KNITTING | SLOW FASHION + A WOOLY WARM SCARF

 

On the heels of the worst retail weekend in our culture, I wanted to share a different sort of post. A slow post. A post that took weeks to even be possible. One that cannot be made with one-click shopping; a post that is not eligible for free two-day shipping, and will not cost less if you sacrifice Thanksgiving pie to wait in line early. Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend, what a blight. I want to outpour my heart to every retail and commerce employee who willingly sacrificed and suffered in the name of a Good Deal.

I feel especially saddened (ok, angered) by this weekend because it impacts my family directly. For two decades my mom has been in the Black Friday fire as manager of a large retail business. Never defined by her work, but rather by her family and her life, she muscles through the hellish Black Friday season (yes, it's a season) with grace. It's we the kids who get fired up. Anyhow, she is better known for styling women in a line of slow, high-end fashion wear called cabi. (Although, Mark loves wearing cabi linen pants as much as I do.) To my mama, and my grandmotherβ€”an insanely talented seamstress whose artistic range spanned doll clothes to wedding gowns!β€”and the many women in my life who have opted for needles, hooks, bobbins, fabric and fiber rather than a quick deal: I have joined you.

I have fallen in love with natural fiber and consider knitting with animal and plant fibers a way to concretely support farmers. I knit this scarf for Mark using two skeins of undyed Icelandic sheep wool from a farm down the road. The wool is soft, the seed stitch pattern is squishy, and the tight knit makes it extra warm for braving this northern climate. The yarn cost $22 per skein, which is not inexpensive, but neither is the cost of raising, feeding, growing, and shearing sheep for the farmer. For a slower system, we must place worth on the whole system, not just the final product. Before box stores, before self-serve gas stations, before Amazon, commerce and trade were two-way transactions. More methodical, slower shopping is experiencing a revival, to be sure, and I am all in. Both feet in. As soon as I finished Mark's scarf, I wrapped him up in it and promptly got new wool onto my needles.
So it goes, slowly.


β€”S