Thursday, October 27, 2016

Additions and deletions

So, I think the whole #slowfashionoctober movement has passed me by, because I'm not on instagram.  I'm a bit retro: when we moved to Canada, we didn't get cell phones here, and I eventually gave up on the US one I had.  I haven't kept up with the smartphone, texting, selfie stuff that I see people doing all around me.

In fact, I found it to be a relief.  We don't get a lot of phone calls and to be honest, I don't miss it, mostly.  Life with twins and two dogs is noisy.  I don't think I always have to be available--and juggling the folks in my household takes all of my attention a lot of the time.  Truthfully, the only time I really thought I should have a phone was back in the spring time, when I had my little surprise trip to the ER and was too sick to use one myself anyhow.

Although I have dropped in on the instagram conversation as a lurker, I realized I wasn't debating things in the way others have.  I haven't been wondering how I could make all my own t-shirts, or spelling out the origins of every piece of fabric or yarn in my stash.  I haven't sworn off anything much, either.  On the other hand, I don't buy a lot new in the first place.

My only recent purchases have been out of necessity.  I bought another pair of All Birds Wool sneakers when I visited the US.  They are all wool and biodegradable materials, and I have fallen in love with how comfortable they are...and since I am not really up for making my own shoes right now, I'll settle for an ethically made pair, ready for next spring, summer and fall, instead. (winter time in Winnipeg = boots from November to April)

Then, I had (gasp) an underwire pop out of one of those essential female undergarments.  I was down to way too few of those anyway, and had to go to The Bay and check out their lingerie sale.  Now, I think I bought all of "last year's models" and saved a lot of money.  Were all those bras and pairs of underwear made in a place with good working conditions?  With a decent minimum wage?  I just don't know...but Rome wasn't built in a day.  I have to take a middle path about this.  There's no way I'll have time to figure out how to make underwear this month.  It's just not in the schedule.
This month, as usual, I've fixed lots of things.  I mended and patched many pairs of little boy pants.  I knit up an extension on this sweater.  Instead of cutting off the old ribbing, I left it in place, picked up stitches right above it, and knit down.  Luckily, I had matching yarn left over, although I have a feeling the kid in question would have been fine with contrasting yarn, if that were on offer!

I debated cutting off the ribbing at the end, but felt it was risky.  This kid is narrow in the hips, so instead, I just basted down the ribbing on the inside, and it forms a double layer band towards the bottom of the sweater.  It looks tidy enough on the inside.
Now, in this action shot, over a hand me down polar fleece, if you undo the sleeve cuffs, you can see there is still room to grow this season, and the sweater has already been in action again...worn out and about.
The kid in question is pleased as punch to have his sweater back.
I haven't done as much writing about Slow Fashion this month as I had intended.  However, maybe I have some excuses to fall back on.  Pre-twins, I did write a whole book about this back in 2009.  You know, about making ethical and green choices when it came to choosing knitting yarns and textiles in general...Knit Green.

I also realize that while I may not be snapping so many perfectly staged photos, I am indeed spending those moments trying to mend, recycle, reuse, and maximize what we've got at home when it comes to clothing.  Yesterday, I showed someone the knitting in my purse.  It's the sleeve to one twin's fall sweater (each kid gets one handknit sweater a year, if I can manage it) and one half of a handknit kid's sock.  It's all from my stash--no new yarn purchases.  I'm still trying, one stitch at a time, to make things from scratch in a responsible way.

Today, in other activities: I've made 3 loaves of challah, one loaf of banana chocolate chip bread, pureed the soup (and froze some) that I cooked yesterday, put chicken and potatoes into the slow cooker, got my freezer lamb for the year delivered, dealt with another house upkeep issue, and submitted an article on a deadline to an editor.  You know, nothing much... there's still time to fit in a little more mending and knitting, I hope! (and all before I pick up boys from kindergarten, too...)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think you have to worry about not being in the center of the Slow Fashion movement, because that is what you are all about anyway. I like Instagram, but for the possibility of seeing a moment or two in someone else's life, not for political stuff as much. I love seeing where other people live and travel!

You do more mending than most people I know (I have a pile upstairs that I think is going to end up with iron-on patches, my husband is too hard on his clothing for me to do a nice hand-stitched job. But, that will be for another day, most likely!).

November 3, 2016 at 6:54 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Thanks, Nina. I think it was reading about how someone sources the sustainably made elastic for the lingerie she makes herself? That kind of put me off! I guess even slow fashion has its limits when it comes to practicality, and when the rubber hits the road for each family is different. As for the mending, I often feel like it is an endless battle, but if I do a little every few days, I just about keep up...and I do have a family that values its clothing and the effort I put it into it. We are all very hard on our clothes anyway though, and we do not even live on a farm, like you do! Take care. :) Joanne

November 3, 2016 at 7:32 PM  

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