Based in Dunedin, Morag McKenzie not only dyes majestic colours as Vintage Purls, she also organises the excellent Unwind retreat each March. An excellent teacher, we're chuffed to have her in-store this weekend (Friday 13th - Saturday 14th November) to host a couple of classes and hang out for knitting.
You can book online or in-store for the Crescent Shawl Wrap-Up and the Knitting Socks Upside Down class. We'd love to have you join us!
When you aren't busy dyeing yarn, what do you do?
Vintage Purls is my full-time job. So if I’m not dyeing, I’m doing other business related things during work hours. In my downtime I love to get out in the garden or head off to walk in one of the many beautiful spots around Dunedin.
I like to knit too. ;) And enjoy several nights out a week to catch up with friends and have a good knit and natter.
What is your number one favourite part of being an indie dyer?
Colour! I love colour, so getting to fling it around is really good sport. :)
How did you get into knitting? Are you a process or a product knitter?
I’ve knit all my life. I was taught when I was very small. I’ve always been a maker, you name a handcraft, I’ve had a go, but knitting is the one craft that has been a constant in my life.
I’m a process knitter normally. There are some projects that I’m only in for the end product, but because most of what I knit is my own design, it’s the act of problem solving along the way to get the desired outcome that I really enjoy.
Do you have a particular fibre or fibre blend you love to dye more than any other?
I can’t say any one is a stand-out favourite. Every fibre-blend dyes a bit differently and you have to alter your approach to get your desired effect and I enjoy that. I do like dyeing my Lace yarn, possibly because I do so much of my Sock and Max (which are the same fibre blend, just different weights), that it feel like a bit of a treat to work with Lace sometimes.
We all have colour tendencies - what's yours? Do you find this comes through in your dyeing?
I guess we all gravitate to colours we like to wear. I love a jewel tone. Super-saturated blue, red, purple, green, or pink are all “my thing”. I do dye colours I love, but it’s not my driving force, I’m afraid I’m quite mercenary - if it sells well, I dye lots of it. :)
If you could go on holiday anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
That’s a super tough question, the world is full of beautiful and inspiring places. Ever since I was a child, perusing the pages of National Geographic, I have wanted to see the Rose City at Petra. I have never made an effort to go though because I know the reality cannot live up to my fantasy. I think many of the iconic travel destinations we dream of are a bit like that. For a true holiday (where very little is achieved and relaxation is the name of the game), I have always desired to visit the Maldives. A wonderful place to relax and dream every day away but also a place that is disappearing due to rising water-levels and so may well not be able to be enjoyed for much longer.
Thanks so much Morag! You can find Vintage Purls yarns on the Indie Shelf until the end of November, hooray!