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1  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / How to dehair musk ox? on: June 02, 2014 10:21:08 AM
I've found a place that sells musk ox for less than usual, but it hasn't been dehaired. How would I go about dehairing it? Do I just grab a piece and start pulling it out, or is there a tool you can use?
2  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Which is the more effective business model? on: May 31, 2014 02:12:35 PM
I'm getting to the age where I'm ready to get a part time job. I thought about becoming a cashier or something similar, but then it occurred to me that I've sold my creations in the past, and some of the things I make could have a big market. I thought I would either do chainmaille jewelry or sell my yarns. I decided that I couldn't do chainmaille for a very long amount of time without distressing my hands, so spinning it is. And I'm better at spinning anyways. But what I was wondering is what I should make. The way I see it, their are four options although I could mix the last two with the the first two a bit.
1. Use the cheapest materials possible to have a competitive price: I would make my yarns out of regular, kind of scratchy wool that I processed myself. I would try to spin fast rather than perfect, and then I would have a lot of product that I can sell for cheap.
2. Use the best materials possible to have a superior product: Rather than cheap wool, I could use things like alpaca, merino, or even super luxurious materials like camel down and Qiviut. Recently I found a cheaper source on some luxury fibers, so I would still have pretty good prices, but naturally these yarns will be more expensive, and less people could afford them. I could pride myself in taking my time and making a truly superior product.
3. Art yarns: Art yarns are a lot of fun, but they take a long time to come up with the ideas, and more effort to make. They might not even be completely functional. They would naturally have a smaller market, the most popular yarn artist I know of has things up on her site for a long time before they sell, and I am positive it's not her main form of income.
4. Sell completed Garments: While there is a pretty big market for yarn, a lot more people wear clothing than knit or crochet. I would have to sink more time in to each thing I made. There are two sub options here, I could make regular clothes, or I could make really wild ones like Ana Voog does with her freeform crochet. I'm not the best at crochet yet, but I think I could learn more without too much trouble.

So which of these things do you think I should do? It's worth noting that I like to make art yarns a lot, and I like to work with fine materials, but I figure I can afford more fine fibers and more supplies for myself if I do what's profitable for the yarn I sell. My main motivation for trying to start a business is actually because my arts and crafts are taking all my money.
3  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / What is your favorite fiber? on: May 31, 2014 01:46:11 PM
What fiber do you like to spin the most? Personally I love alpaca, it's the perfect mix of luxury and not completely unnafordable. I have very sensitive skin, and alpaca doesn't bother me at all. I really love angora, but it's too expensive to use all the time, and I'm allergic to it. I couldn't afford to spin nothing but alpaca, but it's not like it's 40+ bucks an ounce like qiviut. Also it's not to hard to work with, at least if your using huacaya alpaca. So what do you like? If you could only choose one fiber, what would you pick?
4  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Anyone have experience with this website? on: May 31, 2014 08:28:07 AM
I found a new website I'm considering ordering from, but I'm kind of worried that it's a scam of some sort. The prices on the fibers are much much cheaper than my local shop sells things for. They have silk for about 1/4 the price that I usually pay. The website is called rhlindsaywool.com. Has anyone ordered from them before? I also noticed the have cheap musk ox but I was wondering if anyone could tell from the picture if it's dehaired or not. I can't upload photos yet, but it's on the site under luxury fibers. If it isn't dehaired, how do you dehair it? Also I found another site selling vicuna noil for a lot cheaper than regular vicuna top, I was wondering if I ordered it if I need to do anything special to spin noil. I know it's a waste product more or less, so is it worth ordering?
5  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / How many ounces go in to the average skein? on: May 26, 2014 03:13:21 PM
I used to be fibre from a semi-local shop, but since I've gotten back in to spinning, it has since gone out of business. I would probably be spinning worsted weight yarn, or something close to that, but I also spin kind of crazy yarns that can be rather bulky sometimes. My favorite fibers are merino, angora, and mohair, but usually I just spin something a bit more cheap unless I'm treating myself. If the weights are different for different materials, that would be nice to know. I have a Jensen wheel with standard bobbins. They aren't too big or too small. I would probably be spinning worsted weight, but I also spin lace and bulky.
6  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Need some tips about freeform crochet? on: May 19, 2014 01:05:00 PM
I make my own yarn, but have been horrible at knitting, so I tried crochet. I'm a beginner at it, I can follow basic patterns, but I don't have all the techniques that I'll need. I want to learn to do freeform crochet, and I have done one very easy freeform crochet project out of ugly pink acrylic yarn. What are some projects I could work on to add more techniques to my repetoire, so I can use them in freeform? When I start freeforming, is there anything I should be doing other than just making fabric without rules? Are there techniques that I should know before starting? Also for crocheting in the round, do I still chain at the start of each new row?

Sorry if I'm asking too many questions, I just need some help.
7  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Wheel to spin very bulky art yarns on? on: May 19, 2014 12:50:05 PM
This is more of a plan for someday than something to do in the immediate future, but I'm considering getting another wheel. My current wheels is really one of the best their is, I bought it when I still had money, but it has a relatively small orifice for they type of projects I like to make from time to time. Sometimes I want to try out whacky things like making a 7 ply yarn, big felt inclusions. or Tailspun yarn big enough to be a boa after you chain stitch it. But I just can't do stuff like that with my wheel. I love my wheel, but it would be so nice to be able to make really crazy yarns. I've done some research on this topic, and found the Majacraft Aura, and the Ashford(I think ashford) Country spinner. I want to know if there are any others, and which ones are good. Also I've tried doing some of this stuff on a drop spindle, but I have trouble finding drop spindles that are the right size for making these kinds of things, and I'm not that fond of using a drop spindle anyways, I mostly use one If I'm traveling.
8  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / What to do when something you spin just isn't the thickness you wanted? on: May 19, 2014 12:19:24 PM
I consider myself to be pretty good at spinning, I'm not a beginner, but sometimes the yarn I make gets a little bit thicker or thinner for an inch or so. Usually I tear out that part as soon as I make the mistake, and then recycle the bits of fluff in crazy carded batts. Is this the right way to do it, or is there a better way? A lot of times it can just be a bump in the roving that causes this, but sometimes especailly when it's too thin, I feel like it's my fault. I understand that some variance is to be expected, and that that's part of the character of handspun yarn. But if you have any tips on getting near perfect yarn, I would really appreciate it.
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