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Finally Friday November 18, 2016

Posted by ionagiddings in Weaving.
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I’m switching things up a little today:

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A much needed break from bamboo and a fun, quick-weaving texture scarf. This afternoon will be filled with errands and finishing up these cotton scarves. Then I’m giving myself a night off to go see a movie!

I’m also sending out some special striped washcloths to Motor City Soap Company for her holiday sales. Blue and yellow today, red and green next week!

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Back to the grind tomorrow…

Time to hustle November 15, 2016

Posted by ionagiddings in Weaving.
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Alright. I had an unexpectedly good weekend of sales at the Toldeo Maker’s Mart! Awesome!

But also, I have three weeks until the Detroit Urban Craft Fair and I’m starting with almost no product. On top of that I have two large-ish commissioned orders to get done before December as well.

So my schedule is pretty much spending every moment that I’m awake and not at my day job weaving, warping, and finishing things. For the next three weeks. I’m trying not to panic… keep breathing… put my head down and work.

It’s been a good way to get through this week where the political landscape makes my world look pretty grim. I literally don’t have time to engage with it.

Alright, back to the studio!

Toldeo Maker’s Mart November 11, 2016

Posted by ionagiddings in Weaving.
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So it’s been a hard week. If you’re like me you might want a break from thinking about the current US political situation. And you can have just that tomorrow at the Toledo Maker’s Mart.

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Come see me and so many other awesome makers selling our wares.

Get gift ideas, treats for yourself, and support local makers!

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Bamboo Towels 

 

Fair’s Fair November 7, 2016

Posted by ionagiddings in Weaving.
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On Saturday November 12th I’ll be at the Toledo Maker’s Mart selling my wares. I am so excited and also a little nervous. I’m not nervous about the fair itself, but about how much weaving and finishing I have left to do before Saturday.

I am so happy that I’m getting a chance to try this weaving thing out for real. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time but I’ve never felt ready. I guess that’s why I jumped in without looking this time. It’s easier to try if you don’t give yourself time to think of all the reasons you might fail.

But I’m not failing. I’m actually selling stuff at a faster rate than I can keep up with right now. That’s amazing, but also so unexpected. If I had started earlier, or expected success, I would have an inventory all ready for this busy season. But I only started thinking about doing this in July, and only started realizing it was really happening about a month ago when I started hearing back about fairs.

Being accepted into the Maker’s Mart and the Detroit Urban Craft Fair suddenly mean I need so much more time to prepare. I don’t have time to worry, all I can do is work hard and hope!

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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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!

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

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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.

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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:

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Towels off the loom and ready to be washed:

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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!

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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!

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