Lindr & Jaime P
Congratulations! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to collect your prizes.
Fall is in the air everywhere you turn here in the Pacific Northwest! The cloudy and rainy days have arrived, which has its down sides but also its up sides... more indoor time for fun activities like knitting! The crisp, cool weather also lends itself exceptionally well to handknit sweaters, which I have been churning out a lot of lately.
Along with the rain and temperature drop, I have to give credit to the beautiful colors of this season - the rusty and bright oranges, vibrant fiery reds, and golden yellows against the gray skies are marvelous to look at. Every year I'm blown away by how quickly this time of year arrives and how I'm always happy to welcome the changing season. It does help that my birthday is in the month of October!
To go along with the colorful Fall season, our sponsor, Sosae Caetano, has sent over a terrific giveaway that matches my falling leaves outside! Get to know Sosae…
1. Sosae, please start by telling us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Hi Ve and Company! First of all, thank you very much for being such a gracious host - I’m so honored to visit with you!
I’m Sosae, and I live in Southern California with my husband Dennis, and two kitties, Coolba and Souris. We live in a quaint 1960s house on a hilly street, with a tiny but charming backyard. We both work from home, so for relaxation we go out for walks along the nearby Kern River and Lake Ming, or drive down to Los Angeles to visit with the rest of the family. We’re also hoping to start a family soon!
2. How did you get into yarn dyeing? And, how did you learn?
Oh, it was all very serendipitous. I’ve drawn and painted for as long as I can remember, and one day my mother introduced me to knitting. I happened upon some handspun yarn on the internet, purchased it, and that eventually led me to a spindle, a spinning-wheel, fiber-painting, a fiber-painting business, and now, hand-painted yarns. As far as the technical aspects of how I learned to do any of these things, I have to credit books, the internet and a group of beautiful people who were generous with their knowledge and experience. Looking back, it all happened in a perfectly magical way (though not without the complications of starting and running a small business!) I have to say that our customers are perhaps the most beautiful group of people I’ve met. We bless their hearts each day, for their joy and enthusiasm, and for journeying with us on this humble and earnest path.
3. Everyone knows that I'm always gaga over semi-solids! Yours are stunning. Give us a little run down of some of your favorite yarns, colors, and fibers that you carry.
Well, thank you! Our yarn-colorway collection is ever-growing. I’m positively delighted with all of our current colorways, but my favorites at this very moment are ‘Morel’ and ‘Butterscotch’ (and ‘Garden Tomato’ stole my heart recently too…) Many of our colorways are multi-faceted: they look different under different lighting conditions. Blues become greens, browns become grays, etc. We enjoy painting ueber-rich semi-solids, as well as true semi-solids which have light and dark aspects. Currently, we carry three basic yarn-bases that are both practical and beautiful. They lend themselves well to just about any knitting project, and especially to those where durability is desired. (These are our superwash merino and superwash merino/nylon blends.)
4. What's your one piece of advice for budding yarnies out there?
Open your heart to all colors. I know we’re all drawn to certain parts of the spectrum for sure (yellow! orange!) but working with color means understanding what color is and how it dances around thoughts and emotions. Color is a lot like music – it touches us on a very profound level. Before I started this small business, I loved only blues (I wore blues, decorated in blues, etc.) But in the last two years, my eyes and heart opened up to the beauty of all colors. It really changed all aspects of my daily life. Now I wear colors I never wore before, and enjoy how these colors can enhance or change my mood. It’s a delight! (Also I seriously never ever thought I’d wear mossy greens and raspberry pinks…)
5. What is next for you? Do you have new colorways, yarns, or clubs in the works that you can tell us about?
We’ll be introducing new colors to our collection regularly! Our goal is to establish a broad and ever-growing palette of very unique colorways. Some of these will be seasonal, but most will be available year-round.
During the month of November, we will launch our luxury line of yarns that include silk and cashmere, baby alpaca and mohair. They will be available in varying weights, including lace, sock and fingering. All of our colorways will be available on any of these yarn bases/weights.
We’re also very excited to be launching a number of classic and modern scarf patterns! Currently we have available the ‘Seta’ scarf pattern, which you can download for free at our website.
6. When did you learn to knit and who taught you?
My mother. I had just quit a very stressful job, and she drove up to visit me. She said, “I brought my needles. I’m teaching you how to knit. And you can’t say no!” Well, since I couldn’t say no (she’s my mama, I’m reminded, no matter how old I get!) we sat down and commenced with the knitting. It changed my life. More specifically, knitting saved my life. Instead of being depressed about my job/future/financial situation, I knit. I knit maybe fifty scarves that winter. Then goodness-knows how many hats and berets. I knit with a kind of frantic dedication, as though with every stitch I was piecing my unraveled life back together. In many ways, I was doing just that. Then through knitting I discovered handspun yarn and the fine-art of spinning. I spent a good six months working with a drop-spindle, before finally purchasing a friend’s used spinning wheel. All together, knitting and the spinning of yarn drew me out of what could have been a very dark place. They uplifted my spirit, brought me to some very beautiful people and a very fulfilling life’s work.
7. I always like to ask, why do you knit?
I knit to stay healthy. Knitting continues to both ground and elevate me. It connects me to other women – my sisters in yarn and fiber – and makes me feel distinctly feminine. (Although knitting isn’t necessarily just a feminine art by any means!) We do live in a world where we women have to take on some masculine traits, making a living and doing those things which men alone did just sixty years ago. So knitting acts a kind of balance for me: it’s strong and modern meets delicate and classic. I love it.
8. If you could live and knit anywhere in the world, where would you knit and live?
Anywhere where my mother is. We could sit and knit together at a small café along the Champs-Élysées, or at her modest home at the foothills of the San Gabriels in Los Angeles. In a perfect world, I would invite my mother, aunts, and yarn-sisters to afternoon tea in the parlor, where we’d sit on French Baroque sofas, knit and laugh and eat sweet-flaky pastries…
9. What's been your worst knitting and/or yarn dyeing disaster?
Oh, geez… I think the worst dyeing disaster happened after the fact: It was a beautiful, sunny day, and I had dyed some spinning fiber. I thought, “Ooo, I’ll dry these outside!” So I draped the fibers over hangers, and hung them from a giant Elm tree. About an hour later, I stepped outside to check on the fiber. They looked so plush and pretty – oh, what’s that? An earwig. I brushed it off. Oh, there’s another one on my hand! Brushed it off. OMG I felt something fall on my head! I looked up and earwigs were falling out of the tree like rain! I screamed %#@!$%&&%$%! and ran around the yard like a Banchee, arms flailing, throwing my head back and brushing my hands through my hair. My husband and father-in-law were talking at the back door, and I screamed “They’re everywhere!!! They’re everywhere!!!” and ran past them into the house. The men came inside looking shocked and confused, as I continued to run around and brush myself and my hair. After a half-hour of frantically yelling “Get them off! Get them off!” they were finally off. (Well, later on in the day two more fell out of my hair…) I wouldn’t even approach the fiber that I hung beneath the tree. Dennis was advised to pack ‘em up and toss ‘em in the bin.
10. And last but not least, if you were enjoying a favorite drink while reading my blog, what would it be?
Chai Spice black tea, with sweetened-condensed milk. Definitely. :)
Thank you, Sosae, for being our gratious and generous guest on YOTH! Check out the gorgeous, looks good enough to eat skeins she has sent over for you to have a chance to win:
The scrumptious yellow skein is a color called Butternut Squash (how appropriate) and the sweet orange skein is called Cinderella Pumpkin (how darling)! They are both made of superwash merino and are worsted weight yielding 218 yards each. These two beautiful skeins will go to two lucky followers!
Sosae was also nice enough to send along a gift skein for me to try out. I choose the very mature and neutral colorway called Morel. Take a look...
It's even more pretty in person! The semi-solid dyeing of the yarn gives the yarn dimension and depth. I'm thinking this lovely skein of hand dyed yarn goodness will become a cowl. I'll be sure to let you know what exactly I decide on!
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, 11/6/11. Can't think of a question today! Just leave a comment and/or say hi to Sosae. Let her know what you liked about her interview.
I'll randomly pick the winners in 2 weeks and post the results along with the new giveaway, so be sure to check back. Good luck everyone.