Sunday, August 30, 2009

First Fiber Sale

Today I made my first fiber sale.  I had started a web store at to sell some of my handspun yarn and any other handmade item that I created.  I had listed 4 items in my store but made my sale at home.  Yesterday, I had spinning friends come over to spin, chat, and eat.  One of my friends fell in love with my "pants on fire" yarn and wanted to purchase it.  After some discussions with my more experienced spinning friends, pricing for handspun yarn should be between $5 to $7 per ounce plus the cost of the fiber.  For these 2 ounces, that would have amounted to about $24/skein.  I had listed 2 ounce skeins of yarn on my artfire store for $10 each.  I sold two of the skeins to my friend for $10 each honoring the price on my store and after some more discussions, I don't think I would pay more than that for 2 ounces of yarn.  My friend stated that should would have paid $15 for each skein.  Good information to know.

Here is "Pants on Fire"
This is "Snow Days"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dyeing Fiber with Fluffysgarden

I recently went over to my friend's house to learn about dyeing fiber with the steam method.  For those of you that don't know, I am immersed in a fiber hobby with a lot of enabling friends.  I have been knitting for a little while and decided that I wanted to try my hand at spinning my own yarn from fiber.  The next step of course is dyeing the fiber before spinning it into yarn to get the colors that I am partial to.  I have been taking a spinning class and have learned quite a bit but my friend fluffysgarden had a little tutorial and provided the dyes plus the process and lecture.  I brought 3 ounces of fine merino fiber in white and 1 ounce of silk fiber to dye.  After soaking all the fiber overnight with a drop of dish soap, we squeezed out the excess water and using three colors of washfast dye - blue spruce, deep meadow, and bright blue, I dyed both of my fibers by scooping colors in strips and spraying the entire pan with vinegar.  After wrapping the fiber in plastic wrap like a burrito, it was off to the stove for a 30 minute steam bath.  Since steam is hotter than then boiling water, fluffysgarden stating that you don't have to have a roiling boil to achieve the necessary temperature.

After the steaming and rinsing, the fiber was set out to dry.  Here is a photo of the finished product.
1 ounce of Silk
3 ounces of Merino

My plan is to card the two fibers together to get that blue/green color way that I love and hopefully to achieve a balanced blend of merino/silk as 75%/25% - my favorite blended yarn.

Monday, August 17, 2009

How much is my time worth?

I flew to Chicago on Sunday, August 9th, for a conference and training for my job.  I had booked my flight a couple of weeks before I left and thought it was plenty of time ahead of my flight.  Well I only found one flight that had a few seats left and it was a non-refundable ticket.  Of course, the flight departed at 6:30 am when the flight restrictions are lifted at my airport.  Anyways, I decided to park in a long term lot this time instead of being picked up and dropped off - it was way too early to call my friends.  So I get to the airport in a timely manner and get up to the gate where the line is winding around through the terminal.  I wondered why it looked like everyone that was on the flight was standing in line and stopped a young gentleman who was standing on the sidelines.  He told me that the flight was delayed and they announced that anyone connecting through Chicago should stand in line.  Since I was only going to Chicago, I tried to find a place to sit down.

I finally hear that there is a mechanical problem with the plane and a part must be flown in from Los Angeles to replace it.  The next thing I hear is that this Los Angeles part was installed but it failed another part and now a new component must be flown in from Denver.  Time is clicking by and the line is not getting any shorter.  It was now approaching 10:00 and I decided to call my boss at home and ask if I should try to book another flight.  I was suppose to meet some of my co-workers at 6:45 am on Monday.  Since the flight I was scheduled to be on was on a non-refundable ticket, I would need to purchase another ticket - hum, would my office pay for both tickets?  My boss stated not to worry and to stay with my flight and if I couldn't make it on Monday, it was not my problem.

More time is now passing and I buy lunch at the airport and eat while waiting for more information.  I did meet a nice couple from Chicago who were flying home after a convention in town and that did pass the time most pleasantly.  By 1:30 pm, there were no longer ticket agents at the gate and the plane was still sitting outside the window.  The pilots did come out to buy some lunch and went right back in.  I estimate that there were about 15 people now sitting with me in the waiting area.  By 2:30 pm, there seemed to be some activity and it was announced that the plane was fixed and we were going to take off.  

Everyone pretty much had a row to themselves and we made it to Chicago without incident.  We were offered free alcohol and a free $6 snack box.  It seemed the headset speakers were not functioning and the movie was played over the PA system.  I dozed off and on until we landed.

At the end of the day, I received an e-mail from United stating that I should log onto their appreciation site and choose a "gift."  So for a 7 hour delay, my choices were (1) $150 toward a domestic flight, (2) 20% off a flight from the US and specific countries, and (3) 7,000 mileage points.  Options (1) and (2) must be used within 1 year on new purchased flights.

I chose option (1) and hopefully will find a way to use it by next year.  So for a 7 hour wasted Sunday where I could have slept in and not paid an extra day in doggie daycare, I got $150 and a $6 boxed snack.  I thought my time was worth more than that!

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Beginning

The first step is always the hardest.  I have contemplated having a blog for a little while now and have finally taken the plunge.  I'm not so sure that I will be following any kind of set format but it will be an interesting journey.  I wanted to start documenting random ideas and thoughts about life and thought this would give me a place to do so.  Not sure if anyone will be reading and following or if this venue will just be for me to look back on to document the passing time.