How to wear tricky colours: Greenery

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I was standing* in front of this larger than life print of Ruth Bernhard’s Young Gingko Tree, when I realized this was the solution to a colour challenge posed by Justine Leconte on her popular youtube channel.

Let me catch you up a bit. Justine Leconte is a young independent french designer, based in Berlin. She has a wildly popular vlog about fashion and design on youtube. Her episode on coming to terms with Greenery (Pantone’s 2017 Colour of the Year) was sadly unsuccessful, although fascinating to see her brainstorming process.  And so, it got me thinking about Greenery and incorporating trendy colours into one’s handknit wardrobe.

My first instinct, was to slap some green onto a capsule outfit, like so

 

 

 

Top: Alice+Olivia Jazmine cropped stretch knit top (The Outnet.com); Trousers: Zeus+Dione Pleiades pleated Linen-chambray culottes (Net-a-porter.com); Shoes: Rag&Bone Margot Suede Ankle Boots (stylebop.com); Sweater: Opening Ceremony UMD X crew jumper (farfetch.com); Preowned Carved Green Jade earrings (1stdibs.com)

It isn’t a satisfying solution, because I wouldn’t actually wear this.  You see, this green has a lot of yellow in it,  and so it can be a difficult colour to wear close to the face. I would rather keep the green away from my face. In the form of accessories. So, I would look to handknits like belts, bracelets, fingerless gloves, socks to add that quick pop of green.

And so, this little Gingko tree inspired me to think of this combination:

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Sweaters: Ready to fish Tilia concrete knitted T-shirt (shoplaluce.com) / Molly Ripped strik sweater (youheshe.com) / Tom Ford Asymmetrical Cashmere Sweater (mytheresa.com) ; Top: Striped T-shirt (Mango.com); Trousers: Marni cropped gabardine wide leg pants (net-a-porter.com); Sneakers: Sequin Full Kelly Green Canvas Converse Canvas Lowtop sneaker (Etsy.com) /Adidas Originals superstar boost silver metallic (Jade24.com); Ring: Pre-owned Antique Imperial Jade Platinum Ring (1stdibs.com); Pendant: Maori Jade Pendant (billythetree.com); Watch: Vernier Gold and Green Bangle Watch (Zulily.com); Bag:Michael Kors Jet Set Medium Saffiano Leather Tote (designerscentralstore.com)  

Yup, when in doubt, Nature almost always has an answer. Or even more than one answer:

 

 

Photo: Northern Light over the Taiga by Olivier Grunewald; Rose Prickle by Thomas Wolf and Bernd Seydel

Would I wear either of these combinations? Red and green, or Purple and green? Maybe, maybe not, but I would definitely use these combinations for colourwork. Or other types of knitting. A green bracelet with red or even purple beads. An i-cord ring with a felted flower in green with a purple centre.

 

*The exhibition is called The Wonder of Nature and is running at the Gasometer in Oberhausen until November30, 2017. Quite spectacular photographs and video installations of plants and animals from all over the world.

Stash & our Consumer Society

 

Just got through an interesting magazine interview in Der Spiegel with Frank Trentmann (his book “The Empire of Things” has just been translated and released in German). Trentmann is a history professor at Birkbeck College (University of London), says that we’ve been living in a mass-consumption society since around the 17th and 18th centuries.

He talks about consumption in the Renaissance, and late chinese Ming dynasty, about anti-luxury laws in the 15th century, how colonialism and the industrial revolution changed people’s ideas about consumption, to where we are today. Although he’s a bit cautious and sceptical about any bandaid fixes, he does mention several things that we’ve mentioned: repairing, mindful consumption, and political action.

On the other hand, it’s a bit of a consolation and pespective, that we as people didn’t suddenly become frenzied consumers. We’ve been this way since the 15th century.

“We express ourselves through what we buy [and acquire]…” – Frank Trentmann

So, what are we expressing through Stash? A connection to cozy cuddly knits, a tradition of artisanal handcrafting?  To the origins of the things we consume? Perhaps all of this, and more.

Stash Therapy 3

 

This yarn made the cut for my Stash Therapy Project. Even came with a lovely button.

Then came matching up with other stash yarn, casting on, and off we go! This will be Kara Gott Warner’s Rustica Wrister. Can’t wait to get this blocked.

Capsules and Colour

 

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Blouse: Dolce&Gabbana wrap jumper (farfetch.com); Trousers: Saint Laurent Satin Stripe Suit Trousers (Brownsfashion.com); Scarf: similar Pringles of Scotland (farfetch.com); Earrings: Hermès Horn Jewelry (usa.hermes.com); Watch: Tommy Hilfiger Women’s Red Silicone Strap Watch 38mm; Shoes: Cole Haan

By transitioning to a capsule wardrobe, you can pull more colour into your wardrobe. You can keep your basic pieces neutral and allow your handknit accessories to sing in colour.

If you already use a capsule or core principle to organize your wardrobe, you will find that planning your knits to match other accessories can make them into statement pieces, which show a mindful intentionality rather than randomness.

 

Top:  Alice+Olivia Jazmine cropped stretch knit top (The Outnet.com); Trousers: Zeus+Dione Pleiades pleated Linen-chambray culottes (Net-a-porter.com); Shoes: Rag&Bone Margot Suede Ankle Boots (stylebop.com); Sweater: Roberto Collina knitted Sweater (farfetch.com); Jewelry: Lord&Taylor Gold Arrow End Cuff, Shan Gold Chevron Layered Necklaces / 
Top, Trousers, shoes: same; Sweater: Opening Ceremony UMD X crew jumper (farfetch.com); Preowned Carved Green Jade earrings (1stdibs.com)
Top: A.l.c. Alber Knit top (Ifchic.com); Trousers: Saint Laurent Satin Stripe Suit Trousers (brownsfashion.com); Cardigan: I love Mr Mittens Blue Wool Cardigan (modaoperandi.com); Shoes: Sam Edelman Felicia Nautical Blue (Zappos.com); Jewelry: Silver Bird on a Wire Necklace (oliverbonas.com); Itsy Bitsy Sterling Silver Bird Studs (kohls.com)

 

 

 

Fotsource: Polyvore.com

Repurposing knits: Recycling yarn

Technically, every handknit (as long as it isn’t felted) could count as stash.

Here, I have decided to repurpose this yarn from a cowl, that I haven’t worn since it was gifted to me. It’s a bit too tight at my throat.

The colour mix is quite fascinating, so this will be the first object to be reworked during the Stash Therapy Challenge.

Weekly Remix: New & Knit

Just a few things I’ve come across this week:

Kinshasa Collection: a new webseries about a film team that delves into the world of international fashion. The Collection was launched on Friday evening in Berlin. The  6-episode series (of which 3 have aired), reveals another side-effect of fast fashion: piracy on one hand, and the pressure of local developing country textile industries. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, because of all the cross-cultural misunderstandings. It’s a gorgeous peek behind the fashion curtain of a country that is mostly on the radar because of the famously elegant Sapeurs.

Comeback of the Cardigan: The Guardian is already starting to think about autumn, and what next. In my humble opinion, the cardigan never went away.

 

Just out:

Interweave Fall 2017: my favourites are

 

 

 

The Gold Rush shawl by Meghan Jones (left) and the Goldsmobile Top by Danielle Chalson (right). I’m usually nitpicky about designs named after the colour of the yarn, because what if someone doesn’t feel like using that colour? These are very pretty and autumnal all the same. The varying colour palettes of both photos are also quite interesting for wardrobe planning.

Throwback Friday

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Next week, Kara Gott Warner’s the PowerPurls Patron StashTherapy Challenge. To mark the occasion, I got this down from the bookshelf. Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying has been around for a while now. (Not quite a classic, yet) It’s sparked quite a lot of discussion in maker circles (among knitters and other stash-keepers) and given rise to a new verb: to kondoize (thanks badassquilterssociety!)

Is stash clutter? I think it depends on where you put it, rather than the yarn itself. If it gets in the way, then it might be clutter. If it is stored thoughtfully, mindfully, aesthetically, then it could never be a bother.

Fashion Revolution and Stash

Bringing out all my yarn, putting it in one place and looking at it, has put me in the mood to be brutally honest: Stash doesn’t match well with the values of the fashion revolution.

Stash is interesting- it’s a mix between pre-consumer waste and haul. But not quite both. For one thing, it isn’t quite waste, because it isn’t discarded. How are you going to throw away something you had in your hands for hours, while making something as glorious as this?

 

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Sattva: my Zero-waste shawl

Some of it is leftovers, and some of it is haul. There’s no getting around that. It’s a little secret knitters, crocheters and other makers will gladly overlook because we often think there’s something embarrassing or shameful about stash.

 

Some of it is leftovers, and some of it is haul. There’s no getting around that. It’s a little secret knitters, crocheters and other makers will gladly overlook because we often think there’s something embarrassing or shameful about stash. Or having a lot of stash. I prefer to think of stash as potential. Potential to make something. So having this stuff sitting in plastic containers waiting, doesn’t sit well with me. I’m in fine company of other makers who also regularly go through stash and knowingly or unknowingly practise the Fashion Revolutionista R’s.

Refuse – Yarn diets, or just straight up refusing to buy certain types of yarn unless the producer certifies that it’s GOTS and good to go.

Reduce – Use up what I have, donate or swap for what I will use up. Let’s face it taste evolves. And even if I don’t want this sweater-quantity of tweedy army green yarn, maybe someone else does (hit me up! I will pay postage!LOL!).

Reuse – Yes, I have and will continue to unravel and reuse yarn because that’s the cool thing about yarn (unless it’s already felted), it’s reuseable. Even felted is reuseable, if you know how…

Recycle – Imagine walking into a second hand shop and seeing not just clothes hanging. What’s hanging there is fabric, waiting to be reused. Yarn, waiting to be unravelled and reused (there’s even a Ravelry group for this).The first time I realized that, I was standing in the middle of a thrift shop. I had to step out to get that giddy feeling under control. Whether this last tip leads to stash growth or not, is not for me to say. I’m just putting it out there.

 

My stash: some of it is second hand, some is vintage, some is swapped. All of it is slow and all of it is loved.

 

 

Resources:

Fashion Revolution’s #Haulternative e-book; How to be a Fashion Revolutionary e-book, Action Kit for Makers.

Bea Johnson’s Zero Waste Home blog is very much worth a look see. Her 5th R (rot/compost ) makes me nervous on behalf of my stash. Until I remembered this picture  of how natural and synthetic fibres decompose. Bea had a lovely TEDx talk about her lifestyle, you’ll find it here with 5 other talks about downsizing.

 

 

*I called Kara Gott Warner’s Sattva Shawl ‘zero waste’ because when I knit it, I made a few small modifications (a row of eyelets through to break up the plain reverse stockinette body) and ended up with no waste. I bound off (playing yarn chicken beings excitement to an otherwise very calming endeavour) and had such a little fitzelchen  (sometimes a semi-made up German word is what one needs for accuracy) of yarn left over, that I didn’t even have enough to weave in with a needle.