This post is brought to you by a couple of articles on being a bit green and four small behatted bears posing in my garden 😀 I will admit that the bears have very little direct relevance to my normal discussion topics of birth and midwifery, but as a part of my time for the past couple of weeks has been devoted to the annual creation and posting of tiny hats for the innocent big knit, and in light of the links I see between craft, birth and midwifery, it was probably inevitable that I would end up weaving the pictures that my partner took of some of the finished hats into a post about the latest articles that I have uploaded to share…
There’s even a half-decent connection, as today’s articles are: Birth and the earth and Towards greener birth. Both were first published in 2006, so I am sure you will be able to find more recent statistics if you want to, and it is heartening to see that, since this time, the online conversations on this topic have increased. Any search engine will help find more recent debates and discussions (I really like this blog post by Anna Hughes) and books, including Sustainability, Midwifery and Birth. But I still think they are worth reading for the tips that some of the midwives I talked to shared about how we can save waste within maternity care.
And if you’re also interested in the hats… As the bears are keen to demonstrate, it is also possible to save waste by using scraps of wool left over from your mum’s charity knitting efforts (thanks, mum 😀 … my mum has a much longer attention span than I do, so she knits full-sized jumpers for refugees, and I knit the leftover scraps into tiny hats for smoothies). Each tiny hat that gets sent to innocent gets put on a smoothie and, when somebody buys it, the nice people at innocent give 25p to Age UK to help keep old people warm.
(With respect to a certain former housemate of mine who pointed out that I could possibly achieve a similar effect by making the hats bigger so they would actually fit and warm older people directly: I like knitting tiny hats each year and my bears wouldn’t look nearly as good in big ones 😀 Also, I have discovered that the hats help buy hot meals and fund social gatherings as well. And you couldn’t eat a knitted hat, however big I made it, and I will never have a long enough attention span to be able to knit one big enough to host a knitting group in. We could possibly talk to my mum about that though…)
When the hats appear in the shops and you buy the smoothies, you have lots of choices as to what to do with them. They could get adopted by your own bears (or guinea pigs?) or you could put them somewhere safe and sent yourself a reminder to post them back to innocent next year to help raise even more money (I don’t think this is cheating?! 😉 ) but my favourite thing to do with them is to stuff the hats that I buy which have been lovingly knitted by other people with even tiner scraps of fabric or wool left over from other projects – oh and you can add a bit of lavender or crushed up dried cinnamon sticks to make them smell yummy if you like – weave another scrap of wool or embroidery thread through the open edge, gather it together, tie it up and turn them into holiday decorations. As you can see from the picture of the ones we bought last year!
Happy decoration-making! And if you’d like to knit tiny hats of your own, the due date has passed for this year, but I will try my best to post a reminder in 2014!