Friday, October 12, 2018

Dyers In Their Studios - Lori of Fidalgo Artisan Yarns


Introducing Lori Maul of Fidalgo Artisan Yarns & Clothing. We met Lori last fall at Vogue Knitting Live in Seattle. Her booth was just down the aisle from our display in the Artist's Gallery. We meet a lot of yarn dyers at the various shows we attend each year, but some we know we want to work with right away because of their obvious enthusiasm for what we are creating with our Ficstitches Yarns Kits, combining hand-dyed yarns, historical fiction and my designs. Lori was clearly excited to work with us on a future kit, coming to our booth to learn more, and giving us sample yarn to begin dreaming up what design it would be come. We are excited to feature her Winter Silk (baby alpaca and tussah silk) yarn in our upcoming Ficstitches Yarns Winter Kit. Preorders are open this month only. Learn all about Lori and her inspiration in her own words...

Winter Silk featured in Ficstitches Yarns Winter Kit Club
BACKGROUND
How long have you been dyeing yarn?
I’ve learned over 30 years ago.

How did you get started dyeing?
I studied dyeing at the University of Washington where I received my BA.  My studies centered on the fiber arts, particularly weaving.  Students studied all classes of dyes, including natural dyes.

What is your background?
I was raised in a small town southeast of Seattle.  Growing up, my mother always had a stitchery project going; she was an excellent cross-stitcher.  A friend of hers taught me to knit and I was hooked.  As an exchange in West Germany in the early 1980’s, I learned to design sweaters and continental-style knitting.  I studied textiles and fiber arts at the University of Washington and have always had a side business selling knitwear and/or hand-dyed yarns. 

My professional career was in administration, finance, human resources, and fundraising.  Almost five years ago, I left my career to open a small boutique featuring handmade clothing.  I opened Fidalgo Artisan Yarn Company a little over three years ago.  In April, I merged the two shops and haven’t looked back.  I started to do yarns shows last year.  The company’s new name is Fidalgo Artisan Yarn & Clothing.

Do you have any special experience with art or science that influences your dyeing?
Study at the university greatly influenced my need for top quality yarns, my careful dye processes, and my desire to create the best hand-dyed yarn possible. I want to be proud of each skein we sell.  Formal study of color also enhanced my color sense and my ability to mix/match colors. 


YOUR YARN
What makes your yarn special or unique?
I am an immersion dyer and spend a great deal of time at the dye pot mixing colors.  I use 9 colors to create my yarns.  I remove my yarns from the dye pot, hand manipulate them, add other colors of dye, and submerge the yarns again.  I may to this 7-8 times for one dye lot.  This process creates beautiful color transition and blending.
Dyeing is very creative for me.  I generally do not dye repeatable colors.

Lastly, our luxury fibers/yarns are of very high quality.  We have unique blends (baby camel and silk anyone?) and a wide variety of weights/blends. 

How do you choose your colors and name your yarns?
This is always fun and a challenge.  When Emily began working with me, she said she had always wanted to name paint colors.  Perfect.  We will often lay yarns out on a table and ask our customers to name them.  A few of our customers are very clever…so is Emily!

Where do you find inspiration?
Like many artists, I find most of my inspiration in nature.  My dye studio is at home and overlooks Cornet Bay on Whidbey Island.  I love to garden and between the two, there is no better inspiration for me.

Lastly, I often look at a skein and imagine how it will look when knit/crochet/woven.  It is important that my yarns look good in a skein but more importantly, look good when used in a project.


JUST THE FACTS
How many colorways do you have?  Unlimited
Do you create seasonal or special order colors?  Yes.
How many and what types of bases do you use?  Over 25 base yarns including many luxury fiber blends: silk, cashmere, alpaca, sea cell, baby camel.
Where do your yarn bases come from?  I have three different suppliers.
Where can we find your yarn? LYSs and online?  We sell only our signature yarn in our shop, located in Anacortes WA., and online at fidalgoyarns.com.  We also bring our yarns to at least 6 shows each year.


PERSONAL
What are your favorite color?  All the luscious shades/colors of orange.
Favorite fibers?  Wool, alpaca, silk
Do you crochet, knit, or spin? What came first? Knit first, spin second, crochet third (and just a little bit!)
Anything else you would like to share? Our name, Fidalgo, comes is the name of the island where our shop is located.  People are always curious about that.


LINK UP
Website?  fidalgoyarns.com
Ravelry Group?  Fidalgo artisan yarn lovers
Facebook? fidalgoyarns
Instagram?  fidalgoyarns

Choose Hemlock Grove or Loam in Fidalgo's Winter Silk
for the Ficstitches Yarns Winter Kit Club
Preorders Open Now! October Only!

All photos courtesy of Fidalgo Artisan Yarns and Clothing.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

COWLTOBER 2018 - Get a Free Pattern Every Wednesday in October



Welcome to COWLtober! Sign up for the ReCrochetions Mailing List so you don't miss anymore of the Free COWLtober Pattern Coupon Codes which will be sent out in the ReCrochetions Newsletter tomorrow morning.

Each week there will be a New Cowl and a New Coupon Code. The coupon codes will be good for 1 day only 8am on the day it is sent until 8am the following day.

The cowls included this year will include a couple I designed earlier this year for 2 different Yarn Crawls, one I did for a limited kit with a local yarn dyer, one of my first designs for my Hooked on Hand Dyed pattern collection, and finally a brand new cowl pattern which will be included in my upcoming Secret Stitches Crochet Companion Book 2 (coming out later this year).

Don't miss a Cowl! Sign up for my newsletter today!




Thursday, July 5, 2018

Twists & Turns Square - Moogly CAL



I love checking out the new squares coming out in Moogly's Crochet Along Afghan each month from so many talented designers, and am excited to be a part of it for the second year. As I was working on this square in Red Heart With Love alongside my 92 year old Grandmother Diana, who was working on a plastic canvas house, she told me why she loves Red Heart Yarns: 

“Some time ago I decided that I would never buy anything but Red Heart because I can always match the colors…. Another thing about Red Heart is the yarn is all the same weight, you buy another brand and it’s not quite what you were working with.” – Diana Smith, 92.


Twists & Turns Square
Designed by Laurinda Reddig of ReCrochetions.com

Just a few twists and turns create this fun textured square including chain loops twisted into braids, taller stitches worked into a previous row, and post stitches for a basket weave border.


Downloadable version now available on Ravelry including Stitch Diagram. Download HERE


Difficulty: Advanced Beginner
Finished Size: 12” by 12”

Yarn Used
5 Colors Worsted Weight Yarn. Sample shown in Red Heart With Love 100% Acrylic yarn.
Colors Used in Sample: Boysenberry (A), Mango (B), Jadeite (C), Taupe (D), Peacock (E)
(Moogly's version is at the top of the page, I love the colors she chose! Note that the center twists slightly to the right on hers and to the left on mine, because I am left-handed)

Notions
J/6.0mm hook or size to obtain gauge
Yarn needle


Gauge
Rounds 1-3 measures approximately 3 ¾” by 3 ¾”.

Note: You may also add additional rounds of single crochet to reach 12”.

ABBREVIATIONS USED
   (also see special stitches)
Chain (ch)
Double Crochet (dc)
Half Double Crochet (hdc)
Loop (lp)
Previous (prev)
Repeat (Rep)
Single Crochet (sc)
Skip (sk)
Spaces (sps)
Stitch (st)
Treble Crochet (tr)
Yarn Over (yo)

SPECIAL STITCHES
Front Post Double Crochet (fpdc): Yo, insert hook around post from front of next st, yo, pull up a loop, [yo, draw through 2 lps on hook] 2 times.
Back Post Double Crochet (bpdc): Yo, insert hook around post from back of next st, yo, pull up a loop, [yo, draw through 2 lps on hook] 2 times.
Front Post Double Crochet (fphdc): Yo, insert hook around post from front of next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, draw through all 3 lps on hook.
Back Post Double Crochet (bphdc): Yo, insert hook around post from back of next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, draw through all 3 lps on hook.
PATTERN NOTES
·       Chain-8 spaces at corners will be twisted and looped together after completing Round 8, creating the raised braid at each corner.
·       Taller stitches are worked 2 rounds down, into stitches that were skipped on the previous round. Insert hook keeping the hook in front of the stitches worked on the previous round so yarn overs do not wrap around the stitches of the round above.
·      Inserting hook from back to front at the end of ribbing rows allows you to work around the beginning chain, bringing the chain forward to create the look of a front post stitch.

PATTERN
With Color A, ch 4, join with sl st in first ch to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 3 (counts as first dc here and throughout), 2 dc in ring, [ch 8, 3 dc in ring] 3 times, ch 8, join with sl st in top of beg ch – 12 dc, 4 ch-lps.
Rnd 2: Ch 3, dc in same st as join, [*sk next dc, 3 dc in next dc, ch 8**, 2 dc next dc] 3 times; Rep * to ** once, join with sl st in top of beg ch – 20 dc, 4 ch-lps. Finish off Color A.
Rnd 3: Join Color B with sl st in same st as join, ch 3, dc in same st as join, [*tr in skipped dc from Rnd 1, sk dc behind tr, dc in next dc, tr in same dc from Rnd 1 as prev tr, sk dc behind tr, 2 dc next dc, ch 8**, 2 dc next dc] 3 times; Rep * to ** once, join with sl st in top of beg ch – 28 sts, 4 ch-lps. Finish off Color B.
Rnd 4: Join Color C with sl st in same st as join, ch 3, dc in same st as join, [*tr in skipped dc from Rnd 2, sk dc behind tr, dc in next 3 sts, tr in next sk dc on Rnd 2, sk dc behind tr, 2 dc next dc, ch 8**, 2 dc next dc] 3 times; Rep * to ** once, join with sl st in top of beg ch – 36 sts, 4 ch-lps. Finish off Color C.
Rnd 5: Join Color B with sl st in same st as join, ch 3, dc in same st as join, [*tr in skipped dc from Rnd 3, sk dc behind tr, dc in next 2 sts, sk next dc, 2 dc in next dc, dc in next tr, tr in next sk dc on Rnd 3, sk dc behind tr, 2 dc next dc, ch 8**, 2 dc next dc] 3 times; Rep * to ** once, join with sl st in top of beg ch – 44 sts, 4 ch-lps. Finish off Color B.
Rnd 6: Join Color A with sl st in same st as join, ch 3, dc in same st as join, [*tr in skipped dc from Rnd 4, sk dc behind tr, dc in next 2 sts, tr in next sk dc on Rnd 4, sk dc behind tr, dc next dc, tr in same dc from Rnd 4 as prev tr, sk dc behind tr, dc next 2 sts, tr in next sk dc on Rnd 4, sk dc behind tr, 2 dc next dc, ch 8**, 2 dc next dc] 3 times; Rep * to ** once, join with sl st in top of beg ch – 52 sts, 4 ch-lps. Finish off Color A.
Rnd 7: Join Color D with sl st in same st as join, ch 3, dc in same st as join, [*tr in skipped dc from Rnd 5, sk dc behind tr, dc in next 2 sts, tr in next sk dc on Rnd 5, sk dc behind tr, dc in next 3 sts, tr in next sk dc on Rnd 5, sk dc behind tr, dc in next 2 dc, tr in next sk dc on Rnd 5, sk dc behind tr, 2 dc next dc, ch 8**, 2 dc next dc] 3 times; Rep * to ** once, join with sl st in top of beg ch – 60 sts, 4 ch-lps.

Twisted Loop Braids
*Beginning with any ch-8 lp on Rnd 1, [twist loop once to right, pull loop from next rnd up through loop from back to front] 5 times; Rep from * on each corner. (Refer to Moogly’s video on Braiding Crochet Loops: https://www.mooglyblog.com/braiding-crochet-loops/ )

Rnd 8: Ch 3, dc in next dc, [*tr in skipped dc from Rnd 6, sk st behind tr, hdc in next 2 sts, dc in next sk dc on Rnd 6, do NOT sk dc behind, sc in next 5 sts, dc in next sk dc on Rnd 6, sk dc behind tr, hdc in next 2 dc, tr in next sk dc on Rnd 6, do not sk dc, dc next 2 dc, twist next ch-8 sp, (2 sc, ch 1, 2 sc) in twisted ch-8 sp**, dc next 2 dc] 3 times; Rep * to ** once, join with sl st in top of beg ch – 88 sts. Finish off Color D.

Basket Weave Border
Rnd 9: Sk beg ch, join Color E with sl st in next dc, ch 2 (counts as first hdc).,, *hdc in each st across to ch-1 at corner, (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in corner ch-1 sp; Rep from * 3 more times, hdc in last 3 sts, join with sl st around beg ch, inserting hook from back to front – 104 sts.
Rnd 10: Ch 2 (counts as first dc here and throughout), fpdc around each of next 2 hdc, [bpdc around next 3 hdc, fpdc around next 3 hdc] 2 times, *bpdc around next 3 hdc, fpdc around next 2 hdc, (dc, ch 1, dc) in next corner ch-sp, fpdc around next 2 hdc**, [bpdc around next 3 hdc, fpdc around next 3 hdc] 3 times; Rep from * 2 more times; Rep from * to ** once, bpdc around next 3 hdc, join with sl st around beg ch, inserting hook from back to front – 112 sts.
Rnd 11: Ch 2, fpdc around each of next 2 fpdc, [bpdc around next 3 bpdc, fpdc around next 3 fpdc] 2 times, *bpdc around next 3 bpdc, fpdc around next 3 sts, (dc, ch 1, dc) in next corner ch-sp, fpdc around next 3 sts**, [bpdc around next 3 bpdc, fpdc around next 3 fpdc] 3 times; Rep from * 2 more times; Rep from * to ** once, bpdc around next 3 bpdc, join with sl st around beg ch, inserting hook from back to front – 120 sts.
Rnd 12: Ch 2, fphdc around each of next 2 fpdc, [bphdc around next 3 bpdc, fphdc around next 3 fpdc] 2 times, *bphdc around next 3 bpdc, fphdc around next 3 fpdc, hdc in top of next dc, fphdc around post of same dc, dc in next corner ch-sp, fphdc around post of next dc, hdc in top of next fpdc, fphdc around post of same fpdc, fphdc around next 2 fpdc**, [bphdc around next 3 bpdc, fphdc around next 3 fpdc] 3 times; Rep from * 2 more times; Rep from * to ** once, bphdc around next 3 bpdc, join with sl st around beg ch, inserting hook from back to front – 128 sts. Finish off Color E.
Rnd 13: Join Color A with sc in next fphdc, ch 1, *sc in each hdc across to dc in corner, (2 sc, ch 1, 2 sc) in corner dc; Rep from * 3 more times, sc in each st across, sc in top of sl st of prev rnd, join with sl st in first sc – 144 sts. Finish off and weave in all ends.

Hope you enjoy making this square as much as I enjoyed designing it. Note that your gauge may vary, and you can always work a taller stitch like half double or double crochet in the final round, or even add a second round of single crochets. If you prefer reading a diagram to a written pattern, I will be adding a stitch diagram when I upload the printer-friendly version of the pattern to RavelryEnjoy!




© 2018, Designed by Laurinda Reddig aka ReCrochetions. All Rights Reserved. This design, the pattern, and the images are property of ReCrochetions. You may use this pattern for personal use and charity. No part of this document may be reproduced, altered, or distributed in any form, or by any means, without express written permission from Laurinda Reddig. 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Dyers in Their Studios - Stacey of Fierce Fibers

Meet Stacey Serafin of Fierce Fibers (formerly known as Thoroughly Thwacked). Her gradient yarns will be featured in our upcoming Summer 2018 Ficstitches Yarns Crochet Kit Club. Preorders are open this month only.

But here is the profile I wrote about her when I did my first collaboration with her in December 2016. Things have changed a bit now that she primarily focuses on Gradient Cakes with some coordinating solids, but this interview was particularly interesting to learn more about how the gradients are made...

I first met Stacey last year at CGFF, although I had heard about her yarns. As I was walking around crocheting a shawl with a project bag hanging from my wrist (as you do), I was excited to find her booth and discover that she was a crocheter! She was crocheting a shawl at the time, though she knits as well, of course.

We ran into her again during the Rose City Yarn Crawl last March, and chose some yarn to play with for a future Ficstitches Yarns Crochet Kit Club. But that Kit won't be coming until early 2018, so I was really excited when we came up with the a Shawl Kit to do together this year.

Now learn more about Stacey...


Decadent Bliss Shawl in Stacey's Gradient Lace
BACKGROUND
·    How long have you been dyeing yarn? Since 2013, after learning how to knit in 2011 & learning how to spin fiber into yarn in 2012.

·      How did you get started dyeing? I got started when a friend of mine who owned a yarn shop was looking for something specific and couldn't find it.  We ended up developing a gradient kit for customers and the reception was quite good.  I enjoyed collaborating and working with people who were creative and it was great to see people make the kit we made and make it their own.

·     What is your background?  Received a B.S. in Physics and B.S. in Mathematics from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Then received a Masters in Nanotechnology in 2005 from the University of Delft in The Netherlands.

·     Do you have any special experience with art or science that influences your dyeing? There is a certain aspect that appeals to someone with a scientific background such as repeatability, planning and experimentation, not to mention all the chemistry behind it.  I've always been a big planner and with my scientific background experimentation and chemistry are big with me.  

     There are parts of dyeing though that I would say are attractive to me for the very reason, that they are the opposite of what I know and am comfortable with.  For example, there is also a big part of dyeing that is creativity.  Not that I'm not creative but the study and appeal of color and certain color combinations is something that fascinates me.  What makes us creative?  What makes us like one color combination and hate another?  Dyeing is a combination of all these factors.  I guess one of my best experiences is keeping my own curiosity from when I was a child!
Fierce Fibers yarns at OFFF. That cake in the middle was destined
to become Laurinda's newest shawl pattern, Decadent Bliss.
YOUR YARN
·       What makes your yarn special or unique?  I would like to think what makes my yarn special is me!  When I started dyeing my brain was riddled with ways to modify the process and try and squeeze more and more color into things. Yarn is my medium of expressing myself and always trying to push the boundaries and give people something different to work with.  For example, early on I learned about pooling and how the dye process can influence it.  So I made up a way to make skeins that didn't pool.  I also exploit pooling in a few of my colorways.  I've tried to come up with ways to use the “difficult” colors to the best of my ability.  

    I've talked to my distributors and tried to understand more about my supply chain.  I'm always talking to customers and finding out what they like as well.  What makes my yarns special is me.  My selection of the best bases I can find, combined with the best techniques, while being sensitive to the supply chain and aware of what my customers want.  Obviously this makes for a high quality product that is packed with color.

    ·     What is something interesting about your dyeing process that non-dyers might not know? I don't just use any single dye technique out there.  In many of my yarns I use multiple techniques because each technique has both good and bad things about it.  I have spent a lot of time working with different fibers to try and understand how each of them behave in the dye pot...because no one likes felted yarn or fiber!  

   Another thing that people may not know is that my cake gradients are all made by me.  Cake gradients first need to be knitted up into what they call a blank which is basically a piece of fabric.  They then need to be dyed, frogged (ripped out) and balled up.  As you can imagine, this is all labor intensive.  Unlike other dyers I do not buy my blanks, I make them myself because I want to be able to give my customers gradients in yarns they don't see anywhere else.   

·      How do you choose your colors and name your yarns? Experimentation is probably the biggest way I choose my colors at the moment, although I'm currently trying to expand my knowledge on color and doing more and more exercises on color planning and color studies.  My yarn names mostly come from how I feel when I hold the yarn.  My colorway names come from every day conversations that I have with people and I hear catch phrases that I think, “that would be a great colorway name” so I write it down and really think about what that would look like.  Also, sometimes a color comes out of the pot and it just looks like something so I go with that.

·       Where do you find inspiration?  Everywhere!  Pinterest, facebook, pictures in my head...
Here is that "Oregon" gradient cake just dyed up. Stacey is one
of the few gradient dyers I've found who takes the extra steps to
get the kinks out of a dyed blank. A must for crocheting with it!
JUST THE FACTS
·    How many colorways do you have? In the 3 years I've been dyeing I've probably made over 200 colorways.  Currently I have about 20 solid colorways I regularly sell.

·     Do you create seasonal or special order colors? Yes, but usually in a strange and quarky way.  For example for Valentine's Day this year I made Dragon's Breath.  It's a deep red tone for all those people who like to enjoy garlic ladened meals on Valentine's.

·    How many and what types of bases do you use? At the moment I have 18 bases but I am reducing that number drastically.  I will be sticking to bases that are more luxurious since that is what I prefer to work with.  I prefer to work with cashmere and silk blends along with a baby alpaca laceweight.

·        Where do your yarn bases come from? All over the world.

·       Where can we find your yarn? LYSs and online? My yarns and fiber can be found currently at Pearl Fiber Arts in Portland, OR as well as online at www.fiercefibers.com.  A small selection is also available at Embraceable Ewe in Hamburg, NY as well as Quilt n' Things Fiber Arts in Montrose, CA.  Also, please check out my events section on my webpage to see me in person at future festivals.
Much of Stacey's yarns come in cones like this so she has more options,
whether she knits it into blanks on a knitting machine or puts it into hanks.
PERSONAL

·     What are your favorite colors?  I love all my children...err...colors equally. Especially red, I love red just as equally as all the rest ;)

·       Favorite fibers? Animal fibers are definitely my loves. 

·      Do you crochet, knit, or spin? What came first? I learned to crochet when I was very young.  My mom had a crochet blanket that we would work on when we would sit on the couch and watch Dynasty together.  I did all sorts of crafty things when I was younger, macrame, boondoggle, beading, friendship bracelets, cross stitch.  It all fell away as I became a teenager and went to college.  After my second son was born I really wanted to learn how to knit so I could make something with my hands.  I took one class and I was off.  I made some fibery friends and learned how to spin a few years after that.  I will also confess to having rescued an antique rug loom that my step-father is currently refurbishing for me.

·       Anything else you would like to share? Pie.  Do you have any pie?  I like pie!

LINK UP
·       Website: Fiercefibers.com
·       Facebook: Facebook.com/fiercefibers
·       Instagram: fiercefibers

Choose Staycation or Scorch for the Summer Ficstitches Yarns Kit Club!
PreOrder Your Kit Club Today!



Thursday, January 18, 2018

Dyers in Their Studios - Teresa of Teresa Ruch Designs


Our first Ficstitches Yarns Kit Club of 2018 features DK weight 100% Tencel Yarn dyed by Teresa Ruch of Teresa Ruch Designs. Teresa's tencel yarns caught my eye long before I met her, and I wanted to create a design using her yarns then. I finally got to meet her in person at a trunk show during the Rose City Yarn Crawl a couple of years ago. When I told her about our Ficstitches Yarns Kit Club she was interested enough to offer me a skein of yarn right then. But we knew we wanted to save her yarn for 2018 as the glossy sheen of the tencel fiber is a perfect fit for the Gothic Romance story that my author partner C. Jane Reid has cooked up for us. This is our first kit featuring a non-wool yarn, so I was especially interested to learn how making and dyeing tencel yarn is different from the wool most hand dyers work with. Here is more from Teresa:

Choose Marina or Goldenrod for the
Spring 2018 Ficstitches Yarns Kit Club
PreOrders Open this Month Only!

BACKGROUND
How long have you been dyeing yarn? I started playing with dyes in the mid 70’s but started dyeing professionally in 1990 then full time in 2001.
How did you get started dyeing? I could not find the colors I wanted to weave with, then I fell in love with color and what you could get when you dyed your own yarns. I started with wool and silk in acid dyed, moved to natural dyes, then back to fiber reactive dyes for cellulose mainly tencel.
What is your background? I learned to weave and dye in college when I was a Home Ec major, my degree is in Anthropology. I took a job as a sample weaver for a NW mill and was later promoted to a textile designer, mainly computer jacquard designed fabrics for blankets, menswear, womenswear and contract furniture upholstery. Then I went independent and now dye yarns for yarn stores, knitters, weavers, crochet, and my own weaving work.
Do you have any special experience with art or science that influences your dyeing? I worked in the textile industry for 18 years, taught textiles and color at a local art college. 

YOUR YARN
What makes your yarn special or unique? My primary yarn fiber is Tencel which is a new age rayon. It uses hardwood junk trees that are pulped, run through a chemical solution, collected and spun. The chemical solution must be filtered and reused or is labeled as rayon. It uses very little or no water in growing, no pesticides, no water in processing and is from a renewable plant that was considered a junk tree.
What is something interesting about your dyeing process that non-dyers might not know? I tried to do this painted warp/yarn techniques in the 80’s but cold batching in an Oregon winter takes about 7 days. I was told (and observed at the mill) that you could exchange temperature for time meaning if I raised the temperature fast enough in a controlled environment I could shorten the batching time to hours or minutes. I chose minutes meaning that I use a dedicated microwave to set the dyes. Unfortunately that does not shorten the prep time or the rinse time. I purchase my yarns from a mill in Canada on mill cones of 6+ lbs. These are wound into 4 oz. skeins and then dyed.
How do you choose your colors and name your yarns? Naming colors is my most difficult task. When I was working at the mill our colors were based on the first ingredient in the dye blend and it may or may not have any relationship to the visual image of the yarn. I like to tie in the color name to the visual of the yarn. Blue Jazz is a deep rich cobalt blue to black which to me is the blue smokey tones of jazz. The curry color is named after the golden yellow color of the curry spice. 
Where do you find inspiration? Everywhere. Colors in nature or in pictures of nature, dreams, words, descriptions. I also pick up colors when I travel by looking at the colors along the roads. I take a lot of pictures of scenery when I travel.


JUST THE FACTS
How many colorways do you have? I have 16 colors that I sell to yarn stores, 6 colors on the website and then when I do yarn fairs, shows, yarn crawls I take all my “rogues” that are dyed colors that did not make the cut for the stores, special orders or experiments.
Do you create seasonal or special order colors? Yes to both of these. I will do a special color way of 4 colors for a special event, store anniversary, knit along with a single event or a year long theme or a conference theme.
How many and what types of bases do you use? I mainly dye Tencel as that is what I am know for. I use 20/2 (sewing thread weight), 10/2 cobweb lace weight, 5/2 lace weight, 3/2 sport/dk weight.
Where do your yarn bases come from? My yarn bases comes from a mill in Canada (Quebec) so they are a North American product.
Where can we find your yarn? LYSs and online? You can find my local yarns stores, yarn stores that sell on line, through my web site (www.teresaruchdesigns.com). I also sell at large yarn markets which are listed on my website.


PERSONAL
What are your favorite colors? Black because it punches the value of all the other colors used with it. I also like the adjacent colors from green blue through red violet and then is a new favorite every few months. Right now it is the russets probably because of the fall colors.
Favorite fibers? Tencel but also silk.
Do you crochet, knit, or spin? What came first? First I am a weaver. I have been weaving for 47 years. Second was spinning, then dyeing and a little bit of knitting, crochet and lace. Dyeing is now my first love with weaving next.
Anything else you would like to share? I enjoying seeing my dyed tencel made up in different items.

LINK UP
·       Website?  www.teresaruchdesigns.com
·       Facebook?  Teresa Ruch Designs

Thanks so much to Teresa for sharing her thoughts and photos with us this month. We think our Kit Club buyers are going to LOVE working with a new fiber and the fun project I have developed with it. The Spring 2018 Ficstitches Yarns Kit Club is available for PreOrders until January 31st only. Order yours today!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Dyers In Their Studios - Veronika and Danny of YOTH Yarns


For our Winter Ficstitches Yarns Kit Club we have the pleasure of working with YOTH Yarns. YOTH stands for Yarn On The House, and this is truly a family business with even their yarns named for family members. We are using Father, a worsted weight domestically grown Rambouillet wool. Some of their other yarns are called Mother, Big Sister, and Little Brother.

I first spotted this yarn company back in February of 2015 at Stitches West. Every time I passed their extra large booth I saw people with armloads of yarn ready to check out. By the last day they were nearly sold out of yarn and I got a chance to meet "Big Sister" Veronika. I learned that this was their first big show and they were from Washington state like I am. We were just getting ready to launch our first Kit Club then, and I kept them in mind for a future kit.


The following year I got to meet "Little Brother" Danny and their "Mother" during the Rose City Yarn Crawl at their trunk show at The Knitting Bee. We thought their colorways would be perfect for the Western Story our author C. Jane Reid was cooking up for the Fall and Winter Kits this year. We needed 2 colors of worsted weight yarn for the design I had come up with for this project, and their Father was perfect.

Cool and Warm color choices for Winter Kit Club
Wild Rice/Blue Raspberry OR Mango/Dates
Now here's more from Big Sister Veronika:

BACKGROUND
  • How long have you been in business?
YOTH was started in 2013. It took us a good year to establish our brand and what we wanted to do with our company. We opened our online store October 16th of 2014 and have been busy creating yarns since!

  • How did you get started dying?
We started out hand dyeing our yarns on our kitchen stovetop like most hand dyers, but we quickly learned that we needed a dye studio in order to not only keep my kitchen from being ruined, but to produce better products and have the space to grow. After converting my garage and basement into a small factory and a soft open into the knitting marketplace locally at the beginning of our business, we made the choice to actually source a dyehouse that we wanted to work with. It was either that or keep growing our own dyehouse and we truly believed that working with Saco River Dyehouse would be a good fit and allow us to grow more quickly. We are happy that we took that route and our yarns are now dyed by Saco River using a cool technique that mimics the look of hand dyed that we love!

  • Does your whole family work for the company?
All of the family is some way connected to the business and works for YOTH. My hubby is our graphics and web guy, also all around tech help when needed, mom is our warehouse manager and wonderful helper/fixer of all things, dad builds our beautiful display pieces and drives the truck and trailer all around the US for shows and conventions, my daughter models for us and when she can helps in our booth during shows, and we have a lot of wonderful friends who work with us when we need the extra hand. We definitely could not do this without the support of our loving friends and family!


YOUR YARN
  • What makes your yarn special or unique?
There a lot of really wonderful and lovely yarn companies out there doing great things. We are definitely not reinventing any wheels here!! But, we do believe that we bring a unique take on color to the knitting world. Most of our colors are more muted and sophisticated. It's what we really love!

  • Who develops your colors and names your yarns?
Our colors are usually developed by me, Big Sister, and then really hammered down with the mom and Little Brother when the final calls are needing to be made. I really appreciate the perspective that comes from both of them, because I feel that color can be so relative. What you like might not be what I like, and finding a happy middle that still sticks to our brand is what is important. Names are a whole different story!! Those involve Google, Pinterest, the whole Team and a bottle of wine.


JUST THE FACTS
  • How many colorways do you have?
We currently have 36 colorways. We are in the process of developing our final color Palette: Roots. It will be the reds, pinks and purples... YOTH style.

  • Where do your yarn bases come from?
We try and keep as much as we can in the US when it comes to fiber sourcing, milling, dyeing and selling. It's not always possible, but if you see an American Made stamp on your yarn tag, it's all from here!

  • Where can we find your yarn? LYSs and online?
Definitely online, but we also now have 25 beautiful Stockists all over the world. We love when folks can support their local economy and see our complex colors in person. Win, win!


YOUR TEAM
  • What is it like working with your family?
It has its rewards, but it also can spur some arguments. At the end of the day, we are blessed to be a part of such an awesome knitting community and be able to make a living working alongside the people we love most in this world.

  • How has your business grown in recent years?
We are expanding into many more shops and really try to hone our products and bases. It's ever changing and we always try to keep up with the latest, but we also feel that staying true to what we love is really important. The family, Mother, Father and Little Brother recently purchased a large property in Carnation, WA, and we plan to build a larger facility on the land to house our warehouse and hopefully keep growing.


PERSONAL
  • What are your favorite colors?
The joke around the house is... just don't use Oyster again. It's a well known "secret" that Oyster is one of my favs, but I really love all the neutrals, scummy yellows and blues. Little Bro's favorite has always been Cracked Pepper. No surprise!

  • Do you crochet, knit, or spin? What came first?
I mainly knit, crochet a little, and I just never caught the spinning bug. That's not to say that I didn't try! All the lovely men of our Team have all gone to a knitting class to at least learn the basics. It's good to know what it takes to knit a hat, scarf, etc.


LINK UP
  • Ravelry Group? yarnonthehouse
  • Twitter Twitter.com/yarnonthehouse


You can PreOrder the Winter Ficstitches Yarns Kit Club featuring YOTH Yarn through October Only. Because they have already dyed all of the yarn, the yarn for this Kit is Limited, so don't wait to order. Don't miss your chance!