I have found over the last year I really enjoy the process of weaving. You can take the same yarn, change the warp or weft order and you end up with a completely different result, that’s without changing the pattern. Depending on the yarn you use it is not the most expensive hobby you can take part in
When I tell people I have taken up (is that the right term for something that as taken up nearly all my free time!) weaving. They generally ask why!!!. That is a good and not unreasonable question to ask and one I ask myself, especially when the weaving is not going correctly. I have always enjoyed crafts of different sorts , my house walls are covered in cross-stitches. There’s a wood lath in the garage and I’m a member of a carving and stick marking club. I consider the best thing about going to craft fairs is seeing people demonstrating and I often think I will have a go at that. At some of these fairs I have spoken to weavers and got the impression that it took days to thread up a loom. I did not think I could spend all that time getting the loom ready to find either, I didn’t like the result or I did not like weaving.
Fast forward to last year when I was checking out how to use an Inkle loom (see my first post) and read about a ridged headle loom, there was the answer, you can warp it in half an hour (or so the info said). After checking out the different loom types and checking the various selling site, I failed to find a second hand one. There was only one thing to do and that was to buy a new one. On my to my daughter’s I popped into Fibre-hut (www.fibrehut.co.uk) and after a bit of help and debate, I became the proud owner of a 60cm Ashford loom. As life goes, that afternoon while looking for info on my new and still boxed loom, what did I find, yes, a second hand one had just been posted for sale on pre-loved, and the seller was only a mile from my home (typical, if only it had appeared four hours earlier). I was so pleased when I really found that you can have it warped in half an hour, just like the info said. So there is no fear about spending days warping the loom, you can just experiment. If your idea does not work out you have only lost the yarn and half an hour of time.
To try and make my hobby (obsession!!) Self financing I have started to sell my woven items at local fairs. I find the hardest part of this, is working out the price to charge. I have read various suggestions on the web. Some say take the cost of yarn, double it and then add your time. Well that’s fine, but do people in my area, really want to pay £45 – £80 for a scarf, when they can get one cheaper in the high street shops. Do people value hand made goods to that extent?? I have retired and have some income and the weaving is an hobby should I be charging for my time (want else would I be doing?), or should I sell at a price that covers my costs plus a bit, thereby making myself happen and also the person who buys the item happy!!. I am often told I under value my work and I probably do. I’m not out to make my fortune, I’m trying to give my hobby a purpose, otherwise why make something for it to just sit in a cupboard. I have only so many friends and I don’t want to see there eyes roll when I walk in the room with a present of yet another scarf. So I sell at a price I am comfortable at and high enough so the item as some value to the buyer and hopefully they will then have some respect for it.