Friday, April 27, 2012

FO Friday 84

Hi everyone! I'm going to keep this short, because I honestly almost forgot to post! I'm going to be updating/telling you all about my trip very very soon. I'm working hard right now to get Candy Skein up and running again with all new yarn for purchase. I hope to have it up and running again before or on May 1st, just in time to start the Effie Socks KAL on the Candy Skein Addicts Ravelry group! More on that later!

I had an amazing time in Oregon, but am so tired (and sick) I can't even explain to you! I hope you all have a great weekend. Here's a quick picture of part of the Candy Skein booth from the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival.

I just have to say, for the people who use Blogger, what do you think of the new formatting? It's bizarre and will take some getting used to for me. I hate change!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 90

Hi everyone! I hope you're having a great week. As you read this, depending the time, I'm either waking up somewhere in Northern California and am on my way back home, or even closer to home! The plan is to be home and in my own bed tonight, so keep your fingers cross. I'm also hoping (as I type this before I even leave for the trip) that I have a LOT LESS yarn coming home than I did going there.

Obviously, nothing new from me today. Again, if you want to follow my journey to the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival and back, my twitter is @tamiklockau.

See you (in real time) on Friday!

For those that are new to WIPW, to share your WIPW post with us, just fill out the Mr. Linky below. Despite it saying you must comment, don't feel as if you do. That is something Mr. Linky automatically adds. I just ask you to check out a few of the links posted to see what everyone else is working on and comment there if you can. Everyone loves feedback and a little encouragement on their projects! Also, please link back to this post in your post to get the word out! The more the merrier!

Friday, April 20, 2012

FO Friday 83

Happy Friday! Today is the big day, as the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival marketplace starts this evening at 6pm Oregon time for a 2 hour preview night! Hopefully I'm there and setting up by now (depending on what time you're reading this!).

Obviously, no FO pictures from me today. Don't forget, for updates on my trip and the fiber festival, follow me on twitter at @tamiklockau

Share your FOs!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 89

Hi everyone! Depending on when you are reading this today, I'm probably on the road on my way to Oregon (for the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival). We leave (hopefully) around 8am, and are going to drive as far as we possibly can before we tire out. Our goal is to at least get 10 hours away, as we'll have another good 7-8 hours tomorrow. Yes, California is REALLY REALLY big/tall. It doesn't help I live in San Diego which is only about 30 minutes from the border of Mexico, so we'll be driving the whole length of the state. Hope for good weather and a safe trip for us!

While I'm gone, I'll have posts scheduled so that you can still participate in WIPW and FO Friday, but obviously I won't be commenting. I won't be returning home until late next Wednesday, so there will be a FO Friday without me, as well as another WIPW.

That being said, if you'd like to follow my travels, I'm sure my twitter will be on fire (when I'm not the one driving) with pictures of the scenery on the way up through CA and Oregon, as well as the booth at the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival. My twitter is @tamiklockau (or you can just click the little bird icon on the left sidebar of the blog.

Now to WIPW:

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to work on my Effie Socks as much as I'd like. It's SUCH a fun fun pattern to do. I'm using Butter Mints, the April '12 Candy Skein colorway. It feels good to work on a pattern that ups my skill level, as this one does, and it is working great with the yarn. I plan to be doing a KAL with this pattern on the Candy Skein Addicts Ravelry group starting May 1st through the end of June. More details to come! (Don't worry, since my shops are now closed until May 1, I'll be selling Butter Mints through May as well)

I've started working on my Devil Snare socks made from Candy Skein Yummy fingering in Leprechaun Lollipop (March '12 colorway) again. I'm hoping to finish one sock in time for the beginning of the Fiber Festival Friday night. I need to do two more leg repeats before starting the heel flap/turn. It's funny how your perspective can change. When I started these socks, I was finding it impossible to remember the pattern repeat/chart. After working on the Effie socks, this pattern seems so EASY, it made me laugh. I should be able to cruise on these, and work on them in the car when I'm not driving. :)

That's it for me today. I hope you have a great rest of the week, weekend and first part of next week! Off to Oregon I go!

For those that are new to WIPW, to share your WIPW post with us, just fill out the Mr. Linky below. Despite it saying you must comment, don't feel as if you do. That is something Mr. Linky automatically adds. I just ask you to check out a few of the links posted to see what everyone else is working on and comment there if you can. Everyone loves feedback and a little encouragement on their projects! Also, please link back to this post in your post to get the word out! The more the merrier!

Friday, April 13, 2012

FO Friday 82

Happy Friday everyone! I have to admit, I'm so busy right now I almost forgot what day it was! My sight is set on Wednesday, the day I leave for Oregon and that's it. As you can imagine, I don't have a typical FO post, as I don't have much time knitting right now, and what time I do have I'm working on the Effie Socks (if you didn't check out the post from yesterday, just follow the Effie Socks link!) as I'm test knitting them as fast as possible.

Instead, I bring you my FO from the past few weeks....

No, I didn't make that huge 45 gallon container monstrosity on wheels. Instead I made what's inside!!!

I give you over 200 skeins of Candy Skein yarn. About 230 to be exact, and more to be added (but probably in another container because this puppy is full to the brim!

That's it for me today. Have a brilliant weekend!

Share your FOs!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hunger Games Effie Sock Pattern Featuring Butter Mints!

As some of you already know, I've been working with designer Yavanna Reynolds (datenshi on Ravelry) on a Hunger Games inspired Effie pattern featuring Candy Skein April colorway of the month, Butter Mints! The pattern is still in test knitting, but you can see her beautiful work on the project page, Effie Socks.

I hope you love the pattern and the yarn as much as I do! I'm currently knitting it, and it's a joy to work on! Make sure you also check out Yavanna's other great Hunger Games inspired sock patterns on Ravelry! I have a feeling more and more people are going to be talking about her wonderful, imaginative designs very soon!

The pattern should be available toward the end of this month, beginning of next and I plan to hold a KAL on the Candy Skein Addicts group for those interested in knitting the pattern with Candy Skein yarn! A few of our test knitters are using different colors, so you can see how the pattern knits up in semi-solid and variegated colorways.

Here are a few of her pictures (again, these are not my pictures but belong to the designer, Yavanna) that are featured on the project page!





3/4 view:


Aren't they gorgeous!!?? I can't wait to continue knitting them and also for the May/June KAL!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 88

Hi everyone! I hope you're having a great week. A week from today, I'll be in the car driving 10 hours to the top of California, before continuing into Oregon the next day for the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival. Don't worry, while I'm gone I'll schedule Mr Linky posts, there just won't be much from me in them. :)

Now onto this week's WIPW as I have exciting things to share!:

This might not look like much yet, but I'm test knitting the Effie Hunger Games pattern that goes with this yarn, Candy Skein Yummy fingering in Butter Mints! I'm showing you this side, because there's not much to look at yet, as it's just twisted rib. We should be releasing pictures sometime this week (hopefully Thursday!) of the whole sock, but the pattern won't be released until it's finished through test knits. I will say, it's a gorgeous pattern, and though I only assisted in designing it, I'm super proud of it. I can't wait for you all to see the pictures. The designer, Yavanna, will be setting up a project page for it when we do release pictures so that those interested can favorite it for when it is released. I'm hoping to plan a KAL on the Candy Skein Addicts Ravelry group for May/June and will be keeping the Butter Mints colorway around through the end of May. One of the test knitters is knitting it in a kettle dyed Candy Skein colorway (Grape Fizz) and it looks awesome in that, too! Can you tell I'm excited?

I started my second All I Need is a TARDIS (Knit Picks Felici in the Time Traveler colorway) sock. It's great movie/tv/car knitting, as it's just around and around until I close the toe (and of course I'll need to add the waste yarn for the afterthought heel). I tried to get the stripes to match, but I believe it's 2 rows off. Oh well, that stuff doesn't bother me. :)

That's it for me today! I hope to have pictures of the Effie sock pattern to share Thursday, but if not, I'll have another installment of Life as an Indie Dyer!

For those that are new to WIPW, to share your WIPW post with us, just fill out the Mr. Linky below. Despite it saying you must comment, don't feel as if you do. That is something Mr. Linky automatically adds. I just ask you to check out a few of the links posted to see what everyone else is working on and comment there if you can. Everyone loves feedback and a little encouragement on their projects! Also, please link back to this post in your post to get the word out! The more the merrier!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Life as an Indie Dyer- My Week Part 5

Hi everyone and happy Friday! If you're looking for the FO Friday post, please scroll down as it was posted earlier.

This will be my last My Week post, but I will be continuing the Life as an Indie Dyer series once a week, instead of daily. Please be sure to check out the upcoming posts in the future. :)

Friday: Fridays vary SO much, depending on how much I got done the rest of the week, if I plan to work on the weekend and if there are a ton of orders that need to be sent. I only go to the post office Monday-Friday, so if I have outstanding orders that are already dyed, I do try and get them out before the end of Friday.

Last Friday I dyed a bunch (I can't remember the exact number to be honest), but didn't re-skein any at my house because I knew I had to rest my arm for later that evening. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, my knitting group and I were going to have a re-skeining party. This is the second one we've done in the past few weeks, as I'm normally working all by myself, but with the amount being dyed right now, I don't have time to re-skein them all myself. My amazing group offered to help me and how could I turn them down!

The last time we re-skeined, we got a bit done, but this time we needed to make a MUCH bigger dent to the box of skeins that were just waiting for us. Instead of meeting at 6 and working until 11:45 pm (serious dedication, right?), we decided to meet around 4. Before going over to my friend Robin's house, I had to run errands (I couldn't show up without a dessert and flowers!), go to the post office (again!) and get gas in the car.

I got to Robin's house around 4:30. We sat and talked until about 5, when Christi got there. Then we set up and got to work! Christi and I were re-skeining while Robin hanked and tagged each skein. Then later in the evening Miki and Rebecca showed up (with dinner..YAY!) and we took a break to eat. After dinner, we split off into teams of two, where one of us would get one skein ready while the other would re-wind the ones on the swifts, and finally Robin would then hank and tag them. It worked brilliantly and before we knew it, we had re-skeined 45! Amazing, right? We ended the night around 11pm, so a little earlier than last time but not much! I got home around 11:30, leaving everything in the car to be unpacked the next day as I was exhausted.

As for Saturday and Sunday, I had planned to work, but unfortunately, I hurt my back on Saturday afternoon. I was out of commission for the weekend, spending most of the time on the couch with a heating pad, book and my knitting. Despite my back, I was back at it this week, hitting the dye pots hard (I dyed everything left in the house by Wednesday and just waited for my next shipment to come Thursday afternoon!), and re-skeined a TON. As I write this Thursday evening, I only have about 45 skeins left to re-skein that are dyed, not counting the 60 skeins that need to be dyed, dried and re-skeined next week! It never ends!

I wanted to thank everyone for the super kind comments here, on Twitter and the Candy Skein Ravelry group about these posts. I can't wait to start the series weekly for you. :)

FO Friday 81

Hi everyone! I hope you're all doing well and had a great week. I've been busy, but I did have time to finish something. It may not be a completed FO, but it's half of one. Does that count??

Sorry this is so short, but I've been extremely busy this week, and posting every day for Life as an Indie Dyer is just about filling my internet time! I'm barely getting this up in time, as it's 11pm as I type this! I hope you have a great weekend and Happy Easter!!!!

Share your FOs!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Life as an Indie Dyer- My Week Part 4

Hi everyone! Before I get started with my Life as an Indie Dyer post, if you haven't had a chance to read my Candy Skein announcements, please do so.

If you're new to Life as an Indie Dyer, check out part 1, 2 and 3 from earlier this week or the tag Life as an Indie Dyer !

Now onto last Thursday!

Thursday: Thursdays are usually pretty hectic, must like Mondays are due to not being home a lot on Wednesdays since I watch my nieces a lot, as mentioned in yesterday's post. Since I didn't want them last week, it was a pretty basic day, though I didn't have any yarn in the pots. You see, space is limited, and because I had dyed so many skeins the days before, I didn't have room to hang any more up to dry. I do hope to have the space issue resolved soon, but we'll see how that goes.

You may remember in my FO Friday post from last week, I posted a picture of several (13 to be exact) skeins of yarn that I had re-skeined. It was a bit of a cheat for FO Friday, as technically I could post this for EVERY FO Friday, but there you go. Right now, the re-skeining process is a big one, and whenever I can get a bunch done, it's always a huge plus. Last Thursday, I actually got 15 re-skeined, as I continued to work after I took that picture.

Last Thursday, Yavanna, who is kindly designing the Effie Socks to go with the Butter Mints colorway, sent me four different sock sketch ideas, explaining the different parts of each idea. A little later, she also sent texture pictures, based on our discussions of what we wanted the texture to be like. After going back and forth a few times, we decided on a pattern and a sock design! This got me even MORE excited about the whole thing!

I knew that my knitting group and I were going to have a re-skeining "party" the next day (more about that in tomorrow's post), so I made sure to loosely hank the skeins that were just dry and add them to my inventory. I put together everything I needed to take (as the "party" was at my friend Robin's house) so that I didn't have to worry about it the next day or forget anything (which I ended up doing! LOL).

The rest of the evening was spent making dinner, tagging the yarn I re-skeined, writing my FO Friday post and finally, I was able to knit for a little bit. Shocking, right!?

That's it for the Thursday edition. Stay turned tomorrow for FO Friday (uhh, shoot, I have to go finish something!) and the last installment of Life as an Indie Dyer- My Week. I'll be doing more posts in the series, as mentioned, but will be focusing on other things, instead of my boring life. ;)

A Few Candy Skein Announcements

Hi everyone! Before I get to the Life as an Indie Dyer post for the day, I needed to get a few very important Candy Skein announcements out of the way.

First off, since the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival is April 20-22, and I have to travel to Oregon, I will be closing the shop from April 17-April 30th. This gives me time to travel home, take inventory of what remains (hopefully not much!), order new yarn and also update the website.

The great news is, in that time I hope to also convert the website so that you can check out (securely of course) straight from and you won't have to worry about going to Artfire or Etsy. I will still be keeping the Artfire and Etsy shops, this will give you one more option.

Don't worry though, due to closing for almost two weeks and the new Hunger Games inspired sock pattern that will be released soon for this yarn, I will continue selling Butter Mints through May, as well as sell a May '12 Sock Club colorway. I will also still be taking custom orders at this time, and you can email me at candyskein (at) gmail (dot) com for any inquiries.

In other big news, due to the price of Merino wool going up for the second time since I've opened Candy Skein's virtual doors, I will be raising prices on all yarn with Merino bases on April 15th. I just found out about the large price increase from my yarn supplier last week, and knew that I couldn't absorb the higher cost like I had last year. I have kept the prices still extremely competitive to all indie dyers online. I hope you understand and continue to use Candy Skein as your indie yarn shop.

The new cost is as follows:

Yummy Lace: $22
Yummy Fingering: $20
Yummy DK: $18
Yummy Worsted: $18
Yummy Chunky: $18

Tempting Sock: $23

Ripening Tonal: $22
Ripening Gradient: $24

The price of the Delicious yarns will stay the same, as the price is not increasing for alpaca/silk/cashmere.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Life as an Indie Dyer- My Week Part 3

Looking for Work in Progress Wednesday!? Just scroll down through this post. :)

Thanks again for the great comments regarding part one and part two of my posts! Sorry this is late, but I was crazy busy today and trying to find time to fit in this post. So let's get to it!

Wednesday: Wednesdays can be very different for me than last week's. Normally when I'm not preparing for a show, I watch my 2 1/2 and 7 1/2 year old nieces for my sister. It's a great way for me to make a little extra spending money, spend time with them and this is when I get most of my knitting done during the week. It's almost a day off, despite it being a LOT more stressful than being at home working. Normally when I watch them, I wake up, get myself and Milo (the dog comes with me) ready, check to make sure WIPW posted and head to my sister's house around 8, as I have to be at her house by 8:30. My youngest niece and I hang out, play while watching Disney Junior until I have to pick up my older niece from school at 12:15. Every Wednesday is a short day for her, weird, isn't it? I get most of the knitting time when it's just the little one and I, but if I'm lucky, I can knit if they want to watch a movie or play quietly throughout the day. I get home for the most part around 6:30pm, when I check what's going on online, check my shops and see if I need to take care of anything. My sister doesn't have internet, so when I get home is the only time I can take care of stuff like that, as well as hit as many Work in Progress Wednesday posts as possible. I used to be able to read all of them, but right now I'm lucky to hit around 10, so I choose them randomly so I can check out different blogs each week.

Since I'm getting ready for the show, I haven't watched them for the past few weeks, as losing a whole day is pretty impossible for me right now. Nothing much happened last Wednesday to be honest, except for reading WIPW posts while eating breakfast, re-skeining 10 skeins and dyeing 12. I didn't leave the house, focusing on work, as well as correspondences with another blogger regarding a possible review of Candy Skein yarn. I received a few more orders, but instead of running to the post office, I re-skeined the yarn and packed them for shipping, but waited to drop them off on Thursday. There's just some days that I can't bring myself to take a trip to the post office, you know?

Since the end of the month was near, I started checking my books (or excel sheet, I'm really not THAT fancy) against my Etsy and Artfire sales, as well as a few sales via email/Paypal/knitting groups. I got my receipts together to make sure that I had everything jotted down, so that my numbers were all correct for the month. I used to be less diligent about this, but after going through this year's tax season, I've learned to do it toward the end of each month. I also finish up the month before, since I don't wait until the end of the month. Normally, as soon as I get a sale, I put it down, so it's not too much work. It's more the small items I buy for the company that doesn't get put down right away. Tax season will hit me again come June 30th, as that's the next time I have to pay sales tax to California, so I'm trying to save work for myself in the long run.

As far as the sock pattern I was designing with Yavanna, she was off designing the sock based on our back and forth and awaiting the yarn I had sent her the day before. If I remember correctly, I finished work around 6:30, so that I could catch some hockey on TV and just relax a little. For some reason last week, my knitting mojo wasn't working, so I actually watched TV and then a movie without even picking up my knitting. Crazy, right? I think sometimes a little too much fiber goodness throughout the days and weeks is overload!

That was my Wednesday last week! Thanks again for reading these posts. Check back tomorrow for Thursday's post, as well as a few announcements regarding Candy Skein.

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 87

Hi everyone! I hope you're having a great week. I'm been busy as usual, not only with my normal work, but if you haven't visited the blog this week, I've started a new blog series! This week I'm posting each day for the Life as an Indie Dyer to share with you what a week lately looks like for me. After this week, I'll probably have one post each week in the series, give or take. I hope you enjoy the posts, as I've enjoyed writing them so far. I will be posting Wednesday's post later in the day.

I haven't had a lot of knitting time lately (as you can imagine), but since I hurt my back this weekend, I couldn't work! A blessing in disguise, maybe, but back pain is no fun, let me tell you! Anyway, because I hurt myself, I got to work on my Time Traveler sock that I have named All I Need is a TARDIS on my project page. Awesome, right (if you're a Doctor Who fan)?

As you can see in this not great iPhone picture, I'm doing an afterthought heel. This is my first time doing an afterthought heel but I thought it made sense since I am using self striping yarn. This is Knit Picks Felici in the colorway Time Traveler (hence the Doctor Who name). This is my first time completing something with the yarn, and at first I wasn't sure I liked it, but now I really do enjoy it. It has good stitch definition, is soft but feels pretty sturdy. I'm not following a pattern, but I did use this video to figure out how to do an afterthought heel. I just pulled out the waste yarn (or almost, I missed a stitch when picking them up so the waste yarn in the picture is holding that one stitch until I can catch it on my way around) and will start knitting the sock. It's hard to tell if they were going to fit before I pulled the yarn out, but now I think they'll be perfect!

That's it for me today as far as WIPW. Remember, I'll be back with my Wednesday Life as an Indie Dyer post later!

For those that are new to WIPW, to share your WIPW post with us, just fill out the Mr. Linky below. Despite it saying you must comment, don't feel as if you do. That is something Mr. Linky automatically adds. I just ask you to check out a few of the links posted to see what everyone else is working on and comment there if you can. Everyone loves feedback and a little encouragement on their projects! Also, please link back to this post in your post to get the word out! The more the merrier!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Life as an Indie Dyer- My Week Part 2

Thanks for the great comments I received on part one of my week and the series as a whole! I'm so glad you're enjoying the posts (or post for that matter). Sometimes I'm not sure if it's something people really care about or I just find interesting. To be honest, this is a great exercise for me as well. Living through it, I know I'm busy, but after writing and re-reading my post from yesterday, I thought, 'WOW, no wonder I'm so tired at the end of the day and feel stressed!'

Believe it or not, when I posted the Monday post, I realized I forgot a huge portion of last Monday that is very important and ongoing at the moment for me. Last Monday, I received an email from a sock designer who's current ongoing series of patterns has gotten me excited. On a Ravelry message board I mentioned how much I liked the patterns she's designing. What patterns you ask? She's designing sock patterns based on the Hunger Games books/movie(s). She currently has a pattern for Peeta, Gale (she hasn't released the pattern yet but it's soon!), and almost the rest of the cast! If you look at her project page you can see her updated photos for each. Anyway, back to how Candy Skein has anything to do with it. So, I loved her pattern for Peeta and Gale, and mentioned on a Ravelry Hunger Games board that I hope she does one for Effie. That's when she emailed me, asking if I was interested in partnering with her on a few patterns. She wanted certain colors for her idea of an Effie sock, and also wanted to know mine. Monday we worked back and forth, describing our ideas of what represents Effie, what colors to use and we came to the conclusion there would not be one Effie based sock, but TWO different patterns, both with Candy Skein yarn. Exciting, right!? I was BEYOND excited. So that's how far it got on Monday. Now onto Tuesday!

Tuesday: Tuesdays are hit or miss on the busy scale. It really depends how much I get done on Mondays to be honest. Due to the upcoming Fiber Festival, I don't have a day that isn't busy right now. This past Tuesday was no exception. I received 4 new orders, so I had to re-skein, pack and print out the receipts for those. Luckily, one of them was for one of my friends that goes to my crochet/knitting group on Tuesdays so I just had to get her stuff ready to take with me, as later we were meeting.

I'm sure you're wondering why I always say I have to re-skein them. I'll get more into that in a later post focusing on the re-skeining process, but for now, I just wanted to point out that normally, I do have everything re-skeined once it's listed on the website for sale. Due to the amount of dyeing that I've had to do, I was about 80 skeins behind on the process last Tuesday. Yes, you read that right, 80. Now that's just an estimate from me, but if anything, it's probably more than that, not less (more on that as well, at a later day). Anyway, back to my day. While getting orders ready, I of course had yarn in the pots. I ended up dyeing about ten skeins last Tuesday if memory serves me right. Ten is a good day when I'm not getting ready for a festival and an okay day when I am. At this point, I just need to dye as much as possible.

I also did a little research on patterns that we could use for the Effie socks, while the designer, Yavanna, was coming up with her ideas. This was my first time working closely with a designer and I love the process. I knew for my Effie sock ideas, we were going to be using the April Sock Club colorway, Butter Mints. For her design, she wanted more vibrant colors to show the other side of Effie, so we decided on a bright mix of Royal Rock Candy and Grape Fizz. I wanted to dye them for her, so that they came out just as she wanted, so instead of taking from the skeins already dyed, I dyed a few to her liking. Fun, right!? I can't tell you how excited I am for the pattern, and I'll fill you in on the rest of our process later in the week.

My crochet and knitting group (a separate group from Monday except for one other member who is in both) meets every other Tuesday at a local Panera Bread from 4:30-7:30. The great thing is, it's close to a Michael's Crafts and a supermarket that carries just the colors I need for dyeing...If you can imagine the weird looks I get with the vinegar, imagine the comments when I walk to the checkout of a market with $35 worth of Kool-aid! I usually can't get by without explain what I use it for. I've gotten 'wow, you must sure like Kool-aid', to 'big party tonight, huh?' thinking that I'm mixing them with alcohol a la J-ello shots. Again, I think I disappoint them when I tell them the real reason, or sometimes they even look at me stranger. I also get tips from them, like last week, a girl mentioned that she uses the Lemonade sugar free Kool-aid to clean her dishwasher. Who knew there were so many uses for Kool-aid, right?

I had to leave the house early to hit those places, plus the post office again (do you notice a theme here), before heading to the meet up. Sure enough, it took just the right amount of time, and I was able to get to the meet up just as everyone else was arriving. My Monday night group (which meets every week as mentioned) is about 30 minutes from my house, but luckily, the Tuesday group is about 10-12 minutes away. It's an open group (on, so we never really know who will show up. It always keeps us on our toes! I started the group with a friend of mine about a year and a half ago, Sharon from Ami Amour. We have a great time, despite not always getting a ton of knitting/crocheting done during it. There are many days I forget to eat lunch when Tuesdays are concerned if it's a meet up day, so I try and get in a snack at Panera before dinner later in the evening.

That day, I had an order for one of the members of the group which I brought along, as well as skeins of Butter Mints as they had yet to see it. See, work and play does mix! Sharon and I stuck around talking until around 8pm as we like to talk about how each of our companies are doing, when I met my husband for dinner. It's our night where we tend to go out to dinner since I haven't been home to cook anything and my group meets close to his route home.

We got home from dinner around 9pm, when we then had to feed and walk the dog. Normally I do that around 6, but on Tuesdays when I have group, I leave way too early to feed him. I then came back from our walk, updated my books, checked all my sites and sat down to write the Work in Progress Wednesday post. I try to get to the post earlier in the day, but lately I haven't had time until just before bed. I took the picture, finished up the post and scheduled it to post at 12:01am Wednesday morning like I do each week. It was around 10pm at that point, and I still had to wash out the day's yarn. I did that and hung it to dry. It was about 10:30 by the time I finished everything, and ended my day reading in bed before sleep.

Not as hectic as Monday, but I still worked (or did work related items) between 9am and 4:30 and then again from 9:30pm to 10:30pm.

Come back tomorrow for Work in Progress Wednesday, and later in the day, Part 3 of my week!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Life as an Indie Dyer- My Week Part 1

First off, thank you all for encouraging me to go ahead with this series of posts, Life as an Indie Dyer. I get a lot of people who ask questions about my process, or just about my day to day life as I build Candy Skein from the ground up. I thought this was a great way to document all of that, and have fun while doing it!

Since this is the first part, I thought it would be interesting to show you what my week looked like day by day. Since today is Monday, I'll be posting what my Monday last week looked like! The next posts after the week posts in this series will be more focused on subjects, instead of across the board, but today we look at it all!

I'm getting ready for the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival, so my life is a little more hectic right now than normal! I have a booth there (or a Candy Skein booth!) so there is a lot of work and stress in my near future. I was accepted to the festival in December, so I started preparing in January. That may seem a little far ahead, but trust me, it isn't! In fact, I wish I had worked harder in January than I did, as now I'm paying for it. You see, the fiber festival is April 20-22nd, but since it's in Hood River, Oregon and I live in San Diego, CA I have to have everything ready and packed for the drive up the morning of April 18th. Yikes, right!? I'm less than a month out and have a LOT more to do!

Here's how my Monday last week shaped up!

Monday: Monday always seem to be insanity for me. I try to take Saturday and/or Sunday off, which doesn't happen often, but if I do, Monday is even more crazy. This Monday wasn't any exception! I had to post the new Candy Skein Sock Club colorway of the month, which takes several steps! I had to have a skein dyed (of course), but luckily I did that the week before, so not only was it dyed, it was also dry! Lucky me for thinking ahead. :) I have to wait a few days for it to dry, which can be anywhere from 2-3 1/2 days depending on the humidity/weather here. I then re-skein it, take pictures, clean the picture up a little bit by adjusting the levels to make sure it represents the yarn as close as possible and update my Candy Skein website, Artfire, Etsy, Candy Skein Addict Ravelry group, blog and other groups around Ravelry that I post on like Sock Knitters Anonymous. I also post the links to the new yarn on Twitter. This takes a few hours, because each site is different.

While I was doing all of this, I had to get up to check on the yarn that I was dyeing. I currently dye yarn in my kitchen, so sometimes have anywhere from 1-4 pots going at the same time, depending on the quantity of yarn that I need to dye at the moment. In each pot, it can range from 1-5 skeins. The highest amount I can have at one time is usually 9, but I don't usually do that due of space. Unfortunately, my kitchen is very small and it just gets nuts. I'm hoping to fix that solution soon, but that's for another Life as an Indie Dyer post. Due to space, I also don't have yarn ready to just dump in the pots, nor do I have dye already mixed. Each time I dye skeins, I have to get them ready for the pot (for another post), let them soak for about an hour and then mix the dyes before applying them. I dyed 11 skeins that day.

Once I finished posting the new colorway onto the site, it was time to pack orders! Some of the yarn that was ordered hadn't been re-skeined yet (for another post), so I had to re-skein it, tag it, pack it and print out the receipt. Monday I had 4 orders that needed to be mailed. Luckily I have a post office not too far away from me, so I was able to swing by quickly.

Monday nights, I meet with my knitting group, and I wanted to bring skeins of Butter Mints for them. I usually try to let them have first pick of new colorways and yarn, as they're awesome! I had 9 skeins of Butter Mints dyed, so I re-skeined the 9 skeins and chose the one I was going to keep for myself. I then packed everything up and headed to my knitting group's meeting.

But it doesn't end here! I had to run to Target for vinegar, as I use it to set my dyes and Target has the best price out there per gallon. I usually buy 2-3 gallons at a time, and I always get very strange looks! People always seem to wonder why one girl would need THAT much white vinegar. I've tried to come up with very clever and funny reasons when they ask, but funny enough, I get the weirdest looks when I actually tell the truth!

My knitting group meets every Monday from 6-9, and I usually get home between 9:30-10. I got home and checked all of my sites, and also updated my books based on my knitting group buying their skeins of Butter Mints and a few sales I had made earlier that day. I also had to wash out the eleven skeins I dyed earlier, as I hadn't had time to do it earlier before leaving.

I was finished around 10:30pm and I started working around 9am, with breaks for breakfast, lunch and at my knitting group. That's a long and tiring day!

Check back tomorrow for my Tuesday post! I hope this post wasn't too boring! Thanks for reading.