Coffee, Chocolate, or Yarn?
The interview you’re about to read is unlike any you’ve read before. It's a world exclusive, and it’s my first - and possibly last - interview as a journalist. And unlike most interviews, it was conducted on the move in the middle of a fast-paced working environment with an impending deadline. (I mean, you could quite as easily say it was just a chat in an evening between a wife and her husband while washing and drying yarn in the kitchen, but if I’d said that from the start, you might not have made it this far...) Anyway here it is, the first ever interview with Laura, the creative genius behind Adventures In Yarncraft!
What’s your favourite thing that you’ve ever knitted?
My “Burning” sweater by Rachel at Unwind Knitwear - I love wearing it, it’s comfy and oversized, and it has a lovely long rib hem. It’s also the first time I designed colours intentionally for a sweater I made and it turned out really well!
What percentage of your projects do you actually finish?
Knitting projects or general projects? If you’re talking about knitting projects: well, I’ve got a lot on the go but that doesn’t mean they won’t be finished at some point (I’d like to think so anyway). The amount I give up on is very small. Er, for an overall percentage I’d say 60/70%? But for everyday life projects it would be a lot less! I’ve got a lot less commitment if it’s not about yarn...
What’s your favourite colourway that you’ve ever made?
The “Recency Romance” fade - it’s got all my favourite colours in, it’s bright, and it’s pretty! And I absolutely love the fade.
What’s your least favourite colourway?
“Green as Goo” - because it’s Halloweeny but not Halloweeny enough, so I’ve been stuck with it forever - so please buy it people!
Which other UK-based yarn-dyer inspires you the most?
In terms of dyeing style: Spectrum Fibre or Bird Street Yarn - they’re my two yarn crushes, if you will! And in terms of ethos and values, it would have to be Georgie from Fibre Fox: she’s generous to other dyers, she’s very “collaboration over competition”, and her yarn is stunning too.
Who is a yarn dyer to watch?
There’s an Insta friend of mine who’s just launched her own indie dyer business with her sister: Weku Yarn. They have amazing colourways already, but lots of good businessy planning there too; you have to be able to do both to be successful really.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Do you know what? It’s actually, having struggled with mental health and sense of self and all of the lies that depression and anxiety tell you about yourself, my favourite thing is the sense of pride I have in it. I love that I’ve built something from scratch, and that I’ve essentially created myself my dream job and I’m seeing it thrive!
I’m seeing lots of your values coming out in your answers here, like collaboration and mental health. Are there any other values that you’d like to share?
Yes, there’s environmentalism: this comes through in the packaging I’ve chosen for my business but also in the “slow fashion” element of the whole thing. A big part of knitting for me is creating garments that you will wear time and time again, repair, and later pass on to the next generation, which comes back to environmentalism as it’s reducing waste production that’s so inherent in fast fashion.
What have you found most surprising about your job?
I was actually surprised at how much I enjoy the business side of things, not just the creative side. I would say I was surprised at how much of that there is, but it’s definitely to be expected when you’re running a small business. I love researching new products, thinking of new ideas, and thinking about collaborations more than I expected to. The main surprise in terms of dyeing itself is how physical it is - lifting wet yarn is flipping heavy! You don’t think of it as being physical work with it being a creative pursuit, but it really is!
As lockdown restrictions ease, where are the first three places you will go?
1. My parents’ garden, 2. My favourite little coffee shop, Folk Like These, and 3. Soft play. That pretty much sums up my life to be honest: family, children, coffee!
Quick fire questions: what would you choose?
Coffee or chocolate? Coffee - I can’t function without it, without chocolate I would just be sad.
Coffee or yarn? Oooooooh! Er, er .... but if there was no yarn there would be no knitting, and that would be like my whole life gone! So, yarn. Oh my goodness, you’re mean! I’ll take the yarn, but I can have other hot drinks though, right? ... Eurgh, tea: it’s just not the same is it?
Yarn to knit with, or the finished knitted garment? Yarn to knit with - because that’s the whole point! It’s the care and enjoyment you get from actually making the thing that makes it all worthwhile.
More hours in the day, or more yarn? More hours, 100%! I’d spend more time with my children, finish more projects, and sleep more!
What’s your biggest business goal for the rest of 2021?
1. Keep growing the business in terms of more customers, brand recognition and trust. 2. Do more pattern design and kits. And, 3. working with more great designers whose values align with mine.
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to say to your customers?
Just a massive thank you! Because I wouldn’t be able to do my dream job without people buying my yarn.