Another week, another new to Holla Knits indie dyer! Today we are getting to know Rita of Yarn Hollow, who runs her business not very far from where I grew up in Michigan. And keep an eye out for her beautiful yarn to be featured in the upcoming Holla Knits Spring Collection later this week!
For those who haven’t heard of Yarn Hollow before, please give a little background and information about you and your yarn.
Yarn Hollow is an indie dyer company in Grandville, MI. We specialize in bright, clear colors, and have a wide range of semi solids and multi color combinations available. We dye on wool, cotton, bamboo, silk, and work with yarn and fiber. We attend 3 to 5 fiber festivals per year, and mostly concentrate on selling wholesale to shops and sell a little through etsy.
What kinds of dyes do you use?
We use Sabraset dyes, some Wash fast acid dyes, and procion MX dyes for the cellulose blends.
When did you start spinning and dying?
I started spinning in 1994, with the purchase of a drop spindle at Michigan Fiber Fest. That was followed by a Louet S10 a few months later. After a brief hiatus after the birth of the first child in 2001, I started again in earnest in 2004. Now I have two wheels: a Kromski Minstrel and a Kromski Polonaise.
Lovely Yarn Hollow Yarn Drying
Are you a one woman show? How many people are on your team?
Yarn Hollow consists of Rita, the owner, and Ruby who works about 15 hours a week, Heather who works about 8 hours a week, Andrea our intrepid sales rep, and Becky who helps occasionally at shows.
What inspires your colorways? Their names?
For color names, the semi-solids are based pretty much on objects in nature and existing colors, like lime, loam, mocha, truffle, rose petal, etc. For the multi-color combinations, we go for an overall feeling from the color, and draw our inspirations from music (Purple Haze, Devil’s Daughter, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road), geography (Seattle, Rouen, Red Rocks and Spruce), literature or pop culture (Westgate Waters, Fire Walk With Me). Sometimes we have to let a name percolate for a while before it becomes apparent what the combination wants to be.
Where do you spin and dye? Do you have a home studio or an office?
I spin at home, and the dyeing is done in a dyeing studio that’s part of a light industrial complex three-quarters of a mile from home. It’s 1100 square feet of light-industrial goodness, meaning it has unpainted, unfinished cement floors, an open ceiling with exposed girders, and an overhead door. It’s not fancy, but it works well and we love it. The studio became part of the operation in Spring 2010.
When you knit and crochet, what projects are you drawn to?
For crochet projects, I love hats and scarves and afghans. For knitting projects, I love hats, accessories, and sweaters. Style elements that are attractive to me are classic shapes. I especially appreciate the designs of Chic Knits and anticipate wearing the garments I have knit from those patterns for years. Right now, my ravelry “favorites” contain a lot of wraps, shawls, and cowls.
Find Rita and the other ladies of Yarn Hollow at Yarn Hollow.com, at the Yarn Hollow etsy shop and in stores, at the Yarn Hollow Blog, and on twitter at @YarnHollow.