Feast or Famine

>> Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sales in my shop have slowed since the holidays, which is to be expected. I've been trying not to purchase more fiber to dye until I sell some of what I have in current inventory. I created my first add for Ravelry, and have been taking time to finish my holiday knitting and recharge my dyer's batteries. I've signed up for two knit alongs, one of which is in progress now (the Girls' Night Out sock). The other will start in February, and is called the Evenstar Mystery Shawl, pattern by Susan Pandorff. I can't wait to get started on this, even though I still have a metric butt ton of things still on the needles. In a way it's been good that I haven't had a lot of sales, because I've gotten so behind with other things.

I do have to admit, though, that I was getting kind of nervous. I'd started to wonder if perhaps I wasn't meant to have the awesome fiber shop that I thought originally I was going to have. I'd started to think that maybe I didn't have what it took to create a fiber business. Or maybe that the things I'd created weren't as pretty as I had thought they were when I dyed them.

Then on Tuesday, one of the other English teachers came into my room. She know that I sell fiber and yarn, and wanted to purchase some yarn for a friend of hers. The only yarn I have right now is sock yarn, and she didn't want to gift such a thin yarn that might limit someone in terms of possiblew projects. "Well," I said. If you like any of the fibers I have in the shop, I can spin them up for you. It costs more for handspun, but I can spin it more thickly so it's more versitile."
"That sounds great. I'll take two."
I boggled. Two? Two skeins of hanspun? To price handspun I double the cost of the fiber. If there are problems (knots, bunches, etc.) I take a couple of dollars off. She wants Aroostook and Acadia to be spun into yarn. That's about 60 dollars! She didn't even blink when I quoted the prices to her. She even asked for a recommendation for a good knitting book (I chose All New Homespun Handknit by Amy C. Clark) and bought that an hour later. To say I was excited was an understatment. I haven't been able to spin for over a month due to the amout of knitting I've had to do, and so this was a perfect excuse to dig Brownwyn out and get some wheel time.
Later that day the other English teacher (there are three of us) heard the first talking about her purchase and said, "You know, Heather, it would be a great idea for my mom for Mother's Day. Could I get two as well?"
Boggle again. "Certainly," I said. "Which colorways would you like?"
"I can't decide," she said, perusing my shop. "Can I see them in person?"
The next morning (Wendesday) I brought all of my inventory to school to show the second English teacher. I even showed her what the first had purchased. As the second was ogling the fibers, the first came in, picked up the one skein of sock yarn I had and said, "I like this a lot. I'd like to have this, too."

Ummm, okay. That's FIVE items purchased in two days. I was even more excited than before and couldn't wait to get started. I took those listings off my Etsy shop and got to work.

Last night I got two emails. The first was from my friend Brandy who wants to buy two bundles of fiber from me (Gaia and Hestia). She will be picking them up tonight. The second is from a former customer who was writing to let me know that she spun my fiber into yarn and knit the yarn into a beret that she then submitted to Spin Off Magazine, in hopes of being included in an upcoming issue. If it is selected, my shop's name will appear in this magazine.

Oh. My. God.

I went from having no business for several weeks to having a violent boom of business in two days. I'm still reeling, but I'm having an awesome time. Maybe this is what I'm meant to do after all.

Hugs and warm thoughts to all of my customers, past, present and future!


Selfish Knitting

>> Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Although I blogged yesterday about all the Christmas knits I'm still working on, it hasn't stopped me from casting on a few things for myself, too. The first thing I cast on was a sock for a dear plurk friend, Yenforyarn. A fellow knitter and designer (not to mention a real life friend of my favorite fiber seller, Coby), Yen has recently been diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. Across plurk and ravelry, knitters set aside time on Dec 28, the day of Yen's first chemo treatment, and cast on one of her sock designs. I chose to knit her Manhattan pattern, in my own handdyed yarn from the shop. I'd been saving this yarn for a special occasion, and this certainly fit the bill. The yarn, "April Showers," complements the pattern well, I think. I've already finished one sock:

The next sock will have to wait a while to cast on, however, because I'm busy with another selfish knit. It's another sock, this time from Brewer's Knitting Company, and it's a mystery sock. This is my first ever mystery knit (where you have no idea what the FO will look like, and have to wait for days to get each "clue", or knitting section). So far I'm enjoying it. The yarn is a bit thin so it requires size 1 needles which I'm not a big fan of, but so far the pattern is an enjoyable knit. I like that there are only 24-36 rows to knit with each clue. It's a lot easier to avoid knitting boredom that way. Many of the knitters doing this are doing both at a time, but I'm just knitting the one for now. I'm through clue 2, and here's what it looks like:

I finished Tara's thrummed mittens this morning and have updated my last post with pictures. That's what I'm working on. How about you?


Knitting, knitting, and more knitting.

>> Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This won't come as a surprise to any of you who know me, but I'm still working on my Christmas knitting. Yes, still. I got some of it done, but no matter how hard I tried, getting eleven projects completed in two months was way beyond me. perhaps if I didn't have to work, at all, I'd have completed more items. Perhaps if I didn't also cast on a couple of things for myself, I'd have more finished objects. Whatever the reason, my Holiday knitting is still in full swing. I thought I'd update my original list here so you can see where I'm at.

1. Icarus Shawl for Grammie. This is not done. I'm past the repeats of chart one, and am partway into chart 2. I think I have about 40 rows left. My yarn is in a hopeless tangle, so I have to bite the bullet, cut the yarn, and start with a new skein. That will be my project for the week. I'd like to have it done by the 28th. That's so not going to happen.

2. Trigger finger mittens for Daddy. These are done. I even wrote a pattern up for this and had it test knit. As soon as I get it translated into a .pdf file, it will be available for purchase. I can't wait for this. My first ever design! I will update this post with pictures this afternoon.

3. Maine Morning Mitts for Mom. These were done a long time ago, and were a big fit. She wants another pair in powder blue. I'm looking for the yarn, as she's allergic to wool and can't wear it.

4. Handknit socks and a tightly knit hat for Bear. Sock #1 is not yet to the heel, and the tightly knit hat was too small. I decided to gift it to someone else. Bear totally missed out on the holiday knitting.

5. Thrummed mittens for Tara. These are almost done. I just have one thumb of one mitten left to knit and it's all done. I hope to get that done today.

6. Mark is getting the aforementioned hat that was too small. It should fit him perfectly. I hope he likes it.

7. A beanie for Leigh Anne. This is in progress. I have about 20 rows of the body left, then the crown decreases. Maybe another week or two? Depends on how much time Icarus takes me.

8. An Elephante for Caitlin. I did get this done. It's cute. I'll post pics later today. She loves it so much I've already had to perform one repair. I hope to have to do many more.

9. Viking Beanie for Nicholas. Not even begun. I may knit him a giraffe like I'm knitting for my nephew, since it will go well with his sister's giraffe.

10. Scarf for Dani. I wrote up a quick pattern and am about three feet into it. It's a simple horseshoe or wheatear cable, and halfway through I will reverse them so the sides look the same as they hang down. I'm using bulky wool and size 11 needles, so this is flying.

11. Giraffe for Nicholas. Not yet begun. It's on the backburner until I get more things finished.

12. John: Not getting a knit this year. Tough.

I will post my selfish projects later this week. Happy knitting!


Shop update 1/2/10

>> Sunday, January 3, 2010


10kH is here for now. Hush.

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