Monthly Archives: October 2012

Meet Karin of Periwinkle Sheep!

Karin of Periwinkle Sheep was crazy generous this fall and provided yarn support for not one but TWO Holla Knits designs – Allyson Dykhuizen’s New Girl from the Fall Collection and Teresa Gregorio’s Knight Service from the Accessories Collection. She was kind enough to take the time to be interviewed! Thanks so much, Karin!

Periwinkle Sheep – Coralitious!

1. For those who haven’t heard of Periwinkle Sheep before, please give a little background and information about you and your yarn.

I’ve always been knitting since I can remember. No matter what I did in life, I was always knitting! I got my MA in English but never really went on to teaching….literature, that is! I used to own a yarn shop. After I closed it, I  I taught myself how to dye yarn; a friend offered me space in her booth at Rhinebeck 5 years a go, and the rest is history.

2. Why kind of dyes do you use?

I use chemical dyes because I love the vibrancy and endless color combinations I can achieve.

3. When did you start dying?

About 5 years ago.

4. Are you a one woman show? How many people are on your team?

I am a one woman show, but of course could never do this without the help of friends and family.

5. What inspires your colorways? Their names? 

I started out with a bunch of food names but have rapidly expanded the repertoire. My colorway names are actually pretty eclectic. This past year I did a Touring Ireland sock club with an Irish designer, Meagheen Ryan, and so a lot of names are inspired by the Irish landscape.

6. Where do you spin and dye? Do you have a home studio or an office?

I dye everything in my teeny tiny kitchen and dry the yarn on racks in my back yard. As of this writing though I am negotiating a studio space.

7. When you knit and crochet, what projects are you drawn to?

Oh my goodness I am such a pattern harlot! I like to make everything from accessories to sweaters to baby things and really almost any technique has the potential to get my attention. Except maybe for intarsia. I’m kind of over intarsia. Cables and colorwork though are at the top of the list of favorites, along with lace! See? I can’t even decide on my list. I want to knit it all.

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Meet Maya of Springtree Road!

I was lucky enough to work with Maya of Springtree Road for the Fall Collection. She provided yarn support for Ann Leachman’s sweater Henri, and it was a pretty magical pairing! Learn more about Springtree Road by reading the interview Maya was kind enough to do for us. 

Springtree Road

1. For those who haven’t heard of Springtree Road before, please give a little background and information about you and your yarn.

Sure! My name is Maya. I’m married, have two kids, and we live near Atlanta, Georgia. I started a blog called Springtree Road with this post in 2009. I used to write bits about my childhood and I’d post pictures that I took around Knoxville, Tennessee, where we lived at that time. Eventually, I started the yarn business and it seemed natural to just keep my company name the same as the blog’s, in honor of my grandparents and their little house on Springtree Road that I loved so. I learned to knit when I was 16, though I didn’t really get into it until much later. I dye more sock yarn than anything else and I lean toward really saturated colors. Though I occasionally do some crazier color combinations, I prefer semi-solids. I love it when I get an email from someone telling me that even though their yarn is a semi-solid, each stitch was exciting in its subtle variation.

2. Why kind of dyes do you use?

All of them! Pretty much any brand of acid dyes you can name, I have some of them.

LOVELY, Rich Colors

3. When did you start dyeing?

In 2009, I had been working at home as a copyeditor for a non-profit for about 4 years when they decided they needed to let go of everyone who didn’t work in the office. I was panicked because I wanted to continue to stay home with my daughter. Most people suggested I look for other editing work, but instead I bought a used spinning wheel, dyes in the primary colors, and 3 pounds of mill end wool and taught myself to dye and spin. I opened an Etsy shop with 10 handspun yarns that July. I did that until my hands couldn’t take it any more, and that’s when I started dyeing millspun yarn. That was in 2011.

4. Are you a one woman show? How many people are on your team?

I’m the only one on the team at the moment, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that my daughter will want to help out eventually – or do her own thing within the business, like carding batts (which she thinks is a fantastic way to spend the afternoon). She’s almost 7 now, so it’ll be a little while. She’s always stealing my yarn and fiber to put in her stash, so I think she might be into the idea when she gets a little older.

Fibery Goodness!

5. What inspires your colorways? Their names? 

Sometimes colors pop into my head. Or I’ll see something in a movie or on TV that strikes me and I need to translate those colors onto yarn. I also just stand there and look at my jars of dye and wonder what would happen if… But I also think a lot about what colors a person will want to wear day-to-day. I wear a lot of gray and black, but I love little pops of color for accessories. Orange looks terrible near my face, but it’s one of my favorite colors and I like to be able to carry it around with me on a gray winter’s day, so it’s perfect for socks or mittens. The names I choose come from something that catches my eye in a book I’m reading, a lyric to a song I love, or a word that I saw somewhere that just stands out to me. I have a colorway called Cinnabar, which reminds me of a bracelet my mother had when I was little. I once did a colorway called Message to My Girl for a club that is the title of a sweet song by Split Enz (who later became Crowded House) from the 80s. The name for my colorway called Tanis comes from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, which I was obsessed with when I was a kid and saw it in the theater 23 times.

Cast On Now Please!

6. Where do you spin and dye? Do you have a home studio or an office?

I have room in my home where I keep all the yarn and my needles, etc. Currently I just use it for storage so little paws and fingers can’t get into anything. I’m sure in a few years I’ll get to spend more time in there, and I’m looking forward to that! I end up hefting plastic storage containers up and down the stairs a lot. My husband asked me the other day, “Ummmm, Sweetie? Can these ever go away?” I said, “Yeah, sure, Schmoopy!” knowing full well that I will take those particular containers downstairs, but will just immediately replace them with others holding the next batch of yarn I have to tie up for dyeing. When I do get to spin, it’s on the living room sofa with a movie on or something. I tend to believe that multitasking is a myth, yet I’m constantly trying to do it anyway. I’m hardheaded like that!

7. When you knit and crochet, what projects are you drawn to?

I like small projects, usually with just 1-2 skeins. I really pack a lot into each day – we homeschool, the yarn, and as of April 2012 there’s a baby. I like projects that are easy for me to memorize so that I can whip them out any time and get 15 minutes of knitting in and then put it away until the next time I see a free minute. Since those free minutes don’t come as often as I’d like, I like small projects so I can actually finish something in a timely fashion. I don’t like to have too many WIPs at one time because I forget where I am in the pattern and that makes me procrastinate. But one day, I’m going to knit the shawl of my dreams, which was designed by an indie designer I love and I have it saved on my computer. It’s really big and really detailed and really beautiful – it’s going to take me forever! But I’ll be a happy girl when it’s finished.

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Blog Tour Stop: Guest Post by Designer Tara Shade

Black Swan designer Tara Shade is blog-less, so I’m letting her hijack the Holla Knits blog to say hello!

Here we are, at the last stop on the Holla Knits Accessory tour! It’s been a fabulous flurry of great designs, details, dispensaries, and—best of all—really cool ladies.

Here’s to the ladies, the ladies.

I still stand amazed at having my first knitwear design featured in this special Holla Knits collection. Inspired by a runway look, I love how this easy little knit becomes a great every day piece to mix into a wardrobe. Chic-looking and warm, it’s practically one big, awesome hug. And who doesn’t like a hug, after all?

Black Swan = big love.

I hope this collection has inspired you to pick up your needles and join in on the fun! HOLLA!

And be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour stops:

October 8: The Sweatshop of Love
October 9: Under the Red Umbrella
October 10: Rohn Strong
October 11: Emma Welford Designs
October 12: Knits in Class

October 15: Bumblebirch Designs
October 16: Audrey’s Teashop
October 17: Gynx
October 18: Adaly Myles Place
October 19: Canary Knits

October 22: Webs Yarn Store Blog 
October 23: The Sweatshop of Love Hosts Homestead Heirlooms!
October 24: Knitted Bliss
October 25: Stash, the Knit Picks Staff Blog
October 26: Holla Knits hosts Tara Shade!