Monday 8 February 2010

Waste not!! - 'Handemadeness is an antidepressant'

I love yarn. Texture, weight (or lack of it as I love fine yarns more than chunky), colour and all it's wonderful variety. I've got a confession though. I've never really been attracted to the possibilities of undoing long-lost garments. Well-worn and well-loved jumpers and sweaters just get more well-worn until they're a rather threadbare wisp of a garment. There are alternatives and I stumbled on them thanks to a new friend on Twitter (I know, it's got it's critics but there are little gems there), Joyce Crochets, and she passes on some great little crochet links and I've followed many a tip-off from her tweets.This week's trail was to the methods of undoing woollen fabric and I never realised what an art there was to it. There are two really informative resources from two favourites of chaincreative, crafty stylish and craftzine. Different seams pose different problems and then there's prepping involved before you can wind up and get working. It's all worth it in the name of wasting not a precious resource and that's a big deal right now. While you're feeling virtuous hanging your freshly laundered yarn on the line (hmm) just think what a saving you've made. Enough to maybe treat yourself with some gorgeous little gem from Loop!
Once you've finished all the processes to turn that sad sack to crochet gold then you need some inspiration and I followed some more trails to a recycling diva called Cecile whose philosophy is very much of the moment and is the quote in the title of this post. Calling her business Recycled by Hyena and quoting her from her Etsy profile, 'My work is infused with my ethic and each of my creations is the result of passion and dedication. My clothes are made from scratch but not from new materials. They are made with fabric from clothes I purchased in Goodwill stores and non-profit thrift stores.

I "believe" in the craft revolution and I think it is our future. The handmade and eco-friendly life is the only alternative to the consumerism destroying our planet and the living beings surrounding us.'I must say I love her designs and the twist she puts on them. Of course, the fact that they're made from the sad, lost and forgotten makes them even more precious. Above is an example of how she encorporates crochet into many of her designs called Empire and below is the patchwork of fine fabrics that she combines in her work which she calls Comie.

As a little postscript, I've been frantically preparing for makedomend's first outing to Stoke Newington's Tea Rooms for our granny squares workshop. I've been making up samples and patterns for the event and I'm very excited with Sarah London's Wooleater Blanket which is worked as a square and which uses as much scrips and scraps of yarn as you would wish to see the back of!!! It's not quite recycling but is certainly not waste!!!
Here's my humble offering of the pattern but I would suggest you go to Sarah's blog for the definitive example.


Frances said...

I so agree with you that there seems to be a growing interest in needle crafts, and in re-using materials in innovative ways.

Thank you for sharing more wonderful sources of inspiration.

Best wishes!

claire montgomerie said...

yay recycling! yay wooleaters squares for makedomending! :)
talking of making the most of our precious resources, check out wool week - how interesting and about time too!

Bee Creative said...

Thank you, Frances, and so glad that we can bring a bit of inspiration to you!
Claire, we'll have to get some old jumpers and get snipping away at them for a new mdm workshop, eh??!!!