Friday, September 30, 2011

Flock Grand Opening

We had a blast at Flock's Grand Opening last night! If you're just tuning in, Flock is a sweet little boutique off of South Lamar in Austin. They contacted me through Etsy a few weeks ago to see if I'd be interested in selling my scarves there. I had been hoping to find a few little shops for my scarves, so this seemed like the perfect place to start.

I wish I'd been able to get more pictures of all the other amazing things inside Flock, but it was packed! If you'd like to drop by to see my scarves and all the other scrumptious offerings, Flock is at 2120 Oxford Ave. You can also find them on Facebook.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Flock of Ten

Flock's grand opening is tomorrow evening, so yesterday I dropped off ten scarves. It was a little hard to leave my little scarf children there, having lived with them and loved them at home for so long. But even scarves must grow up and leave home - let's hope they find nice families to live with.

Making Tags

What? You expected this post to be about weaving? Who has time for that?
Actually, in addition to doing my fair share of weaving (and washing and tying and twisting and cutting and shooting) this week, I also got to spend an evening plunked down in front of one of my favorite British mysteries making tags. Two tags go on each scarf - one with the logo and contact info, one with the number, fiber content, care instructions, and price.
Since I love cutting and stamping, this is a fun project. I could make all one hundred tags at once, but it's sort of fun sitting down and making a batch of twelve and imagining what each scarf might be.
The antique stamps are such a joy to use. My mother inherited them from a friend in 1971 and happily used them for years before I came along to steal them away for my projects.

What will Scarf 37 be like? Upcycled denim with a jaunty angled fringe? We'll just have to wait and see!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Transparency of Scarves

I'm elbow-deep in soapy water today, trying to coax a ruffle out of a stubborn woolen stripe, but I thought I'd share a glimpse of what I woke up to this morning. Here we have two scarves in repose, dried out after a night of heavy drinking and ready for a shave.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Finessing the Fringe

When I first started making scarves, I cut the fringe by hand with scissors. I would carefully line the knots up along the edge of a table, then sit on the floor next to it and - with the fringe hanging down - try to cut a straight line. This method was time consuming and impossibly flawed. Yarn - especially wool and acrylic - is notoriously springy and tangly, and it is almost impossible to keep each strand hanging straight at the same tension while you cut the other strands. Ugh.

Fortunately, around the time I committed to One Hundred Scarves, I devised a much better method involving a straight edge and a rotary cutter. I thought I'd share some photos of how nicely this works.
Step 1: Lay the scarf on the cutting mat. Align the knots to a line. Comb the fringe out with fingers to make it lay flat.

Step 2: Place the ruler over the fringe, aligning the edge with a cutting line where you want the fringe to end. Pull the fringe taut underneath. Cut with rotary cutter. Clear away the excess. Done!

Seriously, I'm making it sound harder than it is. It's so easy and creates such a nice, straight line. I'm very grateful for this method (and to my mother-in-law, who gave me these tools).

Check out this nice clean cut.

There are so many little details like this that go into the making of a great scarf - weaving is just one small part in the end.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

9 Weeks and Counting

Apparently there are nine weeks until Thanksgiving. I know this because two important notices landed in my inbox today. The first was the kickoff of Etsy's Holiday Boot Camp - a nine week series designed to help you get your shop ready for the holidays, step by step. The second was an email from with the subject line: "You have nine weeks to save for the holidays."

Of course, when I see "you have nine weeks to save for the holidays," what actually registers in my brain is "you have nine weeks to make scarves for the holidays."

I've agreed to participate in a Black Friday Holiday Fair at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort in San Antonio. I'd like to have at least 50 scarves to sell that day, and nine weeks does not sound like a lot of time to accomplish that. Let the games begin!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Three for the Flock

Time is ticking and I've been busy weaving scarves for Flock's grand opening on September 29th. My goal is to have 10 scarves for Flock by the end of next week. Here are the first three.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Scarf 20: Texas Landscape

Today I finished a scarf that I designed for the Texas Museum of Fiber Arts. I submitted it for an exhibit called "Texas by the Yard and Yarn - Texas a Fabrication." It will show at 100 Congress (the perfect location for 100 Scarves, right?!) in October and November. It's probably very ambitious of me to believe I might get in, but we have to dream, right? As Isabella Stewart Gardner said, "If you don't aim high, you can't get there."

The design represents the Texas landscape - the rivers running through the hills and mountains, then flattening out and eventually running into the Gulf. It's my first design that's meant to represent something else, and it was an interesting creative challenge for me. It began almost 10 feet long and then I used the same ruffling technique from Scarf 17 to create the hills and mountains, leaving it just under 6 feet in the end. I ran a little line of extra shiny blue through the deeper blue cotton to create a sparkling effect in the river and ocean.
A combination of two variegated yarns made the forests and plains - one in various shades of brown, the other browns and greens. I used the same weft yarn for the whole scarf - a juniper green cotton.

My ultimate goal is always to make a scarf that will feel good and look good, so I wanted to recreate the Texas landscape within those parameters. I'm very pleased with how it turned out.
Here are a few little moments in the life of Scarf 20.

Henry called tonight from a walk around the neighborhood to say, "I keep coming around a bend or over a hill and seeing a scene straight from your scarf! It really does look like the Texas landscape." Score. :)

Scarf 20 will stay off the market until I find out if it's made it into the show. Wish us luck!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Flock: An Introduction

A few weeks ago, I got this message in my fortune cookie:
"Your artistic talents win the approval and applause of others."

Last night I received a message through Etsy that read:
"I am gathering artists for a new gift boutique off of S. Lamar. I love your work. By chance would you be interested in participating in our new store?"

Well, of course I was interested and went down to South Lamar this morning to meet Ashley, the manager. Her shop is called Flock, and though there's no sign outside yet, the inside is amazing!

The shimmery blue walls embrace a perfectly curated collection of jewelry, cards, vintage finds, candles, succulents, and other fun gifts sitting around on a stylish assortment of modern and antique furniture. Heaven, you say? Exactly!

Ashley was warm and welcoming and openly shared her story. She has a strong background in retail, a gorgeous line of her own jewelry, and - from everything I saw in the shop - exqisite taste. The cherry on top, of course, is that she passionately loves my scarves.

I took down a little sampling of scarves and spread it out on this table. I explained the materials and processes and prices while Ashley petted and appreciated and admired. Having thus far primarily shared my scarves online through photos and descriptions, it made my little artist's heart sing to see someone touching and enjoying them in person.

I was more than pleased to agree to sell some of my scarves on consignment in this magical shop. I plan to make ten new scarves for Flock by the grand opening celebration on September 29th. Visit Flock on Facebook and stay tuned!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Scarf 17: Rrrruffles have Rrrrridges

Ooh to the la to the ooh-la-la. Scarf 17 is so glamorous I can't even stand it. It's all soft and squishy and shiny and ruffle-y. But let's start at the beginning, shall we? Like all her brothers and sisters, Scarf 17 started life flat, as a series of long threads. I decided to try some asymmetrical striping, as you can see here, on the loom. That's black cotton and silver/gray acrylic. You can't see the sparkles now, but just wait.

The weft yarn (side to side) is the same supersoft white and black handspun cotton that you met in Scarf 4. Let's take a closer look.

Can you see the sparkles now? Sometimes they're hard to see when the photo is small - feel free to click on it to make it larger if you'd like to get a better sense of the silver winding through what appears to be a wide gray stripe.
After coming off the loom, Scarf 17 was subjected to the ruffle treatment, but she didn't mind. I created an off-center ruffle running the length of the scarf, much like Scarf 10 but without the felting.

I'm so super pleased with the result (can you tell?). Scarf 17 just seems to have it all - softness, texture, stripes, sparkles, and those lovely ruffles. I love the ruffles because they add such a lovely three dimensional quality without adding extra bulk. The result is a scarf that looks great no matter how you wrap it - ta da!

Scarf 17 is available in my Etsy shop.

(Blogger is being so buggy today. I hope they fix it soon, but in the meantime I'm sorry for things looking all wonky.)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Scarves About Town

My scarves are getting out and about and word is spreading too.  I'm being interviewed over at Feeding the Soil today, a lovely blog about dreaming big dreams, setting goals, teaching and raising children in the Montessori method, and other real life things like making yummy food.  It's such a boost to chat with supportive people who are excited about your ideas - thank you, Sara!
It's also high time I shared some Etsy Treasuries that my scarves have been featured in.  Treasuries are collections, assembled by Etsy fans, that showcase a particular style, color, feeling, or whatever strikes the collector's fancy.  It's fun to see a little sampling of all the different types of things available on Etsy.  Here are a few items from a few treasuries.

Fringe & Feathers by egoldstein

Mr. Charcoal by LittleLadyIrish 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Scarf 17: Salmon in the Stream

I'm busy at work on Scarf 17, and I can't resist giving you a little sneak peek. I love these tiny jumping threads, like fuzzy salmon swimming up the scarf stream.

Love Made Visible

"Work is love made visible." Kahlil Gibran

The beauty of handmade things is the ability to see the love of the maker in them. Each of my scarves embodies my love of the luscious yarn, the side-to-side and click-to-clack rhythm of the loom, the quiet solitude, the warmth or comfort or fashion or delight it will provide its wearer, my love for the family I am trying to create.

Handmade things, like my scarves, make this love visible, make it obvious. But I like to think about this visible love even while I do invisible work like washing dishes or putting things away. When I wash the dishes I am loving my husband, who won't have to do them. When I put things away I am loving my future self who will be so pleased with a tidy space. When I clean the litter box I am loving my cats. When I teach yoga I am loving my students.

"And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart,
even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,
And to know that all the blessed dead
are standing about you and watching." KG

Beloved Reader, I wish you a Happy Labor Day. I hope you are finding love in your work.

Friday, September 2, 2011


If you've read the About page you know that this project came to be because I had a miscarriage earlier this year. I also had a full-term stillborn son many years ago and have recently found out that I'm having another miscarriage.

Our experiences, however sublime or painful, make us who we are and make our futures possible. In honor of my experience with loss and as a way to help others, I am donating part of the profits from this project to Share, a wonderful organization that provides support for families who have lost children during pregnancy or infancy. They have chat rooms, message boards, brochures, and all kinds of information for parents, grandparents, and family and friends.

On the main family & friends page, Share offers recommendations on what to say (hint: a simple "I'm sorry") and what not to say to someone who has lost a child. I have heard every thing on the What-Not-To-Say list at least once (and most several times) - all by perfectly well-meaning people - so this list made me chuckle a little. I highly recommend taking a look at this resource if you know someone who has experienced this type of loss. Friends and family often don't know what to say and do to help their loved ones, so I suggest using and sharing this resource as a simple and truly helpful way to show you care.

In books about infant loss I used to read about women who'd had several losses and kept trying again and again until finally they had healthy babies. After experiencing the pain of my own losses, I marveled at these women's strength and courage and wondered if I would have the same ability to keep going if I were in the same situation. Now I find myself in the same situation. I don't know what this means for me yet. I can't predict what will happen or what kind of strength and courage I will have. What I can do: Take a deep breath. Make another scarf.
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