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new studio wide

I have been on a journey for the last ten months. Most of this adventure has taken place inside google docs and 3 or 4 manila folders full of scratch paper. I have written my novel 5 times over and finally landed on a draft that I can make into something. The feeling is sublime., and I have taken a few days to revel in it. I sent it to my beta readers, had a drink to toast it, and gave myself the reward of Maria V. Snyder’s Glass Series. (I have devoured them. Seriously. We need to talk about book more often, reader friends.)

This journey of mine, however, has not just been about writing my novel. I have been on a highly introspective, speculative path that’s had some confidence building detours. I won’t say I’m completely done with it all, but I feel like I could wear this shirt honestly, and get some shit done.

If you’ve stuck with me over the last couple of years, there’s been no surprise that I didn’t know what the hell I’ve wanted to do. I’ve been bouncing around from one crafty infatuation to the next, without ever really settling on anything. One thing about writing my novel that helped me was that all of my passions kept popping up. That book incorporates so much that I love–coffee, textiles, modern small business strategy, men’s fashions. (True confession, I say I subscribe to the New York Times for the book review, and the comprehensive news, but the only thing I ever get through cover to cover is the style magazine.) Through the writing process, and examining what worked for my characters, I was also somehow able to wrestle out what gives me the most joy.

Strangely enough, they are the two things I do the most already: writing and retail. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out that I should put the two together and write about retail. Except that I am really excellent at getting in my own way.

Comical metaphorical stumbling aside, I have a head full of specialty retail knowledge, and if I don’t get some of it out on the page, I’m in danger of exploding it all over the place. And let’s be honest, there’s a time and place for telling someone they need to reexamine their pricing strategy. (But hey, if you wanna talk about pricing, check back tomorrow!) Meaning, that you, reader friends, can expect to read some tricks of the trade right here.

I am excited. Are you excited?

wool rainbow

So what does all this self-helpy, soul-examining, navel-gazing have to do with destashing? It means I need to transform Tiny Dino Studios from a fiber studio to a multipurpose studio. There is a ton of awesome stuff that I’ve basically stopped using, and I want you to have it.

Through October 31st, my etsy shop will be open and all the yarns and spinning fibers I have stashed away will be up for grabs at 60-75% off. That is a steal of a deal on some really high quality yarn. I will be updating the shop on Saturday mornings with everything I can find through the end of October or as long as supplies hold out.

Mr Drum Carder

In addition to everything on etsy, I am selling my drum carder. I bought him right before I started to lose my enthusiasm for selling yarn, so I’ve made maybe 12 batts on the guy in the last couple years. (I have cleaned him up since I took this photo.) The card cloth is 120tpi/90tpi. I’m asking $200, and I’ll thrown in a bag of loose locks and fluff and stuff. Local only, I’d prefer not to ship this guy. Email me or leave a comment if you’re interested. ┬áDrum Carder Sold!

Check out etsy, and hang around for what’s next!

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I have been blogging to you in my head as just about every day of the week, especially on days I don’t get a chance to blog. I have been having so many new ideas!

You see, I am now gainfully employed, instead of just-barely-sustainably employed, which opens up a lot of new opportunities. I can now seriously entertain the idea of one day owning a car that can haul all my yarn and supplies to craft shows. I fantasize about my future yard and future giant garden with a real sense of attainability. I can pay my bills and use my debit card without cringing for fear of it being declined. What will happen first of course, before any of that other stuff is acted upon, is that I might finally be able to pay off my debt. I don’t have a lot, bit it’s enough to be an encumbrance for attaining a decent car or a yard or a vacation. To have the opportunity to finally make more than minimum payments on my debt is a staggering prospect. It’s freeing. It’s a whole new world, as it were.

And the crazy this is, I really like my job. I think I have said this before, but even that fact still surprises me. I thought for the longest time that if I wanted to work for more than minimum wage I would somehow have to compromise my integrity. While I know this assumption is wrong on many levels, I also don’t believe it to be uncommon. Perhaps it’s a collegiate-inspired disillusionment? I am fortified know that I can go to work each day and do my job and not be dishonest. (I think, working in the service industry requires an amount of dishonesty in that it requires a person to assume some complacent anonymity to get through the shift and not annoy customers.)

At the same time, the new schedule and the new environment is an adjustment. It is all new, and I have a lot of new work-related things to think about. So much so that sometimes I have trouble shutting these things off throughout the day and into the evening. Sometimes, I wake myself up in the night thinking up clever merchandising plans for one of my retail sites that have nothing to do with reality. (One recent idea/dream had to do with feigning a haunting, which involves a level of dubiousness that I do not possess.) Because of this, my fiber art energies have been diverted into as much knitting as I can handle. With two sweaters and two pairs of socks on the needles, I am in my knitting element. I have not been dyeing any yarn–except for one special order. I have not been attending the farmers market. I have not been spinning or weaving or designing. I have been knitting items that are not for sale as fast as my fingers can move.

All the while, I have been fantasizing about owning my own yarn store and what about my new job I could take with me to do that. Now, don’t get too excited. Remember the beginning of my post where I was excited about some very simple, generally attainable things? Without a serious financial backer, there would be no way I would be able to open my own retail operation anytime in the foreseeable future, but I have been applying these fantasies to Tiny Dino Studios.

In the past, I have tried to sell knitted good along with my yarn. I have had good luck with these products, bu t I don’t enjoy the process. I am selfish with my knitting. I do gifts of course, but when knitting to sell, I sometimes get angry that I can’t knit what I want. Taking frustration out on knitting is not a good place to be.

As fall approaches, I have been feeling pressure to create winter items like scarves, hats, and mittens for sale at the farmer’s market. I am not going to give in to that pressure. I have other knitting goals that are more important to me to meet. I want to teach knitting classes and eventually design my own sweaters and mittens and socks. There is a lot of work I need to do to be able to reach that goal. I am working through projects / books that I believe will get me there.

Focusing down to only just selling yarn from now on takes a lot of pressure off of me and gives me the motivation to move forward with my dyeing business where lately I have been feeling discouraged and confused.