Three years ago I launched Yarnworker as a place to call home in the vast world of the internet and as a platform to share tips, technique, and stuff that makes your weaving life better. If Yarnworker was a human, this would be her willful stage of development. Having your hobby be your jobby is challenging and wonderful and it does take a lot of will.
I think of Yarnworker as a place for weavers who learned to weave as I did. During those early years, weaving literally made me breathless. I had so many things I wanted to weave and I just couldn’t figure out how to make the cloth in my head come out on the loom. I had to make time for weaving and that weaving time wasn’t always productive. I just kept making stuff and then slowly, little by little, I pushed past the roadblocks, put in my seat time, and gained confidence and skill. There are things I’m still learning about my chosen avocation.
The ways in which we can hang out together is constantly evolving. In just the past three years, online classes, which used to be a rarity, are common on all sorts of platforms, and live streaming and webinars are everyday events. Who knows what wonders of communication will be available three years from now.
My nature is to be slow and ponder, to discuss and contemplate, not necessarily a positive in an impulse-driven, social media world. To try to get a handle on who actually reads the stuff I put out there in the yarn universe, and what would make their weaving lives better, I sent a survey similar to the one I sent before I launched the site—over 400 of you were gracious enough to respond. While a few things have shifted, much remains the same.
Here’s what I learned.
Three-quarters of Yarnworker users who responded consider themselves beginners. The rest are pretty darned comfortable with the rigid heddle loom and like staying abreast of the weaving news and tips, and get inspiration from works in progress. Half of you came to rigid heddle weaving via knitting; the rest are pretty evenly divided among other yarn crafts.
Weavers aren’t afraid to go big, and they are going bigger! Both surveys showed that nearly 75% of you have looms that are more than 15” wide. The new survey showed that 28% of you own 25” wide looms, replacing 20” looms as the most popular size; 26% own 20” looms; and 22% own looms more than 25” wide!
Most like to weave scarves and shawls (80%), with household goods such as kitchen and dining items (68%), and rugs, pillows, curtains, blankets (43%) third in line. Garments and decorative art still rank pretty low for you.
You get your information from books, Ravelry, and YouTube in that order of preference, although Facebook, blogs, and online classes climbed much higher in the ranks.
You regularly check out my YouTube videos, Ravelry group, monthly newsletter, and Facebook postings and you would really, really, really like it if I did more YouTube videos, offered online classes, kept up the weave-alongs, and published more patterns.
The heart of the matter is what keeps you from weaving more, besides time and money, and this is what will help shape my content for the next year. I appreciate your thoughtful and witty responses. I get that there are many demands on our time and resources that keep us from doing the things we want to do. It is particularly difficult to find quality time for the headspace required to learn something new. As a curated space in the weaving world, I’d like to help you push past the overwhelm of so many possibilities, your fear of wasting yarn, and lack of confidence in your skills, or even how to acquire these skills.
In the meantime, there is another Weave-Along to tend to. There is still plenty of time to join in. Thanks for hanging out with me!