Sunday, October 30, 2011

Banana bread and knitting

Aran wool scarf by Herie7
Aran wool scarf, a photo by Herie7 on Flickr.

Yesterday was dedicated to making banana bread in the bread machine - the house smelled so wonderful. Today doing a little yarn shopping and getting together with the girls to knit and drink (coffee/wine). Overall a relaxing day.

The scarf made from lilac aran wool is coming along as you can see from the photo. I'm trying to keep myself to 2 knitting projects so that I finish them. Off to go shopping - enjoy your Sunday

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Market My Shop: Save On Packing Supplies

Market My Shop: Save On Packing Supplies - great article by a fellow Etsian on saving costs on packing materials.

A quiet weekend ahead

This weekend should be a relaxing one for me.  Saturday's goals are product photos and reworking product descriptions.  Sunday's only event is getting together with my knitting friends for beverages and quality knitting time.  I have joined twitter this week (@nashc7) and will be reviewing how that whole system works on and off this weekend too.  My inventory spreadsheet is coming along, I just need to add the orders from Ebay and through PayPal to make sure fiber purchases are captured.  My acrylic based yarns have been gathered and will be donated to a senior home or rec center for use by their patrons.  The bins in the house are getting empty - of course I have moved most of my fiber and handspun yarn to the garage where it is colder.  My goal is to have most of my supplies and finished projects stored in the garage versus the bedroom which will free up space and keep the house feeling like a house.

The sun has come out to melt the snow we received earlier this week and our temperatures are supposed to be in the 60s - yeah!!!  I'm working on a new scarf from my lilac aran wool yarn and might do some spinning.  Overall the goal is to enjoy the weather and the slow pace of the days!

I hope all of you are able to find a day or a few hours to just sit back and relax too!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's a snowy day in Denver tonight will be dedicated to completing the knitted neckwarmer while cuddling up under the covers.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Quiet weekend - with a little productivity

So Saturday truly was my day of rest.  I lounged around the house for most of the day and then went to the Alpaca ranch for a birthday party.

My creative endeavors consisted of cleaning the alpaca hat and a skein of BFL yarn.  I did sell the Estonian Lace scarf yesterday and delivered it to the birthday girl as her sort of surprise gift.  It was well received and admired.  See picture below.

Today I took photos of the new handspun yarn and actually listed 2 items on Etsy.  This afternoon I will be going to a craft fair to meet the owners of an online shopping site and then meeting up with some new crafters to work on the knitted alpaca scarf.
 CVM wool handspun yarn

                                                      Black Shetland wool handspun yarn.
Overall a quiet weekend for me but filled with good friends, food and a sale!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

New listings in the shop

Not only did I deliver yarn to be sold in my LYS today but I also took product photos.  I listed about 5 new yarns in the shop today.  All of them are hand spun creations with decent yardage.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Taking it easy this weekend

I am taking it easy this weekend.  Going to the ballet with my niece today to see Swan Lake - yeah.  Tomorrow I will be delivering hand spun yarn to my LYS and signing contracts to be on consignment there.

Goals for the weekend are to take product pictures of the spun yarn, finesse pricing on my yarn and improve the yardage on a couple of skeins.  I should be able to accomplish these things and it will be nice here in Denver this weekend to help with photos.

My wholesale order of bags arrived and will work really well to store/ship roving.  I also purchased some dyed mohair roving which arrived this week and feels really soft.  BFL dyed roving was also purchased this week and should be arriving in a few days.  I do like how BFL spins up and it seems to take dye rather well.  We shall see how this new batch measures up to my first purchase as it is from a different vendor.

We were featured in a treasury this week and received some views from it.  Minimal views have occurred from the Ennea Collective ad but it is still early in the month.  Ennea Collective is an online magazine dedicated to showcasing objects created with hand spun yarn.  You never truly know how well an ad will do in a venue until you try it.  The last 30 days have brought in 12 views thus far but no sales.  Oh well exposure if always good and perhaps will bring in sales closer to the holidays.

The alpaca hat is being re-worked as I didn't have enough yarn to make a large hat.  It is being made in the smaller version and I have just finished the twisted cable pattern.  This time it is being made in white but will be similar to the brown version.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

*******: New Adventure: Posy!

*******: New Adventure: Posy!: My daughter, who is about to turn 8 years old, loves dolls. I don't think that she so much loves playing with them as she loves possessing...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Creation of Yarn

I had fun at the ranch on Sunday.  It was good to reconnect with the alpaca owners for a few hours.  The baby alpacas are so adorable and I did pick out a fleece for next spring amongst them.  He is white with hints of fawn within his fleece.  Last year's crias are so big now - these animals grow so fast but still remain docile.  It is always good to meet the folks that come to the open house.  Some have never seen an alpaca before and many are not aware of all of the items one can create with their fibers.  The little kids adored the alpacas especially the toddlers.  We had really good weather for the event considering the day before was snowing and rainy.

Although I didn't sell any yarn I did receive some good feedback from customers.  Yardage matters to them and knowing what projects they can make with a skein is very helpful.  I'm going to rework/add to the skeins I have fiber for this week prior to trying to sell them locally or in the shop.  Product descriptions will be tweaked to give good project information to shoppers for our yarns and let them know how to combine skeins for that special project.

Given yardage requirements I am going to revisit my pricing of the yarn too.  If it will take more than a skein to complete a project I need to make sure the material cost doesn't exceed a customers budget for the finished project.

ATAR will be opening up the shop more often especially doing the holiday season.  I have agreed to man the shop on Saturdays which will give me a dedicate time to create items along with some potential sales.  It is good to have a variety of outlets for merchandising and will be fun to help in promoting the venue.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Festival cancelled

Today's pumpkin patch festival has been cancelled due to the rain/snow we are receiving.  It is fall in Colorado and we never know what kind of weather we will get.  Yesterday was sunny and warm today cold and rainy with a touch of snow.  I'm sad the kids won't get to have the pumpkin feast but am looking forward to a day off. 

I have updated my yarn labels and relabeled all of the yarn to be sold this weekend.  The yarn for the new store has been labeled too.  I just need to complete the yardage for the yarn to be sold on Etsy and label them in the coming week.  I'm learning to use StumbleUpon and Pinterest as marketing tools and both are neat concepts.

The green wool scarf and white alpaca hat are projects to finish this week.  Once they are done are will work on an alpaca scarf and the shades of green ruffle scarf.  Perhaps I will do some spinning on the wheel today. It occurred to me yesterday that I haven't been spinning this week in preparation of this weekend activities.  My poor wheel must be lonely from the neglect - I can't remember the last time I went this long without spinning fiber of some sort.

Off to relax!  Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

First International Order

Today I received notice that our listing for 2 oz Alpaca Black Roving had been purchased and needs to be sent to Malaysia.  Now to figure out international shipping!  I am glad to live in a city with many post office locations that are not slated to close down due to budget cuts.  My local post office does have friendly workers who have been very patient with me and all of my shipping questions.

My packaging seems to weigh about 3 oz so I do need to recalculate shipping charges for items to make sure I am not underpricing this area.  I don't mind paying for tracking or proof of delivery at this point as I am new to the arena and it is not terribly cost prohibitive for these options.  When sales pick up I might change my policy but for now the sales cost does cover these fees.

My wholesale order of fiber has been packaged, labeled and invoiced.  It is ready to be dropped off at the shop this weekend.  Below is a picture of this wonderful fiber.  It can be purchased locally at The Recycled Lamb shop in Lakewood, CO or everywhere else at

I still have weekend sales events coming up and the rest of the week is dedicated to labeling product.  Yarn labels still need to be tweaked and I have several skeins of yarn to measure/weigh.  October is definitely looking to be a prosperous month.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October Sales

I just received my second wholesale order for roving - yeah!  The new LYS opened this weekend called Wild Yarns in North Denver.  I will be giving them 5 skeins of hand spun yarn to carry in the coming week.  I'm thinking the Shetland yarns and BFL along with one of my alpaca tussah silk yarns.

Next weekend I am demonstrating spinning at a pumpkin patch and at the open house for ATAR ranch in Arvada, CO.  Today was a spinning demo day at The Recycled Lamb.  I plied 3 skeins of yarn and learned how to make the knit ruffle scarf.  The scarf should be finished by the end of the week.  I have two skeins of red merino wool yarn to list in the shop for the holidays.  I'm going to list the green dyed BFL skein in the shop too.  The remaining 3 oz of BFL has been spun and plied and is overall in shades of gray.

Projects for the week are to continue to upload inventory in the software program, improve my yarn labels and finishing spinning the merino/tussah silk roving that was started today.  I never quite seem to pick up the cotton to finish it but will do so before the end of the year.  My spun singles are getting stronger and I'm going to leave the Wensleydale yarn as a single. 

So far I have had two sales this month and am looking forward to next weekends opportunity to sell more.  I still have the green wool scarf to finish along with creating another Estonian lace scarf from my leftover yarn.  Tatting is still a work in progress but I'm sure the techniques will come to me and the process will flow for me soon.