A while back I asked Tami if she’d be kind enough to grant me an interview. She’s a blogger, gamer, knitter and has now opened up her own line of hand dyed yarns. To learn more about this talented lady, read on!
Tell me a little about yourself. What crafts do you typically do and who taught you/how did you get started?
I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles surrounded by the entertainment industry and tons of creative people. I’ve always been a creative person, earning a BA in Art and working in an entertainment field. A few years back, I gave up painting for writing, but I still felt like I needed to create something other than shaping words into stories. One morning, I just woke up and decided I needed to learn to crochet. I went to the craft store and bought a skein of Red Heart Super Saver and a J hook, then sat down at my computer and searched for videos online. My mom tried to teach me how to crochet several years before, but I just couldn’t pick it up, due to being left handed. Lucky for me, I found a few great videos geared toward lefties. Since then, I haven’t been able to stop crocheting (and now knitting). It’s a huge part of my life.
Right now my obsession is socks. I have a few pairs going (my first and second pair) and have plans for many more. Lucky for me, I have a ton of sock yarn in my stash. I also love making amigurumi, both knit and crochet. As far as my favorite materials, I adore Knit Picks Harmony needles and Susan Bates crochet hooks. And yarn? I love all yarn!
Not all of our projects turn out exactly as we intended. Tell me about some of your “ughs!”
Like everyone, I’ve had a ton of “ughs!” Some end up in the frog pile while I’ve been able to work through others. I bought a few skeins of beautiful yarn at a LYS once, and this was before I really knew much about different fibers. I just loved the look and feel of it. Because I wasn’t too experience, I decided to crochet a hat with it. Stupidly, I picked a pattern that was too hard for me and did it all wrong. I realized about half way through, and in the process of frogging, the yarn broke. I still have one of the balls, while the other is laying in several pieces. Sadly, I just can’t look at it really. I hope to someday make something beautiful out of it, as it is great yarn, but just wasn’t for me at the time. I guess right then I should have known that I’d become fiber obsessed.
On that note, is there any material you refuse to work with?
Hmmm, I’ll use just about anything to be honest. I think one of the things I dislike are Clover Bamboo needles (I like sharp points and slick needles and these do NOT fit in either category). I’m also not a fan of Boye crochet hooks. I learned with a set of them, but after trying a friend’s set of Susan Bates, I dropped what I was doing and bought a set. The Boye hooks aren’t very deep and are too round, in my opinion.
If you won the lotto but could only spend the money on studio space, what would you include and how would it look?
Glad I’m not the only one who dreams of that! I guess you have to play the lotto first though, right? When I was in college, one of my design teachers made us design our dream space. Of course, I didn’t knit or crochet at that point, but I was an art student after all. My dream is to have a library space (I have over 1,000 books, but due to space a lot of them are still at my parents house. Let’s just say ereaders were a godsend in my household) where I have a huge desk that looks out on a beautiful view where I can go to write. I’d love to have another large craft desk on the other side of the room with a perfect place for my sewing machine. I’d love a huge glass case to show off all of my yarn (I currently have 266 skeins of yarn but I’m sure if I won the lotto I’d have a LOT more), but still have it accessible. Another area would have a photography space so that I could take better pics of my projects and hand dyed yarn. I think it would be awesome to also have a counter with sink, etc. so that I could also do all of my dyeing there. I think it would be great to also have a big table so that I can hold craft nights at my house. We’d all have big comfy chairs by the fireplace (because OF COURSE this room has a fireplace!) to curl up in and knit/crochet. To be honest, I probably would never have to leave this room!
What got you into dying yarn?
To be honest, I’m not 100% sure. I bought some Fisherman’s wool and read a blog about dyeing. I missed being around a lot of color, since I gave up painting and drawing. In a way, I think dyeing yarn has filled that hole, but I get to combine my love of color with my love of fiber. I started small, using a very small section of the skein. I loved it instantly. To me, the yarn is my canvas now, and I love coming up with new colorways.
As far as Candy Skein, I would love to see it continue to grow, of course. To be honest, I haven’t been opened a month yet (I opened May 3, 2011) and I’m so excited about how it’s grown already. My goal is to have several different colorways always in stock in each weight (and have trouble keeping them in stock!). As I mentioned, I’ve started to make stitch markers too, which I hope to have up in the shop really soon. Who knows, maybe I’ll have a few patterns and/or crochet/knitted items for sale made with my own dyed yarn. My dream? To have a few LYS carry Candy Skein yarn!
What are your top five favorite video games of all time and why?
Wow, this is a hard one for me, probably the hardest of the bunch! I’m a HUGE puzzle gamer, so I’d have to include Tetris as one of my 5. I remember when it first came out for the NES, my mom would take me to the video store every Friday to rent one movie and one game. I ALWAYS picked Tetris. She finally got the clue and bought it! I loved the RPG Mario and Luigi Partners in Time on the DS. I played it all the way through pretty quickly. I also love the puzzle game Puzzle Quest for the DS, as well as Animal Crossing. I’m a softy for the old ones, so I’d probably have to say one of the original Mario games as well. I LOVED Super Mario 3. Funny enough, a few months ago, my husband and I were cleaning out our studio and decided to hook up our old NES. Can it get any better than 16 bit side scrollers? Also, I love old Atari games like Q-bert and Centipede. I feel like I’m missing some HUGE ones that I love, but I guess that’s what I’ll come up with (considering I listed more than 5…oops). As you can see, I have a soft spot for my childhood. LOL If I had to pick one game for one system, I’d probably pick something I could replay a lot. I LOVE my DS (man do I want a 3DS like no other!) so it would probably be something on that and I’m guessing one of the awesome puzzle games. Ok, I thought of another game I love because it mixes two of the best gaming types; Henry Hatsworth and the Puzzling Adventure. It’s a sidescrolling platform game that goes into a puzzle mode and again, it’s for the DS.
Thanks for the interview, Tami! If you’d like to be featured on here email me at vanessa AT mixedmartialartsandcrafts DOT com