Hi all! It’s October 23rd, and I can’t even believe that we’re almost to November already. I wanted to touch base with you for a moment to share a few announcements about Nutmeg and about life at our home lately.
As many of you may know, I’ve been working hard for several years, building this dream of mine. Over the past year and a half, I realized that I put together a small dye shed in my backyard and began dyeing fibers. Then, I set a goal of being able to source all of our fibers from Echo View Fiber Mill by the end of 2017. So I began changing certain bases, updating the website and adjusting pricing a little to reflect the custom-milled nature of our yarn. Then I made the switch to using 100% natural dyes (not vegetable dyes, but natural dyes). It took a bit of time to transition, but it was well worth it!
While all this was happening, I was also traveling to my first trade shows alone. Stitches West was nerve-wracking but amazing. I met so many wonderful people, and was so encouraged and inspired by all of you fiberfolk out west. Stitches United was a great learning curve, but a long drive, and Stitches Mid-West was loads of fun (minus when I got sick at the end of my trip). I was so happy to be able to bring my work on the road to meet you all. It was always especially exciting when some of you came to my booth, telling me you were excited I was going to be there and had come to see me in specific! Working out of a little dye shed in my backyard doesn’t give me tons of perspective on how many people are actually connecting with what I’m working on here at Nutmeg, so it was great encouragement! It is what kept me going on those long weekends away from home and my kiddos.
While all this was happening, I have also been working on my 2018 Winter Zine, making samples of our new bases and making patterns. I’ve been contacting test knitters, then getting too busy to get yarn to them. I’ve been testing and retesting colors, trying my best to get better at what it is that I’ve chosen to do as a profession. I’ve been talking to Echo View Fiber Mill (my favorite mill in America) about how to improve the yarn when I see ways that it could be improved upon. They’ve responded and worked so hard at getting the yarn just the way I want it to be. I’m so grateful! I’ve been reading up on the best methods for indigo dyeing and cutch dyeing, or why my madder always turns pink and not red. I’ve been working on gauge, color saturation, accesible patterns, recipes for a cozy 2018 winter.
While all this was happening, I made the nerve-wracking but exciting decision to finally have our 2 remaining non-custom milled bases be switched to be milled just for us at Echo View Fiber Mill. They arrive in mid-December, in all their alpaca/merino blend glory. I couldn’t be more excited. All our yarn will now be coming from North Carolina, from a LEED certified mill, that creates beautiful yarn for me here at Nutmeg Fibers.
I also couldn’t be more ready for a big rest! I was supposed to be travelling in a few weeks up to Vogue Knit Live. However, after becoming really ill for the 3rd time in 3 months after this past Saturday’s Fiber in the Boro festival, I realized my body was trying to tell me something. It was trying to tell me to slow down, even if just a little bit. It is so hard, as a small business owner. It takes lots of courage both to take that leap forward that I have done this past year in attending these big trade shows and increasing my yarn production,etc. But it also takes courage for me to tell myself that I need a minute to slow down. There is a constant fear that what I’ve worked hard for will just disappear because I don’t participate in something or don’t have time to do something.
I think that now that fall is here, I’ve realized that this season is for me to go slow and nurture what I’ve spent this past year building. While I was excited for the plan to go to Vogue Knit Live this year in Seattle, I realized it’s much smarter right now, for me to nurture myself and my business in small ways, here at home. I have so many projects that I haven’t even told you all about yet, that I will be spending my fall with, and Vogue Knit Live was just one of them.
So for now, I won’t be seeing you in Seattle. I’m bummed out about it, but I feel like for my own health it is the best decision. I had begun to feel that stress ball in the pit of my stomach, just thinking about it all. I’m so glad that that’s gone, and is replaced again by loads of excitement about the other projects I have simmering away, waiting to be revealed to you all soon.
I wanted to say also, a huge thank you, to all of you that have been supporters of Nutmeg Fibers so far. I know I haven’t been perfect, and sometimes delivery has been slow (an issue I’ve been working very hard to get better at…thanks to a new calendar!), but the encouragement that I’ve gotten from you all over this past few years is what has kept me going.
I love my Nutmeg Fibers Community and can’t wait to see how it all grows over this next year!