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Thu, Dec. 24th, 2009, 02:10 pm

I will be on vacation until Jan 5th, with some intermittent internet. Have a great holiday and new year!

Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009, 11:28 am
Last Day for Patterns!

terraform550
(Terraform Hat seamed at the back for a nice pointed top.)
oday is the last day to buy the hat patterns at a discounted price on Midnightsky Fibers. The hat patterns are yummy and delightful...but being rewritten! You will get the current copies of the patterns now, and the spiffy verion in a little bit once they are...well. Spiffy. But only available for a few more hours! Patterns available here.

Hats are designed to be used with a bulky or super bulky weight handspun yarn.

more of the patterns included:Collapse )

Wed, Dec. 2nd, 2009, 03:42 pm

Oof. I am looking in to MBA programs and the math parts of it look like it will totally suck. Just studying* for the gmat is painful, since yea, like I so totally remember geometry from middle school. But, ugh, now is really the best time to go back to school.

*rather trying to study. I have a huge mental block against the studying and it is sucking.

Fri, Nov. 13th, 2009, 02:00 pm
dye kits

Opting for a blend of dropdown boxes, radio, and checkboxes. And dividing the sections up further for individual and sets. Taking forever! But I think it makes a lot more sense now. It is making me go a wee bit cross eyed, but now that I have the basic descriptions for each set (dye bulk, kit, individual) it is getting a bit less annoying.

Thu, Nov. 12th, 2009, 07:05 pm
Help- Organizign products!

Ok, I am launching a new product. Natural dye kits. Awesome, cause they are mini (designed to dye 4 ounces/100 grams of fiber), but they are causing me issues figuring out how to put them on my website so they are easy for people to understand and not a total pain in the arse for me to program in to the website.

Suggestions?

Here is the issue:
There are 2 mordants: wool and cotton. There are several types of natural dyes (ie, cochineal, madder, lac, etc). And there are also color changers (cream of tartar and iron). Each is packaged individually with instructions, and due to the size of the packaging- about the size of a business card- there is not room to have instructions for both dyes and mordants on there.

It seems to me the easiest way for people would be for each dye to have an option: wool or cotton mordant, and do you want to add the optional color changer(s)? Annoying to program, and could confuse people with all the add ons.

I also want people to be able to buy just the dye or mordant parts, since they are packaged separately anyways- way too big of a headache to have each dye + mordant option.

So right now I am leaning towards having them all be separate and just linking the dyes to the different mordants and having people add each one to the cart separately. I think this would make it easier for wholesalers too- they can add as many of whichever they want more easily. And it wouldn't be confusing when they then didn't come packaged together...

(this is the current dye kit page, if that makes it make any more sense.)

Fri, Oct. 9th, 2009, 04:34 pm
Updates

clochehat

+Hey, the patterns for the Space Hats Kit and Cloche Hat Kit are awesome. But they are also kinda hard to tell what they really look like since they are not on an actual head you can see...yet. So the patterns do not yet have the super pretty pictures they will eventually have. So, here is your chance to get the patterns at a reduced price before I finish the patterns off super nicely. You are getting both patterns for $7, over half off the price- cloche hat will be $7 and Space Hats will be $10. And even better, when the patterns ARE done several weeks from now you will get the new complete patterns with the sexy pictures.

These are perfect for fall and are quick to knit in bulky yarns. Use Midnightsky Fibers handspun yarns, your own handspun, or a commercial bulky or super bulky yarn.

I will email these to you by hand, so please be aware that there will be a slight delay (hey, I have to sleep and go to the gym sometimes!).
>>Available in my shop here: Midnightsky Fibers Patterns. The kits to make these are also available as well.
--
There are also new handmade items- hats, even a sweater. Check back for more to be listed soon! Perfect for those of you who don't knit but do appreciate something crafty and expertly executed with just the right amount of funky handspun yarn.

More new stuff in the shop: Fiber packs, naturally dyed rovings in semi solid fall colors, and more! Once the cat stops sitting in the lightbox there will be bamboo and mohair fibers too!

Mon, Aug. 31st, 2009, 01:43 pm

HOly crap when did condos in Seattle get so cheap? I mean, not really...but I see condos listed for 90 and 100k, which is pretty good for around here (of course, they are ground floor and/or not what I am looking for, but still!).

Mon, Aug. 31st, 2009, 01:22 pm
40% off yarn and fiber ....End of Summer Sale!

Time to make way for the new fall yarns and fibers, and that means clearing out some space! Midnightsky Fibers is having a 40% off sale on all yarns and fiber on http://Midnightsky Fibers.com. Use the code summerend09 to get 40% off orders of $15 or more. As always, all of yarns and fibers are 100% naturally dyed with high quality (and mostly organic!) natural dyes from a small local company that sources the dyes here in the Pacific NW and use only the best fibers and materials. Don't forget to check out the knitting kits!

This is the last chance to get yarns and fibers at the sale prices- or even the retail price. After the sale prices are going up due to increased materials and supplies costs, so get the sale prices while you can!

Thu, Aug. 27th, 2009, 04:58 pm
Trying to decide on renting a studio space

I am seriously considering renting a studio space to work out of. So much so that I had to write a pro/con list for it. Thoughts? misshawklet I know you rented/ran a studio space for collective artists, I would love to hear your input on if you think it is more productive/a good idea :)

Renting a studio space…pros and cons:

This is specifically about spaces available a couple miles from my apartment. They are not terribly expensive compared to other ones available, but would be a significant business expense since I need a space with a sink and solid (non carpeted) floor. I would be looking to use the space as follows:
-large sturdy table with hot plates or a way to heat canning pots to boiling for long periods.
-Space for a drying rack.
-Additional table space for sorting fiber, getting orders ready/packaging, taking photos on for yarn and fiber, etc.
-Storage or shelves for dyes and mordants, dye stock books, stock solutions, etc. Plus additional storage space to store raw, in progress, finished, and items for sale in different bins and space for office and shipping supplies. Some of this could be under tables if water didn’t drip down in to bins.
-Ability to hang some yarns and fibers up for show would be helpful.
-Space for drum carder on rolling cart, spinning wheel, and chair(s).

Pros:
- Would get the dyes and pots out of my kitchen (which is open and where you enter the apartment), and the drying fiber and yarn out of my bathtub (bonus: not dyeing bathtub on accident when rinsing fiber!).
- Not having to put away all the fiber, yarn, and shipping supplies as often. This is especially an issue with fiber and yarns, which often make the living room dusty and fuzzy faster! Also would make it easier to have people over since there wouldn’t be (as much anyways) fiber and yarn on all.the.surfaces.all.the.time.
-Wouldn’t worry so much about spilling dyes or water and dyeing my cabinets or carpet funny colors.
-Ability to do more cold water mordanting (no space in kitchen now).
-Being around other people- some of the places are open on art walks. Also would be nice if there was space to be able to display *some* of the yarns and fiber so people can come in and look. I am not open to the public now since it feels weird to let people come over and look through giant tubs of yarn in my house. Even if I kept some materials here and took them over as needed there would be extra storage space- not a huge issue right now since I live alone.
-Can dye in greater quantity/have more drying space/etc.
-Can bike or ride bus there. My favorite grocery store and my gym are between my apartment and the studio too.
-no cat! Joey is a lovely cat, but very distracting at times. He does know not to eat the yarn though!
-Working out of the house more (and seeing other people) would be helpful for setting a schedule. As it is right now it can be really hard to get to work when there are dishes in the sinks (which prevents rinsing fiber in them) or other things to do- like go to the coffee shop. Again.




Cons:
-Expensive. Not hugely, but studio spaces are not cheap either.
-Internet not included in utilities cost for most places- I need internet for 25-50% of my work, like listing items, website stuff, marketing, etc. This could be done from my house though, but it might be tricky for shipping things since I like to print postage online and don’t necessarily want to have to schlep yarn and fiber back and forth. Internet would cost 50-60 extra.
-Would have to change business address AGAIN, and get (more/different) insurance.
-Utilities would no longer include renewable energy.
-Only cold water in utility sinks.
-Wouldn’t be home or at the studio all the time to accept packages. Not as much of an issue at the apartment usually since there is a manager to accept packages most of the time.
-Co-op spaces with shared gallery and work space (which are sometimes cheaper or have more contact with people) are not practical for me since I deal with wet fiber and yarn, dyes, etc.
- Dye space probably could not function as office space or teaching space as the space would be small (100-200 sq ft usually), making enough seating for several people hard, and the humidity even with a dehumidifier might be hard on office equipment (and possibly on the drum carder and wheel?).
-I would need new equipment- dehumidifier and/or fans, additional drying racks (currently just have one for dyeing and one for clothes that is often used for dying), table(s), hot plates to heat canning pots or pref. larger pots, water extractor or spin dryer, shelving and/or display racks for yarn, etc.
-It takes two buses to get there- at 2 miles it is just enough of a pain to walk there in the winter, and bike riding isn’t always possible- I do have hybrid tires on my bike though!
-Moving or buying a house could make the studio unaffordable or not practical (I have a great deal on rent right now). On the other hand, if I did move within Seattle and it was still affordable, it would save me changing the business address again in the future, and it does mean I need somewhat less living and storage space (I would be buying a condo, so still not a lot of space there). Fiber is bulky!

Tue, Aug. 25th, 2009, 08:55 pm
Phone Q?

Does anyone know if phones from Verizon can link to outlook (or another appointment/contact program linkable with computer,but pref. outlook) without the internet option? I don't want to pay $30 a month for internet in order to not have to carry a PDA since I don't want internet on my phone just yet.

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