Once a week I post interviews with interesting people about their insights on their experience of working in the Knitting industry. I’ve noticed that every one of these individuals makes their living in a slightly different manner bringing their own unique presence to the Knitting world.
You can find Tabi's yarns at Sericin Silkworks here and here on Ravelry.
Where do you find inspiration for your colourways?
Every trip to the dye pot is different. Sometimes it’s the inspiration of the day... Sometimes it’s something from one of the fashion/design/architecture blogs I follow. Sometimes I think about a favourite customer’s colours, wondering if the yarn will end up in their hands.
How do you choose the fibers that you work with?
How did you determine what weights of yarn you stock?
Could you give us an idea of how long the process is to dye a batch of yarn and prepare it for sale?Silk takes a little longer to prep than other fibers as it requires overnight pre-soaking. If I know I want to dye the next day I have to make sure I have the fibers soaking the night before. So, it’s a 3 day process. Soak, dye, dry. Then inventory, label and photo although this is usually batched with other finished yarns and fibers.
Do you look at other dyers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their yarns?
Are you a knitter as well?
Did you do a formal business plan?
Do you have a mentor?
What impact has the Internet had on your business?
How do you maintain your life/work balance?
How long did it take for you to be able to support yourself?
What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in hand dyeing yarns?
That’s a tough one. There are inherent dangers associated with dyeing that are always in the back of my mind. I try to minimize the environmental aspect: no plastic wrap, reuse gloves until they break down, dyes fully exhausted and natural mordants. I mostly use chemical dyes but in the fall I do a batch of natural dyes. If you’re going to do large scale dyeing, make sure you have proper ventilation and a dedicated area. While we get carried away creating beautiful colours, always keep in mind that you have to sell all that beautiful yarn too. The marketing and selling is just as large, if not a larger part of the business as the actual dyeing.