Well, it’s that time again . . . Indie Dyer Time! Today, I have Joe Cole from What the Flock (love that name, don’t you??) Joe graciously agreed to share some info about his dying process and inspiration with us. He is also a fond of information about the dyeing community. I first heard of What the Flock through Spinning Box; if I had to describe Joe’s colorways, I would have to say bright, bold, colorful, and fun. Joe agreed to share some beautiful photos for this post and I’m hoping they get you inspired to knit, spin, dye, or yarn-away in whatever fashion you see fit.
How did you get into dyeing?
My story all started out of curiosity, a need to be creative, and the fact that at the time my LYS didn’t have exactly what I liked. I’m picky. LOL. At the time I had to discover everything myself and for me I didn’t know there was much of an Indie Dyer Community.
What is your favorite fiber to dye?
Merino? Superwash Merino? Haaahaa . . . It’s hard to say because each fiber has it’s own personality and I love or hate each one for that reason. I will say that I gravitate towards anything superwash. Only because I’m impatient and I can man-handle the fiber or yarn a lot more then I can untreated wool. I also like the fact that superwash will allow for more saturated colors because it will take on so much more dye than natural wools. In addition, it’s fast to work with and that really helps on my production time.
Any advice for new dyers?
Ohhhh, there is a lot of advice but where to start. First, learn your basics; then, from there experiment. Once you have the hang of it start playing around and break the rules. There are millions of ways you can do things in the dyeing world as long as you keep your basic knowledge in check. Keep expanding your knowledge too. Ask questions, but don’t be pushy. While the dyeing community can seem nice you’ll most likely come across a lot of brick walls. People can be very secretive.
Be yourself. It’s OK to be inspired, but honestly don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Try not to get caught up in the online community. If you know a local dyer, see if you can apprentice with them. Did I mention do a lot of research and education on it? LOL, especially on the business end of things. Don’t listen to half of what you hear when it comes to people saying dyeing has to be done this way or that way. Oh god, there is so much I can tell people who want to get into but I’d be here all day. I guess I’ll just close this off by saying: Do what you love and put yourself into it and people will love it.
Where can folks find your shop online?
Well, People can find me on Etsy at Whattheflockhanddyed.etsy.com or they can find me on Facebook in my What the Flock! outlet group where I occasionally unload some specials and extras that never make it to etsy.
What’s NEW on the horizon for your shop?
Right now I’m looking to have some kits with project bags ready for the spring season, plus kits with patterns included. I’m always coming up with new product ideas to see what sticks and what doesn’t.
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Thanks so much, Joe!
I love meeting new people (and sheep!): if you are an indy dyer, a hand spinner, a shepherdess, a small flock owner, a mill operator, or a wool trader, I would love to feature your work on this site. Please get in touch via email or Ravelry by clicking the “About” tab (above)