Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Small Business Support

I don't have a lot of the answers, but I struggle with how I can support small businesses and shun larger businesses that practice what I consider to be unfair trade.

How Do You Know Who's Good and Who's Not?
Some decisions are easy.

I don't go to Walmart or Sam's Clubs because I value the small town centers of commerce and deplore companies that have a goal of destroying small businesses so they can take advantage of consumers once they've become the only game in town.

I don't go to Exxon/Mobil gas stations because of their unfair policies on domestic partner benefits (did you know that Mobil granted domestic partnership benefits shortly before the merger of the two companies, and then Exxon revoked them for seemingly no good reason?). Even if they didn't have this stain on their record, I still would prefer gas companies with less obscene profits.

Other decisions aren't so easy, especially when it's difficult to stay abreast of all of the bad things corporate assholes are doing every day.

In general, I try to send as much of my business to small, innovative businesses who can be a lot more responsive to changing styles and demands.

Yarn Businesses
This goes for my knitting-related purchases as well.

I will always support my local yarn stores when I can. Or trusted web sites that are run by creative, talented folks with whom I have had personal interactions. I also much prefer the smaller vendors at yarn and fiber events like Rhinebeck.

Some of these options cost more, but I am almost always able to find unique, beautiful products, that will never been seen on the mass market.

All this, so I can justify another purchase from my friend Carol's Etsy site.

The first purchase was this very large hank of laceweight yarn in gorgeous shades of green. This is going to make one fantastic shawl. I also couldn't resist getting some of her hand-dyed targhee roving in a color appropriately named "flame."

Now that I'm almost through spinning my Blueface Leicester, I will be wanting to try out more and different fibers for spinning. And who could resist this colorway?

I am amazed everytime Carol puts up more product, it disappears almost as quickly as she puts it out on her site. There is clearly a high demand for people that know how to dye fiber in interesting and beautiful ways.

Current Knitting
I told you that I had made some steady progress on the Faux Rib sweater, and that progress continued last night.

This picture represents about 12 inches of knitting. This weekend should bring me up to the armhole shaping where things will hopefully move along a little more quickly.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Carol S. asks, "Did you happen to catch Stephen Colbert's "speech" at the recent Press Corps dinner?"

I hadn't seen it and found a full video of it with transcripts through Google. It was very freakin' funny although I didn't hear a lot of laughing in the crowd. For me, that made it even funnier. All my friends were talking about it last night, so I was glad to be in the know.

Franklin notes, "Dude, if you pull of the reversible sweater, I'm totally sending over Dolores with a trophy or something."

All I can say is that you better keep that opiate-of-the-masses-lemming-in-sheep's-clothing away from me or I'll be serving mutton sagwala. You do know that if you could come up with a knitted pattern for that dust-rag-alter-ego, you'd make a million, right? But I'm not bitter...really.