Getting ready for a Spring

On Saturday we waved goodbye to The Girl, as she caught the train home to London-town.

My plan for the morning was to empty my wardrobe out onto the bed and perform the seasonal assessment exercise – you know the drill:  what have I got, what do I need, what needs to go.

I had already gifted The Girl my black velvet peacoat.  It was an ebay pre-loved bargain and I have been wearing it for about ten years.  It had reached the stage where I had stopped seeing it.  It was just “my jacket” and it deserved to be given a new lease of life.  On The Girl it was suddenly all hip and cool “Yeah… I borrowed it from my boyfriend” style – yay!  I knew I was creating a gap in my wardrobe, but it felt right. And it earned me (chocolate) brownie points from my daughter ; )

However, there were a few other unexpected gaps waiting to be discovered. Things that I had made and worn and washed and worn over two or three summers were suddenly looking grey and grim in the cold light of day.  My white dobby dot Portfolio top has to go.  Seriously – it cannot be worn again, it is practically threadbare in places.  Ditto my previously-white t-shirt hoodie – when did it turn grey?  Was I really wearing it in that grimy state last year?

I examined my long-sleeved tees, and the RTW ones I have been wearing all winter are on their last legs.  My Renfrews are still fine… except I can’t find my caravan-curtain print one.  Where has it gone? It wasn’t hanging up and it wasn’t folded away.  It wasn’t in the ironing basket (where I last remember seeing it) and I have this terrible lurking suspicion that it got caught up in a clutter-clearing sweep when I was throwing out a pile of old towels and sheets… nooooo!

I have no lightweight cardigans.  At allScruffyBadger has inspired me to try sewing my own, but I think the situation is critical and I might have to bite the bullet and buy a couple to see me through until I can source suitable fabric and pattern.  You are sick of my quest for ethical knitwear.  So am I.  The Maison Scotch navy cardi I bought back in August is now a shapeless bobbley mess of doom.  I am wearing it round the house but it is no longer fit for work.

I was listening to the Stash and Burn podcast the other day (episode 127), and there was a really interesting interview with Amy Herzog, author of Knit to Flatter

She talks about the differences between our grandmothers’ knitting and knitting today.  About how Grandma was knitting for warmth and utility, but with a lot of creative freedom.  How the demands of a corporate dress code restricts the modern knitter.  I certainly think this is true for me.  I knit socks and shawls, rarely taking the time to knit a full-sized garment because I spend most of my life in an office or up to the elbows in mud! But if I spent more of my knitting time producing work-appropriate cardigans, I would not be in this ethical muddle.  The secret is to find interesting-to-knit office-friendly patterns: nothing too craftsy or “home-made” looking, and definitely not the great saggy baggy aran knits that attract my country magpie eye! Amy Herzog promises exactly this in her new book.  I need to check it out.

And at this point I need to confess: I have not finished my Shalder cardigan.  I have bundled it up in a bag and buried it deep in the wardrobe drawer, with only the i-cord bind-off to complete.  Why?  Because it was something I wanted to knit but not something I wanted to wear.  It is lilac cotton.  LILAC COTTON?!  What was I thinking?  The Girl identified the problem immediately:  “It looks like the kind of thing Grandma would wear”.  Uh huh.  I will take it out again when I am 87 and see if I like it any better then.

Meantime… I need a plan.
Glow-in-the-dark skeleton Docs are sadly not part of it ; )