The Tidal Fades Shawl Crochet Along, Week 2
Posted on September 13, 2019
Welcome back to week two of the #tidalfadesCAL ! I hope you all have your yarns in hand or at least picked out! If you haven’t gotten a hold of your supplies yet, definitely check out this post from week one of the crochet along to make sure you have everything you need and then hop on over to Laineandlotus.com and use the coupon code TIDALFADESCAL for 10% off your order of DK weight yarns! I can’t wait to see what you pick out! Make sure to keep posting under the hashtag #tidalfadescal so you will be entered in to win a yarn bowl from ColeMama Creations!
I used Mint Julep, Birdhouse Dreams and Autumnal Equinox for my shawl, but definitely peep around her shop for other pretty colors! & I know she does have some inventory that hasn’t made it into her shop yet, so if you see something on her Instagram that catches your fancy, definitely send her a DM and she might have a hidden cache of it waiting for you!
This week we are going to do something new and exciting here on the BCC blog- our first ever interview! Jen of Laine and Lotus generously agreed to answer a few questions I sent her! Jen is such a sweetheart (she’s local to me so I’m lucky enough to have met her several times in person!) and she dyes up some of the loveliest yarns out there, so I’m super honored to have her here on the blog! Hope you all enjoy this little peek into Jen’s fiber story(she crochets and knits too!) and dye process! You can also check out her mini video interview with Kristy Glass here!
Tell us, in as short or as long of a tale as you would like, your fiber story?
Oh man, how much time do we have?! haha I guess I’ll keep it relatively short. My fiber journey started when my son was just a baby (he’s 7 now, whaa?!?). I was looking for something that I could do in the evenings or nap times. Something that didn’t feel like a mom chore, and something that I could call my own. Enter crochet! Other than a quick start up guide from my mom, I mainly taught myself through YouTube. Like most, it began just as a hobby and then friends and family actually wanted to start buying items from me. I got more and more enthralled, joined the crazy big world of Instagram, and eventually expanded into designing crochet items. Then of course came knitting. Not nearly as easy for me to learn as crochet, but there are just certain looks you can achieve with knit that you can’t with crochet so I just had to learn! As I’ve moved away from selling crochet and knitwear, most of my makes are selfish makes these days, and I have to say, they are so enjoyable! There is the downfall of no real sense of urgency to finish though, which has made my WIP pile grow substantially!
How did you start dyeing yarn?
I had an interest in dyeing yarn for many years. I had seen an instagram friend of mine begin dyeing her own yarn and it completely blew my mind! Until then, I hadn’t really thought about hand dyed yarn. I was very comfortable shopping at Michaels and JoAnn for my yarn, but the colors she created stopped me in my tracks and I was so intrigued! I began researching yarn dyeing, but I wasn’t really ready to step out of my box until just about a year and a half ago. I attended Stitches United with my Instafriend Tina @hookedforyoucrochet, and that night I came home and ordered everything I needed to start dyeing. Though it was not the first fiber show/festival I have been to, it was the one that pushed me to finally open myself up to the possibility that I could be a yarn dyer. After much research and LOTS of trial and error, I showed my first skein to the world and it was so well received that I instantly felt validated. From that day I never looked back, and I truly feel that this is where I was meant to take this fiber journey of mine.
What is your favorite colorway of yours to dye?
Hmmm… oh man, that’s a tough one! I could probably tell you my least favorite haha Ummm… I think it really depends on my mood. I love Cranberry Garland for sure, but I also love some of the more intricate dyes like Nature Walk or Pop Rocket. There are ones where I really get in there with my hands (Enchanted Forest and Brooklyn in June for example) that can be super therapeutic. I’m not sure if that really answered the question haha
Do you have a favorite weight yarn to work with?
Another tough one. Coming from when I was pumping out knitwear like a machine, I was a bulky/super bulky girl all the way. Dyeing-wise I love my Twist Sock. I love knitting and crocheting with it too, but I have to admit, DK is slowly gaining my heart. Not quite as heavy as worsted, but works up a lot quicker and has more instant gratification than fingering weight. Plus, there has been a ton of fabulous patterns for DK coming out lately… your Tidal Fades Shawl included!
Why would you recommend someone buy hand-dyed/small batch indie dyed fibers rather than what could be found at their local “big box” craft store?
Honestly, I’m not sure that I would. I mean, obviously I would love for people to buy my yarn, but I get that hand dyed isn’t realistic for everyone. And there are a lot of really good quality “big box” yarns out there that are super budget friendly. Especially for makers who are trying to run a business by doing markets or selling their finished goods. Do I think that every maker should get the chance to splurge on indie dyed yarn and make something special for themselves? Heck yes! And if you can help support another maker trying to run a business and support their family in that way then it’s a double win. I’m willing to bet that the colors, textures, variation, and love put into indie dyed skeins is enough to bring people back for more if and when they can ❤
What’s on your “make list” right now? Knit or crochet! Or whatever!
Omgosh, my make list is kind of embarrassing right now lol. Wanna talk about the patterns I have purchased this week? haha So, today I dyed up some of my Aran Tweed in Linen to make a Nurtured Sweater by @dreareneeknits and I’m willing it to dry as fast as possible so I can cast on! This week I also bought the Ursa Sweater pattern by @jacquelinecieslak and the St. Lucie Shawl by @poppiejoe.co… oh, and the Free Your Fade by @dreareneeknits just because.
Do you have any other crafty hobbies besides knit/crochet/dyeing?
Not really. I’ve never really been a crafty person. I kind of thought that out of everyone in my family I missed out on that crafty gene… until yarn entered my life! I do always make my kiddos birthday cakes every year though. To me there is just something about a cake made by mom. Maybe because my mom always made mine 🙂
If you could go back and give yourself (or someone who is looking to begin hand-dyeing) some advice, what would it be?
Be patient with yourself. It isn’t going to happen overnight. And if it does, awesome. But, I bet there is going to be a lot of trial and error. Like, even a year and a half into it, I am still figuring things out. Do research. There are a ton of books, videos, vlogs, blogs… watch them, read them, take away what you want and leave the rest, but there is so much information from people who have been in the same position as you. Let yourself be creative! Out of all of the fiber arts paths I have taken, this is where I feel the most creative freedom. Do you. Don’t worry about what other people are doing. Create your own style, your own aesthetic, even if you don’t know what exactly that is going to be when you are just starting out. Give yourself room to grow. But most importantly, have fun! That is what this is all about!
Thanks for joining in on week two! I hope you found that insight into Jen’s business inspiring- I always love hearing other maker’s stories and I hope to feature other favorites of mine soon! Make sure you’re back next week for the first pattern “clue” (aka the first 3 sections of the pattern)! Or, if you already have everything you need and simply cannot wait that long to get started, you can find both versions of the Tidal Fades Shawl pattern in a neat and tidy printable PDF form in both of my shops. The DK weight version can be found here: etsy, ravelry and the worsted weight version can be found here: etsy, ravelry. Either version is eligible for participation in the crochet along! Keep the #tidalfadescal posts coming!