out and about in Marburg with my Stockholm scarf and a cardigan knit by my Grandma
Back in the Fall, I shared a little bit about how I am trying to be more intentional about wearing the handmade items in my wardrobe. (if you missed it, you can read this post here). While I have been a little lax about sharing my handmade outfits on Instagram (again, I am no fashion blogger...) I have been happily wearing my hand knit items day in and day out behind the scenes.
This year, I also started a monthly project focused on supporting members of the fiber community. You can read about this project here, but the idea is basically to knit one item each month for my handmade wardrobe that is either an a) for-purchase pattern from an independent designer, or b) knit from yarn purchased from a small business or indie dyer. I am really enjoying this project and it's been fun to search for patterns, knit up yarn in my stash and of course, wear my finished objects. I'm making good progress on April's project and can't wait to get it off the needles and into my wardrobe.
So, what have I learned from the past few months of wearing handmade? I think the most important lesson so far has been to really knit with intention. So often I choose a pattern because I love how the item looks on the model, or because the photography is stellar, or because I'm curious about a certain technique involved. But the truth is that just because something looks fun to knit, or photographs well, or is styled prettily DOES NOT mean that I am going to wear it when it's finished. I'm learning to pick projects and items that fit my style and that I'll actually wear. For me, this means no high neck sweaters, no obnoxiously bright colours, and (sadly) no shawls. I just don't wear these items.
wearing my Lila sweater and knitting a tweedy hat for Waldi
All that being said (and although I'm really enjoying building up my handmade wardrobe) I've decided to expand my monthly project to include items knit for others. Of course, I'll still be choosing patterns and knitting items for me, but there will be the odd gift knitting mixed in. This is in large part because I want to knit a sweater for Waldi and a shawl for my mom and I don't want to not do so (or choose quick patterns I'm not excited about) just because of this project.
And besides, giving the gift of handmade fits really well with the vision of this project.
If you're up for it, please keep sharing the items in your handmade wardrobe on Instagram under the hashtag #wearhandmadeproject (these don't just have to be knitted items by the way...) I love seeing what you're making and wearing!