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Fibers, going “green” and paying myself minimum wage October 27, 2016

Posted by ionagiddings in Research, Spinning, Weaving.
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*I have so much more to say/figure out on this topic. This is probably part one of a series of posts on the cost/ethics of handmade goods*

I’m trying to steer my weaving in a particular direction but I’ve been pondering the best way to do it for a while.

Detail of Silk Gold Scarf 2010

Detail of Silk Gold Scarf 2010



I want to get more “green” by using fibers that have the least detrimental impact on the environment. But I’m running into some road-blocks as I look for the most current and undisputed research about this stuff. There are some pretty intense arguments in the world of fibers about what is better/best.


I’ve found some very pro-bamboo camps and some very anti, Same goes with hemp and organic cotton

Wool White & Grey Scarf 2011

Alpaca Overshot scarf with hand-spun yarn

The environmental costs of animal-raising is a concern for me, so even though wool seems like a pretty standard fix to this problem, it isn’t on a large scale.

I guess my main problem is that nothing is really sustainable on a large scale. I’m tempted to go with second-hand and reused fibers, but that makes it really hard to follow my vision for what I want my work to look like.

I recently sent some bamboo and linen yarn off to a dyer friend(Grace from Black Walnut Collective) to get it colored with natural dyes. They use walnut, avocado pits, safflower, and indigo and I’m excited to see the results.


linen and bamboo skeins pre-natural dyes

Using natural dyes will make these yarns more eco-friendly than my other yarns that I buy pre-dyed but they will also make my final products more expensive. The labor involved in natural dyeing cannot be over-looked.

As I experiment with what works for me and what sells at what price I feel more and more of two minds. Part of me leaning toward the simpler, pre-dyed, and cheaper finished yarns and materials that can appeal to a wider range of customers. I want my handmade things to be accessible and affordable.

And the other voice is pushing me to hand-spin, hand-dye, recycle, upcycle, and work with only fibers that I can be sure are up to my ethical/environmental standards. Of course in order the do all that and eat dinner at the end of the day I’d have to charge significantly more.

This is an ongoing process of learning for me and I can’t wait to see where my research and experiments take me!

Placemats October 26, 2016

Posted by ionagiddings in Weaving.
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It’s been a while since I last made placemats.


Altogether though, it’s been a fun process, working with my customer to find out what colors and style works for his space.


The weaving was pretty fast since it was just plain weave, but  with the color variations it was more interesting than the washcloths I’ve been making lately.


And as I’m about to throw them in the laundry I will say I’m pretty happy with them



goods woven October 21, 2016

Posted by ionagiddings in Sewing, Shows, Weaving.
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I got some very tasty apples at the Dixboro Farmer’s Market tonight, if you’re inclined to make things with apples I highly recommend coming out next Friday afternoon. It’s the last market of the season!


I really loved watching all the tiny superheroes and animals and royalty parading around the market and demanding candy tonight.


The wind kept making my displays pretty dynamic, and my fingers pretty numb.

But in spite of the chilly weather, trick-o-treaters and pie-makers were out in force, and I made a few sales.



Happy almost Halloween!


Towels off the loom, washcloths in the online store October 19, 2016

Posted by ionagiddings in Weaving.
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Back from vacation, weaving-up a storm.

washcloths in the store:


Towels off the loom and ready to be washed:


And I’m putting a new washcloth warp on today, and measuring out a warp for a set of commissioned placemats.

Busy Times!

Fall Festival at the Dixboro Farmer’s Market October 19, 2016

Posted by ionagiddings in Weaving.
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I’ll be a vendor at the Trunk or Treat/Fall Festival this Friday!


See you there!

Dixboro Artisan Market!! Tomorrow! October 6, 2016

Posted by ionagiddings in Shows.
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It’s really happening this time! I’m gonna be out selling my things!



The Dixboro Artisan Market is my first market in a long while. I’ve got a new folding table and big plans.

Dixboro Artisan Market September 28, 2016

Posted by ionagiddings in Shows, Weaving.
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EDIT: The market was cancelled due to flooding, but is re-scheduled for this Friday October 7th from 3-7pm!

Friday afternoon might just be rainy, but it might have some dry moments!

I’ve got to find a tent to borrow but I’m looking forward to the market.

I’m having a lot of nerdy fun making my things ready for selling!



Zine Show September 27, 2016

Posted by ionagiddings in Shows, Weaving.
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It’s coming! so soon!

The Zine Show! At the  22 North Gallery space in Ypsi. (22 N Huron St, Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197)


From the facebook page:

“Join us on the evening of October 1st, from 6-10 pm for the third annual Zine Show!!!

Featuring original zines and artwork from over 100 local and national artists, and a special musical performance by local talent babes Meshes.

It’s going to be such a great show!!!

After the Zine Show, you can head on over to the Dreamland Theater and catch another great event: Child sleep / Modern Lady Fitness DOUBLE RELEASE SHOW !!!”

See my attempts at tapestry, embroidery, and drawing!

mad Madison September 26, 2016

Posted by ionagiddings in Research, Sewing, Weaving.
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I took a vacation to Wisconsin this weekend and got some great inspiration. We mostly walked around the Willy Street area and drank tasty beers, but in between pubs I managed to take in some culture as well…

The best place i stopped in was a little re-sale and antiques store that also sells stuff from local artisans.

I can’t remember it’s name and it isn’t on google maps… just trust me, it was good.

But so I’m inspired to create cute things.

Maybe like more of these?

weavingstuff 010 weavingstuff 004 tumblr_mel4ieIpqR1qh15vro1_500

we’ll see!

I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it September 17, 2016

Posted by ionagiddings in Sewing, Shows, Weaving.
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In two weeks some exciting things are happening: on Friday September 30th I’m gonna be a the Dixboro Artisan Market selling my stuff.

Towels, washcloths and cloth napkins display 2016

AND on Saturday October 1st (the very next day) I’m gonna have a zine and a tapestry-thing in the Zine Show in Ypsi!
I’m gonna post more things when they get closer but I’m just so pumped for the fall and all the things coming up!
Alright, back to the studio.