Part of my Urban Homesteading adventure is to be more reliant on my skills and work, and less reliant on consuming stuff. And when I have to consume stuff, I’m trying to make meaningful choices so that I support other’s efforts in being kind to our planet and generally leaving it better than we find it. What can I say, I guess I’m still a Girl Scout at heart.
I’ve never been a big fashionista- I guess clothes have never really interested me. But I do wear clothes- and I’d feel better if I knew that more of my clothes were made in healthy worker conditions and with materials harvested using sustainable techniques. But for now, I don’t think there is a worse industry in the world other than our clothing supply chain. (OK, OK, the electronics industry is way worse, I hear ya.) So I’ve been making little changes in my consuming habits of clothing, from fewer $5 t-shirts, to organic cotton, and even a few locally-made garments. But I haven’t ever made my own clothes- until now.
Although I don’t think I’ll ever be sewing or knitting my wardrobe exclusively (can you imagine hand-knitted bras?), I would like to have some clothing that is made by me- and made for me. So I started knitting about 4 months ago. And boy- do I LOVE it! I’ve slowly built my repetoir of techniques up, and am now working on the sweater shown in the picture above. It’s a free pattern offered by Coats and Clark, and it’s pretty easy to piece together, so far.
I’m using the recommended Red Heart Eco Ways Cotton Blend yarn. I like the idea of supporting big companies that have some environmentally better products, like Red Heart. I have to say, though, that I’m not in love with this yarn. It’s a bit nubby, and it’s not 100% cotton. If I had read a little closer, I would have seen that it’s 25% acrylic- which I think adds to the less-than-smooth texture of the yarn. So I’m going to complete this sweater, but I doubt I will be buying this yarn again. I can’t complain too much though, because this recycled content yarn is way cheaper than others I’ve seen. I’m not a good-enough knitter to warrant spending $14 or more per skein on luxury fibers. I’m still slumming it in the $6 range. That means this sweater cost about $30 in materials, which is about what I would spend on a sweater at the Old Navy.
Here are some of the pictures of the sweater in progress:
This was a big leap in my knitting repertoire, and after completing it, I think I’m going to step back and try something a little easier next time. But overall, not a bad first attempt at clothing:
Sewing all the pieces together was by far the most challenging aspect of the piece- and the most tedious. I’m on the prowl for a free pattern worked in the round, next. Hopefully that will be a bit easier.
Thanks for stopping by!