Monday, February 6, 2012

Choices, Yes or No



Choices are challenging.  Today I say both yes and no to my fabric recycling course.  The yes and the no each feel right.

The course is in the fourth week of six.  We explore ways to re-purpose fabric and clothing.  We share patterns, ideas and finished pieces, help each other to solve problems.  Together we reclaim sweaters, coats and kilts, turn them into useful pieces and save them from the landfill.

I make slippers from a wool sweater.  The sweater is no longer new, no longer lovely, and no longer useful.  I wash and dry it, shrink and felt the fibres into a close-woven thickness.

Following the instructions from a free online pattern (http://www.homemade-holiday-gifts.com/felted-slippers.html ) I cut the sweater into soles and tops, sew them together using a blanket stitch.  The ribbing from the bottom of the sweater becomes the cuffs at the tops of the slippers.  Though they won’t be prize-worthy at any County Fair, they make me smile.



I make a second pair.  These have crocheted bands around the ankles.  Thicker and cosier, pair #2 has additional layers of wool on the soles.  Double wool = double warmth.  I say yes to my class and to the opportunity to create something new out of something old.

The group decides to veer from the course outline, and spend the remainder of this morning, plus the two weeks that are left working on a quilt.  The finished blanket will be donated to raise funds for a school-lunch program.

I am all thumbs at quilting.  I have tried but it is not one of my skills.  I do not enjoy quilting.  

I believe in compassion and charity and have contributed my work life to causes that help others.  

I say no to this one and to the remainder of the course.  There are others for whom this quilting project is a thrill.  I leave the project to them and sigh in relief.

Saying no is not easy for me.

Doing work because I cannot say no or because I feel guilt is stupid.  I don’t need to accept every project or charity that comes to me.

If I take care of myself, I have energy for the volunteer work I can do, for the tasks and people I love…because I can switch off the “yes machine.”

Finding balance in my life means letting go, means saying, “No thanks” when the fit isn’t right.

Photos are mine.



4 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow !!!! i love you ! wendy

Gwen Buchanan said...

oh my gosh.. I love the whole idea of this .. and I love the whole creation you have done.. wow.. so great!!

yes... a few years ago.. I learned to say No, too... if is much easier now.. ( but it took me the other rest of my life to gather up the courage to do it..

Crafty Green Poet said...

What a brilliant course! Those are amazing slippers!

It is so important to be able to say No.

Carol Steel 5050 said...

Thank you Wendy, Gwen and CGP. The recycling course was helpful with great ideas and practical help. I feel good about knowing when to say No.