Our newest featured maker is a rising star in the indie dye community: Bethany of Woolberry Fiber Co! We love her can-do attitude as much as her colorways, and can hardly believe she’s been in business less than a year. Scroll down to see what she makes, and of course, you’ve got to stop by her beautiful Instagram feed after to say hey!
Tell us about who you are and what you make/sell!
Hello! I’m Bethany and the co-owner and dyer behind Woolberry Fiber Co. My husband and I started this business back in October 2016 literally on a whim, he was at work one day and I called him and said “I want to start a yarn business. What do you think?” He said go for it and we have never looked back!
We actually both learned how to dye at the same time and my husband helps from time to time, especially on those days when my neck hurts from having it bent over the pots all day! We love to create hand-dyed yarn inspired by nature with fun and bright speckles thrown in because who doesn’t love pops of colors? Lately my obsession with neon has grown, so there will definitely be lots of neon speckles coming to the shop.
Where do you work? From home? Do you have a studio space?
All of the yarn dyeing actually takes place from my parent’s basement since we do not have adequate space anywhere else! I have a little studio space set up in their kitchenette with a few double burners and a wonderful shelving unit built by my husband (perks of being married to a carpenter). They have been so supportive and helpful throughout this whole journey, my mom actually helps me fulfill most of the orders that come through and my dad has helped wind mini skeins for past mini skein sets! Parents are truly the greatest.
How/when did you fall in love with the yarn world? Did someone teach you, or are you self-taught?
I’ve been knitting from the age of 12 when I attended this summer library program taught by the sweetest grandmas, it was a 3-hour class and I absolutely loved it. But after a few months of making awkwardly shaped dish clothes with quite a few holes in them and not having a clue how to bind off, I put knitting down until I was about 17. That’s when I really began a love for knitting and I haven’t really put the needles down since…I even brought a worsted weight project with me to the Philippines where it was a good 100+ degrees! I’m pretty sure I felted the yarn a few times from all the heat and sweat. But I really can’t go a day without adding at least a few stitches to my projects.
Where can we shop for your products?
All of my products can be found on my website – woolberryfiberco.com. I also have a few yarn shops around the US that carry my yarn! Seeing my yarn in a yarn shop still feels like a dream.
What are some of your favorite materials/tools?
One of my favorite tools to use for dyeing are shallow banquet trays, they can be found in most home goods shops as well as on amazon.com. They make speckling a dream and allow me to visualize what the skein will look like once it is finished. I love having that flat canvas to work with instead of in big pots…I never quite got the hang of speckling in pots. It always came out as a giant brown blob of color.
What are your other hobbies?
Besides all the other types of crafting out there – sewing, crocheting, embroidery, etc. I really love exploring new places and towns with my husband, every weekend we try to find a new place we haven’t visited before and when the summer hits, we try to spend every second we can outdoors. If we could, we would travel for a living…we are already planning our next international excursion.
What is one of your favorite things you’ve ever made and then sold/given/traded?
I absolutely love making things for friends and family, I think it’s one of the best ways to communicate how much they mean to you. With that, my favorite item I’ve ever made was actually a baby quilt for my niece. I really wanted to make her something special for when she was born, so I decided sewing a quilt would be an amazing idea. The only problem was, I had no clue how to quilt yet alone sew. So, I took one quilting class at a local shop and Youtube’d everything else and somehow pieced this quilt together into a slightly misshapen mosaic star. But my sister loved it and used it until it literally fell to pieces (I guess my quilting wasn’t as good as I thought!). But my sister is pregnant with her second child and I’m planning on sewing a quilt again, just going to go with a beginner pattern this time around.
Do you have any fibre-crushes? People who inspire you?
One of the yarn companies that inspires me and I have a totally fibre-crush on is La Bien Aimee. They have some of the most beautifully designed colorways and their tiny shop in France is literally a dream. I told my husband if we visit France, that is one of the places we will be visiting.
Do you have any favorite fibre books?
I don’t often use fibre resource books or pattern books, I’m more of an online person – Youtube and Raverly all the way. But I really love all the Pompom Magazines. They are filled with such beautiful photos and so wonderfully laid out.
Any new skills/products you’re excited to be developing right now?
Even though we are still a relatively new yarn company, I’ve been able to play with a lot of different dyeing techniques, yarn bases, and color schemes. So, I am always looking for something new and exciting to bring to the shop and I think the next big thing for us will be to incorporate some naturally dyed yarn this summer utilizing some natural resources from around the area. We also have tons of collaborations coming this Summer and Fall. I think that’s my favorite part about the fiber community is that we get to work together to create beautiful things that we would not have been able to create on our own.