Today I'm very excited to share with you all the first Creative Chat of 2016. Back in the fall I ordered a gorgeous skein of yarn from a little independent shop called Gregoria Fibers. I was blown away with the quality of this yarn- the beautiful colours that came from the natural plant dyes and the subtle tonalities that were caused by the hand-dying process. It even smelled delicious! The maker and dyer behind Gregoria Fibers is Anna, and I was so excited to be able to chat to her a little bit more about her creative process and journey. You can find her shop & website here, or connect with her at the following places: Instagram, Pinterest and Ravelry
Anna has generously offered a coupon code for her shop, which you will find at the end of the interview. But for now, let's dive right in to my chat with Anna:
1. If we were able to have this conversation in person, in a cafe with warm drinks and our knitting, what would you be drinking? Are you a coffee or tea person?
Oh that would be a good idea Ruth! well.. if we met in a cafe I would drink green tea, for sure! I’m a tea addict. My favourite tea is green, I drink more than 3 cups a day. I like tea with natural flavors. Flowers are my all time favourite, like rose or jasmine. But I also enjoy those with fruit flavors. Although now in winter, I do sometimes need something more sweet or spicy.
And well, I don’t like coffee :)
2. Tell us a little bit about what you make/do. What led you to this path, how did you begin?
I dye yarn with natural dyes, in my parent's garage. It all began when I moved to Germany two years ago and had plenty of time to knit. My love for yarn became an obsession.
I became more interested in wool and fibers. I researched about compositions and how wool is processed and I also started to collect wool.
Eventually there came a point when I asked myself why not dye my own yarn… So this past winter I started my own business, Gregoria Fibers.
3. Can you describe for us your creative process? What inspires you?
I'm a person who likes to do things with her hands. I've learned on my own how to sew, to knit and now how to dye .
I like to try and touch but also I'm so visual, so for me pictures are a good inspiration. (thanks Instagram and Pinterest!)
4. Where do you most like to make or create?
I prefer to stay alone, it doesn't work well for me being surrounded by people. I prefer to stay in a room, with a closed door as that is when I can concentrate and the ideas come. And now that I have my own dye studio it's a pleasure to be in the garage (although it’s too cold) and I spend a lot of time trying new things on my own.
5. Do you have a favorite dye material, or a favorite fiber base to work with?
I love to work with not known, rare, hard to find wool. Right now I’m very into local merino and how it’s processed. But if I'm going to knit something that will go close to my skin, I prefer soft yarns (but not superwash). I love cashmere or yak, but who doesn't, really?
About dye material… I like those difficult to obtain, blue, grey and dark colors.
6. I've noticed you've started sourcing local yarns from Spain. Can you tell us a bit about what led you to do this?
Spain has an important commercial and cultural wool background. The most known and produced was merino wool.
But unfortunately now is another situation. I'm convinced that there are still some small producers that are working so hard to continue this knowledge, including those who take care of the pasture for a healthy and happy sheep.
7. How do you feel that knitting affects the dying process? Do you find the two crafts compliment each other?
Absolutely, I do dye my yarns as if I were going to work with them myself. It's my style, it's me. I'm not going to sell something that I dislike. When I dye, I like to imagine which project the yarn would work well for.
So much so, that sometimes it's hard to say goodbye to my yarns.
8. What are you currently working on? Anything exciting coming up for Gregoria Fibers?
Yes!! I’m excited to introduce a new base- a local merino single ply. I’m knitting a pullover with that yarn and I love how it's knitting up in the single ply yarn. And I'm working with other producers so hopefully very soon I'll introduce more local yarns.
And also, I’ve started to design a few things, it’s a new thing for me but I’m really enjoying the process.
Thank you so much Anna for taking the time to chat with me and give us all a little peek at what goes on behind the scenes at Gregoria Fibers! As I mentioned, Anna has generously offered a coupon code for all of you. Just apply the code: raincloudandsage when checking out at her shop and you'll get 10% off. This code is valid for one week (22.01-29.01) so you have a bit of time to make any purchasing decisions, but don't leave it too long!
Note: all photos courtesy of Gregoria Fibers.
This interview is part of my Creative Chat series, where I sit down for a virtual coffee or tea date with makers and creatives to talk about their creative processes, journeys and the inspiration behind their work. You can read other posts in the series here.