knit | sew

New Year Old Year

January 8, 2016

Happy New Year Readers and welcome back to Needle and Spindle! I hope you had some enjoyable holidays and if you did not, then let us be done with them and embrace the year ahead.

With my resolution to find balance in all aspects of life still freshly sown, it seems apt to begin another blogging year slowly and with consideration. After encouragement from a dear reader, I am starting with a review post of makings in 2015.

There were small things knitted.

And some bigger things knitted.

There was small sewing.

And some grownup frocks and tshirts.

When I look at my making like this I can see that the majority of these projects were made from my existing stash or salvaged from discarded materials/garments. More materials left my stashes than came into them…finally! The other thing I noticed that much of the making has been generated from my own designs or substantially modified to suit my materials or purposes. I reckon this means my self reliance and confidence in my own skills is growing.  Interestingly, the commitment to making from what I have already has really promoted the development of these skills which in turn assists me to see more potential in the materials to hand. It would seem that constraining our access to materials can have significant creative and skill-based benefits whilst reducing resource use and waste production. Who would have thunk it?

The other thing I noticed was that in knitting and spinning at least, my way of making has begun changing from discrete projects to explorations and processes of making. I have Annie Cholewa and her partnership in the Waysides project to thank for this and this was certainly one of the highlights of my year. From her little village in Wales and my urban grid in Melbourne, we set out together to explore our local neighbourhoods on foot, gathering dyestuffs from the waysides as we walked in order to create a colour map of our habitual places. We had many adventures along the way and discussed what it was to walk and connect with the land…or not! From this organic process, the Waysides Shawl and the Waysides Yoke came into being. They were not planned for at the beginning, they arose from the process and I found this to be such an exciting way to make something.

It was a long year and a fullsome, often turbulent one personally and in the ‘verse but the sustained making and the enlivening discussion we share in this space has been a sturdy keel for me, and I hope for you too. The Year is Dead, Long Live the Year!