I first came across Cait Throp's shop on Etsy this spring and fell head over heals in love with her woven magic. She has the ability to capture rainbows and glowing rays from the sun and weave them into a scarf or cuff. Here is Cait's story. Enjoy it and make sure you pay a visit to her shop that is filled with her beautiful creations.
Grew up in southern Connecticut--third oldest of 8 (5 girls, 3 boys). My Dad was a woodworking teacher in our High School and my Mom (now 88yo!!) stayed home. One of my favorite memories is of sitting on a stool in our cellar watching my Dad create furniture, toys, whatever—feeling privileged to hand him a tool or just sit quietly listening to classical music on his radio while he worked. There were 8 of us, remember, so parental attention was prized!
I don't remember having a choice about making things...It is such a part of me I can't imagine not being able to work with my hands! I've been making things for as long as I can remember—in grade school I had an entire room full of paper furniture inside my desk—dresser drawers that opened, refrigerator with working door, table, bed, etc. (we didn't have tape in our desks but we did have scissors so I had to put everything together with tabs and slots). This was peopled with my own tiny paper dolls with clothes. I found school very boring and my imaginary home in my desk much more alluring! I've worked with quilting, batik, drawing, collage, macramé, knitting, felting, crocheting and sewing and wood turning during my life and now weaving and dyeing for the past 16 years. I first saw a girl weaving in Brattleboro, VT in the early 70s and fell in love with this discipline immediately! Though it took until 1993 for me to actually get a loom and learn to weave!
I live on an old farm in upstate NY shared with my wonderful husband, Gary, any or all of my three boys (Noah 18, Alex 20, Adam 29), two beloved horses, 4 cats (ok, one cat belongs to Adam and fiancée Alicia—but they are in Hawaii for a couple of years), and a dog!! I have to say I grew up without pets of any kind—I think my Mom thought we were quite enough! So I have made up for that lack!!! My youngest brother used to entice dogs to follow him home but Mom always made him bring them back!! :)
My favorite piece?
—hmmm. That changes depending on my mood but right now I think I would pick the Red, Red Rose Wrap. It has everything I love—that WOW red, wonderful texture and drape, fits everyone, and gives a soft glow to the face!
How did I learn to weave...
I learned how to weave at our local museum in one weekend but my weaving education will never be over! There is no end to the different texture and color combinations you can achieve with weaving. While I now have many, many bookshelves full of cones of thread and weaving books and boxes of novelty yarns in my workroom, I started out with very little. I bought a 22” Norwood loom and a box of various colors of cotton yarn on cones from Webs in Northampton, MA and I was in weaving heaven! I wove cotton towels (among other things) for 15 years and used them also as color studies. I have also woven with sewing thread creating tiny, miniature, overshot coverlets and rugs most of which I have framed. I love weaving and dyeing and the warping process is magical to me—For the most part I'm designing somewhat spontaneously on my warping mill and weaving in plain weave and I love seeing my looms all dressed and full of potential!!! Looms multiply so be careful—I have 4 and they have totally taken over the house!
Wow, anything can inspire me from someone's garden, our beautiful sunsets, an unusual color combination in magazine pictures, TV, what people wear, Etsy treasuries!! I am always looking at color, anywhere, anytime! And then I look for the texture in my yarns.
Materials of choice:
I love working with rayon and cotton. I started weaving with cotton instead of wool (don't remember why) and I like rayon because of its' sheen, weight, drape, and the way it takes dye! Over the past several years I have been adding more and more novelty yarns to my work. They have yummy texture and I love mixing all of these up in my pieces!
How do I promote my shop?
I am still somewhat new to Etsy and grateful for the amazing Etsy friends I have made for putting me in their wonderful treasuries and blogs!!! And I love making treasuries, too! I have also advertised in the Accessories Showcase, though haven't done that in a while and I have a blog. http://www.barefootweavercait.blogspot.com .
My favorite shops?
KnotOriginal, theBeadAerie, SeaPinks, KneeDeepOriginals, loveartworks, theNightjar, Studio Serra (my oldest!!) ImagineStudio, mistflowerphoto, moonovermaize, birribe, katsaraYarns, Sigmosaics, GollyBard, joojoo, merritthyde, humblebea, fancypicnic, warpeDesign, pidgepidge, catherinereece, aforfebre, bstudio, ginnyhuber, NiuTaller, taylorseclectic, alibi, amberalexander, crankbunny, Geninne, penguineandfish, vilte, bellstudios, lauratrevey, barbdunshee, lori411, XannasJewelryBox, betsybenson, MagpieMagic, WildWomanJewelry, LaTouchables, 3squares, RoughMagicCreations, kathiroussel, PianoBenchDesigns, jennreese7 and of course lauraslocumpainted and the whole Etsy Project Embrace team!!!
Would I buy handmade?
YES, yes, yes!! Please buy my weaving so I can buy more handmade! I am constantly amazed (wow'ed really!) at the expertise, creativity, professionalism, craftsmanship and sheer beauty displayed by Etsy artisans! Plus I am totally dazzled by the photography on Etsy!!!
Thank you so much Cait for sharing a little bit about you!