Friday, November 27, 2015

Day 3: Reminiscent of My Punk Rock Days

Yep, this is the dress off-duty but still working hard.  Add a sweater, some striped (barely visible) Falke tights, my Alabama Chanin demo (for class) bandana, Blundstones, and the boy's hand-me-up leather jacket, and I'm good to go, or stay home, which has been my inclination.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Day Two - Black Thursday

Dress: Comme des Garcons
Sweater:  pattern unknown/unremembered, Malabrigo yarn, knit by me
Pants:  Comme des Garcons
Shoes:  Rodarte for Repetto

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Day One - The Fun's Just Begun

I give my fashion writing students the option of either making an article of clothing or wearing a foundational piece (like pants, shirt, dress, or skirt) for seven days in a row (they have to ultimately write about the experience).  So I decided to take the 7-day challenge myself.  I'll be wearing the dress pictured here for the next seven days in a row.
Dress: Comme des Garcons
Shirt:  Les Copains
Tights:  Wolford
Shoes:  Trippen

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Quality of Life Markers, or Baby, Where Has Our Love Gone?

On Sunday I realized my Saturday fit (as I'm now calling my bad mood) went deeper than just the feeling that my desire to be conscientious (about so many things) was a Sisyphean task.  I'd seen some of the signs earlier, but I'd tried to ignore them or explain them away.

Here are some of the signs:
  1. You don't make pickles
  2. In fact, the larder is pretty low on home-canned goods
  3. You haven't gone to yoga since the summer (yikes!)
  4. You cook, but you're not really cooking (if you know what I mean)
  5. You're making a lot of socks because everything feels like it needs to be portable and pretty manageable (low commitment)
  6. You run out of homemade stock
Yes, it all adds up to a more harried and busier fall than usual.  I think I've said before that "busy" for us is pretty much status quo, but this fall has been crazy.  Partly it's because I'm teaching four classes, and partly it's because we kind of just hit the ground running, even harder than usual, in late August/early September.  It's basically all we can do to keep up with things.  Finding pleasure in our handmades or even in an afternoon of stock-making has been challenging.

Frankly, not much is going to change next semester.  While I'm only teaching three classes, I'll only have about seven or eight students less, but the contact hours will be lower.  But I'm a big believer in the adage "Forewarned is forearmed," so I'm working on some scheduling and planning.

For example, I've chosen the projects I'm going to work on in the next couple of months.  After the sweater-for-a-certain-someone is finished, I'm going to knit the Sophia Loren sweater using the LettLopi the ladyfriend brought back for me from Iceland (be still, my beating heart!).  Coincidentally, another woman in Hamilton did this sweater in the LettLopi as well.  It's a sign!

I've also planned out two sewing projects.  For my birthday last year, the ladyfriend's mom bought me this pattern and money for fabric.
Wish they'd just style the models in a contemporary way; why make it seem costumey?
This is the fabric I've ordered for it (see yesterday's comment about fabric made in Italy):

I am also planning on making another Alabama Chanin dress with fabric I got for Christmas a few years ago (red!).  I'm actually going to be modifying their t-shirt pattern into a dress.  I'm really excited to do some serious hand-sewing (for myself).

I think part of being "forewarned" is just understanding what's going on.  I'm looking forward to returning to yoga, and this semester has demonstrated that I can, indeed, keep up with the marking (no more papers "curing" for a week at home before I read them - hah!).  I can cut myself some slack while taking advantage of whatever time becomes available.

And in case you're concerned, there are chicken bones in the fridge ready to be made into stock.

Monday, November 23, 2015

A Tale of Woe for the Conscientious Shopper

Tattoo done by the boy
I found myself in a foul mood Saturday, and I think it started Friday night.

The ladyfriend and I had been talking about holiday gifts (she was getting her list together), and I suggested we look at Patagonia because we've always liked (and fetishized, at times) their stuff.  I saw this and paused -
It hit a lot of the notes I like - hood, thumb holes as well as pullover mitts, green funky pattern, etc.  But I'd just purged a lot of clothing, and as I put away my long-sleeve athletic tops, I'd remarked to myself that I clearly didn't need anymore.  But need shmeed, right?

Not so fast.  Patagonia kindly makes its supply chain transparent, but that didn't mean I was excited by it.  Sure, the factory they use "has a strong social program, which includes medical care and on-site, no-cost meals," but it didn't convince me.  Frankly, I'm beginning to feel like this is a way of whitewashing off-shore production (is there an ethical/sustainability version of whitewashing?).  It's made in China, and that's kind of the story for me.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Feel Me, Read Me, Make Me, Eat Me

Oh, it's a crazy world.

First there's the fact that the FDA has approved genetically modified salmon to be sold without any kind of labeling. 

Then there's the fact that the recent attacks in Paris and Beirut have caused people to forget their humanity.

So something like the idea that never seems to die (Hamilton as the new Brooklyn) seems pretty damn mundane.  Okay, and I know I live in Canada and I plan to become a citizen, but you have to admit it's pretty funny that the title of that article is "Is Hamilton Canada's Brooklyn?" because it makes the country of Canada analogous to the city of New York.  It's a question of scale...

But maybe cycling can save the world!

As mentioned elsewhere on this blog, I really miss American Thanksgiving (The ladyfriend and I will be having the roast turkey dinner, a year-round option, at Russell Williams); I don't miss Black Friday.  However, Alabama Chanin posted this about Black Friday, and not only does it give you the genesis of the term, but a little food for thought about how our actions could affect the businesses we want to support.

And then there's my never-ending ambitions (crafty, not really career-wise - hah!).  I'm working on a sweater for a certain special someone (who doesn't read this blog - I know, how special could they be, right?  But they are.  Very), which I'm going to have to restart because it's massively too big; so 10 inches of knitting in the round is being ripped out.  Yay!  And yes, I swatched, but I miscalculated.  Just because you swatch doesn't mean your math skills are always on point.

Anyway, if I'm knitting that sweater for a holiday gift, when can I start this from the new Brooklyn Tweed Lookbook?  And what about this, which I've been wanting to make with all the Lopi Lett the ladyfriend brought back from Iceland for me?!  And then there's socks on my needles... I don't know if I can actually allow myself to go to Handknit tonight to meet Julie Asselin, whose yarn I bought myself for my birthday and is the yarn I'm using for the aforementioned socks.  Let's be honest, going to a yarn store to meet the maker and see her new yarn without buying a skein is akin to walking into a bar to see what they have on tap and not ordering a beer (yes, that's how my world works).  Sigh.

But enough about me - today is the birthday of my dear friend Karen Thiessen, an amazing artist and person.  Happy, happy, Karen!  I hope to celebrate with you soon!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Can't Go Wrong

but sometimes the picture just doesn't go right!
Dress:  Alaia
Tights:  Hue
Shoes (not seen):  Cydwoq