Do Play With Your Vegetables

Hand-knit toys are all the rage this season. Probably because they are so endearing—each one is unique and in every stitch has the feel of something made from the heart. And they are so eccentric. This crate of boxed vegetables looks a bit like the one delivered to the house the other day (anyone have a recipe for curly kale?). Except that it is made out of 100% organic, Egyptian cotton that is very soft and durable. It's fair trade-- a fair price is paid to the cotton growers and a just wage to all the workers. Plus they might even make your children love vegetables. Then there are sweet hand-made cat and dog knitted toys by an English couple trying to live self-sufficiently in Portugal, by using their skills as artists. If "wild animals" are more your thing, these lions and monkeys are knitted in Kenya (and signed by the knitter), out of wool which is dyed naturally with plants and vegetables. The project started in 1998 to help rural women find much-needed income. They create cheetahs and elephants and monkey mittens too for that darling little someone.