Happy New Year!


Happy New Year people! In celebration of a new year and selfish-knitting season, all my individual patterns are 15% off. Please do have a look at the patterns & join us in the EastLondonKnit Ravelry group for the Klee Collection Knit-Along, if you are that way inclined.

EastLondonKnit Knitting Pattern Sale

It is a shiny new year (my favourite kind) and I have been trying to sort the wheat from the chaff in my resolutions. I love making ’em en mass and then working my way back toward reality. Because I’m not really going to learn Spanish and complete 3 new part-time degrees as well as design 4 new collections before 2017, am I? So, what to focus on this year?

Well, I am still feeling very enthusiastic about the whole handmade wardrobe thing. I especially like it because it’s both personal and global.

The global issues have been well discussed by more knowledge people than me. The environmental impact of mass-market clothing production and the living/working conditions for many of the people who make our clothing, among other ethical considerations, have brought people in the crafting community together, and I feel like I am taking part in something really worthwhile by considering my wardrobe more carefully and making more of my own clothing.

On the personal side, the question of wardrobe has been the sand in my oyster for years; I hope for pearls but often just end up with a bit of annoying grit. I used to think what I wore didn’t really matter, and maybe, in the back of my mind, I still think it shouldn’t. But really, it does. For me, the proof is in the doing. Now that I work from home, I’m not so motivated to get dressed in the morning. I mean, who am I dressing up for? May as well stay comfy.


The truth is that how I dress changes how I feel and what I do, even when I am by myself. If I don’t get dressed, I am less productive and feel a bit like a slob. This is probably a similar logic at work to the ‘smile and you will feel happier’. No doubt this is an obvious thing everyone knows, but I have only just realised. This happens more often than I would like to admit, but let’s focus on the wardrobe today.

So I accept the fact that I have to get dressed. And I know that what I put on when I get dressed also matters.

If I were a swanky business person, I would perhaps discuss personal branding here. ‘Branding’ is a term that puts lots of people off, including me. But I think there’s a context wider than business and marketing for me here. In this case, I am thinking about who I am as a person and who I want to be, which is a more vexed question than it might be.

Pinterest and Instagram are full of positive slogans proclaiming you should ‘be yourself’ in all your quirky glory.

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 13.42.29

Am I the only one who doesn’t know what that means? I am in a constant state of flux, which is probably why I like the idea of New Year’s resolutions so much. Why not just decide to be someone different, someone better this year? In fact, why not decide that everyday? This may be a new definition of insanity, or just indicative of a mid-life crisis, but what can I say? I haven’t decided who I am. I am still becoming.

My understanding of myself is worked out through multiple paths—the way I dress and style myself is one of them, as is the work that I do, the people I choose to spend time with, etc. This isn’t only about what I am showing to other people, but also about what I show to myself.

For all of these reasons, my hand-made wardrobe is still on the agenda for 2016. The Curious Handmade Wardrobe Challenge (which is on-going if you are interested!) really set this off for me last year, and I have been thinking about it pretty much nonstop since then. This year I am going to work out my ‘uniform’ and get my sewing mojo on.

There are other goals, and so many knitwear designs, but that is perhaps for another day…

Don’t forget the New Year Sale on EastLondonKnit patterns runs until 11 January.

Happy knitting,



6 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  1. I love how conscious you are about your wardrobe! I also started to think about all these issues when I got into knitting. When I got my knitting machine , I decided not to buy any knitwear from the store and make everything myself. It does bring more meaning to what you wear and the realization that less is more. I love your goals and I hope you will achieve all of them!

    • Thank you so much Alina! I am really impressed with your Reindeer Cardi and am finding all of your knitting really inspirational. I think my own reflections on this subject have really been because of podcasters and bloggers like you!
      p.s. I hope you are feeling better after the wisdom tooth pain. What a way to spend the holidays 😦

  2. Happy New Year Renee! I’m looking forward to seeing what you make and knit this year. I acquired a sewing machine last year, but despite making almost all my clothes when I was younger and certainly making all my children’s clothes when they were small the thought of cutting into fabric to make something for myself now terrifies me! Maybe I should make a resolution to go to sewing classes…

    • Happy New Year Mairead! I am all about life-long learning, although it sounds like you know all about sewing already 😉 I will very much look forward to seeing your projects, sewing and knitting, this year.

  3. I battle with this too. Never really sure if I should make an effort or not, but find if I dress ‘comfy’ then have to go out, I can’t be bothered to dress properly again so I just go out looking like a slob with no make-up and unbrushed hair, and I can’t imagine what that looks like. It’s difficult on the farm because of the mud, but I’ve got a pair of jeans that are my ‘muddy’ pair and I stay smart on top, then just change whatever I’m wearing on my bottom for jeans, or put them over tights if I’m wearing a dress.

    I love the concept of handmade wardrobe – I want to sew some clothes for myself, particularly following Lynda’s example…it’s all time, isn’t it!?

    • I don’t have the excuse of being outdoors much, but I bet that really gives you more incentive to stay ‘scrubby/casual’ all of the time!
      It really is about the time, though, you are so right! Linda is an inspiration to us all 😉

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