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THE WOOLLY CYCLE: KNITTING, REPAIRING, COMPOSTING

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

One of the great joys of our craft is choosing the perfect yarn for our projects. But what if I told you that your choice could have an impact far beyond the fit, feel, and flair of your latest creation? Let's talk about the wonders of pure wool and how this fantastic fiber can benefit not just your knitting but also your garden!



Warm and Woolly Wonders

Let's start by celebrating pure wool, the superhero of yarns. This 100% natural fiber, beloved by knitters worldwide, has much to offer. Besides its incredible warmth, breathability, and elasticity (perfect for those cozy winter sweaters or snug socks), wool is also highly durable, making it ideal for items you'll love wearing again and again.


Moreover, pure wool is biodegradable and compostable, so once your woolly wonders have served their time, they can return to the earth, completing a beautifully sustainable cycle.




Mend and Make Do

Of course, we want our knitted garments to live long, loved lives. Before you throw away that sweater with a small tear or those socks with a thinning heel, consider mending them! Repairing your knits not only extends their life but also gives you a chance to add some personal flair. A contrasting patch, visible mending techniques, or creative darning can transform wear and tear into a bespoke design feature. Learn more about types of mending here.


mending socks
Esperanza Rivera de Torre


A Composting Tale

But what happens when that beloved sweater can't be mended anymore, or those comfy socks have walked their last mile? Enter the humble compost heap, an unexpected ally in our sustainability story.


Did you know that pure wool makes excellent compost? When wool decomposes, it releases nitrogen, a vital nutrient for plants. Just chop your old woolen garments into small pieces and add them to your compost pile. Over time, the wool will break down, enriching your compost with nutrients and improving its texture.


plant pots
© Markus Spiske


Potted Wool Wonders

No compost pile? No worries! Pure wool can also be a great friend to your houseplants. Placing pieces of old woolen garments at the bottom of pots not only helps with water retention but also slowly releases beneficial woolly components into the soil.


Remember to keep wool pieces large enough not to slip through the drainage hole. This little trick helps your plants stay hydrated and gives a gentle nutrient boost.


plants
© Margarita Terekhova


Knit, Purl, Compost, Repeat!

So there we have it, a wonderful, woolly cycle that starts with a simple skein of yarn and ends with a boost for your garden. This is sustainability at its coziest! It’s incredible how our love for knitting can intertwine with our passion for the earth. So, next time you pick up your needles, remember: knit, purl, compost, repeat!


Happy knitting, and may your thumbs always be green (and your stitches always even)!

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