Knittin' Little: Thank you so much for allowing me to interview you! I was really taken with the yarn Kristen used in her sample and couldn't wait to hear more about The Fiber Seed and what you do. Can you share how you got started in the fiber industry?
Lindsay: My personal obsession with yarn snowballed into my involvement in the industry. I had taught myself to knit in the summer of 2008. This was spurred by a substantial amount of down time following my graduation from college, then marriage, AND a 1000 mile move away from where I grew up in Tampa - all in one month. I soon began working at a big box craft store and moonlighting as a barista at our then local coffee shop. Soon we moved back to Tampa, my new found passion lead me to working at a local yarn shop that had a little cafe. There I was able to combine my two jobs, serving lattes and playing with yarn. But being there, I was immersed so much in yarn, I picked up crocheting, weaving and spinning too! Dyeing yarn was the next level. I wanted to be creative in a different way, I actually got to use my art degree. So I began to dye using Kool-Aid and any random un-dyed yarn I could find. I showed some friends what I was coming up with, they would inquire, "Have you thought of doing this for real, so we can buy it?" So, I found a dye and some yarn for my dream of my own yarn line. After a couple years my business was growing, and also we added our first baby to the mix and my husband, Jordan, had to start helping out. And here we are, 4 years from Kool-Aid dyeing, with a 2 year old site boss and our yarns in yarn shops all across the US.
KL: How funny! I actually did the same thing (graduated school, married, and moved across the country all within a month) but my move didn't lead me to fiber quite so quickly! How is The Fiber Seed different from other yarn companies? What makes you unique?
L: We aspired to be distinct, to be the multi-colored sheep, so to speak. We wanted to revive the art of hand-crafting a product that revitalizes people's creativity. At our core is the belief that vibrant color and soft US wool can live in a symbiotic relationship - one doesn't need to be sacrificed for the other. We use an American made dye that has no harsh chemicals (no hazmat warnings needed here), no heavy metals, and a low impact on the environment. It also conforms to the Organic Trade Association's standard for Organic Fiber Processing.
KL: You are also a mom with a toddler. How do you share your love of yarn with your little one?
L: My little one, Reece (2 years old) has been immersed in the fiber arts from day one. As a little infant sitting in his swing he used to cry when my winder would stop winding yarn. It was like a giant color-changing mobile. As he grew I would wear him on my back bouncing him to sleep while I was dyeing hand paints. Now he enjoys looking at the yarn hanging dry and naming the colors. He also likes spinning the swifts when they are empty.
KL: Any favorite fiber related books?
L: We had a friend give him a book called Edmund Unravels, he likes that one. But his very first book was Good Night Moon, where the old lady whispering hush is knitting, and he always points to her and says "knit".
KL: Love this! D always pointed to the old lady and said "that's mama!". You have such a great selection of colors available, both solid and variegated. Where does your color inspiration come from?
L: My color inspiration comes from everyday life, I could be looking at an ad in a magazine, some of my old photographs, or the way the sun hits the water as it sets on the Gulf. There are so many Southern Living, Martha Stewarts and DiY magazine that have left my house missing pages.
KL: What does a typical day in the life at The Fiber Seed look like? If there is such a thing!
L: I get up around 6:30am to collect my thoughts, go through my bullet journal, answer emails, schedule social media posts, and drink my coffee. Around 7:30am, Jordan and Reece get up, we all eat breakfast and by 8 we are working. For the most part I'm dyeing yarn in the studio from 8am-6:30pm, with a quick lunch break, and diaper-changing breaks when Reece walks up to me an announces what bodily function he has just completed. During that time, Jordan is either doing office work, winding out yarn for me to dye, winding up finished product, keeping an eye on Reece or boxing things up to ship. If I finish dyeing early, I help out with anything that still needs to be done. Luckily, I have some great friends who come over once a week to tag and bag finished yarn, make color cards for designers, and play with Reece. Around 6:30, I break to make dinner while Jordan starts washing yarn, we all sit down for dinner. and then he goes back to washing yarn and hanging it up in the dry house to dry overnight. Reece and I normally go out and help him with this task until 8, which is Reece's bath time. After that, I'm inside working on designing or knitting samples for our traveling garment show or a trade show while Reece goes to sleep. Jordan will come in around 9 so that Reece can help him prepare the coffee (Reece calls it 'cof-cof') to brew the next morning, and then goes back to washing yarn if he hasn't finished yet. So I would say our day ends around 10pm. If we have super crazy-busy days that we know are coming up, my Mom or Sister watch Reece for the day. As you can tell, if it weren't for Jordan and my 'village', The Fiber Seed would still be my part time gig, instead of a growing family business.
KL: That sounds so busy! What have you found to be the best and worst parts of running your own business?
L: The best part about running you own business is making your own schedule and being in direct control of the money you make, which is also the worst part of running your own business. You tend to work a lot more, and when you get sick you can take off work. That means that no one else is doing the work that you do, and you have the possibility of getting behind in orders.
KL: For Kristen's design she used Sprout in Silver. Which yarn base do you think is the best for knitting for children?
L: Sprout would probably be best. It is a fingering weight Superwash Merino, so its light weight, soft, and washable. Sprout also comes in Seedlings (60yds), so making color work pieces for a little ones is easy. It is also a heavier fingering weight, so it can get away with being a sport weight too.
KL: What has been your favorite piece that you've knit for Reece?
L: I would say it the Barley Hat by Tincanknits. It's my favorite because he absolutely loves it and is constantly wearing it and knows where it is at all times. He also runs around chanting, "hat, hat, hat, hat". It makes my heart smile.
KL: Where can knitters and crocheters find you?
L: You can find our yarns in your LYS, you can look here on our website to find a shop near you. If you don't see your shop, drop us a line with the shop name and we'll see what we can do.
Thanks again for the interview, Lindsay! I love hearing how other moms and dads juggle their small businesses with everyday life.
Lindsay is also generously giving away a gorgeous skein of The Fiber Seed's fingering weight yarn Sprout. It is 480 yards (whoa!), and is 90% US Superwash Merino and 10% nylon, and is dyed in the colorway Funfetti! Leave a comment below for a chance to win this skein. Giveaway is open to US residents only and will run until midnight on Sunday, February 28th. Good luck!
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