Thoughts on a snowy day

It is supposedly springtime. Nebraska hasn’t gotten the memo yet. We got a solid 4 inches of snow last night and at 10 a.m. it has just stopped snowing. This after being almost 60 degrees F yesterday at lunch time.

The snow means I have an excuse to be inside and working on things for Little Hawk Yarns. Although, I’m not in my actual office/studio because in putting in a new outlet somehow my husband took the power away from all the other outlets in the basement. We haven’t chased it down yet. Honestly it makes no sense because of how the power should be flowing… That is a whole other story though so I won’t get into electrical troubleshooting here. What it boils down to is that I don’t have light in my area, or power for my computer, or for my sewing machine, or anything else that plugs in.

I normally like to put something on Netflix on my computer and get to work either spinning, knitting, sewing, or making dryer balls. That isn’t happening at the moment. I’m glad I have a laptop. I brought it upstairs so I can take care of the emails and my blog. Later I’ll have to bring up dryer ball supplies because I have a big order of those to take care of.

I’m in the process of getting a summer schedule lined out. Fiber fairs close to me are few and far between. Trying to decide what will be the best possible venues within reasonable travel distances. Unsure at this point.

In addition to scheduling for my business I’m working on plans of making my wardrobe. I’ve been fascinated by the Slow Fashion movement for some time now. I finally have a little better sewing machine so I can add to sewn garments, not just knitted ones. Also, I have two more sewing machines coming to me. One is an old treadle machine from the early 1900’s and the other is a Singer Industrial machine from about the 1960’s. Not sure if the treadle machine is still completely functional. My mom, who is giving me the machines, thinks there was something wrong with it when it got put into storage, but she can’t remember what that was. Now I get to put my mechanic skills to work on this.

So why have I decided to do this Slow Fashion? Because it makes no sense for me as a maker to buy my clothes from the big box stores that in all likelihood are using underpaid people to make their clothes and although they are inexpensive monetarily it seems they are costing us dearly in the long run. In many ways that I’m not prepared to discuss at the moment.

I’m continuously having to replace clothing that isn’t that old. Jeans are next to impossible to keep intact for long. I don’t mind repairing jeans, but they generally aren’t made of good enough material to warrant repair. Plus, most of the clothing doesn’t fit well. It is made for mannequins and I am not that shape. And, in order to purchase the type of clothing I’d really like to own I would need to be rich, or sew my own. So, I am going to learn to sew garments.

Will it be inexpensive to do so? Nope. Fabric is not cheap, especially good quality fabric. But as a maker and supporter of small producers I am willing to spend a bit more and get exactly what I want. No, I won’t pony up big bucks right away. I will buy muslin fabric to start with while I find the patterns that will work for me. Eventually I will buy the nice linens and denim I want.

I suppose this all ties into my store in that I cannot bring myself to just go along with the norm of buying cheap everything all the time. I like high quality tools, garments, and yarns. I want to reflect that in my everyday life in addition to the lines I carry in my store.

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Still updating…

I always forget how long it takes to get moved. We have sold our old house so we are at least done with that part. Now on to actually getting Little Hawk Yarns squared away. I need to figure out space. So over the next month or so there will be a lot of planning and thinking going on. In the mean time feel free to message me if you need something. I’m sure we can get something figured out.

This is just a quick update as I need to get rolling on many projects today. Happy spring! Even though I have snow it spring is right around the corner.

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Projects continued…

Apparently a master knitters program a 5k and a half marathon aren’t enough to keep me busy. I also signed up to get my teaching certificate for knitting. And this post is a way to procrastinate it all! Some days I wonder about me and my sanity.

I am liking the way the programs are laid out though. They match each other enough that I can use some of the same research for both, but are different enough I don’t feel like they are the same thing under two different names.

I am finding I need to expand my knitting library too. Oh happy day! I am never sad about finding new (or new to me) books. I am on the hunt for a good used book store in my new town though. I’m not seeing a lot in that way. That is one thing that is certainly lacking. But, maybe I’ll run across some good things at auctions this summer.  Let’s hope so.

I’d better go get some swatches blocked. I am learning the value of swatches. Even if later I decide not to use them, I’m seeing how they can be helpful.

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Projects

So, a little less than a month ago I signed up for a master knitting certification program through The Knitter’s Guild of America. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was signing up for although I knew it was big because of the time they allow on the various levels. Level One you have a year to complete. Level Two you get 18 months, and Level Three you get a full two years to do.

As I’m getting into Level One there is a report to write. Yikes! I haven’t written a report in almost 20 years. It has been a solid 15. Oh boy! I’m having to re-learn how to sit and write, research, and the dang bibliography. Ugh. I’ve never liked doing those. But, I am enjoying stretching my brain and learning again. I don’t like to not be learning. Plus this is a great excuse to knit. Because I can always use an excuse to knit more.

Someday, maybe soon, I am looking into doing their teaching certification as well. We’ll have to see just how much time and money I’m willing to sink in. Mostly time in front of the computer writing and planning. Because of course now that I’m not working 6+ days a week, I feel the need to sign up for all sorts of things. In addition to this knitting work, I’m spinning again (hooray!!) and I’ve signed up for a couple of races to keep me running. One of which is a half marathon. Which I’ve never done before. Uff-da! At least the sitting in front of a computer should get balanced out with the training. I just need to plan it out well.

And, before I forget… I will soon get to actually move into my new office space today or tomorrow. The carpeting is getting the last little bit installed right now. I got new vinyl in my space too. Now to get things unpacked and organized… So many exciting things happening!

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Where Has Little Hawk Yarns Landed?

At the last update I was closing my brick and mortar shop. I had made the decision to do so knowing there were some other changes afoot. Little did I know when I made that announcement that my husband would get a job offer the very same day. A job offer that would have us move away from the Scottsbluff area. So, he accepted the job offer and we moved to Chadron, NE. A ways from Scottsbluff but not too far. About 100 miles actually. In between December and now I have been busy closing the store, moving my inventory to the house, to moving everything to Chadron, selling a house, buying a house, and getting my kids into school. Somewhere in the middle of that I had taxes and inventory to do.

To say it has been an interesting last couple of months would be understating things. It has not been a bad move as far as moves go but it has been busy.  I was able to get my shop moved out of my building by the 31st of December and by January 14 we were mostly moved up to Chadron. I think we have one more garage load to get from our old house and then we’ll be done with that part. I’m still working on the Little Hawk Yarn (LHY) set up. I’m not sure exactly how that is going to look just yet. I have a small area set up in my house that I’m working out of for the moment. We are re-carpeting and adding vinyl to that area so I will be a bit disorganized yet a little longer.

I’m looking at doing pop up shops, fiber fairs, and farmers markets. I’m not sure what is available just yet in this area. There is a great little quilt shop that has requested some handspun for consignment. Hooray! I will be ordering baskets once I get a place to put them again.

Let’s see… One last bit of news, I have started on my Master Knitting Certificate through The Knitting Guild of America. I love learning and researching so this project is right up my alley. Someday I would like to do the Master Spinners course through Olds College as well.

In the meantime you can still find me as Little Hawk Yarns on Facebook or online at www.littlehawkyarns.com. Please feel free to message me if you need yarn, fiber, a basket, or would like spinning or knitting lessons.

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Changes

The time has come for big decisions. There seems to be certain times in our lives where things just push us in certain directions. It was that way when I opened up my brick and mortar store. The world just lined things up so nicely for me to open. Now the world is pushing me to shift gears and change things. The increased overhead and not enough of an increase in sales to support the increase is ultimately pushed me to make this decision. So, the somewhat sad news is that I will be closing the brick and mortar location down at the end of December. The good news is that I’m  not totally going away. Just going back to the model that is self-supporting. I’m planning farmer’s market, and fairs, and some other ideas are cooking but are nowhere near done. I will still have my webpage/web-store and I will be available for classes. I just need to bring it back down to where the income isn’t so disproportional to the outgoing.

In all of this I do have to say thank you to the folks who have supported my adventure. Those of you who came in to the store to talk, knit, took a class, bought yarn, and supported my business; thank you from the bottom of my heart.  A special thank  you to my employee Barb. I could not do this without your help.

I’m sure you have questions. I will do my best to answer them. Our December schedule is a bit wonky. For that I apologize. Life and holidays get a little nuts around this time of year.

Dec 6-9 Open normal hours: Wed-Fri 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday 12-5 p.m. with our Open Textile Study Group meeting Saturday the 9th

Dec 13-15 we are closed – Life happens, especially right before Christmas it seems.

Dec 16 Saturday open 12-5 p.m.

Dec 20-23 open normal hours Wed-Fri 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 12-5 p.m.

Dec 27-30 tentatively open normal hours although this may change. This will be our last week at the 312 E. Overland location.

As far as sales go: Yes,I will have some things on sale.

Will I have a total clearance? No. Remember I’m re-grouping and not totally going away so I will be keeping inventory and displays etc. I just won’t be at my current location after December.

Where can you find me after December? Make sure to check my Facebook page. I’m pretty good about answering messages on there if you need something. Otherwise you can find me at www.littlehawkyarns.com until further notice.

 

 

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Holidays are right around the corner!

Can you believe it? I can’t. I always figure I have time to plan, make, buy for a holiday and then before I know it the day is upon me. Are you like this? Got any great ideas for getting out of that rut?

Actually I am good about a few things. I tend to stash presents throughout the year for gift giving. I just don’t always remember to give them. I just found one of my son’s birthday presents the other day that I had forgotten. His birthday was back in July. Oops. On the other hand…He loved getting a random present in October. See? It all works out.

Making… My homemade presents tend to be canned goods. I do lots of canning in the Fall and so I tend to have these on hand. I like to make my presents but I am not a fast knitter. I can knit anything I really want to, it just takes me forever and a day.

So what does it all mean for my holidays in the store? It means that I like to have yarn on hand for the folks who are good at pre-planning and making ahead of time. And it means I have some easy already done things like wool dryer balls and sewing kits that are great to pop into a stocking or tuck under the tree. I provide these in solidarity with those of you who are like me and think you’ll get something made for the holiday but it just sneaks up on you. I get it.

I’ve got winter store hours set for 12-5 p.m. on Saturday and Wednesday thru Friday is 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Hopefully I’ll get to see you in person and visit with you.

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