Hi friends, and happy Friday!
It’s been quite some time since I’ve done a Friday Favorite post, and today I’m very pleased to share something a bit different with you. I met Scott, of Crystal Yarn, shortly after I moved to Lancaster. We were both in Northern Yarn and struck up a conversation about some new publications Kate had received in the shop. Since then, I’ve gotten to know Scott at our weekly knit night. He’s come to fiber crafts fairly recently, and it’s been so cool to see how he’s dived in to so many cool things. Nearly every week, he’s tackling a new first and making something gorgeous in the process. So I was really excited, but not at all surprised, when he said he was going to try his hand at hand dyeing yarn. It was pretty clear from his first attempts that he enjoyed it and was good at it, and not too long after he started experimenting, he decided he would do all of us a favor and dye some for sale!
It’s been such a pleasure to watch Scott try out new bases and colors and see sneak peeks of this yarn in it’s development. He puts a lot of care and attention into everything he does, and I think it really shows in the finished product. Scott was kind enough to answer some questions about his new business and process – so today I bring you fiber and sustenance’s first ever interview!
I know you came to knitting somewhat recently — want to tell us a little bit about what drew you to knitting, why you love it, and what type of things you love to knit?
To tell you about my knitting I first need to talk about my crochet as that was my first step into the fibre arts. I was first drawn to crochet after seeing loads of cute Amigurumi patterns on Pinterest and Etsy and just wanted to try it out. I made loads of amigurumi toys and scarfs and blankets, but one thing I couldn’t make was a jumper, due to crochet being a more lacey/ airy fabric. Which is when I took up knitting in June 2017, and I haven’t put my needles down since. My main goal was a jumper which I completed within 3 months of picking up needles, and jumpers have become my favourite thing to knit (apart from the sleeves). In the year I have been knitting, I have completed 3 jumpers and plan to knit more.
And what got you interested in dyeing?
My first step into yarn dyeing was inspired by visiting Yarndale last year. I fell in love with all the different dyers and how they all had a different style and look. I had a conversation with a stall holder selling undyed yarn, and they explained different methods and types of dyes, and I just knew I wanted to try this myself. And once I had dyed one skein I just wanted to dye more.
You’ve got a beautiful range of colors — can you tell me about how you come up with them? What are sources of inspiration?
My main source of inspiration is natural gemstones which I have been collecting and learning about since I was a teenager. My other source of inspiration is mysticism and fantasy which I have been in love with since I was a child–growing up with TV programs and films full of witches and monsters has inspired my gradient skeins which are named after the different suits of tarot cards and Blood Moon which is an astronomical event.
I know you put a lot of thought into yarn bases and did a lot of research and testing. Can you tell us about the base that you’ve decided to start with and what you like about it?
My choice was based on a few factors. One consideration was my own personal goal of cutting down on plastic and another was my passion for British-sourced and manufactured products.
I have chosen a 4-ply/fingering weight yarn that is 100% Bluefaced Leicester. It’s suitable for anything and is a no-nylon alternative for making socks. The wool is sourced from British sheep and spun by a British manufacturer which I find gives the skeins their own little charm.
Can you tell me a bit about your involvement in Countess Ablaze’s Tits Out Collective*? What’s your colorway and what charity have you chosen?
As soon as Countess Ablaze announced the Tits Out Collective I wanted to join in. Being a very small dyer who hasn’t even launched my yarn yet, I was a little worried. But a quick email exchange with Countess Ablaze and being given the green light to join gave me just the boost I needed. It is amazing that we can all get together as small or large businesses and make a difference, and the amount of support and awareness it brings for indie artists and designers that are taken advantage of for exposure is great.
My colourway will be the Blood Moon and my chosen charity is Calm, who are dedicated to bring awareness and support to men dealing with mental health issues and suicide.
*Not heard of Countess Ablaze’s Tits Out Collective? You can read all about how she’s brought together 250 dyers, designers, sewers, and other crafty people to raise money for causes they care about here!
Do you have a favorite among the colorways?
I don’t have a favourite, but I would say that I am proudest of my mini skein sets. They turned out better than I even imagined they would!
The colourway closest to my heart is Belladonna. Although it is a poisonous plant I used to have a horse called Belladonna who sadly passed away so this is a tribute to her.
And perhaps most importantly, when can we get our hands on this lovely yarn?
My yarn will be launched on July 1st — you will be able to find it on my Etsy store.
And what’s coming next for Crystal Yarn? Can you give us any hints about new ideas or colorways are coming next?
Without giving too much away, I have a few more colourways planned, a new mini skein set, and also full skein gradients for anyone who would love to make a bigger project with the gradients.
I am also looking at new yarn bases and weights to expand my selection.
Many thanks to Scott for chatting with me today! His full skeins will retail at £17 and his lovely gradient sets for £21. I find Scott’s spirit of adventure and exploration when it comes to yarn so inspiring, and I hope you have too!
That’ll do it for me today, but hope you have a great weekend – and do check out Crystal Yarn’s launch on Sunday if you’re in the market for some beautiful, hand-dyed British wool (I’ve seen all the colors in person and let me tell you, they’re just as pretty in person as they look in the pictures)