Dreams

It amazes me how much dreams can change. When Jim and I first sat down and talked about one day starting a yarn shop and laying out our basic plan, all I really wanted was a brick and mortar shop. I still want this because I think that it is very important to be able to touch the yarns. I have seen yarns that I would never have bought had I not touched them and fallen in love. Not that pictures aren’t nice, but there is something about seeing the yarns in person and touching them that allows the yarn to really speak. Besides the obvious happiness that yarn in person is, there is something special about going to a LYS and being around other knitters. For a long time I didn’t have a LYS. I didn’t know anyone else that knitted. It wasn’t easy to come up with inspiration. There were a few blogs that I read, but I didn’t know about Ravelry or knitting podcasts or anything else. I had very little inspiration. I finally turned some friends into knitters and a LYS opened up in town. It changed my life so much.
So anyway, we sat down one day and discussed the possibility of opening a shop one day. It had been a dream of mine for a while. We set up a tentative 10 year plan which is open to lots of change. One of the things that my husband suggested and kind of pushed for was for me to start selling my own yarns. Although I enjoyed spinning, it wasn’t something that I really wanted to pursue as the bulk of what I did for any real length of time. I was still more or less a beginner and I just didn’t think it would be for me. And forget dyeing yarns! No way, no how.
Opening an online shop well before a brick and mortar shop to get established and all made it into the plan. This meant I had to work on my spinning skills. The more I practiced, the more I loved it. I even tried my hand at dyeing, which I honestly had been afraid to do. I don’t know why. As soon as I made the decision to try it, I had more ideas than I had dye (still do actually!). I have pages and pages of ideas. I think I was so afraid I wouldn’t know what colors or whatever and now the hardest part is deciding which colors to choose! I want to dye everything in sight! I have so much experimenting that I want to do, but I am now at a point that I am comfortable dyeing. I love it except I have to decide between colors and stuff! Hard decisions!
We had talked about selling yarns on Etsy before we get to the point that I am ready for my own site. It would give us an opportunity to work out some kinks and firgure things out. This is a huge learning experience for me. I am really learning so much and I can’t wait to get some of my ideas moving and see how well they actually work. I am now wanting to focus more on online sellin than a brick and mortar shop. So far I have figured out things I have been doing wrong, or rather things that I need to be doing better. The biggest so far is that I haven’t really been willing to commit myself to my ideas and even to the yarns. If I want this so bad then why not commit? I’ve been scared. I have lacked the confidence in this because I didn’t want to be rejected. Now I know that there isn’t a single yarn out there that everyone loves, but just because some people aren’t fond of them, doesn’t mean that they aren’t great yarns. I know that not everyone will like my yarns or won’t find a use for them. There are yarns out there that I adore, but won’t buy because I haven’t found a use for them. I am a project knitter mostly. This means I have a very limited stash, which is both nice and irritating. I rarely buy yarn just because I like it because I don’t want it to sit in a bin knowing it may never be used. I want my yarns to be the same way! I don’t want someone to buy it and it never get to be used! Well really if it bring the purchaser happiness, even if it doesn’t get used still makes it fullfill it’s purpose, but I at least want themto want to use it! This has been a huge hurdle for me to overcome. There are other hurdles like for now I am a domestic goddess (aka housewife) and our money situation is much different than when I was working full time. The good side: I have plenty of time to spin and dye. The bad side: I don’t have much money for product. My husband and I have sat down and talked about if I am going to continue staying home or go back to work. We both like me being home but extra money would be nice too, so I am going to look for something part time to kind of balance everything.

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You spin my wheel right round

Moving weekend! Woo hoo! My husband and I decided it was time for us to get our own place. There have been some issues with my father in law having Alzheimer’s and we just really need to have a place of our own. I am very excited about it because that means I get to have my own kitchen and we will have a lot more space. I am going to miss having most of the bills paid and having someone in the house all the time if I feel the need to talk to someone. Truth be told I do enjoy living here for the most part, but I am definitely ready to get into a place that we don’t have to worry about other people being there when we want time to ourselves.

Spinning & Dyeing: Well my work load has been really light this week. So light that I haven’t worked at all. I have had about 2 full days that I have had enough time to spin. I got about 5 oz spun up total. Not as much as I would have liked for having an entire week off, but I did have a ton of things I had to do besides spinning. I did however manage to get 4 oz of fiber dyed. Shades of green. Its pretty. I am thinking about adding just a tad more green to it. I wanted it to be a little darker than it came out. So once we get settled in our new place, I just might have to do a little green overdying. No promises though.

Knitting: I got my Wool of the Andes yarn in for the Meret that I am making for my mom, and the scarf I am designing to go with it. I haven’t started on it yet because I have wanted to spend as much time spinning so as I can. I plan on starting it tomorrow though, if we have time after we get everything moved over to the new apartment.

Etsy shop open!

Well we made it to 2010! I was so excited about having 5 days extra off in two days, but having Christmas and New Years in there really messed me up. Even though I was off work, I still ended up busy. I ended up getting half as much done as I wanted to.

Shop announcement: My etsy shop is now up and going! Right now I have some fiber for sale. I have some that I am spinning to sell, and some handspun waiting to be listed. Not having Internet on a decent computer makes me want to scream. Soon.

Knitting: I finished the Fog sweater! I can’t believe it is finally finished. I told Jim it would be finished before 2010 and it was! Barely! Now I have started on the afghan for Jacoby and I am already having issues. I think the pattern has some issues in it. But this is me and crochet so that could be the problem! Lol!

Spinning: I have some of my merino bamboo hand dyed on the bobbin right now. I am still decideding how I going to ply it. Because of the color changes, I am tempted to Navjo ply. I just love seeing the pretty colors all separated on the bobbin. It may end up being a 2 or 3 ply. I also have some alpaca on another bobbin. I haven’t decided what I am doing with it, but I need the other bobbin soon. I may wind it off and ply it up later. I should think about that today.

Plan for Etsy store

First of I wanted to say that I will hopefully have everything ready to start listing on Thursday, December 31, 2009. I am starting out with a kind of light load of hand dyed roving. The hardest part right now is that I need to take some pictures to list. Once I get that done, I will be ready. Also I would like to put some hand-spun on there, but most of what I have ready to go right now, is some that was kind of beginner yarns, if that makes sense, so there are sometimes places that are not entirely even. Just in a few spots. I am wondering if that would even be something that anyone would like to buy. It isn’t thick and thin yarns, it is like thin with the occasional underspun spot. I may put it on and explain about it and if no one buys it then I will just keep it. I do need to measure it all again though, before I can list. I was going to have some stitch markers to go with them, however, I have just not made the time to make more than one. Yup. One. There are reasons though.

Knitting: I did not finish the sleeve before Christmas. The Fog sweater is STILL not done. Every time I have tried to set aside time to knit, something has come up. Ok. One of the somethings was a PS3. Christmas Eve I planned to knit all day, but we had 14 people in the house, and I couldn’t concentrate with everything going on around me. I did really enjoy the fellowship with the family though, so I suppose it was worth it. It WILL be finished before Jan. 1. I have all day New Years Eve to myself to knit. If I have to stay up until midnight finishing, it will get done. If it doesn’t please don’t yell at me. So since it is coming up on the new year I figure that I ought to go through and start looking at projects for 2010. I am excited about this. February is the Ravelympics and I will be knitting along with TEAM KNITMORE! I haven’t decided on a project for this yet. I am seriously thinking a pair of fair isle mittens, but I have to see what hours I will be working before I commit to this project. I may try entrelac socks. I will post my 2010 knitting goals later on this week, probably on New Year’s Eve. For now I will say that I would like to knit a tam, as well as at least 3 shawls this year; one for me, my mother, and my best friend. I also have Christmas crocheting to do for my favorite 3-year-old in the world. Spiderman blanket. I believe that once I get the pattern down, it will take me no time. *fingers crossed* I just have to finish this sleeve first. I am skipping lunch today to knit on the sleeve.

Spinning: Ok. Fiber. I have been trying to put as much time in this sleeve as I can so I have set the spindle down until I get it done. I have been doing some dying and some of that will be spun up. I have a few ounces set aside that were a test dye, if you will, that is broken up into about 6 or 7 pieces and I don’t really want to sell it that way. If it was like two big pieces, it would be different, but some of these are just 8 or so inches long. Maybe someone would like that, I don’t know, so I am going to spin it to sell. It will be laceweight, probably. Most of what I have been dying is two colors. I am going to do some probably tonight that will be a solid color. I haven’t decided on the color yet though.

Sewing: I have been working on some designs for some bible covers. Mine currently does not have one and I have some ideas of what I would really like out of a bible cover, so I have them drawn out. I need to do some measuring and get some materials and get to work, but the knitting and spinning are higher on my priority list. Just know that this is stewing in my brain a bit. I will have pictures as soon as I get one completed.

Not going to get done

So Christmas is Friday. I am not going to get done with the sleeve I have a feeling. I have only worked on it once this week for just a few minutes. I do plan on working on it today, but we have a family Christmas thing this afternoon and I am sick. Sleep may happen instead. I am going to try to get some dying done, though cuz I can nap while doing that. I only work two days this week so I will be knitting like a crazy woman to get it finished. The blanket for my favorite 3 year old hasn’t even been started, but it’s crochet so it will go fast. I hope! Well I am off to shower and start knitting on the never ending sleeve. Oh. One last thing. I want to knit a beret so bad. Don’t know who for yet though.

Dye job

Dying and spinning: Lets see. On the fiber front I did some dying. I used some colors I hadn’t used before so it didn’t turn out quite like I was thinking but overall I am pretty happy with the colors. I am spinning it up for a laceweight to sell. The first batch consited of less than an ounce of merino/bamboo and the mini skein that I spun up of it and a small skein of mystery wool. It came out more pastel than I was hoping, but the second batch, which was about 3 ounces of the merino/bamboo, came out perfect. I am trying to get the picture to upload, but I can’t seem to get it to let me so I will post it l. Here’s a link to the Flickr photo instead. I didn’t seem to take a picture of the better colors, but I will take some tonight. What is great is the brighter and the pastel both blend nicely together. I am working on samples now to see how I want to ply it up for the best color. So far I have decided that a 2ply at the size the singles are is not acceptable for showing the color. I did a little Nplying but I just don’t know. I am going to try a traditional 3ply and see how it turns out. Even at a “3ply” Nply, it is still a heavier laceweight, I believe. I really need to double check that tonight. I just don’t feel like my Nplying is up to snuff, so I hesitate doing it right now.