We are just smitten with our latest new stock, Spincycle Yarn’s Dyed in the Wool. Last Fall, while at Vogue Knitting Live in Seattle, Ann had the pleasure to meet the lovely duo behind this stunning yarn, Rachel and Kate. She instantly knew she had to get these gems into the shop – and once it arrived, we all knew it had to be featured for March. We couldn’t wait to get it onto our needles! Once we did, we wanted to know all about it. Rachel kindly accepted our invitation and we’re so happy to have her as a guest here.
We are loving Dyed in the Wool! Can you share a little on how you both began Spincycle?
Thanks! We love Dyed in the Wool, too! It was our first mill spun yarn, so maybe we are biased.
Spincycle started in 2004 as a little side job for Kate, and I joined a year in, when we were working together at our local co-op. At first, it was very part time, and we only sold at the Bellingham Farmers Market. But soon it was obvious that there was a demand for hand-spun yarn that needed our full attention. We made yarn by hand for another eight years before our business had an existential crisis! Business was really hitting its stride, and then we became moms in 2010 and 2011, back to back. We couldn’t do it all by hand anymore. But luck prevailed and we got in on the ground level with a new mill just south of us. We worked with them as their exclusive client for five years, until the owner decided to take a new career path.
In reading your blog, we found out that you acquired a mill. Exciting! What’s a typical day look like at your mill?
Yep! We bought the mill that was already producing three of our four lines, moved it up to Bellingham, leased a warehouse, and that’s where I am right now, typing away from my office loft!
A typical day for us? We usually arrive with coffees in hand, around 8. Anna, our mill worker, gets to work even earlier, so the spinning frame is already humming. I spend some time at the computer… ok, I spend a LOT of time at the computer now, a still weird departure from the years I spent handspinning and just occasionally doing website things… checking emails, updating the online store, corresponding with yarn shops, pulling wholesale orders, and doing social media things. Kate usually rolls in and gets busy shipping out our retail orders before the mailman comes. Then one of us will get into the dye room. We have to dye nearly every day, to keep things flowing smoothly as the fiber spends time in the drying room and then moves on the the mill room. Bottlenecks in the drying process are a major disruption.
When not dyeing, you’ll find Kate helping Anna in the mill, and you’ll find me photographing new yarns, merch, and patterns for the website or Instagram.
We also have some amazing staff who come in toward the end of the day to tag and twist the yarns, keep things organized, and do a multitude of miscellaneous things.
Your colors are amazing! Where do you draw inspiration from? (music, art, nature, candy…)
Ha! You’re on to us. All of the above. Really, that about covers it! We’ll see something that appeals, take a photo or a screencap, and try to translate that onto yarn!
We’ve become obsessed with finding patterns to knit with Dyed in the Wool (seriously Salt Point by Dami is such a dream!). What are some of your favorite patterns?
Currently, we are in love with Ysolda’s Threipmuir sweater! And I am knitting Plum, by Junko Okamoto, in a Dyed in the Wool and a Versus colorway, and I am obsessed. I also recently finished Dog Star, from Tin Can Knits, for my son, and it is perfection. Oh. I just realized that all three of these are yoked sweaters for which we used a DITW for the colorwork and a solid (or marl) for the body. I guess I would say that is our jam right now.
When you’re not dyeing/spinning/knitting/winning at being fiber bosses, what are some of your other hobbies/passions?
Well, honestly, between running the biz and the massive amount of traveling it requires of us (“bestows on us” might be more appropriate; we LOVE the travels) and raising our respective kids, there’s not a ton of time left. We both knit in our downtime, which might seem like just an extension of our jobs, but it’s something we really do love to do. I did recently start my sort-of-daily drawing journal back up, but a lot of time that I’m drawing, I’m thinking, “I could be finishing that sleeve right now.”
Current WIPS, FOs, or future projects?
WIPs…. Well, there’s a super secret test knit Kate is wrapping up right now for an Edinburgh Yarn Fest release with Fig Tree Yarns and Andrea Mowry. And I am knitting five sweaters, including the aforementioned Plum.
What’s in your notion’s bag?
Millions of stitch markers but never the exact ones I need… maybe some loose buttons I’m meaning to sew on and a random DPN I was using for a cable needle… Actually let me tell you what IS NEVER in my notions bag: a tape measure or gauge ruler, a tapestry needle, the right markers, scissors, the t-pin I need for tightening my interchangeables, or anything else useful.
Top five recommendations for books, podcasts, music, who to follow, snacks? (anything fun or unique you’d love to share is great!)
Podcasts we are bingeing on now are Crimetown, Embedded, and 2 Dope Queens. Does that count as 3 or just 1? One. I’m going with 1. Snacks? A chai latte at 3pm cannot be overstated. Music? Kate Tempest is on heavy rotation in my headphones. Books? Just finished the graphic novel series, MIND MGMT, and I’m about to start it all over again. TV? RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars season 3 is everything right now.
It’s always such fun and so inspiring to follow along with you both on IG + your blog. Where can our readers find you?
Follow @spincycle_yarns on Instagram! That’s the best spot to stay updated on our travel schedule, new yarns, pattern releases and general shenanigans!
Thank you so much, Rachel! We’re so glad we’ve become to know you and learn more about your gorgeous yarns! We look forward to sharing more projects using Dyed in the Wool.