Gettin' Made: And Gettin' Aware

Today I'm going to play the enabler here for all you knit and crochet yarnophiles out there:  Have you seen the book AwareKnits by crafty superstar Vickie Howell and equally crafty cowriter Adrienne Armstrong? (You may have heard of Adrienne's husband Billy Joe Armstrong from a little band called Green Day.)

AwareKnits, by Vickie Howell and Adrienne Armstrong, is available in the crafty section of major bookstores and online.
AwareKnits, by Vickie Howell and Adrienne Armstrong, is available in the crafty section of major bookstores and online.

The awesome folks at Lark Books sent along a copy for me to check out, and what's this? Another copy to give away to one lucky Gettin' Made reader! After the jump, read all about this eco-conscious knit and crochet project book and enter to win a free copy!

Ok here's what I loved about AwareKnits. Not only is it a book full of projects with a green, eco-conscious focus, but it's great for both knitters and crocheters! Lots of times, you'll get a project book that's specific to one or the other and it's always refreshing when both types or yarny love are included in one book.

There's projects for every man, woman and child (and their home!) in AwareKnits, all of which call for a green or recycled yarn. What's really fun here is that sure some projects call for store bought bamboo or wool, but others call for funkier yarns (like the Extra! Eco! frame on page 85 that's made with recycled newspaper yarn!), and still others call for recycled yarn that you make yourself. (Check out the Save The Tees! basket on page 110 for a large catch-all basket made from recycled t-shirt yarn!)


The start of my Alter-Eco bag, made from recycled plastic grocery store bags.
The start of my Alter-Eco bag, made from recycled plastic grocery store bags.

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I was the most intrigued by the projects that gave you instructions on how to make your own yarn, so I started tackling the Alter-Eco bag project on page 81. The instructions on how to make the yarn out of used grocery store bags were super easy to follow (and who doesn't have a ton of those lying around?), and the bag itself is a breeze to crochet!

My one word of wisdom on the Alter-Eco bag is learn from me and make it easy on yourself by sticking to using grocery store plastic bags for your yarn. It's slick and easy to work with, unlike some of the other plastic bags out there. When my husband got nervous about how many bags I was using up from our grocery bag stash, (we use them for picking up after our dogs on walks) I branched out into other bags I was finding around the house. I tried using a large clear plastic dry-cleaning bag, which was thin but super-sticky and no fun at all. When that bag was fully incorporated into my project, I decided never again with the dry-cleaning bags and tried making a ball of plastic bag yarn out of an empty bag of birdseed. This was even worse than the dry-cleaning bag! Such thick plastic, and hard to work with... it's the ball of plastic bag yarn (or Plarn, as it's called in AwareKnits) pictured above, and is pretty much the reason I haven't finished this market bag yet. My plan is to make some more plarn out of the grocery store bags and finish this bag up post haste!

I think that was my favorite thing about this book. The instructions on how to make a couple of different unusual yarns yourself really made AwareKnits stand out from other knitting books I've got in my way-too-extensive craft book library. And now it's time for you to win a copy of your own! Leave a comment on this blog post by midnight on Friday, March 26 and you'll automatically be entered to win a free copy of AwareKnits courtesy of Lark Books! (prize retail value: $22.95)

We love conversation on the comments so chat as much as you like, but remember only one entry per person will be counted - the results will be decided by, so no trying to butter me up with promises of a free trip to Cancun if you win! If you've won a Gettin' Made giveaway in the last 30 days you'll be ineligible to win so others have a chance at awesomeness, and you should make sure is on your safe list in your email so my prize notification doesn't end up in your spam! Now get to commenting! 

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