Wednesday, December 7, 2016

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Whoo-Hoo! Last Day of Classes

Sweater:  Sophia Loren (pattern), knit by yours truly using LettLopi
Skirt: Casual Connection (thrifted)
Boots:  Camper (thrifted from my mom)
Tights (not seen):  Falke

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thursday, November 24, 2016

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Same Dress, Day 2

Shirt:  Les Copains (Trend)
Dress:  Comme des Garcons
Tights:  Wolford
Boots:  Aquaitalia

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Same Haircut, Different Styling

Jacket:  Gucci (mom-me-down)
Dress:  Comme des Garcons
Tank top (not really seen):  Hanro
Tights:  Wolford
Boots: Aquaitalia
Scarf:  no label

Thursday, November 17, 2016

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Totally Professorial

Dress: Junya Watanabe
Stockings:  wool without a name
Boots:  Aquaitalia

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Casually Subversive

Hoodie:  Brooklyn Industries (from back when they made things in the USA)
T-Shirt:  3 Dots
Skirt:  Comme des Garcons
Stockings:  don't know the make, but they're wool
Boots:  Aquaitalia

Friday, November 11, 2016

Not Five Minutes Later

I bought this pattern...
Now it's time to knit.

Sublimating Rage/Grief/Fear Through Making

I know I don't need to say what so many of us have expressed over the past few days, but it has been heartening to read so many posts and comments about the election* and know that we are there for each other and readying ourselves for the battle ahead.

Other than the potential loss of liberty we're all facing, I've been obsessed with making things and planning them out.  To that end I've recently purchased the following patterns.  Sure, I have a lot of patterns already, but if I really transform the big feelings I have right now into completed projects, I'm gonna whip through that stash tout de suite!

I finally did it and bought this culottes pattern.  Everyone seems to be offering discounts, and since I'm not engaging in most types of retail therapy, this feels pretty good.

Andrea Mowry of Drea Renee Knits offered a 50% discount on one of her self-published patterns, and this one had been in my Favourites folder on Ravelry for awhile.  Can't help but think the name "Sheltered" is appropriate here.
Photo by Andrea Mowry
And then, I got an unexpected gift of this pattern from Olive Knits for commenting on her Instagram post about how we were going to make the world a better place after the election.  As if there weren't enough things to make me cry; at least they're tears of gratitude.
Photo by Marie Greene
I have another cowl that's waiting to be blocked as well as some wrist warmers and a cape/shrug that are almost done.  Last weekend I made the West Water Tunic by Sam Lamb (photos to follow, really), and this weekend I'll be working on another sewing project (a holiday gift).  Plus, I think I just might cast on for these legwarmers with the YOTH Mother yarn I picked up at Squam in June...
Photo Interweave LLC
In fact, I'm going to buy the book November Knits because I took it out of the library and there were at least ten patterns I wanted to knit from it.  Of course I'll be trying to get the book through my local bookstore (although I just saw it was on deep discount from Interweave itself...).

And yes, I've already given to the ACLU, and the ladyfriend set up a monthly donation to the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto because we're all going to need some mental health help.

*To the person who commented on Fringe Association recently about having survived 8 years of Obama, I want to say, "Oh, you survived providing health care for those who had none (like my son), social services for those who needed them (maybe even you), and getting us out of a recession caused by Dubya and his cronies?"  I had other choice words, but I'll practice restraint.  I didn't say anything on the Fringe Association blog because it wasn't the place to do so.  I want to respect Karen's space.  She handled it well.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: See One, Play One

Hat:  No label
Sweater:  unknown (no label)
Skirt:  Maria Calderara
Tights:  Wolford
Boots:  Aquaitalia

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Disbelief

Dress:  Yohji Yamamoto
Shirt:  Rivamonti
Tights:  Wolford
Boots:  Aquaitalia

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Retro Traveler

Dress: Lauren by Ralph Lauren
Coat:  Water Off a Duck's Back
Hat:  Eric Javits
Boots: La Canadienne

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Back in the Office

Dress:  Woolen Moss
Vest:  Ekeby pattern by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton for Noro, knit by yours truly
Tights:  Hue
Boots:  Timberland (thrifted from mom)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: A Little Cream

Jacket:  Vintage silk bed jacket
Dress: Comme des Garcons
Shoes:  Trippen

Friday, October 7, 2016

Fiction Workshop

I'm running a fiction workshop, over two weekends (but three weeks), at the Cotton Factory in November; participants are limited to 8.  If you're interested or know someone who might be, you can send them here.  Thanks!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Last Night's Dinner

Loved this dish so much, I had to tell the world.  Such a nice way to use organic cherry tomatoes, and yes, I added anchovies and red pepper flakes.  Try it.  It's kind of a revelation.

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Ain't Nothing Wrong with Easy

Dress: Merchant & Mills Trapeze dress sewn by yours truly
Shawl:  Alaria pattern from Quince & Co. knit by you-know-who
Boots:  Timberland (thrifted from my mother)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Slow Fashion October: Introduction

This is the closet I share with my ladyfriend.  I'd say a little less than 2/3rds of it is mine
The lovely Karen Templer has invited everyone participating in Slow Fashion October, or Slotober as it can be known, to introduce themselves.  These are the prompting questions she put forward:

Who are you, and what does slow fashion mean to you. What got you started thinking about it — people, books, films, etc. Are your concerns environmental, humanitarian, financial? Most important: How does your thinking factor into your life and closet. Also, any special plans or projects for Slotober, and what are you hoping to get out of it?

It's probably not surprising that I've waited to address this.  Suddenly I felt like there was way more to say than I could in, for example, an Instagram post.  Here's the scoop - participating in slow fashion (in general) and Slow Fashion October is another aspect of my desire to live as authentically as possible.  Simple, eh?

I've been thinking about slow fashion for a few years now, maybe more but I wasn't conscious of it as a movement.  I'm trying to remember how it all began.  Maybe it was the day I realized I had A LOT of clothes and that all of them didn't reflect who I thought myself to be.  Maybe it's Natalie Chanin's fault.  I fell in love with her aesthetic with the first book, made my first Alabama Chanin item in 2010, and had the good fortune to be able to attend one of her weekend workshops in 2012.  And then there is the Seam Allowance Project started by A Verb for Keeping Warm.  It seemed like many forces were conspiring to move me in the right direction.

But I've always been interested in clothes, and I've been knitting for thirty years now (yikes!) and sewing as well (upping my chops in that area now) so linking the handmade to my wardrobe hasn't been a stretch.  I've also questioned things my entire life (just ask my parents), which is part of the reason I pursued an MA in philosophy (authenticity is a big deal), and I'm keen on learning how to make/do almost everything (e.g. my interest in hunting).  Frankly, I'm an existentialist and want to acknowledge and accept the consequences of my actions.

There are other contributing factors (my involvement with organizations like Amnesty International, for example), but let's get to the most important question (as noted above).  My involvement with slow fashion is organic to the way I'm trying to live my life - in a way that reflects my values and ethics and is mindful.  It is also a way to assert individuality in an increasingly homogenized world.

I'm hoping this month to continue the interrogation of my wardrobe.  I'm working on an essay about how slow fashion has affected my style or my sense of who I am via style, which I hope to complete by month's end.  I'm going to continue making things (just finished two sweaters - huzzah!) and working on picking sewing projects that both reflect my style and are infinitely wearable (just infinitely - hah!).  I'm also giving a talk on slow fashion at A Handmade Assembly on October 19th.

This post rambles, but so be it.  Better to finish it and post it than to continue mulling it over.  As the saying goes "1 idea in action is worth 100 on deck."  Batter up!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Details, Details, Details

Dress: Sacai
Shoes:  Brunello Cucinelli
Socks:  from the ladyfriend's drawer

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016

Hunting for More than Bargains!

The weekend before last I had the opportunity to go to the Women's Outdoor Weekend (WOW) put on by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.  I'd first heard about this when I took my firearms and hunting courses in 2013, but it wasn't until this year that I was actually able to attend.

The weekend is designed to introduce women to the elements of being an outdoors sportswoman (which is not the same as playing pond hockey).  All the courses were taught primarily by women, and the atmosphere was welcoming and inclusive.  There was very little, if any, posturing, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. 

I drove three hours to an outdoor centre in Ontario.  Everyone was assigned cabins, yes, in the woods.

We ended up calling ourselves the Beaver Dames

On Friday, when we arrived, we had the option of a number of activities such as kayaking, wood carving, a high ropes course and rock climbing wall.  I stopped by the high ropes course and climbing area as well as the survival skills, where I made this handy survival bracelet.

In addition to the introductions to archery, rifles & shotguns, fishing, and hunting skills, there was a falconry demonstration and a Saturday night comedic hypnotist (which I skipped because I find those things kind of humiliating, and I was also in need of a little downtime). 
Roxy, the peregrine
While it rained all day Saturday, it didn't diminish the fun.  My first rotation was archery -

We shot both compound and crossbows.

Then my group moved onto the rifle range:

Our third rotation was the hunting skills and small engine repair.  I'd say the latter was the least successful unit, for me at least.  But I did learn that ethanol messes up your engine.

On Sunday we had our final workshop, angling, where we were introduced to both casting and fly fishing.

A demo on how to filet a fish was included in the angling rotation.

I had a great time.  I also won a fishing rod. For me it's all part of my overall philosophy of sustainability and responsibility.  I'm always looking for more ways to walk the walk.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Decidedly More Ladylike

Sweater:  Made by me (Malabrigo yarn, vintage buttons, can't remember the pattern)
Dress:  Piazza Sempione
Shoes:  Manolo Blahnik

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: You Should See This on the Bike

Shirt:  Junya Watanabe
Skirt:  Yohji Yamamoto
Shoes (obviously not seen): first I was wearing Robert Clergerie but switched to Betabrand FlipSlips because I got a blister.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Howdy! It's Back to Black

Today's image took forever, and this is what I have to show for it.
Dress:  Karen Klein
Boots:  Thrifted

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Brompton Urban Challenge Toronto

I convinced my ladyfriend to enter the Brompton Urban Challenge in Toronto, which was held this past Saturday.  She did a fair bit of grousing as we drove into the city just to make sure I'd know just how much I owed her for this favour.  I'd arranged for a loaner Brompton for her from Curbside, the sponsor of the Challenge and where I'd bought my Brompton last year.

The Challenge is basically a scavenger hunt featuring you, your teammates, and Brompton bikes.  Every image fulfilling a challenge had to have at least one team member in it as well as at least one Brompton.  Teams averaged four members (it seemed); ours had three.  For our third member, I turned to the guy standing next to me for our first group picture, asked him if he had a team, and when he said "No," I asked him if he wanted to be on ours.  Easy peasy.

We had to complete at least 10 out of the 18 challenges (see image below).  If you completed more than 10, they'd drop your weakest image and replace it with a better one.

This was our first upload (via Twitter) to make sure the judges could see our images and associate a team name with us.  We were Straight Outta Brompton; not terribly original (as it was used for advertising, I believe, but I'd forgotten that at the time).  Our initial idea was 2 Dykes and the Engineer since our third member is an engineer for Mozilla.  I think the name made him a little uncomfortable.  So Straight Outta Brompton it was.

Here are the ones we did to fulfill our chosen challenges:


#DoubleDown (can you see me and the ladyfriend reflected here?)



#BromptonProud (got a thumbs-up from a dude sitting on the steps after we finished this one)


#SuchGreatHeights (see the CN Tower way in the distance?)

#VIPs (valet parking at Holt Renfrew)



At the finish line we had lunch, and there were some individual challenges like a folding & unfolding a Brompton blindfolded as well as a tire toss (ring the seat & seat post).  Everyone received Lucetta magnetic lights for participating, so everyone got a prize, but really, it was the big prize we were all after - Ortleib Mini O Bags.

Finally, it was time to announce the winners.  There were four places, and with 92 out of 100 points, our team won first!

But wait! There's more.  With our lights we got a 15% off coupon on not only Brompton accessories but actual bikes.  I thought I might like to see what kind of Bromptifications I could make (new clamps!), and the ladyfriend, buoyed by our success, the discount, the additional Brexit discount (10% for the falling pound!), and having had such a great time riding around Toronto on a Brompton, thought that perhaps she'd like to have her very own Brompton.

And after a few hours, this is what was in our trunk -
They even let her exchange her O bag for one that matched her Berry Crush bike.  I took the green one.

It was a great day, and we talked with our teammate about reconvening for next year's challenge.  His girlfriend has a Brompton as well, and I think we'd make a pretty awesome team of four!