I heard about Yarnbox in May through Twitter when @yarnbox happened to follow my account, @fiberhoundyarns. I try to communicate in some fashion with anyone who follows me, and I did the same with Yarnbox. I communicated with Hannah (the creative end of Yarnbox) and ended up sending her a few sample skeins, which she adored. She then put me in contact with Michael (the business end of Yarnbox), and we worked out a deal. Originally, I was set to dye 2,500 skeins of Afghan Hound, half in Hushpuppy, half in Sirius. It took me a couple of days to be able to digest that number because, at that point, I had only dyed around 250 skeins of yarn. (The number was later reduced to 1,600, which would have still given me the same response.)
Here's some fun math to really get a grip on the numbers we worked with:
With 1,600 skeins at 231 yards per skein and 100 grams per skeins, we have a total of 369,600 yard total, or 210 miles and 160,000 grams, or 352.74 pounds total. That's the same weight as:
It would take .00112903225806 seconds for light to travel over the entire length of the yarn, and it's equivalent to 198,591 and an ear smoots.
If a stitch is 1 inch of yarn, you could make 13,304,600 stitches with total yarn.
If it takes 2 second per stitch, it would take 26,609,200 seconds, or 7,391.44 hours, or 307.977 days. If getting 8 hours of sleep, it would take 6.75 years to knit all the yarn.
In that same amount of time, you could be Rickrolled 126,710 times. And, if you were to knit with all the yarn, you could make 308 sweaters.
When starting this business, I intended to take things very slowly, growing at a rate I could handle and learn from easily. Yarnbox threw that out of the window because I realized this was too great of an opportunity to pass up.
To fill the order, first the yarn had to be ordered. This came in a couple of different orders since my supplier did not have enough stock all at once, so more than once I would come home from work with five to seven large boxes on my small porch, which would then inhabit my living room. We would then go through the boxes, remove the bags of yarn, tie the skeins with cotton, and then put them back into boxes to go downstairs to the dye studio.
One upgrade I quickly decided to make was investing in more dye pots. I started out with two pots and added two more. After the project was done and we had returned from our honeymoon, I discovered the first large pot that I had ever worked with died. It's nice to know it held on as long as it could.
After dying the skeins, they would come back upstairs in boxes and wait to be reskeined. After a week or so of skeining with my lovely wooden skein winder (and a very sore shoulder), I realized that this was not going to work. I decided to invest in a 3 skein motorized skein winder, which was the best $500 I have ever spent. Jeff and I were able to go through the skeins in the queue so much faster, and our sanity was somewhat restored. After the skeins were finished, they would be tagged and sorted to wait for packaging.
Here’s a picture of 400 skeins of yarn, one fourth of the order (and Dwight.)