I used to make my own bread. It was fun, until it became a chore. Up to that point, I enjoyed the process. Preparing my work area. Seeing the ingredients turn from bitsy to smooth dough, and then bread. The joy of watching my family enjoy it. Yes, it fed my soul as well as our tummies.
Maybe a victim of my own success, I dropped bread from my shopping list. Now if I didn’t bake, there was no bread. I’d stay up a bit later in the evening, just to squeeze in a loaf for the next day. The fun seeped away and I stopped. Bread shuffled back on to the shopping list.
Here’s my theory. When you make something from your heart and with your hands, it has to be done for the joy of it. It is about the journey not just the destination. Otherwise, go and buy it.
Today I discovered that this concept has a name. I found it in a magazine I bought myself ready for an appointment today. One of those appointments where they give you a time, but you know that it is just aspirational. So I took a magazine as an indulgent treat and grabbed the inevitable delay as “me time”.
The magazine was “Love Sewing”. Have you read it? Inside there is an article which contained the phrases “slow textiles” and “slow fashion”, which jumped out at me. Apparently a newish concept that encompasses hand crafts such as knitting, embroidery and hand sewing. I suspect it would be best buddies with slow cooking.
Now if the world was to take both these concepts to heart, then there might be quite a few rumbling, bare midriffs, but that is not the point.
I came home and looked at my current projects. I’m knitting a pair of socks, preparing a new Dear Daughter quilt block, crocheting my daisy blanket, deliberating over the backing for another quilt and a couple more dressmaking projects which are almost finished.
Some of these projects have been on the go for a while. Why? Various reasons, but I realise that they are all being worked on. Slowly. I choose to pick up the right project for each moment. Not because I want to finish, but because I want to knit/crochet/handstitch/spin/felt at that precise point.
So I’m OK with my projects. Some things I make will be finished in no time because I’m enjoying the ride. Others will take longer. Maybe some will never be finished, but they will all have served a bigger purpose. In a busy life, my handcrafting acts as my time to breathe and enjoy the moment.
It’s about the journey. Now I have a name for it. Slow Textile.
How about you? Do you enjoy taking time or would you prefer to be wearing a skirt 2 hours after you the first cut of the fabric?