This weekend I have for you . . . yep! an Indie Dyer feature! This time, it’s Kayleen Lemieux of Littlebean Crochet. Kayleen has a terrific eye for variegated yarn and wicked-cool sock blanks. Her colorways are a fine mix of subtle and bright, she has several great bases to choose from, and is available for custom orders. I have also seen a few of her terrific YouTube videos and podcasts and appreciate her willingness to show the inside of the indie dyeing business. Kayleen and I had a little chat over email and the results can be found below–but first, some beautiful yarn! [all images are courtesy of Kayleen Lemieux of Littlebean Crochet]
How did you get started as an indie dyer?
I am a crocheter (of almost 20 years), and have crafted with many mediums – from acrylics to wools, t-shirt yarn to cashmere. I have picked up and put down knitting many times in my life and finally am getting into the groove with that craft. Part of the reason I started dyeing was to expand my creative palette, to become a more well rounded fiber artist. To make what I need for what I want to create. The other part stemmed from a frustration with “craft store yarns” – where variegated yarns were not really “variegated” in terms of crochet. Most craft store yarns have short and regular color changes. For crochet, this ends up pooling in blocks (looks like stacked bricks) and nothing frustrated me more than that. I’d go to create something with beautiful clean stitches and it would look awful (to me) because I hated how the colors would pool. I wanted to create yarns that crocheters could use too – that were truly variegated – that would blend with crochet well. I also love yarn. so there’s that too. Who doesn’t love nice yarn???
What do you love most about your crafts(s)?
I love the freedom to create – to use the craft to de-stress – to paint out what I want in yarn. It’s so freeing.
Who were/are your favorite teachers? and why?
My favorite teacher was one of my Psychology teachers in college. She was a no-nonsense person. She was tough, she actually TAUGHT – challenged you to expand your knowledge – your skills. That’s how I thrive – and most the time I am the one to have to challenge myself that way. It was nice to have someone else there who understood exactly the way I needed to learn. I learned a ton from her.
What’s your best piece of advice for a novice dyer?
Just have fun. If you want to dye yarn, do it. Do it for yourself, do it for your friends. Experiment. Create. Free yourself. Interact in the fiber arts community – just be there. Learn from others – what people are making.
If you’re a novice dyer looking to go into business – then it just is that – it’s a BUSINESS! It’s a competitive market and you should have fun, but take it seriously. Know your stuff before just jumping in. You should treat your customers and friends well and have good ethics. But still. The bottom line is to have fun and be creative. If you’re doing that – you’re doing it right!
What’s on the horizon for you? Collaborations? Teaching Events?
For me, just growing my business, keeping my website updated (which is something I have ALWAYS loved) – to create new and fun colors – to inspire others. I teach a local crochet class at my LYS (Marblehead Knits) every Saturday. I am hoping this year to do at least one fiber show. Just for fun – to try it out.
Where can folks find your beautiful yarns?
You can find me at www.littlebeanlovesyarn.com (it’s direct connected with etsy – I am littlebeancrochet.etsy.com), as well as on Instagram where I am most active at www.instagram.com/littlebeancrochet. I also try to podcast weekly and show off yarn and stitchwort at www.youtube.com/c/littlebeanandme
I hope to see you around -say Hi!
I love chatting with all of you!
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Thanks so much Kayleen!
I love meeting new people (and sheep!): if you are an indie 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)