Monday, 7 July 2014

Unwind with Skein Queen

Starting us off on today's vendor features as we count down to the Vendor's market is Skein Queen who will be joining Unwind as a vendor so I asked her to answer a few questions to share some of her crafting experiences with us.

© Skein Queen

Please introduce yourself and your business in 2-3 sentences.
My name's Debbie Orr and I started Skein Queen back in 2007. Although the main focus of the company is on the luxury, natural hand-dyed yarn I dye, we also carry a couple of commercially dyed ranges and carefully selected artisan-crafted knitting accessories and knick-knacks. Skein Queen sells to customers all over the world and is in the process of opening a new studio based in Thatcham, Berkshire.

Voluptuous Skinny skeins © Skein Queen
What treats can we look forward to seeing at your stand during Unwind?
It's hard to know where to start... let me see, there's Voluptuous Skinny 200g skeins custom spun by John Arbon in everything from seaside ice-cream colourways to rich, muted tones. Perfect for making my Southwold in the Snow shawl design - I'm planning it like a Pick 'n Mix - just choose your own colours. There will also be Oosie - another John Arbon-spun wool - 100% Scottish Down Cross in hefty 200g skeins - which has proved very popular and difficult to get hold of online.

Southwold in the Snow shawl © Skein Queen
Also many favourite hand-dyed bases including Blush, Enchant, Luminosity, Oasis Grande, Selkino, Blimey and whatever else I can get into the pots before the Big Day.

Dolly What Not purses © Skein Queen
Lots of new stuff including the launch of Dolly What Not beautifully free machine embroidered knitting notion purses and lavender sachets and Rebel Rose flower brooch knitting kits. Nikki Monaghan notebooks for jotting down knitting notes. And 50 shades of Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift wool which I'm very excited about and buzzing with all sorts of creative ideas mostly based around combining it with the Voluptuous Skinny.

Rebel Rose flower brooch kits © Skein Queen
What do you enjoy most about being a dyer?
Truly it's all about the customer's reaction to the yarn - the oo's and ah's that emanate. My very favourite bit of the show is when the first customers get to see the whole colour arrangement in all its glory, exactly as I plan it in my head as I'm dyeing up the colours. And I feel very privileged to get to see what shawls or garments they have created from a previous purchase.

Are there any colours you are particularly drawn to or love to dye the most?
It really depends on what I'm in the mood for on a particular day. But usually the muted colourways win over the brights. If I dye something I feel is too bright, it immediately returns to the dye pot to be toned down - except for my current Cherry Bomb colourway - scarlet red over hot pink - there's nothing subtle about that!

What is the significance of the Hummingbird in your logo?
I love the brilliant, iridescent colours of hummingbird plumage which remind me of the colours which can be obtained on hand-dyed silk.

The hummingbird is traditionally associated with energy and industriousness. Hummingbirds are very discerning creatures when it comes to selecting the very best nectar and they are unique in their ability to fly forwards, backwards, up, down, sideways and hover in mid air.

These words encapsulate the Skein Queen ethos.

© Skein Queen

What are you looking forward to the most about Unwind?
I'm anticipating a hub of creative energy and very much looking forward to meeting customers and friends in what looks to be a beautiful venue, catching up with other vendors and designers, the PomPom Shindig on Saturday night and I love, love, love Brighton. The Sea and the Lanes = perfection. And working with Suzanne aka alabamawhirly - always fun to be had!

A big thank you to Debbie for taking the time to share some insight into her knitting world. You can find Skein Queen’s website by visiting To keep up to date with all of the latest news, keep an eye on Twitter, Instagram (skeinqueen) Facebook and the blog.

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