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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Shop announcement!

Ok. I really need to stop letting my emotions get the best of me. So I got my award letter from the college and for whatever reason did not notice that it was only for the Spring semester, not the entire year. This is because my hubby opened the letter and emailed me the results. I didn’t go back and read it thoroughly. Why should I? I only got half what I needed for school. Yup. Half. So half for half the year is? Yeah. Classic example of I shouldn’t let my emotions get the best of me and make sure I have all the information before getting down or upset, or heck, even happy! I got my letter on Friday. I was pretty well bummed most of the weekend, but decided that I was really going to hit this whole yarn thing really hard and get serious about selling online. Yes I understand that to actually make profit, it will take time and there will be ups and downs and blah blah blah. I know and despite all that (or maybe because of it, since my husband thinks I am O.D.D) I want to pursue it. Fiber makes me happy. We have discussed it in depth for about a year or so and we really want to open up an actual shop someday. Now understand that we are talking 10 years out, but it is still in the plans. We want to start selling online first, mostly handspun and hand-dyed fiber, but eventually also handmade spindles, stitch markers, project bags, maybe even handmade spinning wheels (that one is all my hubby!). We will be doing this starting with Etsy.com but hopefully will have our own website in about 5 years time. My Etsy shop is “up” but we (ok Hubby) is in the process of working on a banner and I am getting stuff ready for listing. Since I work a full time job and need time to, I don’t know, continue working on inventory, I am taking my time with this. I know I hate when I see a site under construction thing, but I will have items up no later than January 1. I really would like to do like a big Christmas thing. I am thinking about doing a gift with purchase. I still need to do some thinking on that one. I have so many ideas and so little time and resources for the next couple weeks.

Spinning: I have had two really busy nights in a row, one grocery shopping and one watching a movie plus working late, so my spinning time has been short, maybe 15 minutes or less.  I know. I know. For someone who wants to open a shop, that sure isn’t enough time, but I have had one of those weeks where there just isn’t the extra time. Even in this small amount of time I have had, I can’t seem to make it through this teeny tiny amount of fluff. I get that it is very wide roving so what looks small is acutally much, much larger, but still. I have said for two days, “I just want to make it through this little bit of fluff”. Still hasn’t happened. I think that my wheel is getting jealous. I completely understand, but I want about 4 ounces (or maybe 5) to be laceweight, and while I can spin laceweight on my wheel, it is a ton easier on the spindle. This is making the Matchless look even better. I really need to spin on one first though. I just can’t seem to get my wheels tension right to not fight for laceweight, for plied yarns. On the spindle I can get 23+ WPI on a 2 ply, and it is lovely. But it goes so much slower on the spindle. I want to order more roving so badly, but I think I may hold off a bit on that.

Knitting: I haven’t had much time for knitting. The second (4th) Fog sleeve is about an inch or so long now. I should have knit last night while we were watching the movie, but I got caught up in looking over financial aid stuff that I didn’t I REALLY need to get this going because I want to have it finished before Christmas and I think I may rip back part of the other sleeve! I plan on doing nothing else tonight. Maybe someone else in the house will make dinner, so I can knit all evening. My plans for this weekend include dying and knitting. Nothing else, which means I probably won’t have time to dye or knit! LOL! Also on my knitting plate, I really want to knit the New Pea Coat from Interweave Knits Fall 2008. I wish I already had it knit now that I don’t know where my coat is from the move and it is starting to get cold! It probably will not be completed before the end of this winter. Actually I doubt it will be started before the end of this winter. And for the Ravelypics, I have joined Team Knitmore, and I will either be working on a project for me to wear to Stitches South (I haven’t picked what yet) or I may go with a pair of fair isle mittens (also no pattern yet).