This week (well, ok, last week--I'm still behind!) for Slow Fashion October we're talking about my--and probably everyone else's--favorite topic: handmade!
"How do you understand your style, choose projects well, advance your skills, get the right fit, and keep things interesting and long-lasting at the same time. What are your go-to patterns and most successful garments. How do you avoid mindless acquisition of yarn and fabric, or making “too much.” How do you make time and space for making — and why?"
Wow, that's a lot to cover! So I'm going to focus on a few areas that are of particular interest to me.
First, how do I make time for making, and why?
This is particularly tricky since "making" is now my job as a designer, and so time for non-work-related making is even more limited.
The truth is, I don't make enough time for making. Not for lack of trying, but simply because there are a finite number of hours in each day. It's the end of October and I've only managed to knit 1 sweater for 1 kid this year. But I guess the alternative is to knit more and ignore my kids, so for now, I make do--they won't be this little forever.
I do what I can in the time I can find. Sometimes at the end of the day I'm too worn out to knit a single stitch. Other days I knit literally 6 stitches at a time throughout the day, and wind up with a few rows completed by bedtime. Waiting rooms and car trips where I'm not driving are godsends! I was doing better with time management early in 2016, but as the year steadily went to hell and life got more complicated, I shifted into more of a survival mode--and the last quarter of the year is a difficult time to get things back on track! But I'm trying.
I still prioritize knitting in my free time, though, as not only is making clothes important to me, it's also--most of the time--a way to relax and de-stress. Having unique clothes that fit me (and my kids), are made from quality materials, and will last for years are major factors in continuing to knit, even with limited time.
And second, how do I avoid mindless acquisition . . . or making "too much?"
I definitely feel like these are too separate issues--or rather, one is an issue, and one really isn't. Mindless acquisition is definitely a concern. The way some people shop for handbags and shoes after a bad day is often the way I shop for yarn--"ooh, shiny!" and into the cart it goes. This is obviously not ideal for my bank account, and it's not the way create a stash of usable materials either, so it's something I've tried to become more mindful of, and something I continue to work on. While I don't always have a specific project in mind when I buy yarn, I've made an effort this year to buy yarn in quantities for a specific kind of project--enough for a cardigan or a kid's pullover or a set of matching hats.
On the other hand, I'm not worried about making too much. I don't personally feel that there's any such thing. Of course, given the aforementioned limits to my knitting time, even if there were such a thing as too many handknit sweaters, I'd still be in no danger. But I don't think you can have too many, as long as they're being used--so if making sweaters or shawls or hats brings you joy, keep on making them.
What do you think? Can you have too many handknit sweaters--and do you? Do you struggle with over-stashing yarn? How does handmade fit into your wardrobe?
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