Project Apocalypse - day zero

Why is yours truly out in the rain picking stinging nettles?

So here's the idea. Genesis 1:1 of Project Apocalypse:
"Why spend all that time spinning and knitting when you can buy a pair of socks from the supermarket for three quid?"
"Because dick'ead, after the apocalypse, I'll be the one wearing warm and smart clothes."

I guess I'm not the only one to have had this conversation (maybe not those exact words). But is this a boast more easily made than accomplished? Exactly how well would we fare when our homes and possessions are gone and it's just us and what we find around us?

Let's find out!

This is the concept. You have what you stand up in and what's around you. You can use fibres that you can find, gather, grow, harvest, brush or shear yourself. You can make tools from whatever's around you.

No-one's going to enforce these rules, but you get the spirit of the thing, right? If you want to boil up dye using a pan you already have on your kitchen stove rather than building a fire and scavenging a receptacle, do it.

Let's assume that you can find things like nails, hammer, scissors etc but let's not assume that you can find a spindle, 8-shaft loom or have a spinning wheel stashed in your nuclear bunker.

There's a line somewhere, draw your own line. But extra kudos for making and improvising.

Be open about what you do, write it down  and post pictures.

My own plans?
  • I'd love to grow cotton myself. A challenge because I'm not green-fingered.
  • After hearing the story of the Wild Swans and learning that stinging nettles (which grow as weeds here) have usable fibres, I'm curious!
  • I've seen sheep shedding naturally and I've collected wool from a field. That worked really well.
  • I'd love to dye some different colours using gathered ingredients and make a Fair Isle-style project.

Anyone else joining me? What would you like to try?

Post on Instagram and Twitter using #projectapocalypse, and join this Ravelry group for discussion and ideas.

(I'd like this to be ongoing - no time limits (unless the apocalypse comes and we have to start this for real!))

With thanks to Rebecca and the Wayside Project for putting ideas into my head, Jenn for telling me things about stinging nettles that I didn't know and Chris, who asked why I didn't just buy a pair of socks and isn't a dick'ead.


Anonymous said...

Ok, I love my toys wayyy to much to go all apocalyptic. But, that's pretty interesting! I think I'm going to follow along and see what you all accomplish.

jenn monahan said...

What a brilliant idea. Excellent use for those pesky nettles around the compost heap. Having always had a bit of a self-reliant streak its been interesting to find out its now got a shiny new label: prepping. I thought it was just plain old self-sufficiency, but that would be so last century...

Can't wait to see how the retting project unfolds.