Friday, October 28, 2011

Back to More Important Things!

Now that I'm done whining about having to replace my computer I can get back to the fun stuff!   I was very, very lucky recently.  A good friend decided to "invest" in my business(es) and gave me enough money to really start to get some things off the ground.  I'll be able to start a wholesale account with a fiber supplier, so that I can buy my wool at wholesale prices, which will give me a broader selection and a slightly higher profit margin.  After waiting forever for Etsy to come through with the promised ability to manage more than one shop from the same account, I finally just went ahead and started a second Etsy account to sell the yarn and spinning fiber in.  I'm not putting the link out there yet because the shop is still empty.  Writing up Etsy listings is more like writing ad copy than a classified, and that's never come easily to me, so the listings are going through lots of revisions before I make them public.  I'm hoping to have the new shop up and running by Thanksgiving!

Here's what I've been working on:

 I'm starting to work on colorways outside of single color families - these are some of my more successful attempts. 
 I'm also working on increasing my spinning speed.  I expect the dyed fiber to be a bigger percentage of sales, but since much of what I spin ends up sitting around waiting for a project, it may as well be available for purchase while it's waiting!

These first two colorways came out beautifully the first time!  I love it when things work right!

This last skein is just for me :)  It'll go nicely with this yarn.  Right now I'm thinking of hats and leg warmers, because this yarn is too "soft" for socks.  It would pill terribly, and I'd probably get holes faster than I'd like.
Not terribly fashionable perhaps, but I'm planning on wearing them under skirts with the actual aim of keeping my legs warm! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The New Toy

I had to get a new computer at the beginning of the month.  I was not happy about this.  Not happy at all.  It took way too long to figure out that I did, in fact, need to replace the computer, and now it's taken another two or three weeks to get things almost back to where I want them.

One evening around mid-September my computer simple refused to power on.  That's it - no Blue Screen of Death - no warning, just *Poof!*  It then took a further two weeks to fix the situation: determine that it was not a simple fix (it had "motherboard issues") and that the flat rate the repair place quoted me initially could not be used because my computer was too old (!), that they would end up charging me more to fix this one than it would cost me to get a newer, faster one, and then to get the computer that I could afford because it was on sale shipped to the store and have all my data transferred from the old hard drives to the new computer.  Somewhere in all this, I lost nearly a year's worth of old emails, which I'm also not happy about.

I've now had to switch from Windows XP to Windows 7, which everything seems to hate.  I'm only now getting to the point where the applications I use most frequently are installed and functional.  Several of them needed to be upgraded to Win7 compatible versions, and at least one still hasn't worked all the bugs out.  There are some annoyances that apparently are just inherent to Win7, such as its inability to retain a monitor calibration setting after the screen has greyed out or gone to sleep.  There's a workaround for that (I have to manually run the "load calibration" app when this happens), but it's a PITA to have to remember to do this every time I'm going to be working with Photoshop.

On the plus side, I've now got a much bigger hard drive, and the CPU is a little faster, which means things don't heat up as quickly, and the fan doesn't start going into overdrive fifteen minutes after I start working.  As a result, this computer is much quieter.

Now that I'm finally done ranting about this major inconvenience/disruption in my life, I can get back to talking about important things, like yarn and food. 
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