January has been full of surprises! My last blog post was all about my new-ish part time job, but I neglected to mention that I have also been spinning like crazy. After the holidays, my inventory was really low. Dear readers, I was so busy through the fall and holiday season that I didn’t even tell you what I was up to!
To sum, I had two yarn parties and two events in October—the Okanogan Family Faire and Fiber Fusion. Both of these are in WA state, but on opposite sides of the Cascade mountain range. I was a vendor at Fiber Fusion for the first time. This event was a little more “down home” than I would typically attend; it was held at the Monroe County Fairgrounds and had some livestock displays as well as vendors. It was also geared toward spinners, so I my expectations were fairly low as my yarn obviously appeals to a knitting/crochet crowd rather than makers of yarn. However, I did much better than I’d expected and met a lot of wonderful ladies as well.
November is typically my biggest sales month of the year on Etsy, with Black Friday weekend being the obviously focus. I began the month with KnitFit! in Seattle, which is a fantastic little show. Intimate enough for making real connections with people but large enough to feel festive, and as a vendor, to make a tidy profit. At the end of the month, I returned to the Celebration of Craftswomen in San Francisco. I was a first time artist at this show in 2013 and had great time—decent sales and a great excuse for a road trip with a good friend. This year it was held over Black Friday weekend which was…super lame. I missed Thanksgiving with my family for the first time ever as I had to drive to California the day prior. I was worried that holding the show on a holiday weekend might affect sales in a negative way, and indeed this was the case. The patrons of this show, the proceeds of which benefit the Women’s Building (a totally kick-ass project and an amazing building itself!), just aren’t the Black Friday crowd. As the organizers have already booked the same weekend for 2015, I shan’t be returning. I’ll have to find some other excuse for a Bay area road trip.
Several days after I returned home, I was off to my biggest show (sales wise) of the year—Urban Craft Uprising. I can’t even tell you how much I love this show. Just go. Returned home for a few days, then down to Portland for the biggest show (attendees and nearly sales wise) of the year-Crafty Wonderland. Again, an amazing show. Just go.
About 10 days later, it was Christmas. Oh, did I also mention I was also busily shipping Etsy orders and making/stocking not one but two booths at the Allied Arts Holiday show for the 6 weeks leading up to the holiday? Two booths, but nary a skein of yarn in either. And I was also working my part-time job.
So yeah…very busy. Which means that January is all about spinning yarn because I barely had any inventory! And last night…I was up until the wee hours of the morning fussing over the purchase of an e-spinner. My newest injury is plantar fasciitis, which began in earnest last spring. I can blame it on a variety of things, but I can’t escape the fact that treadling plays at least some role. So yeah. This e-spinner is a must. As soon as possible. Given the $1200 price tag, I’ll probably have some sort of incentive to help cover this cost. I’d been hoping to put off the purchase for a few more months in order to make it a bit easier on my budget but honestly…after spinning last night I just don’t think I can wait.
How about this? Beginning 1/26, orders over $150 (total before shipping) will receive a handmade Yarnarchy tote bag. Hand sewn, 100% cotton (sturdy/heavy) featuring my logo, $20 value. Orders over $250 will receive the tote bag and a set of 10 handmade note cards featuring lovely yarns (combined $40 value). Just mention my new wheel during checkout!
I’d better get sewing.
My shop is chock full of yarn, and I can’t post all the photos or it would just take forever to scroll down the page. I do post all of my yarn on my Pinterest boards, so find Yarnarchy and follow me! Just a tease though…
And since I get to have the last word….I miss winter. Real winter, I mean. Having spent my entire life in this region, and the past 16 years being pretty intimately connected with the same piece of land as a farmer, I can say with certainty that the weather just isn’t right. We used to have snowfall here each winter. Like the first thirty years of my life. The winters were mild enough to keep kale through the spring with a little mulch. We had few if any pests. We get our water from a spring and it kept to the same level year after year…and obviously for many decades based on the physical evidence. But things are getting weird. We haven’t had snow in two winters. In the last 8 we’ve had either nothing or Snowpocalypse with several feet. We were even snowed in for over a month 7 years ago! But then…nothing. Instead of mild winters with mild snowfall, we now have totally erratic snowfall with totally erratic temperature. In November, when our average low for the month should be 34, we got down to 4. FOUR FREAKING DEGREES!!! Goodbye kale, hello burst waterlines. We have had reduced rainfall, and this week…instead of 35 (average temp for a day in January) it is set to be 64 degrees! All manner of trees and plants are budding out, and our garlic is 4-6 inches high instead of buried under mulch until spring. Because it isn’t spring, and it will freeze again, and it’s likely to kill a goodly portion of our garlic and fruit blossoms since they will be out way, way too soon.
I get that there are a lot of people who deny climate change. I’m not one of them. I get that there are many factors, including natural cycles and shifts, but I can’t believe that people would actually deny that our first world lifestyle isn’t affecting our climate. I wish I could make all of them do this little experiment today:
- Remove some of your houseplants and put them in your enclosed, unheated garage.
- Buy two blocks of ice; put one in outside in the weather and the other inside the garage.
- Turn your car on and leave it running for an hour.
- Is the garage warmer than it was previously? Is there more or less ice left inside? What do you think would happen if you left the car running all of the time? Imagine that your garage is a little wee version of our own atmosphere. Right now there are over 7 billion people. When my grandma was born in 1923, there were less than 2 billion people and when her grandma was born, there were less than 1 billion and we didn’t have cars, or freezers, or central heating, or factories, or airplanes, or hardly any of the lovely conveniences we use daily. So imagine our 7 billion, and imagine all of our conveniences of modern life, and think about how hot your garage became after a big machine was running for an hour. And how you didn’t want to breath the air, and how the plants were looking a little sad, and how the ice was melting faster in this garage than it would have without the big machine running in the closed system of the garage.
So yeah… I get the irony that I am about to start relying a bit more on electricity rather than pedal power, and that my business relies entirely on the availability of cheap transportation of goods. I also have a composting toilet and rainwater collection and my tiny house runs on 5% of the power used by the average American household. I do what I can, choose my battles, provide as much as I can myself or locally, and try to have some balance. But it sure is difficult to have the conversation about what we’re going to do when the spring dries up or the fruit trees die from weird low temps or just won’t bear fruit because it feels like June in January, because we’re not even speaking the same language yet.
I just want us to speak the same language. Can we all just admit that humans have made a big mess? Until we get there, we can’t talk about how to clean up the mess, or how to prevent more messes in the future. We can’t talk about how much we all love kids but that in three generations, our population tripled and we just don’t have enough resources for that to keep happening. There’s only so much water, if nothing else.
And if we don’t have water, we don’t have snow. Which means a lot of things, but right now it means that I don’t get to go sledding with my little girl on the hill in the woods and make hot chocolate, and have a snow day. This is how beautiful our farm looks with snow!