There are changes happening at The Homestead Hobbyist. Changes that I think are exciting and that will help me offer you beautiful fiber more regularly.
I started a full-time job in March; I got the call offering me the gig while I was driving back from Stitches West, and I still haven’t dug myself out from Madrona/Stitches backlog. Available time has gone from “somehow not enough” to “holy fuckballs, I’m going insane.” So I started thinking of ways that I could both dye enough for regular updates in the online shop AND make sure I have enough for in-person shows, because fiber is my passion and I want to be able to share it with everyone.
There are a lot of possible approaches to achieve those goals with limited time available that will allow me to continue to design interesting blends and to explore dyeing fiber in beautiful colorways. Because I enjoy custom-designed blends of fiber so much and don’t have room to have all the blends available all the time, I landed on an approach that falls between dye-to-order and a fiber club:
Every quarter (3 months), I will offer 4 bases, one each from the four categories I’ve dreamed up: Luscious; Versatile; Pure Wool; and Exploration, which will be a new blend I am testing out, very likely featuring the base I am offering in the Pure Wool category. You can pre-order any of those 4 bases in any quantity with any colorway you like from my list of colorways or choose from the one or two new colorways I will develop (I will post inspiration/description of what I’m thinking, but it may evolve, so it will be an adventurous choice).
What This Means
You get the colorways you want on the fiber you want. No more “Damn, it sold before I could check out” or “I wish you had this colorway on that fiber.” You get exactly what you want. Plus, it still gives me creative time to dream up new things, which is super important to me (it keeps me happy!).
There will still be opportunities to nab fiber, even if you miss the pre-order window. I will be ordering additional fiber to dye colorways of my choice, so I can post ready-to-ship braids in the shop on a more-regular basis. I will also have different fiber bases at in-person events, and those may end up in the shop as ready-to-ship braids.
This pre-order approach does involve a lot of lead time. After ordering, it may take a month or two before you actually get your fiber. But when it arrives, it will be like a surprise present you forgot you got for yourself!
Pre-ordering is available now for this first round (head to the listings to learn more and see the fiber options), and orders will need to be complete by 6 July. This should give everyone enough time to consider fiber and colorway options and contact me with any questions or special requests. I will order fiber on 7 July; I’ll get the fiber, dye, and start shipping in late August. Orders should all be dyed and shipped before the next quarter’s pre-orders open in mid-September.
The mill can take 4-6 weeks to process an order (although it is often less time), and dyeing may take several weeks depending on where your order is on the list. Orders will be dyed in the order they were received (if you order first, I will dye yours first). I will keep people up to date about the status of that quarter’s fiber through the newsletter (so be sure to sign up).
But, this also means I won’t have all of the fiber available all of the time. If you don’t nab the base you want during the pre-order window, it may be a while before I have it available again. (But, see below; there will be ways to get your favorite fiber even if it isn’t part of the quarter’s offering.)
What If I Want Different Fiber?
If you would like a base other than the 4 that are being offered, just contact me. In most cases, the minimum order for a base that is not on that quarter’s offering will be 1 pound (either dyed or undyed). I can even order fiber for you that I don’t have on my list of bases; just let me know what you’re thinking and we can discuss the options!
These dyed-in-the-wool blends will continue to be offered; I’m even planning on expanding some of the Savage Blends that I love the most. If there's one you're particularly keen on and it's not available right now, contact me or sign up for the newsletter so you are alerted when it’s back in stock.
What About Yarn?
This change doesn’t affect Homestead Hobbyist yarn. I will continue to build the line of Crime Scene DK and Fingering yarns and continue playing with developing new bespoke yarns and dyeing techniques.
If you have questions that aren't covered here, please contact me! I'm sure there are things that I have left out or not considered in this approach, and it will be a learning experience for all of us. But, hopefully, it will mean more happy fiber artists!