So I missed last week partially because I was busy and partially because I don’t really have anything to say on the subject. Going small is something I struggle with. I don’t have a crazy number of clothes, but I always feel like I have too much. So I’m not there yet, but one of my long term goals is to switch to a mostly handmade, capsule like wardrobe. So small is aspirational for me, rather than a reality.
Now for week three we’re talking about loved items. And I’ve picked out a couple of things to talk about. It’s hard to choose because I love everything that I make! (Even the stuff that didn’t turn out so great.) Because I’ve invested the time into something, I get hard core emotionally attached. But I do have certain items that get more use than my other handmade items.
One is my backpack. Colette Patterns released the Cooper bag around the time I had been accepted to grad school. And it was perfect. I didn’t want to haul my stuff in my bright blue LL Bean backpack, and I wanted something I could eventually transition into my professional life. So, despite the fact that I had zero experience making bags and only a little experience sewing, I trucked ahead with making the Cooper bag. This was tough! While there’s no measurements to take, there’s still the fact that I have a basic sewing machine and was trying to sew through layers of waxed canvas (my sewing machine was not happy about that). And then after using it, I decided to make changes. It originally was a messenger bag with a cotton webbing strap, and the lining was ripstop nylon with pockets on the front and the back. I switched to the backpack layout, made new straps with waxed canvas, and replaced the lining with a basic cotton and eliminated the back pockets. I’m SO glad I made those changes because it’s much more functional now.
Another piece that I made that is well loved is the Avery scarf I made a few years ago. My mom had gone on a trip to Scotland, and I asked her to please please please bring me some yarn back and she brought back two skeins! It’s definitely the crunchiest wool item that I have and it totally smells like wet sheep if it gets damp. But that scarf has helped me survive some really cold Minnesota winters. When it’s -30 out, I don’t mess around. I pull out all my 100% wool items because it really does keep you warmer than anything else. I wasn’t sure what to think of the neutral tones at first, but now I love them tremendously. It goes with everything and is so cozy and is definitely a winter staple for me.
The last piece I will talk about is my Chrysanthemum mittens. (I don’t have a picture of them because I can’t find them right now! 😦 Oh no!) I started these one winter, and then starting putting them of because I figured winter was almost over and I wouldn’t be able to wear them anyway. Well the joke was on me because that year we got snow in May. IN MAY! Two years after that I finally finished the thumb that I had never gotten around to knitting (yeah for 2 years all I had left was ONE THUMB), and blocked them and they were wonderful! I love them so much and the bring a little bit of happy and pretty to the otherwise seemingly never ending winter. I also knit them from 100% wool, and as I’ve mentioned, that’s pretty crucial in places where it gets brutally cold. Plus it’s nice to impress people when they compliment your mittens and you say you made them.