Warm Gatherings

The winter weather here in the prairies is a great reason to gather with others, share a cuppa, and keep warm.

We’ve been keeping an eye on the hashtag #MBFF2018Challenge on our social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter).  From our own cozy spots we’ve been sharing in your creations.

Mandyz has been living vicariously through your creations as she finds herself struggling creatively; so if you’ve not realized your creation yet, that’s okay. We can continue to ruminate, be inspired, and wait for our own spark of creativity together.

For those of you who have already found, or are finding, your creative inspiration, have you started making any crafty plans?

Designers – now is the time to reach out to our local dyers and producers if you need yarn or fibre for a project that is brewing.

Dyers and Producers – have you considered reaching out to a local designer, whose work you like, to feature your creation?

Don’t be shy folks; don’t be afraid to make more direct connections within our vibrant, fibre-ific community, or to invite some new folks in if necessary.

Are you new to designer-yarnie business relationships?  Contrary to what you might think from some posts, it’s not just about “free yarn” (or fibre) for designers.  While it’s relatively easy for a large commercial business to write off providing well known designers with free yarn for new designs, it’s not so simple for small businesses and new designers.  This does not mean that you can’t participate in a mutually beneficial relationship between our wonderful local fibre providers and indie designers.

Yarn-folk, you could consider offering a discount for a designer featuring your yarn or you may be comfortable offering it for free.  I imagine it depends on the cost, your budget, and what return you can expect to gain for your business. It’s okay to think of your business needs. It is also fair to require that the finished design actively advertises your product and that it be ready to share with the 2018 Challenge design collection.  I’m personally a fan of clear, written expectations for positive outcomes.

Designers, have you seen a yarn (or fibre) from a local vendor that has inspired design ideas for you in this Challenge? Or do you have a special request you could make of a local yarn dyer/producer?  It helps the provider if you are clear about your request and expectations in advance. Are you willing to pay for a custom order? Are you hoping for a discount in exchange for featuring their product? Do you have a clear outline of your creation that you can share with the them?

Established designers may already have some experience with this, but for our budding designers,  new indie dyers, and producers entering the wonderful world of fibre-sales, here are some useful discussions from folks with experience:

Ruth of Rock and Purl writes, in Supported, Supporting, Supportive, of yarn support that ranges from purchased, to discounted, to free.  Jen reminds us that designers buy their yarns too.

In a related post, Becky shares some tips on approaching yarn providers for support when designing.

Finally, Kristen reminds folks of the importance of clear communication and knowing exactly what kind of contract (explicit or implicit) that you are entering in to. As a designer, you really need to know your yarn/fibre needs and have some experience with the product you are inquiring about – or else be ready to potentially reinvent your project idea to accommodate the yarn. As a maker, I imagine you know that when a conflict arises between what you want to make and what the yarn/fibre wants to do, the yarn wins every time.

Still have questions, drop us an email.



One thought on “Warm Gatherings

  1. Pingback: Building community through creative collaboration | Manitoba Fibre Festival

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