A special Yarn Crawl today spotlights independent dyer Laura, creator of Handwerks Textiles. She shares her yarny history and new ideas and has generously offered not one, but two skeins of gorgeous yarn for our readers.
Handwerks' luxury yarn lines include Classic Sock, Necessary sock, Silky Sock, So-Soft Sock,and Classic Dk. We're going to get to give away a skein each of the last two, her new lines!
Our designers get to play with the other
two, so watch for her yummy Superwash Merino and luxury blend colorways in featured
patterns for the Fall and Winter issues.
Not just for many-hued fibers, the Handwerks site offers information and classes on Circular Sock Machines and a nice array of for-purchase and free patterns, such as the Lacey Scarf shown below as well as a Sock Club (current one's closed, but I'm sure there'll be more in the future).
Now, without further ado, let's settle in and hear from Laura.
Tell us a
little about your yarns, especially the ones we get to give away, please!
So-Soft-Sock is my
repeatable line of sock yarn in a soft-yet-strong blend of superwash merino and
cashmere. It also has a touch of nylon for extra strength. When I first started
carrying this yarn I thought of it as a luxury blend but it is now becoming my
favorite all purpose blend. I’m currently knitting a cardigan for myself out of
it holding two strands of yarn together. It’s wonderful and I love the way
knitting with two strands blends the colors. It is, of course, also perfect for
socks! All of the colorways can be reordered.
Classic DK is a new weight of yarn for Handwerks. I decided to offer DK yarn for those people
that want a heavier weight yarn for socks as well as mitts, scarves, sweaters,
and baby items. DK is such a versatile weight; I’m enjoying dyeing this yarn in
small batches and not taking extra time to make notes on my dye process. This
allows me to dye in a more serendipitous manner and I can pass on some savings
to my customers. I don’t plan to repeat
dyelots of this yarn exactly, so what is on my website is what's available.
get started with your fiber business?
My Girl Scout leader taught me to knit a headband on a
circular needle when I was nine. I grew up
in Madison, WI so after the headband I went on to knit mittens and hats. My grandmother also helped me along the way;
I just never quit knitting. In college
in Minnesota I started designing my own patterns, combining stitches for
scarves, mittens and sweaters. Later,
when I lived in Washington DC, I started teaching knitting at a LYS and I started a
small business, Wee Woolens, designing and machine knitting children’s
sweaters. A few years later when we
moved to California and I started spinning, weaving and dyeing yarns. I’ve
since dabbled with weaving baskets, raising angora rabbits and knitting on
antique circular sock machines. After my
kids went off to college I decided it was time to start another small business.
Handwerks started in 2007. I chose
the name Handwerks to allow me to pursue all kinds of textiles made by hand. I also teach out of my home studio and judge
spinning at local fairs. Besides selling hand dyed yarns I sell hand cranked
socks and handwoven textiles. Handwerks
brings together my past business experience, training in the sciences, teaching
skills and lifelong interest and talents in fiber arts.
about your approach to color and what inspires your color choices.
My colorways are inspired by my surrounding. I like to mix
and combine colors that I see as well as play on themes. Handwerks yarns always have several colors in
one yarn. I find layers of color with shades and variations more interesting
than solids. I start with primaries and keep mixing until I am satisfied with
the results. I also try to strive for yarns that have a handcrafted appeal. My
goal always is to dye something beautiful and unique and I try to dye a range
to appeal to a varied audience. I always
wanted to have the biggest crayon box I could when I was little and I like to
offer that kind of choice to my customers for their knitting pleasure.
for you and Handwerks?
I always have something new in the works. Lately I’ve been
writing more patterns for my sock yarn club and also working with a local
designer on her patterns. I’m also expanding my yarn lines and playing with new
colorways and dye techniques. I don’t know
where all this will lead but I’m enjoying the process and looking forward to
the next opportunity and adventure.
Now, because of Laura's generosity, Knitcircus readers will win two of the four skeins you've seen pictured on the post; one each of Classic DK and So-Soft Sock. And here's a bonus; if you're the winner, you get to pick your colorway!
For Classic DK, you'll find Sumac (top) and Riverbank:
And with So-Soft Sock, you can choose Monterey Cypress (top) or Peach Blush.
To enter, just leave a comment telling me either your favorite sock pattern from the current issue or one thing you're planning on knitting as a holiday gift this year.Since this is such a great giveaway, I'll give you plenty of time and will let the Random Number Generator of Yarny Love pick a winner this Friday. Three lucky runners-up will receive a free Knitcircus Summer 2010 Pattern Collection download. Please leave your Ravelry name or email in your comment so I can contact you if you win!
This is a big week; if you'd like more free goodness from Knitcircus, the online newsletter's coming out Wednesday; look for a fun book review and a new recipe! You can sign up for the newsletter mailing list here or at the top right on the blog.
Good luck, and thanks so much to Laura and Handwerks!
ETA: the giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered!