Last week, my husband challenged me to wear my hand knits for 100 days in a row and I was crazy enough to accept! Come night or day, in sickness and in health, I've been wearing them for two weeks now:
It has taken a certain amount of ingenuity to style and use hand-made clothing for every day wear. However I was more than rewarded by the opportunity to relive my “knitting history!" So much happens in our lives when we are constructing a garment that when we put it back on, it is like opening a time capsule.
Day 9: Eva by Martin Storey:
I suppose that is one of the key elements of the slow clothing movement, the personalization of the things that we wear. Not every knit may reflect the innermost thoughts or character of the knitter but it represents at least a point in time we cannot forget.
Day 10: Shaded Flower by Kaffee Fassett:
It is strange that the irksomeness of constructing a garment by hand is what elevates that garment into something valuable to its creator. It is irreplaceable because it is fitted exactly for you according to color, shape and style.
Day 11: Alder by Kaffee Fassett:
I became aware of how important this personalization is to me while watching the absurd Lifetime show, “Million Dollar Shoppers.”
I watched the show looking for closeup footage of the Chanel jackets that I presumed the millionaires would be hoarding in their closets and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Most of these women’s closets represented couture boutiques and some were actual safes, locked with combination codes to safeguard the treasures inside.
However, what struck me most about these millionaires is how jaded they were about their lavish possessions. Take, for example, a Hermes bag, one of the most expensive purses in the world, which costs between $10,000 to $100,000. None of these women had an Hermes bag. They had collections of Hermes bags. No wonder they locked them up! The Louboutin heels so favored by celebrities and fashionistas the world over were ranged in stacks on shelves—one millionaire proudly declared she owned 1300 pairs.
Although some of these women gloated over the opportunity to show off in front of the camera, their boredom with their designer horde was all too obvious. The problem with having enough money to buy 1300 pairs of Louboutins is that buying one is the same as buying 100. The act of buying itself becomes meaningless. The shoe museum was lifeless and cold as its glittering glass shelves. Among 40,000 pairs of jeans and six versions of the same blouse, the best treasures were buried in the dross. One workout empress committed the ultimate cardinal sin! She owned many gorgeous Chanel jackets, one of which was a pink and black tweed lined with silk I would have died to have. These magnificent pieces were shoved into the middle of a rack with all the clothes she had bought on a whim, forgotten and never worn. The tags were still on. AAAAAgh!
When I compare these neglected Chanels to the amount of time and effort that went into creating my Enchanted Emerald it makes me wonder if I am mad. Or is there something to this knitting obsession after all? First I spent two months knitting the pieces of the jacket, based on a clever design by Jean Frost. Then I received eight hours of mentoring from Frost when I attended her wonderful class at Stitches West on how to hand-line a Chanel inspired jacket with silk. Then I hand quilted each piece with a Thai silk lining and hand-sewing the pieces together. Then the jacket was edged with crocheted braid lovingly made for me by my mother-in-law. At last, I whip-stitched on the edging, reinforced the button band, and added the vintage glass buttons I had specially chosen. All together, three months of work for a jacket that a millionaire would spend five minutes to buy.?????
Although my closet does not house a collection of Hermes our Louboutins, it does contain sixty or seventy handmade garments I wear. They contain the sum total of ten+ years of handwork and even more of learning, mentoring, fellowship and dreams. Not to mention the spectacular disasters, the cursing, bewilderment and despair!! I wonder, have the many hours I sit knitting with a frown furrowing my brow prevented my face from assuming the total vacuity that characterized the faces of the millionaire shoppers? Or is it just a question of botox?
But enough rambling! Here are the rest of the knits I wore this week:
Day 12: Alexi by Kim Hargreaves
Day 13: Love by Marie Wallin
Day 14: Garnet by Kim Hargreaves
Fourteen down. Only eight-six more days to go!
To read the next installment of the 100 Day challenge, click the link below: