Craft's power to heal – and to power the revolution: Studio Miranda Issue #19

I spent the weekend hanging out in basically the perfect yarn shop: gorgeous location, fantastic (and
Studio Miranda
Craft's power to heal – and to power the revolution: Studio Miranda Issue #19
By Studio Miranda  • Issue #19
I spent the weekend hanging out in basically the perfect yarn shop: gorgeous location, fantastic (and distinctive) selection, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and best of all, a tangible sense of community. This is what we crave, but the market isn’t doing LYS owners any favours. So I was happy to see a lot of yarn hauls on Instagram earlier this month… but then I saw some comments on Twitter that put a different light on matters. Evidently, the UK’s “Yarn Shop Day” was a corporate-sponsored, magazine-driven exercise that specifically excluded any shops that hadn’t paid to use the day’s branding. I find this less than constructive.
Plus, online sellers deserve your support, too. My favourite online shops are independent affairs. A website clearly can’t match a good bricks-and-mortar shop for tactile exploration, sensory overload, expert advice and community… but those are also provided by yarn festivals, which (according to opinions I heard at Edinburgh) could be increasingly the favoured way to shop. Still: not everyone can get to a show, or wants to, whereas pretty much everyone can benefit from having a real shop nearby – and from access to a well curated, responsive online store. How can we keep indie retailers alive and show them some love, without stepping on corporate marketing toes? Ideas on a postcard…

Ethical fashion
Is that a contradiction in terms? We’ve been conditioned to interpret fashion as a set of fast-changing trends. But the churn certainly wasn’t always this high. Sustainable fashion is about shopping less (and being conscious of your sources), loving what you wear and wearing it longer. And, of course, making your own is a great start; when you know how much went into that T-shirt, you won’t want to throw it away!
“Fashion should feel good”. News and resources to inspire you to make a change: shop less, love what you wear, upcycle, challenge brands to source sustainably. 
“Investment” dressing is all very well but let’s not forget that “ethical” fashion is typically unaffordable for many. This writer makes a case for embracing worn, mended clothes as a style statement. Not exactly a new idea – hello #visiblemending! – but a good read.
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Textile industry professionals around the world should take a look at this sustainability-focused non-profit, with benefits including networking, consulting and industry reports. 
Helps you make good choices as to where you shop. Dutch website, so focused on European brands, but pretty good coverage. 
Craft as mental health & political resistance
I’ve written about the Yarn Mission before, but I really appreciated this perspective on what “knitting for black liberation” really means: knitting as conversation starter, as a way of claiming space, as solidarity and as solace. 
And a reminder that needlecraft has long been used as a therapeutic activity – even for wounded soldiers. 
And finally
“As copyright library Nancy Sims pointed out to me on Twitter, while plenty of spatial reasoning tests ask which pieces fold into a cube, none ask which set of pattern pieces would fit together into a pair of pants.”
I’m doing something almost unheard of this week: I’m taking time off. I know, I know, I’ve had oodles of travel this year! Fabulous! But I crave space and time to just be still. Choosing not to work during my everyday childcare hours – putting real quiet time on the agenda? Wow. So radical. I’m so looking forward to it. 
Happy crafting!
Robynn
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Studio Miranda
Great ideas for crafters, from yarn twiddler Robynn Weldon.
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