Being "green" and "organic" is very trendy these days, but the nice thing about this book from Ann Budd (other than being a book by Ann Budd) is that it's not about being trendy. It's about trying to be environmentally friendly. The book starts:
"To the casual observer, knitting looks to be an earth-friendly practice that hasn't changed much over the centuries. But our ancestors raised their own sheep, and spun the fiber into yarn, and grew flax and spun it into linen, all without the use of antibiotics or pesticides. They gathered, processed, and spun the fiber by hand, dyed it with whatever was available, and hoped that there would be enough for a garment. Then they knitted by firelight after working all day to put food on the table. ... But progress comes at a cost-the carbon footprint grows with every aspect of large-scale production. So, how do we enjoy our yarn choices while being mindful of our delicate planet?"
What follows is two-fold. First, there are the "conversations" mentioned in the title. Essays and thoughts about ways that knitting both is and is not organic, green, environmentally-friendly. The other half is the pattern collection. A series of knitting possibilities made not only out of environmentally green yarns, but to make your lifestyle more green. Are you chilly? Instead of turning up the thermostat, pull on the Tree-Hugger Pullover, or cuddle under the Blue Cloud Afghan. Keep your house cleaner by wearing Save-the-Streams Slippers instead of shoes. Carry your stuff in the On-the-Go Bike Basket-Purse or the Commuter Knapsack when you ride your bicycle instead of taking a car. Don't forget the knitted grocery bag, either.
All in all, this is a lovely book, a good reminder of how important it is to keep the earth's future in mind. Ann Budd is right--knitting seems like an environmentally friendly hobby, but being mindful of our impact, our carbon footprint, is more important than ever.