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Epic Cloth, Pt 2 (why): Handwoven Scout Tee

This post will as part of a reflective study about engaging in an Epic Cloth challenge – I hope you will share your own experiences of making cloth with me in the comments! This is cross-posted to our Patreon feed so that our community is able to follow along as well. In the first post in this series, I discussed my plans and thoughts around creating an epic piece of cloth. This isn’t really an epic piece — it’s a relatively small piece of cloth and I wove it off quite quickly. The reason, though, for engaging in this process was to learn about creating, planning and executing on a larger piece. My plans for weaving large pieces for specific projects remains at the forefront of my mind so this is a ‘trial run’ so-to-speak. Enjoy!

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In Part 2 of this challenge, I will discuss my ‘why’ and the importance of reflecting on our why in many areas of our lives. “Because I want to” isn’t usually enough to keep us going when challenges set in! Asking ourselves ‘why’ several times (usually up to 4-5 times) can often get us to the crux of our why:

  1. “Because I want to … I think it’ll be a neat experience …” is pretty simple but with some thought, upon asking ‘why’ again, slowly becomes:
  2. “Well, I haven’t woven anything with this much intention before and while I don’t know how it will turn out, I would like to try.” This has much more substance and then, after asking ‘why’ again, the respond builds and becomes:
  3. “The primary reason for wanting to learn how to weave is to make the cloth for my handmade garments as I move towards a largely hand-made wardrobe” is a great response! With some more thought, the response deepens slightly again:
  4. “I want to create a largely handmade wardrobe to lessen my impact on the world. Part of creating a largely handmade wardrobe is creating from raw materials that are ethically sourced and minimize my textile waste. In order to minimize my textile waste, I would like to work with yarns and fibres that are exciting and appealing to me. As I learn and create, weaving my own fabrics becomes essential to the overall process.”

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In reviewing those responses, it really didn’t take very long to get to the crux of my ‘why’ and that fully flushed-out reason for wanting to make pieces of cloth to sew with becomes the background for when the process gets difficult or challenging. Struggling to stick with a lifestyle change or plan? Ask yourself ‘why’ again and again until the reason is substantial, not just ‘to look better’ – look better naked? look better in general? how will that affect you when you want to eat all-the-junk-food at 11pm at night after a stressful day? is it enough of a reason? I’m going to hazard a guess that it probably is not. Instead, think about it, sit with it, allow the uncomfortable feelings of ‘why’ ruminate for a bit. Maybe, after 4-5 times of asking yourself ‘why’, you land on something really substantial. As an example, I’ll share my ‘why’ with you that I landed on after engaging in this process a few months before my 35th birthday a couple of years ago:

I want to change my diet and lifestyle to reflect the person I feel that I am inside. While looking good in a bathing suit is important to me and I recognize that I look healthy now, where I am, I want to feel more confident since I swim a lot (I was a swimmer/lifeguard/instructor of years). I want to have the endurance and metabolic conditioning to engage in strenuous activity now so that I am able to continue to be incredibly active as I age. I was to build the strength capacity to be able to get up off the floor as I age, especially if I were to fall, and lift heavy things, like my children as they age, particularly if there was an emergency. Lastly, I want to eat in a way that is globally sustainable and ethical. These things are important enough to me that I am committing to my plan and changes. This statement will be what I come back to when I am struggling to remind myself why I started.

May 24th, 2017

This is just an example (although it is mine that I wrote a couple of years ago and still reference it when I am struggling) but I encourage you to try asking yourself ‘why’ several times before you begin a large project!

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What’s your ‘why’ for making? Please think about sharing it in the comments below!

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