Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A costly rant

Ok, I know there is going to be someone out there that is going to say I told you so but here it goes. I Knit Slow. So when a customer asks me to finish a project that’s fine and it goes quick. But as soon as they include some bit of knitting there goes the price. Now you have to realize that I charge people 6.00 per hour. I don’t know too many people who work for that little. It’s above minimum wage but not by much. So if you make something and ask me to finish it (sewing) then it won’t take too long maybe 3 hours if I’m not weaving in a bunch of ends. But then you want me to knit a 7 inch turtleneck, 4 inches in K1,P1 rib and 3 more in a height eating pattern on no 3 needles in sock yarn with 106 stitches in the round it’s gonna take some time! Add to that fact that I knit slow (it’s actually that I purl slow, I knit quite at a normal speed.) Your talking hours and $$$. So when I call and tell you the cost of my labor and you give me shocked silence or worse yet Flack….I’m gonna be a little upset. If it’s too much money then I guess it would be cheaper to do your own work! I’ll even teach you how for free.
End of rant.

So, this last weekend was filled with job knitting. This weekend will be filled with ..Job knitting washing fleece, mailing checks running to Lincoln and Fremont, going to my oldest teens play putting uup with in laws and playing with my latest addition… a new doe.(at least we hope it’s a doe. I have too many bucks as it is.) I went out and bought 2 new cages and as the new doe is only 8 weeks old the travel cage is plenty big for her. She is a Vienna mark? Black with one white spot on her head. Very cute and fluffy. Scotch turned out to be a Dutch. No fiber from him. I may have to do something very unkind to him soon.
I got some gift certificates in the mail from String of Purls, I may send J out there on the Men’s Monday. I may even violate my moral code and go there on next Wed. We will see.
One white Lincoln fleece left 6 lbs 4 oz. I’m not averse to taking it myself but It can go if someone else wants it. I can even wash it for $5.50. This is not my normal fee, I’m helping a good farmer move some good product.
On to the voluntary knitting I’m looking at that Spartan sweater in Interweave Knits. I found the authors website, called stitching on the farm. She seems really cool. I spent my breaks at work converting the pattern for some yarn I was thinking of using. I also looked at some yarn on the knit pick web site that would work. Two of them actually swish superwash and wool of the Andes. The gage is a little off but not by enough to be a headache. Her gage is 3.5 st and 5 rows per inch. The knit picks yarns run at 4 st and I don’t know how many rows. The yarn I have in the house runs 4.5 st and 5 rows. So I had to re-write the pattern.

I think I should be able to post it here without copyright infringment. All I changed is some stitch numbers based on the gauge for the new yarn.

Anyway I gotta run...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

After the show has ended

Yes the guild show is over. In all we made some pretty good money and my check came faster than ever. It just wasn't that big. That's ok though cause eBay will make up for it.

Thanksgiving is also over. It was cool. We had chili, cornbread, egg nog, chips and dip, and Boston cream pie with ice cream for dessert. (oh and the ever present coffee!)

There are two Lincoln fleeces left. The washed one went to it's new home this morning.

My daughters mittens are all sewn up, they just need their snowflake design on the back. (And some snow to wear them in.) The zig zag scarf is at normal scarf length but I still have yarn left so it will be getting longer.

My clients turtleneck is almost done, we should be done by Sunday night, and my new repair job is at a standstill until I figure out that decorative edging. That should be done Sunday night as well.

I have discovered the Country Store in Council Bluffs across from The Tractor Supply Company sells bales of hay! I was so tired of running out of hay for the rabbits and paying 4 dollars for a tiny bale that mostly fell through the floor of their cages. I bought a huge square bale of hay that should last them for a year at least for 6 dollars! Wow. Much better deal for me and the bunnies.
There is a bunny show in Fort dodge Iowa today that my girlfriends have gone to. They promised to bring me back 2 cages for Scotch and Kiki. Ms. Riley did not give birth much as I expected. I had her rebred on the 15th so we are back to waiting another month.

On the podcast front I have been listening to Sticks and String, a knitting podcast by an Australian bloke named David. I am impressed with his show and must say that accent makes me knit faster! (Ahem!) Lets give him our warmest welcomes and hope he can go the distance. It's also nice to hear more guys.

I've been looking through a lot of knitting magazines lately and have found a nice sweater pattern for a guy in one of the Interweave knitting issues (fall 2006). After listening to David about what men want in a sweater and looking in J's closet. It seems to suit him. It has a fair isle pattern along the hem, and is a v neck but otherwise has no designs and is only in one color. Even the fair isle is the main color and a lighter version of the same color. I may have to change the v neck to a crew but it's simple and plain. The grey sweater I'm knitting him needs only 1.5 sleeves and some sewing. Then the collar and I'm done. I don't think it's going to work well, it may be too wide and not long enough. We will see.

Well that's all for now, happy holidays and remember to knit, spin, weave, crochet..Whatever!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Lincoln fleece for sale

The Lincoln fleeces are just great! Good staple length, less than 6 inches, no matting, good curl. Little to no VM and ready for sale.

5.00 per lb raw, a fee of 5.50 if you want your batch washed. There is only 2 white fleeces and one silver/black fleece left. These were just sheared in Oct so they are fresh.

I am free this Sunday through Tuesday of next week, then Saturday and Sunday this next weekend.
Please leave a comment if you would like to see them and or get some. The comments go to my e mail basket. Or you can visit our Strings web page in the Contact US section and give me a call.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Free at last!

Nov 17 2006

Today I paid off the smaller of my two long term debts. I even have a receipt that looks like it should be framed. As you may know, J and I are looking for a new house. In order to do that well, we are reducing our debts. Even though this payoff was planned before the house, it still puts us one step closer to the goal!

Tomorrow is the guild sale 9-4pm at the Banquet center in Ralston. Take 72 st to the Ralston sign (Welcome to Ralston) it’s on the west side of the street. Turn in it and drive till you’re almost to the top of the hill and look on your left. There it is in the little strip mall. Go. Spend money. Support your local artists.

The Lincoln fleeces from Iowa came today and I was Very pleased. 4 fleeces mostly lamb and one mature animal. 2 white, one dark silver, and one multicolor. (Brown silver and white) Heavy, curly locks and the shearing job looked good. I will say that I think the fleeces absorbed some moisture. They’re not wet, just cold and really heavy. The shipping tag says 35lbs for all of them. I can believe it. I’d take them all if I hadn’t told my girls they could look them over first. Even at 5.00 a lb that’s 175.00. WOW! Any way

Ms. Riley doesn’t seem to be pregnant. She was chewing her cage again so I let her in with Scotch and she went right to it. No fuss like with her first breeding. So we get to wait another thirty days and see what’s what. Scotch just thinks he’s senior buck now. I had to double lock his cage he’s gotten so fired up. My little white one is just pissy now.

The spinning probably won’t resume till next month. I still have a sweater to put together for a client. This fantastic woman made a sweater out of sock yarn. And yes I get to sew it together and make the collar. Woopee! So far I have 3 hours into it just sewing the sleeves shut, never mind sewing them onto the body. I was hoping to get that done this weekend.

Classes for the fiber show: if I hadn’t written before knitting, felting, spinning, crochet, and dying. There is only one felting class but there should be 2 of the others. Vendors need to send in money by Jan 31. I will need to know if your booth-ing by yourself or with someone else. Fee is 100.00 with 50.00 refundable. Vendors are provided with chairs tables and electricity.

Don’t forget to listen to your podcasts, and visit your favorite blogs. Please leave a comment. I love to think some one actually reads my ramblings. (Other than you Minnie.)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Vote Vote Vote!

Today is Election Day. There I said it and that’s all I’m gonna write about that.

On to fiber, the festival planning is going well. One possible mill and about 8 vendors (including myself)

The bunny is still pregnant and has gone up 8 oz since mating on the 21st. I had to go away this weekend and when I came back, she had lost 2 oz. (I worry but not too much, it might have been stress or low food.) I do know I had 3 cages that wanted cleaning though. I clean my cages every day and scrub them once a week so being gone for Fri. –sun was a bit much. They were actually glad to see me. Did I tell you guys about Kiwi? A Red Eyed White bunny male that can’t make babies. He and Scotch fuss if they are too close to each other so I had to separate them.

I have missed a lot of knit nights lately and find I’m in desperate need of a girl’s night. I seem to have verbal gushing going on and the people at work are…upset.

Drill was cool but I hurt my ankle in field training.

I have finished the Mohair monster and am sending it home on Friday. ( I have off Friday!) I have a new piece to work on and it then the guild sale work I need to do. It’s next Saturday so please come buy and …buy! Course this means I will have to clear all the photos I put up as well as start on new inventory.
We have been looking at buying a new house and found a City of Omaha program that finances loans on new and existing homes at a 2% interest rate. It’s pretty cool. Go to Omaha100inc, they have some links to the program and will send you information.

I know I haven’t posted in a while but I’ve been doing work training business work family issues…you know how it goes. But I missed writing very much and it seems that is part of the tension. Just making this post has got me feeling better. Once again I have no photo’s. I will have to get back into that soon.

I have been reading a lot of blogs about Rhinebeck, Soar and a bunch of other fiber events and that keeps me motivated. My friend Deawn moved back to Canada and that makes me sad but there are always more knitters and if we can’t find ‘em, we’ll make ‘em.
(evil chuckle)