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Thursday, October 1, 2015

slow fashion october: introductions

I haven’t really introduced myself on this blog yet so I’m taking the opportunity to do so today as my first contribution to Karen Templer’s Slow Fashion October

Hi, my name is Jamie and I live in Northern California. And when I say Northern California I mean true Northern California, like 300ish miles North of San Francisco and 90ish miles South of the Oregon border. I dabble in a lot of things including knitting, sewing, and most recently spinning. But my primary mode of making is knitting. I taught myself how to knit back in high school but didn’t actually complete a wearable/usable object until a few years ago when I made my first shawl (which took me 2 years to complete, ugh). Even after that pivotal moment of actually completing something other than a rectangle, my interest in knitting was superficial. I was more interested in the product than the process.

Last summer at a writer’s retreat I was introduced to picking, around that same time I committed to myself that I would knit with yarn made of predominantly natural fibers. These two events completely altered my conception of what it means to knit and what it means to make. 

Learning how to pick eased the tension I would carry in my shoulders when throwing. It also greatly increased my knitting speed. The yarn that I began to knit with, being non-acrylic, would move easily on my needles and didn't make that horrific squeaky noise that acrylic yarns tend to make. While I am always happy with my end product, I am now equally (if not more so) happy with the process. Knitting is enjoyable for me now, physically and mentally. It is relaxing and fun. Knitting has become a daily practice for me and I am hoping that, among other things, Slow Fashion October will help keep me mindful of my process and mindful of the joy of making. 

For me, this month isn’t about literally moving slowly through projects (knit fast, die warm amirite?), it’s more about slowing down my consumptive practices. What I mean by that is slowing down and waiting to produce a garment as opposed to jumping in my car and driving down to Target to buy one. Slow Fashion October is a chance to step back and enjoy the process of creating. To look at where my clothes coming from and assess how I can begin to craft myself a mindful, careful, and ethically made wardrobe.

As far as goals for this month, I’m hoping to fill some holes in my closet. I lack a lot of neutral basics: sweaters, tops, skirts, dresses, etc. I also lack a lot of things made from natural fibers, (though as of late I'm doing a pretty good job of changing that). So over the course of this month I plan on making at least one wool sweater for myself as well as some boxy jersey tops made from organic cotton, bamboo, or maybe even hemp.

Cheers to a productive and mindful October! Can't wait to see what everyone else makes!

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