Thursday, March 15, 2012

Parting with all those beautiful handspun yarns attempt two

So here is the blog entry I was just about finished when the power went out the other day. I've had to copy-paste from different sources that I tried to save it on in my mad scramble in the dark. So sorry about the font changes. At least we had gotten up early that day (been up since 1am) and already had our coffee.

And a reminder about the free give away with purchase for March 2012 and only for you lovely blog readers.

Very slowly going through my stash of handspun yarns and putting up for sale all those beautiful yarns I had spun over the years. I still have dreams of knitting my sock yarn, but the only time I've touched the pointy sticks in the last two years was to put my hair up in a bun.

So here's what I've been doing. First I choose the yarn from my stash and put it on my swift.

Then I wind the yarn from my swift onto my yarn blocker - examining it as I go to make sure it's strong and consistent. While I'm doing this, I count how many times it goes around so I can know the exact yardage.

At this point I'm also half dreaming. I'm thinking about what it was like to spin the yarn, and what I had hoped to use it for, or projects that I had used it for. Who would want this kind of yarn? What other things does it remind me of? All things that go into the most difficult part of selling yarn online: the description. How to make this yarn unique and stand out from all the other lovely hand spun yarns for sale on etsy.

Next I weigh the yarn and calculate out how to price it. All the fibres weigh different amounts and 100g of cashmere sock weight yarn will be about 1/3 the length of 100g of merino sock weight yarn (I know, I tried it). This is why I price by quality and length not by weight. Quality is how consistent I made the yarn (be it consistently fine and even or how consistent the slubs are in an art yarn). Is it strong and even enough to be used for warp by a novice weaver like myself? If so, then this counts as quality as well.

Length helps me know how much time I spent spinning this yarn. I'm usually multitasking while I spin, so I have trouble keeping track of an hourly rate.

All this information goes into the calculator and then I write it on a tag.

Still using cut up paper bags for tags - it's cheep & eco-friendly. It also goes with the values of my shop, to produce as little environmental impact as possible while creating as high a quality product as I can.

Then it's time to stage a photo. I can only do this on sunny days, and there aren't many of those this time of year.

I take about 10 photos and usually end up using three or four. Yarn is easier to photograph than say a humming bird, but it does take a lot of attention to get the detail and colour right.

I'm tempted to set up a photo station like most shops and to start using a photo editing program, but I am rather fond of the unusual backgrounds. They often tell a story - aka, what kind of mood I'm in when I took the photo - or maybe the wash board makes a nice contrast between the elegant novelty yarn...stuff like that. I've also been taking pictures of things in bowls but I'm not always happy with it.

If I crop this photo to rid the top and the left sides, then maybe it would be far more acceptable

Sorry guys, this alpaca fibre sold out only hours after I put it in my shop. I'll make some more up as soon as I can.


Josiane said...

It's clear that a lot of work and thought go into your yarns. May they each find a loving home.
(I wish I could buy some of them for myself, but alas, it seems that our house has decided to start falling apart in an unpleasantly expensive way... So at the moment, I'm left with sending good wishes.)

raven said...

Oh no. I hope it's not too cold where you are and that your house feels better soon!