There are so many amazing independent makers in London but even when you live here you can miss some fantastic ones that are right under your nose. Mette and Gather Yarn is one of those makers for me. I had cast my net out to my network for recommendations for Make Joy and said that I was looking for people that you don’t usually see at events and I was really thrilled when one of the suggestions that came back was Gather Yarn.
Mette loves dyeing wool and silks in her kitchen using plants that she’s gathered from neighbourhoods around her home in London, as well as on the coast of Denmark. Mette also uses raw food waste and sustainable plant material as dye extracts to dye her yarns and the results are beautifully soft, gentle colours.
My questions about what Mette is bringing to Make Joy turned into a little interview - enjoy!
C&Q: What are you planning on bringing to Make Joy?
GY: I’m bringing a couple of suitcases worth of yarn that I’ve dyed with plants that I’ve picked in my local parks or on my allotment in South East London. I’ve got three bases that I dye on – an all-natural sock yarn in wool/bamboo, a luxury alpaca/cashmere/silk yarn which is ideal for scarves and shawls and a lovely fluffy Kid Silk lace that can be mixed with a plain wool yarn or any of my other yarns.
C&Q: Anything new or special or kitted up for pre-Christmas shoppers?
GY: I might also bring a luxury lace yarn as a last minute surprise - I am testing it at the moment to see how it performs. It’s really important that the yarns take the dye well and that it does not fade. I only dye with dyes which are colourfast but even so I still like to test on specific yarns.
My fluffy Kid Silk lace is also pretty new and has been very popular in my Etsy shop.
C&Q: Are you bringing your best or most popular items?
GY: I looked over my order book the other day to try to pinpoint what have been my most popular colours and nothing specific jumped out! I dye a rainbow of colours (except black) and it seems that they are all popular with my customers. However, purples and pinks are less commonly found in natural dyes, so when I have those in stock they go quite quickly. I’ll bring as much as I can in November!
C&Q: What are you looking forward to the most about Make Joy?
GY: Talking to people about yarns and knitting and trying to find the right yarn and the right colours for the project they have in mind. I love to see people’s faces when they start combining colours and nuances – the amazing thing about naturally dyed yarn is that they all go together, you can literally pick up any skein of yarn and put it with any other and the colour combination will be fabulous – sometimes unusual or unexpected, but always fabulous.
C&Q: What make you want to be part of Make Joy?
GY: I have done small mini-markets at the retreat I organise with Helen Stewart from Curious Handmade but I’ve not done one as part of large event and I’m really looking forward to it! The difficult thing will be trying to stop myself spending all my money at the other stalls!
(I have a hard time with that too Mette!)