Blech. I hate raising prices. Looks like I haven’t raised my prices since….2008. WHAT? Sheesh. Time does fly. In the past 8 years, my costs have certainly gone up. My cost per pound for fiber has just about tripled actually. The lame thing is that the costs go up a bit each year but I’ve been avoiding a retail price increase because….well, because I am grateful to my customers and I want my yarn to be accessible. I want people like ME to be able to afford my yarn. This is a big part of why I generally avoid wholesale-I want to keep my price points low. But today, while looking at spreadsheets in preparation for my income taxes, I just couldn’t ignore that my costs are wayyyy different than they were 8 years ago. So yeah, it’s time.
But rather than do it all at once, I’m going to just increase as I post new listings. $20 skeins will probably be around $22 depending somewhat on fiber content. If I were giving someone else business advice, I’d say it was a must to go up to $25 just to cover the increase in supplies alone. I guess this is one of those times where emotion wins over logic. So take advantage of my hatred of inflation and buy yarn sooner than later.
In other news, I am FINALLY getting my inventory built up again. My stock was so pitiful after the holidays, that it really is taking much longer than normal to restock.
The fiber arts camp happened last weekend and we had a great time! It was a smaller group of ladies, just 5 this time, but I think a good time was had by all. I really wish that I could just travel around teaching camps. I’d teach fiber arts, and Hogwarts, and Greek mythology, and Middle Earth camp. Maybe a few others, but those are my current favorites. Some for grown ups and some for kids. Teach once or two a month and spend the rest of the time with yarn. Bliss… You know….I will travel to teach, so don’t hesitate to contact me if you might be interested in hosting.
But back to the recent fiber camp. Sometimes I am rather obviously reminded that we do things a bit differently here. Sigh. It’s pretty much fine, and clearly I’m not going to change anything, and honestly…most people are great about it but still. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to invite people to a completely unremarkable home in the suburbs. That awkward moment when new people visit the community house and you lead them through the rustic (would “rustic” or “rural” conjure up the image of a tarp-covered roof?) entry way to sit on a dilapidated velvet sofa, behind which hangs a 12×8 painting of yourself wearing nothing but a giant rear end and unicorn horn….that probably wouldn’t happen in my imaginary suburban split level. And then you immediately have to discuss overly intimate topics with complete strangers because even the restroom isn’t a straightforward topic. Instead, you have to say things like “if you have to pee, you can just go anywhere, (look of horror) but if you have to….well, anything else I guess…you have to walk around that big cedar tree, behind the greenhouse, and up a set of stairs to the skypooper. There are instructions on how to use it.” At this point, they usually look at their watch. As in, “can I make it X hours so that I can use the restroom at the gas station on the way home?” If I had an apartment filled with Ikea cabinets and memory foam bath mats, I would never have to say “pee” to a stranger.
These ladies were pretty darn cheerful about it and for that I was grateful. But still. Sometimes it would be nice to have the option to blend in a bit more.
I love this time of year because I can actually knit things for fun and not for business. I finished a few lingering projects, and while I’ve been gearing up for my big February commitment (I knit something big for each of my girls, usually a sweater) I knit a couple of smaller toddler sweaters for a very cute little friend named Bree. I don’t have any photos of her wearing them yet, but I’ll post when I do. The first was made with reclaimed yarn-I found an ugly slouchy short sleeve sweater at Goodwill for $3.99 that was handknit with Noro yarn so I bought it and took it apart. Good thing it was really ugly. I have been known to purchase handknit items just to save them and if they are just a little ugly I wind up keeping them for years and never wearing them even once. This one was not going to be flattering on anyone, so it was not much of a loss to unravel someone else’s work. And the sweater is so cute!
This one was made with some 2 ply handspun and a partial skein of silk and wool single ply worsted. It came out very nice I think, especially since I made up the pattern as I went along. I’m planning to post the pattern for free here when I get it written up.
Maybe this will help me reach my 2016 goal of writing more patterns! I think if I just had a good patron…if only.
This year, the big girl wants me to make a Weasley sweater for her except we’re going to make it with the deathly hallow symbols on the bottom rather than a big letter on the front. And the little girl doesn’t want a sweater, but wants a pair of Doctor Who fingerless gloves-knit with sock yarn, stranded colorwork, with little tardis…wait, how does one pluralize tardis? Tardises? Oh-just asked the internet gods and apparently since it is an acronym it would be TARDISes. Anyway, those will be all over the gloves.