What is the name of your Etsy shop and link? Sassa Lynne is the name of my shop. It's actually the name of my range of hand-dyed bits and pieces! You can find my shop here: www.etsy.com/shop/sassalynne?ref=si_shop
How has your experience been on Etsy?
Etsy has been very good to me! Not only have I met some lovely customers, I've met lots and lots of lovely supportive sellers. The community is amazing.
What has been your most exciting moment as an artist here on Etsy?
I can't say that there has only been one exciting moment on Etsy! Each sale is as exciting as the first, but maybe that from a returning customer has a slight edge. However, if I'm honest, unexpectedly winning the treasury challenge is pretty high on the list.
Do you have any advice for new Etsy shop owners? Oh yes! Join a team! Once you have chosen your team it's essential to become an active member. The advice and support you receive is perfect to help your business grow and turn your Etsy experience into an exciting and freindly one.
Tell us how you got started dyeing yarn. What drew you to this line of work?
I've been dyeing threads and yarns for over 20 years. At first it was in a very small way so that I could use them in embroideries of my own. Gradually more and more people asked if they could buy them, so I expanded my range of colours and fibers - and suddenly I was a 'shop'. I love mixing dyes to produce unexpected colour combinations, and over the years I have developed techniques that are unique. I teach dyeing, but I don't teach these ;)
What is an average day like in the dye studio?
I often dye outside. I have pots, tubs and bags available, and gradually during the day they are filled with fabrics, yarns, fibers and threads. The dye is applied carefully, and I make copious notes. The weather here in the UK has been very unreliable, so sometimes it has created very unexpected results - and that is so exciting! I use a variety of dyes on my production line (doesn't that sound grand - it's about 2 feet long.....) both synthetic and natural, and sometimes combine both together. I try to be as ecological as possible, and use the very last ounce of colour.
Tell us more how you choose your fibers and yarn bases, and what the average knitter can expect when working with them:
I work in textiles and teach a wide variety of techniques. I choose to dye items that I can use in some first and foremost. Although I don't find time to knit I do use knitting yarns, so these find their way into the shop from time to time. I dye yarns that range from banana fibres through cotton to viscose, and, of course, wool. The also dye the raw fibres, viscose, wool and silk, although I don't often offer these on Etsy. Hand stitching threads are the most popular, and the range of fine perle that are currently listed are used by quilters and crazy quilters too.
How did you select the fiber content of your bases? Is there any correlation between the content of the bases and how they are named?
I buy my yarns from a very small selection of suppliers. I am fussy about the quality, and would never resort to saving money on supplies just for the sake of it. These suppliers often don't have large stocks of yarns etc, so I buy what they can currently supply.
What are your favorite projects to make with your items?
My favourite techniques include using the Embellisher Machine, Creative Free Machine Embroidery and hand stitching. The embellisher machine is an adaptation of an industrial needle-felting machine. I have had one since they were introduced to the UK and I love it! I can use all sorts of fabrics, fibers and yarns to create quite complex backgrounds and then further embellish with hand and machine embroidery. My fine perle can also be used in a large-eyed sewing machine needle, so I can combine all my favourite techniques and supplies in each piece.
How did you decide to go into this business? What’s the best part?… and the most challenging?
As I mentioned above, it almost began by accident! It became more serious when my father died and my mother was able to lend a hand with winding yarns and threads for me. When she was no longer able to do that my husband was able to step in and help. He has been a tremendous support and colleague. We have been married for many years and he is still as tolerant as he has always been, in spite of the house being overrun with dyes and yarns!
List some patterns you think your Yarns would be perfect for:
The knitting yarns are perfect as additional feature yarns. They range in weight from quite fine to chunky. Usually one skein will make a scarf, and there are some of these for sale on Etsy by various sellers who have been good enough to buy from me. If you are a hand quilter, you will love the fine perle. It is a very special thread.
The stage is yours! Is there anything you’d like to add?
Team Elite is a lovely team. I'd like to say a big thanks to all that supported me during my recent period of ill health which also included a hospital stay. I'm looking forward to repaying you all by supporting the team in the future. Thanks again for voting for me in the recent challenge.
Thank you Sassa Lynne, I really enjoyed this interview and browsing all the wonderful items in your Etsy shop!