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Friday, December 26, 2014

Old lessons


You know I named my little Etsy Shop Everything Old is New Again.  My first thought was simply that I am weaving again, after leaving it so cleanly eleven years ago. We sold literally every loom, every pattern, every jig and tool we invented over the years, and we sure invented a lot. Production weaving on floor looms takes a good deal of ingenuity and a brother who can build anything described to him.

So, I opened a little Etsy shop and stocked it with scarves. Everyone loves scarves. Then I added my world renowned towels, for kitchens, dishes and tea. I put on a ginormous towel warp and wove blue ones and red ones and natural ones. I didn't even start the green ones. It was a lifetime supply of kitchen towels.  I finished the warp off in plain weave and reprised the old shirt.

Shortly into our weaving career I realized rugs and place mats would not work for us, we needed to make clothing. Nothing fancy; we were not fancy weavers. But, we knew cotton, the workhorse of the fiber world. We wove good cloth in great colors and turned it into shirts and jackets and the occasional skirt, that were two thirds of our sales.

This past week, I freshened up the look of the old shirt, shortened it (although I can make it longer in a heartbeat), made three shirts and started a forth. Sadly, my towel width fabric can only go to a size small shirt, so the initial stock will be small or extra small. The good news is, tomorrow I’ll ask Emily to help wind bobbins and I’ll put a new and wider warp on the loom.


I made and posted three shirts to Etsy. I put one on my Etsy link here on the blog. I went to supper. I came back and found the one I picked to show on the blog is sold, to a customer from twenty or more years ago. Tomorrow, before I even begin on the loom, I will take new photographs of the other two. I know better than to put such a light color in front of a pale background. More old lessons.


New fabric for the old shirt. I am becoming fond of the grouped thread arrangement that makes light cords. Visually, I would prefer even more cords, but then the fabric would not be stable enough to make a sturdy garment.  I don't do fiddly, an old and not to be forgotten lesson.

23 comments:

  1. gotta love the repeat customers, love it Joanne and well deserved, hope the holidays are finding you warm and comfortable.

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  2. Isn't it lovely to have your skills appreciated?

    Love,
    Janie

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  3. I am so looking forward to where this is all going to go...... with your experience and your talent... the sky's the limit. I wish I still wore skirts.... surely something might fit?

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  4. It is nice to be so resourceful and make things look pretty. I wish you all the best with Etsy.
    Also Happy Holidays !

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  5. Oooh and ahhh. Judging by my beautiful towels you won't have quite as many repeat customers as you might otherwise. I expect they will last and last and last. And last.

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  6. How neat to have had a sale and then from someone from the past!! I'm betting lots of success with your shop in the months ahead!

    betty

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  7. Oh, I love the sleeveless version. I've wondered more than once why you gave it up. The weaving I mean.

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    1. I thought of you when I sewed it. I ended it because my sister quit, and I could not carry on alone.

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  8. All good lessons and beautiful weaving. I love the new shirt (blue one).

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  9. That shirt is lovely, I'm not at all surprised it sold quickly. I hope you sell many more.

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  10. Hari Om
    "Keep it simple" is a key motto of mine - you exemplify it... beautifully... YAM xx

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  11. Interesting post Joanne. You make it sound industrious and not gooey. I like it.

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    1. Thank you, Rachel. It's about solid workmanship, not artsy fartsy.

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  12. I can imagine how soft that shirt must feel just judging by the towels you sent me. No surprise it sold so fast.

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  13. Looking out for your shirts - glad that I can wear S(mall).

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  14. The merchandise in your Etsy shop is lovely. Wish you lots of happy customers.

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  15. Interesting that you stopped weaving -- cleanly as you put it. I stopped my antique business of nearly 40 years -- cleanly too. You are a workhorse for sure -- I would never have the energy to start all over again. success to you -- barbara

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  16. All I know is you recently made one of my favorite Berlin Freunde very happy with one of your scarves. Nicely done!

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  17. The towels for wiping up which you sent me as a present have been in use all over Christmas Joanne and I must say they have been much admired. They are really excellent for drying wine glasses in particular.

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  18. Why are there people skilled in things like this except for me, I don't know. I just wanna say good job! Happy holidays!

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  19. It is such a pleasure to be privy to this journey of "restarting" and gearing up for a new season of weaving. So excited about your Etsy store, too!

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  20. I was taught to weave and spin by my grandmother. It was a wrench to decide that I needed to downsize and choose which craft to dedicate to..but I did find a good home for all my equipment. A brave decision to re-start,but at least you know you've really committed to it now.
    Beautiful piece of weaving there.

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