• P.M. Neist

Every bit of thread


So much waste everywhere: disposable cups and plates, plastic bags, fast clothing. We are drowning in trash.

Creating generates its own trash: bits of thread, glue tubes, discarded paper, failed projects.

What can I do with all this?

As part of my practice, I sweep up all lose thread in a jar at the end of each project. I am not going to pretend that a jar of thread will save the world from drowning in trash. The emphasis here is on "practice" - an attempt to see what is usually taken for granted.

Whenever the jar fills up, I make a point of using up the content.

Using up little bits of thread is hard. You have to pause and rethread the needle often. The "right" color is not available. There's not enough material to make more than a tiny handful of stitches.

But the constraint is exactly what leads to creativity. In a world stocked with goods that are marketed to fulfill every desires, what happens when we must learn to make do?

This week, I made an entire project out of bits of wool left from making a blanket. No piece of wool was larger than about 4 inches. Most pieces measured just a couple of inches. That's a lot of constraint. I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't frustrated - tempted to cut corners and buy material that would allow me to go a longer way. In fact, I was glad when it was over.

Up-cycling is hard work. Oh but the unpredictable results are sooo worth it.

#upcycling #consumption #slowsewing #mending

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