Slow Fashion October

Slow Fashion October

I always have to feel inspired before I publish a blog post. If I had been out when I finished knitting Balmaha, the blogs would have possibly had a different theme and I know it there would have been a different scene. My original plans to go to the shore for the finished photos, in keeping with Kate’s theme in her new book called ‘Shore’ featuring this yoke sweater. The best laid plans didn’t come to fruition as most who read my blog will know I haven’t been able to be out. Yesterday was a mini celebration (albeit short-lived) but to have a few hours when I could forget about my leg is worthy of a mention as it hasn’t felt as normal for months on end. I can’t say it has gone completely and I realise I took a few too many steps yesterday. Te feel the crips leaves, crunch beneath my feet, the chill of the autumn air, my fingers going white again was all part of being out in the fresh air. We had to change our plans and visit the grounds of Stormont instead of the shore but a little peripeteia has brought my thoughts to inspire me to type this blog.

Pop of yellow

I was going to focus on the blue of the sweater but when plans changed it was the natural tones that brought my eye to wood and trees. An unexpected tree with pops of yellow berries provided a setting for the blue whilst nature brought out the tones of cream and brown. I love this yoke and the detailing of colours with texture is very special. The pathway I had planned was closed for maintenance, we may not have seen the yellow berries if we had been along another path.

Colour is beautiful, when it means something.

back drop

The news and social media have been focusing on ‘fast fashion’ and the conversation around slow fashion October has really made me think. I have never been a person to desire cheap, throw away clothes although I admit to buying more clothes than I need and knitting ‘just because’ there was a KAL or there was a pattern, everyone was knitting and I wanted to feel part of the group. I bought too many random skeins and they have served as a lesson to me. I always enjoyed taking my time to knit but I was a person who kept their knitwear for ‘special occasions’ I questioned myself about how many special occasions did I actually have! I admit to being part of the knit, buy, give away but slowly and steadily my mindset has changed and now I am consciously thinking of clothes that last, things I don’t need and the regeneration of clothes in my wardrobe for many years, brought back to actually wearing them as ‘no’ I didn’t have those special occasions to even make the clothes look worn.

I was further dismayed this week to see the excessive marketing over a skincare brand arriving in the UK. I was looking forward to the launch as the focus was on pure ingredients but when I witnessed the mania around I became disheartened and really stood back from being involved. Our world seems to be a throw away society and prices around aren’t considered yet our health service is in crisis and I for one would be afraid I was wasting the doctors time even when last week I would have let anyone cut my leg off it was so uncomfortable! I won’t delve deeper as I am here to tell the rest of the story of my knitting and the way I hope to go forward.

years standing

I realised when I got my clothes ready to wear with Balmaha that my trousers and boots were at the very least 15-18 yrs old! They have been in my wardrobe all those years (the trousers are age 10 although I cant say I wore them age 10!) Dad remembered when we bought them, they were expensive but when I consider they are still impeccable now, the fashion wasn’t thrown away and I can still wear them today. My boots may go back even further but the shine still lasts on the leather, my feet a little narrower now but I will be adding an insole to fix that and wear these boots. I wouldn’t even care if anyone knew and thought they weren’t in fashion. They have been revived and completed my outfit. The sweater has been knit by me but that means I enjoyed the process. I didn’t feel bored at knitting any of it. I wasn’t tempted with the words ‘they are cheaper to buy’ Yoke sweaters are in all the latest magazines/catalogues but to me (and to dad) nothing replaces the time spent knitting a design and now I have changed to wearing what I knit, I will enjoy wearing this with clothes I have had in my wardrobe for years.

 dad wearing Svenson

dad wearing Svenson

The yarn isn’t 100% wool as there is mohair in Milarrochy tweed but the mohair content adds a robust quality to the single ply of wool. My sweater won’t pill, plus the mohair/wool mix will serve to keep me warm. As an aside from this dad was wearing his Svenson sweater that I knit last year from Arbour wool. I am disappointed with the ‘wear’ showing on dad’s sweater. The wool was rounded and despite dad being subject to my ‘keep for special occasions’ I have realised that it isn’t a smart as it looked when it came off my needles. I don’t know if it was the Fleet colour way but this experience has made my mind up that the next sweater I knit for dad will be chosen with care as I want him to wear without the need to take remove the pilling and every fleck showing up in the sunlight.

I can’t type too much more as after my afternoon out yesterday I am very tired and still suffering awful headaches. I see each project as a building block to the next. My poor choice or yarn, when I didn’t realise not all yarn is created equal, another lesson I had to experience but can now move on. I am currently planning more heirloom quality knitting; projects that take time, teach me new techniques and have given me days and evenings of pure joy. I know this brings back buying kits to knit but when the knitting will be worn for years with clothes I have in my wardrobe, I am prepared to do this. When designers inspire me I really appreciate all their attention to detail. I took a step last week to return a book I just couldn’t justify and this is how I plan to go on. Think before I buy

Everyone is different and I appreciate all points of view but for me slow, thoughtful fashion will be top of my mind. I may fall by the wayside but I hope I didn’t as when I believe something I find it difficult to just ‘go with the crowd’ I enjoy the friendships I have made and am very grateful that friends understand how my mind works and why I have to justify the things I knit and now the things I buy. Anticipation is to be enjoyed but recently this verges on mania and this is something I can’t equate with.

I need to learn to stop a lot of my needless worry, I worry when I post the photos, I worry when I post a blog, yet friends support me and this means a lot to me. Dad is the one to nudge me to publish and share. I hope to continue to share my thoughts and my knitting. Thank you for all your caring support.

Forget yesterday, it has already forgotten you. Don't worry about tomorrow. You haven't even met. Instead open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift; today

Seasons and reasons

Seasons and reasons