An Indie Dyer Origin Story

When people ask how I became and Indie Dyer, I tell them I had to or I'd destroy all the paperclips.

I didn't actually learn to dye until about four years ago, but my Fiber Artist "origin story" started when I was in junior high. I couldn't NOT be doing something with my hands, and my mother would find sad twisted paperclip mini-sculptures around the house, mostly the victims of time in front of the tv or a phone conversation running too long. So she taught me to crochet mostly in hope that I could spend some of my idle time creating instead of destroying and she could occasionally find a paperclip in a still-usable condition.

Several ugly scarves later (You know the plain crayon box variegated ones that are the reason people cringe at the words "I made you a scarf!" even if you actually knit something gorgeous in pink champagne baby alpaca lacework? Yeah that's partly my fault.) and some halfway decent afghans under my belt, I was grown up and quite suddenly found myself transported from Washington to Texas and living full time in an RV due to some crazy travel requirements of my husband's job. I decided I needed a new hobby and by chance on YouTube I happened upon nuno felting, wet felting wool onto silk chiffon to make somewhat less ugly scarves. There was even a wool shop in a nearby town that had nice soft stuff that was nothing like the little sampler pack of scratchy wool I found at the craft store! I made some pretty things and even sold a couple on Etsy. 

Then...oh hey look, the wool shop's doing a dyeing class. Wouldn't it be cool to do some custom colors? It sure would! So I took a class and got some dyes, wool and a crock pot. I saw a gorgeous pair of striped knit socks at the shop and taught myself to knit off YouTube videos. And in a moment of sheer insanity I made my first knitting project a pair of socks on double-points. But they actually turned out great and I still wear them.

But then the wool shop had a drop spindle class, and gee, I already had all that wool....and wow, drop spindling was fun but it would be faster on a wheel and look, this cute little wheel would actually (kind of) fit in our 5th Wheel! (This is where I take a moment to say how awesome and laid back and understanding my husband is and how I can never ever gripe about how many tools he has because Yarn.) And gee, if I can dye the wool before I spin it then I can surely dye yarn! And what is this thing they call a Ravelry? I WANT TO KNIT ALL THE THINGS. And because I was a dyer even before I was a knitter or spinner I could really make whatever I wanted!

So yes, I tend to let my crafty passions snowball and I take joy in making as much of something myself as I can. However discussions over keeping an angora bunny in the RV did not get very far.

After waffling around for a few years trying to find myself in my 30s after deciding my pre-RV life career wasn't something I really wanted to go back to but also realizing once we'd mostly settled in one place that I did want to go back to work, I've decided to turn this crazy hobby into a business. I've learned an eye for color blends and how they play with each other in a spun yarn and a finished product, and fallen in love especially with tonal and ombre colorways that flow gracefully from one shade to another. I love seeing how others use my palettes to create their own masterpieces. And together I hope we can change the look on people's faces when they hear the words, "I made you a scarf!"