Ideas

With the craft show looming (sorry) at the end of the month, I’ve been focusing on getting stock together.  But of course, rather than being actually focused, I have simply been stalked by new ideas, which I have then had to try out (some have worked, some not).  So I think it would be fair to say that my merchandise will be a fairly eclectic collection, with not more than a handful of any one concept.  There’s still time, though, so I might be able to increase quantities in some areas, yet (if I manage to keep additional ideas at bay).  I don’t really mind; there’ll always be another craft fair that I will have more time to prepare for.  But the long and the short of it is probably simply that I don’t have the inclination/discipline to create multiples of similar items.  Not consecutively, at least.

Anyway, here are some of the ideas I’ve been working on (pictures to be added shortly; sorry):

Oddballs1.  Oddballs.  These are little creatures (approx. 2-3″ tall) woven and stuffed with the leftover oddments of yarn, so every one is different.   I guess they will appeal to kids, and to those drawn to amigurumi.  My husband thinks they’re the best thing I’ve ever done, which is lucky, as all of the prototypes appear to have congregated on his desk…  The principle behind them for me is that I would rather use than discard short lengths of yarn, and they are quick to make.  But they are cute.  Feature-wise, I have given them blank expressions deliberately, because the marketing feature is that they are, essentially, an afterthought.  Oddballs will come in individual little cotton drawstring pouches, with the label: “I am an Oddball.  I just want to be loved.” (Currently superimposed on the picture above left.)   Emotionally manipulative?  Me?  😉

2.  Gossamer bookmarks.  The Oddballs are one of those little extras I think people will pick up because they’re cute and comparatively cheap.  But other people will find Oddballs a little whimsical, so the Gossamer Bookmark is the alternative quick-to-make souvenir item for those who don’t want to splash out.  The bookmarks are woven on 18ct tapestry canvas strengthened by a piece of card (glued to the canvas so that only a single row of holes are visible around the edge of the card).  The canvas is warped from end to end, by passing the needle through every other hole along the shortest edges.  Then using the same length of thread (I used a fine spun silk) I wove over and under the warp threads from side to side.  At each side, the needle passes through the canvas and back to the right side 2 holes along.  Once the bookmark is woven from top to bottom, I withdraw the outer thread of the tapestry canvas along each side of the ‘loom’.  All the edge loops can then be easily (carefully) slid from the loom, releasing the finished bookmark.  Because of stitching through the canvas at the sides thoughout the weaving process, the sides consist of even loops from top to bottom, and there is no danger of ‘drawing-in’.  The resulting bookmark is very delicate, though, and needs something extra to substantiate/protect it.  I thought about laminating, so that it would look like the bookmark is floating, but it’s not a very eco-friendly solution.  I think it would look nice mounted on a piece of textured, handmade paper or card, so that people could still touch the actual threads and textures.  Or in a world I have not yet investigated, I know there are stabilisers for delicate fabrics and clever disolving things, so perhaps I can do something with that.  (Any advice, or websites you can direct me to?)

The woven bookmark precipitated another idea that is still in the germination stages; but the process does create a very evenly spaced fabric (unlike densely packed tapestry) that is crying out to be embroidered…

There are more ideas, but the next two are related, and I’m running out of time, so I will post again, shortly…

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