We're back from a quick end-of-summer break with another vendor profile for you, this time from our own neck of the woods. Travelknitter may be based in London but her colourful yarns are inspired by her travels and yarn-y adventures.
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?
Hi, I'm Larissa, aka travelknitter. Travelknitter is all about special yarns and colourways inspired by places I've been, whether that's life here in the UK, my former life in Australia, or time spent travelling to other places near or far. I hand dye all the yarns in my little corner of Walthamstow in East London, possibly the most creative place I've ever lived.
And as for what I'm best known for: that would have to be red yarn! It was a search for a good red yarn that lured me in to dyeing in the first place, so I've always got at least one rich red colourway on hand (other colours are available).
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?
I'll definitely be bringing a selection of my most popular colourways in as many bases as possible, so if you've got a favourite, I hope to have it with me. I wouldn't want things to be too predictable though, so I'll throw in a few limited editions and one-of-a-kinds as well. Oh, and I'll have some nifty new notions tins that I've been hiding for a wee while. They're just the thing for a travelling knitter's kit.
Can you tell us about the making/designing/collaborating/or other process involved in your business?
The physical process of dyeing yarn may be a one-person job, but it's the creativity that comes through collaboration that I find keeps things really interesting. I love the opportunity to work with other yarny people, whether that's yarn shop owners who stock my yarn, designers who I can provide yarn support for, or other knitters who have amazing feedback and enthusiasm. It helps me to stay really excited about what I'm doing.
What is your absolute favourite thing about running your business?
Can I choose two things? I really love all the collaborations (see above). But there's also something about actually creating a physical product that is unbeatable. I love seeing my yarn all neatly skeined and labelled, looking lovely, ready to be sent out in to the world in to the hands of a knitter or crocheter. Dyeing each skein involves so much direct input that it's wonderful to see the finished creation. It's a job where I can stand back at the end of the day and say, "I made this".
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!
Yarn shows are always hilarious, for so many reasons. The first show that I ever did was pretty special. I had a little stall at the Spitalfields City Farm Sheep and Wool Fayre about five years ago. There were a variety of stallholders, but I was the only yarn dyer. My yarn sold really well, and I think I sold more than many of the other vendors that day. One of the stallholders was really quite shocked at how many enthused knitters turned up on the day, and made some comment that I must have links to the Knitting Mafia!