Thursday, January 07, 2010

Buying Fiber Outerwear Is Timely With Increasing Cold Weather
Raspberry Rhodalite Scarfette - $24.50

This scarfette is really soft and smooth against your neck and has a lovely drape to it!

Snow is falling in a varieties of cities and states here in the US and the temperature seems to be falling with no real warm-up in sight. Now is the best time to invest in some items to keep you warm, and support handcrafted work in the process.

If you can't justify purchasing jewelry then handmade outerwear is something you can always use (unless of course your entire closet is stuffed with it already). I myself only have one pair of gloves and so I have my eye on some on Etsy as well as a whole bunch of fiber supplies.

I truly believe that ultimately the key to repairing our economy is to resist the urge to buy such items from commercial stores that import, and instead to make a conscious decision to buy those things from "the little guy".

If we don't then the modern american artist/craftsman will become a dying breed.

Sending money out and none (or not enough) coming in does not make for a strong national economy, and although it's nice in theory to provide business opportunities outside the US to those who otherwise would not have such opportunities, we've farmed out way too much to foreign sources, and not enough money is coming in the other direction.

If we all start to make changes in this direction our economy will start turning around sooner than we now realize!

Doing this requires a shift in mind-set, and a mindfulness about where our money will end up.

When we go to Walmart or large chain department stores or small stores in the local shopping mall we often don't even think about where our money is going, but we should. Most such stores work with plants that originate in other countries and those jobs are taken up by people overseas. Most commercial stores do this because they can buy and sell these proucts cheaper because of exchange rates and the difference in cost of living, but it also drives down the perceived value of items made by artists and fine crafters here at home.

What we end up with is tatamount to the story of John Henry who attempted to compete against a machine and killed himself trying.

It is tempting to view things as interchangeable but the inherent value of items is the individuality from one maker to another.

I am finding that even among those who spin yarn the mark of the maker is distinct and unique.

Many of us have probably heard the unfortunate statement, "I can buy that same thing for half-price in Taiwan." Of course that is a generalization. A machine-made item or mass-produced item can never be identical to one that is made by a sole-proprietor or small group of artists who can give individual attention and quality control to what they make before it goes to the customer. Such a statement is intrinsically devaluing to the inherent worth of the individual product.

Mindfulness of the erosive mechanisms at work in such a mind-set goes right along with sustainability and living a greener lifestyle.

Who among us would not want to have a more personal relationship with what we buy.

When we buy from the grocery store from huge manufacturers in commercial plants we cannot make special requests and put in special orders, or influence the future manufacture of those items, whereas in dealing with smaller operations we can.

I thoroughly enjoy reading about the animals and seeing pictures of them that produced the yarn or roving I'm buying, or knowing where other fibers come from. I also know that I can request whatever blend I want. I could never get a commercial yarn company to custom make the yarn that works best for me. They would care less if I wrote and asked them to do that and probably would tell me they don't do that (if they even answered my e-mail at all).

Tonight I'm getting ready to start on another piece of outerwear.

Keep an eye on my etsy store for something stylish and useful for the cold weather in your size and color! I look forward to putting these new items to good use! My 90th sale will receive a free gift worth at least $20.00. This deal is still available as nobody has claimed it since before Christmas.


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