Every once in awhile, someone asks about the Caitriot tartan on the Caitrionation Facebook page, and is told that there's a wait list and everyone is waiting for the next wait list. That seems a little recursive to me. I did some thinking on the topic while I was watching cabers being tossed at the New Hampshire Highland Games (well worth a trip to Loon Mountain Resort in September) and am hereby announcing a change in my business model.
First, you need to understand how I structure my weaving time in the studio. As much as I'd like to fill all your orders as fast as possible, I need to build in time to weave other things. Sometimes I have commitments, like the annual Guild Challenge weaving project, and sometimes I just need a break from 2/2 tartan so I don't get burned out. Being an OCD-ish control freak, I have devised a schedule of alternating two batches of Caitriot tartan with one "other" weaving project. While Caitriot tartan batches have 16-18 items on each warp, for a warp length of 40-50 yards, "other" weaving projects are more like 5-10 yards long, so they don't take as long to weave off, but there will still be a break of about 2 weeks before the next tartan batch starts when I do this.
For the Caitriot tartan batches themselves, I have found that scarf orders outnumber stole orders by about two to one, so I am alternating two scarf batches (16 scarves each) with one stole batch (18 stoles). Every order that comes in is filled in order of arrival on the website, but a scarf order that comes in after a stole order may be filled before or after that stole order, depending on where it falls in the 2 scarves, 1 stole batch alternation. This routine can change based on the ratio of orders going forward.
So what I'm planning to do is open up unlimited scarf and stole wait lists, dropping the deposit to $1 (I wish I could make it free, but I can't on this website). The current wait list orders stretch until NEXT September already, so please be aware that we're talking about a year-long wait or more, but you will no longer have to wait for the wait list. I don't accept payments for the items, other than the token deposit, until I am actually weaving the batch that your order is in, and you can always change your mind and cancel or ask to be moved to the bottom of the list to allow for temporary financial crunches.
The new, unlimited wait lists will open on Thursday, October 1, at 10:00 am.
On that same day I will be adding a new product to the website: scrap yardage from the ends of the warps. I try to weave off every bit of the warp, but sometimes there's not enough for a full scarf or stole. Some of you do crafts that can make use of small pieces of fabric, so I will be offering my scraps at a rate based on the square inches of fabric in the piece. Since accurate weaving gets more difficult at the very end of a warp, there may be errors in the cloth that I have cut out, leaving an odd-shaped piece. All raw edges will be secured with a machine zig-zag stitch.
Before I end this post, I want to say how honored and humbled I am by your interest in my work. I know weaving is an unusual skill that I happened upon 17 years ago, and it is so exciting to be able to use it in a way connected to my passion. I am working hard to learn better production weaving techniques to speed things up, and I truly appreciate the patience of everyone who responds to my status emails with "thanks, don't mind waiting!".