Today I've got a special interview with Liz of Colorful Eclectic!
Liz was able to chat with me on March 21st, 2018 in the Club Yumi VIP Lounge. Colorful Eclectic was the featured yarn in March's Club Yumi kit, Stars in Their Eyes. We chat about her dyeing process, her inspiration & how she got into dyeing in the first place. Liz is bright and cheery & brings all that lovely energy to her dyeing.
I also wanted to highlight Liz this month because she's created an exclusive colorway for the the #TitsOutCollective: If I Want Exposure, I'll Get My Tits Out: Mile High Club. She's still taking pre-orders for this special colorway and $5 from each skein sold will be donated to Girls Inc of Metro Denver. She selected this organization because their mission gives her hope for our collective future. This colorway will only be available during the month of July 2018 and would be perfect for any of the patterns in my #TitsOut Collective eBook: If I Wanted Exposure...
"I love color!"
Liz: Hi everyone. I am delighted to be here and am looking forward to answering your questions.
YumiYarns: Hello, Liz!
I’m so sorry for the delay and my terrible ability to figure out time zones that are different from mine.
Thank you so much for being here!
Liz: My pleasure.
No worries. We all have those days when time is an enigma.
YumiYarns: How are things going out in Colorado? I saw on your Instagram that you’re currently swimming in yarn that needs some dying. ^_^
Liz: Spring seems to be in full effect this week in CO! Ya know, starting the week off with thundersnow and today's high was in the 60s. Yes, I have loads of yarn to dye. It is BLISS
YumiYarns: Lol, spring in the midwest, huh?
It looks like you've got your work cut out for you. Is all the yarn to be dyed a secret project or can you let us in on some of your plans for it?
Liz: No secret projects currently. I am working with Carl & Eileen of Bijou Basin Ranch to dye up 15 new colorways for them on their Lhasa Wilderness & Shangri-La bases. These will launch at Interweave Yarnfest in Loveland, CO on April 12-14.
I also have my regular bases being prepped for some upcoming Pop-Up Shops at Longmont Yarn Shoppe (March 31st), Fancy Tiger Crafts (April 21st) & My Sister Knits (May 5th).
YumiYarns: Oh, that sounds so amazing! I didn't get much time to chat with Bijou Basin at Knit Knosh, but I did get to pet their yarns and those are beautiful bases. I'm sure that your new colorways with them will be stunning.
The pop-up shops sound like lots of fun, too. Are they kind of like trunk shows? Where folks can come, squish and buy?
Liz: Yep. The difference (for me) between a pop up shop and a trunk show is that it is just for 1 day and I am there to help with pattern selection and color pairings.
YumiYarns: Ok, that makes sense. That's a great way to run things, too. I know that sometimes it can be difficult to decide on which pattern to pair with what yarn & sometimes it's hard to imagine how a particular yarn will look once it's knit. I'm sure folks love having you there to help guide them. ^_^
Speaking of color pairings and such... you have a huge array of colorways that you create & it seems like you really enjoy making custom colorways. What's your biggest inspiration and how do you go about deciding on your colors?
Liz: I draw inspiration from everything.
I like to settle down before bed by playing around on Pinterest and I have so many boards there for color inspiration. If you want to check it out, I am Colorful Eclectic over there.
I love to look at the world around me and find color combinations that resound with me. I also have a huge (digital) notebook in my phone that I record color inspiration.
Currently, I really like working on collections. For me this tends to mean 4-10 colorways that are related. This way of working has been really inspired by the Fade trend.
YumiYarns: Lol, I knew I was drawn to your style for a reason! As you can probably tell from the kit trios, I also love working within themes/collections. It's just nice to have things tie together around a central idea.
I was actually on Pintrest earlier today and was snooping some of your boards. Lots of pretty stuff & inpiration there! I loved the Beach-themed board that you've got, you can almost smell salty air just by looking through those images.
Liz: The beach one is a new one that I am curating right now. I am really excited about it. I love the idea of a beach house. Salty air and sunbleached colors! I can't wait to get those colors on yarn.
YumiYarns: Yes!!! I will buy so much of that yarn, lol.
We are actually in the process of painting most of our home's interior with sun bleached shades because we love them so much. Our main living room is an almost white shade of yellow with a few pale blue accent walls that we sponge painted onto the yellow. Next up this summer is the bedroom which is getting painted the palest pink with the yellow in our closet to brighten it up a bit. I can't wait to see your take on these shades in yarn form!
Liz: YES! That. All of it.
I also think these shades will be incredibly wearable. We are all looking for not only fun colors but also colors that can fit in our wardrobe.
YumiYarns: I agree that she shades need to be beautiful, but wearable. How many times have we picked up a skein that we love, but then we can never find anything to do with it? That's one of the reasons that I love making designs that are fun but that can also work with just single skeins. It's nice to get some use out of those beautiful yarns that speak to us.
Switching back to color inspiration... When we were working on Here For The Party, I was pleasantly surprised when you asked for an inspiration image. So far, each indy dyer that i've worked with has had a completely different process & it's so fascinating to me. I'm not usually a huge pinterest person, but your boards made me at least want to be a lurker just for the pretty pictures, lol.
Liz: I love to work to inspiration. Your idea of purple and mine may be different but when we can communicate via an image it really helps guide the process. I love the image you gave me for inspiration. It gave me so many options about how to approach the project but also really told me that you wanted bright & vibrant colors. This immediately made me think that Here for the Party had to incorporate the fluorescent colors.
YumiYarns: Yeah, it's amazing how many different shades there are and how the way they are used can be so different from one imagination to another. I loved the way that you interpreted the image that I sent you, and I think everyone else has, too because I've only got 2 skeins left, lol.
Liz: Brilliant! I am so glad that this one speaks to people's fun side. It was a joy for me to create.
YumiYarns: Aw, that makes me so happy. I can't tell you how many compliments that you've gotten from subscribers and from knitters who bought from me at the Green Camel Gathering back in March. I love how bright your colors are and how well you were able to keep the sparkle in the base. I know that an be hard to maintain sometimes during the dyeing process, but you do an amazing job with it!
I know that we're running out of time, but before you have to go, I was wanting to ask you how you got into dyeing in the first place & how did you decide that you wanted to do this as a profession?
Liz: Laura, from Gynx Yarns & Dyer's Notebook podcast is responsible for my shiny sparkle yarns. She shared in an early episode that vinegar instead of citric adic is better for stellina. Since learning that my sparkle really shines.
YumiYarns: Haha, that's a new podcast to me that I'll have to add to my playlist. I don't dye yarns myself, but I'm always game for learning everything that I can about the process. ^_^
Liz: Dyeing found me because I wanted to be able to use beautiful handpainted yarns but didn't have the budget for it at the time. As a young person I learned the lesson to turn passions into a business. I come from a family of entrepreneurs so it was almost a foregone conclusion that I would someday own my own business. So the seeds of Colorful Eclectic were planted.
I started dyeing in 2011 primarily for myself but sold a few skeins to friends. But in 2014 I decided to leave my job to spend more time with my son and the plan was to give Colorful Eclectic a real shot. 3 days after my last day at work I discovered that I was pregnant with my second son. Plans were postponed because the pregnancy and a new business were too much to handle. Instead I spent my time thinking about how I wanted to build the business. In Jan 2015 I gave birth to both the baby & the business.
YumiYarns: Oh, that's so awesome! I love that you've gotten more time for your kids and that you get to have your own business, too. Family is so important and being able to do a job that you love while also getting to spend those precious years with your kids is wonderful. Things seem to really be going well with Colorful Eclectic & I'm so happy for you!
Liz: Thank you.
It sounds so cliche but I really do have the best job in the world. I get to take care of my family & build my dreams. I also get to be an example for my kids of what it is like to work for myself and to (someday) have a business that supports other families too.
Things are great at Colorful Eclectic right now and I think the future is going to be AMAZING!
YumiYarns: I agree 100%! You do such a beautiful job with your yarns and you've got such a fun personality. When we met at Knit Knosh last November, you could just feel the excitement radiating from you and your booth. And it was great to see everyone swarming your yarns! Lol, it was hard to get close with everyone else around. ^_^
I know that I have to let you go, but I was wondering if you have any final thoughts for anyone reading along?
Liz: Ahhh, so sweet. I feel like I can hardly contain myself when I am at events like Knit Knosh. It really is a unique experience that I love. I think that is why I am doing so many in person events this year.
The event that I am most excited for right now is the Colorado Makers Retreat that I am hosing with my dyer BFF, Michelle. Check it out at www.ColoradoMakersRetreat.com
Other than that how about... Make Something Awesome!
YumiYarns: I know what you mean, I love events like that, too. You get a weird sort of high at them and everything just seems so perfect and it's so much fun to talk with everyone who speaks our language, lol. That Makers Retreat looks amazing! I'll have to check my calendar for June. ^_-
Thank you so much for coming on to answer my questions and for your patience with my timing issues. Hopefully, we'll have another chance to talk with you some more in the coming months. Until then, though, where can folks reach you if they're interested in seeing/buying more of your beautiful yarns?
Liz: Thank you so much for inviting me to chat! I have had a wonderful time.
I hope that everyone has a great day & Happy Knitting!
Cozy up this Fall with Club Yumi's Loving Local Trio of Knitting Kits!
Receive a surprise in the mail each month featuring 1-2 skeins of locally sourced fingering-weight yarn paired with an exclusive YumiYarns pattern and a lovely gift from a small business.
Loving Local Club Runs from October - December 2018. Spots are limited!