Friday, June 29, 2012

You know you've gone too far....

I tend to feel very passionate about certain things (like saving the planet) and maybe carry them a little farther than most people.  This causes me to feel like I'm always on the fringe. In an attempt to fit in and not feel ostracized by "normal" people, I try to monitor myself to make sue I haven't crossed any lines.
For instance, several years ago, feeling very stressed about consumerism, I thought I would go a step further than the usual recycling and thrifting.  I started compacting. 
You may have heard of compacting, agreeing to not buy anything new for a year (with the exception of some essentials). Below are guidelines from The Compact forum.

The Compact.

We are a group of individuals committed to a 12-month flight from the consumer grid (calendar year 2012).
The Compact has several aims (more or less prioritized below):

  • To go beyond recycling in trying to counteract the negative global environmental and socioeconomic impacts of disposable consumer culture and to support local businesses, farms, etc. -- a step that, we hope, inherits the revolutionary impulse of the Mayflower Compact.
  • To reduce clutter and waste in our homes (as in trash Compact-er).
  • To simplify our lives (as in Calm-pact)

We've agreed to follow two principles (see exceptions etc. on our blog).

#1 Don't buy new products of any kind (from stores, web sites, etc.)
#2 Borrow, barter, or buy used.

Everyone I know seems on-board with a trip or two to a thrift shop for a shirt or a pair of jeans, but when I started buying our shoes second hand, I sort of figured I should keep that to myself.
In Tucson, because of such limited water resources, most people try to conserve water.  When we went to bathing the kids only twice a week, it wasn't that extreme.  When we stopped using soap in their bath so that we could bale the water out and use it to water plants, I thought we might have gone a little past socially-accepted.
When I killed a small portion of grass (don't get me started on the superfluousness of grass in the west!) to make a vegetable bed, no one thought I was crazy.  
When I wiped out our entire yard, (front included) for a vegetable garden, my own family tried to have me committed.

For years I have dreamed about having my own fiber producing animal, be it angora rabbit, sheep or goat.  Of course, even I realize that my yard has some limitations.  
That is why when I saw this patten featured on Fancy Tiger's Raverly page ( I thought I had died and gone to heaven. 
Cute little kitty toy pattern you say? 
And it matches the big kitty perfectly.  
But how does it match the big kitty so perfectly?
Are you ready?  
IT WAS KNIT IN THE CATS FUR!  That's right, in the cats own fur!  How completely wonderful is that?
I did some research and guess what?  You can spin all sorts of pet fur into lovely skeins of yarn for knitting!  

Now instead of cursing that hairy old dog while cleaning up clumps of this under the piano

I can dream about turning it into this!

There are even companies who will spin your animal's brushing cast-offs into balls of yarn for you.  

Bye Bye sheep

Hello Casey!  (Maybe I won't tell the neighbors)