How Did We Get Here – November Update

“Gentleness is strength under control. It is the ability to stay calm, no matter what happens.”

– Elizabeth George

Suddenly Winter

Yesterday, we got our first snowfall. It was merely a dusting here, unlike other parts of the province, but I am so not ready for colder temperatures. Yes, I complain about this every year. I am so not a winter person! I have the tropics in my blood. 😉

I am stunned to think there are only two months left of 2023. I’m not sure how we got here. It doesn’t help that we had a mild October, keeping that late summer vibe going. I am not complaining; it’s been lovely to keep grounding outside and prolonging my garden. But having to dig out winter boots and jackets suddenly is…very unpleasant.

The only thing I enjoy about this time of year is the (forced) slower pace and…fiber projects by the fire!

After all, if I lived in the tropics, would I have an excuse to make scarves, hats, sweaters? Though I don’t rule out living in the tropics someday…!

Hand Woven Scarves

I don’t have a huge update this month as I’m still on a (new product) work hiatus. Looking around my studio, I decided I’d amassed far too much handspun yarn. It’s time to use this up to motivate me to make more. The only way to get good at something is to do it. So, I’ve spun a lot of fiber in the past 12 years. I only put a small fraction up for sale, as many are experimental, and I don’t think it would be worth selling at a discount.

I’ve been having fun weaving scarves to use up my accumulated handspun yarn

My style for both spinning and knitting has evolved; so much of the yarn I’ve spun doesn’t inspire me for a knit or crochet project. Many are bulky and chunky, which I used to knit a lot. These days, I prefer DK, Worsted, and fingerweight yarns.

The good news is many of these chunky, fluffy yarns work wonderfully for weaving on my simple Ashford SampleIt loom. So, I’ve had a lot of fun making scarves this past month. I’m happy to be preserving these yarns because they represent my fiber arts journey. Some of these yarns are sentimental because I processed, dyed, and blended the fiber myself. They also show the progression of my skills.

A Scarf to Keep

My fave scarf thus far

The scarf above was made from one of the first chunky yarns I’ve ever spun. It started as a braid of Tunis wool roving I picked up at a fiber festival in New England when I started spinning. I bought it specifically because it was hand-dyed. Unfortunately, it had been overworked in the dyeing process and was too felted to spin comfortably.

Into the drum carder it went, mixed with merino & bits of sari silk. It made for a fun batt (actually batts!) to spin. I spun it chunky – thick and thin-like (remember, I was learning!) and then spiral-plied it to metallic thread. It’s undoubtedly uneven in size but so soft and squishy. Since it lies flat in a weave, you don’t notice the random thick and thin pieces. The thick pieces weave up “bubbly” in appearance against the warp, which looks very cool. And like I said, the best part: soft and squishy!

I’ve held onto this yarn for several years. Part of me was not sure what to make with it, and another part of me found it far too precious to use up. I’m amazed at how fantastic it looks next to this handspun black merino yarn I used as the warp.

This is an extra-long scarf. I’ll get a pic of it worn once I even out the fringe and steam-set it. There is a lot of this yarn, so I still have enough to make at least one more scarf, not quite as big.

Packaging Brainstorming

Inspiration for my retail packaging brainstorming

One of my goals for next year is to make my products retail-ready for local businesses. I took out some of the packaging and branding I had gathered over the years for ideas. I want to make the card backing for my stitch markers to match my handspun yarn hang tags. It would be preferred to use what I have on hand rather than purchase brand-new packaging. These days, it’s essential to save as much money as possible so that I can pass along those savings to my customers.

I look forward to seeing where this evolves this month and in the coming months.

A Coupon Code

I’m offering a discount to visitors to my website for November. Save an additional 15% on your order with code HELLOFRIEND at checkout. This even applies to sale items. I noticed a spike in traffic lately, and I want to welcome all to my little spot on the internet, new or returning.

Until next time, remember to be kind and patient with yourself and others…

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