I have loved reading all the round up posts that folks have been blogging in the past few weeks. So many inspiring, amazing and interesting things that people have been doing and making. I have been amazed by the number of books that some have managed to read in a year, most lists seemed to be equivalent to what I would manage in a decade. I hadn't made a list of books I read this year and when I did I was unsurprised by the fact that they were mostly non-fiction. I rarely buy fiction these day, any fiction I do read is borrowed from my local library and as I have not set foot in there since March last year, not many books of this type made it on my list. My total was 11, in case you are interested, but I also had a further 10 half read books on my bedside table.
I have been doing a little bit of decluttering every day so far this year, I am not aiming to keep that up for the whole year, it is the time of year when I like to clear out, part of my winter routine. I have reduced the pile of unread books to six, not a great reduction but a start, the other four have been been shelved to be read in full another time, or placed in the charity shop bag as they are not for me. I like the idea of doing a little every now, inspired by this post rather than getting overwhelmed by trying to tackle it all at once. I have a tendency not to start things at all when it gets to the overwhelming stage, procrastination is an art form in itself isn't it, but it doesn't get you very far if you never get started on anything. So little and often it is.
I learnt a new, to me, phrase reading those round up posts, actually it is an acronym really, SABLE, have you heard of it? Apparently it means Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy. I should quantify that it was a knitting thing in the context that I read it, a stash, in this case, being a collection of skeins (or hanks or balls whatever you call them) of yarn. My stash does not meet this definition by any stretch of the imagination, it is a rather random selection of remains of balls of yarn from my knitting projects over the years with a small collection of complete skeins which were inexplicably left over from projects. I buy yarn when I want to knit something. So it got me thinking. About SABLE that is and why and what people knit.
The creative process is a very personal thing is it not, why we create and what we choose to create is unique to each and every one of us. It is interesting to me as someone who buys yarn with a specific project in mind why people would buy yarn because well, I don't know, I am guessing they like it. This is not a criticism by the way, it is pure curiosity. I am more likely to create a SABLE for fabric than yarn, perhaps I should rephrase that to I am well on my way to creating a large stash of fabric. I have a wonderful fabric shop in my local town and it is rare for me to visit and not walk out with some lovely fabric that fell into my basket. I can't help wondering if I still had a local yarn shop to visit, whether yarn would be falling into my basket each time I visited there too, when you buy it online it doesn't have quite the same appeal for me.
Despite my large fabric stash my sewing projects last year amounted to a bag for my nephew for Christmas, I could not remember making anything else. I am sure that I had my sewing machine out a few times I know that involved repairing things and I sure I made another batch of cloths as I usually do each year at some point. I did start one project in September but I am still working on that so I cannot claim it as a finished project for 2021. Thinking about what sewing I had done last year, and not coming up with anything made me wonder why. I cannot explain why the gift sewing stopped other than I was not inspired but that is not all I sew. I have made myself a few items of clothing in recent years but thinking about my wardrobe, from a sewing point of view it is enough, I don't need anything new right now.
In that wonderful way that synchronicity can occur, as I was pondering this a new episode from a podcast producer I love, popped into my podcast app, you can find it if you click on documentaries. It was a one off called Stitched up about fast fashion and amongst other things the lack of transparency within the supply chain which makes it nearly impossible to make a considered purchase. Like so many things in our lives we are so removed from the processes it has been through it is hard for us consider this when we are browsing in shops or online. The label telling you where it was made? That is where it will have been sewn together by the time the fabric has got there it may have been half way round the world from growing, to processing, weaving, dying and whatever else needs to happen to it before it can be sewn into a garment.
It would be so easy to feel overwhelmed, to worry about the current contents of our wardrobes, our stashes of whatever it is we like to buy to make things or whatever else it is we like to buy, but it is not about that is it. We cannot unknow what we hear, see and read, what we can do is think about it and be mindful in the future, what that looks like will be personal to each and every one of us. I am not standing, or writing here in judgement.
So I have loved all the roundup posts I have read not just because they were inspiring, amazing and interesting but because they sent me down rabbit holes and got me thinking too.