Along with many others in our industry, we want to pay attention to how the products we buy and sell contribute--or don’t--to a clean, healthy, sustainable planet. We also, of course, want to offer beautiful yarn.
Alas, it isn’t all that easy to find yarns that are both beautiful and 100% organic. And even determining what IS 100% organic varies depending on which particular certification you’re using. In the larger world beyond yarn, in some instances, all you have to do is provide a ‘traceable’ amount of organic cotton in your product to broadcast ‘organic’ on your label.
Other conundrums abound. What about ‘natural’ dyes? Are plant dyes better for the planet? Sadly, certain mordants used to set dye colors are extremely toxic to the environment. Or the amount of water used in the dye process is excessive and wasteful.
What about carbon footprint? Is a yarn grown organically in Asia, then shipped via freighteror, worse, by airto the U.S. more earth-friendly in a broad sense than a yarn milled in the U.S. from sheep that get vaccines to prevent them from falling prey to disease?
In coming up with our own green line, we decided to broaden our idea of an earth-friendly product to include different criteria. We began with a small step and focused on an egregious offendercotton. From now onnot just for this season, or while ‘organic’ stays hotwe’re committed to sourcing cotton and cotton-blend yarns made exclusively from certified organic cotton.
We hope that by maintaining a demand for better grade organic cottons, eventually the bulk of all cotton yarns on offer will be grown without using the pesticides that large growers depend on. I like to imagine that right this very minute someone, somewhere, is working to develop a long-staple cotton plant that is naturally disease-resistant. If you’re a lover of science, and a knitter, of course, and you’re looking for a career, why not think about plant research? You’d be doing us all a favor!
100% organic cotton
Sprout is a soft, cushy, chunky 100% organic yarn. Its slight nubby texture doesn’t detract from stitch patterns. Quite the opposite. Worked in bold knit-and-purl patterns, it highlights the play of opposing textures. And one of its best features is that it stays lofty, unlike many worsted-plus weight cotton yarns that tend to be heavy and dense once knitted.
Sprout is spun from Peruvian Tanguis cotton. This stout hardy cotton plant was developed in the early 1900’s as a response to an infestation of wilt disease that was decimating one of Peru’s major exports.
Tanguis is named after its developer, Fermin Tanguis. The plant’s ubiquitous presence and dependability have earned it the title “white gold” from the farmers who plant and harvest it.
Here is the free downloadable Sprout Baby Blanket pattern.
If you have difficulty downloading or printing the PDF pattern above, try these:
Easy-to-work knit-and-purl stitch patterns are endless. Here are three more charted options to use in the Sprout Baby Blanket. Sprout works up well in these simple patterns and makes them stand out in bold relief.