Does yarn make you happy?

As evidenced by photos and posts over the past few months, I like Happy Fuzzy Yarn. I helped the owner Riin at our industry trade show this past May and after spending three days immersed in her colourful yarns and fibres, I was in love. While I’ve written a bit about Happy Fuzzy Yarn, I thought I would be fun to interview Riin and learn a little more about her business.

little acorn:
Creativity drives new creativity. What is new for you that you’d like to talk about? Did it surprise you?
Riin:
I’ve got a new scarf pattern on the needles, and a new wholesale catalog ready to go to the printer. I used to have a 6-page trifold brochure for my wholesale customers, but I’ve added so many new colorways that we had to expand it to a 12-page catalog! I have over twice as many fiber colorways as before, including semi-solids, which are new for us. I never really thought of doing semi-solids on fiber until three different people requested them in the same week. They’ve been selling well!

happy-fuzzy-colourways

 

little acorn:
I love your semi-solids and that they’re available for fibre as well. A 12-page catalog is very exciting.
You also somehow find time to design with your beautiful yarns. Which design is your favourite?
Riin:
starrysocks-heelandsoledetail-2014-12-04My Starry Night Socks, definitely! They came out exactly how I wanted, and they’re beautiful, and they’re a tribute to one of the greatest painters who ever lived.

designers please note: If you are interested in designing with Happy Fuzzy Yarn, please review the submission guidelines.

little acorn:
They are beautiful! I hope one day to knit myself a pair, they would make my feet happy!

What is something you wish was understood about the dyeing process (or your business)?

Riin:
I dye in batches of five skeins, and while my colorways are repeatable, no two skeins are *exactly* alike. They’re similar. They’re compatible. You may find two skeins from two different batches that are more alike than two skeins from the same batch. But there’s variation even within one skein, so if you’re using several skeins from one or two batches dyed at the same time, they usually go pretty well together. I’m knitting a sweater with ten skeins of American Worsted in Undulatory; I dyed the two batches of 5 simultaneously for the sweater, and while parts are lighter and parts are darker, that’s more from variation within each skein than between skeins. The colors are pretty evenly distributed.
drying polworth

drying polworth


note: Fibre is dyed in batches of four braids.

Also, some people have been surprised to find out I sell wholesale, so I guess I need to make that more well known! You can find a list of retailers that stock Happy Fuzzy Yarn on my site.

happyfuzzyyarnretailers-2014-12-04

little acorn:
While I’m often nearby (at Ikea), I’ve never been to Knit New Haven, I definitely need to go visit your yarns!

Which comes first, the name or the colourway?

Riin:
Usually the colorway comes first, and then once it’s dry I see what it reminds me of. Some are really obvious, like Hemoglobin. And My 6th Grade Shoes. I really did have a pair of shoes that color in 6th grade! They were Earth shoes, Mary Janes. That color reminded me of them immediately. Others are a little more removed, like Undulatory. I couldn’t figure out what it looked like, so I asked Rob [my partner], “Ok, what does this look like?” and he said seaweed. I already had a Seaweed colorway at the time though, so I couldn’t use that. So I thought about seaweed and how it undulates in the waves, and voila!

 

little acorn:
I love your names and now I’ll be able to remember why Undulatory looks like seaweed!

If you had to chose one fibre craft, which one? Why?

Riin:
That’s like asking me which body part I’d like to keep! I think, personally, I *need* to knit. If I go too long without knitting, I get really cranky and stressed out. Knitting calms me.

But dyeing is my livelihood. It’s how I make my living. So I could narrow it down to one for business and one for personal use, but no more than that, and you can’t make me!

 

little acorn:
When not knitting, spinning, or dyeing yarn, you can be found …
Riin:
Doing boring computer crap. Paying bills. Ordering supplies. Being a business owner is not all fun stuff, unfortunately. Fortunately the fun outweighs the crap.

 

little acorn:
Kitten or puppy snuggles?
Riin:
I will happily snuggle with whatever animal allows me the opportunity! I love animals, and most of them seem to like me. I was even kissed by a macaw once!

At home though, I have bunnies! Joey is an older Dutch/California sable mix rescue bunny, and Fiona is a young satin with Siamese markings. Her markings have gotten darker over time, and she’s only 6 months old. It will be really interesting to see how she changes as she gets older.

 

little acorn:
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us!

 

Here is a selection of some of my Happy Fuzzy Yarn (and fibre) and projects.



I’m finishing a wonderfully addictive hybrid knit and crochet blanket, the Granny Log Cabin a brand new pattern by Miriam Felton. You can see all my progress photos and notes at my ravelry notebook. In this photo, Shadow inspects my edging progress. I’m using the lovely Happy Fuzzy Yarn Corrie Sock.

granny log cabin, design by miriam felton, in Happy Fuzzy Yarn

Reader interactions

2 Replies to “Does yarn make you happy?”

  1. Thanks for interviewing me, Penny! Your blanket is beautiful, and so is Shadow!

    Reply

  2. Great interview, thank you Penny! I know Riin in person and I could really hear her voice in this. Penny, I love the beachy colors of your montage at the end.

    Reply

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