Sunday, June 1, 2014

Dyers In Their Studios: Kimberly of Cat Mountain Fiber Arts

I had the pleasure of meeting Kimberly Perkins at TNNA (The National Needlearts Association) Show last January. It was her first show, and I was immediately intrigued with her yarns. They are different from any other yarns I have seen, and I immediately wanted to design something to show off their unique qualities.

Like many hand dyed yarns, Cat Mountain yarns have been dyed in a loop, so each repeat of the color changes is approximately two yards long. However, instead of her skeins being made of all one yarn, each "skein" consists of smaller hanks of 5 to 10 different fibers all dyed at the same time. All yarns in a set are approximately the same weight in thickness so the work well together in one project. Kimberly includes mohairs, boucles, and one-plies to add texture to the smoother plied yarns. You even get to choose between adding a little sparkle with stellina, or the more homespun tweed texture of bits of 'Donegal' wool for one of the smoother yarns.

·   How long have you been dying yarn? Six years.
·   How did you get started dying? I wanted to try making my own colors, and actually started by playing with Kool-Aid!
·   What is your background? BS in Environmental Science, 18 years employed in the environmental field.
·   Do you have any special experience with art or science that influences your dying? I enjoy the outdoors, literature and fine art, and many of my colorways are inspired by these. 
·   What makes your yarn special or unique? My fusion yarn combines color and texture with 5 to 10 different yarns all dyed together. 
·   What is something interesting about your dying process that non-dyers might not know? My process is quite labor intensive in that each skein is measured into the appropriate lengths and then tied for dyeing, so that the separate yarns receive the same dye. 
·   How do you choose your colors and name your yarns? Many of my colorways are inspired by my surroundings in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  Others are inspired by literature and art that I enjoy. 
·   Where do you find inspiration? :)  See above. 

·   How many colorways do you have? 18, plus solids, and always coming up with more!
·   Do you create seasonal or special order colors?  Yep.
·   How many and what types of bases do you use?  20+ bases, predominantly natural fibers: wool, mohair, alpaca, angora, silk, bamboo, tencel and blends thereof.
·   Where can we find your yarn? LYSs and online?  Online at or Cat Mountain Fiber Arts on Etsy; Please see the right margin of my blog for a list of yarn shops that carry my yarn.   

·   What are your favorite colors?  Purples and greens.
·   Favorite fibers?  Wool and angora bunny.
·   Do you crochet, knit, or spin? What came first?  I learned to crochet as a small child and did crochet in 4-H for years.  I learned to knit around age 10 and stopped for awhile after knitting a dreaded boyfriend sweater and subsequently breaking up with said boyfriend (Ha!)  About 12 years ago I came across the book Tudor Roses by Alice Starmore and got back into knitting, and have been an avid knitter since.  I also spin (10+ years) and weave (5 years).
·  Anything else you would like to share?  Please see the right margin of my blog for a list of the fiber festivals and events I will be attending
·   Website?  See above, also my blog is listed above.
·   Ravelry?  I am kimberlyknitter on Ravelry, and my yarn and pattern pages are:
·   Twitter? @kimberlyknitter
All Photos © Kimberly Perkins

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