Thursday, January 21, 2010

Potential & Possibilities

I started a little shop on Etsy (Knitted Things and Strings from the Fearlessknitter) a little less than 3 months ago.

The first group of things I put up for sale was knitted items. They ranged from a large, expensive circular lace shawl made from a yarn that is a blend of wool, silk, and silver

 to some simple hats and inexpensive cotton coasters.

The second set of things I put up for sale was hand dyed yarns. I am working on developing my own lines. I named my sock yarn "High Society" because hand knit socks make you feel like a million bucks.

 My personal color sense involves bright colors. I try to combine colors in unusual ways and the results usually make me smile. So, I call my superwash line "Celebrate Superwash" 

and my merino worsted weight "Creative Colors".

The third set of things was hand spun yarn. I have listed a variety of fibers and weights from lace to bulky and including angora and some sparkly accents.

When I started this venture I figured I would be mostly selling those knitted things and maybe a little yarn. The reality so far is very different. Of my seven sales so far, two have been finished items, five have been yarn I dyed, and so far no hand spun sales.

So I've been thinking about my potential customers. It turns out that I am attempting to sell to two very different groups of people at the same time. One group appreciates hand knit items but does not knit or crochet themselves. The second group is made up of people like me who knit, crochet, spin, weave, or felt--fiber crafting folks.

So, what to do? When I knit do I knit to sell? Knit to experiment with design, color, shape, texture, fiber, stitch, form, and construction? Knit for myself, family, and friends? Knit for the pure pleasure and joy of it?

What about my newest fiber love-spinning? The questions are pretty much the same as the knitting ones.

Then, there's the dying...

Turns out that even when I am dying my own stuff, I will still buy other people's yarns. But, the more I see and experience with color the more I want to do. As a knitter I love finding a color that makes me say, "Wow, I gotta have that". I will forever be going through the never ending cycle of adding to and then using from my beloved "Stash".

While we are all such individuals I think most of us fiber folks are more alike than we realize. So, I'm going to try to focus on what I love the most--COLOR. I want to create yarns that make people feel like "I just gotta have that color". I want to offer a product that is reasonably priced yet compensates me for my time, effort, and expertise.

So, I plan to talk to a local gift shop owner about some of the small hand knit items that I create every so often. I will continue to spin and will sell (or gift) what I don't persoanally use. But the main focus of my shop will be the hand painted yarn and as I improve with dying roving I may end up selling some of that too.

I'm gratified that people like the things I knit. But, rather than sell things, I want to sell potential and possibilities.

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