Sunday 22 October 2023

Nerd Church - The World In A Spin


I recently took up spinning my own yarn from wool - because apparently I wasn't doing enough weird old-timey crafts for my brain's liking.

So, yeah, in addition to my previous heritage (i.e. ye olde timey,) crafts - knitting, weaving, embroidery, and cross-stitch - I now also spin wool fibre into yarn.

...Honestly sometimes my brain just, entirely out-of-the-blue, is like, 'we should learn how to abseil while painting stained glass windows!'* and I'm just like, 'yeah, sure, why not?'

(I do some non-heritage crafts too. Because I am like this, apparently. 😅)

*Don't panic, it hasn't actually suggested doing that. Yet.

Title: The World In A Spin. Image: the globe with an overlaid ball of yarn

Anyhow, it got me to thinking - we don't know enough about how stuff gets made, about where stuff comes from.

We in the modern world - especially in the West and the global North - have become so far removed from the means and methods of production that we can't even fathom it any more.

(Can you tell I was raised by South Wales Valleys (i.e. Socialist,) working-class hippies? Yeah? Great. 😅)

And that's not a good thing. Because it means we don't value what went into making this thing in front of us.

Is it any wonder that consumerism is totally out of control when we aren't taught to appreciate the work and the materials that go into things?

Is it really a surprise that we're struggling so much to curb our overuse of resources and move towards a much-needed, greener, way of living?

There are way more steps between sheep-shearing and usable yarn than you would think

- so many things that have to be done with this fragile fluffy gift in order to make it something that can clothe us and keep us warm.

...How many of us really think about it, when we buy clothes?

I'm not saying we should all move into mud huts and collect rain water to bathe.

(Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it ain't my thing - too many spiders.)

Neither am I saying that it's practical to buy only the most ethical-est, greenest, items possible. (Though the people who can most afford to seem to be the ones least likely to do so.)

...For one thing, it's not always straight-forward to identify what's 'ethical.'

A lot of vegans, for example, won't buy or use wool at all

 - and I could write a full blogpost, as a lifelong vegetarian, about why I personally think that's ethically short-sighted and a false virtue.

But I won't, because I'm pretty sure the only people who would read it, are the ones who wouldn't actually read it, and would yell at me instead. 😅

(Before you're tempted to yell at me here: I don't care if you use wool or not, you do you. 😘 )

I don't have the answers.

But maybe we should all slow down, and think about it a little more.

And at the very least, we need to value and take care of the stuff that we do own. 

It's not materialistic to appreciate your things; so long as you keep some perspective, it's probably the opposite.

Did that make the slightest bit of sense?

Do we need to appreciate the processes of production more?

Talk to me! 😊💬

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  1. Alas, I'm afraid that most of consumerism is out of our hands...for instance, you can't very well repair a broken TV or smartphone when most of the times the repair cost is just below the price of a new item.

    "It's not materialistic to appreciate your things; so long as you keep some perspective, it's probably the opposite."
    That's so true! BTW...I take care of my things...even if I had more money, I would still keep an old but beloved shirt until it started to fray 😂.

    1. I literally wear my clothes until they fall apart - I have a particular skill for 12-dancing-princesses-ing my shoes - so I feel you! Lol.

      My great-grandmother, who I was lucky enough to know, used to save the Xmas wrapping paper for the next year's presents - so while that's a little much even for me, I've been raised in the kind of 'waste not want not' frame of mind that comes from previous generations.

      True, we can't change what we can't change. BUT - we *can* change what we can change ;)

      The Welsh government is actually pushing small changes adding up at the moment: . They're also pretty good at doing what they can, within their UK-limitations, at driving us forward in terms of environmental stuff - our current recycling rate is 65.2%. (I realise I sound like I work for them - I don't. But if someone from the Senedd happens to read this, I'm open to offers! Lol.)

  2. I've come to appreciate where stuff comes from a bit more since having a lengha (a traditional Pakistani dress) made for me from scratch for an event. I got be involved in the entire process, and seeing the man so quickly and effortlessly stitching this fabric made me so appreciative of being involved in the process of making clothing. It also tied me to my culture a bit more!

    1. Skilled work is amazing :) I wish I could pay more for things that are made by true craftspeople - at the moment I can only do what I can within any budget I have. The more I sew, the more I notice the poor quality of some of the stitching on the clothes in shops etc. - the problem is that even fast fashion isn't so cheap at the moment!

      Like I said - I don't have the answers. But I'm pretty sure it starts with valuing things more :)


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