Thursday, December 29, 2011

On the 5th Day of Christmas

Hand made gifts are the best gifts. The crafty Santas in my life have been extra generous this season. What's listed below is just a portion of the wonderfulness that came my way this year. I hope you find it inspirational in your own crafting.

On the 5th day of Christmas, my knitting friends gave to me, this adorable hand-sewn bag and a needle-felted bug-eyed fish. They're both sitting next to me on the couch so I can admire them. I love them Mindy and Kara!

Way back on the 1st Day of Christmas, my mom gave me a stack of headbands from remnants and various fat quarters she had. I don't usually wear headbands in public. My hair is a little too short and fine to pull that off, but I do wear headbands or bandannas at home almost every day. When I wake up in the morning, I go right to work checking emails, dyeing, etc. I control bedhead by slipping on a headband or a bandanna. She also made a very cool advent calendar that is made of fabric chains. You remove a chain each day. Before you ask, yes, the advent calendar is currently living on my rabbit ears.

Year End Sale

Use coupon code NYE30 to get a 30% discount off all orders from my shop. My apologies for not posting this yesterday.

The most up-to-date information on sales, updates, and other shop announcements can be found on my Facebook page.

Monday, December 26, 2011

On the second day of Christmas

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me some size 00 needles and a request that I please wake up at 5am so the cats and I could take our medicine and since I'm up could I please, please, please finish his Christmas present. His hands are cold and he'd like to wear his handspun, hand knitted qiviut gloves when he goes out to brunch this morning. For you non-knitters, qiviut is the down from the Alaskan musk ox. It is 8 times warmer than wool, stronger than wool, and resistant to felting. Cashmere feels like a brillo pad compared to qiviut. It is a precious fiber that requires a bit of scrimping and saving, but oh! To spin it is divine. Just don't do what I did and spin it to a cobweb weight or you, too, will be up at 5am morning after morning trying to juggle sticks that are smaller than skewers trying to get your precious project finished. [Please note that I think it is charming that Scott thinks I'll finish half a glove and 6 fingers in just a few hours.]

It's been a quiet month on the blog, but not in the world of Dyeabolical. When I haven't been pretending to knit, this is what's been going on:
  • Over the last few months I created colorways inspired by the Kakao Chocolate logo, the Pudd'nhead Books logo, Traveling Tea, and Queen's Cuisine, as well as a color exclusive to Ewe Knit Yarns that matches their loglo.  A reporter from the local side of picked up the story and wrote about the new colors. It's been about a week and I am still busting with happiness over the article. 
  • My shelves are stacked full to overflowing with cotton yarns, spinning fibers, and fabrics to dye. What isn't on my shelf is any substantial amount of sock yarn. Oops. That was a major oversight on my part!  Sock yarn will be a little slow to be updated in January, but I will get out everything I can. In the meantime, can I interest you in any spinning fiber? :) 
  • Several of you have noticed that I don't have the November FO post up yet. It isn't because I don't want to! I do! Some of you have sent me pictures of some very nice projects. I'm sorry I haven't gotten the post up yet. My personal and business lives have gotten very busy lately and things are starting to fall through the cracks. 2012 will be the year of delegating tasks, including some blog posts. If you are interested in guest blogging, please shoot me an email at dyeabolicalyarns at gmail dot com
  • I stopped doing my video updates/videocasts/podcasts. They may return someday, but not until I have a better set-up and a faster computer. I started them to save time and they ended up taking up as much time as a part-time job and the production quality wasn't very good. I would love to do some audio podcasting in the future, either involving the business or separately, but I would have to find a cohost and someone more tech savvy than me. 
  • I changed the shopping cart software on the website yet again. What do you think? It's a keeper, right? It was so easy to set up. The site is now tied to Etsy so I don't have to worry about keeping separate inventories for the Etsy shop and the .com shop. I can just list all of it on one site and the inventory is reflected on both sites. The blog still needs a bit of work, but for the most part I think my website is done! Finally!
  •  I've started dyeing fabric! This is the first batch. I don't have them in the shop yet, because I haven't trimmed the stray threads or labeled them yet, but they are for sale. Just email me if you are interested. Each piece is about a yard and costs $15. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Gift Certificates

Just a quick update to let you know that I am now offering gift certificates available in $10, $25, $50 or $75 denominations. I can also make a gift certificate for any other amount. You can buy gift certificates either through my etsy shop or my website. Happy holidays!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Oh, dear.

Somehow it has been almost a month since my last blog update and more like 2 months since I made a blog post that wasn't about sales or new products or shop updates. Not that this is a non-sales, non-new product post, because in about 3 paragraphs I'm going to talk about a new product. I just telling you that I feel bad about not having actual content. 7LetterDebroah says that even feeling bad about it is blog worthy. She also says a lot of business choices I make are blog worthy because people don't realize what it takes to run a home-based micro business.

Today's fun fact: A micro business is a business with 1-6 employees and less than a million or so in sales. So I guess I'm a mini-micro business. Let's blog about it! :)

I'm still feeling a little weird about posting non-wool, non-yarn stuff in the business blog (the one you're reading). I'm toying with the idea of reviving my old blog, Lehcar Blogs for non-Dyeabolical, non-knitting posts. I've only been toying with this idea for about 3 hours, so it might be a bit before I actually get around to posting there.

So what have you all been up to? I've been ridiculously insanely busy with work. My yarns are flying out of the door at Ewe Knits in Webster Groves, sales are pretty good online, I just dyed a color called Kakao yarns to match the Kakao Chocolate logo which was fun (coming soon to my shop), I added a shopping cart to but not sure what the heck to do with it since most of my sales are through etsy,  the fiber and sock clubs are doing decently, Suzanne Shankman Designs used my yarn in a craft demonstration on a local tv show, and I finally hit a pace I could keep up with. So naturally, being all caught up and just the right amount of busy, I decided to bring in 2 or 3 new lines of product and completely overwhelm myself.

Luckily, these 2 or 3 (or 4) new lines are lines that I could easily get someone to help me. Or at least it would be easy if I had a separate studio space that wasn't also my living space and wasn't horribly embarrassed to have any one see how I really live when the crafting hits the fan. It sort of looks like someone had an epic crafting/potluck party in here or like a combo Michael's/McDonalds exploded in here or something involving piles of wool, fabric and dishes.  

My creation
Hand painted silk ribbon, soon to be joined by hand dyed fabric and handmade quilting tape.

I'm sort of (extremely) tempted to start up a different shop to sell this ribbon and fabric stuff that I've gotten in to the last few weeks. It would be a lot easier to do local shows if I only had to pack up the fabric and ribbon and didn't have to bring along the epically heavy Dyeabolical displays, which I would have to do if I sold under the name "Dyeabolical". Plus, changing from Dyeabolical Yarns to Dyeabolical Crafts would mean changing the focus of the shop and I just now have the shop where I want it. There is some argument that selling hand dyed sewing supplies in the Dyeabolical shop means I would be selling to a built-in audience, but there is also an argument that selling hand dyed sewing supplies dilutes the Dyeabolical brand which sells to a very specific clientele. Sigh. Tell me what to do, Internet.

In other news, I still knit! I finished a sweater and a pair of socks last month!