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I haven’t actually seen the movie Pay It Forward, in which a young boy comes up with a plan for direct action and encourages people to do 3 good things for other people, creating a “charity pyramid scheme,” but I’m intrigued by the concept. So when I saw that Eco Yogini was inviting readers to participate in a blog version of the pay it forward philosophy, of course I wanted to get involved. I love memes and virtual connectivity, and I love crafts and mail!

Here’s the lowdown:

  • I will make a handmade gift for the first three people who comment on this post.
  • I technically have 365 days to do this
  • What it will be and when it will arrive will be a total surprise

The catch for gift-receivers:

  • You must have a blog to participate
  • Before or after you comment here, you must do a write up of the pay it forward on your space and keep the “Good Karma” flowin’

You should know:

  • I love crafting! You will receive something unique and marvelous and most likely knitted!
  • I’m also a total procrastinator and leave everything til the last minute, so you might not receive it until November 2010

So if you want in, comment below! Be sure to include your email in the form (this will be private; only I, as the administrator, will have access to it) and I will follow up with a message.

These kinds of reciprocal actions are small, but I think they’re very powerful. Taking the time to make something and then mail it to somebody is a direct and active way to participate in the slow movement and craftivism. It’s also a way of engaging with “gift economy,” a grassroots alternative (based on social theories of traditional societies) to the dominant market economy where “valuable goods and services are regularly given without any explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards” (hmmm… sounds a lot like karma yoga, n’est-ce pas?).

And just in case you need more inspiration, check out this TED Talk with Carl Honoré, journalist and author of In Praise of Slow.


Detail from a baby blanket (aka, the "gayby blanket") I knitted last spring.

A few weeks ago, I discovered the “Yoga for Crafters” series on the Crafting a Green World blog. Well, recently they posted their special Knit and Crochet Edition.

It’s a pretty good routine focused on wrists, fingers, necks and chests. Though I’ve got to send out a warning to all you yarn lovers out there: the second pose on this routine is Tolasana, a challenging arm balance. Before you go into it, be sure to warm up your hips and upper body ~ otherwise, you’ll get frustrated. And if you’re feeling any major crafting strain in your wrists and forearms, don’t do this pose because you’ll just aggravate things.

I find that after a long knitting session, nothing feels better than a few minutes in Downward Dog (which is basically a magic pose). Do any other knitter/crafters out there have any poses to recommend? What works out your crafting aches, pains and kinks?

Yoga stickers from Japan ~ maybe not crafty, but adorable & for sale on Etsy.

Yoga stickers from Japan ~ maybe not crafty, but adorable & for sale on Etsy.

How many of you crafters out there get all scrunched up and out of alignment because of the hours you spend hunched over a sewing machine or holding awkward needles? Oh, how we suffer for our craft! I’m well aware of this from the sore neck, shoulders and wrists I end up with from knitting. So I’m excited that this blogger on Crafting a Green World has started a “Yoga for Crafters” series. Today was the Seamstress Edition. I can’t wait for the Knitters Edition! I also can’t wait for knitting season to be upon us (though I’m sad that summer is almost over) and for the resurrection of Knittervention, my beloved knitting group.

Also, while navigating the internets in search of more yoga/crafting stuff I discovered a great blog: Yoga for Crafters (based in Austin, TX, of course). Yay!

Yoga for Crafters: The Seamstress Edition
Yoga for Crafters: The Jeweller’s Edition

frontwarmersignedSewing is one of those skills that I’ve been meaning to teach myself for a while. Now I have a reason: so I can make these supercute yoga capris out of shirt sleeves.

I’m in love with luvinthemommyhood‘s adorable step-by-step video tutorial on upcycling “shirt sleeves to yoga capris.”

So on the next rainy spring weekend, I think I’ll try to whip up a pair of these capris – and while I’m at it, maybe I’ll make some flip flops out of an old yoga mat and weave a new mat out of twigs.

In these times of recession, it’s important to remember the other words that start with ‘R’: reduce, reuse, recycle. Get the most out of your dirty old yoga mat by recreating it into some stylish flip flops!

[via Beliefnet]

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