Launching a new yarn is not for the faint of heart. I’ve been at least yarn-business-adjacent for about a decade and even I was surprised by the number of hurdles MDK had to clear to get Atlas launched. We take two steps forward, and two steps back, or whatever Paula Abdul was going on about. And I’m not even referring to the actual yarn itself, which one day I’m sure our own Allison will tell you alllll about, as soon as her therapist releases her from supervision and will let her talk about it again.
No, the thing I’m talking about, the thing no one counted on was … yarn banding. The very phrase sends Atlas staff scurrying like a tornado siren has gone off on a warm April afternoon.
After the actual packing and shipping of orders, yarn banding is now by far the thing that Nathan and I do the most in the warehouse now. Everything else on the warehouse to-do list comes to a halt because it’s a huge, specific job that doesn’t allow for too much multi-tasking. Yarn, band, tape, label, bag. Yarn, band, tape, label, bag. Yarn, band, tape, label, bag.
No matter which technique we employ—“band them all then label them all then bag them all” vs “band, label, bag as we go”—the exact same amount of time is required. There’s just no way to do it faster; there’s no secret magic trick to it. And there are literally thousands and thousands of skeins of yarn always coming in, always coming in, always coming in, so at the end of the day, we look at our little tiny pile of completed Atlas and realize that that Dunkin’ Donuts “time to make the donuts” commercial isn’t just an ad. It’s practically a documentary about American labor!
Nathan and I employ different techniques to soften the blow and move the task along, though. He watches one of the seventy-two Lord of the Rings movies on his iPad out of the corner of his eye, while I futz around with my iPhone’s music apps for an hour, trying to find just the right thing to listen to before finally deciding that the thing I want to listen to is probably just the same thing I listened to yesterday (spoiler: it’s always Juice Newton).
I do think Nathan is tired of answering my Lord of the Rings questions, though, of which there are many. I’m the person who—when the movies were announced—predicted that they would be huge flops, so perhaps you should not listen to any of my investment advice. Nathan—somewhat surprisingly, if you ask me—does not have many Juice Newton questions. Hmph, millennials.
Anyway. Atlas is here y’all. And it’s banded and corseted like half the cast of The Gilded Age.
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Deadline for entries: Sunday, April 10, 11:59 PM Central time. We’ll draw winners from the entries and notify them by email.