15 Mar 2012

Locally sourced.....

                 A very interesting blog post on the Etsy this week: The Challenges and Rewards of Local Production by Karen Brown.
The cyclocarder - used to card the
Alpca fiber
The post talks about locally sourcing and producing a coat, made from felted Alpca yarn, a unique opportunity to understand the work that goes into a garment.

 'Could we live happily with fewer, better made things, exchanging our money directly with one another?'

Back during one of the Christmas Markets I clearly remember a lady looking at my items with indifference. We got to talking about machine knitting which is when she came out with the statement that my snoods must take just 15 mins to run up. It was a bit of a kick in the teeth, that somebody could look at something that was detailed, hand crafted, unique and dismiss it as something I could run up that quick. Some people are just so out of touch with the reality of garment production, both mass and hand crafted. 

Image of Knit-felt Bowl

The Etsy post starts with a link to the Fibershed website, an amazing non profit organisation in California. This market place was set up to support local farmers and artisans. The idea of knowing where your product comes from is something I strive for- I can only wish I was set up in California! And of course I had to show you this lovely knit-felt cat bowl - it comes with a full description of where and how the bowl came to be:
 'Jacalyn spins the wool from her own flock in Solano County'

I had wished for Etsy to be a bit more like Fibershed, with more information on the products then you would get from the big chain store's. It is the same with most of these craft marketplace website's - without a philosophy of letting the buyer know the life story of the product how can we expect a buyer to know why it is worth the price? 

Karen Brown - the author of the Etsy post- is the creative director of Center for Ecoliteracy'She believes that the handmade movement is a fundamental force for transforming society and the economy'
She was interested in local production and asks herself at the start "Is it still possible to dress locally?"- this isn't a question I can answer myself. For all my love of buying locally I have never found any locally made clothing, but I shall keep looking! 

Of course there is also the chance that the lady at the market just didn't care about buying my hand crafted goods?

12 Mar 2012

A Post from Tom Cat

The Cats have started (ok they have finished as well) to take over my life! Every single aspect of it!
Before they moved in they lived a quiet life and had only a little attention from humans but once they knew that they could get a cuddle and a play with just a cute look or a meow all hope was lost! I came across the below blog post which made me giggle and so thought I would share -
Storyboard: Cat Lady | The Etsy Blog:

Another great blog about something a bit different is 'The girl who looks like a cake'. Some interesting writing and a subject that I love- Fashion - means that I got caught on this blog for longer than I should have. But it does bring me to a jumper featured on the blog- 

Meadham Kirchhoff

I saw this jumper in this week's Elle magazine and loved it, I think its happiness could win anyone over. But not so- my mother really didn't like it, something about the colours..... Is it a total love it or hate it item? 

10 Mar 2012


When I was looking into British knitwear manufacturing I came across a great video from the 50's of knitwear manufacture at Pathe. I think my favourite bit of this video is the phrase 'If you're feeling depressed....' at about two minutes through-  ITALIAN KNITWEAR - British Pathé:

9 Mar 2012

Looking at the knitwear ahead.....

Knitwear is not just for Winter.....
I love Spring summer knitwear, a chance to play with a rainbow of colours and create great little cover up's for the colder days of the summer - 

Navy Short Sleeve Sequin Birds Jumper, Markus Lupfer
Markus Lupfer
Blue Colour Block Cardigan, T by Alexander Wang
T by Alexander Wang

In the summer knitwear comes alive with bright colours and pattern's, a chance to have some fun as Markus Lupfer has in the super cool parrot jumper, I couldn't wear this one as the temptation for people to say 'Polly want a cracker' would be too much -  http://www.liberty.co.uk/fcp/categorylist/dept/womenswear_knitwear?resetFilters=true
Alexander Wang 
You would have to be super
confident to wear this one

Rainbow Lace Print Jumper, Christopher Kane
Christopher Kane
A.P.C. Fine-knit wool cardigan

Oh the joy of this jumper by Christopher Kane- it's a lesson in happiness. I absolutely love yellow, from sunshine to mustard but find it hard to wear with the washed out winter look I have at the moment. So I can't wait for the summer to be able to wear this great cardigan by A.P.C- http://www.net-a-porter.com/Shop/Clothing/Knitwear

And looking even further ahead- 
Some of the lovely Jumpers at the Pringle Mens AW12 show- these just look so comfortable and warm. I love the chunky understated look and the colours are perfect for the Autumn- bring on next winter already! (not really, I want to warm up a bit first in the sun!)

And you couldn't look to the future without a thought of the past -  http://www.style.com/stylefile/2012/02/inside-impact/
Would love to be able to attend this exhibition at the FIT in New York on the impact of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. So many great image's and you can imagine the stories behind some of them.... I'll just have to try to get hold of the book.

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