Monday, March 31, 2008



You know, I always thought that Stephanie liked me, but now I'm beginning to wonder a bit.

I'm sitting here with what I fervently hope is the last of the Revenge whirling about in the microwave and I have to reflect on the last six weeks.

I dyed a colourway for FemiKnit Mafia early this year upon the occasion of the demise of her marriage. I had said something to her about "spinning visions of revenge" and she said "I wonder what that colourway would look like?" and then went on to give me her version of what it would be, along with explanations for every colour (which will be blogged one day, but not while the divorce is still pending). I mixed it up a bit, gave it my own twist and dyed up some Wensleydale roving for her and sent it to her. She loved it and blogged about it. I liked the results so much that I dyed up some sock yarn in that colourway.

It takes forever. For. Freakin. Ever. ForEVER.

This particular base yarn comes to me in balls, not skeins, and I skein it (so about 20 minutes for one pair of socks) and then lay it out and dye it. There are seven colour changes, three of which are blended colours (one of which involves three different colours) and they're all sort of faded into each other. It takes me over an hour to paint two skeins of this (so a pair of socks' worth). Used to take me an hour and a half but I've refined it and I also remember the colour changes now off by heart.

And then there's the wrapping and patching blank spots (three minutes) and the nuking (six minutes) and the rinsing (10-20 minutes) and then two days for them to dry. And then the re-skeining (another 20 minutes) and the labeling and packaging (five minutes) and then the hour's round-trip walk to the post office.

So ... 20 plus 75 plus 3 plus 6 plus 20 plus another 20 plus 60. 204 minutes. Well over an hour and a half for one pair of socks.

That doesn't even account for the amount of time it takes to prepare a jar of dye (about ten minutes) or the time it takes to go buy the dye powder (about three hours). Or to find my stinkin' spoon (about four hours but I don't think that can fairly be factored into the equation.)

But I did it because I wanted to and because, you know, I drinks a bit. I liked the result so much I sent it as a gift to Ms. Harlot, just thinking that she could have some fun with it.

And then I got an email from her saying "I got some sock yarn today that I really like." I said cool, knock yourself out. And then a few days later I got an email saying "you shouldn't be playing Flight of the Hamsters. You should be dyeing Revenge. You're going to need some."

At the time I was working seven days a week. 56 hours plus over 20 hours of commuting. Close to 80 hours. And then there was the 10 hours a week on the bus taking my kid to school and picking her up so, you know, 90 hours a week of my time was spoken for, and there only ARE 168 hours in a week, no matter how you multi-task, so time was at a premium. If I were human, after those 90 hours there would be 56 hours a week scheduled in for sleep, leaving me 22 hours a week of time to cook, clean, buy groceries (another one-hour round trip, as we are without vehicle) play with my kid and take care of personal hygiene.

Fortunately I don't sleep 8 hours a day and I don't care if I smell funny but really, I was living on borrowed time a lot of the time.

I dyed a few skeins and put them in my store, but at the time I was also getting ready to be a vendor at my first ever Fibre Fest and I needed to dye about 200 skeins for that. Few of the skeins were anywhere near that time-intensive but 200 is, after all, 200.

And then she blogged about it. She blogged about the yarn and how much fun it was to knit (and one day soon I hope to have enough time to knit again so that I can find out) and ... the kiss of death ... she told people where she got it.

My little store up until then was getting maybe two to six orders a week. I was trundling happily along; this was something I could handle and it was a nice little sideline that perhaps one day I would expand.

And then I got six weeks worth of orders in two days. No, more than that. Ten or twelve weeks. Four freakin' MONTHS of orders in two days.

So ... I did the fibrefest, I went mental, I stopped sleeping completely and I did what I could.

I failed. There were time-management issues, kid-sick-for-a-week issues, job-related bullshit, problems with orders from my supplier and so on.

I've quit my job to do this full-time now and, like I said, the very last (I hope) of the Revenge is in the nukerator right now. If I wake later today and find out that I need another 20 skeins I think I'm going to puke on my shoes.

And then dye them.

The skeins, not the shoes.

I've had email issues and if you've written and I haven't written back it's not because I'm a twat, it's because I'm overwhelmed (and may also be a twat). I'm going to link to this post and send it in response to all of the unanswered emails and then send personalized responses over the next week or so.

A shitpile of the yarn has gone out. A pile remains here and will go out this week once it's finally dry.

I will be done by Wednesday, which is a good thing as I'm meeting with someone on Friday to discuss an as-of-yet secret project.

I thank everyone for their patience.

And I'm never talking to Stephanie again. I'm not even letting that trollop BUY my yarn, just for this.

(ps, thank you).

That's a freakin' lotta work for a sock. I say A sock because I'm afraid I didn't order enough Revenge for TWO socks. Sigh. However, I will enjoy making my sock and I think it will probably take a lot less time than it took you to prepare the yarn, even if I only knit during my lunch break.

I think your yarn is beautiful, btw.

And thanks for Flight of the Hamsters, too. Fun!
Dear Anon. I can guarantee that you ordered enough for two socks. One order is two skeins and that's enough for two adult socks (with more than likely enough left over for two baby socks unless you have great big feet). Never fear!
You probably got one hell of a lot closer than I would have.

May the madness have paid for a bottle or two of the deep red wine stuff for you to put all this behind you with... :-)
Can't comment now, throwing hamsters.
You go girl!

You have a bunch of us out here hoping you succeed like crazy.
So, today would be a bad day for me to order some then?
Dye, Girlfriend, dye!! Consider yourself forewarned...if you are gonna have pretty stuff, you better have enough for the whole class!! Can't wait to get mine!
OMG! please don't get sick of the Revenge colorway just yet, I still need to get some. I've been drooling over it (like the rest of the knitting world) ever since I saw Stephanie's pair. I just haven't been able to afford it yet. My time is coming though so just be forewarned...there will be another person who NEEDS Revenge.
What Kelley said. But that's okay, I'm fine waiting. We all want you to survive to dye again!

My verification word is "kbymnbo". Are you (or Blogger) trying to tell me something?
No wonder I haven't seen the fiber in your shop. But I'm broke now anyway so no matter. Maybe next year you'll have supply at the same time I have cash. In the meantime I'm going to sleep easy, knowing I didn't participate in your physical breakdown.:) On othe other hand, I'm glad business is so good you got to drop that sucky job of yours!
I hope this all nets out as a "good problem to have."
And is Flight of the Hamsters like the hamsterdance (and does that betray my Internet age)?
It was so worth the wait! And thank you for responding to me personally in a nice way instead of telling me to go "F" myself.

I'll be seeing Stephannie at her book launch tomorrow and have gift yarn for her - do you want me to hit her with it first?

Leslie - knitting therapist and queen of cracksilk haze
I always thought that living the fiber life would be nice. I fantasized about quitting my job and being all about the fluffy stuff. I thought it would be wholesome and relaxing...

I'm over that now. Best leave it to the professionals such as yourself. I lack the fortitude.
So I take it that those of us who have not yet ordered yarn from you should wait a bit, and perhaps choose a different colorway?
Ummmm....I was thinking about ordering some of this since I just learned how to knit socks and now I can play with all the pretty yarn.

But I don't want to be the one to send you to the mental hospital...perhaps I should wait??

Wow! I'm so sorry for any impatient emails I may have sent this last week! You are working very hard at it and I'll just have to learn to be a bit more patient! So much hard work is going into this yarn, thank you, I can barely wait to see the results!

Shannon in Coquitlam
You forgot "fell out of the car onto my ass in the middle of the street and I wasn't even drunk."
::puts tongue firmly in cheek::

So, I'm figuring in about 6 months, I should be able to tentatively broach the subject of some Moral Turpitude sock yarn, right? I'll make a note. Which I'll then lose, so unlax, you've got lots of time before I actually get around to asking about you doing an order. Unless you loudly state on the blog that things have slowed way down, and fer godssakes, people, order something already!--in which case, then I'll jump right to it. ;)
Well, you must admit that Revenge colorway is Gorgeous. Next time send Steph a yarn that quicker to dye.

So what you're saying is, if you really want to sell something, make something the Harlot thinks is really good ;-) I could have told that after I read her post on it ;-)
Ok, but how is this revenge?

Oh, the *yarn*. The *yarn* is Revenge.

(Hey, I knew that--and when I saw her pimp it on her blog, I was honestly grateful that it wasn't my kind of colorway. I was just fondling "Jennie" and "Gathering Storm" last night.)

Congrats on the frightening, crashing success.
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