Wednesday, September 29, 2010

OFFF booth

Luckily, to make up for my lameness in not taking photos of my own, a roving OFFF photographer got a photo of my booth last weekend. As with Black Sheep, my Vine Yoke cardigan (the red sweater in front) got lots of attention.


That freestanding wire cube tower has my new silk/merino fingering yarn in the top cube, and the remnants of the Silk & Silver skeins in the second cube. Most of the Silk & Silver went in the first three hours of the show; the sunlight sparkling on my Annis shawlette (which is knitted with Silk & Silver) was pretty eye-catching. That's the one hanging to the left of the sweater.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Oregon Flock & Fiber

I'm back from an awesome weekend in Canby. It was amazing! On Saturday, the weather was glorious. You could tell people were happy to be there--lots of old friends greeting each other, and smiling faces all around. Customers from Sock Summit and Black Sheep came by to say hi, which was all sorts of cool. Today was rather soggy, even by PNW standards, so it was pretty quiet for the lawn vendors, but I still got to see a number of people that I've met through other shows.

I have these serial obsessions (bicycling, dog agility ...) and whenever I start getting into something, I discover a previously unknown subculture with its own world, complete with jargon and events and inhabitants who obviously live and breathe it. It makes me wonder how so many people could be so into something, and without my ever suspecting that it even existed. With the particular rabbit hole that I've fallen into this time, I'm surprised at how quickly I'm feeling at home. I only made my "debut" into yarn/fiber society a year ago, not counting the safe and cozy confines of HC, yet already I can go to an event and get hugs from people and feel like I've known them forever. I think part of it is that so many fiber people are eager to share what they know about techniques or materials, not in a show-off way, but from a real desire to exchange knowledge. I think it's very cool.

Back to OFFF. I was quite busy in my booth and didn't have much of a chance to shop, myself. Well, I guess I should count my order of 20 pounds of roving that Jill and Jim of Ashland Bay dropped off for me. I'm excited to start dyeing these up--BFL, BFL/silk, mixed BFL/silk, merino/tencel, and one I'm especially itching to try out, alpaca/merino/silk.

I did take a quick walk through the buildings before the show officially opened on Sunday morning, and saw a pin with the line, "It's a brand new day and the sun is high"--a reference to the movie Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. I listen to the soundtrack a lot while dyeing (my obsessiveness also extends to music), and I even have a colorway named for a song from the DVD commentary, Better Than Neil. The booth vendor wasn't around, and I'm regretting a bit that I didn't have a chance to check back later to get the pin.

I also saw some customers come into my booth with patterns from Blue Moon, so I took a couple of minutes to run over there and pick up two, Moonstruck and Ogee. Though the pattern that I really fell in love with was Skuld (this is a link to one made with some of my yarn). I've been looking for a project to make with my new silk/merino fingering, and I think this is it.

Tomorrow I plan to sleep in, then continue dyeing my current wholesale order for Apple Yarns. Also in the game plan for the week are my October yarn club selections and doing a real balance sheet for my business. Just one more step toward making this dyeing gig a real honest-to-goodness livelihood. Exciting!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

going to OFFF!

I wasn't expecting to go to OFFF this year. I didn't apply to be a vendor until after I came back from Black Sheep, and there were too many other vendors ahead of me.

But yesterday, I got word that another vendor had pulled out, and did I still want a booth? I had to think about it a bit, since I haven't been dyeing for the show, and I wanted to be sure I could pull off a good booth. But I decided to go for it, got the time off from my day job, and have been dyeing madly ever since. The aforementioned day job will prevent me from doing much more dyeing before I leave, but I was really productive today and I think I'll make a creditable showing at OFFF.

So hurray! I went as a shopper a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it, so I'm looking forward to being a vendor this year.

It does mean that I'll miss out on Northwest Needle Market and Foolscap (and meeting Emma Bull, whose novel Territory was the inspiration for my colorway of the same name). I was excited to go to both of those events on Saturday, so I admit I'm a little disappointed that I can't clone myself and go to everything this weekend. Hopefully I'll get to go to both of those events another year.

See you in Canby!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

stitch markers

I'm quite picky about stitch markers. I like them to have no joins, to start with. Anything with a jump ring is out; they always get caught on my yarn or knitting, and I'd rather just use stray bits of yarn tied into loops. Split rings are okay, as they have a lesser tendency to snag. But my preference for both aesthetics and performance are markers with wires that have been twisted into a loop. Ones that look like gorgeous earrings are a bonus.

They're surprisingly hard to find. Maybe I just don't use the right search keywords or something. But I did find some pretty ones at this Etsy shop, Tiger Eyess. After a series of pleasant and professional convos, she made me these custom markers as goodies for my yarn club:

Sue does beautiful work and is a lovely person to boot. Highly recommended!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

yarn, yarn, yarn

After tweaking and photo editing trial-and-error to get a look that I like, my Etsy is now stocked and open for business!

I've also listed pre-orders for Inked and Centurion at my HC store. The way these work is that you choose your base yarn(s) and I dye those colorways to order. The pre-orders will close at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Sept 14.

I was planning to offer more colorways as pre-orders, but a wholesale order came in this week, so I had to reschedule some things.

Also, I finally got up a page with information about my more frequently used base yarns. Jeez, that only took me about two years to finish writing. But I guess my taste in base yarns has also changed quite a bit since then, so it all worked out.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

what I've been up to

I've mostly been knitting lately. Shawls, a new mitt pattern, and restarting my Salina sweater. I've also been working on setting up my Etsy shop. I surprised myself a bit by the banner that I designed; it wasn't what I had in mind when I started, but I got to playing around with gradient fills and this is what I ended up with:

(You'll need to click on the image to see the whole thing; my blog format truncates wide images.)

Nothing in the store yet, but I expect to start listing early next week. I'll also be doing pre-orders for a few colorways like Inked, but I think I'll continue to do those on my HC store.

I also am taking some time to work on a formal business plan and other admin things like a balance sheet. Figuring this stuff out feels like another major milestone, like I'm graduating to real business-owner status. It's kind of exciting.