Beth Smith

Raving and then Ranting

Buying Freeze Alert. I was checking out Tia and she told me about Ailsa at Knitabulous. They, and possibly others are going to go 3 months without buying anything new – with a couple of exceptions. This sounds like a great idea to me. Beyond the environmental effects there could be great budgetary effects as well. I should be able to few a couple of higher payments on the sucker cards and get them down.

This all begins April 1st and runs through June 30
Here are MY rules:
Fiber (yarn, roving, etc) is included in the deal – for my own personal use. If I’m doing a shop model it’s different, but the shop is buying the materials anyway.
If it can be bought from the supermarket I can have it (normal supermarkets, not the right side of Meijer or Walmart).
Basic children’s clothing is ok.
A single service-type purchase (eg: haircut) is allowed.
For every 10 pounds lost (total of 32, 42 and 52) I can buy one outfit.
Second hand from thrift stores is ok but no ebay.

Yesterday, Edith left the shop.

Here she is with Tamara – her new best friend.

Here she is in front of the fireplace and also modeling some new threads.
Tamara is a semi – new spinner but as you can see the potential is great. She is also a reenactor so Edith will be a great help in that area too.
I’m very happy for the both of them. In case you are wondering, Edith is an Ashford Traditional double drive with a double treadle upgrade. This girl can spin anything from bulky all the way down to lace weight cashmere. I should know. I’ve been keeping her in tip top condition in preparation for the right spinner to come along. I predict this will be a long and happy relationship. Especially since Tamara also got the bulky flyer. Now there’s nothing she can’t do.
Now I have a couple of things to gripe about. First. I got a letter in the mail today from the State of Michigan. Some background information may be helpful. About a month ago I go a speeding ticket. I was going 41 in a 25 zone. Yup, that’s me, Speed Racer. In addition, when I got my new insurance card I never put it in my car. I had the expired ones (3 of them) but nothing current.
I went to the Brighton courthouse and paid the fines and showed that I did indeed have insurance coverage. Over 200 dollars in fines thankyouverymuch.
So, to the letter. I got a letter today. I owe a driver responsibility fee to the State of Michigan for not driving with proof of insurance in the car. Yup. Guess how much it is.
What!!!!! I paid the fine. Evidently there’s a newish law (2003) that the state can fine you for the same stuff you’ve already paid for. I’m pissed. Yes, I was speeding. Yes, I didn’t have the @#$%%^&* insurance card. I paid the fine within 4 days and showed my insurance card.
This state is ridiculous. Isn’t that like going to state prison for a couple of years and then going to federal prison for the same thing. Just cause the fed wants to get its punishment in too?
Anyway, what can I do? I’ll pay it. I’ll be damned sure I have my card with me from now on.
Funny thing is, that same day i was driving on the freeway 10 miles under the speed limit and thinking to myself how I better speed up a little so people behind me weren’t getting mad.
Next is not so much a gripe as a questioning complaint.
I’m not even really sure about whether I’m doing the right thing talking about this because I know that there are a few people who come to my shop who also read this little blog. Lately though I’m feeling a little crabby.
I’ve been a lesson taking girl all my adult life. I love taking classes. In all of the shops I’ve taken classes in I have purchased the materials for said classes from the shop in which I’m learning. This goes for quilting, knitting, cross stitch, painting… While I was taking spinning classes at the very same shop i own right now I purchased spinning fibers which were used during the lessons from Betty. Now don;t get me wrong. I picked up fibers at other places. Alegan, Spinner’s Flock and on traveling vacations. I just tried not to bring them into her store.
Other people don’t seem to be as concerned about this.
Yes, fiber suppliers abound. Ebay, Etsy, local growers. But, I have an abundant supply and I’ve been doing my best to have a fantastic variety of colors, fiber types, even down to having more than 20 types of fleeces available.
And here come the students with their wheels ( not bought from me) and their wool (not bought from me) and when I advise a book or type of fiber they go off and find it from another place.
What do I do? That $15 isn’t really going to help me stay in business unless I get class sizes of over 10 in a group. But then how can I give the attention to my students that they deserve? Do I raise the class prices? Do I make a policy of no outside fiber allowed?
I don’t want to be immodest but I am a good teacher. The Ebay and Etsy paople aren’t going to help you with your spinning technique and helping you to improve but I can only do that if I can maintain my rent, phone, insurance and all of the things that everybody loves to see when they come in.
Anybody, please help me with what to do. Maybe I should just ignore it an hope that things will change or that I’ll keep those people as customers. You guys shop so what can I do?

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