Today I've got a special interview with Heather of T&H Fiber Works!
Heather was able to chat with me on April 17th, 2018 in the Club Yumi VIP Lounge. T & H Fiberworks was the featured yarn in April's Club Yumi kit, The Kindly Hosts Shawl. We chat about her dyeing process, her inspiration & how she got into dyeing in the first place. Heather is one of my favorite fiber friends and a fellow nerd who loves combinging color, yarn and all things geeky in her creations.
I hope that you enjoy reading the interview and getting to know the creator behind the Yumi Yarns exclusive It Fell Like Lightening out of a Clear Blue Sky colorway!
"I'm Heather Hertziger and I am an artist and hand dyer in Omaha, NE. I was going to tell you that I love hand dyeing because it's a perfect marriage of art and science. However, that sounds really cheesy and pretentious. I love hand dyeing because it's messy. In my opinion all the best art is messy during the creation process."
YumiYarns: Hello everyone and welcome to the live Q&A with Heather from T & H Fiber Works!
Heather: Hello and I'm happy to be here!
YumiYarns: Thanks so much for making the time to be here with us, I'm sure that you're super busy getting ready for your event this weekend.
Heather: Thank you for having me. Getting ready for shows is always hectic but I am at a good place preparation wise.
YumiYarns: Well that's good to hear. This is your first show of the season, right?
Heather: Yes it is, and it's a new one for me so I don't quite know what to expect. I was invited to attend last year but I already had a show booked for that weekend so couldn't make it. So they were kind enough to ask me to come this year.
YumiYarns: Nice! It's always exciting to be in high demand. ^_^
Since it's a new show for you are you featuring any special yarns or colorways? I know Mantis Shrimp is always a favorite at North Country (and I will always love Dark Elf), I'm curious if the popular colorways change from show to show or if most folks gravitate towards certain ones.
Heather: I have two new yarns that will be making their debut this weekend. One is called Black Dahlia, the other is Unicorn Farts.
YumiYarns: Oh, I remember those from your newsletter now! They were gorgeous!! I think my favorite was Black Dahlia.
You always have fun names for your colorways. Which comes first for you, the colorway name or the color itself?
Heather: That really depends on the color. Sometimes the name comes first, other times the color comes first. In the case of Black Dahlia I decided on a colorway and then the name came after I saw how it turned out. In the case of Unicorn Farts I thought of the name then figured out what a Unicorn Fart would look like.
YumiYarns: That makes sense. Kinda whatever strikes your fancy, huh?
So, what does it look like when you start your dye process? Do you just go in and play with the colrs or do you have a set schedule that you work to?
Heather: A sneak peak for your subscribers. Unicorn Farts, and Black Dahlia:
YumiYarns: Eeeee!! They're so pretty!!
And they would both be excellent for the Knit at Nite MKAL that I'm running in May 2018. ^_^
(Get the pattern for 50% off with any purchase from Heather's shop/booth through May 31, 2018!)
Heather: It is totally what strikes my fancy.
My process is a mix of schedule plus play. This show and my next one are very close together so I decided what I needed for both shows. Made a list of single process, double process, kettle dye, paint, etc and laid out how they could all work together most efficiently. Then I added in gaps for playing because if I didn't then I would get bored and feel like a factory rather than an artist.
YumiYarns: That seems like a really great balance of what you need both for shows and for yourself. It sounds like you have a lot of dyeing techniques that you use, do you have a favorite one?
Heather: My favorite would be graphiti. When I have a stressful day at the office I like to lay skeins flat on my table and use dye to write curse words on the skeins. I find it amusing to read, it helps me unwind, and no one (until now) knows I do it.
YumiYarns: Lol, that's hilarious! Do those end up as one of a kind skeins then or is that actually an integral part of certain colorways?