Indie Shelf Project: Happy Go Knitty

February 13, 2015

February is flying by scarily fast - and we are already halfway through our time with Happy Go Knitty on the Indie Shelf. Best have a chat with Helene and hear a bit more about what she does!


When you aren't busy dyeing yarn, what do you do? Is it a full-time gig or do you fit it in around other things?

I used to run Happy-go-knitty and work full-time but now I contract as a book designer. The company produces beautiful coffee table books with some very prominent authors and photographers, it's a pleasure to work on the books! I really enjoy Happy-go-knitty but it's still nice to have the balance between designing and dyeing yarn.

What is your number one favourite part of being an indie dyer?

I love thinking of all the different colour combinations I can do on my self-striping yarn. I love dyeing silk and see how beautifully the colours blend. I love dyeing up gradients. Well – I love dyeing yarn!

Dyeing yarn might not change the world, but what do you hope to achieve through your work? What's your vision? 
I like that my yarn brings colour and happiness into other people's life. It gives me satisfaction that first I have some creative time dyeing the yarn and then someone else takes over and have their creative time and pleasure making something beautiful out of the yarn. Happy-go-knitty has grown a lot in the past year and I hope that will continue.

Do you have a particular fibre you love to dye more than any other?

The silk blends are probably my favourites. I dye silk/merino and silk/yak down and the colurs mix in such a beautiful way! Having said that, I really like the BFL as well. The colours come out so very vibrant. 
I mainly work with 2ply and 4ply yarn and I stock quite a big range of different types of yarn, mainly focused on yarn for socks and shawls.

We all have colour tendencies - what's yours? Do you find this comes through in your yarn?

I have a passion for colours and when Happy-go-knitty started it was all about bright and intense colours. Hot pink with orange, turquoise with lime. About a year ago I added some more muted colours – dusky pink, greyish blue, silver grey, olive green and a few more. I realised that I like them a lot too and they have turned into my best-sellers! Especially on the silk blends. I still love the bright colours and love dyeing up 4-colour self-striping yarn in bright combos.
I experiment with different dyeing techniques and my self-striping yarn is very popular. 18 months ago I gave it a go to make 6-colour stripy yarn in rainbow colours and it's been a success! I now make it in  different yarn such as BFL, alpaca/merino, 8ply wool and lately in sparkle sock yarn. 
Hand-painting is also a technique I play with. Adding dye by painting makes the yarn colours come out random and it gives a very cool effect! I make both bright and muted versions.

If you could go on holiday anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?

Thailand – I would love to go for a spa week! Sunshine, yoga and healthy food. Yum!
Malaysia – My daughter loves elephants and I wish I could take her to the elephant sanctuary in Kuala Lumpur.
Sweden – I haven't been back to my native Sweden for six years and I miss my family and friends... Luckily my mum, dad and a couple of my sister's have been visiting. In fact – my older sister arrives in NZ in two days!

Anything else you want to share with us?

I want to give the warmest thank you to everyone who supports my dream by buying Happy-go-knitty yarn!

Happy Go Knitty is on the Grand Arcade shop shelves until the 27th of February. We only have a few skeins of rainbow striping yarn left, so best get in quick!

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