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These are balls of yarn wound from the skip cones, and some have been wound into solstice/xmas colours for fingerknitting/crochet chaining non-plastic tinsel swags.

If you are interested, Knit Nottingham are very kindly going to sell them to fundraise for Action Village India, my favourite charity. One of their Gandhi Memorial projects supports young girls learning spinning and textile skills. Women and girls can suffer terribly in India, and this is one of the ways to ensure a girl is treated with respect, by teaching her skills/a trade so that she can support herself, which means she is treated with far greater respect by her husband and in-laws, and within her own family.

For more on the horrendous injustices to women in India, please read:

http://genderbytes.wordpress.com/

Rita Banerji is amazing in her tireless efforts to have gendercide recognised by the United Nations, if you are on Facebook, please sign their petition.

If you are interested in the wonderful work Action Village India do, please go to their website:

http://www.actionvillageindia.org.uk/

I first heard about them through a leaflet in Organic Gardening magazine, and sent them £20, which funded a place for a year on a self-sufficiency through organic gardening project in Trivandrum, Kerala. Details like the project worker visiting villages by bicycle appealed to me so much that I ended up raising £2,000 over the next few years, and only the fibromyalgia stopped me having stalls of baked goods and crafts for them…The ‘nothing is ever wasted’ exhibition in 2008 raised nearly £350 for them… these are not huge amounts, but because of how the charity works with its Indian partners, there is very little waste, and costs are kept very low, so that money went a long way 😉

If you are interested in the upcycled yarns, Knit Nottingham have some green, red, gold or white mixes to make xmas/yule swags, or ice blue and purple for solstice. And some other colourways for scarves, slipper socks etc., I’ve also slipped some xmas and frost fairy crafting and cardmaking packs in too, they’re £3/£5/£7 for over 45 items, including a packet of beads, xmas embossed fabrics, machine cords, some card blanks…the yarns are 2pence per gram, so 125g = £2.50 and will make a pair of bedsocks/slippersocks (but sew on your own soles)

http://www.knitnottingham.co.uk/

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What is a swag? A long chained piece of yarn, fabric or greenery used to decorate staircases, trees, doors etc. Basically, anywhere you would put tinsel, you can put these.

If you have crafty children to amuse, this fingerknitting is really simple:

Make a large loop (big enough to get thumb and finger through) and secure it with a simple knot.

Put thumb and finger through the loop and pull another loop of yarn through.

Pull a loop through that loop….basically make a chain, and then chain the chain, by repeating what you did, with the first loop tied from the now chained yarn. Tie your ends firmly and leave enough yarn to tie the swag to a banister/branch etc.,

If you use eyelash yarn, it will look very like tinsel, if you use multi-strand yarn, it will look both pretty and very unusual. It is washable, re-usable, and non plastic based, if you want natural decorations that avoid petro-chemicals. Add holly, ivy and pine cones for a traditional swag, crochet granny squares as decorations or knit balls with stripes or spots, use that stash up!

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