I am super pleased to offer you an interview with Tommi Trujillo, the creative mind behind Moonstone Dyeworks and the Squirrel Pie Productions Podcast. Tommi is truly a breath of fresh air–fun, creative, crafty and full of color. I have been watching her cast for a few months now, and her shawls and spinning are textured and beautifully dyed. Right now she is working on a Stephen West shawl and she is often sewing dresses and tunics and other lovely clothes. So, you can imagine how psyched I was to learn that she is also an indie dyer with an Etsy shop. She has also generously sponsored a GIVEAWAY that I cannot wait to announce on the podcast next week–eep!! yarn!! So check out the interview below, the Squirrel Pie Productions Podcast, and come back next weekend for an awesome Moonstone Dyeworks giveaway from Tommi!
How did you get into dyeing and handspinning?
Handspinning came first, about 4 years ago. I had been constantly tempted by the craft because of podcasters like the Knit Girllls, the Knitmore Girls and Yarngasm. My first introduction to a wheel was at the Sheep to Shawl retreat in Brookings, Oregon. It was a very small group of us and over a weekend we were part of a shearing demonstration, we skirted that fleece, learned how to wash it and got to play with all the crazy prep tools. There was a dye demo, and then the wheels got brought out. I got a vague lesson and spent the whole rest of the weekend on a Spinolution wheel, making some of the worst yarn, like, ever. I went home with a newly purchased drop spindle (cheaper than a wheel!) and some fiber. When I got home I purchased every Craftsy spinning class and after watching them all, just took the plunge and bought a Schacht Ladybug. I fell in love and didn’t touch the drop spindle again… until about a month ago. Now, me and that drop spindle are becoming friends again.
Dyeing happened when my mother bought me acid dyes as a Christmas gift. She knew I had an interest forming and insisted on enabling. I found the pink respirator mask in the garage, put on my fanciest apron and got going in the kitchen. I instantly fell in love with the process, I’m a cook by nature and feel very at home over a steaming pot. My stove is my favorite household item and now we get to spend time together over food AND yarn. Dyeing yarn in my beloved kitchen while listening to very loud music is quite satisfying.
Where do you find inspiration for crafting?
The community around me, for sure. I’m a sucker for other people’s projects. I’ve been a huge fan of many podcasts for so long and being able to see what other people make, as they make those things is very inspiring. And, of course, Ravelry is the great and infinite black hole of inspiration. There’s nothing better than getting lost in the depths of Ravelry for a while.
Any advice for new dyers (or spinners)?
Let yourself jump into it without over thinking too much. Don’t let technique or a firm idea of what you’re expecting slow you down. Good technique comes with practice and practice tends to produce a lot of things that might not meet your expectations. Let perfectionism go.
What’s your favorite aspect of the online fiber community?
The friendships it can allow with people who care about similar things. In person, local friendships are amazing, but there’s nothing like bonding over yarn, fiber and sheep!
Where can folks find your shop online?
Moonstone Dyeworks is on Etsy and you can follow me on Instagram @dynamitetrujillo. The Squirrel Pie Productions podcast can be found on YouTube.
What’s NEW on the horizon for your shop?
My eventual goal is to source local wool and have it custom spun for a more rustic option in my line of bases.
Thanks so much, Tommi!
I love farm visits and meeting new people (and sheep!): if you are a hand spinner, a shepherdess, a small flock owner, a dyer, 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)