naturally insulating, water-resistant and antibacterial. It's also forever renewable, and I try to source wool from animals who are well-treated and happy (and naturally grazed, helping improve the soil too).
Cotton is of course biodegradable too but can use an awful lot of water, so I try to source organic cotton where possible which uses less water as well as no chemicals, or alternatives such as hemp and linen. I also try to source yarns which have been dyed naturally or not at all, or using fewer chemicals and resources.
Thare's also a growing range of recycled yarns available too, which is fantastic to see. I'm working my way through trying them all!
WHAT ABOUT THE PATTERNS AND KNIT KITS?
All my knitting patterns are for items available in my Etsy shop. Some are for reusable alternatives to everyday items such as soap saver sacks and market bags; some are less intrinsically eco-friendly but will be sustainable if made with the suggested natural yarns (and, where applicable, stuffing).
The same goes for colour - several of my patterns have been developed to show off my love of rainbow patterns, but they can just as easily be knited with undyed or pastel coloured yarn.
All my knit kits are inherently eco-friendly. All yarns are as natural as I can get them, all knitting needles are wooden (apart from the flexible cords on circular needles), tapestry needles are metal, and stuffing is organic wool. Each kit comes in a recycled, recyclable brown paper bag which can be reused as a gift bag or project bag before being recycled or composted.