For 2016 my aim for the year was to embrace a more mindful approach to my crafting projects (an purchases!) and overall I had a pretty successful year. This year I have decided to aim for a slow approach to my crafting for the year.
So, what exactly do I mean by slow crafting? Essentially I am going to try and encompass elements of the slow living movement to my projects. Thanks to the wonder of Wikipedia I can tell you that Carl Honore (one of the chief proponents of the movement) describes slow living as;
“It is a cultural revolution against the notion that faster is always better. The Slow philosophy is not about doing everything at a snail’s pace. It’s about seeking to do everything at the right speed. Savouring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them. Doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible. It’s about quality over quantity in everything from work to food to parenting.”
One subculture within the movement is slow fashion which at its most basic interpretation is about slowing down the rate of clothing consumption by choosing garments that last longer. For me this is going to translate into the following practices;
Slowing down the rate of fashion consumption by buying few clothes less often. Last year the only item of clothing I bought for myself was a bikini for my holidays. Looking back that was a pretty impressive achievement but I hope to continue this during 2017 and if I’m honest I’d really like to be able to turn around next January and say during 2017 I didn’t buy any clothes at all.
Making and mending my own clothes, including taking the journey of making a sweater from spinning the yarn right through to designing and knitting the finished piece. When it comes to sewing there will probably be a fair amount of hand sewing rather than machine sewing but that is more about it being easier to fit in around parenting duties than getting the sewing machine out is – especially as my girls seem to have a masochistic urge to try and touch the needle when it is moving when I set the machine up when they are around!
Supporting small businesses and buying locally produced wool more often. I know that at the moment I’m realistically not going to be able to achieve buying all my wool, fabric or fibre from local producers but if I try to do it more often then it is a step in the right direction. I am lucky in the fact that I have an LYS that stocks locally spun wool so I can probably apply this easier to my knitting life than my sewing life.
Using stash that I have accumulated – including the mountain of hand spun yarn I have stockpiled in the last few years. When it comes to knitting this should be relatively easy but less so for sewing as whilst I do have a sizable stash of fabric, very little of it is suitable for garment making – especially if I’m wanting to make quality garments that last for many years.
Going beyond fast fashion trends and seasons (or indeed the hot right now/ must knit trends on Ravelry) by adopting a classic style which suits my needs and lifestyle and it practical, sustainable and mendable and making garments that meet that need.
I should perhaps add a massive caveat here because whilst I plan on trying to adopt this approach to the things I make for myself I am not promising to apply all of these things to my children’s wardrobes! My girls are grubby little urchins that love nothing better than getting elbow deep in mud or rolling about on the floor (inside or out!) so for them I plan to balance the slow fashion approach of making some of their clothes against the practicality of using easily washable and relatively cheap yarn and fabrics so that I am not reduced to tears the first time they wear something and they get it filthy or end up saving things for special occasions so they don’t ruin it only to discover in 6 months time that it no longer fits them and they have only worn it once since I made it.
I’d love to hear if anyone else has set New Years resolutions for their crafting lives or adopted a word for the year?