Why do we charge for yarn winding? The heart of the issue is that winding yarn is time-consuming, which means it is expensive in labor costs.
Portland is an awesome city in an awesome state, which means our staff members' hourly wage is higher than it might be in other places. We also provide paid sick leave, and of course, there are payroll taxes, payroll processing costs, and unemployment insurance on top of wages.
When we were a brick-and-mortar shop, labor was nearer to a fixed cost. We were open set hours and team members could multi-task while winding yarn, so we didn't charge extra. We could offer advice while also winding, or tidy up the front counter, or quickly check out another customer.
We've found that as an online-only shop, though, the tasks that we're doing now just don't lend themselves well to multi-tasking. The way to get an order picked and packed correctly is to devote 100% of our attention to every order, every email, every time.
We did some tests and on average between big skeins and small skeins, skeins that wind easily and skeins that go bananas, a skein takes about 10 minutes to wind. We're looking for a more nuanced solution that could take into account both a yarn's price and yardage while also being easy for customers to use, but it's a challenge. This one-size-fits-all approach is the best we've come up with for now. We're doing our best, but we know it's imperfect.
We love yarn and we love yarn-lovers and we hope you understand why we can't wind without an additional charge for all the yarn our wonderful, valued, awesome customers buy. Thank you for supporting our small business and our team members!