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Starting Over

                                                       A new website and a new blog…

First of all, if you are reading this, then you are visiting my new website, so, in capital letters

WELCOME!

Although I have written a few blog posts in the past – nothing of relevance or importance, and largely as a means of letting off steam, I find that it is now time to start getting serious about this.

As the new website begins to take shape and I contemplate the fact that I will have to change my way of thinking about my little (tiny little) business, the things that most worries me is that I will lose the personal touch, which, I believe is an integral part of the way I like to do things. Technology is wonderful (when it works), but I fear it is also largely responsible for the diminution of the all-important “personal touch”.

I always swore that I would never open an on-line shop, and here I hang my head in shame a little, at the thought that I am about to do what I was strongly opposed to for such a long time. However, it appears that this is probably the sensible things for me to do at this stage. My main concern is that people who visit the online shop, may not be entirely sure of the which product would best suit their needs. It is quite easy to “click and buy”, and I’m quite sure that many of us have had the experience whereby the “click” is all too easy to click, and when our new toy arrives on the doorstep – or the nearby Postnet office – we find that it is not entirely what we had in mind, and doesn’t suit our needs.

Spinning and weaving, most especially weaving are relative newcomers in the world of crafting in South Africa. Our perception of weaving is largely dominated by woolly carpets that smell really bad when they get wet, naive tapestries, and enormous looms that take an entire room to accommodate them. This is certainly no longer the case, and the growth in popularity of Rigid Heddle weaving is a testament to this new and modern approach to an ancient craft. Easy to use and endlessly versatile, these simple looms are a wonderful way for any crafter to begin weaving. For the person who is looking for more complex weaving solutions, then the four and eight shaft table looms are a pleasure to use and like the rigid heddle looms, they fold up into a neat little package for easy storage when they are not in use.

Spinning wheels can be both decorative and functional. A beautiful, traditionally designed spinning wheel standing in the corner of a room is always a good conversation starter, but for the smallholder wanting to process the fleece from a small flock of sheep, the “e-spinner” might be a more practical option. Many people are turning back to the art of spinning on a spindle, and the range of Ashford drop spindles ensures that there is a spindle to suit every spinners needs.

My heartfelt advice to anyone who is starting out in the wonderful world of spinning and weaving is to ask advice. If you are at all unsure of your choice, or have any questions about which piece of equipment would best suit your needs, then please, please, don’t be shy to ask. My father always told me that there is no such thing as a stupid question, because if you knew the answer, then obviously you wouldn’t need to ask the question.

My “answering questions” and my “doing my best to help” are as wide open as they ever were. So are my “let me know how you are getting on” and “send pictures” doors.

My new website is great, and the on-line shop might help to stream-line things a little, but even with all these advances in my technical life, the personal touch still remains, and I look forward to continued contact with all my clients, past, present and future.

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