Wren House Yarns

Name: Leigh Koegler
Business Name: Wren House Yarns
Website: www.wrenhouseyarns.com
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What kind of items do you make?
Hand dyed artisan yarns and fiber.

How long have you been an indie artist?
Deep down I’ve been an “indie” artist for as far back as I can remember, mainly with illustration and watercolors. The transition to fiber happened about three years ago.
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What got you interested in your art of choice?
It all started with wanting to learn to knit a pair of fingerless gloves. Then I stumbled upon a spinning class and learned to use a drop spindle. Next came Kool-aid dying, a spinning wheel, acid dyes, carding…it’s a slippery slope!

What do you most enjoy about what you do?
From start to finish I love every part of the process. A little piece of me goes into every step from business cards and dye applications, to packaging and photographs. Being a part of the craftsmanship allows my personal style to shine through.
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What most inspires you?
Mother Nature. Hands down.

What makes your creations unique?
Each piece is a miniature work of art. While some items may look similar they are truly one-of-a-kind.

Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
If I had to pick a favorite item it would have to be the dye itself. For me it’s like watercoloring on wool.
I’ve fallen pretty hard lately for all natural dyes. It is so rewarding to see natures true colors come through.
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What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
I want to offer products that inspire others to be creative while staying true to my own aesthetic.

Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
Being an indie fiber artist centers me. Creativity keeps me grounded and fiber is the perfect outlet!

What is your fiber arts superpower?
Tony’s Organic Cafe Carmelita Coffee. Period.
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Michelle’s Assortment

Name: Michelle
Business name: Michelle’s Assortment
Website(s):
Etsy Shop and Knitting Designs
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What kind of items do you make?
Shawl pins, Stitch markers, Row Counter bracelets, Orifice hooks, and knitting patterns.

How long have you been in indie artist?
for the past 2 years.
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What got you interested in your art of choice?
Ever since my mom first put a needle and thread in my hand when I was 4 years old I have enjoyed the color and texture of many different fiber arts. After mastering most crochet techniques a few years ago I moved on to knitting. Knitting shawls made me notice the lovely shawl pins that are out there which led to making my own unique collection of shawl pins and other accessories.

What do you most enjoy about what you do?
Playing with color and texture, and sharing the delight and joy I get from creation with customers.
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What most inspires you?
The stunning handmade items that customers wear and the unique way each person wears their pin is very inspirational.

What makes your creations unique?
Each wire wrap and spiral is done free hand so that even when bead and wire combinations are repeated each pin is still a unique work of art.
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Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
It’s a close call between the Doctor Who themed Tardis pin and the Peruvian Raku Tree of life bead pin as favorite items. Of the patterns designed so far, the Coastal Breezes vest is my favorite because it was very easy to knit and can be worn in many different ways.

What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
A unique accessory that accentuates the stunning finished objects of my fellow knitters/crocheters/spinners/weavers/felters.

What is your fiber arts superpower?
Making the most of the materials at hand.
How is the fiber arts world different for you today than it was five years ago? It was a hobby and the dream of selling items at little country craft fairs. Today it’s beyond my wildest dreams to be attending large Fiber Arts conventions and getting to meet the superstars of the knitting community.michelle5

Gwen Erin Natural Fibers

Name: Gwen Brown
Business name: Gwen Erin Natural Fibers
Website(s): www.gwenerin.com
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In my booth you will find a wide selection of fibers and tools for all sorts of different applications.

Spinners and felters will enjoy browsing my hand-dyed combed top, carded roving, wool locks, and carded batts. In combed top, I carry two breeds: Bluefaced Leicester and Falkland. Both are very soft fibers, great for beginners and veterans. If you are planning a small project, choose from the individual braids ranging in size from 3.5 ounces to 5 ounces. Each one is a little different. However, if you want a larger quantity, pick from the Companion Colors. These are 8 ounce bundles of two complimentary colors put together. You can spin two separate yarns, alternate back and forth, or spin a ply of each. The carded roving is made from individual fleeces rather than a flock, so each breed is unique and the selection is constantly changing. Perfect for anyone curious to try something new. The locks are also breed-specific. They come from fleeces that I hand selected, washed, and dyed. I look for lots of interesting texture and a long staple length. If you want something a little more funky, check out the Fantasy Batts. These contain a variety of dyed and natural-colored fibers (wool, silk, mohair, sparkle) carded together. It will create a truly unique yarn or spice up your next felting project.
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For those who do not spin, check out the handspun yarn. I offer a wide variety of breeds in natural and hand-dyed colors. Each skein is unique, so your finished project will be one of a kind. Choose from super bulky, heavy worsted, worsted, and DK weights in single, 2 and 3-ply. Most yarns are very practical, though there are a few for the more adventurous!

Don’t forget the notions! For the knitters, I have double pointed needles, stitch markers, tapestry needles, and point protectors. Do you want to learn to spin? I carry hand-crafted Turkish spindles in three wood types: Cherry, Maple, and Black Walnut. These spindles are perfect for getting started, but will serve you for many years. And be sure to top it all off with a bottle of Eucalan to wash all those precious handmade goodies.gwen1

Fibernymph Dye Works

Name: Lisa Beamer
Business name: Fibernymph Dye Works
Website(s): Shop: fibernymphdyeworks.bigcartel.com Blog: fibernymph.com
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What kind of items do you make?
I create hand-dyed yarn and spinning fiber, with a focus on self-striping yarns and gradient-dyed yarns and fibers.

How long have you been in indie artist?
I’m in my fourth year of my dyeing business, though I’ve done other creative endeavors prior to that.
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What got you interested in your art of choice?
I am an avid knitter and spinner, and I’ve always enjoyed working with others’ indie-dyed creations. Being naturally curious and creative, it seemed a natural progression to try my hand at dyeing.

What do you most enjoy about what you do?
In the physical act of dyeing, I love playing with the colors…putting them together into new combinations and striping patterns. With my business in general, I love how my yarn and fiber is enjoyed by my customers. I love seeing what they make and some of the innovative ways they find to use what I’ve created.
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What most inspires you?
When it comes to colorways, I’m most inspired by nature and the world around me. Sometimes, though, it is the colors themselves that inspire me to put them together in new ways.

What makes your creations unique?
They’re unique because they are mine. No two dyers I’ve ever met dye in exactly the same way. We each have our unique touch, our own techniques that make our products singular to us. For me, the fact that I focus so highly on self-striping yarn is also a somewhat unique factor, as it isn’t something every dyer does due to the labor intensity of the process.

Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
I have a lot of colorways that I love. Most recently, I came out with a monochromatic stripe series that just makes my heart happy! My Inversibles Sets, though, are really a lot of fun…I love creating them, and I love knitting with them and seeing what others make from them too.
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What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
A collection of high-quality, enthusiastically inspired products. I also strive to encourage fiber fans to be experimental in what they create with my yarns and fibers…try new things, and don’t be afraid!

Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life? Some days, it seems that being an indie fiber artist IS my life! I do this full-time, and I work from my home. Up until this school year, my kids also worked with me, which made it a family endeavor. The last of them has flown the coop to college now, and I have a few other yarn helpers surrounding me to help the yarn things happen. There is no day of my life when I’m not doing something related to my business, unless I’m away from home on vacation. The good thing is that I love what I do, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
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iKNITiatives

Name: Karen Bachman
Business name: iKNITiatives
Website(s): www.iknitiatives.com, Etsy Shop
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What kind of items do you make?
I currently offer hand-dyed yarns and fibers.

How long have you been in indie artist?
1 1/2 years

What got you interested in your art of choice?
I have a cosmetology background and was already addicted to knitting and crochet. So my knack for combining color and artistry was already present. However, it wasn’t until I dreamt about making my own yarn that I became interested in spinning and dyeing my own fibers and yarns. I am also a self-starter and am very much an entrepreneurial spirit. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Operations & Information Systems Management from Penn State. I feel like all of the above has contributed to creating my small business selling my own artisanal hand-dyed yarns and fibers.
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What do you most enjoy about what you do?
I love that there are no boundaries as to what I can create. I choose to make mostly one of a kind hand-dyed yarns and fibers in hopes of inspiring a really great finished product that is unique in its own way.

What most inspires you?
I get inspired by all of the beautiful hand-dyed yarns and fibers made by other indie dyers. I love the energy and uniqueness they all bring and I hope to provide the same to my customers.
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What makes your creations unique?
Having experienced some pretty extensive color training as a cosmetologist, I feel my use of certain colors and techniques make my creations unique.

Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
I am currently loving my repeatable colorway Electric Youth.

What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
Unique hand-dyed yarns and fibers and wonderful customer service. I feel the two should go hand in hand. My customers are wonderful!
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Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
As a wife, mom of a pre-schooler, and team leader at my day job, I wear so many different hats. But, I absolutely love it. It keeps me on my toes and I hope to one day be successful enough to do my yarn dyeing full time.

What is your fiber arts superpower?
My fiber arts superpower is my unique sense of color combining.
How is the fiber arts world different for youtoday than it was five years ago? It’s different for me today vs. five years ago mainly because I’ve added spinning and dyeing to my repertoire. It was March 2013 that I purchased my Schacht Sidekick and got into the world of spinning and dyeing my own yarns and fibers. It also seems that both spinning and dyeing are so much more prevalent than ever before. It’s great to see so many successful indie dyers and spinners out there.KNIT2

Lyrical Yarns

Name: Maggie Broderick
Business name: Lyrical Yarns
Website(s): www.lyricalyarns.com
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What kind of items do you make?
I dye wool yarn in various weights, from lace to heavy-worsted. I also wrote and published my own book, “Knitting Wool Diaper Covers from Start to Finish.”

How long have you been in indie artist?
Since 2005

What got you interested in your art of choice?
I have knitted and crocheted since I was a child. When I became pregnant with my second child, I really got excited by things like knitting wool diaper covers, designing my own patterns, and dyeing unique wool yarns.
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What do you most enjoy about what you do?
I love teaching others and seeing their excitement for the things that I love in the fiber arts world.

What most inspires you?
Teaching

What makes your creations unique?
I like to help people learn to use the yarns that I dye and to dye their own yarns, so I’ve created things like “Learn to Dye” kits. For me, it’s all about sharing my love of fiber arts with others.
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Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
When my children were younger, I used mostly worsted yarns for making wool diaper covers. Nowadays, I enjoy working more with sock yarn and lace yarn. It’s fascinating to see how the colorways work up differently with different weights of yarns, patterns, etc.

What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
I think that the idea of “community” is what I strive for, actually!
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Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
Writing my book really went along with my parenting journey. The fiber arts have always been there for me, and they are also a part of my parenting and my teaching.

What is your fiber arts superpower?
Teaching others about the love of the fiber arts!

How is the fiber arts world different for you today than it was five years ago?
I used to be exclusively online, and now I am almost exclusively at local shows. I feel like I’ve come full-circle, from starting small here at home, going “global” online, and finally settling in back at home. There is so much more warmth in face-to-face interaction with people, even though the online world can be amazing. I like being at a show like Indie Knit and Spin, where everyone is experiencing the fiber arts together in real time and in real life.
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StarKnits

Name: Allena Williams
Business name: StarKnits
Website(s): www.etsy.com/shop/starknits
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What kind of items do you make?
I like to consider what I make project support! I make bags, crochet hooks and stitch markers for helping your knitting, spinning and crochet adventures.
How long have you been an indie artist? I’ve been sewing and making beaded bling for about 8 years now.

What got you interested in your art of choice?
I got interested when I started knitting and I needed bags to carry the projects around in b/c walmart bags weren’t that pretty.
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What do you most enjoy about what you do?
I love color and fabric. I love to match and coordinate and contrast fabrics together. I love making bags that bring a smile to your face every time you take them out to use them.

What most inspires you?
Everything from nature to tv shows.
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What makes your creations unique?
I think there are few things that make my bags different from other bags you see out there. I look for fabric everywhere and pick up some of the neatest designs. The shapes are similar to what you see but I try to put pockets in most of my bags and I have a variety of sizes. Also most don’t have exposed seems and I take great care on each and every bag.

Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
I’m in love with Gnomes. and also my geeky items.
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Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
Yes! My house is filled with yarn and fiber and fabric

What is your fiber arts superpower?
Stopping the shopping bag dreariness by bringing excitement to your craft! No project goes un-bagged! (I think I need a tiara or something! )

How is the fiber arts world different for you today than it was five years ago? Being online connects people from all over. That makes fiber events a place where you can meet up with your Ravelry friends, bringing the events to a whole new level of fun!star9

The Homestead Hobbyist

Name: Kenneth Moore
Business name:
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Website(s):
thehomesteadhobbyist.etsy.com
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What kind of items do you make?
I hand-dye fiber for spinning. Sometimes, I can’t help myself–I have to spin some of those braids myself, so I make some handspun skeins of yarn for sale as well. Occasionally, I also make dryer balls.

How long have you been in indie artist?
Only half a year! I opened shop in March 2014. I’ve been a crafter all my life, but I’ve only recently entered the “indie artist” category.
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What got you interested in your art of choice?
I have an insatiable appetite for learning how to make and do everything. Years ago, I started gardening to grow my own vegetables; then I started canning jam, salsa, pickles, and more. A few years ago, I decided to grow cotton–a friend asked me why I was growing it, and I said “I dunno, maybe I’ll make yarn from it?” A few questions later, she realized I had no idea what I was going to do with it and she “came out” to me as an avid spinner. She showed me how to spin the cotton I grew, and I fell down the fiber rabbit hole with incredible speed: I bought a raw fleece before I bought my first wheel, and I started dyeing shortly after.

What do you most enjoy about what you do?
I most enjoy seeing what spinners turn my hand-dyed braids into! I really enjoy the dyeing process as well–but seeing my braids “grow up” is extremely rewarding.
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Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
I don’t have a favourite colourway–there is just too much lovely to pick only one! I do have a favourite fiber–yak! I love yak so hard that I had a custom blended top created for me: Polwarth/Yak/Mulberry Silk 50/25/25. It is a decadent blend beyond description, it takes dye gorgeously, and it spins like a dream.

What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
With my hand-dyed fiber, I strive to offer unique, saturated colourways dyed on quality fiber for any purpose. I have several main bases I offer: Falkland, Rambouillet, Bluefaced Leicester, Yak/Silk, and my new custom blend, Polwarth/Yak/Mulberry Silk. I also offer quality roving from fleece hand-selected by me at local farms and fiber events.
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Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
Does it ever! Storage space? Filled with fiber. Social life? Scheduled around dye nights. Coworkers at the regular job? Think I’m a little off-centre. But I love dyeing and spinning and wouldn’t have it any other way!
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