Surprisingly I’m doing pretty well in terms of post frequency, woohoo! Another post in April.
I wanted to give a sort of journal entry about where I’m at and what I’m pushing in terms of trying to work towards more simple living.
First of all I’ll just mention that to me simple living entails not over consuming resources (trying to buy less and save a bit of money as a nice side effect), prioritising spending my time on things that are important to me, and trying to make more earth-friendly choices (all of this where possible and definitely practiced imperfectly by me as I’m human).
Anyway, now that’s away, my small updates:
I am actually currently attempting to go shampoo free! This means washing my hair just with water. I’m doing this partially so I can avoid spending money on shampoo, also to try to consume less and lastly just to simplify my life and how many toiletries I feel I need.
It’s probably been over a week now. Apparently it takes 6 weeks for your scalp to adjust fully. I have had ups and downs with my hair during this shampoo free time! I definitely have somewhat greasier hair (to be expected) but it’s not as bad as I thought it would be, and actually my hair feels healthier.
Previously I used a solid shampoo as a way of avoiding packaging (with the occasional wash using regular shampoo when I was feeling lazy). When I washed with shampoo and without conditioner I would just get super dry hair that would get frizzy easily. Conditioner helped but I didn’t get round to using it very often… Anyway, currently my hair feels a bit easier to control and I think it’s less dried out, so isn’t prone to frizziness.
I also haven’t really noticed any sort of bad smell from my scalp despite the lack of shampoo! We’ll see how it goes anyway. The pandemic is a great time to give this a go as I’m not really seeing other humans!
The march continues. I recently made an Otra jumper (ravelry link) out of John Arbon’s undyed exmoor zwartbles yarn. It feels really good to make something out of UK grown & spun yarn, especially as it’s undyed (dyeing can use a lot of extra water and energy for heating). It’s probably the most successful jumper I’ve knitted for myself and it’s given me a very positive feeling about my future endeavours.
I’ve started my next jumper, the Barn by Emily Foden, in her Knits About Winter book. I’m a bit intimidated by this modular pattern as I can’t yet visualise how it’s going to work, but I’ll give it a go and see what happens. It should make a nice oversized jumper that I can use for layering.
I’m using Hillesvag Tinde, a non-superwash 100% wool yarn from Norway. So, not such great points in terms of using imported rather than local resources, but still plastic free and I was able to support Ysolda’s business – a company I like! The yarn did come in a plastic mailer and a plastic bag. I’ll be reusing the mailer (may already have done so) when sending out my own mail and I’ll keep the plastic bag to store yarn or again for packaging something in the future.
I am also continuing trying to keep a handle on my stash – making sure it doesn’t grow too large, figuring out ways to enjoy the yarns I already have… giving away any yarns I won’t use to good homes…
I may have splurged on a fleece from Fernhill Fibre. They are a UK sheep farm, recommended by the podcaster Marina Skua, so I really wanted to give their fleece a try. I bought a 1.2 kg Shetland/Romney cross fleece. It’s so clean and soft and seems like great quality! I’ll be spinning it up gradually – I’ve started washing it bit by bit and have also started to card the fleece into small batts ready for spinning.
Since I admittedly accumulated way too many fleeces lately (which kind of goes against the whole ‘simple living’ I was just talking about), I decided to prioritise my favourites and give away some of the older and less pleasant to spin fleeces. I know that my prior habit of accumulating too many supplies hasn’t been ideal and I hope that I can be a bit better in the future. I want to focus on spinning up quality fleeces…
Last thing! Oh man. If you have actually read through all the above, thank you, haha. I’ll try to keep this last section short!
Since the pandemic we have been doing online grocery orders… which is super convenient but not always the best in terms of plastic waste. I was happy to discover this weekend that I can order 10 kg bags of rice and 3 kg bags of pasta from the supermarket! I feel like it’s a win going from 2 kg rice and 500g pasta…
In addition to this I’m toying with the idea of just making my own pasta, to see if I can save on even more plastic waste entering our home.
Today I made egg pasta using this recipe. It’s resting in the fridge right now so we will see how it goes this evening! I used flour which I had bought in bulk (16 kg, paper packaging only) and eggs from our quail (so no plastic on that front)- I ended up using 30 eggs!
I like the idea of making a massive batch in advance and potentially fully drying it out so it’ll keep for months. I think I have to make non-egg pasta for this so will be on the lookout for recipes. Let me know if you have one!
Phew, well, thanks for sticking around if you’re still here! Let me know about your own simple living experiments if you have any 🙂