Organising the final days of the shop, stashing the left-over yarn and finding places to store it in the loft has been a sobering experience. I’ve laughed in the past when I’ve seen a suggestion that knitting and buying/stashing yarn it are two separate hobbies, but that laughter feels a little hollow when I’ve got many years supply of yarn… and still keep on buying it.
I love the promise of an un-used ball of wool. The gorgeous colours and textures of a particularly lovely skein of yarn are like human catnip for me, but I’m beginning to feel a wee bit guilty about buying more and more of the stuff – and only very slowly turning it into knitted things.
At the same time, the loft revealed that I have a problem with buying clothes and shoes too: I’m sure I’m not alone in wearing the same dozen items and two pairs of shoes and yet I have a wardrobe stuffed with clothes, drawers stuffed with clothes, as well as a spare wardrobe in the loft stuffed with clothes. I have boxes of shoes, miles of scarfs, crates of hats and gloves and bags. While we were sorting out the spider-strewn storage, I began to feel a wee bit sickly (and that wasn’t just because of the spiders).
Clothes and fabric are one of the biggest contributors to landfill, the chemicals used to produce, process and dye cloth are frequently toxic, and the garment industry has questions to answer about how much it pays, and how it treats its (predominantly third world and female) workers. The fashion industry drives a fast and furious cycle of what is ‘in’ and ‘out’ that could leave half your wardrobe redundant in less than a year.
Like most of us, I enjoy the real pleasure of combining colour and cloth, glitter and gloss for a night out, and I’ve spent hours looking for the perfect pair of life-changing jeans just like everyone else. But I need to jump off that carousel for a while – and closing the shop, losing my independent income and changing my life has given me a obvious incentive to do something a bit different for a while.
So this is the plan – and it’s a simple one. I’m not going to buy any more clothes, shoes, handbags, accessories or yarn for a whole year. As I can sew I have an obvious ‘get out’ clause, but I’m going to attempt a ‘one in- one out’ policy. I’m going to start by auditing the stuff I have and make sure that I’m not hanging on to things that could have a better home elsewhere (and to make sure that I have enough knickers for a year). My plan is to kick off on the first of November.
PS this is Villagewoolly central for the next wee while – it’s in the conservatory and as you can see, it’s a pretty nice place to hang out. Btw – I don’t ‘do’ minimalism!