Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Women's Wednesdays : Support Your Local Crafter!

It’s Wednesday, and I thought I’d share some more clothing finds for all the women readers. In particular, two items from a rather non-traditional source… Etsy. Etsy is a website dedicated to selling handcrafted items from independent makers. Because I am a maker in my own right, using Etsy to sell my jewelry, I like to support other makers on the site as much as possible. And, I’m happy to report that the number of bicycling and wool items on Etsy is growing day-to-day.

The first item is the Kingyo wool shirt from Vigilante Laboratories. Made from a mid-to-heavy-weight wool jersey, this shirt is unlike anything you will find from REI, mainly because it has personality. Granted, this shirt was probably not intended to be a technical item, but, given that it’s 100% wool, it performs incredibly well. A cowl neck and kimono-style sleeves give the shirt a lot of style, while also allowing a tremendous amount of breathability. Plus, this is a warm shirt. Layer it with sleeveless wool shirt underneath and some arm warmers and you’ll be right toasty in 40-50-degree weather. But, one of the best features about this shirt is the fact that it is individually made for you when you order. I happened to fall right in between the usual sizing and Lianna (that’s the maker) worked with me to customize the fit. It is hands-down one of my favorite pieces that I own. (I have the blue shirt featured, but she also makes a purple one.)

The next item is a pair of Snuggly Warm wool arm warmers from Overcast. These arm warmers are made in New Zealand from merino wool, and are designed with a thumb-loop so that they keep the base of your hand warm as well. I bought a simple black pair, so that they would coordinate well with everything, but they come in a wide range of colors. And, again, these are made individually, and Lucy (the maker) welcomes you to contact her with any questions. The arm warmers come in two weights, Superfine Spring and Snuggly Warm. I bought the Snuggly Warm and, while they feel lightweight, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how warm they are. If you tend to get cold hands like I do, this is a worthy investment, as it helps keep your fingers from becoming icicles while also allowing you full movement of your fingers. The only things I could wish from these arm warmers is that they stretched up over my elbow (as they are, they stop right at the elbow). But, I am truly enjoying them and encourage you to take a look as well.

Etsy also features several other independent makers with wool items (as well as other epicurean fabrics like linen and seersucker). I recommend going to the Clothing category, selecting Men or Women as appropriate and then type “wool” into the search box. I promise you’ll be surprised by what you find. One small note about Etsy… because it is a community of independent makers, recognize in advance that everyone has different policies as far as shipping and returns, and make sure you read everything in advance, leave plenty of time when ordering, and contact the maker with any questions or concerns.

1 comment:

Dottie said...

Love Women's Wednesdays. Keep them coming!