Friday Favourites: Blue Moon Fiber Arts

This week, we caught up with Tina Newton from Blue Moon Fiber Arts to hear about what makes her tick.

Wouldn't you love to work here?

Wouldn't you love to work here?

What is your favourite colour?

As someone whose job is color I am asked this question a lot. So, you would think I would have a quick and easy answer. I don't! 

I love all colors and pretty much everything single thing about them. Since it is one of the key tools of my trade, my relationship with color is probably more intimate and in depth than most. 

I tend to have what I think of as hue love affairs. Some weeks it's all about the warmth of orange with the cool of aqua. Then something in me shifts and another color or color combination strikes my fancy and boom, I'm obsessed. I'm then immersed, learning and experimenting with all that my current hue-obsession has to offer. 

That all said... I do tend to wear neutrals, especially greys.

And, I have never, ever met a green that I did not love!

My longest (to date) hue love affair has been with Pond Scum Green! 

I do love the scummy colors.

What is your current favourite yarn/fibre?

I am working with a lot of Targhee right now. It's a local breed to my little corner of the world and one I have worked with for years. I have a few new yarns that I am doing swatch tests on right now to add to the Blue Moon line-up and three of them are Targhee blends. One is a DK single with a silk addition that makes me so happy I am finding it hard to contain myself. I can't wait to share this yarn!!

What is your favourite season?

You know, I love all the bright green newness of Spring and the red the hot brightness of Summer and even Winter's cool dark and here, wet days, but I have to say that Autumn really is my season. You know that moment in late summer when you realize it's a shade cooler and then you notice that there's just the barest scent of fall in the air? That is my favorite day of the year. 

As a color obsessed person of course, I love the changing of the leaves. All of those rusty oranges, golds, browns, purplish greens and on and on. Autumn is such a tapestry of earthy rich hues. What I like most of the all though, is the tall grasses and weedy changes. When the plants die back and turn all shades of brown and grey and then go to seed. Such a subtle and beautiful process.

What is/was your current favourite knitting/crochet project?

I don't really have one going. I am doing a lot of swatching right now for yarn development and testing. I am one of those strange knitters that actually likes to swatch. It's probably because of my small attention span. A swatch is just the right amount of time to hold my interest.

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?

Oh my goodness, so hard to choose. The fan girl in me would like to have dinner with Dr. Who, the knitter would love to sit with Elizabeth Zimmerman for a few hours and the colorist would like nothing more that to sit in Monet's garden with him and wax poetic about the nature of color over a pot of tea. Right now though in this crazy moment of time I think I would like to sit down with Michelle Obama.

Where do you feel most inspired or get most inspiration?

Pretty much anything and anywhere, but most especially out in nature. I think this is why I choose to live in the woods. No one does color like Mother Nature.

Quick fire questions! What is your favourite:

Book? Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos

Film? The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai across the 8th Dimension (Embarrassing but true)

Quote? Always be yourself, unless you can be a unicorn, then always be a unicorn. 

Cocktail/drink? Fresh hopped rye beer

Cake? I'm more of a pie person so...maybe lemon pound cake.

Cheese? River's Edge, Up in Smoke Chèvre

Tina at work

Tina at work

Find out more about Tina, her team and her amazing range of yarns, including Socks That Rock (and really they do), here.

All photos ©Blue Moon Fiber Arts

Friday Favourites: Fyberspates

This week's dyer to be put to the question is Jeni, the mastermind behind Fyberspates

What is your favourite colour?

Definitely without doubt Sunshine Yellow.

Askews Me  in  Vivacious DK  Sunshine and Slate

Askews Me in Vivacious DK Sunshine and Slate

What is your current favourite yarn/fibre? 

Silk is my fav fibre because it makes all colours look amazing, even the horrible sludgy ones look super duper on silk! 

What is your favourite season?

Autumn, because the colours are so beautiful, rich reds, rusty oranges, and YELLOW YELLOW YELLOW! (and spring comes second because of the yellow daffs!)

Autumn inspired colours

Autumn inspired colours

What is/was your current favourite knitting/crochet project? 

Absolutely has to be Hannah Fettig's Featherweight cardigan! I’ve knitted it 3 times now, all in different yarns, and I'm about to start on my 4th. Guess what my favourite was? Yup, it was Sunshine Yellow in Nef which is baby alpaca, silk and cashmere It's my very very favourite garment to wear of all time.

Jen's favourite cardis

Jen's favourite cardis

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?

After mulling over many many people, I started to get anxious imagining eating a spag bol in front of Einstein or something, getting it all down my shirt and looking like a dumbass. So actually it would be my sweetie Andy, we have the best dinners together (apart from when I’m paying because I’m cursed and we always have a bad experience, but thats another story…and before you think it, no I don’t engineer it that way so I don’t have to pay…. HONEST!) 

Where do you feel most inspired or get most inspiration?

I think an easier question would be when do I NOT get inspired. I literally have ideas popping in my head 24 hours a day. If that stops I always know something’s up! In terms of a place and time, I love to sit on my sofa on a Sunday morning with a big pile of craft and cookbooks, read them in silence in my pj’s, and plan all my projects. Thats probably my favourite time and place to get inspiration.

Jeni's inspiration comes from everywhere

Jeni's inspiration comes from everywhere

Quick fire questions! What is your favourite: 

Book? Anything by Diana Henry… the cook lol (I read cookbooks from cover to cover)

Film? Brokeback Mountain

Quote? 'Be the change you wish to see’ Ghandi

Cocktail/drink? Fever Tree tonic water with the juice of a lime and torn basil.

Cake? Apple custard cake (I think I just made that up, but I NEED IT NOW)

Cheese? Oooh you can’t beat a good sharp Cheddar

You can find Fyberspates yarn, patterns and books in yarn stores worldwide, or direct from the Fyberspates website.

All photos ©Fyberspates

Friday Favourites: Skein Queen

This week Debbie Orr, the Skein Queen, shines a light on her inspirations and loves. 

What is your favourite colour?

That's a devastatingly hard question for a dyer. I truly like all colours, and each colour matches up to its own project in my head, but I think if you held a shotgun to me and MADE me choose, my current favourite would be an Eau de Nil. (But I'm already thinking what colours I'd put with it...)

 What is your current favourite yarn/fibre?

Wah! You're asking me to choose between my babies. Again, each has its role in life - if I'm in the mood for knitting a colourwork cardigan, then it would be Voluptuous (Exmoor Blue/organic merino). For a shawl, then something luxurious like Luminosity (100% silk). For a hat, something woollen and cosy like the new Swedish yarn, Ullvärme. And for detailed socks, then a nice semi-solid Crush or for plain socks, a lovely spatter-dyed yarn like Entwine.

What is your favourite season?

Truly I love them all and feel so grateful that we live in a country that has changing seasons. Right now, I'm loving autumn. Getting all cosied up on the sofa with a blanket, some knitting and a hot chocolate makes the parties and sun of summer feel somewhat faded.

 What is/was your current favourite knitting/crochet project?  

I thoroughly enjoyed knitting the Wedding Mittens by Jorid Linvik for my friend, Rachel who got married in St Catherine's Chapel, Abbotsbury - an ancient chapel on a hill overlooking Chesil Beach, which I think is one of my favourite places on Earth. They didn't want any gifts so I thought the mittens for dog-walking would be a compromise and there was a chance in the pattern to knit in their initials and the year (although I was in such a rush to finish, I forgot to work the purl braid on the second glove!)

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?

It would have to be someone who could keep up with the banter at our dinner parties, so I'm thinking Billy Connolly, Peter Kay or Dara O'Briain would be hilarious and keep us entertained. But as the night drew on and conversation turned to more serious issues, I'd be listening carefully to what Barack Obama would be saying. Then, for a bit of shallowness and because he seems a thoroughly nice bloke, let's throw in Jessie Pavelka. What? You only asked for one? Oops. Greedy.

Where do you feel most inspired or get most inspiration?

Always in bed, last thing at night, just before sleep. It's like all the ideas buzzing through my head, or patterns or colours I've seen through the day, amalgamate into something tangible at that time of night. But it helps if you've gone for a walk or visited a gallery or seen something interesting during the day. Apart from in bed, the place I always feel inspired is by the sea. My inland house is packed with paintings of boats, seaside houses and coastal scenes. One day I will be a painter, when I live by the sea.

 Quick fire questions! What is your favourite: 

Book? Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Film? Pulp Fiction

Quote? "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." Maya Angelou

Cocktail/drink? Anything with midori and/or grenadine. Recently I had a champagne cocktail in a restaurant in Soho that had distinct layers of midori, triple sec, grenadine and champagne. It was so pretty and called a Touareg Bellini.

Cake? Coconut cake - I love everything with coconut mostly because my nut allergy kindly excludes coconut

Cheese? Epoisses - if you eat some, then take a sip of white wine, it tastes like honey. Heaven!

©Alabamawhirly

©Alabamawhirly

For Skein Queen yarns and knitting accessories, visit her website

All photo ©Skein Queen, unless shown.

Friday Favourites: The Knitting Goddess

This is the first in a new series of interviews with some of Rachel's favourite yarn dyers. Rachel often gets asked about her favourite sock yarns, so we thought it would be fun to ask some of her favourites, about their favourites!

We caught up with a firm Coop Knits favourite, The Knitting Goddess, for a virtual cuppa and chat about some of Joy's favourite things.

What's your favourite colour?

Blue - any shade of blue and any combination of blues together. When I look at what I pin to my colour board on Pinterest there’s blue in most of the images.

What is your current favourite yarn/fibre? 

Our Britsock blend which is custom spun for us by John Arbon is a real favourite - it’s the perfect combination of hard wearing and soft to the touch. I also love that it’s 100% British.

Image © Joy McMillan

Image © Joy McMillan

What is your favourite season?

Autumn. I love being able to stomp through piles of leaves. Harrogate where I live has lots of green areas and it’s gorgeous watching the colours change.

What is/was your current favourite knitting/crochet project? 

The linen stitch cowl I designed is a real favourite - it was the first thing that I'd crocheted and that came about because so many crocheters thought it was a pattern for them and were disappointed it was knitted. It reminds me of being on holiday in Egypt and watching the design appear and being so pleased that it was actually doing what I expected.

My favourite of Rachel’s designs is the Forks socks which is the first club pattern she designed for us. I was so excited when the first pattern arrived because I knew how much everyone was going to love her designs.

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?

Nigel Slater - his cook books have played a big part in my life, and it would be lovely to be able to make something for him and tell him how much he’s inspired me while keeping me well fed.

Where do you feel most inspired or get most inspiration?

I feel most inspired when I’m in the workshop - it’s such a luxury to have a space where I can make a mess, try things out and experiment. Most ideas come to me when I’m doing something where my hands are busy and my brain has time to put odd connections together - so when I’m knitting or working with glass or baking I tend to find ideas come to me then.

Image © Joy McMillan

Image © Joy McMillan

Quick fire questions! What's your favourite: 
Book? What Do I Do When I Want To Do Everything? by Barbara Sher

Film? Field of Dreams

Quote? It always seems impossible until it’s done - Nelson Mandela

Cocktail/drink? Negroni’s and tea. Lots of tea.

Cake? Lemon drizzle

Cheese? Seriously mature cheddar

Thanks for sharing your favourites with us Joy! Head over to The Knitting Goddess to indulge in some of your favourites...