We announced the extra credit project for Loopy Academy yesterday, and it has brought some questions about what makes an indie dyer. We are known for our great selection of indie dyers here, and we love working with these talented men and women in this industry. We started adding in indie dyer lines back in 2007 before Loopy was even a year old. Our first indie dyers were Yarn Pirate, All Things Heather, Perchance to Knit, Sweet Georgia, Plucky and Wollmeise. I still treasure my Yarn Pirate, All Things Heather, and Perchance to Knit skeins, as they are no longer dyeing. (One of the benefits of having a stash.) But how does an indie dyed line differ from a bigger hand-dyed line and a commercially dyed line?
Our definition of an indie dyer is someone who dyes the yarn independently (not part of a big company), in small batches. Some dye in their kitchens, some have workshops set up in garages or basements or backyards, and some rent commercial space for their dyeing businesses. But the dyeing is still done mostly by them (some have helpers). They aren’t producing huge batches and it’s all hand done, so you get very unique skeins and colors that may vary from batch to batch. I always advise you to get them when you see them, as the next batch might be different, or the dyer might retire from dyeing before you see that particular skein again. (I’ve experienced that too many times! Now I get the skeins when I see them. Lesson learned and now lesson shared.)
We currently have 36 indie dyer lines here at The Loopy Ewe.
Abstract Fibers – Portland, Oregon
Ancient Arts Yarns – Alberta Canada
Berry Colorful Yarnings – Alamogordo, New Mexico
Biscotte & Cie – Montreal, Canada
Black Elephant – Yorkshire, England
Blue Moon Fiber Arts – Scappoose, Oregon
Canon Hand Dyes – Portland, Oregon
Ethereal Fibers – Las Vegas, Nevada
Evil Little Goat – Newark, New Jersey (coming soon!)
Fibernymph Dye Works – Laurel Mountain, Pennsylvania
Fiberstory – Royal Oak, Michigan
Fresh from the Cauldron – Palm Bay, Florida
Gherkins Bucket – Mesa, Arizona
Hedgehog Fibres – County Cork, Ireland
Into the Whirled – Phoenicia, NY
JulieSpins – Boston, Massachusetts
Knerd String – Castle Rock, Colorado
Leading Men Fiber Arts – Clinton, Illinois
Lisa Souza Dyeworks – Placerville, California
Magpie Fibers – Frederick, Maryland
Primrose Yarn Co – Dallastown, Pennsylvania
Qing Fibre – London, England (coming soon!)
Round Mountain Fibers – Brattleboro, Vermont
Savvy Skeins – New Braunfels, Texas
Seven Sisters Arts – Blue Hill, Maine
Shalimar – New Market, Maryland
Spun Right Round – Rochester, New York
Sweet Georgia – British Columbia, Canada
Townhouse Yarns – Dublin, Ireland
Tumbleweed Yarn – Plano, Texas
The Uncommon Thread – Brighton, England
Uschitita Fibre Art – The Netherlands (new batch en route!)
Western Sky Knits – Martinsdale, Montana
Whimisical Wood – Ackley, Iowa
Wollmeise – Pfaffenhofen, Germany
Woolen Boon – Concord, New Hampshire
Here are some photos of some of our indie-dyed lines to give you an idea of the look. Some skeins have speckles and pops, some have stripes or swaths of color, some are semi-solid (meaning there are lighter and darker parts to the skein which gives it depth and a textural look about them.) All are unique and wonderful.
We also carry 5 hand-dyed yarn companies.
These companies are different than an indie dyer. Companies like Dream in Color, Lorna’s Laces, Mrs. Crosby, Malabrigo, and Madelinetosh hand dye yarn, but do it on a much larger scale with multiple dyers. The advantage of this type of yarn is that we can frequently get larger orders and more skeins that – although unique due to the hand-dyed nature – match better and are more consistent from batch to batch.
Here are some photos of some of our hand-dyed lines to give you and idea of the look. You can still get some speckles and pops, streaks and color swaths, and different levels of color intensity which gives the yarn it’s depth. These yarns are typically dyed in large pots or bins and the color manipulated or applied by hand to get the color variation and differences. Beautiful.
In addition, we carry 14 commercially dyed yarn companies.
The advantage of this type of yarn is that the color is uniform, equally saturated throughout, and varies very little between batch to batch. These include Appalachian Baby, Baa Ram Ewe, Black Water Abbey, Blue Sky Fibers, Cascade, The Fibre Company, Illimani Yarn, Kauni, Rosy Green Wool, Schoppel Wolle, Spud and Chloe, Stonehedge Fiber Mill, Trekking, and Universal.
Here are some photos of some of our commercially dyed lines to give you an idea of the look. Here you see uniformity, no speckles or pops, still beautiful and intense colors, but consistent from skein to skein with little if any variation. These yarns are typically dyed in big drums that tumble the skeins to get even coverage.
So all in all we have 55 different brands for you to try and enjoy here!
We do retire some lines every so often (or someone stops dyeing), so a few of our lines will be leaving. Of course we also have some new ones coming in, as well as additional bases coming in for some of the lines we already carry. We do a lot of research before adding in an indie dyer or company, and many of the ones we have added in were your suggestions! We love being your LYS (whether in person or online) and always strive to carry the best selection and variety for your knitting and crocheting needs. Keep us posted on new discoveries and wishes!
Sheri and The Loopy Ewe Crew