We are excited to announce the 6th Annual Autumn Fiber Festival!
Local fiber producers, craftsmen and artists will be brought together to display and sell their wares, demonstrate their skills and educate the visiting public about natural fibers and their importance to our community and culture.
FREE ADMISSION/FREE PARKING
For several years my business card has said “lessons”, which of course prompts people to ask, “You teach knitting? I’ve always wanted to learn how to knit!” And I mumble something vague in return and then nothing ever happens after that. I have never really pursued the lessons/classes aspect of knitting and spinning for a few reasons. The main reason was money and then after that things just escalate. How much to charge? Do I force them to come to my chaos house or do I waste my gas driving to them? Do we meet in some neutral middle place like a Panera? What about follow up classes? What if I can’t teach them? What if I’m actually just a bad teacher? From there I spiral into self-doubt. And inactivity.
With the new Shop in operation, I have decided to give classes a genuine effort. It provides a central space to hold them, so location is no longer a sticking point. And for some reason having that issue resolved makes me more confident to move forward with the rest of it!
We’re starting this month with Beginner Spindle Spinning Thursdays at 2 pm. Dates are July 9, 16, and 23. They will resume again in August. These afternoon classes will be $15. We will be using a Turkish spindle which you will have the option to purchase at the end of class.
Starting on August 12 I will teach Knitting Basics on Wednesdays at 10 am. We will cover casting on, binding off, knitting, and purling (time permitting). This first intro class is $15 and includes needles and yarn. Follow up instruction will be $10 per lesson. You can drop in or email me to reserve a spot (email@example.com).
I have found a new home! Today I went to The Shop on Liberty Street in Hubbard, Ohio and set up a display of my items. This means you can now purchase my fibers on your own time, as long as you don’t mind coming to Hubbard. So far I have silk scarves, spindles, Eucalan, combed top, batts, and felting packs. As the summer progresses I will continue to add items.
Not only do I have this retail display, but in the back I will have a workspace for dyeing and storage for my bulkier wool. I can’t wait to get this stuff out of my house! Especially since I just ordered three more bumps (bump = approx 22 lbs). Of course the hope is that having this space will increase productivity (wasn’t that my new year’s resolution in February?), but I’m sure it will take some time to adjust.
Having this great spot will open the door to many neat things such as classes and demos, pop-up shops, and consultations. My plan is to be in the shop at least one day a week either for dyeing or spinning. However, I live just down the street, so if you are coming and want to see something specific, call ahead! I will bring additional items for your perusal. If you are having problems with your spindle or wheel, let me know! And did I mention there is also a coffee counter at the back?
20 West Liberty Street
Hubbard, Ohio 44425
Tue-Fri, 8 am to 5 pm
Sat, 10 am to 4 pm
…which I am not.
For years I have been steadfast in my use of carbon copy paper receipts. “Oh, I don’t need a receipt,” the customer would say. “Too bad. I’m already writing it,” I replied. In general I have been fairly resistant to change and technology – I’m a spinner for Pete’s sake! How fuddy-duddy can you get? But every now and then I pop my head out of my hovel and see that there are things out there that could make my life a little bit simpler. Quickbooks for accounting! Sort of helpful, sort of a huge a pain in the ass. Smartphone with Square! Allows me to take charge cards. Excel spreadsheets! Keeps track of my fiber inventory and tallies stuff up. Aaaand that’s where it ends. Until last week. I took the plunge and got myself a TABLET! Impressive, I know. I wanted to try switching from handwritten receipts to keeping track of all my sales through Square. I went to a show over the weekend, so I didn’t have to wait long to give it a test run.
Some cool things:
- Tax included. I already do this, but now all the math has been done for me. Phew!
- Time stamp. I can see that I had a sale at 9:20, 9:22, 9:26, 9:30, etc. And my suspicions that the last hour is a bust have been confirmed.
- Sales totaled. After my big day, I get a report from Square complete with charts (yay!) and numbers letting me know how much I grossed and what items sold the best. I love charts.
- Less “stuff”. Now I don’t have to have a pen, calculator, notebook, receipt book, cash envelope, change purse… blaaaah…
- Looks fancy. What says “small businesswoman in the 21st century” more than flipping a snazzy new tablet around in people’s faces?
I wish they had a way for you to make multiple inventory lists. For some events I don’t sell certain things and it would be nice to hide them. There is no hiding of items.
Another funny thing that happened on my way to modernity: I forgot my cash box at home. That included all my change, receipt books, pens, markers, notebook, and Square reader. Yep. When I realized this, I asked some other vendors if they had an extra reader, but no. Then I went hunting online to find a Best Buy or Staples. So far away! THEN I went to Square’s website and found out that they are sold at Rite Aid. WHAT?! After dinner my trusty companion, Amber who rocks, and I headed up the street to the closest Rite Aid and they had it! Plus I got some change. I was saved and it was spectacular. Bonus: now I have two working readers. The day went great. I think using the Square went great. It is always amusing to watch as someone smashes your stylus into the screen and asks why it is so sticky. Or they lay their entire hand on the screen and can’t figure out why the stylus isn’t writing. There is a reason I applied a screen protector.
Also, I didn’t have time to buy a case, so I whipped together a little sleeve before leaving the house on Friday. I took a piece of felt and sewed up the sides (as seen above). Blammo! Other than the awesome Square app, I haven’t figured out why my tablet is better than my smartphone or computer. I still prefer to navigate websites and such on the laptop. And the camera on my phone is FAR superior. However, using the tablet in the kitchen to read recipes has been handy. Hopefully I will discover other reasons to justify its purchase. I just wish I could get my email account to work on it.
And here is the obligatory booth shot from Autumn Fiber Festival in Ashland, OH. I love this event because we get a 10×12 space. And it is just one day of fever-pitch shopping!
This weekend I am heading to WOOSTER! Yes, it’s time again for the Great Lakes Fiber Show, one of my favorites. It looks like the weather for this weekend is going to be superb. Last year it was cold! And the year before I could barely function in the heat. I think this time around we’ll get it just right.
I don’t have anything wildly innovative and new for this event. I’ve got some dyed roving in a new breed, Romney/Border Leicester, plus locks, freshly carded batts, and a larger selection of Companion Colors. In addition to the fiber, I will have two sets of wool combs from Valkyrie. One is the larger Viking comb and the other is a smaller, finer set. And my new logo buttons will be available! These were made locally by a friend and fellow small business person. I am going to pick them up today, in fact. If you want one, it’s just $1 or free with $30 purchase.
Since the month of June is surprisingly vacant, I suppose I feel the need to continue to add in other events. In that spirit of panic, I just added something else to my schedule at the last minute: Festival on Phelps in Youngstown. It’s a community event/benefit headed up by some friends, so I thought it would be a good thing in which to participate. It’s next Saturday, and the night before I am doing a fiber workshop at Greyland Gallery. You could make a weekend out of it! Oh, it’s going to be another busy one. That’s the job though, right?
This was year #5 for me at A Knitter’s Fantasy. While it isn’t the highest scoring event on the schedule, it is still special. This was my first step into the world of yarn shows (back in 2010). I appreciate its proximity to my house: about 7 1/2 miles. I enjoy setting up Friday night. I am glad the booth fee is reasonable. And of course, I always love seeing my fellow vendors and friends. Ana and I shared an 8×16 booth again. My half is pictured below.
This year I quietly debuted my newest dyed item: Companion Colors. I only had three pairs, so it was more of an experiment than a grand introduction. Mostly I think they were ignored, but I did sell one to someone who was very happy to take it home. I am looking forward to playing around with the process more during my next dye day. Perhaps by Great Lakes I’ll have a nice stock of them and do a bigger display (with signs).
Right before packing (and I mean RIGHT BEFORE) I was still labeling yarn and fiber. I’ve been fiddling a bit with my tags, so some items had a newly updated version. I’ve been trying to print horizontal labels, but it’s actually been somewhat difficult. I don’t use any fancy image software and whenever I print things, they always come out grainy or fuzzy. The best method yet has been to print a sticky label and attach it to the band. I used them for new Sheep Tones skeins and the Companion Colors. I do like the way they look, however, the edges of the label are coming up! Blarg.
I had so much fun at the Last Minute Market in December, I decided to join the Artists of the Rust Belt for their Winter Market! It’s taking place this Sunday, February 9 from 1 pm to 7 pm at the B&O Station (530 Mahoning Ave, Youngstown, OH 44502).
With no gift shopping to distract you this time, just buy something special for yourself ! Or, if needed, pick up a unique item for Valentine’s Day (rather than “some dumb little thing“). In addition to having a few new knitted items and yarn, I’ll also be bringing more fiber (batts and locks). Should be a good time!
Sorry, but I’ve got to do a quick walk down memory lane! I realized today that this is the eighth year I’ve participated in a holiday arts & crafts sale. It all began in 2006 with my mom’s table cloth, five pairs of mitts, and a few balls of yarn that were just there for show. Isn’t this the saddest and cutest thing you’ve ever seen? It’s really quite terrible. But I’ve learned since then!
This weekend I participated with the Artists of the Rust Belt at their Last Minute Market. I tried something a bit different with my setup and was very pleased with the result. It seemed to work fine, since most of this is gone now. So, I think it’s safe to say things have improved a bit?
For some reason I couldn’t resist jumping on board one last show this year. Why not? I’ve already surpassed my own expectations. First I booked two weekends in a row, then three. Why not add another craft show? Just go for it, right?
I’m going to be in Youngstown again, but at a location never before experienced. I went to the B&O Station once when I was a little kid and all I remember is that it was an expensive restaurant at which we didn’t stay to eat. Now it’s a fancy hall where they have wedding receptions and, apparently, craft shows.
The B&O Station
530 Mahoning Ave, Youngstown, OH 44502
December 21 & 22, 2013
12 pm to 7 pm
12 pm to 5 pm
I am working on a few new items for this weekend. Even though it should be low priority, I couldn’t stop myself from spinning. There will be 11 new skeins of yarn. And so far I have six pairs of mitts done with the intention of doing two or three more this week. Also, I’ve been fooling around with crochet more. I got one clutch done (another in the works) and a button-up neckwarmer. It’s fun! It’s new! I was getting bored!