If you have ever wondered why our photos are so beautiful – the answer is Jess! She has a meticulous process for photographing all of our stunning yarn so we thought we would share it with you. From the yarn being delivered to our back door to updating the website with accurate & flawless photos, Jessica is hands-on and truly knows what she is doing. We are so lucky to have her talent and eye for detail!

img_4994Yarn Arrives

We love hearing the UPS man knock at our back bay door because that means we get to unpack big boxes of beautiful squishy yarn. Sometimes he only delivers a few boxes but sometimes, usually when we place a big Madelinetosh order, he slings 15 boxes off the truck. The excitement really begins as we load up our red dolly and bring those yarn bombs into our unpacking room. There’s a barrage of kitty paws ripping at the tape and squeeing over all the pretties!



As we unpack the boxes, we count every single skein to ensure our order was filled correctly. We do our very best to make sure our inventory reflects exactly what we received. If we receive 2 bags of a colorway that don’t match well, we note the different dye lots on the invoice. At this point, we pick the skein from each dye lot that gives the best representation of the colorway for Jessica to photograph. We call this box of singles “orphans.”




Before Jessica starts her re-photographing process, she compares the orphans to the picture we currently have on the website. Sometimes they match quite well so there is no need to re-photo but, most of the time, they need to be re-photographed because of the variability of hand-dyed yarn. We want to give you the best idea of what your skein will look like when you pull it out of your box so this is a tedious yet necessary process! Jessica’s eye for detail really comes into play here.




Once Jessica compares the orphans to the website, she begins photographing! She expertly skeins and smooths each skein to make them look super pretty. It’s amazing how perfectly Jess can skein yarn – with a little twist and flick of the wrist, perfect skein every time! She then places the skeins in our photobooth, focuses the camera, and clicks away.

Funny story about our photobooth – there is Velcro around the edges of the booth for some reason. Well, Jessica has very fine, silky hair and it ALWAYS gets caught on that Velcro when she’s reaching to put the skeins inside. If you look closely at the picture, you can see where Jessica stuck scrap yarn to the Velcro so she wouldn’t get her purple locks caught every 5 seconds! Think this would qualify for the Tangled badge?


Jessica edits each photo to color and light correct – the camera does the best it can but sometimes it gets it wrong. This is where Jessica’s highly-trained eye gets put to work. She places the skein next to her monitor for reference as she works her magic. She makes slight color adjustments and “cleans up” any dust or stray fibers that may have floated in her booth. With the wave of her stylus, perfect photos are ready to be uploaded for your viewing pleasure!


Save, Upload, Add to Inventory

The final step in her journey is to save all the photos, resize them for thumbnails & zoom views, and upload them to the website. Dan created an awesome “Inventory Assistant” that allows us to add skeins to inventory super quickly and efficiently.

Adventures in Photography

Jessica & Emily really like going on photography adventures to get shots of our pretty yarn outdoors or posed around the shop. Most of the time, they get great shots quickly and enjoy the break from sitting in their offices. BUT! Sometimes, things just don’t jive. They encounter ants, some forehead sweat, wind, and skeins that just don’t want their photo taken. But the end result is usually worth it. They have been secretly working on a calendar so here is a sneak peak!


From start to finish and depending on how big the shipment is, this process can take days. Jessica is really good about posting and updating inventory as she goes and the hard work she puts into her photography definitely doesn’t go unnoticed. Give this kitty some praise in the comments below!

Statistics 101

Get your pencils and calculators ready, we are taking you back to Statistics class! We are weirdly obsessed with numbers, names, and odd trends. When we find a rare slow moment at the shop, we dive right in to our database and archives! You have probably never wondered about any of this information but we thought we would share it nonetheless.

Largest order: Order 83109 @ 35,626 yards placed on Feb 17, 2014Largest Order

Other honorable mentions –

Order 135249 @ 30,556 yards

Order 141931 @ 30,437 yards

Order 82744 @ 30,000 yards

How old is ESK: 9 years

Rarest countries that we ship to: Chile, Argentina, & Thailand – We have never shipped to any African countries (big surprise, it’s a little toasty for wool)


This map is in Lindsay’s office – Amy adds a star to every city we ship to!

Most popular first name: Sarah

Number of orders shipped: 150,225 (as of August 31st)

Top 5 Yarnathoners of all time:

  1. nelson1122 with 702,090 yards
  2. lfsutton with 627,377 yards
  3. missknitty1 with 557,390 yards
  4. la.nateva with 556,388
  5. sjohnso3 with 543,760 yards

Our first customer: Jennifer in Merriam, KS (October 22, 2007) Here’s her order:

1 Cherry Tree Hill – Supersock, Tropical Storm

5 Artyarns – Supermerino, Color 139

4 Claudia Handpainted Yarn – Sport, John B

Our first dyer: Claudia Handpainted – here is Erin’s first e-mail ever to a dyer!

First Order EVER

Our newest dyer: Hedgehog Fibres

Famous ESK shoppers: Stephen West, Katie Franceschi, Vickie Howell

Biggest Black Friday: 1,837 orders shipped & 10,011 items sold in 2015

Number of customers who have participated every year since 2008 (when the Yarnathon began): 23

We hope your enjoyed your statistics lesson today, students! The kitties, especially Erin, love looking through old data so hopefully this scratched that part of your brain that has been asleep since college.