I know it’s been awhile but until you hear. I have such a good reason for being away.
I’ve had orders. Two ponchos. Four hats. I’ve been busy. The story of the first poncho will kill you – it nearly killed me. This is the poncho that took me three tries to make. The first time I made it, it looked really small. I went over the pattern and discovered I left out twelve rows. Kinda important. So it was frogged and done again. The second time, I just didn’t like it. I couldn’t get it to line up the right way. The third time (took three days by the way) it came out like this. I was ready to go. Sent the photo to the customer saying ‘here’s your poncho!’
I was prepping to send it when I noticed it was two different dye lots. I had noticed one ball was coming out way thicker than the other but it wasn’t until I got it in dimmer light that the color change was too much.
Went to Joann and bought the last four skeins of the fiber – making sure it was the same dye lot and made it again. It is on the way to Canada. And that was after I was on the last part and noticed I didn’t do the increases that needed to be done and ripped back about twenty rows.
The new poncho order I have had me back at Joann for more of the same fiber. They didn’t have any on the shelf – I bought them out the day before – so I bought Lion Brand Thick and Quick which is $1.45 more per ball but I had two coupons that were used on two of the four skeins. I wasn’t going to drive around to all the different Joann stores to find the other fiber. Glad I didn’t, this one is going like a dream and you can tell the difference between the two. I love them both but there is a difference between a name brand and a generic.
Then I had to knit two of the rasta hats (one I knit in between poncho attempts to keep me same..saner.) Then the last two I had in the inventory. So, it’s been pretty busy. I have to admit having to do the poncho over and over caused me a great deal of stress that took me a day to recover. I was really tired yesterday. I didn’t even start the new poncho order until late last night.
There are some really positive things: I’ve made my sales goal for September. I wanted to make four sales for the month and I have. I know it was a low goal but seriously, with one sale in July and one in August, I thought it was a good stretch. Now I am looking for the next sale and was a little disappointed to wake up and not have it there.
I also discovered this cute book of scarf and hat sets to crochet and I started one of those as a way to help de-stress and found some new crochet patterns that are fun and it makes the already wonderful I Love This Yarn feel more lush and thick.
I also discovered the joys of PayPal shipping labels. I’ve been doing my own labels, taking the boxes to the post office to be weighed and paying postage there, spending extra to get delivery confirmation, etc. Decided to try the PayPal shipping label option where the label and postage are done on the computer. The label prints out and I can schedule the post office to pick them up. I had to go to the PO because I didn’t have the International shipping label I needed but in the future, this can be so much easier. Plus confirmation via PayPal is $0.19 instead of $0.80. That can really add up.
Discovered a service where I can insure my shipments. A lot of sellers insure their packages if they are $50 or above. But I want to insure everything. It costs me $20 for a one skein project and though I’ve never run into any problems, that could also add up. insurance against loss or damage or someone who decides to make false claims is a small price to pay.
The last thing I discovered is I did what I had to do in order to get my customer’s order out by the time I said. I always worry that something will go wrong but I am glad I had the strength to make that poncho four times. It shows me I do need to rest, relax, get some exercise and eat well in order to handle the stress of what might just be an uptick of business. It was a good lesson to learn now just in case the holidays do prove to be a busy hat making season.
OK, there is one more thing I learned: I deserve success. This little glimpse into what a successful shop might look like left me tired and stressed but deeply happy and grateful. That little voice in my head that sometimes comes out to tell me to opt for easier and lazy was nowhere to be heard during the last few days. I was way to busy for him to come out. That’s a good thing. I think it shows God that I can be trusted with a blessing. An important attribute when there are so many blessings to be had.