I’m so excited to bring you this interview with Shannon Fowler, the indie dyer behind The Yarn At Home Mom. She is one of my absolute favorite yarn dyers to revisit again and again. But you know this already if you’ve seen my At Home Socks designed with one of her sock kits. Shannon is also one of the prize sponsors of the upcoming Beginner’s Brioche Knitalong.
I discovered Shannon’s yarn a while back when my son requested rainbow socks with gold sparkles. Well, a bit of internet searching later and I happened upon The Yarn At Home Mom’s Rainbow Dash colorway. But it wasn’t in stock, let alone in gold stellina. Could she do it? I reached out and sure enough Shannon said yes. It was, in fact, one of her daughter’s favorite colorways as well.
Then came the Disney Inspired Yarn Club. How could I resist that? Three months of gorgeous yarn inspired by some of my favorite movies. Yes please! And then of course there’s the Gilmore Girls mini sets. I have the three original series sets with the Year in the Life set ordered and will gladly buy more if and when they come along.
From mini skeins and 80’s inspired colorways to Gilmore Girls and sock kits, Shannon hits it out of the park every time! I hope you enjoy learning more about one of my favorite dyers as much as I did. I’m so happy to call Shannon my friend and can’t wait to see what she has in store next.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is it that you do and how did you get started?
I’m an indie dyer, a mom, a knitter, and all around yarn lover. I initially started dyeing yarn because I was searching for specific colorways that just weren’t out there. I fell in love with the process and wanted to share my creations with others. Right around the time I started dyeing yarn, my mother was diagnosed with Stage IV Melanoma. I wanted to be available to help out with doctor appointments, recovery from surgeries, and just all around care. I felt like a yarn business would allow me some flexibility in my schedule while still contributing to my household. I am so grateful to those who’ve supported my business as I’ve been able to be with my mother when she needs me.
[editor’s note: Shannon is currently donating 10% from all orders placed through February 11, 2017 to the Melanoma Research Foundation.]
What do you love most about what you do? What is the most challenging part of what you do?
The thing I love most about dyeing yarn is the variability. Even though I follow dye recipes, each skein has its own uniqueness. I feel like I’m personalizing every skein with my state of mind at the time. Some skeins are bold, some are muted, others have a little extra flourish. The most challenging part is finding the time to fit everything in. I run a full time daycare, I am a mom and wife. Dyeing usually happens late at night or on weekends.
Anything new in the works we should know about?
I will be adding self-striping colorways back into the shop later this year.
What inspires you to create?
My inspiration comes from the desire to express myself. Creativity gives me a peace that I am unable to find elsewhere. I am a relatively quiet person, but dyeing yarn gives me a loud, colorful voice.
When did you first learn to knit? What was the first thing you knit?
I first learned to knit in 2006. I knit scarves upon scarves until I was finally confident enough to to try socks.
Would you say you are a product or process knitter?
I am most definitely a process knitter. I can go months without a finished object and be totally fine with that.
What are your favorite projects to knit?
Socks are my go to projects, but I also enjoy shawls.
What’s on your needles right now?
Several pairs of socks, an Exploration Station, a Doodler, a couple Sockheads, a Hitchhiker…the list goes on. I’m obsessing over finding the perfect yarn combo for a Find Your Fade shawl right now.
Why do you enjoy making things by hand?
I love seeing tangible results. Knitting and dyeing both allow me to see progress. Knitting keeps my mild anxiety issues at bay.
When you aren’t dyeing or knitting, what are you doing?
I typically spend off time with my family or curled up on the couch with a book.
What would be your desert island yarn?
I would want a skein (any skein) of Hedgehog Fibres or a skein of Voolenvine Yarns.
Finally, where can we find you online?
Thank you so much for sharing Shannon!