From A Hundred Ravens Yarns, Kate Bachus visited the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird this morning.
Kate Bachus says she has done everything, but working in game design and getting to know the only other woman, who was a knitter, said “Are you on Ravelry?” At that point, she knew how to knit. She got a dye kit from Knit Picks, and would take her skeins to knit night where they disappeared. Seeing them evaporate, gave her the inspiration to begin dying as a business and thus A Hundred Ravens was born.
Kate admits she likes knitting with her yarns but often with other wonderful yarns, seeing what she loves and … not so much. For projects, she likes smaller projects for her ‘short attention span’, like mitts and cowls. Currently, she’s working on a sweater with determined effort.
From her experience, she has plenty of helpful advice for dye business owners. ‘Keep your day job, to start’ she says. Also, ‘being a people person’, ‘know your product ~ love your product’. Citing the example of Lindsey Martin at Erin Lane Bags, Kate says ‘Everyone loves dealing with Lindsey because she is a people person. There are lots of bags out there but there’s only one Lindsey.’ She says it’s taken five years to get where they are, that it’s successful because it’s a natural growth. Finding what people like has been a boon to business, featuring ‘Fan Collections’ beginning with ‘The Lord of the Rings’ which included colorways inspired by Rivendell and Helms Deep. Fandom really plays with our favorite things. A post on their Facebook page says: ‘What’s a Fandom club? Well, all the participants vote on your favorite fandoms — things like Star Wars, Princess Bride, Supernatural, Dr. Who, Jane Austen (yes, we consider Jane Austen a fandom) — and the top six choices become the fandoms for the club! For the next six months, you’ll get an exclusive skein of fandom related yarn, stitch markers, and some fantastic swag. You’ll receive at least two patterns specifically for the yarn.’ She mentioned a key for 221B went with the Sherlock Holmes, stitch markers with Star Wars logo in another, the Weeping Angels in the Dr Who collections. This is not a US exclusive either, because, even though a bit more, International customers can participate, too.
A Hundred Ravens doesn’t create gradient yarns but minis in gradient sets, which gives a knitter more creativity when putting their project together. The colors are created according a recipe, unless she creates a ‘Wild Child’ which is where she throws caution to the wind and puts together unique, ‘one-off’ product, which means your finished project will never be like someone else’s.
Watch for the new Season’s color, everyone is excited about Kaleidoscope as defined as a group of butterflies. Rachel Henry, the in-house designer, is creating designs featuring this collections. On hearing that Marly’s is teaching her Curvy Knits class at Stitches West, Kate asked that everyone stop by the booth, they are creating a sweater’s worth of yarn in an 8-ply DK weight (completely washable and frogable!) that are dyed to match only each other and with a discount to grab and go.
Follow A Hundred Ravens at their website: AHundredRavens.com or at their Facebook page, Ravelry Group, and in Twitter, Tumbler, or Pinterest. Kate said today that they will be at all the Stitches events this year. At Stitches West they will be in booths 714 and 813, and we will all be looking for them!
If you missed hearing this live, it is still available as an archived episode: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2016/02/11/from-a-hundred-ravens-yarns-kate-bachus or in your favorite podcast catcher, like iTunes or Stitcher Radio.