Friday 25 September 2015

The struggle to make for me

This whole week I have been buzzing with excitement as I see my little one wear her new lovingly handmade skirt and tunic. If you’re interested, my last post goes into further detail about those two recently finished garments. Now, after finishing these two projects I am back on my slow going adult garments. I am loving the adult knits but I do struggle to actually finish them and long to wear them.

Which leads me to ponder are there any tips for getting through the adult projects quicker?

Does anybody else struggle with making a handmade wardrobe for themselves but the kids are head to toe in mummy made items?

Making for the kids is the thing that got me back into knitting and it is the main drive for my making obsession. I love dressing my children in items that I have made and to be honest it is much more affordable buying a sweater lot of yarn for a little person than for me. Also the gratification is achieved so much quicker with children's projects.

I hope this yummy sweater lot of John Arbon Viola yarn  will become an actual sweater in the near future. Yes, HOPE.
However, I really want to build my own handmade wardrobe and this is motivated by more than the sweater envy I felt while on The Craft Sessions. I want to make my own clothes so that I can be excited about wearing my self made clothes as much as I am excited about dressing my kids in mummy made things.

I also want to engage less with consumerism and the desire to shop when I don’t need. I have become more conscious about how unethical the fashion industry is and self making is a small way that I can make a stand against it. I am also trying to be discerning about where my materials come from and how they have been processed. I am making myself question whether the source is ethical, sustainable and authentic. I want the fabric and the yarn that I use to be natural and that whatever processing it has undergone has maintained the integrity of the natural fibre. I also feel more comfortable knowing that what I’m wearing has been made under fair conditions for the workers.

I saw this saying posted on FB recently, “Why buy it for $7 when you can make it yourself for $92 of craft supplies.” Though the statement is a tongue in cheek jibe at how much makers spend on supplies I read it as a justification for why I make. In my humble opinion something that we can buy for $7 has probably been made by a poor child in a developing nation, who will barely receive a fraction of that money for their labour.

So, with all these thoughts in mind, why is my wardrobe still predominantly store bought? Lack of time obviously is a big factor but there is also a small element of guilt as I work on items for myself. A friend of mine recently confessed to me that she is a selfish maker, preferring to sew and knit for herself than for her kids. So I wonder, is it selfish to work on ‘me’ projects?

Something else I started pondering about was do makers make for fellow makers? Or are our own queues so long that we don’t have time to make for a friend who can make for themselves?

This winter I commiserated to my husband that I desperately wanted some handknit socks but I had too many WIPs already. I wanted someone else to knit some socks for me but to my woe I don’t have enough knitting friends and the ones I do have are probably working on too many of their own WIPs to be able to make socks for me. In the end I did cast on a pair of toe up socks for myself but I barely got beyond the toes because I knit too slowly and I had too many projects on the go already.

The whole making process is a great joy of mine. I am addicted to the authenticity of homemade items. Items where I have personally and lovingly selecting the materials and made by my own hand. There is something organic about the process as I see the beginnings of an item and I watch and feel it grow to completion. I’d just really love it a lot more if I could get through things much quicker.

I'd like to hear your thoughts so please comment and add to the conversation.


  1. oh, the compromise of instant gratification over selfish knitting - this I remember all too well! My kiddo is now adult sized, so it's no longer an issue to contemplate.

    I feel like there is a definite need to embrace the process and just get comfortable with it taking the time it needs? and never let too many projects stop you casting on something that really makes your heart sing!

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm glad that I'm not the only one looking to cast on something new because I come across some yarn or a new pattern that I can't stop thinking about.