The "Ripples" in Ripples Crafts
Sunday, March 22 2015. Ripples
Sometimes I idly wonder if I chose the right name for my business - Ripples Crafts. I mean, it doesn't really say "hand dyed yarn" does it? But then someone said something to me at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival which bought back exactly why I'd chosen the name, and I searched back through my blog archives to when I announced the name to the world. Here is what I had to say in 2008:
"Many of you know that I have been working towards setting up an online shop to sell my hand dyed yarns. Ripples will be appearing on a computer screen near you in the not too distant future. The name, Ripples, came about after thinking about my associations with the woolly world. Stevan often comments on the connections that Iâ€™ve formed through various online forums and knit and knatter groups, and he came up with the byline â€œConnections through kindness and craftâ€. I have been shown great kindnesses through my woolly connections and those kind acts have rippled into all corners of my life. Another ripple effect has been that over the years I have become inspired to expand my knowledge of knitting techniques and also to move into other woolly areas, such as spinning, and now hand dyeing. If I had room for a huge loom that would be my next development area!"
I had been experimenting with dyeing yarn for a while by the time I wrote this, but the business only started in earnest once we moved to the Highlands, and just prior to our move we'd been shown great kindness by a number of people during a family crisis which unfolded in Italy. Many of those who helped us during this time only knew me through the old Rowan knitting forum - that was our only connection - yet they were kind and thoughtful enough to call me and email me with helpful contacts in Rome, and I couldn't help but be touched by their concern and help. Some contacts were made through friends of friends of acquaintances - ripples which reached me during a time they were most needed.
As I said, I've been wondering recently if the name was still appropriate. Should I change it to something which was more descriptive of what I actually did. And then I ran into Pat at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival last weekend. Pat is a friend I met through the business when she began buying my yarns. Prior to the event a number of members of my Ripples Crafts Ravelry Group had been planning to get together for a meal on the Saturday evening of the festival. I'd made my excuses for not going as I knew I'd not be in any fit state to be sociable at the end of a long day on my feet, but it was good to know that so many of them were meeting up in Edinburgh. And the following day Pat came to see me on the stand to say how I'd been missed (which was kind!) but also that many had commented on how nice it would have been if I had been there just to see what I'd started - the friendships that had been made both through the Ravelry group, but also through the retreats which I'd arranged over the past 3 years, and the connection they all had was my yarn, and Ripples Crafts. I was so touched, and I had to work hard not to completely well up. Those of you who know me know that I well up at the drop of a hank of yarn! (As my friend Lizzi says "Aye - youâ€™re like a Christmas card - â€˜aye greetinâ€™.") But it struck me at that moment that the name, Ripples Crafts was still very much appropriate, and that the ripple effect was still happening, despite the business evolving over the past 7 years (goodness is it really 7 years?!).
I mentioned it on my Ravelry group, and Sheena (another friend/customer) dropped in a lovely comment. She said "Your yarn is great but the friendship and support is better" and that sits very well with me.
So, don't expect the name to change any time soon. Ripples are here to stay!
Oh, and by the way, a loom made its way home with me from Edinburgh Yarn Festival. I am still working on my first project, so the pictures are a little vague, but a loom! I have a loom.
PS Expect many more loomy type photographs!