An interview with Skein Queen and some yarntastic events

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In anticipation of my next pattern coming out, Corona Beret, I got in touch with Debbie Orr of Skein Queen, who dyed the yarn for it.

Debbie’s yarns are dyed with beautiful depth of colour, I fell absolutely in love with this gold Blush when I was at her open house over the summer. It was a particularly unsummery day, but we were safe from the rain with a load of scrummy cakes and even scrummier wool.
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Debbie has just opened a new workshop in Newbury. Go check out the pics on her blog, it looks lovely! Here’s one I copied…

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Here are a few question I asked Debbie about her new space and her plans for the future.

1. First of all, how are you? The pics of the new space look fab, has the hummingbird landed on her feet?
Thank you, you’re very kind. It’s been hard work, but I think the hummingbird has finally nested. The new studio space is the attic area of an old barn above a craft shop and is basically all my show stuff permanently set up along with many yarn storage shelves, product displays, electric skein winders and a whole area dedicated to packing parcels (plus a sofa for added comfort knitting). The dyeing is still done from my old workshop at home, about a mile from the studio.

2. What are you going to do in the new space that you couldn’t do before?
The biggest change is that I have a bit of space dedicated to retail, so if customers want to squidge the yarn in person, they can now do so. Although I have an employee a couple of days a week, it’s always best to make an appointment in advance as I might be dyeing in the workshop or away at a show and wouldn’t want to be the creator of a wasted trip.

3. How has 2014 treated you so far? I see you’ll be at the pom pom quarterly Christmas party, any other plans for the rest of the year?
It’s been a year of changes. We launched a jazzy new website at the beginning of the year, got my first proper staff member in April, have introduced much new non-hand-dyed stock, held the first ever SQ Open Studio at home in June and now have another Grand Open Day planned at the new studio on Saturday. After that is the Pom Pom party – which was a lot of fun last year – looking forward to seeing the new venue – and then dedication to clubs and shop updates for the rest of the year. And then a large glass or two of mulled wine over Christmas by way of celebration.

4. Are you planning on going to any yarny events in 2015?
So far, have only booked my perennial must-do show and that’s Unravel at Farnham. In my head I’m planning to concentrate on more shop updates to bring more hand-dyed yarn to those who can’t shop in person.

5. Finally, what’s on your needles right now and what’s in your queue?
Just cast off the bottom edge of the Lush cardigan by Tin Can Knits leaving only the sleeves to do and then… oh I think maybe a Corona Beret!

Thanks for your time, Debbie, it would be great to see another Corona Beret in your gorgeous yarn!

Skein Queen is hosting a workshop-warming party on Saturday, I can’t make it myself unfortunately, but I’d love to hear from anyone who does go! Here are the details

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Then the Pom Pom Quarterly Christmas party is on the 6th of December and I’m definitely going to that! I think a whole bunch of us Harrow Knitters are, in fact.

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But in the meantime, I have this beauty to work with

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200g of “Oosie”, a 100% Scottish Down Cross Dk weight. Sumptuous berry-burgundy in colour. Itching to cast on, but have a few other things in the queue to get through first!

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