Sunday, August 17, 2014

A bit of catching up and two new yarns

A customer asked me last week if I was giving up yarn in favor of soap. NO WAY! I will never give up yarn. I suppose it seems like I am way in to soap lately, and that's partially true. I am have been working very intensely lately to expand the bath and body line and to get ready for fall shows.

Some of my new soaps take 4-6 weeks to cure (worth it!), so I have been working like mad in between getting my regular orders together. I'm on my last 5 batches, which will be done today and then it's all yarn, all the time for about another 3 weeks. Then a week of fiber. Then a week of labeling. Then a week of laying on the floor exhausted, then Strange Folk!!


I talked a bit about this on Twitter a few days ago, but I thought blog readers may be interested in how my schedule works.

Every morning I check for new orders, ship orders, check up on social media, and triage my emails.The rest of my day is spent like this:
  • 2 days a week I dye yarn. Dyeing yarn can be physically taxing, and also a challenge when living in a small space. 2 12-hour days is about my limit. This is partially why special orders have a wait time. During that 12 hours I...
    • heat my pots (which takes for-ev-er)
    • wind yarn
    • dye a full lot of each color ordered. If only 1 hank is ordered then I will usually still dye a full lot and put the extras aside for shop updates and show inventory. 
      • kettle dye yarn/fiber one day
      • hand paint yarn on the other day (I don't hand paint fiber anymore)
    • make labels
    • rehank any yarn that needs to ship that week (sometimes with help)
    • clean up
    • order a pizza, because there is no way I'm cooking either day. The kitchen is too busy!
  • 1 day a week I work in a yarn shop. If I'm not too busy catching up on Dyeabolical work then  I have coffee with some friends in the morning and go to my knit night in the evening.
  • 2 days a week are reserved for special projects. What I'm working on depends on the time of the year. During the late summer I am usually doing something show related, like making inventory or cursing my lack of talent in designing booth displays. In the springtime and early summer I am working on patterns, designs, or developing new colors. This year I spent my 2 days working on 2 new yarn lines (see below) and expanding the soap line to be self-sustaining in time for Christmas markets, as well as outlining quite a few new ideas for patterns.

  • 2 days a week for days off in theory. Whether or not I take a weekend depends a lot on what's going on. This year has been a really excellent and busy year, and there has been a lot of spillover. As any small business owner will tell you, there is no such thing as a day off, even when you have the day off.
  • Sundays are for blogging. Again, in theory. I need to return to this. It relaxes me.

Here is my proof that I haven't slacked off on yarn.

Yaksley, Grapes of Yak, Monterey Yak, Yak of Hearts, Yak of the Pond, Yak the Knife, Yaktastic, Yak It Up
I had a quiet release several weeks ago of two new yarns. The first is called Yakety Yak. It is a naturally heathered gray fingering weight, Italian spun yarn dyed in a rainbow of semi-solid colors. The composition is 60% superwash merino/20% tussah silk/20% yak. YAK!! It is super soft and great for shawls and garments. Yakety Yak has its own category in the shop for dyed-to-order listings, but there are also a few hanks ready to ship under in-stock yarns.

The second yarn is a super bulky single-ply wool that was grown, processed and dyed in the US. There are 57 yards per 100 grams. The gauge is 2-2.5 stitches per inch. Most of my dyed-to-order colors are available on this base, with the exception of the highlighter colors and some of the trickier variegated colors. Click the color you are interested in and choose "Super Bulky" from the drop down list of available bases.  One hank makes a skinny scarf. Two hanks makes the 5-hour Hat and Gaiter pattern.


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