September Studio Update: Fibery Goodness

“The meaning of life is to find your gift; the purpose of life is to give it away.”

– Unknown

In this month’s Studio update:

  • Fiber Braids for spinning or felting, now in stock
  • The first commercial indie dyed skeins are now available
  • Videos are starting to be added to listings
  • Handspun bundles are being converted back to single listings
  • What’s new on Etsy
  • Near future plan: share more knowledge so others can grow their creativity

A productive Month, overall

I even surprise myself, how much I packed in the month of August! Every day had an element of productivity, and I was filled with such drive and joy to complete each task. Unfortunately, I seem to have hit a wall now that it is September. Or perhaps I just need a break! I still have a fair bit of tasks to accomplish so hopefully this feeling of no motivation leaves soon. I have a feeling October will be a challenging month, and I want to be free to go with the flow.

September is typically a busy month for my family. Several birthdays, getting back into the swing of homeschooling and desperately chasing the sun/warmth before it’s gone for another season. Although there is much to celebrate, I can’t help but feel a little sad that my fave season is soon coming to an end.

However, there is still an entire season to enjoy creating color, and I usually can still take advantage to hanging yarn and fiber out to dry after dyeing. There is plenty of harvest still to come from the garden and the changing colors in nature are always an inspiration.

Fiber Braids Are Now Available

These are a few of the new fiber braids now for sale:

I’ve listed some braids I had dyed for personal use, either Merino or Targhee top. As much as I’d like to spin them all, it would be impossible to accomplish with my current schedule. Better for them to go to other fiber enthusiasts to enjoy! I’ll probably dye some more in tandem with yarn in the future, so I look forward to expanding this section. There are discounts if you buy more than one. Discount will be applied at checkout. Visit the brand new fiber section to browse them all.

Testing the waters with Hand Dyed Commercial Yarn

Here’s the first commercial hand dyed skeins. I ran out of time to fully explore expanding this new line, so I’m listing a few that I had dyed some time ago that I was not sure if I would sell or keep for personal use.

These two are socks yarns, but I also have worsted and DK weight merino commercial yarn that I can’t wait to explore color on! Hopefully the month of September will go smoothly and I’ll have more available in this category soon. Keep an eye on the commercial yarn section for new products.

Adding Videos to Product Listings

Don’t expect cinematographic masterpieces (LOL!). I literally hold up my Canon EOS camera with one hand while holding the item in the other. I don’t edit them so that you see “in real time” what each product looks like with movement.

The video will be listed after the photos for the item. I’m a visual person so I know I appreciate a simple product video. I also like to leave them unedited so that there is honesty in what I am selling. Keep in mind that different monitors and smart phone screens will show the colors slightly different. I’ll continue to add videos to listings this month and make a list of items that need them.

I’m converting some of the Handspun Yarn Bundles Back to Single Listings

Now that I have bulk and tiered discounts set up on the website, I am in the process of unbundling some of my handspun listings. I had bundled yarns to sell in groups mostly for Etsy. Etsy prefers free shipping, which is virtually impossible to offer here in Canada on bulky items.

Currently, the average cost of shipping a small package starts at $24. So, if I am selling a skein of yarn for the same price, I would have to double the price just to cover the shipping. I find that both ludicrous and dishonest. Etsy being a large corporate beast now, sees no issue with this. But as a maker, it prices me out of ever being competitive. So with bundles I could count on a similar cost for shipping 2 or more items without too much out of my pocket.

I’ll keep some of the yarn as bundles, but I feel that the ones I will be listing as singletons again gives the shopper the freedom to chose what skeins they want, and still get a discount.

What’s New on Etsy

I didn’t spend too much time listing new products on Etsy last month, concentrating on the website instead. I still have many more products in the jewelry and accessory category to list in the coming weeks! 🙂

Share More, Give More

I want to finally catch up on website tasks so I can get back to writing how to’s and tip blogs like I used to. I miss it! I’m an autodidact and find it fulfilling to share my experiences with others to aid in their creative growth. Fingers crossed the schedule will allow me to get back to writing this type of content. I will be concentrating on beginner/getting started topics, such as spinning, dyeing, product reviews and basic jewelry making tips. Allow me to help you grow!

That’s all for now…have a wonderful September!

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Welcome Productive June (I hope!)

When presented with two choices, pick the third.

– Unknown

I’m sure I have not quoted the original of that saying properly, thus why I could not find the original source, but it describes me perfectly. I love the road less travelled, stomping down my own path and finding new ways to approach life and its challenges.

June has to be one of my favourite months of the year. It’s the winding down of some activities, such as my children’s schooling, and the start of new projects, such as growing season! I also get the itch to dye fiber and yarn since it dries so beautifully outside in the warmer temps. More about that later…

I love saying hello to my Hummies again! They started coming back mid-May, and we’ve counted 7 thus far. I adore hummingbirds, and these ones are hungry from their journey north! I feel like I am constantly refilling the feeders with sugar water! LOL!

June Studio Project Update

I’m afraid this update won’t be terribly interesting except to prove I am still alive and well. I wish I had an update full of new goodies to share, but I’ve been concentrating on starting my garden as well as refining the products I currently have. I’m also working towards my goal of offering more bulk and wholesale items to hopefully support local markets/small businesses in the future. I’ve also been doing some much needed updating and refining of the website…just like every month. 😉 When you have your own platform vs selling on a platform, it’s a ton of work. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have it any other way! I love having my own little corner of the internet.

I’ve got a good pile of commercial wool yarn to dye. Unfortunately, I did not successfully find a Canadian supplier, so I ordered from the US instead. Hoping to find a Canadian supplier in the future.

I ordered a few more skeins to add to the commercial yarn I previously purchased for dyeing. I made a fairly sizeable investment (at least for me) in commercial yarn so that I could offer commercial indie dyed yarn along side my handspun. Fingering, DK and worsted weight merino or merino/nylon mixes, and some 100% cotton as well. I’m finding I’m a bit apprehensive to get started. I’m working towards having a group of colorways that I could replicate vs my typical OOAK (one of a kind) stuff. Luckily I’ve done a ton of dyeing over the years and have taken good notes so I think I have some good to go. That said, I want to take my time to do things correctly and that usually means I end up procrastinating. I know I have to just…jump in there, but that perfectionist in me is always afraid to get started.

I went through my supply closet and found I have quite a bit of handspun yarn for dyeing – even some boucle I completely forgot about. This will be fun to work with

I think once I get the massive amount of 3-ply BFL spun that I can use for the test dyes I’ll feel much more prepared to start. I haven’t spun in a few days due to getting struck down with a major migraine. I am totally bummed: the last time I had this bad a migraine was in January, right after Christmas, and I was becoming confident that my new regime was finally going to rid me of these debilitating headaches. I normally get one a month, so to go almost 6 months without one is huge! I really wish I had access to a hyperbaric chamber, as my migraines are due to a head injury, I think that would help immensely with healing once and for all. After 28 years, I’m anxious to get rid of these once and for all, and not through pharmaceuticals which just mask the issue.

Personal Projects

What creative projects will you be working on at the cottage or poolside this year? Or maybe you are preparing to do some winter knitting in the southern hemisphere. I’m going to do some simple projects in the evening, to use up odds and ends yarn. Below is an example of odd and ends knitted up in a pair of worsted weight socks.

I love to knit worsted weight socks as they work up fast! I don’t even bother to block them anymore: just throw them into the sock drawer and wait for winter

Every so often I purchase a pretty fingering weight sock pattern that I vow to do but truthfully I am so tired in the evenings I’d rather work on something simple and automatic. Lately I’ve been doing socks since I have a basic pattern that fits my feet memorized and I can finish a pair of worsted weight socks in 2-3 evenings. I even do toe-up so that I don’t have to do that dreaded kitchener stitch.

A few of my other worsted weight socks I’ve made, hand-dyed by moi. Now, to tackle the odd and ends of handspun. This will be more challenging as I will have to match up the sizes/gauges, and my handspun tends to be more varied in sizes.

June Earring Sale

To kick summer off, I thought an earring sale was in order! 15% off earrings when you use the code: EARRINGSYAY at checkout. Excludes sale items. You can checkout my Etsy sales for the month here.

Should we plant a Peanut, and grow more cats??

Here’s hoping you have a happy, healthy, productive (and fun!) June!

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