Monday, 29 February 2016

Forward March

The weekend began with a 6am claw-on-glass-door rattle from Hero who needed to go out immediately.
Too slow, Roo. 
Sigh.


But it was good to greet the sunrise and stride out across the fields and through the woods, when only the gamekeeper was up and about.
I need to knit a neon hat to avoid any possibility of being mistaken for a deer.
Hero must have found the leftovers from Saturday morning's hunt, as later I came across a single hooved leg lying outside the front door - eeeurgh! 
The joys of country living.


All day I was a whirlwind of activity.  I tackled my home filing system, did the washing and hung it out, scrubbed the floor, cleared out a cupboard and still managed to get to the market town and back before lunch.


And then there was quiet knitting time, working on my Ellipses shawl and casting on a new sock for spring.


Plenty of time to read:  I finished "Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl" by Carrie Brownstein, which would have been a lot better if I had recognised the cross-references.
I am just not cool enough!


On Sunday I knitted and read and watched a dvd.
Time to trace the Archer shirt pattern.
So much time to myself.
Weird.


So perhaps I may be forgiven for my long introspections.
The pondering of such inconsequentialities as how to fold a scarf so that the coral pink stripe shows.
Lol.



My wardrobe fell victim to an attack of bereavement-induced decluttering.
Oops.

I bought these trousers in the post-Christmas sales, a few days before Atterley went into administration.  Fortunately I love them... and the black pair I purchased the week before (also in the sale) as part of a suit for "funerals and interviews".  In the end, I did not need funeral trousers, so they are being kept for Best.
These garments are all ethical in the sense that they were made in London rather than overseas.
They are now key to my office "look".

The other survivors are:  my 1970's pattern culottes, two skirts, five dresses, four cardigans, two jumpers, a handful of me-made tops, a summer coat and all of my handknits.  And of course my Maya handmade coat.

My home-wear has been reduced to: my farm coat, three pairs of jeans, three dresses, a shirt, five  t-shirts, the afore-mentioned handknits and an enormous navy ethical jumper that was supposed to be for work, but which became the garment I crawled into every day during December and January.
My Hospice Jumper.
I still wear it every evening and weekend.  It is comforting.

People, I have some work to do.

Much to FL's former bewilderment, I care about clothes and how I dress.
I find fashion and style fascinating.
It is liberating to be shot of the garments that literally cramped my style over recent years, but which  could not be seen to "go to waste".

Having cleared the clutter, I am trying to be mindful about what I make or buy.
I have enough to wear as long as I keep up with the washing.
I certainly don't have too many decisions to make in the morning.
But I would like to have more options.

So there will be some Thinking Out Loud.
Join me?

P.S. I have been rubbish at replying to your comments.  I hope to do better at that going forward.


46 comments:

  1. I love the trousers! I have something similar in a nautical blue with white top stitching and brass buttons, and always feel really special when I wear them.

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  2. Roo. It's ok to be introspective. You've been through too much. And you had a busy weekend. I am amazed you pared down your wardrobe to bare minimum. I like the tunic sweater. That and jeans would be my ideal wardrobe. Does it get warm there in summer? Maybe a pair of shorts would be nice to have. And sandals to go with. Hero is a great dog. Even with the hunting trophy

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    1. Shorts with tights were my friends a few years ago but it is far too chilly here for bare legs. Ditto sandals. Nice idea for when I move south though :)

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  3. Enjoy thinking -- you need to think to process what has happened and where to go next. Decide who Roo is apart from a wife and caretaker. Take your time; you've earned it.

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  4. Grieving is a very intense way of being alive and connected to one's deepest emotion and sense of selfhood in the face of loss. I too, have thrown out clothes that didn't "fit" me in that state of mind-- and I haven't lost a partner as you have. I look forward to seeing how you restore your second skin as you become the newRoo. It's going to be interesting.

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    1. Thanks Sigrid. It is good to hear this is something other people have done too.

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  5. I too care very much about fashion and clothes, and I really enjoy all the processes around choosing, designing, making, musing and mentally playing with fabric and clothes. For me, although I'm not going through the emotional process you are living just now, all that exciting messy dressy stuff is my creative time away from my rather stressful work. And I love your super trousers!

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    1. You are right - it is a sort of creativity :)

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  6. I look forward to reading your Thinking Out Loud. I have rather lost my sense of how to have fun with clothes lately - I think it's hiding in the same place as my knitting mojo - and maybe following your thoughts will help to weasel it out again.

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    1. Fun! Now there is something to aspire towards! I really do need to lighten up a bit.

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  7. Really pleased to see you posting in this lovely new space. I'm really looking forward to seeing your new knitting and sewing projects

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  8. love the grey & coral look, perfect outfit combo!

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  9. What a brilliant start to your new blog space, love it! I'm envious of your clear-out and quite carried along in your enthusiasm to better your wardrobe! I would like to summon up the discipline (and time) to make a few wardrobe items....do keep up that momentum, hoping some of it will rub off on me! look forward to seeing what you make x

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    1. Clearing out can be addictive. I just need to avoid panic replacement buying. The jangling hangers are quite disconcerting!

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  10. you look great! so glad you are still posting...

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  11. I hope this isn't inappropriate, but it's something my mother told me: She said she noticed that widows often blossom and come into their own.

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    1. The "w" word feels so strange...

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    2. yes, it does feel strange.
      Decades ago, I was a "w', too.
      But don't think of myself that way anymore.

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  12. I love that coral sweater in your office photo. It could bring lots of cheerfulness on a dark rainy day.

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    1. It is such an uplifting colour and not one I ever thought I would wear 😊

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  13. Glad to see you continue to post. Spring is also a great time with lots to look forward to!

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    1. Yes, increased daylight hours are definitely helping me right now.

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  14. I've got some similar sock wool in my stash and I think it's going to be next on the needles. Those colours are perfect for spring.

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    1. I am really enjoying the colours! Sunshine and blue skies 😊

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  15. I've got some similar sock wool in my stash and I think it's going to be next on the needles. Those colours are perfect for spring.

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  16. Love your outfit! Your introspective posts are interesting and well written, and I wouldn't worry about the comment responses. You must have had thousands of comments recently

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  17. I am full of admiration for your new approach and your introspections. The way we present ourselves to the world and to our own eyes is so important for our self-esteem. When huge change comes, the way we look is a way of manifesting that change positively- having recently retired, I want to throw out all the work suits and find a new style, without becoming invisible. You inspire us, Roo.

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    1. Yes, being invisible is tempting but ultimately rather depressing I think.

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  18. My most successful garment of the last couple of years is the Eva Dress from Tessuti.com (in Australia). Like you, I'm not a tall person, so I had to shorten both of the skirt panels by a bunch, but I made 3 of them last summer, and I get complimented ALL THE TIME. Thinking about the Camber dress next, and seeing how great those pants look on you, I might try those wide-legged pants from M&M as well.

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    1. I will investigate that dress pattern. My Camber dresses are work staples. I wore the red one today.

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    2. A bunch of years ago, when you were making wide-legged pants, I commented I would not be able to wear them because I was too short. You kindly emailed me and told I just needed to be sure they were in portion to me. I started wearing petites after that, and , you were right, portion was the key. I have lost weight and my closet may be looking like yours, but I am planning those wide-legged pants to be an early new addition. Love those pants with the scarf and coral sweater.

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    3. Here's the link to the Tessuti patterns: http://www.tessuti-shop.com/collections/pattern-books
      I modified the Eva in length, and added 3/4 sleeves because I like sleeves. Thinking the Jac Shirt pattern might be my next adventure --

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  19. You look fantastic! It's so good tp 'hear' from you.

    I totally agree with the way you look being important to how you feel: I know some people think it's frivolous, but it can help you get through the day in my view. I had a weird year (lots good, some bad - nothing in comparison) but it left me feeling... floaty and out of sorts. Through a weird chain of events, I ended up booking a wardrobe magician to come over and help me find "my" style. Long story short, ever since I've felt lighter (in that all of the old clothes that were never me have gone from the wardrobe) and more confident. All my clothes match, and I don't buy stuff that doesn't work anymore. It's not for everyone, but it was good for me...

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  20. I'm 100% with you on caring about clothes. To me it's as much about how clothes make me feel as how they appear to others. Natural fibres, sensual touch, no static, colours to uplift or comfort.

    How did you feel about ditching your me-made stuff? Did you say goodbye to your M and M trousers too?niVe been wondering about those. Should I, shouldn't I?

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    1. Oh Colleen - you have outed me! The M & M trousers are in the "to be decided" pile. They are almost prefect but have a slightly saggy bottom which disturbs me. I think they would be perfect if I pinched out about an inch from the crotch depth. You definitely need to use a drapey fabric as they have that 1940's cut which allows room for... badgers? Squirrels? Next week's washing? ;)

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  21. I had a huge clear out the other day, all the hand mades and hand knits that I never wear along with anything that had seen better days or I didn't like any more along with the shoes I'll never wear. It's all bagged up to go to the charity shop tomorrow (3 full black sacks!) and I cleared out the boys' drawers too. I've decided that as sewing seems to be all I can manage when my head is clear I will work on my hand made wardrobe and try to get back to as close to my 80% former level, basically making everything besides underwear and jeans. I've also been searching for patterns that can be used over and over, trying to build a solid collection of 10-15 that are 'me', although figuring out who 'me' is is still a challenge! I look forward to reading more on your journey and probably copying what you're knitting as I seem to do! Take care of yourself.

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    1. Clearing the clutter definitely clears the head! I am trying not to make declarations about the me-madeness of my wardrobe going forward as like you I need to work out what the new "me" wears and match up some go-to patterns. It definitely includes the Maya pattern, but I get a bit vague after that. The good thing about knitting accessories is that they can potentially go with everything (or nothing!)

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  22. what is that sock yarn? It looks familiar and I want some!

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    1. Hi there! It is Regia mix-it colour 9383 😊

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  23. I love what you say about caring about fashion and style. I am often a bit bewildered by my interest in these topics. As a long time feminist (did my masters in women's studies in the early 90s), it sometimes feels traitorous. But I agree with previous comments - clothing matters, especially to women and women's empowerment. I read an article just yesterday on gendered embodiment and "enclothed cognition" - which sites research that demonstrates that what we wear affects our performance. Not shocking at all. So, my own interest in fashion now intersects with my politics (on more than one level). But I also just love the creativity and expression and experimentation, oh and the smell and feel of yarn and fabric.

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    1. Kate you would enjoy the book "Women in Clothes". An intelligent series of essays on how and why women make choices about what we wear.

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  24. Ordered! I have read about this book previously, but put off getting it. Thanks for the reminder. I am doing "slow clothes" (like slow food). As a knitter, this comes naturally. But teaching myself to sew is a new adventure.

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