Thursday, February 22, 2018

TWEEDY STRIPEY

 These pictures are sort of embarrassing, but let's just go with it. I knit a sweater!
I read a book called Overdressed: the Shockingly High Cost of cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline as recommended by Elise on her post about making her own clothes. I love a book that kicks me into action and I was about half way through this book when I started knitting this sweater.

What really motivated me wasn't the knowledge of sweatshops, I knew about those and buy a lot of my clothes second hand and try only buy new what I must. But as I was reading this book I realized the things I was buying in thrift stores weren't vintage, they were H&M. As the book points out, the quality of most clothes today is bad and I'd have to keep buying new (or new to me) clothes that would only hold up a few washes. That's waste too.

And secondly, most clothes today are plastic. I try to avoid plastic in my home, yet I'm walking around wearing it?

So, now my new year's resolution too (I think it's OK to make resolutions all year long) is to make clothes for myself. I don't know what I'll make or how many or how they'll turn out, but I'll try! I'm thinking a few more sweaters, a couple of tops and t-shirts for the summer (I'm not making my own jeans.)
The pattern is Tweedy Stripey by Leslie Weber. It was great for a first time clothing maker! Very straight forward and easy to follow. Although, I did completely mess up the stripe pattern. Still, I'm very fond of my sweater. It's loose and long enough to wear with leggings. It's wool and very warm, but the short sleeves are very practically since it seems I'm constantly washing hands, faces and butts. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

NEEDLE FELT LUMBERJACK

Hello.
I made a lumberjack!
With a tiny ukulele.

And suspenders. And a beard, you can't forget the beard.
He's shy.

No, really, back to reality. But isn't he cute?  I sort of love him and his worried eyebrows and little brown boots. 
If you want to make one, I tried following this YouTube tutorial by Shayda Campbell, but veered off course immediately. It's a good tutorial. I just kept adding details, like the nose and ears and the ukulele... I couldn't help myself. 

This is so going on the Christmas tree and my kid can marvel what a crazy mother she has.

This might be the last needle felt project for a while, because right now I'm knitting. Watch out, next pigs will fly.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

JANUARY READS

The books I had from the library when I snapped this picture.
I made a New Year's resolution to read 52 new to me books. I'm a notorious re-reader and have a tendency to get stuck into a loop of re-reading the same books in a continuous cycle. Some people comfort eat, I comfort read. And eat.

So at the start of this year I dug out my dusty library card and got a pile of books. I was sick most of January and didn't have the energy to do much else except keep us alive and got on to a pretty good start with my reading.

These are books I read in January, but I don't think I'll make this a monthly thing. but I thought it might be a good to post about it here, maybe it'll keep me accountable.

I wont post a full review, since you can find really in depth reviews online, I'll just mention one or two things that stuck with me from the book. 

1. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
This was a very comforting little book with cute illustrations. A very fast read.The message was: enjoy, little things make life nice. It's OK to just curl up with a book, which is my favorite thing to do anyway. I especially liked the bit about clothes. You usually hear (in Finland) how everyone should dress more colorfully, this book said to dress for comfort and in black and grey! All of Denmark is doing it apparently!

2. The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama XIV and Howard Cutler
This book gave me so much to think, I had to read it in small doses so I wouldn't sprain my brain, that's how it felt. It mostly talks about the importance of compassion. Reading this I realized I'm kind of resentful and angry and should really do something about it.

3. Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship by Gregory Boyle
This was also about compassion. The stories in it (about gang members) were so interesting and I really liked the writing style. What most stuck with me was the point about not labeling people as fundamentally "bad" or "evil", and instead think for example " has lost hope" or "mentally ill" or whatever is appropriate for the situation. It's so easy just to think: oh, he's a monster!

4. Enough: Breaking Free from the World of More by John Naish
Somewhat dated, but very good thoughts about having enough still. Not just about things, but enough information, enough work etc. What struck me most was the concept that we have already "arrived". We have some amazing things already. If you don't think you have enough now, you will not be impressed when you have more. Teleportation will be invented and we'll all be "oh, my teleport is sooo old, takes for ever, I really need to get an upgrade".

5. The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to make Your Loved Ones' Lives easier and Your Own Life more Pleasant by Margareta Magnusson
I thought this would be a tidying book in the wake of the success of the Konmari method. Instead, it's written by a 82 (!) year old woman, actually doing death cleaning, that is getting rid of excess in her home so that her kids and grand kids wont end up sorting through a ton of crap when she passes. Sort of morbid, but I guess that's the point.

6. Ikigai by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles
I had high hopes for this book: find the purpose of your life (that's what ikigai apparently means)! But it was mostly about things I knew already: eat healthy, exercise, have good relationships... And it doesn't actually tell you how to find the purpose of your life! There is a diagram that says it should be something you love, are good at, makes money and that the world needs. I'm still drawing blank.

7. Unelmahommissa: Tee itsellesi työ siitä mistä pidät by Satu Rämö and Hanne Valtari (~Dream Job: how to make a living doing what you love)
This is a book written by one of the bloggers I follow. They talk about how to make a career out of your hobbies basically. I liked the way they were very specific, telling details you don't normally hear like how much exactly they charge for a certain job and what goes into it.

8.  Vapaudu: polku hyvään elämään by Nanna Mikkonen (~Free yourself: a path to a good life)
This was a bit woo-woo for my taste. I like my self-help backed up by science. But it was a super interesting read just for the crazy life's journey of the writer. There was an affirmation I really liked. It goes: I forgive you (your name) for not being the way I want you to be. You can replace your name with the name of your enemy, your mother, a friend... I've tried saying it in my mind when something annoys me. Maybe it's woo-woo, but it does calm me down.

So there! Eight books down, forty-four to go!
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