As we recently had a fresh delivery of gorgeous locally-hand-dyed Lilypond Yarns in, we though we’d ask Fiona and Abby a few questions about their yarn, their inspirations and their brand.
Firstly how long have you been dyeing your own yarn for and what got you started?
Fiona and I have been friends for many years and both love craft. I spotted a yarn dyeing workshop at one of our local yarn shops and asked her if she would be interested in attending with me. She said yes and that is really where it all started, it was like a lightbulb moment for both of us as we both loved it so much! We started dyeing yarn simply for ourselves until our stashes started becoming unmanageable! It was at this point that we decided to try and sell some of it simply to de-stash. Fiona had experience of running an Etsy shop so we set one up for this purpose. We were surprised at the response and wondered if there may be a business opportunity there hence…Lilypond Yarns was born!
What’s behind the name “Lilypond Yarns?”
Lilypond Yarns is so named as one of us lives in Lilypond Lane! It’s a lovely name and actually will be the future address of the business as we are having a dye studio built on the premises.
We know you’re local ladies, but tell us a little bit about where you live. Does it inspire any of your colourways?
We both live on the outskirts of Exeter and own dogs which means lots of walks in the surrounding countryside. We are also inspired by the Devon coastline and Fiona spends quite a bit of time on the North Cornish coast. All these lovely views inspire a lot of our colours.
What other inspirations do you have for your shades?
We are inspired by the changing seasons and tend to dye new batches of yarn to welcome in the new season. Sometimes we have no plans when dyeing so music and our moods play a part in what we produce.
How do you choose your lovely yarn bases, and what are your personal favourites to knit with?
This was down to experience really, we have tried various different yarn bases. Our suppliers have such a wide range it was very difficult to choose what we considered to be the nicest and most saleable. We have ended up with a mix of bases we prefer to knit with ourselves as we don’t like to sell anything without trying it out first. Sometimes we will try new yarn bases because there is a pattern on Ravelry we want to try or any other pattern of interest to us. We love knitting with high twist yarn because the stitch definition shows off hand dyed yarn beautifully. We also love our DK superwash merino as it’s a pleasure to knit with and so soft to wear.
How do you think up the names for them?
That is easy, Abby is bonkers! Plus a lot of them come from the objects/situations/views which inspired us to dye the yarn in the beginning.
What’s your favourite thing to knit, and what would be your dream project/colourway combination?
Fiona loves to knit sweaters and shawls whereas Abby prefers smaller projects like hats, one skein shawls and socks. Fiona’s dream project would be a cabled jumper dress held with a beautiful suri silk alpaca or mohair and it would be in a blue or dark red combination. Abby is a lover of neutrals. We are planning to knit the same thing for our next projects – the Weekender sweater by Andrea Mowry, as a little knit along through the Autumn.
What are your hopes for the future of your Lilypond Yarns?
As mentioned earlier we are having a dye studio built. We have been expanding our business over the last few months and are still expanding. The dream is to concentrate on Lilypond Yarns as full time jobs and a enjoy a wonderful crafty life!
Well, thank you for answering all our questions and we hope your yarny dreams come true! The skeins have certainly been a hit in the shop.
We’re currently stocking a number of shades in their Merino/Silk blend which has a beautiful glow to it. If you’d like to buy some, just pop into the shop or give us a call on 01626 836203.