We remember first meeting Estelle and Mark and Midwinter Yarns on their very first day of trading a few years ago at Wonderwool in Wales. We've loved watching them grow their business and are now very excited to welcome them to the Pop-Up Marketplace!
The Yarn in the City Pop-Up Marketplace will feature fabulous indie makers, dyers and designers from across the UK. Tell us about your company and specialty. What are you best known for?
Midwinter Yarns was born from a desire to bring the best of Scandinavian yarns to a wider audience - I am Swedish myself and grew up with a love of all things craft and natural materials. Our emphasis is on "proper" wool in glorious colours - good, strong yarns that smell of sheep and make for hard-wearing garments that stand the test of time and weather.
Space is at a premium in the Pop-Up Marketplace so we've asked vendors to bring their "best of the best" - what wares will you have to tempt visitors?
It's so hard to decide! We've got yarns in so many colours and for such different uses, so picking the "best of the best" is a real challenge. We will be bringing the wonderful Pirkkalanka from Finland - the one that usually makes up our "wall of colour" if you've come across us at shows before. Pom Pom magazine has just produced a beautiful pattern called Maude in the Worsted weight Pirkka in their latest issue so we will definitely bringing the yarn to support that, along with our Ullcentrum gradient colours and hopefully a fresh batch of the very popular Lithuanian Linen.
Can you tell us about the making/designing/collaborating/or other process involved in your business?
Our yarns are still quite new to the market and we are working hard on finding ways to show off what you can do with them. The knitting community is incredible at connecting yarnies and designers and creating meetings of minds - the Pom Pom pattern has been the first of these meetings to come to fruition, but we still have a few more secret projects in the pipeline for autumn. ;)
What is your absolute favourite thing about running your business?
Seeing finished projects in our yarns, without a doubt! Just knowing that what started as a hank on our shelves brought someone knitting enjoyment and resulted in a warming garment or a special present is amazing and I get so excited seeing them "in the flesh" at shows!
Tell us the funniest thing that has ever happened to you while you've been running your company, or while you've been at a yarn show or festival!
Mark was shamed into learning to knit at Unwind Brighton last year. I had tried to convince him to learn for 12 years before that to no avail, and while he was perfectly knowledgeable about weights and fibre contents and prices, he was looking at it all from a salesman's point of view. At one point, he was showing two gentlemen the Lithuanian linen and explaining it all to them when they asked "yes, but what is it like to knit with?". He blushed and muttered that...well...he wasn't a knitter. They simultaneously took a step back and looked him up and down with such vigour that he asked me to teach him as soon as we'd gotten in the van to drive home that night! He is currently working on his first ever sweater after knitting both his mother and his stepmother lace shawls for our recent wedding.
Sounds like Mark took to knitting like a duck to water! And congratulations on your recent nuptials you two!