I discovered Positive Ease via a friend who recommended I follow this lovely indie dyer on Instagram. I fell head over heels for Sue's beautiful colourways and the way she shares her work through her beautiful photography.
This week sees the arrival of Merino Singles at Tangled Yarn which I'm excited to share with you but first, let's learn a little more about Sue Ivan the creative entrepreneur whose responsible for making my heart flutter a little faster!
Sue started her indie dye business in December 2017 from her home in Austria as a knitter herself she knows exactly the kind of colours we knitters are crying out for. I was lucky enough to catch up with Sue this week...
Tell us a bit about yourself – where do you live, and if with family/pets?
First, thanks a lot for the invitation. I live with my husband in the countryside, specifically in the northern part of Austria, that is famous for producing wine. We live in a farmhouse and grow lots of fruit and veg in the garden. We keep a small flock of chickens in the backyard and some bunnies, too. I always dreamt of this kind of lifestyle when I was still living and working in Vienna, and therefore I am so thrilled that I am now my own boss and do what I love working from home!
Can you remember the first colourway you ever created?
I do not remember which one was first, but I just looked it up in my notes. It was "Breathe" in 2017, a colourway that combines a sand-coloured shade with light blue. Initially, I thought that I had botched it, but I immediately fell in love when I saw the dried yarn. It has since become a fixture in my palette.
What fibres do you like to work with?
I love working with a variety of fibres but prefer dyeing merino yarn, both plied and single. However, I have only just scratched the surface; there are still so many fibres to discover for me.
What's your favourite colourway from your current range?
Hm, difficult question but I would say "Orion". I love its mysterious impression with its dark and lighter shades and its brown speckles that remind me of star clouds.
What are the highlights and challenges of running an indie dyeing business?
It makes me very happy when customers contact me with lovely feedback. One of the biggest highlights for sure was when Joji Locatelli featured my fade set "Mother Earth" on her Instagram account. I had only just started a few months ago, so it blew my mind! Indeed, there are many challenges. There is a large number of yarn dyers, so you have to find your own voice. Apart from that, there are such mundane issues as shipping and admin etc. I am not going to bore you with any details, but suffice to say that not all of it is hassle-free. Lastly, being creative on a daily basis is a challenge on its own: I often second-guess myself during the process. However, I find that the more I am fully present and follow my intuition, the better the result.
Where do you find your inspiration?
That's an easy one: I find it outside in nature. I work in a tiny studio in my garden, and I just have to look outside the window to find inspiration.
What has been your proudest achievement?
There have been many, yet in terms of my highlights; this has to be the one that stands out. I was approached by my first retailer just after I'd started my business; they went on to feature my yarn on their homepage next to Brooklyn Tweed (whom I revere) I was absolutely over the moon! Imagine that I was still this complete newbie indie dyer who could not believe her eyes!