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***GRAND OPENING***

My Etsy Shop is finally open. Welcome to the Grand Opening on April 1st!

grandopeningscreenshot

 

Use coupon code “GRANDOPENBLOG” for 20% off at check out!

I was originally planning on opening up shop about 6 months ago, but a bump in the road stopped my progress. But, I’m kinda glad it did. I’ve now been able to get a better handle on what I want my shop to represent and carry.

I was originally planning on my Fiberlous brand to be a “one-stop-shop for any lover of the fiber arts”, and if I were a better spinner or if I knew the best places to get undyed yarn, it would definitely be a great shop for spinners, knitters, crocheters and felters. There are already so many great hand-dyers on Etsy, and scrumptious hand-spun yarns, I couldn’t possible keep up.

So then I started to think about what I stood for.
In my own life, I surround myself with antiques and unique objects, I use typewriters to write letters to my grandparents, and I prefer to sew on my great-grandmothers New Home sewing machine. I like doing things by hand, and making things that will last a long time and mean something to me and to my future family. I always think “less is more” and that quality always trumps quantity.

The spirit of Etsy is to support handmade artists, who design and develop their own lovely products. It’s a gallery of loved things, unique in their own way and kept out of department stores and warehouses. It gives crafters the freedom to create outside of the box – not a place to make a quick buck.

So I drifted a bit away from the monopoly of only catering to the fiber arts (even though my heart will always be there, right along with you) but to be a store where others who think like me can find a place to feel at home. As any creative spirit, I don’t want to be bolted down to one category and be closed in with 4 walls. I only want to represent myself.

So I will constantly be adding new items and finds to the shop as it grows. But it’s staples will always be my hand-knit accessories, tea towels and repurposed antique book journals. Which represent my love of luxurious fashion and my old-fashioned tendencies.

Sweater Weather

Traveling Knitter

As an intentional homage to our knitting ancestors, I tried knitting while walking last week.

Knitting while walking around Ikea.

I didn’t try to think about how many people were probably staring at me, but I just kept knitting my kfb and ssk the whole way through the store, while also commenting on which furniture I liked the best.

Surprisingly, it was easy. And I still cant read and knit at the same time. But I was able to finish a whole hexipuff, start to finish, through the whole store.

I highly suggest others try doing this. You’ll find you have a lot more time to finish your projects now. ๐Ÿ™‚

The “self-taught” knitter.

It’s an age-old question: if you read a “self-help” book, are you really “self-helping” or are you getting help from someone else? Same goes with knitting. Unless you really learn by literally throwing yarn on a needle and you magically start knitting, you gotta start somewhere.

I think most contemporary knitters learn by seeking out on their own and finding resources to help them learn. Not many families pass knitting through the generations anymore, and home economics is not a valuable class schools like keeping around. Soย what designates a “self-taught” knitter? Someone who didn’t take classes or have a mentor coach them.

I consider myself a self-taught knitter. “Self-taught” as in a college student showed me how to knit a scarf when I was 11 years old. After knitting 3 garter stitch scarves that had noticeable slipped stitches and mysteriously ended up skinnier than I started, I quickly forgot this talent. But years later, I found the old skeins of acrylic yarn stashed in a forgotten box somewhere deep in my closet, and the 3 straight knitting needles (one had wandered off to never-neverland) that were sizes only available in Europe and figured “hey, I should start that again.” I googled “how to knit” and was off.

My first Google searches were around 2004. (To put this into perspective, YouTube’s first video was uploaded April 23 2005.) Picture illustrations popped up of how to cast-on. I’ve always been a hands-on learner, so I fumbled from the vague pictures for a few hours before getting the hang of it – but I did. For a while. I would have to go back online and refresh my hands on how to cast-on every few months after breaks from knitting.

My first projects were, of course, scarves. They were wide, skinny, garter stitch, funky yarn or worthless. I started working at JoAnn Craft Stores, which was the worst thing I could do for my craft habits. Of course, that’s probably why I wanted tow work there in the first place – I already knew the store like the back of my hand. So whenever someone would come to the register with a new item I had never seen before, I’d rush to buy it once I was off the clock. I bought yarn by the bushel on my breaks. And dear lord help me, I didn’t know yarn weights, fibers or gauge existed. Yarn was yarn

I attempted cables after seeing a scarf a co-worker had recently bought at Disneyland. I saw it, wanted it, decided I would knit it. It actually looked very similar. That was my first cabled project, and I learned cabling from videos on knittinghelp.com. I looked at knitting patterns like they were alien scrolls. I always looked at a project as something I could make our of squares of knitting, no need for increases or decreases. I knit a very large, very rainbow, very campy messenger bag only out of large blocks of garter stitch folded over and a skinny stockinette stitch scarf. I didn’t realize it then – but I was designing my own patterns.

My point is – I believe “self-taught” is the best way. By having to figure out the mechanics of knitting myself, playing with the different yarn weights, and figuring out how to make something out of what I already knew have me all the fundamentals of knitting I greatly appreciate and use today.