Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Interesting Or Not So Interesting With Courtney
Q. Courtney, your one of the winners who’ve received the opportunity to be interviewed for ‘interesting or not so interesting’. Are you up for it? Which category do you think you fall into - interesting or not so interesting and why?
A. I am most definitely the interesting! I live in the middle of nowhere, where there is only one craft store in town, which has stock from the late 80s, walking in when I first moved here my jaw hit the ground, I decided then and there it was time I started giving this little country town a splash of colour my way. Im giving the 80s craft store with one shelf of wool (mostly acrylic) in crazy ugly colours a run for its money. Im a short little 'Indie yarn dyer' with a passion for teacups and leather journals, Im hoping thats what makes me interesting!
Q.What is it that you love about knitting and dying yarn/wool for doing so?
A. I love the fact that you cant buy my yarn in any old place, I love that its unique and isn't mass produced by a machine, it comes from my imagination, my day to day life and from the hidden places in my soul. To see my yarn dyed up, sold on, then see the finished product just makes me grin from ear to ear, there are several little ones styling something dyed by me, even some dyed and knitted by me!
Q. To date what has been one of your most favorite creations?
A. As far as dyeing goes, my most favorite colourway would have to be, Indian Veil, this colourway was one of those beautiful accidents, where I grabbed the nearest tubs of dye and had a child like play basically and she was stunning! I've had people asking me if the colourway will be repeated, and I'm in the process now of de-constructing the wool at the moment! When it comes to my hand knits, my favorite is actually a work in progress! and will be a wip for most of my life I think, I started a hand knitted blanket out of little squares, I'm crazy and I know it, but I couldn't resist a blanket that showcased all the colour in my life, from skeins of wool from other dyers, to wool I've dyed for my children this blanket will have my life's work and others all in one. It will be something that will be passed down my family line, hopefully added to as years go by.
Q. I know I have a hard time parting with a piece I’ve created that I just love, how do you deal with it?
A.I've knitted many items in my short lifetime as a knitter and these don't worry me, I know they are going to homes and will be cherished for years to come, and that is all I could ever ask for, but when it comes to my hand dyeds sometimes I think 'oh, what if I cant make another as lovely as this one? maybe I should keep it!!'
If I was to do this every time that went through my head, Id be a begger with a room full of brightly dyed wool hehe.
Q. So many people do what you do (knitting and dying) what do you do to stand out from the rest and what is it about your products that is a key fetaure for why people should choose yours?
A. I market my yarns a little box of tricks, they are dyed in such a way that the colours play with you, each colour dances in and out of a pattern before you even know it. My dyeing technique is a trade secret. I have had a lot of interest in how I dye because of the finished product is so different, and many dyers have asked and I have had to smile politely and say that's my little secret. So as much as Id love to spill all the details I have to keep it under wraps, otherwise I wouldn't be so different anymore!
Q. With the current economic climate do you think that there will be a rise in the amount of people interested in doing DIY Crafts? What effect do you think this will have on the current industry?
A. I think alot of people are turning to DIY crafts, the crafter community is booming as far as I know, people cant afford the best of everything these days, so why not make the best of everything. I think a hand made item is far better not just for the receiver but for the maker as well! there is just something so special about a handmade item, and it isn't just that, its the affect it has on the environment, I know alot of crafters re use materials, always looking for ways to use everything they already have instead of buying more, and the packaging isn't all plastic and cardboard.This I feel must make some sort of small dent in the economic crisis. I hope that everyone takes up some for of DIY, this world needs it.
Q. I spotted on your blog pictures of your work space, it’s so clean! What are your tips in keeping a clean, tidy and neat work space?
A. Key to a tidy workspace, tidy it up before you take the photo! hehe, I am a messy crafter, I know that much, my little green nook looks like a bomb has hit it every other day, my kitchen looks like a painters palette when I'm in dyeing mode, but after I'm finished, I try ever so hard to do a little tidy. I've always believed that a room has a better feel to it when its clean, you feel better, it lifts you up, and opens you to more ideas, more creativity and more handmade moments, then what you would have if you had crud everywhere.
Q. Anything new and exciting coming up for the rest of 2009?
A. At the present moment I am the middle of my very first yarn club!! which is so much fun! I have really enjoyed dreaming up the colours, getting little gifts from other crafters to showcase their work, So there will definitely be a few more clubs coming to the Inner Stitches nook! I am having a winter blitz club which is a one month only club with limited spots available, the colourway will never be repeated again (as are all my clubs) so my members get a one off. It will be a 200gram chunky yummy wool! For the sock and shawl knitters, there will be a 4ply sock club and a few custom slots will be in the shop every now and again for someone who has what they want colour wise in their head, but doesn't know how to dye it.
Q.Where online can people visit you?
A. I have three main places where you can find me! for the day to day crazyness of my life you can read my little online blog which is : www.ravenscauldron.blogspot.com and my shop is on the delightful Yarn Collective, which is a mall type deal where Aussie Indie Dyers like myself can sell their wares, www.yarncollective.com and then just find The Inner Stitch in the stores section! Last but by no means least is the infamous Ravelry! an online community for yarn addicts of all types, this place is truly amazing, if you've never heard of it check it out its FAB, my username on there is SheKnitsSlowly!
Q. Thank you for your time Courtney and I hope you’ve enjoyed answering these few questions.
A. Thankyou so very much for picking me out of the bazillion that wrote to you! I'm really touched that you thought I was worth a mention!