Visual texture!

I’ve been busy remembering how to photograph scarfs and so I now have some shots to share of both my new fav pattern and that “rustic” (aka kinda scruffy) felted one from last year…

Brown and black patterned scarf
The new favourite pattern as modeled by my dummy… yep I still love it!

If you remember, this one had spacers when woven, and you can see it in how the weft is paired, but the overall result is this loose, raggedy texture which I find easy on the eye. I’ve also made my peace with what hot-felting did to the colours!

Blue and purple felted scarf
The felted scarf in all its textural glory

Next to be seen in the shop. Probably shouldn’t cause me as much excitement as it does…

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Getting perspective on my Etsy shop

I’ll admit I haven’t given my Etsy shop the love it deserves. Quite a bit of that comes from having launched it and then had an immediate “why am I doing this?” moment. You see I got a bit caught up in the flattery of my friends who were all “you should sell these!” about my scarfs.

What got lost somewhere in this was what led me to weaving in the first place; making things for other people. Specifically, I was knitting scarfs for charities.

So I started examining what I’d done by turning my weaving into a little business and that’s had me questioning questioned everything, including whether Etsy is the right place anymore for small shops, because:

  • it’s full of cheap, mass produced scarfs that don’t attract shoppers willing to pay for handmade items
  • Etsy is a noisy marketplace now too, so it’s hard to know how to be found

Having said that, it doesn’t cost much to run a little business there and takes very little effort. Both valuable to someone who works full time and writes novels.

At the end of all my musings, I realised that the shop brings a valuable positive to my weaving life… you see I chose a specific theme for my shop: handwoven items, all one of a kind from my loom.

No repeats. No colour variations. Unique items. And that pushes me to do more, explore more and challenge myself to create beyond trying patterns I like.

So, the shop is back up with some new stock and there are bunch of new ideas brewing in my weaver’s brain!

The last thing anyone expected from a weaver

I’ve been out looking for a cotton scarf and it’s funny how all my friends have been looking a bit surprised by this. In their minds I would just weave myself one. I can understand this, but it I was surprised by their surprise.

My scarf hunt was very specifically for a certain size and weight and, sadly, a fineness I can’t achieve on my rigid heddle. I say ‘sadly’, but actually I’m kind of pleased that I had to shop for one. It meant not only could I look for something different to what I’d weave for myself, but I could also enjoy a spot of shopping!

And the result?

Blue and white reversible pattern cotton scarf
Pattern reverses colour!!

Because I always start big (and repent later)

Now, if you read the post on how I chose my loom then you might think I’m a bit nuts. As a friend put it:

You wanted to make scarfs – which you already do – and ended up taking up weaving. In the space of a week.

Yes. Okay, so I might be a bit nuts when it comes to crafts. For example, my second knitting project ever was a long-sleeved, calf length knitted coat. It was so big that I used it as a blanket during the latter stages of knitting it. (But Mr Kaffe Fassett does know how to catch a knitter’s eye – see image above from the book Gorgeous Knits.)

So I can’t deny that I like to jump in, boots’n’all and just try everything. Usually all at once.

Though coat example might lead you to wonder why went from a project like that to knitting scarfs.

Simple answer is, I can’t wear animal fibres near my skin. Acrylics are less of a problem but still a problem, and for a long time cotton was hard to get in any colour not meant for children too young to go “yuk” at it.

Bamboo improved things, but tends to split. Ditto silk + expensive.

So, for some time now, I have bought yummy wools and knitted them for other people. This is still fun, but knitting is slooooowwww and, as years passed, I lost the desire to spend so much time on each project. Thus the looking for a faster way to make scarfs. Which led to the loom.

The other thing you’ll realise if you read the blog (assuming fromthiscloth turns out how I hope) is that, I may have only taken a week to decide to start weaving, but that was a week of overdosing on YouTube videos and sites about looms and weaving.

[Part of deciding to blog was realising I needed to order all the info I’d learnt in such a short time. I learn best through explaining things to others = blogging it.]

In case I’m misleading anyone into thinking I have craft learning superpowers (I’m picturing a knitted cape, are you?) I should mention that, I didn’t come to weaving from a place of 100% ignorance. As a sew-er, I know cloth and, as a seed-bead-er, I know (tiny) looms.

That left a mountain of stuff to learn, but it was a start.