We’ve been counting the days until the arrival of this very special hand dye. Now it’s official: Crave Yarn has landed at fibre space!
Crave is the absolutely gorgeous work of hand dyer and owner Amor, who dyes out of her private studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The first base she sent us is Filigree fingering — 435 yards of 75% superwash fine merino and 25% mulberry silk — which Amor calls “enchantingly soft” and says this yarn’s most unique characteristic is the glimmer that catches light as you turn it over in your hands. We also found there’s great depth to the colors Amor has created in her small-batch dyeing process. Each skein is $40.
To get to know Amor — and her yarn — a little better, we conducted a little e-interview. Here’s what she had to say.
Q: Tell us a little bit about Crave Yarns and how you got started dyeing. What sets your business apart from others in the field; what makes you unique?
A: “Well, before I was a dyer I was an anthropologist and ethnographer, and at the conclusion of my fieldwork I often knit personal gifts for the people that I interviewed. Because of the nature of my research many of these individuals had experienced great loss and sometimes victimization or oppression in some manner and they were unaccustomed to receiving such a personal gesture. With these gifts I was telling them that their time, their insight, their lives mattered to me a great deal. It was this process of gratitude that catalyzed my yarn dyeing — I wanted to give them something that spoke to their unique value and personalities, something knit in their favorite color. That’s how it started, as a pursuit of colors that somehow spoke to the spirit of some beautiful and strong individuals that I was lucky enough to meet. And I think that seed is still at the heart of my craft … it is an exploration of how hues mingle with one another and how they then speak to me and to customers through the language of color.
“Color is very evocative and can stir up joy that travels right from your eyes to your soul. That may be a bit soppy, but I think we all know from experience how very true it is. What’s even more profound is that hand-dyeing is a craft that infuses so much beautiful intention into a length of string that will then be handled for hours upon hours as the next artist (the customer) then stitches it into an object that will be like a soft time capsule. A time capsule as it holds the memories and intentions that whisper through their minds as they knit, crochet or weave a gift for themselves or someone dear to them. I love that I am part of that process, that my work and love for my work is carried along on such a rich path of creativity and beauty.”
Q: What distinguishes Filigree from other fingering weight yarn, and what’s the favorite object you’ve made out of it?
A: “The first delicious detail that makes Filigree so wonderful is the exceptional quality of the fine Australian merino that gives it noteworthy softness and bloom, then the mulberry silk (the finest of the silks) adds its own incredible gifts of luster and drape. I’ve evaluated a great many merino/silk bases as both a dyer and knitter and have found that the ratio of 75% merino to 25% silk is ideal for a wonderful experience of making and a long-lasting finished piece that will stand up to lots and lots of wear, because you will no doubt be wearing your Filigree piece LOTS and LOTS. My favorite finished projects with Filigree are my own two shawl designs, Wayland and Sepia. It was a dream come true to publish my own designs and Filigree was the star of both.”
Q: Tell us about the best color you’ve ever created and what inspired its eventual name?
A: “I’m sure other dyers have told you that this is an impossible question. I’ve created hundreds of colorways and I could no sooner choose a singularly favorite colorway than a favorite song. But of my many many many favorites I will say that MauveLynn certainly tugs at my heartstrings. She got her name the way many of my colorways get names, by my just playing with words as I buzz around my studio tending to dyepots. It’s like trying to find a lyric that hits just the right tone, you need to play with the words, shuffle them around, sing them in different notes. Well, I started with Mauve, for obvious reasons. Then over the course of the day Lynn just fell in behind it and as clearly as if Miss MauveLynn had walked right up to me and introduced herself, I felt that it was the right name. And for her beautiful dance of hues and her name, she is one of my favorites.”
Be sure to stop into fibre space to cuddle, covet and, obviously, collect some of Amor’s must-have Filigree!