Today, Mary-Anne Mace, New Zealand lace designer extraordinaire, released Biophilia.
(photo copyright of Mary-Anne Mace)
I am so very, very touched that Mary-Anne has freely contributed this design to the Sustain the Sea initiative. She brought tears to my eyes when I saw what she had created, and read her message below.  Here are her words about Biophilia:
“Biophilia is a term first used by psychologist Erich Fromm, and developed by biologist E. O Wilson to describe a hypothetically innate human tendency to feel an emotional attachment to the natural world.

 Regardless of whether the tendency for biophilia exists or not, human dependence upon the natural world and its complex ecosystems is a fundamental truth.  The idea that human wellbeing is utterly dependent upon our positive interactions with the natural world and its biological diversity makes conservation of the planet’s ecological systems imperative. This decades old theory is even more relevant today as we continue to transform the planet in our quest for perpetual economic growth.

This shawl, Biophilia is a part of the Sustain the Sea collection. It is a free pattern, and yet it is not free. I ask that you consider your relationship with the natural world around you, and how your activities impact upon it. Is there something you can do to reverse environmental degradation from your home, in your community? I ask that you actively do something, and continue to do something that benefits the environment. To be effective, conservation and protection of the Earth’s resources and ecosystems must be adopted in the home, and then spread outwards through workplaces, schools, boardrooms, and government departments via policy makers, educators, parents, conservationists, writers, idealists, you and me. From the home to the sea – while environmental degradation may seem an insurmountable by-product of human activity – together we are many. Together we are so many, many people – ourselves a huge, diverse, and imaginative repository of information, solutions and actions that can benefit the environment, our relationship to it, and ultimately our own wellbeing.

Biophilia is a top-down crescent shaped shawl that represents my own connection to and affection for the natural environment. The motifs represent filament strands of entangled seaweed billowing in the ocean currents. Beads are worked at the edge and drip from each picot point.” – Mary-Anne Mace

Biophilia 2

(photo copyright of Mary-Anne Mace)

Thank you, Mary-Anne.

I’m sure you will agree that Biophilia is a stunningly beautiful shawl.  Mary-Anne has very eloquently expressed much of what I feel, and now I have a name to put to it:  Biophilia!

I’ll be casting on for this shawl very soon.  Join me!  Download the pattern on Ravelry – link here.

23 thoughts on “Biophilia

  1. It’s a gorgeous shawl. I’ve downloaded it and will find a special yarn to knit it up. It’s a lovely gesture and will be a meaningful project for me too.

  2. That is gorgeous and that colour is boot-ee-ful…
    And as for the gesture… I feel like I’m floating upon grace at the minute…
    And doesn’t our natural world need an ocean of grace in reply?
    I agree with keiryberry… A meaningful project

  3. That was such a treat to see and yes, I understand the emotional tie to the land. Unfortunately, NO ocean here 😦 but I do care for the land . Thank you.

    1. I think that sustainability applies to all aspects of life, not just the sea. I’m glad to know you have that focus too. The sea is an aspect that I focused on because I feel that as one of the last frontiers to be exploited by man, I think it is even more important to try to preserve what is there before it is gone forever. Looking after the land is equally as important.

  4. Truly gorgeous. And a good reminder to be good stewards of our planet. Something to meditate on while knitting it.

      1. Thank you for such a great initiative. Where I live we have so much pollution just on our beaches – dread to think about what’s actually in the sea and then, of course there’s the over fishing. We went to Monterey Aquarium in the summer, who do and highlight a lot of conservation work. Made me quite ashamed to be human and certainly made me think about what more I can do in my day to day life.

      2. That used to be exactly the same situation when I lived in Hong Kong. You couldn’t swim without plastic bags and debris brushing up against you and people often got infections from swimming in the water. It was awful. This is one of the reasons why I value our beautiful coastline and marine ecosystems even more than ever.

Comments are closed.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: