In between my secret projects, I've been knitting on a third Lupine shawl, this time in a coveted skein of Tosh Merino Light in the colorway Magic. Lately, I've been exploring more of the sparkly, Lisa-Frank-tastic style of my '90s youth, which means splatter-dyes and neon and everything funky - which has been fun, and also sort of complicated in weird ways.
I was a pretty serious kid, and even though I did have a sticker book to rival the best of them - I had sparkly, fuzzy, and scratch-n-sniff stickers, organized by type and motif in a Lisa Frank dolphin sticker book, thankyouverymuch - I didn't ever feel like I was cool enough to really participate in trends or fashion in general, so in a small way, I'm attempting to reclaim that experience a bit. (Okay, the current '90s throwback nostalgia is helping too!) It wasn't until I started going to fashion school that I admitted that I even cared about fashion, since my experience of it had been so fraught with feelings of exclusion and inadequacy - some of which was handed to me through media portrayals of beauty and worthiness, and some of which came from an internal sense of perfectionism and self-criticism. Either way, fashion was a very negative thing to me for much of my life, and I'm still sorting through a lot of my beliefs about and experiences of it.
So in my daily making & fashion life lately, I've been trying to explore and challenge those things that we all hear and internalize in childhood, which are reinforced over and over again throughout our lives: you have to be pretty to pull off short hair; being skinnier is always better; women can't have body hair, because it's gross; your hips look big in that dress, and nobody wants that, right? And what I'm finding is that I'm not just enjoying the opportunity to play with fashion and beauty that has felt off-limits to me in the past, I'm also finding that a lot of it feels authentic in ways I didn't expect, which is pretty fucking cool.
In other news, Monsieur Squishy is still on a twice-daily dose of rattie antibiotics, but remains more or less his cranky self. He has become somewhat more personable during his convalescence, but I think his true opinion of us has changed only slightly: Lumberjack and I are still his annoying humans, but now we are his annoying humans who also give him tasty yogurt twice a day.
Good boy, I guess?
Happy Wednesday, friends!
That Lupine is so pretty! Love the colourway :)
Oh wow, I relate to this post SO much. As a kid and teenager, I did activities like theatre and debate and tennis, and those weren't places that fashion was embraced. The cool kids were the only ones who cared about fashion, and we would judge them because we thought it meant they were just shallow and stupid and didn't care about anything important.
Once I graduated, I continued to believe that I shouldn't think about fashion because it was a waste of time and money. I would buy my t-shirts at Whole Foods and would wear them with plain jeans and the same pair of Mary Jane flats every single day. I felt like I had almost no identity, and it took me years to realize that the way I was dressing was not the way I wanted to express myself. But I also realized that just going to Nordstrom or Target and buying whatever was trendy was also not the way I wanted to express myself. Finally I turned to sewing and realized that caring about your clothes doesn't have to mean you're shallow or stupid or anti-feminist. It's such an amazing creative outlet for me now!
There you go, writing a super-resonating post again. As I get further into my 20s, I'm really enjoying my freedom now to explore things that I enjoy, and allowing myself to express myself in ways that younger my might be both jealous of and horrified by! I absolutely love the yarn for this Lupine :)
I love your garter/stockinette shawl!!! Lupine is great.
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