Monday, October 31, 2011

Community Support

I should call this post: Community Supported Farm Supports Community.

For the past four years, we've been the lucky subscribers of a lovely CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) from a local farm owned by the Scott Family in Seguin, Texas. We love the delicious variety of vegetables, herbs, and fruit - many of which we wouldn't ever get to try otherwise - but we also really love the Scotts, who are just the nicest people you could hope to meet. Over the years many of our family members and friends have joined as well.
A few times per season they host work days, where you can help plant or harvest in exchange for a discount on your share. You are never required to attend work days, but we enjoy them - the pleasures of working outside, seeing where our food comes from, and good company are hard to beat. I haven't been able to go for the past few months because they've conflicted with my yoga schedule, but Henry has gone without me, often with one of our friends.
Today I got an email from one of the Scotts (edited for brevity):

+ + + + + +
Brennan and Henry told me about your scarf making when they were here a couple weeks ago. It sounded really interesting especially the one that made Henry look like George Clooney.

We're building a webpage, on, with info about some of our member's businesses. The idea is to support the people who support the farm. Please let me know if I can include you and your scarves.
+ + + + + +

These wonderful people, who've just fought through the worst drought in over a hundred years, are actively thinking about how better to support their community! So lovely and inspiring.
As you have already guessed, I said yes, and before you could say lickety-split Scarf 15 was already gracing the front page.

Community is such a blessing. I feel such gratitude for all my communities who have supported this project, for all people who support their local farmers, and for the lovely Scotts.

(More scarves coming soon! Stay tuned!)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Big & Tall & Warm for All

One of my yoga students, a tall guy, was complimenting my scarves the other night and asked for an extra long, extra wide scarf to suit his frame. Now, you should know by now that there's little I love more than a special request. He didn't have any specific colors in mind, so I told him I'd bring some yarns to class next week to see what he liked and we'd go from there.

Not content to wait, I went ahead and whipped up these two bad boys. Both are over 7 feet long and woven from thick & fuzzy wools & acrylics (with some mohair, cholorofibre, and other things thrown into the mix). They both have a big presence, making them perfect for taller people or cold northerners who love to wrap themselves in giant scarves.

My Big & Tall Fellas will be making their debut at Mind Body Yoga tomorrow and may visit Etsy later in the week if they don't get snapped up first.

Scarf 30: Shimmery Neutrals

How do I love thee, Scarf 30? Let me count the ways . . .

Scarf 30 is made from the loveliest, shiniest, smoothest tape yarn in the most luscious neutrals. I'll admit (to you, my dedicated reader) that I've been hoarding this yarn for quite some time. It's such a fancy yarn, such a special yarn, that I couldn't do just anything with it. I tried knitting a little sample with it, but knitting didn't show off the smoothness or the color variations to my liking.

About a year ago I found the warp yarn - an acrylic/bamboo blend in the perfect matching gray/taupe shade - but I haven't had the guts to use it until now. The yarns have been sitting together, waiting to be tested as a scarf, during the entire length of this project. It took me 29 scarves to get up the courage. And I did! And it turned out so well!

I can't tell you how pleased I am with Scarf 30 - it's just exactly how I hoped it'd be. The thinner warp yarn shows off the sheen and texture of the tape yarn perfectly, the flatness of the yarn creates a pleasantly heavy thinness to the scarf, and the colors are showcased in all their glory.

What I love about scarves is their ability to make an outfit, and Scarf 30 is the perfect example of this. It's pretty & soft & unobtrusive, but it ties everything together and makes you feel polished. Ahhhh.

Scarf 30 is for sale in my etsy shop and at Mind Body Yoga.

Scarf 29: Made of Sunshine

I've been itching to try some more houndstooth lately and I finally did with Scarf 29. I used my favorite baby yarn - a cotton/acrylic blend that's thick and squishy and super soft. The yellow and white don't provide much contrast, so the pattern doesn't jump out at you - it reads more as a subtle texture, which I like. It takes two colors that could feel flat and brings them to life. I'm very happy with how it turned out.

It doesn't get dark and cold here like it does up north, but having lived in Massachusetts I know how depressing it can be in the winter. I like to think of Scarf 29 as a little ray of sunshine to wrap around you to keep the blahs at bay.

Loving the Journey

"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware." Martin Buber

If you had told me a year ago that today I'd be passionately spending my time on a scarf making business, I wouldn't have believed you. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that by this time I'd have a new baby at home. And I was almost right. Our due date has come and gone and if we hadn't miscarried in March we would have brought home a new baby last week. I won't pretend it wasn't a rough week. Instead of having a baby I was starting yet another round of hormones to try to stop the continued after effects of the second miscarriage. It's tough to get excited about starting birth control when you thought you'd be having a baby. But here I am, making scarves instead, and you know what? I love it.

The age-old adage to "love your enemies" doesn't just apply to people. Experiences can be enemies too. It's easy to huff and puff and complain, "This is not what I planned!" But is it ever what we plan? No matter how many lists we make, how carefully we check every detail, does anything ever come off exactly as planned? Isn't there always an element of surprise, very often becoming the one element that makes everything click?

Make no mistake - these revelations do not come easily to me. I've done my share of huffing and puffing recently. It's easy for me to love the scarves; what's not so easy is recognizing that it's the journey of loss - my enemy experience - that brought me here. And so I have to learn to love the journey as much as I love the surprise destination.

In any case, I do love the scarves and you will be seeing more of them soon. I've been busy taking care of myself, setting up a new studio (more on that soon!), and a-little-too-often feeling nauseous from the hormones. But I am beginning to feel better and have a few new scarf challenges to tackle. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

25 Ways to Wear a Scarf

This video is not only an amazing source of inspiration for scarf styling, it is fun to watch! These fancy-pants styles mostly use lightweight, wide scarves with tapered edges (unlike my heavier, thinner, fringed styles) although some of them would work really well. I'm always looking for inspiration for styling my photo shoots, so I think I'll have to go back and watch this a few more times and take notes!

Isn't this fun? I love the way the different characters interact! Since I'm spending so much of my time taking different elements and combining them with different processes, I'm appreciating other's creative experiments even more than usual. Whether you're layering yarns, paints, sounds, or video clips, it's all the same adventure.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


The most important thing I’ve learned as a designer and entrepreneur is the value of momentum. - Grace Teng, Etsy's Featured Seller

Momentum. Hmmm. Looking at these photos, you'd think I had momentum, wouldn't you? And you might be right. But I don't feel like I have momentum at the moment.

The challenge isn't what you'd expect - I still feel inspired, I still want to weave, and I still have plenty of yarn. My block comes from the intersection of creativity & marketability. Do I make what I want to satisfy my own creative curiosity or stick to what my imagined potential buyers might want? Do I take the time to make complex scarves or work quickly to make a larger number of simpler ones?

The gift buying season is right around the corner and I need to build up my inventory as fast as possible to be ready for it, but it's impossible to know yet what will sell and what won't. This leaves me feeling a little stymied. And so we come back to my lack of momentum. I have the potential for momentum, but I lack direction. Where exactly am I going?

ps - Today I left Scarf 27 on the porch of a friend & former coworker who bought it for her daughter. Having known the recipient since before she was born, I was so delighted to make this happy scarf for her. And I also felt a little like Santa leaving it there by the door for them to find when they got home. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Scarf 20: Among the Stars

Way, way back in mid-September, I told you about a scarf I made and submitted for an exhibit of the Texas Fiber Arts Museum. In that post, I mentioned that it was a long shot that I'd get in and offered this quote from Isabella Stewart Gardner: "If you don't aim high, you can't get there."

Well, today I received word that I didn't get in and to my extreme delight, this was the message:

There is a saying, “Shoot for the moon, and even if you miss it, you land among the stars.” And so each artist who entered the TMFA competition is very much among the stars. The juror deliberated diligently and the following are in the exhibit. Those whose names are not on the list are to be congratulated for sharing their imagination and creativity. Not every artist is as brave as you. To me you are definitely a star.

So nice, right? Doesn't it feel like a direct response to me and my quote? Now I feel all warm and fuzzy for giving it my best. I am a brave star. :)

The best news of all is for those who have been trying to sneak off with good ole Scarf 20, because now that it's not all tied up with a possible exhibit, it's up for sale. Tomorrow it will have a spiffy new photo shoot and make its debut on Etsy.
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