You may have seen our Q&A with Kim Lauden of Golding Yarns in issue 62, but if you want to know more you can now read the full interview here.
Can you tell us a bit about you and your yarns?
I’m a part-time dyer, full-time teacher & deputy head, living and working in Norwich. I work out of my studio shed in the back garden, often accompanied by Peggy-Sue the basset hound X beagle and my two cats, Wilson and Warrick.
I love to dye brightly coloured, speckled skeins of yarn inspired by TV, film and pop culture.
What’s your workspace like?
I work in my studio shed. We built it last summer as the utility room where I was working previously was becoming unmanageable. The studio is full of inspirational bits and bobs, prints and stickers as well as pegboards housing all of my tools. All of the furniture is vintage, too! I have an old enamel topped kitchen cupboard which was in my parents’ house and two yellow formica tables which I rescued from my school. My desk and sideboard were both thrifted bargains! The studio gets pretty messy when I’m working in there, but you can’t get creative without a little mess, right?
What are your indie dyer essentials?
Gloves! Always gloves! Even with my gloves I end up with stained fingers and ‘art hands’. I also have a pretty great respirator which makes me feel a little bit like Darth Vader. Most of my tools are from the kitchen departments of supermarkets and IKEA, so nothing particularly technical; lots and lots of pans and washing up bowls. I also think that podcasts are essential to my Dye Days; I love listening to true crime stories.
Have you ever had any dyeing disasters?
Early on I made a couple of ugly skeins, but that’s definitely part of the learning process. I also felted two skeins of non super wash yarn which was a bit of a rookie error. Luckily, if you make a mistake, it can be easy to style it out by over-dyeing or adding another process. The worst disaster is when a skein gets tangled – it can take such a long time to fix!
Can you reveal anything about how you create your amazing colour effects?
I use a wide range of techniques and tricks to create different colour ways and effects. I like to use a pepper shaker to add speckles to yarn that has already been submerged in a dye bath. I also utilise a number of different twists and knots to help layer colours. I am always learning new ways to create interesting colour combinations.
What inspired this special skein and mini skein set?
I was thinking nostalgically about what made me happy as a kid. The village shop used to have a penny sweet counter which I just loved. Some of my favourites were fruit salad chews and those neon straws filled with sherbet – I headed down to the shop, grabbed myself a bag of sherbet straws and translated that into a yarn colour way.
What would you make with it?
Socks are an easy choice as there is the option for a contrasting mini skein for heels, cuffs and toes. I also think this would look great as a shawl or incorporated into a garment. There are so many options!
What’s the fibre content and where do you source your fibres?
The Soft & Strong base is a 75% Superwash Merino , 25% Nylon. The name explains it well, really. The yarn is lovely and soft and squishy, but durable enough for socks and garments that get a good amount of wear. I source my yarn from a mill in the UK.
How can crafters to keep their Golding Yarns looking tiptop?
It is always recommended to hand wash your handmade items where possible using cool water and laying flat to dry. If this yarn makes its way into the washing machine it shouldn’t do it too much harm; I’ve got hand knit socks that have ended up in the wash with everything else more than once!
Any tips for budding dyers?
Have a go! Buy yourself some bare yarn (I’d recommend starting off with super wash to avoid a felted mess) and get your hands on some Kool Aid. You can use your normal kitchen utensils, you don’t have to worry about setting with acid- you can concentrate on having some fun. There are lots of guides and tutorials on Pinterest and Youtube. Just don’t forget your gloves!
And if you enjoyed that and want to get your hands on some of Kim’s lovely yarn, you can find an exclusive discount code for 20% off the sherbet fizz hand-dyed sock set yarn on page 69 of issue 62.