Things I have learned from Me Made May 2019

Yes I know that May isn’t actually over yet but I have been thinking about the lessons Me Made May has taught me already so I thought I would take the time to share with you what I’d learned so far. Back in 2017 I wrote a blog post on the same theme and looking back at it now it seems that some things I should already have known but others are new so its good to know that I am not just stuck in a complete loop of repeating myself!

The things I have learned this time round;

  1. I am rubbish at keeping up with photo challenges – I think I managed 4 pictures out outfits this year before I decided I had more important things to do with my time. I didn’t even post any of those 4 to Instagram so I am a bit of a fail in that respect too!
  2. I don’t wear me made clothes everyday and that’s ok – sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to wear my me made clothes. If I am getting muddy and sweaty at the allotment or crawling around on my hands and knees putting toys away after a toddlers group then there is no point in me wearing my best clothes. From a sustainability/ slow fashion stand point though these outfits still have their benefits as most of the items I wear on these days have been in my wardrobe for over 5 years (often over 10 years) and a significant proportion are also second hand.
  3. Weather in the UK is unpredictable to say the least – a strappy sun top one day and full on bobble hat and woolly jumpers the next!
  4. Most of my me made clothes already fit into a clear colour pallet – This is the selection of colours I decided to work with at the end of last year after reading The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees.
  5. Whilst the dresses I made last year are like wearing secret pyjamas they are not particularly flattering – don’t get me wrong they are incredibly comfortable they are just not “slimming”. Yes I know in the spirit of body positivity whether an outfit is slimming or not shouldn’t even be an issue but lets be honest some days it does actually matter to me. I either need to get over this obsession or at least avoid wearing such garments on days when I am over sensitive about such things, although those are probably the days when I could do with wearing the comfy over sized clothing so its a bit catch 22.
  6. I still live in my jogging bottoms – this is one of the things I wanted to get away from when I decided to increase my handmade wardrobe but I may just have to accept that there are days that these are the most practical form of clothing for what I am doing. I may have to investigate patterns for handmade versions for when my current shop bought ones give up the ghost completely.
  7. Most of my me made clothes are tops – ok there are a few more dresses now than there were last year but there are still hardly any bottoms, be they trousers or skirts. The reson behind this is that the tops and knitwear are more forgiving of changes in my weight either up or down so I can get most use out of them but I do need more separates in my wardrobe, I’m still reluctant to make fitted trousers though.
  8. I need more pockets in my me made outfits – a lot of the time when I reach for shop bought clothes over and above me made clothes is because they have pockets in and a woman needs pockets!
  9. I need more long skirts – because I can’t be bothered shaving my legs (and they are an easier fitting option than trousers and meet my need for more bottom half clothing).
  10. I need to research the options available for adjustable clothing – by which I mean properly adjustable not just over sized one size fits all. As a woman my body is always going to fluctuate in size and shape, even if it is just around my menstrual cycle so with a view to clothes that are sustainable and fit for purpose I need to have a more detailed think about how I can make clothes that account for these fluctuations.
  11. I keep being drawn to the clothes of my teenage years – I was a teenager in the 1990s and spent my time in long skirts, tie dye clothing and a lace up bodice top. I also wore over sized band t-shirts but I’m drawing the line at that! I keep finding myself thinking about these outfits and wanting to recreate them. I’m not sure what this actually says about me but I am choosing to see it in a positive light.
  12. Thigh chaffing is a nightmare! – Large thighs, hot weather and skirts/ dresses do not make for a comfortable combination. If you have skinny legs and have no idea what I am talking about then lucky you but if you have ever tried a million and one homemade interventions to stop yourself being in tremendous amounts of pain when the sun shines you know exactly where I am coming from. My solution is to invest in a pair of cycling shorts to wear under my skirts (when I have made them) really I want to make myself some bloomers but that might be pushing my eccentricities a tad too far!
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Blogging versus Vlogging

In recent months I have been thinking quite a lot about the relative benefits of blogging versus blogging. You will no doubt have noticed from my sporadic posts over the last year or so that blogging has rather taken a back seat for me. I started a video podcast/ vlog about 3 years ago and this coupled with life in general (and life with small children in particular) didn’t leave much time or indeed headspace for reviving the blog.

I’d start each new year with the intention of getting back to blogging, after all I only recorded my vlog every other week so theoretically I had time to do it but it never seemed to work out that way. I think part of the problem was that I still thought of my blog primarily as a place to record/ chart my progress on what I was making. Once the vlog was up and running though, I either didn’t feel like I had made enough progress on projects to warrant talking about them once a week or it felt like I was repeating myself. If I am honest these type pf progress updates weren’t actually my favourite to write either I much preferred my topic specific blogs. They might well have been the random wafflings of a craft obsessed woman but they gave me more of an opportunity to express myself in a way that sounded authentically like me. I appreciate that such a statement makes me sound quite pompous but in reality what I actually mean is that they were much more chatty and relaxed/ conversational in tone than the progress blogs which just felt like rote listings of needle size, yarn and project name with the occasional reference to my knitting disasters.

So where am I going with this? Well, I have realised that I do love blogging and that I want to revive this blog but that I will only manage to stick to my plan if a) I make the time to plan it in to my schedule, b) I use it to talk about the things that interest me and not just list how many inches I have knitted on my current project and c) I hate taking photos for progress pictures, waiting for the perfect lighting or setting up a flat lay is just too much faff to do on a regular basis when this is just a hobby not a business. From now on my focus will be on using the blog to discuss topics of interest across the fibre crafts and associated communities whilst project updates will remain on the vlog/ podcast.

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For the love of a linen shawl

In all this hot weather we have been having in the UK knitting with and wearing wool might have been the last thing many of you have wanted to do, even I considered putting the needles down for a while. I stress considered though as I just couldn’t do it and knitted on regardless of the fact that having a large pile of wool in my lap was making me feel faint. I did however branch out and embrace plant fibres during this time.

Now, I have worked with cotton many times in my knitting and crocheting life and I have to admit I am not much of a fan. It is not like wool, you can’t sniff the sheepy-ness of it, it sits rather stiffly in your hand rather than bouncing when you squish it and working with it for any length of time gives me wrist pain. Then along came linen, Erika Knight Studio Linen to be precise and knitting/ crocheting with plant fibres became a whole lot more appealing. The yarn came in to my life as a review for the Minerva Crafts blog and if you’d like to see that in more detail I suggest you head on over to their website to take a look.

The shawl I decided to make with it though is also partly responsible for why I fell in love with the yarn. I used the True Love shawl pattern by Michele DuNaier available on Ravelry. The pattern itself is brilliantly written with both written and charted instructions and nicely styled photographs. The shawl is the perfect size (and unlike wool didn’t require blocking to show off its beauty!) and as a crescent shape sits really nicely on the shoulders. If you want to see it in all it’s glory head over to my latest podcast.Slow Crafting Podcast – Episode 30: Ya-dah! Outfit 3 finished.

I have been known to attempt to wear wool shawls in the heat but after 5 minutes I am ripping them from my throat, gasping for breath and then spending the next half an hour generally looking like a swooning women from an old fashioned film fanning myself and being very red in the face. Not so with my linen shawl! When I put it on (because it is always nice to wear something handmade) it feels cool against my skin but heavy enough to be comforting at the same time. This in itself is a joy but it also means that despite having inherited my mother’s fair skin I can wear strappy summer dresses when I want but can also cover up my shoulders or cleavage if it all gets too much without having to reach for a cardigan and then feel uncomfortable and restricted in it. The stitch definition is also amazingly crisp so it looks smart and modern even in a lacy design. And finally the true test of a good shawl in the heat? I can run for a bus in it without sweating like a horse or passing out. Now if only I could master being able to breath and speak after running for the bus we might be on to a winner all round.

linen shawl

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Slow Crafting Podcast – Episode 30: Ya-dah! Outfit 3 finished.

 

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The missing episodes 26-29

My last post might have been a little bit too much all in one go but I’m going to commit a double faux pas today and post again with even more podcasts. I promise that will be it for today though. Here are the most recent episode of the Slow Crafting Podcast talking about my second outfit for 2018, some selfless knitting and then plans for outfit number 3 for the year.

Episode 26:

 

Episode 27:

 

Episode 28:

 

Episode 29:

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The missing episodes 21-25

For the last few months I seem to have been neglecting the blog in favour of podcasting. I found that with only so many hours in a day and 2 small children to wrangle something had to give in order to find the time to actually do any crafting. Come September though I shall have both children at school (for at least part of the day) so I thought I had better get some practice back in with the blog so that I am ready when I have all this free time on my hands in a couple of months. Rather than jumping in with a lengthy post I thought I’d ease myself back in with some links to the podcasts I have been recording and posting over on YouTube just in case you have missed them.

Episode 21:

 

Episode 22:

 

Episode 23:

 

Episode 24:

 

Episode 25:

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Slow Crafting Podcast – Episode 20: 2018 a year of Focus.

A bi-weekly podcast charting my efforts to incorporate a slow living/ slow fashion approach to my crafting life through knitting, spinning and sewing along with other fibre crafts as and when the mood takes me.

Show notes:

This episode I recap what I accomplished in 2017 and set out my plans for 2018.
You can get in touch with me via Ravelry (as CraftyNadine) or through the blog http://www.themanyknitsofnadine.wordpress.com

 

Thank you for watching.

 

Acoustic Guitar 1 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…)
Artist: http://audionautix.com/

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