Marketing strategy

I read a great post on the Etsy forums on developing a marketing strategy for our businesses.  It was refreshing to realize that many of the concepts covered I had implemented or at least thought about.  My niche will be knitwear accessories (scarves, gloves/mittens, hats, etc.) along with yarn and fiber.  No crocheting in my future or making sweater or socks.  Although I love the concept of knitting shawls, I do realize that for me such an item would not be a good business product.  My love of complicated lace patterns means that generally a shawl would take at least a year to finish and would be priced at over $100 US.  The smaller items are much more reasonable and require less yardage of yarn.  Still searching for projects for my small quantities of yarn blends.  This weekend I will be creating a 3 color roving listing to spice up our fiber options.  I plan on have a trio in 1 oz and 2 oz color batches for people to blend/spin at their leisure.

Woven scarf
The white woven texture scarf is completed, cleaned and blocked.  It is just waiting for me to be able to take daylight photos for listing on Etsy – see image to the right.  I finally listed the handspun alpaca yarn from Sopie Mae.  My internet research has revealed several pure alpaca lace scarf patterns and products.  This was inspirational as I had become aware from spinning tutorials/mills that alpaca lacks elasticity and should therefore be blended with wool to improve projects. Lulu’s fleece which is still being spun into lace weight yarn is back on the radar.
On the wheel right now is a bobbin of the Wensleydale roving which I hope to completely fill and ply within the next 2 weeks and sale.  Another bobbin contains Lulu’s fiber spun for lace weight.  Goal is to fill bobbin to ply with my other single ply yarn from this fleece.  I have decided to spin up some of my black wool roving to ply with the colorful mohair single.  I am thinking that black will balance the reds, greens, white, and blues of the mohair fiber nicely.  We shall see and I will post pictures of the yarn when I get to that step.

On the needles is the self designed hat project from 2 ply fingering weight alpaca handspun yard.  I have a book of knitted stitch patterns which I at first I thought was a great way to help me design my own items.  Well the pattern are created for flat and not circular knitting and my design skills are not that developed as of yet to do the conversion.  So this hat has been ripped about 3 times thus far in attempting to create it.  At this point I have a 2×2 rib band and I am creating a lace design for the body.  No idea on the decreasing which will probably require additional ripping to get it right.  Luckily this is not a custom order and doesn’t have a deadline to be finished.  My praise and kudos go out to all of those knitwear designers out there.  You are truly talented/gifted individuals.  Knitting from patterns can be challenging but no where near as challenging as creating the pattern.  I have no idea the size of the hat – it will probably turn out to be for a child as the circumference seems pretty small.  This weekend I will be completing the custom gloves as they are due by the 8th. 

Still have high hopes for the stitch book to aid in developing scarves and headbands though. I did use the moss stitch pattern to create my beret.  It is the cables and textured patterns that are posing difficulties for me.  Just learned that my roving is ready at the mill and will be picking up next weekend.  The plan is to take about 3 lbs of fiber to the mill to be converted to rovings in April with the larger bags to be converted to rovings/yarn by August.  Need to start listing/selling items to cover the mill costs.  Well that’s all for tonight from Colorado – take care!

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