Monday, April 22, 2013

Going Analog

Although the blog is quiet, the world headquarters of Smoky Mountain Fibers has been a flurry of color.  I dyed lots of fiber for a felting class and even more fiber for my retail business.  I am a contributing member of a local yarn shop here in Asheville (NC), Friends & Fiberworks (aka FFW).  As one of the friends, I work at the shop several hours a month and they carry an array of my patterns and fibers.  The shop participates in a number of fiber festivals and knitting and crochet shows, so my fiber travels in the booth.  If you were at the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival in March or Stitches South in Atlanta a few weeks ago, you may have seen my work.  They'll be at the Kentucky Sheep &Fiber Festival in May, so my fiber will be a large part of the shop's display.

So in the interest of all this retail business, I've been keeping the dyepots warm.  I try to dye around the spectrum, so this weekend I concentrated on the reds.  Rosy golds, rusty oranges, fiery reds.  Last week it was all about the greens - blue-greens, olives, froggy, grassy, emerald, chartreuse, every green I can make - even one that was a rather poisonous neon green seldom found in nature.

But with all this dyeing, why am I ignoring my Etsy shop (and my blog)?  I say that it's my lack of a decent camera.  I tell myself that it is the time factor.  I am right on both counts.  I don't have a decent camera, though I could buy one.  The camera built into my phone is better than any stand-alone camera that I own.  Not bad as you can see here.  Not fabulous, but not bad.  I think that researching the perfect camera (and they keep changing) is standing in the way.  My essential cheapness is an issue too.  The perfect camera is scary expensive. 

The time factor is more telling.  Even though I have a demanding day job that requires considerable travel,  I work most Saturdays and an evening every week in the yarn shop.  I design workshops and teach classes as part of my day job, but I also write patterns and knit samples for the yarn shop and it's fun! I've also taught a number of classes and hosted a knit-along or two.  I'm also doing a good bit of knitting for myself.  This winter I completed 5 sweaters, although 3 were in timeout since the previous spring.  (I couldn't help it.  Spring came in February, 2012.  Who wants to knit on a wool sweater when it's 70 degrees out? I have another one on the needles, but need to figure out what I want to do for the closures, so that will likely marinate until next fall.  Hmmm...maybe a zipper?   I've already started a cotton top.  See what I mean?). 

I think the real 'problem' is that I'm involved in a strong, lively, in-person fiber community, so the pull of digital is not so strong.  I get positive feedback from my colleagues at the yarn shop, for my customers in the shop and the felting teachers who purchase my fibers.  I'm teaching knitting and dyeing classes.  People seek out my help with knitting problems, they want my advice in choosing yarns for projects.  Cyberspace is a wonderful place to visit and indeed I go there everyday, but it is not my main sense of community. 

As I make choices about how I spend my time, I am liking the present time and space.  Yesterday I spent my time doing what I love to do:  I took a walk. I cooked.  I dyed fiber. I worked played in the garden.  I even packaged fiber for the upcoming KY show, but I didn't post a one of those luscious rovings to my Etsy shop!

This doesn't mean I'm going offline - not at all.  I'm getting ready to host an online knit-along on the FFW Ravelry group & Facebook page.  I'm back on the blog.  Watch for some new patterns!  But I'm living in the real world as well as the digital.  They're both good.