Sunday, June 24, 2007

I'm back! And I've got new yarn!

Sorry about the little hiatus, there, folks! I needed a bit of a break from blogging, I guess (and I just got distracted wondering if we remembered to put the lid back on the sandbox last night before we came inside because, if not, it has surely turned into the neighborhood cat pan by now...). The good news is, I think I've recovered from my malaise. The even better news is, there is new yarn for sale in the shop! I've got a bunch of goregous semi-solids from Nature's Palette and three beautiful colorways from Zen Yarn Garden - two in a tencel/wool blend and one in a wool/bamboo blend. Yummy! Here's a preview of the NP:

And the three ZYG colorways, just right for summer sock knitting! Here's Gone Surfin':

And Tea Cups:

And Peachy Mint:

There they are, folks! They're even more beautiful in person. Which brings me to a topic that has been hot on my mind lately - the local yarn shop. When I was at TNNA at the beginning of this month, I started to form a plan in my head to work towards disbanding my little on-line retail shop and start selling my patterns wholesale only. This is partly because I think ultimately it will be better for my business (assuming I can make a go of it) and partly because I really want to support and not undercut local shops. I really doubt that my piddly pattern sales are making a huge impact on anyone else's business, but who knows? My question for you is, does your on-line shopping cut into what you normally would've spent at your LYS, or doesn't it matter?

There are a surprising amount of politics in the business of knitting. There are lots of shops that are barely hanging on, and they rail at anyone doing anything that they perceive as harmful to their business (like selling on-line). This is just one example - I'm finding this whole knitting business to be a poorly-marked minefield that I'm trying to pick my way through with some casualties. There are plenty of rules that you are "supposed" to know that aren't necessarily obvious to an outsider but get you in serious hot water if you accidentally break. I'm slowly learning, and I think that getting rid of my direct on-line selling will avoid one of many potential touchy subjects as I'm trying to market my patterns to local shops (I'll still keep a few on-line sources for those of you who live in areas not served by a local shop, or whose LYS owner doesn't want to carry my patterns).

BTW (shameless pandering here), if you like my patterns, I'd be forever indebted if you'd mention them to your LYS owner...

Finally, I can't go another day without thanking my fabulous pals and FINALLY posting pictures of the swag they sent. First, my No Sheep SP sent me this gorgeous skein of Tilli Tomas Soie de la Mer (60% silk, 40% seacell). It is incredible! I have no idea what I'll make out of it, but for now, it's the hank I keep next to my computer to pet for inspiration.

And here is yet another fabulous package from my SP10. I'm amazed at how spot-on she is with her gifts!

Apart from the incredible book, there's also bath stuff, German sock yarn, Plymouth Bamboo, a vanilla candle and a dishcloth. Fabulous! Thanks, pals!


Anonymous Ashley said...

You've got some great patterns..

I'd hate to see them ONLY available at LYS. I won't shop at my LYS because whenever I'm in there I get that vibe that they don't want me there. So I've stopped giving them my money. The only time my LYS was really nice to me was when my mom had gone with me one day.

This is why I buy almost everything either online, at local fiber festivals, or I drive an hour to go to LYS who don't look down on me because I'm a college student. I've seen a lot of people who sell their patterns on their own site in addition to wholesale. Choice is all yours though.


8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to you enjoyed your package so much. The final reveal one will be on its way probably this week. Although with the crazy upcoming schedule it may be closer to the end of the week.
I must say it really is good to know that I am "spot on", of course hope the final package stacks up.
Take care and glad to see you back on line.

Your Knitting Fairy

9:22 AM  
Blogger Bitterknitter said...

Good to see you back! I sent you an e-mail with my (mostly) complete thoughts on this, but thought I'd add that expanding your wholesale end is a good idea, though keeping an online presence is important as well (as someone who only recently got a LYS, I feel I speak from experience)

Beautiful new yarns!


9:50 AM  
Blogger Sonya said...

I find the whole knitting industry interesting. I've become good friends with the owner of my LYS and I've learned a lot from her that never would have crossed my mind as a knitter. And it has changed some of my shopping patterns. I'll be sure to mention your designs to her.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Yarnhog said...

My LYS is crummy and the owner is surly. I avoid it whenever possible. There is a good shop in town, but it's an hour round-trip drive, so I avoid going there, too. I order most of my yarn and knitting supplies online, which is cheaper, simpler, and less-polluting (no driving the behemoth all over town), and I almost always get stellar service. Supporting your LYS is a good idea in theory, but not always in practice. So I, too, would not like to see your patterns available only in shops.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Breien in Lansingerland said...

WOW! Beautiful yarns! I love the mint colour...but I am a green lover in all its variations :-)

12:02 PM  
Anonymous skywitch said...

I do support my LYS; back in the 80's I worked there, and I'm very fond of the new owner and his staff. I'm in the Boston area, and there are several good shops around here.

I buy most of my sock yarns online, though, because I love the indie dyers and I want to support them as well. The owners of the shops I frequent here know of my sock yarn addiction (I buy sock yarn from them, too!) and they're cool with it. They know that they can't stock many of the indie dyers along with everything else they carry, and they love the indie dyers' work, also.

Anyway, I hope you will still be selling your wonderful patterns online!

1:12 PM  
Blogger lexa said...

I buy my knitting stuff both on-line, at the store where I work, and at another shop about 45 minutes away. I don't find that my on-line purchases interfere with my lys purchases. I hope you continue your on-line shop, but the wholesale thing could be worth pursuing, too. Maybe you can find a happy medium with both?

1:38 PM  
Blogger Bettina said...

Well, I for one hope that you will continue selling online, simply because I do not have a local yarn shop. Even if I had, tastes in Spain run to acrylics pretty much only, or crochet cotton. So, choice is very limited. On the other hand, even if I had a local yarn shop, I probably would still buy some yarn online, simply because no shop can carry all the beautiful yarns out there, especially not the beautiful handdyed ones I find on etsy or with other yarn artists.

Hope that helps.

Kind regards,


1:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I buy from LYS and online. For my online purchases, I usually buy what I can't find at my LYS. If I know my LYS has a yarn, I'll get it there, even though I can probably find a better deal online. I don't think my spending is less @ local shops with online shops. I'm buying local if they have what I want.

Glad you like the yarn!

No Sheep Pal

2:43 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

I do most of my shopping on line. My free time tends to be late at night and I rarely have a car most days (I work at home so transportation isn't needed). The LYS the next town over was a little unfriendly because I wasn't one of the regulars. I spent almost 40 minutes looking for sock yarn and no one every said hi or asked if I needed help.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Meghan said...

I think it's a great idea to expand your wholesale side. I love my LYS and try to buy from her as much as possible. However if your patterns weren't avaliable there (I'll mention them by the way) I would appreciate the ability to buy directly from you online. I like supporting the designers as well.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Leslie C. said...

Glad to see you back. Hope all is well! I think both. Your website is a great marketing tool either way though. The world of knitters is so vast and varied that not everyone has an LYS near them or if they do, don't always like them. When I traveled more and spent vasts amount of time in one place, online was sometimes the only way to get good yarns and patterns. Keep 'em coming. Love the new yarns.


10:18 PM  
Blogger Knot Another Hat said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Knot Another Hat said...

I'm finally catching up on some serious blogging backlogs, but I wanted to comment on your post. I, too, found negotiating the yarn world to be surprisingly political and dangerous. I was frankly dumbfounded by some of the things I encountered (actually change that to present tense). But as a LYS owner, I don't find you or any other indie artist selling direct to be competition or threatening to me, rather I think we are quite complementary and that people will use whichever service they need at the time they are buying. (Big commercial vendors selling direct is another story for another post.) But, I know that my view isn't shared by many others in my line of business, as I am considerably younger than the average LYS owner and therefore a bit more open to the possibilities and responsibilities of web business. My two cents. :)

2:58 PM  

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