Monday, March 21, 2011

how things measure up

i've been busy lately, measuring things up & getting some ideas together - organising the finishing touches for some nearly-done projects, making some lovely new things for the shop, swatching for a new sweater or two...

measuring up

& planning the layout of my new studio space!!!
yes, i decided to take the giant huge fabulous studio up the road from my current space (& thank you all for your wonderful words of encouragement - i hope you realise you all have to keep your word & buy lots of yarn now!!). i've agreed on the rent (a discounted rate for the first year, hurrah!) and am now just waiting to see when i get to move in. there are a few small repairs that need to be done before i can get in & get set up - including some plasterwork, so i don't want to move any yarn in there until the messy stuff is done! but in the meantime, i've been going about with a measuring tape taking notes & making plans - how exciting!!!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

a leap of faith

today i did something very exciting, and terrifying, and mind-consuming (it's literally all i can think about at the moment!) - i looked at a new studio space.

new studio? photo 1
front room, taken from the front door

it's rented by the same fantastic initiative that i rent my current space from, and is literally just up the road from where i am now - but it's SO different. for a start, it's HUGE.

new studio? photo 2
front room, taken from front window corner

it's also been divided into several parts at one point.

new studio? photo 3
desk nook (& doggy den?) with kitchenette & bathroom to the right

originally, this was a shared studio space, so the division was done to make it easier to rent it in two halves rather than as one massive space. but since i'd be renting it on my own, that means i'd end up with this:

new studio? photo 5
back room, taken through the window off the desk nook

check out all the skylights, fans, & heaters - can anyone say "dedicated dye-cooking room"? it would be absolutely perfect for this - a window for keeping an eye on the dyepots, a door that can keep it closed off from the rest of the studio (no more steam everywhere!) and huge amounts of ventilation & natural light. and, i'd also get this:

new studio? photo 4
front room, taken from the desk nook

a HUGE space for prep work, storage, comfy chairs for hanging out & knitting, and of course, shelves & shelves of lovely hand-dyed yarn. (i love how the dog has ended up in both photos - it helps with imagining the scale of the space!!).
it's only recently come available, and there are a few things that i need to figure out before i can make a final decision. some are practical concerns (there are two sinks plumbed in, but they're both teeny-tiny, so i need to know if i can take the massive sink from my current studio - which was installed there especially for me, so i'm hoping i get to take it with me!). and some are a little harder to pin down.
in a way, i'm almost back in the same position as when i first thought about taking on studio space, with the same question - am i really going to be able to sell enough yarn to afford this? in my current studio, i'm restricted as to how much yarn i can make - i have limited counter space for burners & dyepots, and limited floor space for drying racks. i'm frequently getting emails from customers asking when this or that wil be back in stock - obviously, i'm just not keeping up with demand, which makes me think that if i'm able to dye more, i would be able to sell more as well. the new space is double the size of my current space (which, alas, means double the rent!), and with the back room being so perfectly designed for a dye room, i could more than double my output - but will my customers really buy that much yarn?
it's a bit of a leap of faith to take on such a big space - but then, i took the same leap a few years ago, when i moved into the studio that i'm in now. i remember being so worried every month that i wouldn't sell enough yarn to pay my rent - now, i'm worried about not being able to make enough yarn!! i've definitely got a lot to think about.... & i'll keep you posted!