Over the past few months I have really enjoyed getting to interview our newest hand dyers, but I have to admit I was particularly excited to interview our newest local hand dyer because it meant we got to hang out in person! Margaret is truly a fearless crafter, knowing that she could create something just by seeing it.
Lesley: So, of course I have to ask the predictable question…What made you start dyeing?
Margaret: When we first got to the area, I was trying to find something to do. We moved up here (from New Orleans) because of my husband’s work, and I was looking for something to do, and thought, I need a hobby. It was too late in the semester for me to go back into school, so I went to Barnes and Noble, got a book, and picked up knitting. I looked at it and it and I knew I could do this. I started knitting toys, and then someone told me about ravelry, and I thought, you know what, I can do that too. It was about finding the next challenge for me, and dyeing became part of the natural progression. Eventually I went into a yarn store and thought, you know what? I can dye this yarn.
L: That’s impressive! How did you learn the dyeing process?M: I went online, and I got a couple of books. Of course, I started out with kool-aid and inexpensive undyed yarn that I got online. Then I started throwing it into the kettle, and that’s where it all happened. It was bringing out that artistry, that knowledge that I could tackle this new challenge. I just love it. It brought out a creativity that I have needed, that I was searching for.
It was also about looking for certain colors and not seeing those colors available. A lot of the times all you see is commercial yarns, and that wasn’t what I was looking for. Or maybe it was the right color, but not the base I was looking for. Also, when you’re dyeing it yourself, it looks so unique, so completely different. It’s pretty great to have something unique that no one else has. That’s what I like.
L: That’s really awesome! I love your fearlessness, it’s really inspiring.
M: Oh, thanks!
L: Are there any other hand dyers that inspire you?
M: Viola definitely inspires me. Her look into nature is really unique. She brings things out that people often overlook, and that inspires me. Astral Bath yarns too. There are so many people, the way that they come up with their colors, whether it’s from a picture, whether it’s from some small thing, that’s what inspires me. There are so many people that I admire. I think 90-95% of the yarns in my stash are from hand dyers!
L: I could probably say the same for my stash! With the exception of all the yarn I bought as a new knitter…
M: Me too! But I use it for knitting toys too. I love knitting toys and shawls.
L: Is that what you knit the most?
M: Yeah, toys and shawls. I am in my first cardigan project now. Not too many accessories. I am generally looking for something that can cover me. When we first came up here all I had was cotton, and I was freezing my butt off! That was the great thing about knitting too, it could keep me warm!
L: Staying warm is pretty good incentive to keep knitting!
M: Also, realizing that it’s so integral to this agriculture. It’s amazing! And here you have groups of people getting together and knitting! That’s so different from what I have been exposed to. It’s comforting. You find friends too. When we came here, we had no one, and now my knitting group is my friends group. I love that. I love that younger women are coming into it so much more too. I really love that.
We love that at fibre space™ too! Come in and join us in the lounge, and check out Margaret’s latest delivery:
50/50 Merino Silk Dk – $30
Yardage: 231 yards / 100 grams
Fiber Content: 50% Merino / 50% Silk
Yardage: 463 yards / 100 grams
Fiber Content: 75% Merino / 25% Nylon