Are you like me? 5-10 projects going and every time you see something else come along you want to add that to the line up? I can think of 3-4 projects I am currently bouncing back and forth between. 3 knitting projects (a fourth on the back burner) and a spinning project (with several others on this back burner). And then as I’m sitting here thinking about it I realize I’m also dying to get my hands on my daughter’s little weaving loom she got for Christmas. Since when did I become that lady who covet’s their 6 year-old’s toy?!
A sweater for my daughter. I would get done with this if she would stop growing. I keep having to add length to the arms. *sigh
A lace scarf. This project and pattern takes serious concentration on my part so I only touch this when other things aren’t going on, which is very seldom.
A cabled scarf pattern that I’m making for my shop as a sample for the pattern and the yarn. As fast as it is knitting up it makes me wish I was a faster knitter. I just want this one done. It is a fun pattern and interesting with the cable, but I need it in the shop. Soon.
My back burner project is a set of mittens for a special order. I got a question about it but I have not had any confirmation if the guy really wants them or not. I have a pattern and the yarn, but have really only gotten that far.
Let’s see, what else? I always have 2-3 spinning projects going. I cast on(is that the right term for crochet? Maybe chained on?) a new crochet hat project over the weekend. Silly of me, but I always want to try something else. I also knitted up a couple of hearts as decoration for the store.
I’m planning out some basic classes and working groups. Does anyone have specifics about what they like best in a class or a knitting/crochet group? I know I like to be able to get with other folks, but I’m not too picky about anything else.
Into the new year already? How did that happen? Things are chugging along quite nicely in our little corner of Western Nebraska. I’ve been working on trying to plan out 2017 for the store. And taxes. Taxes are the worst part of owning a business. Necessary and required but not fun.
The fun part is being able to open up lovely boxes of yarns! So soft and wonderful. Another fun part is knitting up a pattern we have for sale in the store so people can see it in the yarn we carry. There are some definite perks to owning a yarn store!
Lately I’ve just been trying to focus on getting through the holiday season and keep the cold at bay. As we progress through that I can get planning a little better for the year. I would love to be able to offer some knitting, crochet, and spinning classes throughout the year. Weaving would be wonderful too. Now, the questions comes: Do I have enough space for some of these. Knitting and crochet certainly. Spinning and weaving? On a much smaller scale. My shop is little. I love that but it does limit me on certain things. You should check out Little Hawk Yarns on Facebook to see some of the latest pictures. With my phone being connected to that account it is so much easier to update photos there.
What else is going on? I have a wonderful employee named Barb. She also is the main provider of alpaca fiber for the shop. She has a herd of about 30 alpacas. They are sooo cute. Check out Alpacas at Two Creek.
One thing I am very proud to say about my shop. All of my fiber and yarn is either local or fair trade. Most is local. My fiber and yarn suppliers:
Brown Sheep Wool Company, Mitchell, NE
Mountain Meadow Wool, Buffalo, WY
Red Barn Wool Station, Minatare, NE
Alpacas at Two Creek, Mitchell, NE
Fairmount Fibers, Manos del Uraguay fair trade yarns
I love being able to support other small and local businesses. I think we have all agreed that it takes a village to operate a business in small rural areas. My hope is to be able to operate here for a good long time.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Alpacas at Two Creek, Brown Sheep Company yarns, crochet, Fair trade, knitting, local yarn store, Manos del Uraguay, Mountain Meadow Wool, spinning, weaving, wool
I have opened a brick and mortar store!! I hadn’t really intended to do so at this time, but it had been in the plans for some time and things fell into place so I jumped in. I’m so excited! The store is in a great little place right next to a yummy little taco shop. It happened that the shop came up for rent about the same time I was starting to seriously keep my eyes open for a place. The price was right and included utilities. Woohoo! About that same time I got talking to another person who had decided she needed to do something in her retirement. Bingo! Employee. Too many things were pushing me in the direction of opening the store. I bit the bullet and decided how much I could spend on things and set an opening date. Last Saturday on the 12th of November we opened our doors. Not only did we get the store open but my sweet, wonderful husband took on the project of building a web store for me. That went live the same day so now you don’t have to be in Scottsbluff, Nebraska to enjoy shopping at Little Hawk Yarns. You can check us out online at www.littlehawkyarns.com or come into the store at 312 E. Overland Unit B, Scottsbluff, NE and you can stay up to date on the goings on at our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LittleHawkYarns/.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged alpaca, Brown Sheep Company yarns, community, crochet, felting, fiber, handmade, knitting, Little Hawk Yarns, local yarn store, lys, merchant & mills, Mountain Meadow Wool, NE, Scottsbluff, small business, spinning, wool
Somehow my entire summer slipped away. I keep thinking that things are far off but they aren’t really. I figured Fall was several months out. Well, it was at the last time I posted. Market season and a full-time job sucked the time away and all of a sudden it is Fall. The leaves are turning, summer market season is done, and there is a chill in the air. The weatherman is even predicting a chance of snow this week.
That means it is the season to get working on the projects. Before we know it Christmas will be here. The best part of all that is that with the snow comes time to hunker down and knit, spin, crochet, or work on some other project.
I’ve added some things to my shop that help with those projects. One of my favorite things is the scissors I found through Merchant and Mills. They are the scissors I have been looking for my whole life. I used a pair like them while I was growing up and of course my mother, being the smart woman she is, wouldn’t give them up. Meaning I had to find my own. I found these 8″ Tailor Scissors that are almost identical to the old pair my mom has. I like them so much that I had to get them for my shop. In addition to those scissors I added several other styles of scissors as well and some of the other sewing notions.
Another product line that I have added is from Lantern Moon. I don’t have everything yet but mostly I will carry their handmade knitting needles.
Now too, I carry Unicorn Power Scour and a few of their other lines of fiber wash. I am always looking for products to help care for wool and other natural fibers and these guys fit the bill. I am considering adding an entire section of laundry care.
Lots of work and planning happening right now as we change seasons. I will be adding even more products soon. There is big news in the works, but I will have to keep you in suspense a bit longer.
Holy moly! Summer market starts next Saturday on the 4th of June!! Yikes. When did we get so close to the start. I’m in a minor panic of getting things ready. I will be spending my long weekend prepping.
My to-do list:
- wash table cloths
- get labels made
- replace ripped labels
- get inventory organized so it is easy to load and unload
- shape baskets and get a spray bottle of water so I can shape baskets at market
- make sure I have change, and my card reader is working
I was hoping I would have a new batch of notions for opening market but it isn’t looking like that is going to happen unless they get here early in the week. Ah well. Such as life. It will have to be something to add later in the season. I also keep debating investing in a tent and weights (because we get lots of wind here) but I haven’t needed it yet because my market space has been under the cover. Now, I’m not sure if I will be under there this year. I might be. I guess I will find out next Saturday.
I’d better get rolling on this stuff. It always seems to take longer than I anticipate.
I am not gone. I have had to take a hiatus from publishing on a regular basis though. I got a full-time job in town so I can build up some savings for the dream of opening a brick and mortar store. It has taken all my time and energy to have that, run my market booth, and run the farmers’ market. It all means I’ve let some things slide onto the back burner. My blogs are one of those things.
A few fill in the blanks:
I resigned my market manager position at the end of the 2015 season. I found I just couldn’t have my own business, work for someone else, take care of my kids, and give the market the attention it needed. So, that is in someone else’s hands now.
My market booth has been a wonderful thing for me. I love the market. Even though it is work to maintain my booth and keep it stocked etc. I treasure those Saturday mornings that I spend with friends among good food and great products. Not to mention it gives me about 3 hours to spin on and off. Wonderful stress relief.
My cashgora goats went down the road. They were ornery and their fiber didn’t legally qualify as cashmere. The combination meant they went to someone else.
I’ve been spinning like crazy when I get the chance which isn’t as often as I would like but enough to keep me mostly sane.
I got to attend Interweave Yarn Fest!! I’ll have to do another post on that. What a good time. Thank goodness for a full-time job so I can pay for things like that for now. Someday I’ll be able to make those a total business trip.
I think this brings us mostly up to date. I have plans of saving my money from the full-time job and eventually opening a brick and mortar yarn store. It may be a crazy idea that the market research may or may not support. I think it will. I’m seeing more and more people from the area getting into the crafting and arts and that means a desire for tools and supplies. Our area has no local yarn shop. The other area towns have no yarn shop. We have a few big box stores that sell a little bit of yarn, but no smaller shops.
Now I just need to figure out how to make the business work. Lots of planning to come. Planning, saving, research, and prudent shopping for shop supplies.
I just harvested the first ounce of fiber off of my goat Chamomile! She has started to blow her coat just like a dog does in the springtime. She wasn’t exactly thrilled to get brushed, but I’m guessing she’ll be the easy one. BB thinks everything and everyone is out to get her.
Now that the harvest has started I need to go back through my email and see what it will take to get my fiber tested. I would love to be able to legally call the fiber cashmere not just Cashgora. Cashgora being the breed of goat. They are a cashmere angora cross.
I don’t think I mentioned it but the fiber is sooooooo soft. Alpaca is lovely. Wool is amazing. But my goats? So soft and fine. I have my husband clamoring for a pair of cashmere socks. We shall see…