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Posts Tagged ‘Etsy’

Perhaps I should have thought to mention in advance that I was feverishly preparing to list a few things in the Etsy shop, but I was so busy working on the update that I didn’t get around to it on Friday, when the process started. So here’s some fiber-y eye-candy, with apologies for the delay:

 

As I largely follow my own whims, and I’ve been all about the fiber lately, this has been a spinning-oriented update, but naturally there’s some yarn too:

Should I mention that some of the yarn is the most gorgeous, to-die-for soft sportweight sock yarn, in an obsession-inducing MCN blend (merino, with 10% nylon and 10% cashmere)? This stuff is like crack for knitters – I could not possibly comment on rumors that I may have earmarked quite a chunk of the current batch for myself. And I placed quite a small order, and some of the rest is already sold, or spoken-for. So, it was probably cruel to even bring the subject up: pretend I never mentioned it.

There’s still a fair bit more to come, however, including more yarn, more fiber, and for the first time, some jewelry: those spindle earrings, and some of my glass pendants with knitted wire –

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This is a short message about wool.

I love wool. I really do, and that’s evident from the fact that I’ve been playing with quite a lot of it recently (more than usual). Some has been sold to the nice lady at the local knitting shop, some has been traded for, er, more-but-different wool with some people I know on Ravelry. Some – quite a lot – came in this week from a supplier, and some – just a little – has made it into a tiny Easter Uprising of Wool of my Etsy shop today.

There’s even a very little of a new cashmere blend sock yarn, which is squishy beyond my wildest dreams, and is currently inspiring dreamy colorways like ‘A Cloud in Trousers’

And yes, there is still a lot of wool lying around my house. And now that I’m enjoying the new, even more unwieldy and unreliable pleasure that is fiber, I’m about to put in another large order for that. Because you can do some really seriously cool things with fiber. And if you can then sell it to people who actually know how to spin, well, you may just have helped bring a thing of beauty into the world. And who can say better than that on a fine spring day?

Nice stuff, huh?

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I got some nice sock yarn in from the wholesaler recently, and ordered some more dye, and slowly but surely, I have been preparing for a shop update, in between stirring batches of sweater-yarn custom orders. The sweater yarn comes in one-kilo hanks that have to be wound into more manageable quantities, but although I complain, if it doesn’t get tangles (which only happened once), it’s not too painful a process, and I forgive this yarn almost anything, I like it so much.

So, first up, some sweaters-in-waiting:

I have to say, I’m pretty excited by them, especially as I get to knit by proxy this way. If someone goes to the trouble of buying or bartering for a sweater-quantity of yarn in the color of their choice, I think they are quite likely to knit with it. And I love to see my yarn knit up. That tempting skein of pretty sock yarn is just so easy to buy, and leave in the stash. Ask me how I know?

That said, I would naturally wish to encourage the purchase of as many random skeins of sock yarn as my loyal Midnight Sheep fans feel inclined to indulge in. Please don’t let me stand in your way. The actual purchasing opportunity starts on Thursday – 5 November, at 5 p.m. EST, which is when I will officially be restocking my Etsy, but the preview photos are up on flickr now.

This update will be all sock yarn, using that new base I mentioned earlier. It looks like a nice quality, classic sock yarn – 75% merino, and 25% nylon, and it is superwash. The yardage is good, too: 460 yards/100g.

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Even if I haven’t got any blogging done (ecept in my dreams, and in the bath), there has been something going on. Dyeing, knitting, including a bit more with wire, and – finally – ‘updating’ my Etsy shop. Now roll on the eyeballs, as it were.

I can’t believe I actually made some of these, i like them so much.

Here’s Scheherazade:

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And Orfeo (Euridice is already gone):

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And then there are Pompeii and Herculaneum, in a pleasing sport/heavy sock weight:

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And… well, you get the picture. There are more.

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Acrylic, remember, and sparkly too

Acrylic, remember, and sparkly too

Apparently it is possible after all. A while back I made a few swatches of different yarns, sandwiched them in glass and baked them in the kiln. None of them were a rip-roaring success, but one showed possibilities. The problem was that is was knit from a deeply unpleasant pink acrylic with a metallic thread (which is the bit that survived the firing process) and I haven’t been able to bear to knit with it further. Can you blame me?

So, I have since managed to acquire, by processes over whih I shall draw a veil, a small reel of fine silver wire. Wire fine enough to knit with, if you try. I’m struggling to work out the right sized needles to use, and can’t manage to get neat stitches, but perhaps I will acheive that some time. And it’d be – well – neat if I could, because then I could produce “swatch” art glass using different stitch patterns.

In the meantime though, here are three prototypes: the first swatch was simply soldered (with lead-free solder) onto a stained glass copper-foiled pendant, the second was just laid on top of a single piece of random glass that was then fired, and the third was sandwiched between two layers of Bullseye and fired.

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The first one I quite like, but I’m concerned it’s very fragile, and might tarnish; the second one is an abject failure, but shows glimmers of hope for some interesting manipulations further down the line (I quite like the way the silver has partly melted in and partly stayed on the surface) and the third one I am very pleased with indeed.

Yes. With a bit of luck -because with inclusions you never know (and the person I bought the silver off had had no luck including it in glass) – look out for swatch pendants coming to an Etsy shop near you soon.

I’m off to celebrate six months of knitting with a little more wire swatching.

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It is, or was, traditional in British culture to dress – oneself, and one’s children – in good plain underwear from Marks and Spencer on the basis of being “decent” if one was run over by a bus and taken to the hospital/the morgue. One would have been mortified to be caught dead wearing dirty, trashy or otherwise embarrassing undies.

Now I think that tradition is more or less a thing of the past, at least to judge by M&S’s dismal sales records of recent years, and by the amount of implausible to-die-in stuff that one sees on the average British High Street these days. (I stress that I mean see in the windows of shops that would have been too risqué to exist on the aforementioned British High Street a few years ago). Red thongs. Any thongs. Utterly inappropriate.

Anyway, my worry is completely different.

If I fall under a bus, someone is going to have to sort out my crap.

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Luckily this image isn’t high-res enough to be quite as scary as it should be, but I don’t think my executors will enjoy it. There is a lot of glass crap (stuff to photograph for Etsy, but I get frustrated at how hard that is), a lot of knitting crap, some broken-by-kid crap, rescued-from-kid crap, and hidden-from-kid crap, as well as a hell of a lot of standard desk crap. Mary, I salute you. I was only ever jealous.

Also, unsurprisingly (and actually perfectly appropriately), on my desk is my computer (which I love). Inside my computer is – yes – a lot of byte-crap and pixel-crap. Somewhere in its insides are a million emails (you know how the FBI stores email? Well, they are not alone. I am apparently constitutionally incapable of deliberately getting rid of an email. Every few years computer-death/-flu/-tsunami etc wipes me out, but I get wilier at storing them and – heaven preserve me – I have been known to restore them all.)

I can’t believe I just admitted that.

There are now also a frightening number of photos of yarn. I do not, like some people, photograph my stash (which is another thing I don’t really want the executors finding having to go through, now I think of it) and list it on Ravelry. I am too busy wasting time in other ways to contemplate doing a thing like that, but in addition to the occasional eye candy fo this blog, I now have to photograph my own yarn for the Midnight Sheep Etsy shop. It turns out that while it’s easier – by far – than glass, it still takes a fair few tries to get the required glamor shot. And no, although I intend to, I don’t then go back to my image files and weed out all the ones I no longer need.

To my executors: my best advice is the oldest of them all – burn the papers, or in modern terms, take a hatchet to the hard drive. A magnet might also do the trick. And, I apologize. But I will try to be wearing clean underwear, if that still counts.

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This is my personal mantra: I rather want people to remember me as ‘One Who Used to Say Such Things’.*

I’m suffering under a perfect example at the moment. Since I enjoy dyeing yarn, and can’t knit all that fast (frankly, no-one can), I decided to open an Etsy shop to sell it, and keep the process ongoing, in the same way as for the glass. Well, the glass is significantly hampered by the demographics of Etsy: most of the customer base is in the US, and glass is a) heavy to post, raising my costs relative to American producers, and b) initially imported from the US, raising my production costs relative to competitors’ as well. Yarn, not so much. The postage costs are relatively less of an issue, and I’m on more level ground.

Also, yarn photographs a lot better than glass. The upshot is that I am selling stuff faster than I can make it. I’m thrilled. My first item sold within hours of my listing it, and now I’m running at a total of five listings and four sales. What a delight. And I do think it’s nice – go look for yourself (but you’ll have to look in the ‘sold’ section if you want to see anything, ha, ha!)

Geez – the hardest part was choosing a name. That took longer than either dyeing the yarn or making a sale. Though to be honest, I do think I’ve been lucky.

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*Apologies to Thomas Hardy

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