The three winners of last week's Three Irish Girls giveaway are:
Blog Author who wrote, "Of the colors shown, O'Neal is summery and evocative. However my favorites aren't on the page: Georgia Peach, Father Time, Estuary, Pansy."
Kristen who said, "Today my favorite is Eire, but there are so many lovely ones that it changes!"
sacha that commented, "Wow- Maeve is fantastic so are Ciara and Skye- what a chance!!"
Please contact me at email@example.com to claim your prizes.
I am one lucky lady! I just spent part of my Monday afternoon meeting Wendee Shulsen, the artistic and clever yarn dyeing entrepreneur behind the company Hazel Knits. Wendee was nice enough to let me come visit her newly re-decorated studio in Seattle. We had a blast talking about yarn dyeing, knitting, and all the other great things related to fiber goodness. Here's my picture tour of Hazel Knits...
Here she's letting me take some "action" shots of her dyeing some Stitch and Pitch yarn in a colorway named Hometeam Baseball. It's a color that's inspired by our Seattle baseball team the Mariners. Messy work, huh? I told Wendee that I'm surprised she stays so clean!
Wendee has a real knack for color. She said that she loves vibrant, crisp colors and doesn't do muted! She takes the extra time to allow her dyes to truly soak in, and that's why her colors are so bold and vivid.
The whole process looks intense to an outsider such as myself, but Wendee's been doing this since 2007 when she opened her Etsy store. With almost 2000 sales on Etsy and a really great retail website, you know it's gotta be good!
I was honestly expecting to see a studio with big blotches of dye all over, but Wendee is so organized. Every nook and cranny in that studio had a purpose. She even had her dye bottles all lined up neatly on her work station!
This is the shelf where the yarn that has just been drenched with dye is placed to allow it to soak into the fiber. Those bowls were gigantic!!
I couldn't resist taking a picture of the really cool pots! These are used to set the dyes and she also kettle dyes some of her yarn using these pots as well. You'd have to see these in person to understand how large they are.
What is it about spools of yarn that is so alluring? Just like the pots, these suckers were big!
Around the corner from the dyeing station, in a separate closed off room is the drying area. I walked into this room and was mesmerized by all the lively, shimmering hanks of yarn hanging from the ceiling.
Alright... they weren't shimmering, but they were marvelous in all their drying glory! Wendee's colors almost glow from within. Aren't they beautiful?!
Down the hall from where all the dyeing action happens is Wendee's office and packaging area. This room was so adorable! The first thing you notice when you walk in is the cute little samples she has knit up and displayed. These little teeny-tiny baby hats were precious!
Wendee is especially talented (or at least in my opinion) in semi-solid colorways. She calls them Tinted and Layered Solids on her website. When she first started dyeing yarn back in 2007 (after working for a LYS part time), she thought the overall yarn market lacked quality variegated, hand dyed, sock yarn, so she decided to try making some of her own. She still offers a large selection of variegated yarns, but has recently started doing more and more semi-solid tonal colorways.
We had a good chuckle when we were talking about where she gets her inspiration from for the colors she dyes up. She said that she had watched last week's interview with Three Irish Girls and it made her laugh when Sharon was talking about how everyone says their inspiration comes from nature. Wendee loves to hike and she spends most of her free time out in nature, but she said that she gets her inspiration from everywhere as well. Like one of her recent sock club inspirations came from purple and orange popping up everywhere she looked (vitamin bottle, a pen she was using, corn chip bag, etc.). She kept seeing this color combo over and over that she just had this urge to use it for a whole sock club color theme!
This is one of her new base sock yarns. It's a merino 9-ply fingering weight. Really lovely stuff!
Wendee told me that when she first started her yarn dyeing business, her and a good friend went to see the Yarn Harlot at a local event when she was in town and brought along a skein of her new variegated sock yarn as a gift. They had to draw a lottery style ticket to stand in line to meet the Harlot and once they walked up, Wendee was star struck and couldn't speak. Her friend saved the day, told the Harlot about Hazel Knits and Wendee gave her the skein of yarn she had brought along. One day shortly after that, Wendee had gotten up to an inbox full of sales. She'd been Harlotized! The Yarn Harlot herself had blogged about knitting with the Hazel Knits yarn. This is the color...
Hazel Knits also offers these wonderful artisan handcrafted ceramic yarn bowls. Wendee has them made up custom for her shop by Brad Henry Pottery. You can find them for sale on her site.
I couldn't resist taking a picture of her big Keep Calm and Carry On poster. You can also kind of see the neat lanterns reflected in the glass up in the top left corner that she had hanging in her office.
Here's some more artwork she had in her work space.
And, of course I had to ask her what's on her needles at this moment: a sock (which I forgot to ask the pattern of, shame on me) and...
...a beautiful pattern called Pacific Diamond by a local designer named Samantha Roshak who specifically designed this pattern for the Hazel Knits Artisan Sock yarn in a color named Pacific.
Don't think I forgot to ask Wendee what her favorite cocktail or drink is. She answered, "I'm a beer girl!"
Wendee, thank you so much for showing us your creative space. It was a treat to visit your yarn dyeing studio in person. Hazel Knits is sponsoring the chance for TWO lucky followers to win a skein of Artisan Sock yarn in a color of their choice or one of Hazel Knits fabulous kits. Check out the website here to see all the fantastic colors and kits! You can also find Hazel Knits on: Ravelry, Etsy, Twitter, and Facebook.
HAZEL KNITS IS ALSO OFFERING ALL THE WONDERFUL YOTH FOLLOWERS A 10% DISCOUNT THROUGH THE END OF JULY. JUST ENTER COUPON CODE: "YARNONTHEHOUSE" DURING CHECKOUT. THIS DISCOUNT EXCLUDES SOCK CLUB.
I would like you to do the following if you would like to be entered into this week's giveaway:
1. Read over the rules if you have not done so already.
2. Leave a comment on this blog post by the end of Sunday, 7/18/10, telling us which Hazel Knits colorway or kit is your favorite. Check out the beautiful colors and kits here.
I'll randomly pick the winners on Sunday and post the results on Monday along with the new giveaway, so be sure to check back. Good luck everyone.