Meet the Maker: Woolberry Fibre Co.
Posted on 18 March 2017
I first stumbled upon Woolberry Fibre Co. through (what else) Instagram and was immediately inspired by the colorways she was dying! I was on the search for subtle speckles and depth of color for the La Mercerie shop and this was exactly what I had been looking for.
You know when you meet someone and immediately think "I could be friends with this person!"? That's how I felt about Bethany. As soon as we started talking about getting her yarns into the shop, I thought "We could definitely be friends...if only we lived closer!". She's so sweet and is so passionate about what she does. It's hard to believe she's only been dying yarn for six months!
I am so inspired by how far she has come and wanted to share her story (plus some other fun facts). Keep reading below to find out more about one of our newest makers - Woolberry Fibre Co.
Tell us a little about yourself!
Hi! My name is Bethany and I am the owner and dyer behind Woolberry Fiber Co., a small indie-dyed yarn company that focuses on bringing calm and soft colorways to the knitting world. I am originally from Colorado (best state ever!), but have lived in several other states as well.
I am married to a wonderful man who has made all of this possible through his encouraging words and good paying job haha! I met my husband in Colorado doing a missions school about 4 years ago, I had just gotten back from the Philippines and was beyond jet-lagged and happened to be knitting a sock, so he noticed and jumped on the chance to start a conversation and long story short, we were married in New Zealand a few years later and spent the first part of our marriage living in a tiny flat about a 1-minute walk from the ocean.
I learned how to dye yarn and spin in that tiny little flat, I even had this massive loom that I never touched because it was a family heirloom and I was so afraid I was going to break it! We live in Wisconsin now, and I have been so in love with connecting more into the worldwide knitting community and absolutely adore all the friends I’ve made and now I basically never put my knitting needles down. I also have a secret goal – I want to try and make 365 pairs of socks for myself so that one year I can wear a new pair of socks each day. I’ll let you know how it goes!
How did you get started as an indie dyer?
Honestly, it was on a bit of a whim. I had recently had to reject a job offer that looked promising, but began to unravel the more I spoke with them. So I was feeling really discouraged and kind of wondered if I even wanted to be in that industry anymore. So, I began searching for other jobs in the area and hated all of them. I decided to think outside the box, so I went on Instagram (as a good millennial would do when they need advice or direction in life haha) and within a few hours I had outlined an entire business plan for my new business venture – a indie-dyed yarn company. I thought my husband was going to think I was nuts, but he said GO FOR IT! And we did!
I began researching different fibers and yarn distributors, bought all the equipment, started an IG account, and just started learning how to dye pretty much on the fly. There were some really ugly skeins to start off with…I’m pretty sure I gave them to my best friend (still feel bad about that). But it got easier to pick color combinations and now I’m almost 6 months into my business and honestly cannot imagine doing anything else. I am so humbled and grateful for all the support during these past months and I am so ready to keep growing and have my yarn inspire others to create.
Your colorways are just beautiful - where do you get your inspiration?
Most of my inspiration comes from the landscapes of New Zealand (and Pinterest color palettes, ha!) I try to create colors that are calm and gentle that will create beautifully knit fabric for a large variety of pattern styles. Oceans, forests, wildflowers are where I draw most of my inspiration from and where I come up with most of my colorway names. But sometimes, I just look at all my dyes and let my creativity run wild – that’s one of my favorite ways to dye.
What’s on your studio/knitting playlist? Any favorite artists or podcasts that we should be listening to?
Right now, I’ve pretty much been listening to Strahan on vinyl on REPEAT! He is a New Zealand artist who my husband is obsessed with and now I think I’m obsessed with him too. It’s so relaxing and helps my creativity when I’m figuring out a new colorway.
As for podcasts, Grocery Girls and Hey Sister Podcast are my favorites. I have watched all their episodes and kind of feel like we are friends even though I’ve never met them. But I think that’s the fun part of podcasts, you get to connect and make friends with people all over the world. Knitting is funny like that, no matter where you’re from, as soon as someone tells you they knit, you’re life-long friends.
What’s next on your “to-knit” list?
Oh gosh…what’s not on my list! I think “Rose Gold” by Andrea Mowry is the next project I want to cast on for myself. But before that, I have a few things to knit for my niece and nephew – Knitting for Olive and Petite Knit are my favorite designers for baby and kid’s knitwear. I secretly want some of the patterns to come in my size!