Someday in Charlottesville….

4 02 2010

I will be asked about the name of my business, Pocktorian Textiles. I will tell them that it is a reincarnated version of Pocktorian Textiles in Norwich, UK. I will tell them of the five years I spent in Norwich and how I hope Pocktorian Textiles – UK still exists.

I will tell them that the word “Pocktorian” refers to the residents of Norwich who lived near the Pockthorpe Gate of Norwich, and how I know they were weavers because in the 1500’s, they rioted when a merchant moved in French weavers from Ipswich. I’ll tell them about the poem from just a century or two back that mentions Pocktorians and predicts a new flowering of weaving in Norwich. I’ll tell them how I imagine myself as a weaver from Norwich who went off to earn her fortune in America.

Or maybe I’ll invent a new name. Or maybe I’ll go back to the name my business used to have when I lived in Charlottesville: Sheep Appreciation Week. Folks liked it then, do you?

As for Pocktorian Textiles, Norwich, I can’t predict what will become of it. I now know that I will be returning to the US and that Pocktorian will not have the grant unless I can find someone as enthusiastic and knowledgeable as I am, someone that UnLtd will accept as a replacement for me. If you happen to know someone like that, please contact me.

Without the grant, what will become of the Finnish spinning wheel which I just bartered two of my handwoven scarves for today? I don’t know. I almost certainly can’t afford to ship it to the US.

How will Ruth find a suitable place for her business? And how will Foncelle find a place better than ours? And where will Marion turn for a sympathetic listener, someone who knows about finding a way in a young industry when you’re not so young anymore? Will those who have wished us well and told me what a good idea Pocktorian is offer more than good wishes to keep it going?

NUCA shows no interest, or to give it the benefit of the doubt, has too tight a budget to consider fostering Pocktorian for the sake of its graduates’ futures.

Anyhow, now my posts will be split. Half about my efforts to leave Pocktorian – UK is the best situation possible when I leave, and half about my plans and hopes for the future in Charlottesville.

And, as usual, time will tell. I will not regret having given Pocktorian – UK one heck of a try. I had amazing success while it has been going, for such a shoestring of an operation. It was just now going to take off, I am sure, if only I could have stayed.

No, I must not “if only”. It won’t help. I will simply do my best with things as they now exist and count that as enough.


26 01 2010

A part of me wants to repeat the title of this post over and over again for about 10 pages or so, and then about 10 more pages of THANK YOU,  UNLTD!  But I’ve got too much else to do.

I got almost the whole amount I asked for, which means that Pocktorian can be immediately entirely equipped on what I call the second level. For example, first level includes a drop spindle. Second level includes a spinning wheel. (Third level includes an electric spinner or even setting up a service for spinning the yarn of local farmers into marketable yarn.

It also means I can do a bit of advertising every month and set up a selling website for the resident designers and for the shop area.

Some of the things I put on the initial list, I already have, or I already have a source for at a price less than I had initially estimated. (How could I have anticipated someone coming in and offering me a Finnish spinning wheel with accessories?) But that just makes room  sewing machine with more embroidery potential? (I may not be partial to machine embroidery but maybe one of the other designers will be.) Or the addition of a basic industrial sewing machine? (Thinking of you, prospective yurt maker.) Or perhaps an 8-harness floor loom instead of a 4 harness table loom? (But the floor loom I know I could get for the funds allowed would not be as portable for taking around to schools.)

Oh! The possibilities!

Those possibilities make me want to make a few more solid efforts to make absolutely sure that I absolutely must go home. So that’s what I’ll be doing over the next day or so.

I talked over all the possibilities with my sister tonight, and she wondered whether I might possibly be able to manage Pocktorian Textiles virtually. It’s entriguing, because it would entail learning to use technology that it would an excellent idea for my designers to have knowledge of.


Spinning Wheels, Zippers, and Draftstoppers

13 01 2010

It’s getting a bit more lively at the incubator these days. Quite a few alterations (mostly repairs of zippers) coming in along with a commission for a draft stopper snake and a machine knitting student.

The end result is that a bit of money is coming in and I’m managing to have enough extra time to do the jobs and develop my own ideas as well. I’ve pretty much finalized the starting offerings of my own line, enough that I may start a blog particularly for Intrepid Threads.

I wish I had a lot more to say about other participants in the incubator. If Ruth had come in, there would have been work for her to do, money for her to make, but she hasn’t. Marion is very very busy with school these days. So I’m by myself most days.

Still, I think positively. Perhaps I need to be example number 1 of what an incubator can make possible. In less than two months, I’m doing noticeably better. In another month, I really do expect to have my initial line offerings finalized.

Intrepid Threads will begin by offering a knit skirt, a knit top (most likely a buttonless 3/4 sleeve cardigan), a woven (perhaps handwoven) top with no sleeves, and a pair of draw-string elastic waist pants (trousers, Brits would say) fashioned after my favorite pair which has worn entirely out and can serve only as a pattern.

There will also be scarves, woven and knit and painted, snoods and maybe crocheted hats, painted and embroidered bags, and fingerless gloves, depending on the season.

Yes, I need to do pictures and put them up here. I need to do a lot of publicity. I’M ONLY ONE PERSON!

Oh, the spinning wheel? If the guy who made the offer was serious, I’ll be trading one or more of my handwoven scarves for a working Finnish spinning wheel with all accessories. (Gulp! Since I don’t yet know enough about spinning to use one.)

Wonder what will happen next?