Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 Was ... Fun!

We are all looking back today at a very complex year on this planet, but I will keep this to Cariboo Handwoven's year of 2016. The best word I have to describe it was "fun!"

The year began with the final steps in setting up and beginning to use my new Leclerc Colonial 8-harness loom.

It took the prime spot in my studio and the old Colonial moved to the other wall. I like both looms and both locations, and the little contrasts between them are actually quite helpful and refreshing for my body.

I wove a lot of blankets and towels this year and sold most of them from my studio, through Alison in Ottawa, in some local venues, and in three fall craft fairs in BC.

I learned a lot in helping a new weaver start from an immediate fascination with everything in the studio to getting his own 36" floor loom and making some beautiful things. Jon has been fun to weave with and I can't really say I'm teaching him. I'm just showing him some things now and then, and soon he's a step or two ahead of me. Our collaboration has boosted my own weaving and outlook.

I've learned a lot about some weave structures, particularly in combining twills and figuring out how to design the warp (lots of trial and error). And it's become a bit easier for me to show my work at craft fairs and put myself out there.

As well, I learned something for myself when I was recently asked if Cariboo Handwoven is a hobby or a business. Gee, good question. Well, it's much more than a hobby and it's certainly a business. But it's not a business in which I want to compromise the fun part just to grow. I'm producing at close to my maximum level anyway, so growth and increased sales are not really a significant goal. My primary goal is having fun - learning and experimenting while I work (if you can call it work), meeting people and hearing their feedback and stories, and thinking ahead to what's next.

I can't close 2016 without thanking Alison in Ottawa for all she has done again for Cariboo Handwoven and me; Jonathan for all his great questions, ideas and collaboration; and Pat, my husband, for putting up with all my wacky ideas, brief (I hope) episodes of angst, and time away this year. And to all of you with kind comments and heartfelt compliments - thanks to each of you.

May everyone's 2017 be filled with peace, joy, interesting challenges and successful pursuits of their own fun.

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