Meet the Vendors: Skein Queen

We've long been admirers of our next vendor, Skein Queen, whose luxurious hand-dyed yarns positively shine! We can't wait to see what delicious things she'll have on offer at 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? 

Skein Queen is a well-established hand-dyeing company known for luxury bases and British yarns in unique, mostly one-off colourways. Based in deepest Berkshire, we are lucky enough to have a beautiful studio space in the attic of an ancient barn.

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? 

Lots of Skein Queen favourites plus a brand new Swedish wool. 

Can you tell us about the making/designing/collaborating/or other process involved in your business?

Undyed yarn is tied in four or five places to avoid tangles and is soaked in huge buckets. It's then dyed either individually by hand (variegated colourways) or to a maximum of four skeins at a time in pots (semi-solid colourways). Often the yarn is carefully extracted from the pots up to four times to build up layers of depth and colour adding a certain richness to the colourways. It's then transported from the workshop to the studio and carefully wound by my assistant on electric winders and labelled.

What is your absolute favourite thing about running your business? 

Hearing the ooos and aahs that customers make when deciding which skeins to choose at shows! And seeing how many people choose the colour that they're wearing - it's a thing, honestly!

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! 

We've had stampedes, been flooded out, eaten Haribo and Fig rolls for tea (not all funny) but I think the funniest thing was in Farnham one year, we had splashed out on a hotel for the night. Just got into bed when I announced that I'd left my knitting and yarn purchases in the restaurant. There was no option but to go back for it. So I put my clothes on over my pjs - we couldn't stop giggling - then I put on some lipstick (just because I do before I go out) and it was red!! The peels of laughter woke up Jon from Easyknits who was in the room next room. Then I couldn't get out of the hotel because they'd closed the main door - which was wooden and fort-like. I did find another exit, and made it to the restaurant - looking like Michelin man with red lipstick - just before it closed and reclaimed my yarn. So funny (but maybe you had to be there!).