Indie Yarn Dyer Jen Mumme of Fresh From the Cauldron brings her sense of humor to the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird on her first ever visit to ANY podcast.
Jen Mumme says she learned to crochet at about 7 years old. She would visit her grandparents in upstate New York and get bored, spent time with her aunt who had only boys. Her aunt taught her to crochet as a way to keep her entertained. When she was in school to become a teacher, she learned to knit. Another friend introduced her to Ravelry, and she thinks of it as falling down the rabbit-hole, finding all the available resources. Other hobbies she played with fell to the side immediately, she never finished the quilt she was working on. She visited a LYS (local yarn store) and her new passion suddenly seemed VERY expensive. When her husband looked at the materials that she still had from scrapbooking and other projects, she said she had to ask to she look around for a way to make their dollars go further, and off-set the cost.
Playing with wools and various ways of dying them, using Wilton dyes and Kool-Aid, her first attempts with yarns that didn’t take the color were a learning experience. She posted her efforts in Flicker and someone messaged her for a custom order, and then someone suggested Etsy. Eventually she was earning enough to support her own yarn habit.
Out of her love for all things nerdy and geeky, she created yarn colorways based on various ‘fandoms’ or movies, television or books. When she began she was into ‘True Blood’ and would share what she was creating and sharing with others on Ravelry and in her Etsy shop. Even the name of her business Fresh from the Cauldron was in homage to Harry Potter. She looked for ways to share the things she gets excited about without stepping on other businesses similar to hers.
Her husband is works freelance in the film industry (having just wrapped the latest season of ‘Comic Book Men’), she says this makes their entire household a creative and arts related one. When he saw her efforts were becoming enough to support their family, not just her habits, he started looking a how she plays with color a little differently. She says she may be the CEO of Fresh From the Cauldron where he is the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) because of his way with numbers and details.
The wealth of information she’s gathered, like the difference between acid dyes and citrus dyes, the benefits of citric acid and vinegar soaks (which Jen refers to as “sheep douche” and was where we all pretty much lost it), how to clean the kitchen where the dye process has made everything look like the unicorn was very sick, how to deal with the ‘fragrance’ of the process in Florida, picking bases and collaborating with other indie-dyers (in Ravelry see Dreaming Pickle Pot), finding tools like skein winders and the fun of mini skeins, the difference between ‘graduated’ and ‘gradient’ colorways. Currently, she is working on a massive order for The Loopy Ewe, so watch for that.
Jen still finds a little time to knit in the evenings when the family is watching TV, also when at the Dr’s office, or other wait times. Jen Mumme and Fresh From the Cauldron can be followed at her website (Etsy Shop) FreshFromtheCauldron.com, Facebook, Ravelry (there is a special thread for for custom orders), Instagram, Flicker.
If you missed hearing this live, it’s still available as an archived episode where it aired originally http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2016/09/13/indie-yarn-dyer-jen-of-fresh-from-the-cauldron (disclaimer: there was some adult content in this visit) or with your favorite podcast catcher like iTunes or Stitcher Radio. There is also video on Marly’s Facebook page, as a behind-the-scenes video.