Saturday, 28 June 2014

Unwind with Old Maiden Aunt

Lilith will be joining Unwind as a vendor so I asked her to answer a few questions and share some of her crafting experiences with us...

Please introduce yourself and your business in 2-3 sentences.

I make & sell hand-dyed knitting wool (& a wee bit of spinning fibre) from my studio in West Kilbride (part of Craft Town Scotland - I focus on intense, layered colours & use quality yarns of various blends, including a few UK-produced base yarns that are custom-spun for Old Maiden Aunt.

What treats can we look forward to seeing at your stand during Unwind?

I’m hoping to bring a good selection of most of my yarns, although unfortunately I’ll be limited to what I can squeeze into my shipping boxes!! My favourites are the luxurious merino/silk 4ply, and my new shetland 4ply in 50g skeins – custom-spun for OMA, and great for colourwork!

How did your journey as a dyer begin?

I took a slightly circuitous path to yarn-dyeing – I completed a degree in English Literature in Canada, then moved to Scotland & trained as a violin-maker. One of my friends then got very into knitting, and I guess you could say that she dragged me along with her! Through meeting other knitters & spinners, and being ever more drawn into this new world of colours & fibres, I started experimenting with dyeing, and discovered a new obsession. I was producing more hand-dyed yarn than I could ever reasonably use myself, so I thought I’d put some online & see what other knitters made of it. I quickly realised that producing a few skeins of yarn at a time in 
my tiny kitchen just wasn’t enough, and was lucky to find the studios of Craft Town Scotland & move into a small space there, then a bigger space.... and now, dyeing seems to have completely taken over my life!!

What colours are you drawn to most in your dyeing?

I think it’s fair to say that I love purples & blues – those are the colours that I’ve become known for, & I certainly seem to have a lot of them in my range! Truthfully, though, I don’t tend to dye colours that I don’t love – I’m a bit selfish that way, and I think that if you’re making something you’re really passionate about, it carries over into the finished product. My time is too short to spend it on making things I don’t care about!! I’m especially loving dyeing this year’s new colourway collection, inspired by the cult TV show “Firefly”.

“big damn heroes”, © Old Maiden Aunt

What is your favourite fibre notion or tool when you craft? 

Having trained as an instrument maker, I do have a bit of a weakness for Holz & Stein double-pointed needles. They’re made from surplus & reclaimed woods from violins & guitars, & my ebony dpns are definitely a favourite. At the opposite end of the spectrum, my studio wouldn’t function without assorted lengths of wooden dowelling – totally basic, but infinitely useful!! 

What are you looking forward to the most about Unwind?

Seeing all my customers! Running an online business really suits me, but the downside is that I rarely get to see my customers in person. It’s so lovely to meet new faces, catch up with regulars, and see what amazing things they’ve been making with OMA yarns.

A big thank you to Lilith for taking the time to share some insight into her knitting world. You can find Lilith’s website by visiting To keep up to date with all of the latest Old Maiden Aunt Yarns news, keep an eye on Twitter @oldmaidenaunt.

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