Monday, May 12, 2014

Imagine a Maker World

I have just over 20 ounces of 2-ply,  DK weight Romney yarn spun now and I am really getting excited to start a garment with it.  It will be a cardigan jacket of some type and I am sketching and swatching and loving every minute of it.  Design ideas are dancing in my noggin.

      Having spun the yarn myself is really icing on the cake for me.  I know I will have to spin more to get through the project, and while some spinners like to have all the project yardage done before they cast on (that was my original plan), I don't think I can stand to wait as the swatch has got me longing to cast on.  I am encouraged by the fact that I have been spinning on this yarn for a long time, and even with breaks in between for spinning other fibers (or even times of not spinning much at all), I seem to be able to produce a yarn that matches what I've spun earlier.  I'm easy though. The inconsistencies in the spinning please me.  It is my first hand-spun sweater and it's ok that it looks like I made it.  In fact it is the point of doing it.  Making my clothes matters to me.  And making the yarn..well like I said..pure icing!

       Now we come to one of my favorite subjects for contemplation: what if we lived in a world where we all wore clothes that we ourselves made or that were made for us by someone we actually know?  As knitters, we know the joy of wearing, or watching someone wear, our creations.  It's one of the major reasons we knit.  Kaffe Fassett once spoke profoundly to the effect that seeing someone wearing one of his garments, seeing it moving through the world, was one of his greatest joys.  We get that.  The making and wearing of hand-made clothing creates a connection that is important in more than just a superficial way.  It's a connection to our being as humans, to our common history and to our creative spirits. 
     Mother's day having just passed, I've spent some time reflecting on the gifts my mother gave me which include both her enjoyment of knitting and her appreciation for a beautifully sewn garment.  She made most of my clothes during elementary school and she taught me to sew.  Choosing the pattern and the fabric was (and still is) like a ritual, and the garments were so well made that many of my school dresses lasted to be passed down to many another little girl.  I didn't have a closet full of clothes, but I had a different dress for each day of the school week (!) and one or two for Sunday, plus slacks and tops and, yes, even my PJ's were hand made.  A few years ago I came across a hamper of cloth scraps in my mother's house with pieces of fabric from almost all of my little dresses. Connection happened again.
       Funny how thinking about something can bring along a synchronicity.  I picked up Sally Mellville's 2013 book, Knitting Pattern Essentials  from my "to read" stack this morning and in the introduction Sally asks,


"Why not make - and have hours of pleasure doing so - the one sweater that we treasure rather than spending hard-earned cash on the six that we don't?  Why not revert to the way humans have lived for most of their history - as makers rather than consumers?"

     Anita Luvera Mayer, author of Clothing from the Hands that Weave, and one of the most inspiring fiber artists I've ever had the pleasure to meet, believes that each day we should wear something magical and unique, something made by hand, something that expresses who we authentically are. She thinks it is more than important, that it is essential, and she shares her skills and her philosophy around the world in her book and workshops.
     Imagine a maker world, a world where we may own less but connect to it more.  What would it look like do you think?    Love to hear your thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. I love this blog post! I try to wear something every day that I've made myself, be it sewn or knitted. It is very special to be able to do this.