Thursday, March 21, 2013

Things I Wonder

 This week I have thought a lot about crafters and how we do things.

  • How often do other knitters wash their project bags? I have 2 cats, I stuff my projects in to my purse, and I throw my bag on the floor at knit night, sometimes a project bag may hank hang out near the front door/on the end tables/on my desk for months before I get to it. By the time I am finished with a project, my project bag is usually well and truly dirty so I wash my bags after every project. 
Some of my favorite bags
  • Am I the only knitter who has a plastic zip bag problem? My favorite zip bags are the Hefty 2.5 gallon zip bags and the discontinued-but-I-hope-they-come-back Ziploc gusset bags. Each can hold between 5-10 hanks of yarn and last forever. I store my inventory in them, projects too big for a fabric bag, long-term projects (LIZARD RIDGE), booth supplies, and 8" dpns & some circs sorted by size and then filed in to an accordion folder (5-6" dpns are stored in a Lantern Moon case). I like being able to grab all my size 5s at one go. Of course, being able to grab all my needles of one size at a go will mean that occasionally all of one size will go missing. Usually the 7s. Invariably, I will find a Ziploc of 7s stashed in a forgotten about project bag. In other words, I am really fond of and opinionated about plastic bag with self-sealing closures.
I don't have a good picture of zip bags, circular needles, or Lizard Ridge, so here is a picture of my husband wearing freshly a silk bells (similar to a silk hankie) as a hat.
  •  How do other knitters/crafters/online business owners balance actual knitting/working/crafting time with the lure of Ravelry, Pinterest, Flickr, Twitter, Plurk, Facebook, Facebook Groups, Google+, blog reading, and other social media outlets? Social media is part of my job, and I enjoy using social media in my personal life, but there is no denying that trying to keep up with everything online is more time-consuming than knitting, spinning, sewing, and reading combined.
  • How do customers search for hand dyed yarns and spinning fiber? I know how my customers find me, and I know how I search for new fibers (hand dyed yarn, roving, spinning fiber, wool), but how do other knitters and spinners search for wool? What key terms do they use?  Is there some service that can figure this out for me? Surely there is.  
  • Related, someone explain bidding for advertising to me. I bid on some advertising last week, won the bid at 40 cents against one other advertiser, then the bidding shot up to $5/day competing against 5 or 10 other advertisers, then I cancelled my bid and now advertising is back down to 20 cents. I do not understand it and I'm frustrated because I adore the site I was advertising on. Give me a chart of how much it costs for however many impressions and click-thrus. Is there anyone out there knowledgeable about bidding for advertising and can give me some tricks?
    I miss you most of all, discontinued Noro Kureyon #88. Why did I ever let you go?
    Destashed February 2006, before Dyeabolical existed and before I knew any better.
  • How often to other knitters toss their stash? I turn my stash over in the spring and the fall, and sometimes in between. I pull everything out and separate it in to piles to keep, give away and think about. My bins get wiped out. Fresh bars of soap go in to the bins. The old soap goes in to the soap closet (it's also the towel, CDs, and keg closet). The piles to keep get put away, the think about pile goes in an enormous Ziploc and hangs in my office where I can look at and ponder about it. Then I take the rest of the yarn and portion it out amongst whoever hasn't caught on to my destashing scheme yet. All the kitchen cotton and acrylic you want---FOR FREE!


  1. I know a guy who often uses kitchen cotton and crappy acrylic for window knits..just sayin'. lols

    As far as social media goes, I had to decide what was most important and focus time on those things. Also, with things like Tumblr, you can "preblog" (I've already blogged for the entire month of April, 3 posts a week) and have it feed to your twitter and facebook accounts. Not sure if everything else is like that or not.

    I am a bag-a-holic. I have an obscene number of Lazy Sock Monkey Designs bags (with more on the way *shame*) and ziploc bags. I have a ziploc of ziplocs yo! I use and reuse them.

    1. Ha! I will keep that in mind. I gave a lot to a newer knitter in my knit group and the rest to my mom this time. I am sure there will be another purge of the stash later this year. My goal is to get all the stash into the 3 boxes I have allocated for it and quit using my dining room table for stash management.

      I am lucky to be friends with great bag makers -- my mom, friend Kara, Jen from Piddleloop, and Tangerine Designs is local. When LSMD started making bags, she made me one to keep my asthma inhaler and epipen in. It was super thoughtful.

    2. Oh, you're local to to so many cool folks!
      Love Tangerine Designs needle gauges especially.

    3. I do have a lot of cool folks locally. :) St. Louis has a large and very talented group of fiber artists on both sides of the river. We are so lucky!

  2. I have just recently (as of the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival) been willing to admit I have a yarn stash problem. I want to stop accumulating yarn and start using it. I have tons of ideas and need to cut back on time spent online looking for yarn (and ideas) and actually execute on the ideas. That said, I'm not sure I could turn down free acrylic and cotton yarns. Here in Pittsburgh there is a Knit the Bridge project going on that uses only acrylic, and for items I make for charity as part of Three Rivers Crochet (a CGoA chapter) acrylic is favored for ease of washing/care. net of the net is that I haven't yet toss'd a stash and while I am ready to stop acquiring yarn, i"m not yet (mentally, emotionally) ready to toss any of what I already have since I have plans in my head for almost all of it. :-)

    1. I would suggest we have a "Quit-Spending-So Much-Time-Online-and-Just-Craft-Already-A-Long", but we would have to organize and participate in it online thereby defeating the purpose. :P

      I haven't heard of the Knit the Bridge project, but it sounds awesome! Our local guild accepts beginner stash to make items for charity, but I think they might be overwhelmed with donations. We are lucky to have a shop locally called Upcycle that recycles craft materials. Anyone in want of some Pound of Yarn, or even some of the nicer stuff, can pay-what-you-want in a well-lit & organized shop.

      I think having a plan is the crux of it. I have vague plans (such as "sweater"), but lack concrete objectives (such as "the Julieta sweater from these 2 hanks of silk yarn for springtime").

    2. Knit the Bridge is on twitter KtBPgh as well as the obvious .wordpress site (if you search for them). Very cool project and a lot of folks from Western PA are participating. What's really cool (from the bottom of their make-a-panel page):
      Note: Please note that completed panels will be installed, de-installed, laundered, and donated to shelters, nursing homes, and other local organizations after the bridge. Individual participating artists will not have their panel returned to them.
      So the panels will live on (thanks to a donation of cleaning services) after the project.

      As to organizing, one thing is to find (or create) a local group with a regular meeting schedule. That way everyone knows when/where etc and you don't get caught up in all the time/effort of organizing online!

  3. I don't handle my social media very well. It is actually why I gave up Twitter for lent. And maybe permanently. You are the only person I am sad about missing out on there, once I spent time away I realized this. But, cutting twitter made me cut other stuff, and made me purge my Facebook friends list, and this has brought some additional balance to my life. I am spending less time online, and the less time online is leading to some true excitement over my crafts now. That can only be beneficial to my own sanity!

    1. I miss you on Twitter! We can always keep up through email and blogs. I can't wait to (find time to) read about your crafty adventures in your blog!

  4. I'm with all of you! How is a girl supposed to write knew patterns, blog (I just started a Link Party today too on my blog), run an Etsy shop and 4 online pattern stores, AND knit and crochet? I also have orders to complete. I too, have tons of yarn waiting for a rather simple project as who has time to delve into a pattern that needs a post it note to keep track of where you are! There are worse problems however! Have a great weekend everyone!

    1. Sheila, I thought I had replied to this, but I don't think I did! You are correct, there are worse problems to have. Perspective is key!



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