Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sunflower Harvest Square - Moogly CAL


I'm thrilled to be a part of Moogly's 2017 Blanket CAL. When Tamara first asked me, she thought squares weren't really my thing. But I reminded her that I actually wrote 2 whole books of squares and blankets! But I haven't designed squares in the round much, so it was a fun challenge.

When my kids were finishing Kindergarten, they were sent home with Sunflower Seeds with a little poem, telling them to plant them and when they bloomed in the fall it would be time for school. With kids heading back to school this design seemed appropriate. Enjoy!


Sunflower Square Pattern
Designed by Laurinda Reddig of ReCrochetions.com

Downloadable version now available on Ravelry includes Stitch Diagrams for both Right and Left-Handed Crocheters. Download HERE.

Difficulty Level – Intermediate
Finished Size – 12” by 12”

MATERIALS
Vanna’s Choice Worsted Weight yarn in:
Taupe (A), Terracotta (B), Mustard (C), 
Kelly Green (D), and Sky Blue (E)
Size J (6.0mm) hook, or hook to get gauge
Yarn Needle, Scissors, and Stitch Markers

GAUGE - 12 sts by 7 rows in double crochet = 4”x4”

ABBREVIATIONS USED
   (also see special stitches)
Beginning (beg)
Chain (ch)
Double Crochet (dc)
Repeat (Rep)
Right Side (RS)
Single Crochet (sc)
Slip Stitch (sl st)
Stitch (st)
Treble Crochet (tr)
Wrong Side (WS)
Yarn Over (yo)
SPECIAL STITCHES
Puff: [Yo, insert hook in st, yo, pull up loop] 3 times in same st, yo, pull through all 7 loops on hook.
Front Post Treble (fptr): Yo 2 times, insert hook around post from front of next st, yo, pull up a loop, [yo, pull through 2 lps on hook] 3 times.
Front Post Treble 2 Together (fptr2tog): *Yo 2 times, insert hook around post from front of next st, yo, pull up a loop, [yo, pull through 2 loops] 2 times; Repeat from * once, yo, pull through all 3 loops on hook.
Double Crochet 2 Together (dc2tog): *Yo, insert hook into next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull through 2 loops; Repeat from * once, yo, pull through all 3 loops on hook.
Half Double Crochet 2 Together (hdc2tog): *Yo, insert hook into next st, yo, pull up a loop (3 loops on hook); Repeat from * once, yo, pull through all 5 loops on hook.
Single crochet 2 together (sc2tog): [Insert hook into next st, yo, pull up a loop] 2 times, yo, pull through all 3 loops on hook.
Treble Crochet 2 Together (tr2tog): *Yo 2 times, insert hook into next st, yo, pull up a loop, [yo, pull through 2 loops] 2 times; Repeat from * once, yo, pull through all 3 loops on hook.

PATTERN: FLOWER
Worked in the round with RS facing. With Color A, make a reverse slip knot (see tutorial), ch 2 (or magic loop, ch 1).
Rnd 1: (RS) Working in second ch from hook (or magic loop), [Puff, ch 1] 4 times, join with sl st in first puff, pull adjustable knot (magic loop) tight – 4 Puff sts.
Rnd 2: Sl st in first ch-sp, ch 1, (Puff, ch 1, Puff, ch 1) in same ch-sp as sl st and each ch-sp around, join with sl st in first puff – 8 Puff sts.
Rnd 3: Sl st in first ch-sp, ch 1, (Puff, ch 1, Puff, ch 1) in same ch-sp as sl st and each ch-sp around, join with sl st in first puff – 16 Puff sts. Finish off Color A.
Rnd 4: Join Color B with sl st in last ch-sp of Rnd 4. Ch 1, (Puff, ch 1, Puff, ch 1) in same ch-sp as join, *Puff in next ch-sp, ch 1, (Puff, ch 1, Puff, ch 1) in next ch-sp; Rep from * around to last ch-sp, Puff in last ch-sp, ch 1, join with sl st in first puff – 24 Puff sts.
Rnd 5: Sl st in first ch-sp, ch 1, (Puff, ch 1) in each ch-sp around, join with sl st in first puff. Finish off Color B.
Rnd 6: Join Color C with sl st in last ch-sp of Rnd 5. Ch 3 (counts as first dc here and throughout), 2 dc in same ch-sp, 2 dc in next ch-sp, *3 dc in next ch-sp, 2 dc in next ch-sp; Rep from * around, join with sl st in top of beg ch – 60 dc.
Rnd 7: Ch 3, *fptr around next dc, dc in top of same st as prev fptr, fptr around same st as prev st, dc2tog**, dc in next 2 dc; Rep from * 10 more times; Rep * to ** once, dc in next dc, join with sl st in top of beg ch – 72 sts.
Rnd 8: Ch 3, fptr around next fptr, *2 dc in each of next 2 sts, fptr around same fptr as prev 2 dc**, 2 dc2tog, fptr around same fptr as prev st; Rep from * 10 more times; Rep * to ** once, dc2tog, join with sl st in top of beg ch – 96 sts.
Rnd 9: Ch 3, fptr around first fptr, dc in top of same st as prev fptr, dc in next 2 dc, *fptr2tog around prev fptr and next fptr, dc2tog in 2 dc behind frtr2tog, dc in top of next fptr, dc in next dc2tog**, fptr2tog around prev fptr and next fptr, dc2tog in dc2tog behind frtr2tog and in top of next fptr, dc in next 2 sts; Rep from * 10 more times; Rep * to ** once, fptr around prev fptr, sk next fptr, join with sl st in next dc – 96 sts. Finish off Color C.

LEAVES
With RS facing, mark Leaf placement with stitch markers in top of 6th, 12th, and 18th fptr2tog stitches, and last fptr of Rnd 9.

Leaf 1
With Color D and WS facing, ch 5, join with sl st in first fptr2tog with stitch marker, ch 2, sk next dc, sl st around post of next dc inserting hook from back, turn.
Row 1: (RS) Working into back bumps of ch 5, dc in first 3 chs, hdc in next ch, 3 sc in last ch; Turn to work down other side of ch in unused loops of chs, hdc in second ch, dc in next 3 chs, dc in side of joining sl st at base of beg ch, sk next unused dc on Rnd 9, join with sl st around post of next dc inserting hook from back, ch 2, sl st in top of next fptr2tog, turn – 12 sts.
Row 2: Dc in next 5 sts, 2 hdc in next sc, 3 sc in next sc, 2 hdc in next sc, dc in next 4 sts, dc in side of joining sl st at beg of Row 1, join with sl st in top of next fptr2tog, ch 2, sl st around post of next dc inserting hook from front, turn – 17 sts.
Row 3: Dc in next 4 dc, hdc in same dc as prev dc, hdc in next 2 sts, sc in next 2 sts, (sc, ch 1, sc) in next sc, sc in next 2 sts, hdc in next 3 sts, dc in same dc as prev hdc, dc in next 3 dc, dc in side of joining sl st at beg of Row 2, join with sl st around post of next dc inserting hook from back. Finish off Color D – 22 sts.

Leaf 2-4
Repeat Leaf 1 for each remaining stitch with stitch marker.

EDGING
With Color E and RS facing, join with sl st in back loop of ch at point of any Leaf. Work in back loops only (blo) of Leaf sts and both loops of Flower sts.
Rnd 1: Ch 1, working in blo, (sc, ch 1, sc) in same ch as join, *sc in next sc, sc2tog, sc in next hdc, hdc2tog, hdc in next dc, dc2tog, dc in next dc, tr2tog in blo of last dc of Leaf and both loops of same dc as last sl st of Leaf; Working in both loops, tr in next 3 sts, fptr around next dc, dc in next 3 sts, fptr around next dc, tr in next 3 sts, tr2tog in top of same dc as Leaf sl st and side of first Leaf sl st; Working in blo, dc in next dc, dc2tog, hdc in next dc, hdc2tog, sc in next hdc, sc2tog, sc in next sc**, (sc, ch 1, sc) in corner ch; Rep from * 2 more times; Rep from * to ** once, join with sl st in first sc – 120 sts.
Note: Check measurement. Skip Rnd 2 if already measures 12”, or use hdc instead of sc for Rnd 2 if you need a little more to make 12”.
Rnd 2: Ch 1, sc in first sc, (sc, ch 1, sc) in ch-sp at corner, sc in each sc across to next corner; Rep from * around, join with sl st in first sc – 128 sts.

Finish off Color E and weave in all ends.



© 2017, Designed by Laurinda Reddig aka ReCrochetions. All Rights Reserved. This design, the pattern, and the images are property of ReCrochetions. The buyer 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. 




Monday, July 31, 2017

Dyers In Their Studios - Lynette of Willamette Valley Wool Company

Our Fall Ficstitches Yarns Kit Club is featuring yarn dyed by Lynette Connors of Willamette Valley Wool Company. If her name sounds familiar, we worked with her on our second kit back in 2015. We don't often repeat dyers, but she recently rebranded her yarn company from Dragynknyts to Willamette Valley Wool Company, and has so many great new bases. C. Jane Reid and I had a blast at Lynette's Grand Opening just 2 weekends ago!


You can read our original Dyers In Their Studios Profile of Lynette from 2 years ago HERE. But we asked her to give us an update on what she is doing now, and how she got there. Remember tonight is your last chance to PREORDER your Fall Ficstitches Yarns Kit Club, before Midnight July 31st!


And now Lynette:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My little dye company has grown quite a lot since you posted my profile previously!

My business name has changed to Willamette Valley Wool Company and I’m now working out of my own professional dye studio in Eugene, OR. I have some retail space where I can sell and also host weekly social knitting and spinning times (Thursday evenings 5-8 and Saturdays 11-4). And I’m a member of the Indie Dyer Collaborative now, a group of professional indie dyers and really amazing people. This professional membership has been key in growing and expanding my business.


I dabbled with dyeing as far back as 2009, with just powdered drink mix and cheap wool, but started seriously dyeing for myself with professional dyes in 2013 and began selling first fiber, and then yarn in 2014. At first, I had just four yarn bases and two fiber bases.

I’ve grown my product line quite a lot since then. I now regularly carry 12 breed specific fibers (both hand dyed and undyed), and between 10 and 12 yarn bases, depending on the time of year, all high quality wools and blends. My dyed fiber braids are 8 oz, undyed are 4 oz, and I have sampler packs with all the breeds, and a learn to spindle kit with spindle and fiber. I also do 4 oz blended batts, and gradient batts, as well as 1.5 oz art batts.


I’m in the process of adding to my product offerings with add-ins for spinning (silk noil, Angelina, etc.), needle felting kits, some patterns, etc. I’ve also become a Spinolution spinning wheel dealer and carry several other products in my shop from local makers including ceramic yarn bowls, ceramic buttons and shawl pins, moisturizer bars, wool wash, etc.

I originally started dyeing because I wanted more unique colors for my own projects than what I was finding in commercial yarns. My budget didn’t allow for much indie dyed stuff back then, so I started making my own. When people wouldn’t stop asking me to dye for them, it turned into a business, and has grown tremendously since then.


My background before dyeing was mostly as a stay at home mom homeschooling our kids. I did work part time in several yarn shops, sold some finished knitted goods, and did a little pattern designing.

I think my yarns are unique just because they represent me, my tastes, my dye styles, etc. Customers have told me they recognize when something is my yarn and that it looks different from others dyeing. I like to choose unexpected color combos, I usually like high saturation, and I tend to design whole families of colors that can be used together. In fiber 
I’m unique because I offer so many different breeds, and I always dye 8 oz braids, which are twice the size of what most dyers are doing. I also try to bring in breed specific fibers with a variety of textures and avoid too many luxury blends. I’ve just made an effort to be sure I’m offering different things than other dyers in my region. I really believe there’s room for all of the wonderful dyers when we all have a niche and a style.


Something non dyers might not know, I actually didn’t know until I had been dyeing for a while. I didn’t realize how many different ways dyers are dyeing. I learned two main methods, and I knew of a couple more, but now I know, there are nearly as many different ways to dye yarn as there are yarn dyers. There are very few hard and fast rules about how yarn can obtain a new permanent color on wool. Now, I have branched out and have been experimenting with several new to me techniques in addition to my tried and true, and it’s improving my overall skill set and the quality of my products. Non dyers also usually don’t understand how much labor goes into dyeing yarn, especially for specialty products or when a dyer reaches production levels. For me, this is a full time job now and I’m needing help to keep up.


Inspiration: My favorite inspirations are from traveling and events. Things that I can experience personally. But I do also draw from photos sometimes, too, and I have quite a lot of Pinterest boards for this purpose.

Colorways: For yarn: I have somewhere between 60 and 80 colorways, I stopped counting. For fiber: None right now, I do all my fiber one of a kind (or usually three or four of a kind, but not repeatable). However, I’m considering adding some regular colorways for gradient dyed braids soon.

Special order colors: I do some special order colors for my wholesale customers.

Bases: 10-12 yarn bases, 12 breed specific fiber bases


Where you can find me and my yarn:
The website has a list of events, and at some point will also have an online shop.

Facebook is the place to look for the most up to date information. Events, whether the shop might be closed, etc.

Instagram gives you a peek into what I’m doing and working on day to day and will have the most up to date announcements.

I have many, many inspiration boards on Pinterest to draw color inspiration from whenever I need some.

Ravelry Group: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/wooldyelove-chat-n-share This group has been edited, it was formerly the DragynKnyts group but now that I’ve changed my business name, I’ve updated the group.

LYS: You can find my yarns and fibers in my own studio in Eugene, OR during open times, and at trunk shows in LYS’s and at fiber festivals around the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Current retailers carrying my products:
Cozy. In Eugene, OR
Ewe and I in Chehalis, WA
Blizzard Yarn and Fiber in Vancouver, WA

Thanks Lynette! And Thanks to Lynette's recommendations all THREE of those yarn shops she mentioned have invited me to teach there.

Remember Today is the LAST DAY to PreOrder the Fall Ficstitches Yarns Kit Club featuring Lynette's Yarn, you can choose "Smudge Stick" or "Shrimp". Don't miss your chance!



Friday, April 21, 2017

Dyers in Their Studios - Brooke of Sincere Sheep


Welcome Brooke Sinnes of Sincere Sheep, the dyer for our Summer Ficstitches Yarns Kit Club. Brookes booth at fiber shows always catches my eye because of the lovely soft shades of color you can only get when dyeing with natural materials, including Indigo, which is mentioned in several of of the fictional stories author C. Jane Reid writes for our Kits.

Indigo was a commonly used element for dyeing in the historical periods of the stories, but can be used to achieve a whole range of colors beyond the blues one would expect. In fact both the pale blue St. Bart's and dark burgandy Urchin colors choices for the summer kit are created using Indigo. Because Brooke's cormo yarns are custom spun exclusively for Sincere Sheep, she was able to create extra large skeins for our kits, so we would have enough for a larger project for this kit. We are so excited to be working with her! Now let's get to know more about Brooke and Sincere Sheep....


BACKGROUND
·       How long have you been dyeing yarn? Since about 2013.
·       How did you get started dyeing?  I found out that local farmers were composting or throwing away their wool because the wool prices were so low that it didn’t make sense to ship it to the local wool pool.
·       What is your background?  I have a degree in Landscape Architecture.
·       Do you have any special experience with art or science that influences your dyeing?  My dad is an artist and writer so I grew up around art.
·       Where do you create?  My studio is located in the side yard and garage of my house. It’s not particularly sexy but it allows me the flexibility I need since I have an eight-year-old son. I currently employ 3 people part-time beside myself.

YOUR YARN
·       What makes your yarn special or unique?  All my yarn is naturally dyed and my yarn bases are primarily domestically sourced and spun and breed specific.
·       How is dyeing with natural dyes different from using other dyes?  It’s more labor intensive and the dyes tend to be more expensive. I think it is all worth it because the palette from natural dyes is eminently wearable and it provides a fascinating connection with the past!
·       What is something interesting about your dyeing process that non-dyers might not know?  My dyeing process is a multi-day process! 
·       How do you choose your colors and name your yarns?  Sometimes I develop a color because I am looking to fill a hole and sometimes new colors come about because of experimentation. Names mostly just pop in to my head!
·       Where do you find inspiration?  All around! The colors achieved by natural dyes are reflected in nature. My inspiration, in a word, is connection. I love that through natural dyes, fiber, and crafting I have a connection to the past, to other cultures, to farmers, to community, to fiber mills and to the land. I love that I help to support other small businesses, family farms, family fiber mills and women owned businesses through what I do. That means a lot to me.







JUST THE FACTS
·       How many colorways do you have? About 26.
·       Do you create seasonal or special order colors? I do collaborate to create custom colors. Seasonal colors can come from gathered plants (Queen Anne’s Lace; Fennel; Loquat leaves for example) but most of my colors are available year-round.
·       How many and what types of bases do you use?  I have around 15 bases and focus on breed specific wool and wool blend yarns.
·       Where do your yarn bases come from?  The vast majority of my bases are domestically sourced and spun. My Cormo bases are custom spun for me.
·       How is the specialty yarn, made for Sincere Sheep, processed?  We have our single source Cormo yarns made custom for Sincere Sheep. The yarn making process starts with the sheep being shorn at 9 Mile Ranch in Kaycee, Wyoming. We then work with the representative of the wool pool that represents the Rocky Mountain West region to purchase the Cormo wool and have it sent to Chargeurs in South Carolina. Once there the wool is scoured to remove dirt and lanolin. From there it is shipped to Kraemer mill in Pennsylvania where is carded, combed, and spun in to the three different weights of yarn we have specified. After it is it spun it is sent to me in Napa where I naturally dye it before it makes its way out into the world and into your hands.
·       Where can we find your yarn? LYSs and online? Yes in our Online Store and at shows. 

PERSONAL
·       What are your favorite colors? Cool colors in general but green specifically
·       Favorite fibers?  Cormo wool
·       Do you crochet, knit, or spin? What came first?  All the above. I joke that I must be an alien birth because while there are lots of creative people in my extended family I am the only one who knits, weaves, etc. It started when I was a kid and I hated watching TV and not doing anything with my hands. I taught myself how to knit, crochet, bead weave, latch hook and more. I continued knitting through high school and university, and learned to spin after I graduated from college.
·       Anything else you would like to share?  After graduation I moved back to Berkeley and found a place to take weaving classes. That led to classes on spinning, felting, and natural dyeing. Learning these skills inspired me like nothing else. At the same time I was learning all of this, the price of wool in the US was tanking and the slow food movement was really gaining momentum. I also moved to Napa, which is in the epicenter of viticulture and wine making in California. All of this combined made me realize the concept of terroir, or how the location and year an agricultural product is grown affects its characteristics, could be applied to naturally dyed fibers. After all wool is a record of the ewe’s year and natural dyes change from year to year based on growing conditions. With that in mind I set about buying wool from small local farms at much higher prices than what the local wool pool was paying at the time. I had this local wool processed at a mill less than 60 miles from my house and then I naturally dyed it before selling it at area shows. This concept of using my business to support and connect the makers to the fiber producers has served as a foundation of my business as it has grown and changed over the past 13 years.

LINK UP
·       Website? sinceresheep.com
·       Ravelry Group? Sincere Sheep 
·       Facebook? Sincere Sheep 
·       Twitter? @sinceresheep
·       Instagram - @sinceresheep      
  
      There's only one week left to order the Summer 2017 Ficstitches Yarns Kit Club. Don't miss another kit and this awesome yarn!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Will You Crochet? - Poem - Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!


Reposting this in honor of Dr. Seuss' Birthday today, from when I first wrote it in April 2013. 

Since then I've seen my poem shared all over Facebook and Pinterest, and even changed to "knit" by a couple knitters who recited it at a PJ Party at a Stitches a few years ago... although I thought that was pretty funny that they didn't realize you can't just replace a 2-syllable word (cro-chet) with a 1-syllable word (knit) throughout a poem - totally ruins the pentameter and rhythm. "Eat them" simply cannot be replaced by "knit", but "cro-chet" fits perfectly!


~~~
Original Post:
As I spend every waking moment with yarn in hand, madly working on the samples for my next book, this little poem has been forming in my brain. I thought it was time to type it out and share. Every one of the places included are ones where I have in fact crocheted (most within the past week!).

Where is the strangest place you have ever crocheted?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bea's 'Dodi - New Pattern - What The Heck is a 'Dodi?!

Bea's 'Dodi is my newest design that went out with our Winter Ficstitches Yarns Kit Club last month. But what the heck is a "'Dodi"?

That’s a fine stitch,” Gladys said.
I held up the hand span of crochet I’d worked. Lacey holes like starburst danced from row to row in a color that reminded me of a nighttime in the woods, where the black sky and the brown woods twine together to trick the eye until a spot of starlight shines through.

This is yet another example of how author C. Jane Reid and I work together to develop her stories and my designs to seamlessly tie them together for our kits and books. We wanted the project for the Winter Kit to be a lacy scarf that symbolized the starlight seen through the dark trees of the forest as Hollis is traveling. 

I started with a version of filet crochet, which uses chains and spaces to create diamonds and stars. But I was not satisfied with the look of the stars, as the typical way of working filet crochet stars does not look the same on the top and bottom. By working into the gap between stitches and adding some special decrease stitches, I achieved the look I wanted.

We chose this gorgeous blend of yak, silk, and merino from Mosaic Moon after C. Jane discovered that buffalo fiber was used in that time period. Yak is not quite the same, but the animals are related, and what the early Americans called buffalo were actually bison because they look similar. Both their fiber is softer than wool, though I believe bison is even softer, and we like to expose our kit buyers to a variety of fibers.

“What will it be in the end?” she asked.
“Alisquanosdodi.” The Cherokee slipped out without me giving it any thought.
Gladys frowned at me to show she didn’t think kindly of me speaking a native’s tongue in her keeping room.
“A scarf,” I amended.

Unable to pronounce the long Cherokee word, Bea shortens it to 'Dodi, after Hollis gifts the finished scarf to her. The starburst lace also resembles Cherokee symbols of home, which is what he feels whenever he thinks of the widow he visits each year along his travels. Perhaps this delicately hooked gift will be the gesture to turn friendship to something more... 


You can now purchase the pattern for Bea's 'Dodi on Ravelry, and Hollis's story, The Solitary Stitch, will be released in a full novel later this year. As always, our Kit Club members were the first to read the stories, but you can catch up on the first to books in the Unraveling Series. while you are waiting for Book 4.

A new story (Book 5 in the series) is starting with our Spring Kit Club, following the next generation of Hollis' family. Don't miss another Story and Kit, PreOrders are open the month of January only!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Dyers In Their Studios: Scarlet Tang


Our first dyer of the New Year is Scarlet Tang of Huckleberry Knits. Long before I got totally hooked on hand dyed yarns, I started noticing Scarlet's gorgeous dark colorways in her booth at OFFF (Oregon Flock and Fiber). Every year I was drawn to her booth by the deep hues she creates that really make her yarn stand out. 

We are excited to feature her Huckleberry Knits DK weight yarn in our Ficstitches Yarns Kit Club for Spring 2017. Her American Dream is 100% merino yarn grown and milled in the USA, which is a perfect tie in with the stories of the early US included in each kit club. Learn more about Scarlet and her yarns....


Salish Sea or Butter for current Kit Club
BACKGROUND
·       How long have you been dyeing yarn?
I got my first dyes in 2006, just to try out for fun. I started selling my yarn later that year, and quit my day job in 2011 to dye full-time.

·       How did you get started dyeing?
After I had my baby, I wanted to knit him something, so I went into a yarn shop. I fell in love in with the handpainted yarn that I saw there and thought it might be kind of fun to try making some myself. I was right, it was!

·       What is your background?
I used to be a public involvement specialist, working to engage the community in transportation planning and protecting water resources.

·      Do you have any special experience with art or science that influences your dyeing?
I’m a musician but otherwise I don’t have any artistic background. My drawing ability is limited to stick figures and chemistry was easily my worst subject in school. My poor patient art teachers through the years would never have expected me to be doing work like this!


YOUR YARN
·       What makes your yarn special or unique?
I really like my colors to have lots of depth and richness. Even my semi-solid colorways are usually multiple shades, not just the same dyestock at varying dilutions.

·       What is something interesting about your dyeing process that non-dyers might not know?
Many of my tonal colorways are dyed with multiple colors and sometimes in more than one dyebath, meaning they take twice as long to heat-set as a more traditional handpainted skein.

·       How do you choose your colors and name your yarns? Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration comes from a wide variety of sources. Sometimes I see a gorgeous combination of colors in a photograph; my husband will see me tearing something out of a magazine and ask, “Is that another colorway?” Other times it comes from what I’m reading or watching. One huge source of inspiration this year was the musical Hamilton. And I’ve come up with several great colorways from the mess that I make while I’m dyeing—a splatter of something will land next to another series of colors and I’ll realize that I’ve never thought of combining them before.


JUST THE FACTS
·       How many colorways do you have?
I have about a hundred in my wholesale gallery, and many more that never make it into my online store. Some don’t photograph well, others are experimental or accidental combinations that sell unexpectedly well at shows.

·       Do you create seasonal or special order colors?
My palette is very seasonally based. Living in the Pacific Northwest, the amount of natural light varies drastically with the time of year, and what I’m in the mood to dye varies accordingly. When it’s grey and cold outside, I go for the saturated jewel tones, spring and summer gets me into the brighter shades, and in the fall I am all about the fall foliage colors.

If I have time, I’m happy to do custom colorways for wholesale and retail customers. These requests help push me out of my comfort zone and that’s always good for me.

·       Where do your yarn bases come from?
Sticking to a relatively small collection of base yarns is always a challenge for me. There are so many beautiful bases out there but I know I can’t carry them all. I have six fingering bases, which is a bit too many if I’m going to carry a range of colors in all of them, but they’re all different and all so lovely that I can’t cut them any further. I also have one sport, two DK, and two worsted bases.

I’ve been trying to support American wool businesses as much as possible. I grew up near Lowell, MA, the heart of the Industrial Revolution, so preserving the domestic textile industry is in my blood. My American Dream yarn line is sourced entirely from the US—the wool is grown here, if it’s superwash it’s treated right here in the US, it’s washed and combed and spun and dyed here. I’m really happy that the DK version will be the club yarn.

·       Where can we find your yarn? LYSs and online?
The best variety is at shows. Right now I’m gearing up for my February shows, Madrona Fiber Arts, where you can find my yarn and spinning fiber in the Northwest Yarns booth, and fingering yarn, and Stitches West. I’ll also be doing a couple of trunk shows during the Rose City Yarn Crawl in the Portland, OR metro area.

Online, you can find me at huckleberryknits.com. My web site has a list of my retailers—there are shops in Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, and Kansas that currently carry my yarn.


PERSONAL 
·       What are your favorite colors?
Purples and blues are my favorites. Sorry, oranges and yellows. I like a few of you but you will never come first with me.

·       Favorite fibers?
I am a sucker for wool/silk blends. Right now I’m sampling a new singles yarn that is 75% merino, 15% cashmere, and 10% silk. I really don’t need another fingering base—but I’m not sure I’m going to be able to resist this one.

·       Do you crochet, knit, or spin? What came first?
I learned to crochet and knit as a kid, and crochet was my preferred craft. There was one year when I went through my mom’s book of crochet stitches and tried every single one. Now I have bad wrists, and the crochet motion aggravates my tendinitis. So I’m a knitter these days.

I started spinning after hearing a lecture by Judith MacKenzie. That’s my relaxing hobby—I spin for the pure pleasure of it, without too much stress about how my yarn turns out. My knitting projects have to be as perfect as I can make them, but spinning is all about the process.

·       Anything else you would like to share?
As a reader and a crafter, I’ve loved the idea of these kits since you first told me about them. I’m so excited to be part of this project!


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