Thursday, March 29, 2018

Inkle Classes in My Home Studio

My home in the mountains near Albuquerque has proven to be a very nice place to have classes!! The New Mexico sun shines here almost every day, filling the spacious rooms with light.
The photo below was taken in the living room during a class on the basics of finger loop braiding.



My weaving room (AKA The Color Lab) houses a great stash of yarns! I always have my favorite cotton, Omega Sinfonia, on hand in sufficient quantities and colors for students to choose from. I also sell it from my Etsy shop HERE.



I've just finished creating a schedule of classes for 2018. There are several topics to choose from including:  Color & Design, Setting up & Weaving, Baltic-Style Pickup, and 3-Color Pickup.
For the full schedule, check HERE.  To sign up, send me an email to: iWeaveStraps@Gmail.com.
If these classes don't fit your schedule, contact me for a private lesson.

If you live far from Albuquerque, consider taking a vacation here! There are SO many amazing things to see! I'm working with local Airbnb hosts to provide accommodations to students who come from out of the area.

I'm especially excited to teach the two hour Color & Design Planning classes for the first time!
Playing with color is one of my favorite activities and I can teach you a thing or two about using color in your inkle designs. I have hundreds of woven swatches to look through for inspiration.
We can analyze them, talk about design elements and colors, and learn some do's and don'ts.
Try my method for weaving up a quick sample without using your loom.
I'll  help you to chart your own designs on special graph paper so that you can take them with you to use when you set up your loom later. Or, stay for part two of the class and set up your loom while you are still here.



 I've written a tutorial on the 3-Color Pickup which has been used by weavers around the globe.
Now you can get the hands-on classroom version!
 I love this technique and the colorplay that it allows.


Find the tutorial HERE in my Etsy Shop.



Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship Program

This year  marks my tenth one selling on Etsy.
I'm a big fan! They make it easy to set up shop even for people with minimal experience with online marketing. In about 2012 they created a classroom curriculum to help new sellers. It's called the Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship Program.

In one class session, I became a model. The scarf is by Arlene Prescott of Santa Fe.
While she didn't pursue opening an Etsy shop, she's got a great website here.

In 2015, I became a CEP teacher. I love helping people to learn and launch their shops!
The program requires a non-profit organization as a partner to help organize the classes. Here in New Mexico, the partner is WESST. So far, they've brought the program to 7 cities in NM. In some cases there is grant money to help cover the expenses of the class, making them free or very inexpensive to the students.

In Etsy's words:

"Our mission is to expand access to microbusiness education for underrepresented creative entrepreneurs. By empowering organizations to utilize our curriculum, we are able to create pathways for entrepreneurship within the Etsy marketplace. The Craft Entrepreneurship curriculum is a hands-on educational toolkit that helps makers use their existing craft skills to learn how to start, manage, and grow a microbusiness. In partnership with organizations that value creative entrepreneurship, we can help cities across the world realize the vision of an inclusive, thriving Etsy Economy."

" Our curriculum is designed to be taught in-person by experienced, local Etsy sellers who are trained and prepared for the classroom. Participants put their learning directly into action by starting and running an Etsy shop..."

Learn more here. https://www.etsy.com/craftentrepreneurship



We are currently planning a class series in EspaƱola. Here's the flyer. Please share with anyone in Northern NM who you think might be interested.


An excellent benefit of the classes for me, is getting to meet artisans and crafters doing all sorts of cool stuff! Sometimes, I get to model! Sometimes I make new friends!
Here are a few links to students' shops:

Colorful cut paper collage: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MeredithBrittCollage

Sterling and stone jewelry: https://www.etsy.com/shop/byXathena

Knitwear: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BobbieknitsBoutique

Stained glass and wood: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ManitaSW

Beeswax candles: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BeeTaosLight

Paper cuts and illustrations: https://www.etsy.com/shop/studiokaleta

Statement necklaces: https://www.etsy.com/shop/JewelsOfLaLobaStudio

Art prints: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArielaBoronat

My 3 Etsy shops are here:
Assorted woven straps and bands, yarn, tools, tutorials:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/ASpinnerWeaver
Guitar Straps: https://www.etsy.com/shop/WeaverGuitarStraps
Sashes and straps for historic costume: https://www.etsy.com/shop/iWeaveSashes

Monday, February 12, 2018

A Custom Order - Gone Horribly Wrong and Then Right

I get a lot of requests for custom straps. Usually I know right away whether or not I can do what the customer is asking. Sometimes I need to mull it over for a while. 
(You can see one of those examples here). With this particular request, I thought it would be easy, but  I was very much mistaken. The customer had sent me this graphic below. I admire the skill and wish I knew how to make something like this! It appeared to me just about as tiny as it is appearing to you and in this orientation. I noticed that there were numbers alongside the drawing, but ignored them. WHY? Because, as my husband the machinist pointed out later, I AM NOT used to customers sending me blueprints! I assumed that he was just recycling some other graphic. How could he know anything about inkle weaving and give me numbers that were useful, I reasoned.  
They MUST be meaningless. Did I ask him. NO. WHY NOT? I kicked myself later. 

Taken as it appears above, his drawing looked like a pattern draft to me and I thought it looked relatively simple. So, I said I could do it, quoted him a price and he sent the $ and hardware for the strap ends. This strap will replace the one on his  laptop bag. 
I decided to do something that I don't usually do, use two wefts. One was thick and one was thin.
It was a bit of a pain, but I thought it looked more like the spacing in the drawing.


I sent him the photo above and that's when I learned how wrong I had been.
Of course, the numbers meant something! DUH! I needed to enlarge the drawing and turn it on it's side. You will see this below. I didn't give up then, oh no! I'm very stubborn. If you ever get me to say that I'll do something, know that I WILL. (My kids may have used this against me once or twice).

My next thought was MAYBE I could do a horizontal bar pickup. Tried it. Nope.
The floats were too long as I suspected. So, I added some turquoise stripes in the center, wove a random pickup pattern and created the guitar strap below. It's now for sale in my Etsy shop here



Attempt 3 took a lot of doing. Doubleweave was the answer. I did it one time in a class with Laverne Waddington. I didn't practice it after the class and it's been a few years. 
I needed a refresher. So, what was I to do? Oh, I have notes from her class showing how to set it up on an inkle loom. Where was the book that the notes were in? My husband and daughter decided to help me look for it as I was sort of miserable by this point. Nowhere to be found. It took me two days to realize who I had loaned it to and two more to retrieve it. She met me half way in between her house and mine and we had a yummy lunch at The Hollar in Madrid. Still, I had a problem.  So, I enlisted my friend Kim Varland to help me. Kim teaches inkle weaving in Albuquerque at the Yarn Store at Nob Hill and has also studied Laverne's teachings via her blog. I spent a nice afternoon with Kim and she showed me the error of my ways. I had made a foolish mistake when warping. Laverne has a double weave tutorial here on her blog which shows how to set it up on the backstrap loom. She's currently working on a video specifically for inkle loom weavers. Hooray! 


Okay! Finally, I'm getting it to work out! The weaving is looking like the drawing!


Here's the strap all finished with the customer's hardware installed. He was SO delighted with it when it arrived at his place that he decided to give me a tip. It was equal to twice what he had already paid. I am grateful to him for understanding that it was a difficult thing for me to accomplish the pattern and for paying extra for my efforts. 

The two closeups below show a bit more, both front and back. I used the same yarn I use for most of my straps, (Omega Sinfonia) so it turned out to be nice and thick. Great for the intended purpose!
I missed a few threads on the backside and my edges were less than perfect.
But, I'm calling it a success. 












Monday, January 15, 2018

Annual Birthday Give-Away!

EDIT: THE GIVEAWAY WINNER IS COMMENTER #22, RHONDA C.


I've had a lot of fun things to do this past year, and the blog has been neglected.
Still it gets a lot of use for the patterns, resources, FAQ's and Answers page and tutorials that I've posted in past years. It warms my heart to see so many people from all over the world visiting and finding help and inspiration here! 

Although I don't post here often, I do post to my Facebook page and Instagram feed. 
You can follow me there to see what I'm up to!
This past year, I've sent a lot of woven goods to Japan and they are now for sale in a boutique in
Osaka. They include key fobs and wool sash belts. The next order will include bracelets, too!




I still hope to finish working on my book early this year, but it has had to wait while I was weaving.

I continue to make guitar straps and am grateful to the following shops for carrying them:

Here's the latest batch of guitar straps.


So, here's the Birthday Give-Away:
One of these colorful wrist straps. They can be used as key fobs, or a wrist strap for small camera, purse, walking cane, flash drive, etc. For a chance to win, please leave a comment on this post. 
I'll pick a random number and select the corresponding comment from the list. 
You'll have to check back to see if you got lucky.
 I'll post the winner on January 31st. 
The winner will need to send me an email with their color choice and mailing address.