A minimalist mindset will transform the way we make decisions about the stuff we have, and the stuff we bring into our lives. – Francine Jay, The Joy of Less
Last night I sorted through some of my stuff, and ditched a bunch of it. Five big garbage bags full. It was a liberating feeling.
I’ve always been a hoarder. You don’t need to see pictures, and you don’t need a description of the worst of it: what too much clutter looks like is different for everyone, and what I’d been experiencing lately was less a physical problem (although lack of space was also an issue) than a mental/ emotional sense of urgency, of weight, and of stress.
But getting rid of things indiscriminately isn’t a long-term solution for me; what I want is to change my mindset and my relationship to things. I feel like I’ve only just started this process, but it has the potential to be a big life change for me, the way that changing careers and adopting veganism have been in the last few years for me. A game-changer.
Inspired by Lauren‘s red kidney bean dahl, Amey‘s root vegetable mix (both women are excellent bloggers, and I admire and respect their taste, honesty and grace), and the recipes in Vegan Fire and Spice, this was tonight’s meal.
A red kidney bean and chickpea dahl, adapted from the Quick Red Bean Dal recipe in VF&S (subbing diced silverbeet stalks for onions, and my own hodgepodge of Indian spices for those in the recipe–as I’ve said before, I can’t follow recipes); roasted beets, sweet potato, and carrots adapted from the Roasted Potatoes and Peppers recipe in VF&S; and a mixture of steamed greens which made my tummy and tastebuds really happy. I loved this combination of flavours, and it was really quick and easy to prepare.
I’ll definitely be turning to this cookbook again for some inspiration for tasty midweek dinners.
I don’t normally knit scarves. I feel like they take forever: if you’re working a simple stitch pattern, it’s too boring; if you’re working something more complex, it takes too much concentration and never seems to end. Perhaps it was just my short attention span, but up until recently I didn’t own a single handknit scarf.
But this cold season, after rediscovering the warmth of a plain machine-knit scarf that has become my best buddy, I decided that my collection of cowls just won’t cut it. I need to build up a collection of handknit/ crocheted scarves.
To kickstart my collection, the fluffball. I knit this scarf as moral support to two coworkers who have recently decided to form a knitting club with me. One is a very new knitter, the other is an on-and-off seasonal knitter just comfortable with the basics. So, together, we decided to start the same generic project with the same size needles (15mm) and number of CO stitches, but using three different yarns.
I chose Moda Vera Blissful, a super-bulky novelty yarn, and quickly realised that, as much as I’ve shed my yarn snobbery related to natural vs. synthetic fibres since deciding to knit with animal-free yarn, there’s still plenty of classism tied up in my choice of yarn, project, and even needle size.
I think it’s healthy to start from scratch every now and then: fumbling with the thick-and-thin yarn and giant needles I suddenly felt very uncoordinated, and it was like learning the craft all over again. So, meet the fluffball: the scarf that humbled me.