Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Armload for the Post Office

Last night was another fairly successful night on the Destash blog. Most everything sock-yarnish I posted has sold. One knitter who bought laceweight last month asked if there was any left (yes, and she bought more).

The Sockotta and Lamb's Pride Worsted still isn't attracting any interest, though. Eh, after all, there was something that drew me to buy so much sock yarn in the first place myself.

Surprizing how much time the destashing takes up, though. There's the compulsion to check email frequently, actually sometimes a necessity, given the speed at which requests come in and people eager to hear if they get dibs on the item. Then there's the replying to those who did, and didn't get the item, answering questions, dealing with people who want to set their own terms.

It leaves very little time for actual knitting......

Monday, May 28, 2007

That went fast!

Earlier this evening I posted (with the usual trouble -- takes slightly less than forever and God forbid you want to delete your autosaved drafts afterwards) the Lorna's Laces collection of Shepherd Sock off the sock weight shelf. I've still got plenty of Kroy (4 and 3 ply), Socka of various flavors and pounds (easily pounds) of Regia. After that, I get to open the closed basket of sock yarn and see what's bursting out of there.

Within minutes there was a flurry of interest and in the space of an hour, money collected for 3 out of 5 colorways on offer -- and all interested. Himself was most impressed. I'm headed for the post office tomorrow.

Makes me wonder what will happen in June when I start making decisions about the Campion in the closet. Then again, no one has bitten on the Sockotta nor the Lamb's Pride Worsted, yet. Eh, I knew I was invested in yarn futures.

In other news, I've finished cataloging the swath of swatches for the Deciphering Yarn Substitution class next weekend, and mostly have my bibliography in order. Everything seems to have come out larger after blocking than before and some definitely suffered even being handwashed. But, that's part of the exercise.

Life is better now that I've gotten that out of the way. It's been fun working on real projects again. I have a series of shawlettes out of hand-dyed sock weight going on. Last Tuesday I finished the blue/green one (Dusk colorway?) and got started on the Northern Lights colorway.

Not yet shown, a co-worker's wife is due in June and, ya know, when you don't work with the mother it's easy to loose track of how soon the baby gift will be needed. Pictures after it's done and given, but I'm through the straight body and about to start the sleeve increases on a Baby Nalgar in the black with brights Sockotta. I'm relieved after using Sockotta in baby gifts over the years that it was one of the yarns that behaved well in blocking. Some yarns knit up so nicely and then looked and felt terrible once they were even hand washed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

So many things

I ended the last post with a promise of a photo of a real project. And then the rest of the week happened, including a lot of time at paying work and on the Knit Out. Himself has started making comments about the difficulties of snuggling a person and a laptop together, without disturbing the equanimity of either....

I've finished with the swatches for the deciphering yarn substitutions class, they've all been blocked and this weekend we will have a massive effort of post-blocking measurements and I'll see what the results of the experiment are. I also need to write down my bibliography -- i.e., take the thoughts that, "that book talks about how different fibers behave," and get the citation made.

And then there's the Knit Out. Which is a lot to do.

And also the trigger thumb. Last year I had problems with the middle finger of my left hand getting painfully stuck at times, but it pretty much resolved itself back to workable in a long series of daily soaks in epsom salts over a month or two. Now my right thumb is having somewhat of the same problem, except the difficulty comes in trying to straighten the joint, leading to some problems with grip. I've heard that steroid shots can relieve pain, but they also wreck havoc with BG control, so I'm trying to avoid that, and surgery. Solution: carve another consistent 15 -20 minutes a day for soaking. Good morning, 5:30 a.m. local newscaster......

Himself is coming down to just a few weeks left in the house he's been in since the early 1990s and preparing for a several week hiatus of housing. The downsizing of the soon to be excess furniture continues, so the place is starting to look empty. It will be on us sooner than we think, then I'll need to look at my move.

Time to get cracking again on the destashing. The recent postal charge changes are confusing, but I'm hoping it will soon be apparent how much I should factor in for odd-shaped yarn packages into the pricing. Anyone want 4 100 gr. skeins of black with bright colors Sockotta?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Ask, and ye shall receive

After my pitiful posts of last week and with emailing specific requests out to the planners, I have help.

Shop letters will be merged this week and planning and stuffing will happen at next Monday's meeting, all 275 or so. Feel free to come on by if you'd like to help.

Next, does anyone know who to contact for sponsorships at the folks who have been our sponsors for years? Our last two sponsor coordinators don't have this in their files anymore, so I'm starting at square one.

If you know yarn reps of New England yarn manufacturers/distributors, please ask them to contact me with names and real mailing addresses.

Tomorrow morning I'll have photos of the non-class-swatch knitting I did over the weekend. For now, Himself needs snuggle so I'm not going to take me and the camera out to the porch.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I'll take progress where I can find it

Though it seems to happen at very late and early hours of the day.

I made progress on the sponsor request letters. Subprogress, my new printer works nicely and I was able to make return address labels with no problem. Lack of progress is not having contact info for the existing sponsors from last year, but presumably they're friendly enough I can explain that info wasn't in the files and they won't take offense.

I asked for help and I got it. I needed a spreadsheet tidied up and weeded out from last year and I have a volunteer who's working on it over the weekend. We still need someone who knows yarn stores in New England to cast an eye over it and see if there are any new stores in the 6 states, but this is good. I will need to recruit stuffers and stickerers to get these together, but that's an issue for next week.

I was reminded the Boston Knit Out has more than just me working to bring it together. I just need to focus on planning and not be distracted by the running the non-profit stuff.

Time to go deal with whether or not I have clean clothes to wear.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Eh, what?

I'm here. I'm just busy. Chasing cats.*

Swatching continues. I need to start organizing the blocked swatches and coming up with my speech for the class on Deciphering Yarn Substitution.

I need to get requests to sponsors out for the Boston Knit Out. I need them to send us money.

I need to get shop letters out for the Boston Knit Out. I need them to send us money.

I need to (grouch) get Boston Knit Out board members to either wise up and participate or resign. I need more board members. I need people to do things. I need to figure out what they can do.

I need to stop whining and go do more.

* from the time my mother was minding her then pre-school aged grandson, was in the kitchen, realized he'd wandered away, and called for him to come back and help. The reply was he couldn't, he was busy. When asked what he was busy doing, he said, "Chasing cats." Uh-huh.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

You know those folks who liken their stash to a yarn store?

I'm wondering if I have a museum. Thanks to Massachusetts' pricing laws, most of the skeins in my stash have the price stickers on them. What I'm not sure is if I paid those prices, or did I get more at sales than I thought?

And then I found this:
A Koigu sock kit -- small wood slat box, exactly the size of two skeins of their yarn, with a one-page pattern (photo smeared very messily because you could read it in the photo and I wanted to do the (copy)right thing). The plastic is only a little ripped where I eased the pattern out, pattern has one small stain on it (age?). Price tag? $34.00.

No idea where and when I bought it. I'm of two minds about putting it up for destash. My rule has been if it's in good shape and I have no definite/immediate plans for the yarn, it's a candidate for destashing for cash. On the other hand, this is a rarity and I could see keeping it, just to call it mine and hold it precious.

Decisions. The Libra has to make decisions.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

One Kilo removed

As of yesterday morning, I had sold 10 100 gr. skeins of laceweight to new homes, for people to do something with, rather than just sit on my shelf. It feels good. I have a few more skeins that I think I will keep (Lucy's hand-dyed), and some that haven't had offers, though there's still hope someone may want them.

The Baruffa Cashwool is still up from April 26th. Not sure if people just aren't familiar with the name, or do they not like very light yellow/off-cream? After this post I started building postage in to the price, so does the price of $11 not including shipping deter people?

On the other hand, the cranberry reds of the Merino Lace and the Grignasco Regina each went very quickly, while the dark gray and the brown of the Regina haven't had a bite. It might be that the colors just don't interest people, or is the name just unfamiliar enough that the market just isn't interested.

The Destash blog is an interesting exercise in economics. The two women who run it don't ask for anything other than that folks follow their rules about posting, which are pretty reasonable. They want you to already have a blog you post to regularly (i.e., show you're an active part of the fiber-interested reading and writing community you're selling to), you have to be a member to post (they want some idea who they're allowing to use the site), keep your posts simple and delete the ones that have sold (consistency keeps it easy for buyers to figure out what's being put in the market). There are formatting rules about posting, you can only post what's yours to offer (no shilling for your LYS), etc. It seems to work, though they have had issues with folks gaming the system by redating their posts to keep those posts at the top of the chain and, on the other end, not deleting their posts when sold, or after two weeks up (their max.). I've been happy with it.

There's an interesting dynamic with timing and posting. Like Kristin was posting about trying to sell lambs in the auction in the weeks before Easter, a lot does depend on what else has been brought to the marketplace that day. If there are a lot of people posting, your post doesn't stand out as much as when there are fewer. I'm coming to learn if there hasn't been an inquiry in the first day, it's not likely to sell. Personally, I have it on my bloglines and scan new posts as they come up, but if I was looking for something in particular, I've got a lot to go through to even see if it's up on offer. I should learn how to use the label system when I post.

I don't know how much price plays a role in what gets people interested. The Cherry Tree Hill skein is currently retailing online for $40. The price I paid was $31.50, so I'm asking $35 including shipping. Pay for 9 ounces of postage out of that and deduct the $0.30 per transaction, 2.9% take of total from Paypal, and I may actually see a slight profit (see prior commentary about the investing in yarn futures). On the other hand, in a bin (not on the shelf with the others) I found a different colorway of the same merino lace that I paid $38.00 for. I'm starting to wonder how much inflation hits yarn prices, or have I really been storing things that long?

It's been a good exercise, not only because the laceweight shelf was something easily identifiable and definable that I can try to empty before I move, but also that amount that I had was starting to weigh on me -- it was a lot of potential shawls I would have had to commit to.

The question is what do I move on to next? My rule of what gets offered is stuff in original condition (I'm not posting what I wouldn't buy if I was in the market), that I don't have specific plans for. The sock yarn is the next most easily identifiable class, but there I get in to decisions about what I really am willing to give up. Everything else in the bins is harder to get a grasp on (literally), but I've got a better sense of whether or not I'd actually do a particular project.

Between pictures and research it's been a bit of work, but I've netted slightly more than $100 since I first posted last Wednesday night. That's money back in for the investment fund, though I think I sold most skeins at about 15% less than what I paid, and then had to take postage out of that, so no capital gains. A friend at work was all excited that she has all kinds of extra skeins that I could sell for her.... and I had to tell her no. She has to do it for herself.

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