Indie Shelf Project: Stitchpunk
It may be almost the end of March, but we still have lots of Stitchpunk yarn and fibre on the Indie Shelf to share with you. We've just received a top-up, so it's the perfect time to chat with Leith about what she does.
When you aren't busy dyeing yarn, what do you do?
Dye fibre! Well. I tend to be either in a SPIN ALL THE THINGS or a KNIT/CROCHET ALL THE THINGS phase most of the time – currently its spinning. Also I work full time in a library and feed and clean up after 2 cats, 2 fish, a mouse, a snail and a bloke. And I’m about to try my hand at weaving, coz I totally didn’t have enough to do already!
What is your number one favourite part of being an indie dyer?
Playing with colour. Colour is my big motivating factor. When I have an idea for a colourway and then manage to make it happen, that’s a good feeling. And if someone buys it and enjoys it, that’s pretty awesome too.
How did you get into spinning? Are you a process or a product spinner?
For me the downhill slope went crochet – knitting – drop spindles – spinning wheels – supported spindles – and now weaving, maybe.
Once I could crochet and knit I started thinking how much more awesomer it must be to work with yarn that you’d made yourself. So when a local guild had an open day and offered a class in spinning on a homemade drop spindle I made a beeline for it. Drop spindles and I never really fell in love with one another though. When I signed up to do the Creative Fibres spinning course I got my first wheel. Now I’ve almost gone full circle in that I do most of my spinning on supported spindles – they’re fun to use (like a spinning top!) and you can take them anywhere.
I’d say I’m both – I love the process, but I also very much enjoy turning the yarn into products.
Do you have a particular fibre you love to dye more than any other?
Tricky! Superwash merino soaks up dye like nobody’s business and gives the brightest colours….but my favourite is probably the Corriedale that I get from an independent mill. It’s not as soft as merino (though not far off), harder wearing, drafts beautifully and dyes up really well.
We all have colour tendencies - what's yours? Do you find this comes through in your dyeing?Absolutely! You don’t see a lot of brown in my colourways as that’s my least favourite colour. Grey is my favourite neutral and I love purples, blues and greens (especially teal and lime.) I tend to dye bright jewel tones, but as I get better and learn more I’m coming to embrace the subtlety of pale shades as well.
If you could go on holiday anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
London. And maybe other bits of the UK, especially Scotland. I’m a city girl by nature, and a bit of an Anglophile. I’ve lived in NZ all my life but I suspect that England is my spiritual home. I want to walk the streets that Sherlock walks and see buildings that are hundreds of years old and ….go to cafes that respect the art of making a decent cup of tea!
Anything else you want to share with us?
I will be at the Fibre Festival in Auckland this May – my first show! I’ll be the one in the top hat. And my head is full of lots of ideas for new ranges that I’ll be working on as time permits, so keep an eye on my Etsy shop. Plans! PLAAAAAAANNNNNSSSSS! (maniacal laughter)
(I don’t have a tattoo that says “the clockwork’s not ticking properly” for NOTHING, you know).
Thanks so much Leith! Stitchpunk yarn and fibre will be on the Grand Arcade indie shelf until the 1st of April, when we swap out for Meraki Studio. Hooray!