Saturday, December 31, 2011

Interview: Gynx Yarns




This week I had the pleasure of interviewing her and I hope you enjoy what she had to say!

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting you, please tell us a little about yourself! How and when did you learn to dye yarn?

I’ve lived in Texas my whole life. I started knitting in 2005 and have been addicted ever since. I’m currently in Denton, but I will be moving in with my fiance and two cats in Fort Worth at the end of January when we’re married. I just graduated from the University of North Texas with a major in Fiber Arts, which is where I learned several dyeing techniques and fell in love with the process. At home I tried dyeing a few batches of yarn with Kool-Aid one day and enjoyed it, and jumped straight into the professional dyes from there.

Please tell us about Gynx Yarns and what makes it unique?

Gynx Yarns (pronounced like “jinx”) is an independent yarn dyeing company that is solely operated by myself, which I started at the beginning of 2011. Gynx Yarns are made from 100% organic merino wool, because it is important to me that my product comes from ethical sources. I also have a small line of recycled wools that come from unraveled sweaters that are then hand dyed. There are several different colorways, ranging from muted semi-solids to bolder, high-contrast variegateds, so there is something for every taste.

What inspires your colorways and their names?

I draw inspiration from everywhere. A lot of times when I’m creating a new color, I don’t know what inspires me until after I pull it out of the dye pot. I’ll look at the yarn and realize I got the colors from a show I had watched the night before, a painting I had seen recently, something I saw in nature, or was influenced by what was playing on my iPod while I was mixing colors. Normally I’ll name my colors after those things.


Many of your colorways feature semi-solids and multi-tones. What is it about those dye techniques that you love?

While I love heavily-variegated yarns, I really love subtle shifts in color that can be used for complicated patterns like lace and not overwhelm, but still have a lot more movement and personality than commercial, solid yarns. Semi-solids have so much depth when knitted up and have a very natural feel to them that I’m obsessed with.

Which patterns do you think Gynx Yarns would be perfect for:

I’m working on a pair of basic ribbed socks with my Fullmetal colorway and because of the width of the sock and the length of the color repeats, the socks are getting these cool, thick diagonal stripes. Some of my more subtle colorways would be perfect for lacework. I’ve been wanting to steal a skein of Oil Slick from myself to make a shawl.

What is your favorite part of the dying process?

The best part is putting the paintbrush to white yarn or dipping the yarn into a pot and seeing the yarn soak up the colors. I am meticulous about note-keeping so I can repeat colorways, but when I’m creating a new one, I don’t go in with a plan. I work very experimentally, and 99% of the time it is something that I love. Second, I also love seeing the dyed yarn come out of the pot and seeing my work become something tangible!



Do you have any words of wisdom or encouragement for newbie hand dyers?

Play around and experiment! If it turns out badly, you can always overdye. I’ve gotten some really beautiful yarns from mistake batches.

When at home, please describe where you knit and/or dye your fiber. What is it about the space that makes it yours?

Currently, in my tiny studio apartment I mostly knit in my bed in front of my laptop. I do all the dyeing in my tiny kitchen (with food and the like safely put away!). I don’t exactly love my set-up right now, and I am very excited to have my own studio soon.

Describe your dream knitting nook / room:

This is something that’s been on my mind lately because I’m moving and need to plan my room! The top priority for knitting is finding an over-sized, squishy armchair for me to lounge around with my knitting in. For my dyeing, I’ll have a wall full of shelves and cubbie holes to store supplies and yarn to keep them organized. And of course I’ll have a bunch of my fiber undergrad artwork up for decoration!

Please let us know how we can enhance our stash with Gynx Yarns:

Gynx Yarns is currently available through my Etsy shop: http://gynx.etsy.com You can also follow me on Twitter to find out about shop updates: http://twitter.com/gynxyarns 


 Finally, the stage is yours! Is there anything you’d like to add?

Even though I dye for business, for pleasure I still knit and do other forms of crafts. I blog about those things at http://gynx.blogspot.com
Many thanks to Laura for taking the time to do this interview!