The secret knitting has begun and I’m getting through it all at a fairly decent pace. Part of me is disappointed – I’d almost hoped for a marathon slog to keep me occupied over the next few weeks but at this rate, I’m going to run out of useful lengths of wool and be required to learn to crochet so I can make a blanket from tiny squares. And I’m not allowed to buy any more for a long time since my £50-pre-lunch wool spending spree.
As you can see from the picture above, Artemis is helping with my crafting. I was actually the one who wrapped her up in this project but I think it’s quite telling that she came back for more when she’d cooled down a bit. Hopefully I haven’t created a monster – a wool-crazed cat intent on snuggling everything I knit. Playing with her and the round ends of the knitting needles certainly backfired and now I can’t so much as twitch them in her line of sight without them being pounced on. I’m really proud of her for being such a fantastic hunter, but part of me wishes she would give me a rest from her relentless killing spree… at least for long enough to knit something uninterrupted.
Anyways, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the Geeky Sweetheart blog whilst kitty occupies my wool and needles. I highly recommend it if you’re a child of the Space Raider crisp generation and enjoy crafty, nerdy things. One of the posts really got me thinking though – something that I never really considered before. When upcycling a garment, the author comes across a label with a ‘cut along the dotted line’ mark:
This just reminded me that it is a person who cut this, not a machine, not in the lovely relaxed atmosphere in which I sew, probably in rubbish conditions, probably all they do all day is snip labels to the right length. Would they give this job to the least skilled? a child? an illiterate woman? because of how simple it is…
It reminded me how and why I really need to start sewing again. I make such a massive effort when it comes to ethical food – only buying meat from my local farm, trying to use British alternatives to exotic ingredients, trying to use the edibles in my local hedgerows and growing my own herbs, teas and veg – but because clothes aren’t something I really consider I rarely think about the human cost of the garments I buy.
Don’t get me wrong, I do try and get what I can from charity shops. Sometimes though, I want to treat myself to something special and new and just for me. In those situations, from now on, I’m going to look on etsy and take advantage of the incredible range of talents that this site showcases. I’ve never let myself look for clothes on there before, thinking they’d be too expensive but having looked up how much a man’s tank top costs – around £40 – I’ve realised that for the work that goes in, these handmade clothes represent not only outstanding value, but also something completely unique which the high street could never replicate. Where else in the world could you find tetris block shaped soap?
In any case, Artemis has now vacated my knitting so I will begin again and allow husband to go back to his freelancing. After, of course, he has crow-barred my giant, walrus shaped frame from down the back of the sofa.