a) a bag
b) a bag with sheep
c) a bag with sheep that holds fibre?!
I spun this Falkland in the "Pot of Gold" colourway for Kim's SAL (Spin-a-long). This was the softest Falkland I have ever worked with. She is hosting another challenge this month and you can check her Ravelry group for more info The prizes are gorgeous!
While we were hanging out and spinning, I asked Kim a few questions (as an adoring fan) and thought others might be wondering some of the same things I was.
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What got you started with dyeing?
I was looking at on the Knit Picks website and saw their bare yarn and wanted to try dyeing. A friend told me about using Kool-Aid and food colouring. I bought 3 kinds of bare yarn and my first dyeing was with yellow food colouring, and grape & lime kool-aid. I found a lot of different tutorials in the “Kool way to Dye” group on Ravelry.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find it all over the place; photos, nature, other dyers. I’ll notice color ideas on my way home from work or when I go snow boarding – there are lots of nice colour combos on the slopes. Sometimes I will also randomly grab containers and see what happens.
How do you come up with colourway names?
I sometimes ask other people around what they think the yarn or fibre looks like. We bounce ideas back and fourth. My husband doesn’t offer a whole lot but when he comes up with something it works well – like “Charred Oak”. Sometimes the names revolve around themes such as my silk yarn which is named after characters from the game Clue. “Tea Cup Elephant” was based on a dream I had. “Stow Away” was named because I found that braid among other fibre it didn’t belong with.
My favourite colour is green which may be why there is so much of it in the shop all the time.
What other artistic hobbies do you do?
I spin, knit, crochet, I’ve dabbled in weaving, I like to sew and quilt. I make soap, lotion and lip balm. I also like gardening, although I sometimes forget to water. I really enjoy renovating too.
How has your work evolved since you started?
When I first started dyeing I used Wilton dyes but they kept breaking and the colours sometimes ended up looking like mud. I was afraid of acid dyes – the name "acid" scared me, but when I used them for the first time and my hands didn’t burn off I realized how great they are. I have done a lot of research and looked into different fibres and how they appeal to people and take on colour. I have taught myself a lot about different ways to dye and have tried kettle dyeing, hand painting, dip dyeing, sprinkle dyeing and infusion. I like experimenting to try and get different effects. I am more adventurous than I used to be, and I will try mixing dyes to see how they turn out and will also try colour combinations that may not appeal to me but they do to others. I love seeing how each fibre artist adds their own techniques to my fibres, like in the club shipments, everyone comes up with a different way to spin or ply their yarns and come up with a unique end result.
To dye? I love the way Superwash Merino and Falkland take colour, but SW Merino is slippery when you rinse.
To spin: BFL hands down. BFL and Merino plyed work really well together, the combination makes the yarn softer.
Unfinished drywall, cement floors and poor lighting. I used to work in the kitchen but I have now moved downstairs. I have tables and a sink and stove down there, I need to work on the lighting but I have my own space now and it’s wooly. My rabbit Sunny is my dye buddy.
When I learned you can spin angora I found my first rabbit; Suzuki (Suzi) (3yrs) from a breeder in Vulcan. She is a French German Angora cross Red Eye White (REW). Gremlin is an English Angora Lop Cross rescue (received from the same breeder). We have fostered him for 2 years. His original owner passed away which caused him some health related stress issues, but he is a sweet boy. Sunny, which is short for Sunflower (1yr) is a French Lop Cross. She was a Christmas present and she is my biggest bunny. She loves to be held, pet and cuddled and really doesn’t like when she’s on my lap and I'm playing on my cell phone.
I also have 2 dogs; Boo who is 11 and Gracie who is 7. They are Maltese / Shih Tzu X's and are my sweethearts. I've had them both since they were puppies.
May 3rd – Regina Weavers & Spinners Mini Retreat
May 30th – Kings College HWSDA Conference
June 13 & 14 – Fibre Arts Week in Pincher Creek
June 23 – 27th – Olds Fibre Week
Oct 4th & 5th – Knit City in Vancouver
Watch for more updates throughout the year!
Where can we find you online?
~ The Wacky Windmill group on Ravelry
~ Twitter @TheWackyWindmill
~ Email Kim
~ The Wacky Windmill Website and Blog
I also wanted to share with you why I am so loyal to The Wacky Windmill. I found Kim while searching on Etsy. I was looking for a fibre supplier from Canada and fell in love with a colourway called "Badlands" in the Wacky Windmill Shop. I was surprised because when Kim sent me my fibre she also included a refund for shipping costs and said that I had given her too much. She was the first seller to ever give me money back (even a couple bucks) because I had overpaid on shipping. I really appreciate her honesty. I then had her custom dye me a larger quantity of the Badlands colours and knit one of my favourite shawls with it . Since then I have been a faithful Wacky Windmill customer and have loved every product she offers. I have never had a dye come off on my hands as I am spinning (even black) and I have never come across felted fibres or misrepresented colours. She is a fast shipper and the swag in her monthly clubs prove a lot of thought and care is put into every shipment. She is super friendly and a wonderful fibre artist! Kim is also an Addictions Counselor so she shares a love for Psychology with me.
This giveaway will end on April 19th
Congrats to Linda! Thanks to everyone who entered. Stay tuned for more giveaways.