8.16.2010

Knit A Market Bag


It happens every summer right about now. I freak out at how much trash there is on the beach. I start going to the beach carrying bags in which to collect the trash. This means that I am not really enjoying the beach. I am cursing my fellow humans. I am not looking out over the horizon. I am looking at my feet. I may have to start doing two walks: the Trash Walk, and the Bask Walk. Both Slow Love walks, but one creates slow burn rather than slow  joy. Well, one of my wise friends pointed out that I seem drawn to impossible tasks, and certainly, cleaning up all the trash at the beach would qualify. Most of the trash is plastic. And don't give me "...washed up from a boat"....though that too is a huge problem--it is criminal that cruise ships are allowed to dump trash and worse in ocean waters, no matter how far from shore they are. I wonder why it is that people feel they can be such slobs at the beach? Do they think that all this plastic is just going to sink politely to the bottom of the ocean and disappear forever? No. It creates an environmental disaster. That link will just show you a visual cry of despair, so that I do not have to go on about it. This is not the time for a rant. It is too early, and the morning is too gorgeous.

Instead, this is the time to share a couple of terrific ideas I just came across. One is from Ronnie Citron-Fink's blog, econesting; she has a post on knitting your own market bags. I think that even my klutzy self could do this one, and as we are in the midst of Cousins Week here at the beach (everyone gathers from around the country and reverts to their youngster selves) perhaps we'll form a production line of knitted bags. The other idea is for cutting up those plastic bags, turning it into "yarn" and knitting things with it...eye-popping. I so want you to look at this that I am linking twice (that would be you I'm talking to, Pops. Can you believe that dress is made of plastic bags?) As always, I am in awe of those Craft Meisters among us. Why O Why did I not take Home Ec more seriously in junior high?

And for those of us whose fingers are simply benumbed, or too busy typing...I have noticed that you really do have to choose: typing, playing piano, or knitting. There is a limited amount of multi-tasking that can be done with two hands...Photographed above is a knitted bag that I noticed at the Young Family Farm stand. It was made by a young woman from Haiti, comes in a zillion different color combinations, and is being distributed through an organization called 1000Jobs. It is dedicated to fighting poverty in Haiti one job at a time. The bag is handsome and sturdy, and buying one supports an excellent cause. They also sell charmingly embroidered aprons and tea towels.

When I go to a friend's house for dinner, I usually bring my hostess a bottle of champagne or wine. But lately, I got to thinking that what she really needs is breakfast--my friend Abby seems to like getting fresh muffins. I'll take any excuse to visit Karla at her farm; I never know what's going to turn up on the shelves, and I always leave with a smile. I recommend you pack up some jams, cheese, and fruit, bake a dozen muffins, and tuck them into one of these young women's bags. Ask your local shops to become a distributer by contacting the 1000Jobs website. Support your local farmer, and your global neighbor. Spread the jam. Spread the love.

11 comments:

Teresa Hatfield said...

Love the bags. Such nice ideas.
Teresa

Madgew said...

Very creative. I have a bag made out of plastic grocery bags that a friend's friend makes.

Richard said...

Dominique, I echoed your rant yesterday morning seeing the cases of empty beer bottles on my favorite dog walk. But was calmed upon learning that the park's ecosystem includes people who supplement their income recycling those bottles. Another case of connectivity in our universe.

The Buddhists sometimes leave colored pieces of cloth offerings for the water to carry away. That too becalms my heart.

Lucy said...

Dominique, thanks for the plug for 1000jobsHaiti ! We are a 50lc3 (charitable) organization and every penny of profit goes back to job creation projects for Haitians. We could use many more friends like you! FYI, Buck Close is giving a talk (Is Haiti Hopeless?) at St Andrews Church on Wednesday August 18 at 7pm. Lucy Close

Claudia Clobes said...

That sounds like a great cause-love that-anything like that 1000Jobs! I just finished your book and loved it! I'm so happy you are doing well again and came out of that fog--I posted about your book today on my blog-- thanks for the inspiring writing and I too love the coast of RI, vacationed in Little Compton over July 4th; how lucky you are to call RI your full-time home...cc

Ronnie said...

Well, I am totally in awe of those Haitian artisans…and mightily humbled for the econesting mention. Your blog, the images and the delectable text are an inspiration for all of us floating out there in the blogosphere. Did I forget the book? Loved it enough to write about it (a few times). Thanks, Dominique!

SweetRetreat said...

Your wee early morning rant hits a nerve. A few years ago, while vacationing on a remote part of Cuba we found a great deal of plastic debris while walking the sandy and rocky shoreline. Not left there by local residents who have little access to such 'luxury', but most certainly carelessly discarded on some far-flung beach or off boats burning through the waters. I confess to not picking it up and am left with the guilt!

stencil helen said...

Cousins Week? I love the idea of reverting to the better aspects of childhood with friends and family whilst knitting bags. I'd have a go then buy one of Louna's. Breakfast as a hostess gift is great idea too. I'll be back.

karensandburg said...

i live across the street from green space and miles of trails where i take my dogs. i'm appalled at the plastic bags people leave at the trailhead filled with dog waste. i think walter cronkite said it best when asked what was the one thing he couldn't live without - "simple human courtesy."

Jessica said...

Yes, I am a litter loon too... I'm always amazed that folks who first enjoyed spending time at my local park then spoil it for other people and themselves when they leave a garbagedump! So, better once picked up than bothered by over and over I bring the bags and take it out too.
(And then I always wonder if somebody would say "hey, I left a whole picknick of empty wrappers last time, where did they go???)

Frederico said...

What a great way to save on plastic bags! I was at a farmer's market recently and felt really bad asking fora plastic bag...