The not-so-fun part

The organizers at our next show expressed an interest in handspun yarn. We have plenty of that floating around, but none of it was inventoried. This weekend, in addition to spinning another 220 yards of Holiday Extravaganza, Momma and I (Kirstin) spent hours getting the yarn priced and standardized. This is my least favorite part of the operation.

Yarn Inventory Setup

My work station.

First we entered each skein in Mom’s detailed inventory spreadsheet. That was tedious, but it’s not nearly so bad as tagging. Every skein has four or five tags: a price tag (on a separate string to be cut off at the time of purchase), a care instructions/alpaca history tag, a description of the yarn, and the alpaca’s business card. Each of the alpacas has a personalized business card with their picture and biography on it, which we attach to yarn made from their fiber. These tags are much loved by our customers.


That’s a ton of tags. But at least we won’t be up until 2 AM the night before the show getting them all done. The worst part is probably deciding on a price. Every 90 yard skein of Holiday Extravaganza represents easily 8 hours of work. At $13 per skein, that’s…$1.60 per hour. Good thing we’re in this because we love our animals, crafting and each other. Although, after a morning listening to me whine about pricing, Momma might have been having second thoughts on spending “special” time with me 🙂

About cliffhousealpacas

Once upon a time, my dad drove by some funny looking animals standing on little dirt hills in a field. Thus, the dream of an alpaca ranch was born. Now, we are embarking on a grand adventure of raising alpacas and becoming fiber artists.
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3 Responses to The not-so-fun part

  1. starproms says:

    The yarn is beautiful and I had no idea you went to so much trouble with the labelling. How lovely that you do that for your customers 🙂 How much does 90 yards of your yarn weigh? I would love to know. I tend to work in weight here.

    • For this particular yarn, it weighs around 2.5 ounces or 71 grams. Not much, really, given all the work. That yarn is hand beaded, so we sell it in small quantities for accents like brims or tassels.

      • starproms says:

        Thank you Kirstin. I was curious because my skeins mostly weigh somewhere between 90 gms to 110 gms, but since I don’t have a yarn measurer gadget, I had no idea how long that would be. Obviously it differs depending on the thickness of the yarn. I think that your skeins are just right for trimmings etc. but it does seem a lot of work for little ‘monetary’ reward. However, I know myself that hand-made products are always under- priced. Otherwise no-one would buy them, sadly. I hope I’m wrong with that statement. I know that the tea-cosy I just made (see my latest post) sells online for £20, which is a lot for something handmade. I won’t get nearly that much for mine at the church bazaar.

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