Less, but Better: Fashion Sustainability

spool of purple thread near needle thimble and measuring tape
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Well, it’s that time of year again: Futurelearn’s got a new fashion course out. It’s called Fashion & Sustainability. They‘ve had fashion related courses in the past. This time, the courseis being run by the London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion in collaboration with luxury fashion group Kering (parent company of Gucci, Puma and Stella McCartney to name a few).

I‘ve only just completed Week 1 of the 6-week course, but I can tell right off, that it’s a bit more academic and philosophical than Fashion Revolution‘s course, but it’s in the same niche.

From a maker point of view, I think Hannah Thiessen‘s Slow Knitting was a great pulling together of sustainability thought in the yarn-crafting community.

Trendstop Founder Jaana Jätyri talks about Less but Better as a means of getting companies to shift their focus and reduce production that ends up on the sale rack.

I‘m looking forward to keeping you updated.

 

What’s on my needles: I‘ve finally cast on again – Alix‘s Lace Prayer Shawl by Myrna Stahman for a dear cousin of mine who’s not so well at the moment. More on the shawl later.

 

Advertisements

When knits get political

Protest fashion has always been a thing. It identifies who stands with the demonstrators, and who doesn’t. From the cap-wearers of the French Revolution, suffragettes in white to the pink knitted caps of the Women’s Marchers.

Although now largely discarded by March organizers as too exclusive of transpeople, the pink knit hat was a visually powerful symbol of activism against sexism. Why did they work? Because they were so bright, and easy to churn out 3 or 4 or more over a weekend for knitters and crocheters alike.

Unlike fancy black dresses on the red carpet worn mainly by celebrities or even designer T-shirts with catchy slogans, pink hats, yellow vests and red scarves work because when they’re worn to actual demonstrations on the street, their sheer numbers come together to show the undeniable amount of ordinary everyday people who stand behind the concepts.

Links on Protest in Fashion:

Vogue’s Timeline of Fashion in Protest

The New York Times on The Power of the Yellow Vest

 

 

Winter knitting

Happy New Year! I hope you (as we say in Germany) slid into the New Year smoothly. I did, but I’m still catching up on sleep after a lot of entertaining. I’ve been trying my hand at Tunisian Crochet, which is a variant of crochet, but produces a textile somewhere between crochet and knit. I find the texture fascinating. I’ll soon get back to regular knitting though, as midwinter starts to creep up on us.

So much to consider: Last year, I had a little series called “Knit Autumn’s Trends”

Part 1 Reds were all over the runway. Tom and Lorenzo are calling it ‘Wild Red.’ Everything from wine to magenta and fuschia seem to slot in here.

Part 2 was all about strong shoulders. Now we’re seeing statement sleeves. A flutter, a dramatic cuff.

Part 3 was about Oktoberfest, which is huge in German-speaking Europe, and a great excuse to party around the world.

Part 4 featured boots and socks.

Part 5 brought us the three Rs: Ribs, Ruffles and Ruanas. Well, draped capes and cloaks are still with us.

What are you knotting these days?

There’s this sweater…

OPUS Pullover Pebby
Pull Peggy from German label OPUS

Now that summer is done, and the kids are back in school, I wanted to jump back on and talk about this pullover and why something like this: classic forms and eye-searing, on-trend red could very well be my next big project….

But then a note popped into my inbox about Berrocco‘s cable KAL, and I had to take a look. So although Berrocco yarns aren’t available in Germany, it’s got my imagination off and running! What better way to kick off the knitting season, than with what I shoulda-woulda-coulda knit from Berroco’s extensive collection of cable garments.

Cardamom by the Berroco team has a lovely edge treatment that is rather eye-catching. I love the Art Deco feel of Norah Gaughan’s Auberon sweater, and the subtlety of Amy Christoffers’ cables in Champlain.

However, Cirilia Rose’s Aidez and Norah Gaughan’s Zazanna and Blish have been on my favorites list for just about forever.

And then there are some newer Berroco designs that are also quite lovely like Allison Jane’s Isthmus.

Isthmus by Allison Jane
Isthmus by Allison Jane

 

I’m a teeny tiny bit glad that I don’t have to make a choice about which to knit. I’m still not so sure about what I’ll be knitting this winter. As the weather cools down, I think I‘ll just ease back into knitting and see where it goes from there…

Museum weather

 

Jil Sander. MAA Frankfurt
Jil Sander. Present Tense. Museum of Applied Arts, Frankfurt.

You may be out and about in Germany, and find it too warm to be outdoors too long,

If so, check out a few museums while you’re at it. If you’re in Frankfurt, check out the Museum of Applied Art’s exhibition (above) on Jil Sander.

 

Anni Albers bauhaus weaver
Anni Albers 1930-1933 / source: Josef Albers, k20 museum

If you’re in Dusseldorf, pop in to have a look see at the Anni Albers (master weaver who started out in the Bauhaus) retrospective at the K20 museum. Runs til September 9, 2018.

If you’re in Hamburg, a leisurely stroll through the Museum of Art and Design’s (MK&G) current exhibition: Mobile Worlds,

exhibition concept … questions the Eurocentric order of Western museums: Rather than classify objects according to epochs, geographies, art and non-art, the exhibition focuses on the global movement of objects, people and ideas past and present and the associated intertwining of cultural forms and worlds of life. This perspective reflects the social, cultural and political complexity of post-migrant society.

 

And if you’re in the South West, consider visiting the Jewelry Museum in The Goldcity, Pforzheim. Not only does their collection take one through five thousand years of jewelry, but they currently are showing “Jeweled Splendors of the Art Deco Era. The Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan Collection.” Who can say no to looking at Art deco? Runs til January 2019.

 

Keep cool and stay hydrated!

594E3AB9-C24A-45F6-B49F-0CFE4AF59E8A If you see this symbol on shop or café windows, it means you can fill up your water bottle for free.

Knit summer headbands

Marinella from ‘ I love green’ posted recently about summer headbands, and I think that’s a fabulous idea.

 

Headband with Bow by creativeyarn (top right), Moebius headband and the cute Wrap and tie headband both by Jenise Hope.

Not only are they quick knits, but knit in team colours, they would be great for sporting events as well. In case you need to celebrate a victory or crush to soothe bitter defeat.

Mode in Germany

This is an old interview (from 2013) of Women’s Wear Daily’s Berlin Correspondant Melissa Drier on Deutsche Welle. Although what she is wearing in the screen-shot is made in Germany, Drier is a New Yorker. She talks about moving to Berlin in the 1980s, experiencing the Fall of the Wall, The East-West rivalry, and the fashion scene in the German capital and the promising environment giving rise to up and coming designers.

She also talks about Berlin Fashion Week, and the Bread and Butter trade show. Not much has changed since then (the most notable thing is that Mercedes is no longer the major sponsor), and there is a growing niche in sustainable fashion, as an offshoot of the Green Week trade show.

Germany still hasn’t become a fashion capital in the five years since this interview, but it’s still an interesting place to be fashion-wise…

Heavenly knits

My last post ran a Little Long, so I decided to split it, and compile the knits I felt related to the Met Gala theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the catholic Imagination.”

 

photo source: Ravelry.com

Above is Audry Nicklin’s fabulous and accurate star map Celestarium Shawl, second row from left Ryan Hollist’s crocheted Sun Burst Shawl, Starry Nights by Sam Godden and Stephen West’s Outer Space.

And Outer Space got me thinking about space travel and then I ran into this

 

spacehelmet_shirimor_knit1-fall2007
Space Helmet by Shiri Mor

 

Space Helmet by Shiri Mor on the cover of knit.1 back in 2007 (No, really!)

And made me think of something I saw a week or two ago. Balaclavas.

 

gucci_aw18_vogue
Fall 2018 Gucci / Vogue.com

 

Vogue and the The Guardian are saying that we’re going to be wearing balaclavas this coming winter. Really?

Wedding knits

pexels-photo-313707.jpeg

So knits for weddings? Apparently it’s a Thing.

So, in honour of Ms. Meghan Markle’s wedding to HRH Henry Prince of Wales, I thought we’d take a look at wedding knits.

Handcrafted wedding Dresses have been around for as long as there has been handcrafting.

 

Shirley Paden’s Lace Dress and the crocheted Chrysanthemum Gown by Chi Krneta (on a slight side note: Shirley Paden is an amazing designer – a designer’s designer. And her book Knitwear Design Workshop is a true knitter’ resource).

These days there are also wedding veils, wedding shawls, capes, capelets, boleros and shrugs, wristlets and the list goes on. (To illustrate, I’ve chosen clockwise from top left: Nicole Markley’s I Thee Wed fingerless gloves, Carol Feller’s Summer Affair, Louise Fitzpatrick’s Summer Rose capelet and Alison Reilly’s Wedding Canopy Chuppah) Often done in fingering or laceweight yarns, these pieces can and do become hierlooms for the families lucky enough to have such a  dedicated crafter in their midst.

Technically, anyone can knit a wedding item: ‘all’ that is required is time, patience, ability to follow a pattern and willingness to frog to correct any errors.  Would you knit for your or a loved one’s wedding? Or have you?

I hope you enjoy the royal wedding. I know I will. I’m inviting friends over for a viewing with champagne and finger sandwiches! And maybe some knitting…

 

 

Design Moodboard

 

initiateknitdesign_2018
My Pinterest moodboard for the Knit Design Challenge

 

This is my moodboard for the InitiateKnitDesign Challenge run by Francoise of Aroha Knits every year.

I popped over to Barcelona for a girly Weekend with two girlfriends and it gave me quite an emotional boost in the midwinter. Running on the beachfront Promenade, enjoying the sunshine, having Tapas, Cocktails and laughing just hit the spot.

We booked an audioguide tour to visit the Sagrada Familia Basilica (unless you’re in a travel group that takes care of everything, definitely book online beforehand. Apparently no one just Shows up and expects to get in anywhere anymore). I highly recommend going in the morning/mid-morning, so that you catch the sunlight coming through the Windows.

I was particularly taken with the tree-like columns within the Basilica. It felt like walking through a forest (but of stone), with the light streaming through the various windows in a fairly similar way to how light is filtered down to the forest floor.

I’m not sure yet what the final form will me: cowl, scarf, shawl or shrug, but that’s the start of an idea.