Sunday, April 29, 2007

Yarn for Sale!

The Destash blog is closed to new posts for maintenance, so I guess I can post here.

Another hazard of not knowing what you have: Have a buyer send a payment to a paypal account you had forgotten you had. Suze Orman would be very upset with me.

Four single skeins of Skacel Merino Lace. 100% fine merino wool shrink resistant. Approx. 100 grams/1,375 yards, No. 2/25. Label symbols for hand wash, cool iron (one dot), P for dry cleaning, no bleach, what looks to be a knitting machine with 8-12 underneath it. Made in Italy.

Dark red - color 93, dye lot 32030
Dull royal purple - color 759, dye lot 32018
Dark blue color 417, dye lot 32092
Winey red purple - color 815, dye lot 43592

Price: $11 per skein, includes first class postage shipping within the US. (outside the US, need to look up rates, will negotiate price of skein)
Terms: PayPal

ETA -- as of 6 a.m. Monday, all skeins were either sold or pending paypal payment.

I seem to have invested in yarn futures

Destashing has had a few twists I didn't think about. I'm going to start pricing with first class mailing included in the price since it's simpler than folks choosing between first class (which is flat rate across the US) and priority mail (which is more expensive, also flat rate across the US up to 2 pounds, but includes tracking).

Inflation seems to have happened to yarn prices the years since the late 80's that I started buying. I found a plastic box of Tahki Cotton Classic bought in 1998, with the receipt. The prices on the stickers are (slightly) less than $4 per skein, and the receipt is from a 30% off sale. So, if Yarndex has a current MSRP at $5.25, I'm going to make a profit unless I price it at less than $2.75 per skein. So, what's a fair price to ask?

On the other hand, it's hard to tell what the market will bear, particularly in lots of single skeins. The Skacel Merino Lace went handily at $9 per skein plus shipping. The Fa Re Baruffa Cashwool Decatito is not attracting as quick an interest (though the three skeins of gray are sale pending) at $10 per skein. Is it the change of brand? Is it the color? Or does a dollar make a difference?

These are skeins I originally paid $12 - 13 dollars for, so I'm not making any capital gains on the laceweight. On the other hand, since I finally got rid of my credit card debt last year (how much of which was contributed from yarn purchases?), I've been working on establishing a cash reserve, and then retirement savings, which I should have been started on 15 years ago. Money from destashing is earmarked to contribute to that effort. The again, the primary motivation is to have less yarn to move down one and up to flights of stairs and reorganize in the new yarn room this summer.

So far, having the expense of a box of large Tyvek envelopes has kept me from making current money on the first sales (by a few cents), but I'll have cleared the initial expenses with the next sale.

Another issue is taking photos with good color representation. I care somewhat about color on the blog, but I don't go beserk over it. The reds, blues and purples in the collection up on offer have been a bear to get something accurate, while the white, grays and yellows and browns weren't. When it's something for sale I want it reasonably accurate. My camera doesn't seem to have sophisticated white balance control, so this will be something I need to work on.

A third issue is figuring out what I have to offer and how does it compare to what's currently available. Some of the brands (particularly the European ones) don't seem to have websites for reference, and on-line stores aren't carrying them. Some are hand-dyed skeins with no labels. The Blue Faced Leicester 2/28 from the Fleece Artist seems to have changed its put-up from 100 grams in August, 2000 (I remember that trip when I bought it!) to the current 250 gram skein.

After this, I get to move into a different class of yarn. Remember the sock yarn from last fall? On the right are the skeins deemed not suitable for my pink-skinned, strawberry-blonde what's left brother, and on the left are the skeins that were okay for him. All told, it's a lot.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wow! People might want what I don't anymore!

Okay, so posting at bedtime I wake up to two people wanting the Skacel Merino Lace in white. Whee! 100 grams fewer to move in August, and an impetus to get more out on offer.

My life is slightly complicated because I can't access personal email at work, so I'm hoping people can bear with my only being able to access my mail from dusk to dawn. We'll see.

Himself tried taking photos of some of the other, colored, skeins yesterday. Even though he and I know he was using a very, very light pink towel to serve as a background to some of them, it made it look like the Grignasco Regina in Cranberry had been bleeding dye even while dry. I'll be getting a plain pillowcase at Macy's or something. Along with big envelopes for first class mail.

My photos seem to have disappeared from my original post, but that's incentive to get those up on the Destash blog. It makes me wonder, having gotten two interests for the white and none for the tan, yet, I wandered over to the misc. cotton shelf and started looking at the off-white Cotton Classic and Cotton Fleece......

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Attention, Laceweight shoppers

So I'm coming to terms with my intent to destash. I still need to get myself a paypal account (can I get away with not getting a merchant account if I take in money?) and set it up with with my bank account that I'm trying to start a cash reserve with.

Moving will be coming in a few months, I'm looking at the amount of Zephyr cones I already have (see bottom of this post,), and then at the open shelf full of (mostly single) skeins of laceweight and took the step this morning of hauling everything out to the front porch and photographing it. Ahem. There have been at least two occasions when I've been awarded the best shopper (of yarn) award, and it shows.

I have no specific plans for these skeins, so it makes sense to offer them up for destashing. This isn't even all the photos. The grays, browns, white and yellow photographed reasonably close to color, but the reds, blues and purples need to have their picture taken against something other than a red/orange/brown porch background. That will be a project for the weekend.

They've all been stored in open air shelving, pet and smoke free home.

I have no idea what to ask for these yarns. Is 3/4 or 2/3 off the original price fair? Is original price fair? Are they rare and people would pay a premium above the original sticker (doesn't seem likely)?

First off, there's a mystery skein of big pink something, which I think might be cotton. Lucy may remember what it is. If she doesn't then I'll have to get into serious guessing. I could always take it into the office and toss it on the postal scale.

Next up is a skein of white Skacel Merino Lace in color 100-38462. I think the last five digits are the dye lot. Label says made in Italy, 100 g./1,375 yards Nm 2/25, symbols for handwash, cool (one dot) iron, P for dry cleaning, no bleach and the numbers 8-12 under what might be a knitting frame. 100% Fine Merino Wool shrink resistant. In this lot of pictures I've also got a light tan/khaki color number 750-32178. That one has a price of $11.95 on it.

I've got 3 skeins together of a light gray Fa Re Baruffa Cashwool Decatito made in Italy by Zegna Baruffa - Lane Bourgosesia, S.p.A. color #20266, dye lot 1932, 100 grams, +/- 1,350 meters, hand wash, no bleach, P for dry cleaning, cool iron, 100% extra fine merinos 1Capi = Macch 12, 2 Cpai = Macch 8, with a price sticker of $12.59. There's also a single skein of a light yellow color of the same, color number 26256, dye lot 22676.

There's also Grignasco Regina pura lana vergine irrestringible "merino fine" decatito. It's 100 grams/1,250 meters, Nm. 2/25 (40 Tex x 2) Hand wash, no bleach, cool iron, P for dry cleaning.
Pure new wool merino resistant treated.
There's one skein of dark gray, color #130, dye lot #3457/47, and one skein of dark brown (chocolate) color #173, dye lot #28663. Original sticker $11.50.

Lastly there are two 100 grams skeins of multi-shades of gray Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester 2/8 100% wool (not much info). No sticker. I can remember I bought this in the summer of 2000 on my trip to Halifax for Shirl the Purl's Knit with Us.

Is any of this worth anything to anyone else?

I'll try to take a stab at getting good color photos of the other skeins over the weekend. There's more to come!

If you're interested, email me.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Going out to play

Himself and I haven't been dancing much lately. The weekly dance at the Cambridge VFW has moved (first to Springstep, now to the Scout House) for their renovations into a youth center, I've had off and on shoulder problems, and, well, there's been that whole new-place shopping thing lately. Yes, I've gained weight.

NEFFA is this weekend, though, and we're going for today. I'm booked for the Medley g>, though we don't know which hall we'll dance in yet. Marshfield is a new site, having been held in Natick for a long time. Natick was an old familiar site, but the school's been getting slightly less hospitable there over the years, so it will be interesting to see how the Marshfield site works out.

You know the Bob Seger song about Rock n Roll Never Forgets? Contra dancing is like that.

Here's to hoping for no bad Allemandes and that my right shoulder agrees to raise my arm straight up for twirls.

Oh, and for folks looking for info about the Boston Knit Out --the website is here (we're getting up info in bits as it gets firmed up). It is Sunday, September 30th. Unfortunately, your email doesn't come over in comments, so if you say in my comments, "sign me up," you're a well-meaning phantom. There's a volunteer email address at that website that will get your name in the list.

If you'ld like to join in the planning, please send me an email. The address is in my sidebar.

Hands four!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Things bought

The vertical swift showed up earlier this week. The brown is the swift, the blue and white thing is my ball winder, which clamps nicely onto the top of the upright. I got the adjustable model, which Pat at Yarn Barn recommended over the "traditional" model. It works, though I may dig out my older ball winder that doesn't have the tilting action, since that seems to make the whole thing wobble a bit, particularly if I'm rewinding project leftovers into fresh center-pull balls.

Himself now has P&S signed on both his old home and the new place. I'm busy fantasizing about living in one place after all this time, and how to set up the new yarn room. My current yarn room/study has a desk set up in one corner which I don't think I'll need in the new space, and that should free up more floor space. We'll see how long after closing (not until July) it takes to have the floors refinished in the new place, but I'm targeting early August for moving the stash and library in.

It turns out it's the wrong time of year to buy either men's or women's slippers, which is what we went to the mall hoping to find. On the other hand, we found a closing sale at the Discovery Store. And there they had this gizmo at 30% off. It offers *both* traditional and French knitting -- which someone thinks means knitting in the round according to the back of the box. It comes with minimal instructions (not yet followed), 3 poofs of eyelash yarn which it claims is enough to make a hat and a scarf, and a few tools. It also came well packaged. Why they felt they needed to attach it to the box with screws is beyond me.

So, I got everything out of the box, took pictures, glanced at the instructions and figured I can deal with that after I get the swatches for my Deciphering Yarn Substitution class done (probably in a few weeks). It looks like a standard knitting machine, but with unknown gauge and I didn't count how many stitches it can do, yet. If it takes eyelash yarn, it will probably handle worsted weight, too, I'm guessing. Anyone else have one of these?

I got my brochure for the Granite State Knit In in the mail today, and their guest speaker this year is Anna Zilboorg! I can't wait to meet her. Send me email (I can't seem to reply to comments) if you want to know how to get on the mailing list -- they don't have a website, but I can forward your interest to the organizers.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Swatching, swatching

Not much to show recently, since I'm making demo swatches for a class I'm teaching in June on Deciphering Yarn Substitution. Last weekend I had enough ready to move on to the next step -- measuring pre-washing, washing and then blocking. All swatches are 100 stitches around, with a seed stitch border, and, since I'm a loose knitter, done on whatever size needle is the next down from the smallest recommended. I don't seem to be making their gauge pre-washing.

So far I've done Red Heart Classic and Kids, Wool Ease, Sockotta, Dream, Regia Bamboo, Lion Brand Microspun and Jaeger Matchmaker. Surprisingly enough, when I looked at the labels, all of them were machine washable, most saying 40 degrees C, with one 30 C. In they went with a load of shirts and underwear on warm/cold. Himself has no idea what temperature his washer runs at, so I figured "ordinary medium with everything else" would be good enough. It's what I wash my socks with.

I ran into trouble when things came out of the washer and it was time for drying. I found a fine selection of international laundry symbols here. Himself's dryer appears to be far less sophisticated than the variety of drying symbols allow -- i.e., either full on or not quite so much. All the samples were air-dried on a towel after all.

Next weekend I will have more swatches completed to give the treatment. Next steps are measuring post-washing gauge and starting to compare that to label expectations. The two Red Hearts were made with the same 100 stitches done on the same size needle, but they're quite different. Just shows how a larger swatch will show gauge better than a small one.

Then I need to start drafting what I'm going to say about them. Still need a whole Wool Ease label to replace the ripped remaining half.

My vertical swift will be here soon. Also coming is a $200 Palm to replace the several years old $200 Palm that I lost Friday evening. There's always a $200 Palm on the market, it just gets more and more features as time goes by.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Anyone got a spare Wool Ease label they aren't using?

I'm making progress on the great swatch project. I've run into a difficulty -- I've finished the Wool Ease swatch and find I've only got half a label in the bottom of my briefcase. The other half is just not to be found.

For the class, I'm looking to have full labels to be able to compare and analyze the information contained. If you've got a spare label you're not using, would you consider sending it to me, please?


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Pausing for the moment

This weekend, for the first time in what seems like a long time, we did not have to go open-housing or house viewing. We did not have to leave Himself's house in a state of staged perfection.

The offer Himself received on his house is moving right along in the negotiations part. We have found a place he's put an offer on, and those negotiations are getting going.

It looks like he'll have a few weeks gap of no-house between the old and the new, and may just take off on a summer camping trip. This would give me time to get going on packing my things.

This is good. In the meantime, we're making jokes about "window treatments." I care the windows are decently covered to keep folks from looking in. Himself is the one with an aesthetic sense. The anti-UV covering will be applied to windows, so I shouldn't have to worry about fading too much.

I will have to figure out what color to paint the yarn room, what color its shades should be, and what lighting I want in there, for optimal color viewing. On the other hand, I've treated myself to one of these in walnut as a half-birthday/bonus/raise present.

I've made progress on getting the swatches for the Deciphering Yarn Selection class underway. Now that we don't have to worry about showing Himself's house, I'll probably start washing and blocking next weekend, and use his spare room for drying. Photos then.

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