Slow Fashion October. A Celebration of Slow Fashion Week 1

Hello! I’m Morgan, the 20 something behind Daydream Knits. This month, I’m participating in Slow Fashion October hosted by The Fringe Association. This month will be a celebration of the spirit and mindfulness behind the resurgence of ‘slow fashion’. Each week has different themes and a series of daily questions. The Fringe Association will host both interviews and community discussions on every aspect of slow fashion. It will be an exceptional opportunity to meet new creators and read about how the movement towards sustainable clothing manufacturing aligns with modern fashion and creatives. This first day serves an introduction to me, personally, as a creator and as a maker in the slow fashion movement. 

I learned to knit about 7 years ago, but did not pick it up seriously until 4 years ago when I moved for college. There, I found a wonderful L.Y.S whose owner became a mentor in my fiber passions. I worked there for 3 years and was soon addicted to the idea of having my closet full of hand knits. During my college stay, I became very involved with the knitting community and other makers and artists throughout the area. I was soon a regular at my neighborhood farmers market, rubbing elbows with a vendor who taught me to spin yarn  in exchange for company, an alpaca and bison farmer, and a Nepalese seamstress.

The paradigm shift was jarring. I’d come from a world of quick, factory made clothing, moved to hand knitting, and now been invited to see how the suppliers of my craft lived. Spending three weeks knitting a sweater? Awesome. Spending two months spinning up yarn from your own fiber animals then knitting a sweater? Mind blowing.

To me, slow fashion is hand crafted and labour intensive. It involves many hours to finish projects and the materials are viewed by a fast-fashioned world to be exorbitantly priced. As I branched  into the world of fiber prep and animal husbandry, I discovered that the makers of supplies (the back bone to all fiber craft) had an even more intensive job. Here was where the decisions to be sustainable, vegan, ethical, or otherwise ‘slow’ were made. It was so easy for me to order international made yarn (which is beautiful) or even US made. However, after seeing the amount of care and effort people in my own community put forth to make quality materials, I became a dedicated ‘buy local’ advocate. Once I’d spun my own hank of yarn, I had a higher appreciation of where my store bought yarn came from. Once I learned how intensive animal husbandry was, the more I admired my Farmer’s Market vendors who raised and cared for animals year round, so every Saturday I could have my pick of quality (processed) fiber. The dedication astounded me and I further integrated myself into the slow craft world.

Last year, I was married and moved away from my college town. Though physically removed my community, I remain in touch and visit often. I still call the vendor who taught me to spin yarn and email the bison farmer. The alpaca farmer’s son (who travels the world sheering alpaca) was at my wedding. My stay in the slow fashion community has been one filled with love and close working relationships.It also prepared me to expand my ‘slow fashion’ craft to the rest of my life.

After moving, I also felt a need to purge my possessions via the Marie Kondo method. Sadly, in my overstuffed closet, I found many items of clothing that I’d never worn and were in poor condition. Those were thrown away. To my dismay, I also noticed many pieces that I loved, but had been taken care of so poorly (or made with low quality materials) that they were stained or ripped. I didn’t know what else to do except throw them all away. I have so much guilt over this! All the bags of clothing to the dump, never to be seen or loved again. I took a second look in my closet and realized that the few items that remained were of a starkly different quality than the piles of clothing I’d thrown away. The clothes I kept where special. Three sweaters I’d knit the year before, hand knit hats, “expensive” dresses I’d bought from a local dress shop.

Actually, nearly all the items that survived the move were items I’d purchased locally. They were durable and beautiful and I’d always taken special care with them. I found myself able to repair or re-wear anything that was damaged. Not only was slow fashion something I could apply to new clothes that I made, but also to old! This has motivated me so much to not only make my clothing with care and love, but also to buy my clothing with care and love. Local, hand made, personally loved, and then sold to a customer.

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This is where my  desire to to rebuild my wardrobe sustainably, with hand knits and responsibly sourced clothing has come from. This is why Slow Fashion October is so exciting for me as I anticipate all the other makers and crafters sharing their stories. Please, go to Fringe Association to view the weekly themes. There will also be daily prompts to guide conversation as well as many other makers posting in the comment section and on Instagram. Join the conversation!

 

Wednesday WIPS- Woven Together

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The past few weeks I’ve been knitting away at these Entrelac knee high socks knit out of Rowan Fine Art and Dream in Color lace. As the weather has cooled, I’ve gotten a bit of fall fever and am lusting after all the sock yarn. I love Entrelac. I love how it looks like sections of fabric woven together in a basket weave like pattern to make a colorful and textured finished project. In reality, there are hundreds of stitches that have been meticulously knitted together to form a much bigger picture of unity.

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This past month has been full of unity. In a few days Jon and I will have been married for two months!

Since the big day, we’ve moved in together, manged to completely unpack and decorate our new place, I’ve gotten a job at my church, and successfully pulled off a birthday celebration (there were tears involved, it was a kinda big deal). Since wedding chaos is finally done with, I’ve had a lot more time to get my knit on, just in time for sweater season! Jon even got a Forever Ribbed Rimu DK  scarf for his birthday.

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I only used three skeins of Rumi DK New Zealand possum yarn with US7 needles. The scarf really bloomed and formed an amazingly soft halo about it after I washed and blocked it. I put it in a lingerie bag and threw it in a cold wash with a couple of jeans then blocked to dry.

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Married life has been an adventure. All anxieties of bugging each other to death melted away after I realized that we’d be spending most of our time apart at work.Oddly, I’m finding more time to spend with friends and Jon and I count on dinners, evening Scrabble, and Sundays to really connect. And here I was afraid we’d want to run away from each other after a week of living together. Instead, finding unity takes effort, despite living under the same roof.

During our ceremony, we braided a cord of three strands, each cord represented Jon, God, and me, with God being the silver cord braided into the middle. I think it takes a lot of effort to put God in the middle of everything. Your personal life, your marriage, your knitting :). I’m hoping to find some more clarity on exactly how to do that, but I have a feeling that it’s a meticulous detailed process that takes much prayer and thought.

I’ve started a knitting ministry at my apartment. A come for the knitting, stay for God sort of thing. We had eight people show up and three of them are new knitters. The knitting fever spreads and I can’t wait to introduce these ladies to the wonders of merino and silk yarns. Despite competing with the holidays and finals, I feel that this is the perfect season to try and form a new community. Cold weather calls for knitting and tea! I hope that despite all the running around, these ladies find some delightful community in my tiny living room. I look forward to the upcoming weeks!

Ready for the first knitting ministry meeting #godisgood #knittingministry #biblestudy

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