New knitting bag


I have ethical questions about cutting up garments at times.  For example, should I leave them in the op shop for someone who might use them as they are rather than treating them as raw materials?  Not to mention, how about using what I already have and not getting anything more, even second hand? I have to admit that other days I think about how much textile waste is thrown away in the overdeveloped world and think I should just go wild if I have a good idea.  But my ethical quibbles are completely swept away when I confront the bargain rack at the op shop, where things have failed to sell and the next stop is rags.  Which is how the linen jacket above (and a pair of jeans) came home with me a little while back. The jacket had clearly gone through the washing machine despite its dry clean only tag (I understand, dry cleaning is an evil chemical process and expensive as well), and the interfacing had not shrunk at the same rate as the linen.  And that, my friends, is how I found myself ripping an Armani suit into its component parts!


This process entertained two friends who don’t share my fascination with garment construction mightily.  I’ve read about the signature Armani interior pocket in my wanderings through Threads Magazine.  And here it is!  Not to mention so much interfacing, of about five different types. In the end some of the jacket lining and the interior pockets became part of this lining.

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And the lining was set into an eco print on silk left from dye camp summer 2017.

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And finally, I have a new knitting bag.  I’ve lost one, and one needs comprehensive mending… and this one has luxury interior pockets for all my little stuff (stitch markers, needles).  I’m a happy knitter!  And the linen has hit a bucket of soy milk, the better to meet its new destiny.

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Filed under Leaf prints, Natural dyeing, Sewing

15 responses to “New knitting bag

  1. Fny

    Treating an old garment as raw material for something new is definitely not something to be morally conflicted about. Quite the opposite, it’s good! We as a society need to be doing more of that – seeing our trash not as trash but as raw material for something new. So I applaud you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Fny! I agree this needs to happen more. But… surely there is still such a thing as too much? I am definitely in favour of treating all such questions as being considered in a bigger context, in which the way our entire society is organised around profit, and the consumption and pollution and waste it creates, is the big issue. In comparison my decisions are pretty trivial–but there are still ethical questions to consider and experiments to be made and new thoughts to be had I think.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fny

        Trivial as it may seem, it’s all part of the bigger picture as you say! And well, yeah. There is always a line somewhere that takes it too far, whatever the topic really. So surely there is one here as well. But I don’t think you gotta worry about it, it’s still a pretty long way ahead – for now I’d say that repurposing and salvaging old stuff that otherwise would be thrown away is all positive. ^^

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Fny–I don’t think it’s trivial, and I guess I wouldn’t do a lot of things I do, otherwise. I just try to keep it in perspective. And thanks so much for your appreciation and encouragement. I appreciate it!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Manja

    I can so relate to these particular dilemmas about the ‘buying of stuff’!
    And have had the exact same thoughts standing at an op-shop rack, entranced by the texture, colour or shape of a piece of clothing that has caught my eye.. and like you, can find both/and resolutions, rather than a single ‘right’ response to the dilemma at hand. Unlike you though, I don’t have quite the same ability to respond by transforming items into such delightful works of beauty, and put to such inventive new uses!

    Luckily, there is this blog, and I can take pleasure and inspiration from seeing how you do it 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Manja! I think you’re extraordinarily inventive… but thanks for these very fine compliments. I think so long as we are surrounded by such first world plenty and waste in a world where many people don’t have enough, ethical dilemmas are likely to be the order of the day. In the meantime, no shortage of things to consider in trying to reach an ethical position. So good to hear from you!


  3. Jehni

    Ooh, that’s just gorgeous! I have similar dilemmas when op shopping, mostly I’m after the fabric. And how do you use soy to dye linen? As a pre-mordant? I’ve heard of this but not tried it. I’m fascinated 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jehni! India Flint’s book Eco-colour describes how to use soy to mordant cellulose fibres (cotton and hemp as well as linen). You’ll find a modification of her method in the How To tab here on my blog, which arose when I just couldn’t find where she had written that part of the book for searching. I started experimenting and did months of experiments before I found the right part of the book. Needless to say it was there all along, just like that knitting book I found the other night after looking at the same shelf for about 30 minutes. Sigh!


  4. Just Stunning ….. i am in the middle of making trouser legs from my husbands hemp trousers into aprons !


    • Fabulous. I love all the bast fabrics but especially hemp. I converted my last worn out hemp garment into bags even once it had passed the point of being wearable as shorts… I look forward to seeing the aprons!


  5. Great post and most enjoyable seeing the inside of designer garments. Those well sewn can be a bugger to unpick. I love the reuse of the pockets!


  6. I don’t think you should worry about buying clothes for their fabric. You’re going to use the item you make from those raw materials right? (In most cases, it sounds like you’ll use it to death too.) If you buy that garment to repurpose, it will get used, no question about it. If you leave it in the store on the off chance that someone else will love it and use it as intended, then it will probably go to waste.

    Liked by 1 person

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