There's lots of things to learn about fibers and yarns. Everything from how to knit and crochet to how to create the yarn to knit and crochet with. Then there's felting, wet and needle. Two years ago, I might have said I know a lot about fiber and yarn, but this is one of those subjects that the more you learn, the more you realize how much more there is to learn. And there are lots of directions to go in building that knowledge.
So here are some of the things I have learned recently:
1. The price of wool has gone up, driven (they think) by the fact that a lot of it is being bought up by the Chinese, whose population is growing in its consumer demands. The increase varies, but I have seen quotes that are 5 to 25% higher in the last month. The market for wool is starting to affect me, and inevitably, I will need to increase my prices in the near future, but I am unsure how much.
2. Cashmere yarns are available in short-staple and long-staple varieties. The short-staple yarns are cheaper than those made with long staple fibers. Short-staple yarns sometime shed, a lot. What they are losing is the cashmere that is so short, it isn't able to be held by the twist. Long staple cashmere will give years of wear, remaining soft and wearable through time. The difference in these yarns makes it difficult for me to make a decision about carrying much cashmere yarn, i.e. price and quality.
3. USPS (United States Postal Service) increased the price on packages very quietly at the first of the year. Packages that ship close to me don't cost all that much more, but packages to the West Coast went up in price. Because of the uneven changes in pricing, I can't quote you an average increase. I can't seem to find it on the USPS site either. Hmm...
More "Did you know?" in the future, but that's all I have today. And here is a random picture because this post seems to need a picture.