Monday, August 31, 2009

Flickr, etc.

I'm engaging in a super mega lock down of my Flickr account. Most of my pictures here and on Ravlery were linked and hosted through Flickr with a privacy filter of "public". Rather than sort through 4000 images looking for the blog ones, it was easier to make pictures private which means that pictures from past posts will no longer be viewable on the blog. I'll try to fix the most recent posts. Future posts should be unaffected.

Sorry.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dog days of summer?

Whoa. It's been almost a month since I updated? I guess I never got around to posting any of the posts I wrote in my head. I blame lazy late summers. I keep waiting for the dog days of summer to set in but here we are on the cusp of a new school year and it is perfectly lovely outside. If it were 100° and 100% humidity I would not be blogging because it would be too hot to move or knit. Instead it is 80° and I'm not blogging because I'm busy working. I have never been this productive in an August. Scary what pleasant temperatures will do for ones work disposition.

One thing or another ate up a lot of time and money earlier this year. My dye pots stayed cooler than I would have liked for the first half of the year, but all that is over now. With the Strange Folk festival coming up I needed to really get fully back in the swing of things. I've dyed 8-15lbs of yarn or roving every week for the past month, half slated to go on Etsy and half set aside for Strange Folk. I sort of got the website up. I've got several patterns half-written. I've made up some marketing materials. I've ordered more yarn than I have since last year. I've done a lot of winding and more detangling than I have ever cared to. I've done a lot of the little things that a business needs but really has nothing to do with dyeing yarn.

I'm exhausted and poor, but happy.

I've got a few things to catch up on on the Dyeabolical side of things, but I think I'll do that in the "business" blog or maybe I'll do a separate post later.

G'night.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rrrrrr!

My business name had a minor change last week. It is no longer Dyeabolical™. It is now Dyeabolical® which means Dyeabolical is now a federally registered trademark in its class.

I feel so grown up. Being grown up gives me a headache.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Preview and Rant (with lots of parentheticals (as usual))

Read this paragraph even if you skip the rest of the post--
I realized I have listed these new Strong Arm colors with the wrong price for the base. The Strong Arm base should be $19. I have it listed a dollar lower. I will honor the lower price on all the Strong Arm through Sunday. I will include new listings between now and then at the lower price. I am sorry for the confusion.
Okay, you can run away now.

================================

Here's what I'll be posting to the shop in a few minutes. I only have a few for Saturday unless I get up from this chair and rewind more yarn. Likelihood of that happening? Ummm...zero. I've got a pot full of Kona coffee straight from Hawaii, courtesy of blogless Annie (blog, Annie, blog!) and I fully intend on savoring it while doing nothing.
Friday Preview

Saturday will finish up the current listings:
My creation

[Steps up on soapbox. Warning, I ramble.]

A few days ago a fellow knit-nighter and blogger asked why someone would buy a pattern when they could get a nearly identical pattern for free. I gotta agree from a consumer standpoint. Why would you buy an otherwise free pattern? I wouldn't....no wait. I would. I would and I have. There is an issue of a new knitting magazine that has several patterns in it that are free. I still bought the issue because all the patterns were put together in the same magazine, coupled with better pictures and a few other articles added. There are a lot of reasons someone would buy versus getting it for free--perceived value, a better presentation or layout, added contend in the paid version, being unaware of the free pattern (most likely, I think), trusting the designer of the paid pattern more, or a belief that they are buying some access to the designer (ahem).

I also think the knitting community likes to reward creative minds in some way. Podcasts are free, but I still give my favorite ones money. I can imagine someone paying for the creative ability of a designer by buying their pattern even if that same creative ability is visible in the free pattern.

Although not quite the same topic, the topic of free patterns also got me thinking about the idea of designers selling otherwise free patterns. Many designers provide their work at no charge to the consumer on their website or on free sites such as Knitty. Even though these patterns are free to the individual knitter, those same designers get tetchy when their "free" pattern is given away in a yarn shop and they should be tetchy.

When a designer gives a free pattern, they are often getting some kind of compensation for it. It may not be a monetary compensation, but they are getting blog traffic, yarn sales or promoting their brand. The designer is deprived of those sales, exposure or ad income when a LYS turns around and prints out that pattern for a customer or uses that pattern for a class without any additional compensation to the designer. And since we're on the topic, I've heard of LYSs who don't even get the permission of the designer. If a LYS is going to turn a profit on the designers pattern while simultaneously depriving the designer of appropriate compensation then it is wrong. So there you go. That's how I feel about free patterns from a designing standpoint, not that I fancy myself a designer. I write patterns sometimes. I'm not a designer, at least not yet.

From a former LYS worker/manager/whatever stance my viewpoint shifts a little. My experience at the yarn shop is that there is a HUGE contingent of knitters who are not online. I have, many many times, given a customer the URL for a free pattern (my own, from Knitty, on Ravlery) and have them, in turn, ask if they could just buy a printed version. There is a significant number of customers who, when told that the LYS couldn't print the pattern (copyright/license issues) stated that they would rather buy a printed copy than go online and print their own for free. Not just a few people. A LOT of people. These are the same people who look blankly when I say 'ravelry', 'knitty' and sometimes even 'blog'. It still makes me feel funny, though.

I hear so much wank on the copyright issue, I hear so many times that someones pattern is being distributed without authorization or permission. It happens so often and so frequently that when a knitting teacher or LYS approaches me and asks if they can use my "free" pattern, I am extra super duper happy. This isn't normal and it SHOULD BE, especially if the yarn store doesn't already sell my yarn (Ahem, small digression, I'm accepting small wholesale accounts now). A teacher recently inquired about using one of my patterns. She may not end up going with it, but it made me so happy that she asked that I went ahead and drafted fingerless mitt pattern plus instructions on knitting with roving to add value to the pattern. I don't have all the details finalized, but once it is finished I envision it being appropriate for yarn shops to use for a class or for non-spinning knitters who may fall in love with a particular roving but not know what to do with it.
[End rambly soapbox]

Sometimes I get a head full of steam and have to write or talk out my thoughts before I get to the point. Other times I sit mutely in the corner desperately wishing for something to say. You may have noticed. The point--I'm writing a new pattern. Precursor to the point--6 paragraphs. I think it might be herditary. Hi mom.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesdays yarns

I just listed 6 more colorways of Strong Arm sock yarn (80/20 superwash merino/nylon) in my etsy shop. I will be listing new colors every day this week. I'll try to get Wednesday's preview up this afternoon. Happy knitting!

My creation

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Store update

Instead of taking it easy after the wool tried to kill me, I decided to get back on that horse and dyed up 48 skeins of sock yarn, all one-of-a-kind (my favorite kind). I figure if I give my body a chance to even consider a wool allergy I will be doomed so no wool breaks for at least a few days. Here are the 12 skeins I will be listing Sunday and Monday:

My creation

===========================
Find me at:
Website: dyeabolicalyarns.com
Etsy shop: dyeabolicalyarns.etsy.com
Twitter: twitter.com/dyeabolicalyarn
Store blog: dyeabolicalyarns.blogspot.com
Tumblr: stlrachelknits.tumblr.com