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Restructuring

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I’ve decided that next year, I am going to do things a little bit differently. Instead of doing monthly goals, I am going to set aside weeks to work on certain things. I plan on keeping the shop on finished items only for a little bit, probably through February. It is just less stressful and is giving me the time that I need to work on some larger orders.

This will also give me a chance to really work on creating new product, preparing for shows, and getting a new website launched and available.

The general gist of it is to dedicate each week to a certain type of product, obviously allowing for time to complete orders as well. Then, if I miss a week, I miss a week, and whatever. That product can wait until a free week or get scratched completely. I am going through and trying to figure out the best use of 52 weeks, that is the tough part!

Additionally, I am stealing a great idea from a fellow blogger. She tracks the yardage of yarn knitted vs yardage of yarn bought each month. I need to do that. I definitely need to do that…because the amount of yarn I have in my office is absolutely ridiculous. And I really need to work on slimming down my stash. For both space and financial needs. 🙂

So, as we enter 2017, I am hoping to see some changes, hoping to find a better way, and plan on just taking the bull by the horns and seeing what happens. 🙂

 

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I Need More Binders

My crazy week of working the night shift is finally coming to a close. Hopefully, the second shift manager finds a new supervisor here shortly so that I am not the only supervisor covering the night shift whenever the third shift manager cannot be here. I am exhausted.

I am doing well with the schedule. Clyve has caused some interference, but my amazing fiancée is handling a lot of the stress for it. I am not sure what I would do without him. He also works full time, and then comes home and cooks most nights and takes care of the dogs, and basically does everything to help make sure I can just focus and work. Any other man would leave me for being lazy by now.

I have been slowly printing out all of the patterns I have stored on pinterest. I am serious. I went to use one of my favorites the other day, and it was gone. The blog had been taken down. So, now I am super paranoid about losing my favorite patterns, so I am printing them out and organizing them in binders in order to make sure that I have them for the future. It is everything I have used, everything I want to work on, everything I will probably never work on. It has been quite the process, and I am nowhere even close to being done with it. But, I have made a goodly amount of progress and it helps me to be organized. There is only so much organization on pinterest. So many of the links that exist lead to nothing, or the patterns aren’t in English, or are just photos, or whatever. It is a huge pain in the tucus. So, now I have something to go off of, to look at, and it is making me much calmer.

I feel calm when I am organizing and arranging things. I have some serious problems, but, it keeps me from flipping out and killing people. So, I suppose that the invention of the three ringed binder and dividers is saving lives.

I am happy to watch my finished product stash grow. I have tons of photographs to take tomorrow. My stupid camera was acting up last Saturday when I tried to photograph everything. There was much yelling and profanity and then giving up for the day. So, tomorrow we try again. I have so much stuff to list…seriously…I think there are like 30 new items in the stash, plus all of the stuff I need to re-photograph.

So, make sure you check out the store and see what is new and upcoming over the next couple weeks. I will keep trying to share the stuff I make here, but it is hard without photographs! I would love to tell everyone about this AWESOME blanket I made, but it is only awesome if you can see it. 🙂

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Maintaining A Schedule

I am really quite proud of myself. I am sticking to my schedule quite well. And to stick to any sort of schedule for a week is impressive for me. I am hoping I can see this through. The struggle is real though. I truly think I have crochet ADD. I am dying mid project, every single time. There is just so much that I want to make. There are so many yarns I want to try. So many designs in my mind. So many elaborate blankets that I want to spend the next 6 months working on. This, however, is not conducive to getting the shop really out there. So, once this fair is done in early May, I will go back to my Sundays being my crochet days, to work on presents, personal projects, wedding projects, and whatever else suits my fancy.

The Etsy orders days haven’t been a total waste, even without the orders. I do have a few custom requests that aren’t needed until May that I am working on, so that I will not be rushed come May. I am also using those days to work on my super secret craft fair project that I will share once it is fully completed. It is also a time for me to put the finishing touches on whatever project was the day before, like adding eyes to an elephant, or pupils to a sock monkey rug. Though, I am definitely missing the cha-ching that makes my heart flutter and gets me all busy.

I am looking for ideas for photo props and costumes for Halloween. My candy corn costume did so well last year, I would love to have more options than that. I also plan on having quite a few of those costumes readily available this year, instead of just made to order. What type of stuff would you guys like to see?

I feel like I am rambling tonight. Maybe it is because it is 5:30am and I am just finishing up a long shift of doing basically nothing. Hopefully some of my rambles made sense and maybe you got something out of this. Though most likely, you have stopped reading by now…but if you haven’t…thanks. 🙂

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I Have Yarn Problems

I have serious yarn problems. So, while getting ready to really kick into gear the business, I decided that the best thing I could was see if I could find some inexpensive yarn to invest in. So, to EBay I went….and on EBay I scored…big time. A lady was destashing…she had listings up that totaled 111 skeins of yarn, almost all full skeins, and at least 6 one-pound skeins, that costs me a total of $66, including the shipping. When I got these skeins, some of it was crap acrylic, cheap, vintage, $0.99 yarn from the 1970s. But, besides the 6 or 7 skeins of Caron One Pound / Lion Brand Pound of Love / Red Heart Super Saver 16oz (all of which are $5-8 a skein), there were some really nice yarns in there. Well, the next day, I was looking for something very specific on Lion Brands website…and then I found the clearance section…and I bought approximately 200 skeins of LB yarn, all sorts of it, baby Soft, Merino Cashmere, Wool Ease, all sorts of stuff, for about $110…which is incredible…really incredible. The sale was amazing, everything was 75-90% off. You can’t pass that up. Well, about two weeks later, I got a custom order, for a California King Bedspread…and, I ordered the yarn…so I received 55 skeins of LB Wool Ease in this off-white…only to have her cancel the next day. She had received the blanket she wanted as a gift that morning. Ugh…so now I have even more yarn. Oh, and there is still the stuff I need to go to Hobby Lobby for, for the very specific orders since a lot of my acrylics came from the EBay lot and the colors were just so random…

This depicts what is left of my stash of pompadour yarn from Red Heart. This yarn is now discontinued. It traveled with me to Japan and back. I bought all of this yarn in March 2011. I bought approximately 70 skeins. I have approximately 30 left.

This bag is full of half finished projects. Stuff I am working on for the wedding, stuffed animals I started and lost interest in, that sort of thing.

This bottom tub is all of my wool yarn that is left…and please remember I have about 30 skeins already invested in scarves and hats that are ready to ship.

My baby soft yarn…mostly acrylic, some polyester and wool.

My cotton yarn…I have no idea what I am going to do with any of this…it really isn’t soft at all…

The box is full of the wool ease for that custom order that got canceled. I still plan on making a Cal king blanket out of it…

The red tub is full of super soft acrylic yarns, good for baby booties, stuffed animals, some of it is good for clothes or tutu tops. Great for photoprops.

The cheaper acrylics. They are soft, but I wouldn’t make clothes out of them…probably just stuffed animals.

On the left is my super soft Japanese yarn that is left…on the right is my cashmere yarn…

More random yarns, including sparkly ones, super thick rope type yarns, scraps, and my whey yarn…which is amazing.

Oh…and in the top of my closet is my “frog” pile…about 10 or 15 partially completed blankets that I don’t have the yarn to finish…so they need to be taken apart….

I have serious problems….this is why we moved…because I needed a yarn room….

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Getting Organized

So, if you haven’t realized by now…I have issues. A lot of them. I am borderline OCD (I say borderline because I have never been diagnosed, but I am quite sure I am fully OCD) about a lot of things when it comes to organization and planning. I will actually have full on panic attacks when plans fall through or things are not planned out. But, only when it involves work or money. I am pretty laid back when it comes to going out, vacations, food…but for my day to day work, or anything involving money – like paying bills, I am almost crazy when it comes to organization. Maybe one day I will show you my super crazy excel spreadsheet that covers all of my monthly income, expenses, when it was paid, balances…it is crazy.

Well, as I was sitting around my house yesterday, thinking about this upcoming craft fair on May 2nd, I realized that I do not have nearly as much made as I had thought. So many of my pre-made items are for adults, and adults will definitely not be my target audience at the children’s festival! And so much of my stuff is winter! I am all set and ready to kill some late fall / early winter craft shows…but May in Southern California? No one is going to buy a scarf or gloves! And adults will not be shopping for themselves when they are in an area dedicated to kids and playing! I need to focus on stuffed animals, kids clothes, dress up clothes, that sort of stuff. Which I have known all along, and I was set on the “I am doing okay there”…until I looked at the count. How I will ever be ready, I have absolutely no idea. So, after spending about 10 minutes freaking out and nearly convincing myself that I should cancel, Stacey’s voice popped into my head again…make a plan. Write it down. Get organized. Be realistic. She actually wrote an entire blog on how to do that exactly…and it is worth a read, if you are like me at all, and get easily spooked.

So, I made a plan…and it looks like this.

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My plan is actually quite flexible. My personal days are all days that I have stuff scheduled and probably would be limited on any work I could actually do. And of course, given that my shop isn’t exactly doing amazing with sales (which you could totally help fix!), all of those days that are dedicated to Etsy orders are available to help finish up work from the day before.

So, while this plan will not 100% put me where I wanted to be, there aren’t enough hours for that considering I work full time, and so much overtime, it will put me much closer. And, it quelled the panic attack some. So, now to just make sure I stick to the plan and kick out a whole bunch of really awesome stuff in the next 2 months!

Wish me luck!