Posts Tagged ‘etsy’
Have you picked up Pom Pom Quarterly’s summer issue yet? I’ve been so pleased with the response to Creamsicle. But I have to give credit where credit is due. Linda’s fantastic yarn really took the design over the top. I can’t stop raving about the color and delicious softness. Which is why I asked her to do a little interview!
Aside from having yummy yarns and gorgeous colorways, Linda is very serious about being environmentally friendly. She recently began dyeing full time and I’m so glad that she’s been able to take that step! Linda was kind enough to share the process and philosophy behind her company Kettle Yarn Co.
How did you begin dyeing yarn?
My journey into yarn is a somewhat personal one that I haven’t discussed much publicly.
My yarn dyeing adventures started a few years ago during a period of illness. I was a practicing artist at the time and found that preparing canvases was just too much for me so I started knitting so that I could continue to create while conserving energy. Dyeing my own yarn was a logical melding of the two disciplines!
After over a year’s worth of poking and prodding by medical professionals and my health deteriorating to the point where I could barely get up a small flight of stairs, I learned my illness was largely due to severe fragrance allergies. Kettle Yarn Co. was started in the hopes that one day I’d be able to have a bit more control over my working environment and lessen my exposure to the perfume chemicals that were currently damaging my lungs in the open plan office environment at the university where I worked.
I have been very fortunate. I have left the university and am now not only able to work from home a good portion of the week but am doing a job I truly love and am passionate about. My health has improved exponentially and I feel that I’ve finally found my creative niche!
right: clear water remaining after dyeing process is complete
One of your goals is to be eco-friendly. How do you make your yarns a little “greener?”
My partner is an Environmental Project Manager and I’ve been lucky enough to get a lot of free help and advice on how to make my processes as low impact as possible.
I have chosen to use a local dye supplier and the most toxic thing I use in my process is regular household vinegar! I try to ensure that I use up all dyes in the pot when dyeing. I’ve even developed a line of OOAK (one of a kind) yarns – TWIST 100% British Bluefaced Leicester fingering – that helps me to use up every last particle so nothing gets wasted or ends up back in the water table.
All my yarn blends are chosen to ensure animal welfare and humane wool production. Any Merino I use is Peruvian to ensure that absolutely no mulesing is done to the sheep and many of my blends use 100% British Bluefaced Leicester. It is very important to me to support the British Wool Industry and help to maintain traditional breeds.
I always joke that British Bluefaced Leicester is the Holy Grail of wool blends as the fleece combines three of the most highly prized qualities for handcrafting:
1. a softness comparable to Merino wool – delicate enough for the most sensitive skin;
2. a long staple fibre, making yarn hard wearing, long lasting and extremely low pilling;
3. the fleece is formed of crimped fibres, creating a natural lustre and elastic bounce.
This gives the yarn a gentle sheen, which reflects light to enhance stitch work and colour while also giving the blend elasticity, warmth and a luxurious drape. Purchased from the British Wool Marketing Board, we only use supersorted 100% British Bluefaced Leicester fleece. ‘Supersorting’ is when the fibre is picked through (cleaned of any unwanted bits!) twice as much as normal wools are handled and then is examined again before being combed and sent for processing at the spinning mill. This ensures that only the very softest BFL is used for Kettle Yarn Co. blends.
What’s next for you and Kettle Yarn Co?
I have two UK trade shows coming up in July and am in a yarn dyeing frenzy for the next month in preparation. I am so excited about them both as will have my very own solo both for the first time! Unwind is the first, which takes place July 12th and 13th in the beautiful seaside town of Brighton and Fibre East is at the end of the month July 26th and 27th in Bedfordshire.
I am working on a few new blends to release for the shows and they will be available in August in the shop! So exciting.
Thanks for sharing with us, Linda! So many amazing insights into the knitty gritty (excuse the pun) of yarn dyeing. If you’re in the neighborhood, you should definitely check out the Kettle Yarn Co booth at those upcoming festivals! Luckily for the rest of us, Kettle Yarn Co is available through Etsy. And Linda has put together Creamsicle kits in Sherbert and Melon Balls, just add an issue of Pom Pom Quarterly and needles!
Have you knit with Kettle Yarn Co before? How important is it that your yarn be eco friendly?
So, first off, Vogue Knitting Live was a success! I had a great time catching up with a bunch of people and learning a ton and, oh, right, shopping. I haven’t had the energy to put together all of my thoughts and photos yet but I promise it’ll come soon! Wonderful seeing all of you there and to those I missed, I hope you had a fab time, too!
I guess 2014 is going to be a big year because I’ve seemed to start off with an adventurous spirit. A couple weeks ago I was hanging out around the neighborhood with Ashley and Kelly after a movie date and some beer. And they just kind of convinced me to spontaneously get my ears pierced. I’ve been talking about it for years now but I’m a scaredy cat. (I had them pierced once before and it was terrible and painful.) So I just went ahead and did it.
Now that that’s happened, I’ve been shopping for every earring under the sun because I can! So I put together a few that caught my eye that you might like, too. I do it all for you, not for selfish reasons at all!
I’ll be buying all of these now, thank you. Is it redundant to wear sweater earrings with your sweaters? (Yo, dawg, I heard you liked sweaters so we put sweaters on your sweaters!) I THINK NOT.
Can you tell I’m still loopy from a weekend of excitement at VKL? What’s your favorite knitted jewelry?
Good morning, everyone! I hope Monday treated you kindly!
As I’m working on redecorating the apartment, I’ve realized one thing about New York living. White walls are a drag. Painting is aways an option and I did that in my first apartment. I have to say, it made me incredibly happy and I think it really expressed my style (pink, obviously). But the process of repainting when I wanted desperately to leave that place and move on with my life was just awful. I’m not going to be doing any painting here. I used to have a big tapestry hanging on the wall but I needed something different.
Right now, I’m focusing on filling the walls with art. Here are a few of the prints from Etsy that I’m dying to get my hands on!
The Girl and The Fox by Amy Blackwell. I love the colors of this one and, of course, have a soft spot for illustrations of girls with red hair.
Knotty Girls by Anna Tillett Designs. I’d love to put this right over my desk for a little knitsperation!
Cow Cuts print by PRRINT. Our love of hamburgers and cows have us collecting vintage butcher memorabilia. I love this one because it’s written in Russian, which is one of the languages that Jon speaks!
Can’t wait to buy a couple of prints. Next I need some adorable frames!
What do you have on your walls?
Happy Valentine’s Day, loves! Today, you are all my Valentine’s. And I feel so lucky to have you all. I wish I could send you all a box of chocolates!
I am totally in love with the bag I got Jon for our anniversary. I want to show it off to everyone. I was worried it wouldn’t come in time so I ordered it a month in advance. Good thing, too! It came only one week early and gave me a sigh of relief.
The bag is from Goldenponies’ Etsy store. She is located in Guadalajara, Mexico. It was made by hand, to order, so I’m hoping there is a lot of love in it.
Jon has wanted a leather messenger bag since we started seeing each other. We’ve been looking for a bag for a while that is stylish and functional but most of them have been a little pricey. This was perfect.
Go see Goldenponies’ store. There are some really awesome handmade leather oxfords on there. Very affordable!
I certainly have been baking a lot recently, haven’t I? This is a reminder to myself that this blog is called KNIT York City not Bake-lyn (super cute name though!) so I can’t just be telling everybody about my kitchen adventures. I promise I’ll figure out how to balance my blog out.
So let’s talk knitting for a moment. You remember that frog I was working on. Well, he’s done (pictures soon, I promise). And I finished a slew of other animals in the meantime. And I did it all in one weekend. Not too shabby. Not to toot my own horn but beep beep. Anyway, I’m going to show you one of his buddies.
This pattern is Tavistock Tortoise and it was designed by Amanda Berry. She sells her patterns on Ravelry or Etsy. I think all of her critters are adorable and I’ve bought a few of her patterns. They’re so cute! Just as with the frog, I knit everything in the round because I hate sewing up the seams. And why put yourself through the trouble when you have to?
I think this is my new way of photographing my works in progress. I like them all laid out like this so I can see all of the parts and you can see how they look before they’re an animal. It’s inspired by Things Organized Neatly which inspires me to clean out my purse every time I look at it.
I knit the version of Berry’s tortoise pattern with the long-style legs but I added about 5 rows to the back legs and 3 to the front to make them extra long. I think they’re really adorable. And he reminds me of this scene from Finding Nemo.
He’s knit with some of that tried and true LB Collection Angora Merino in Avocado on size 4 needles. I also used some LB Collection Superwash Merino in Mahogany on the shell. That gave it a different texture that I really like. I think it will be cool for the baby to feel smooth and fluffy next to eachother. It makes me think of those books I read when I was a kid that had a bunny and its tail was made of a piece of cotton that was pasted into the book. And the basketball was made of leather. You know?
I’m really happy with how this little guy came out. I can’t wait for you to see the rest of them. Now, I’ve made so many stuffed animals! I think it’s time to take a break and make some gloves.