24 May 2009

Artisan of the Week, Kristina of Flutterby Creations

Today I have the great delight of introducing you to the wonderful Kristina of Flutterby Creations and Eco Products 4U. This lovely lady does something that I so much long to learn to do. She is a spinner and dyer of fibres and creates some of the most gorgeous looking yarns that I have seen. Not only does she spin, but she knits, sews and creates beautiful jewellery, so she abounds with many creative talents, but as you will see when you read the interview her main passion is fibre...

1. Could you please introduce us to who you are and what you do?
Hi my name is Kristina, a slightly eccentric WAHM to two lovely kids & husband. Unfortunately I am pretty much disabled by POTS which has effected so many areas of my life. I am currently living in West Wales, where the sea so often inspires me. That's who I am, now what I do.

I run Flutterby Creations selling a range of hand dyed / painted yarns, hand spun & knitted items. These are all made by my fair hand. I find it best when I have multiple projects on the go, so I also write and working on a new venture called Eco Products 4U. The aim is to set up a website which promotes, not only eco products, but ethical shopping practices. So people who are hobby / micro / small or family businesses, who produce products are able to sell them in the shop. The shop will have all the selection of a big department store, allowing people to add multiple items from different suppliers, checking out at one point. With the ease of shopping from your arm chair. All products are dispatched from the individual suppliers to cut down on packaging and excess postal cost. It is also home to the Fibreholics Box, which is a box of yarn & fibre samples from among the best independent fibre artists. The box will be available from the 1st of July. Eco Products 4U is still very much in its infancy, but I hope that this may yet be the way of the future, whilst also acting as another outlet for my much loved creativity!

2. What led you to your craft?
When I was going through the hard realisation my health condition was going to be affecting my life forever, and that I could not do normal things like go for a walk, run and play ball with the kids. A good friend of mine challenged me to learn to knit socks! She said it would give me a direction for my built up frustration. I had knitted since a child, on wet days when staying with my grandparents, but had never done much more than scarves! So sock knitting led on to other sorts of knitting and a whole new obsession. I joined Ravelry at her recommendation and led me to meet some fantastic people, who fuelled my obsession, by introducing me to hand painted yarns! I also met on Ravelry other people who suffered from the same condition or similar chronic illnesses to what I have. They recommended that I try spinning, so I did. My spinning teacher said I was a natural, and a wheel, a pile of fibre later, another obsession was formed!

How I came to sell it... A lovely friend of mine who run Eco Knits, saw some of the fibre & hand spun I had dyed and suggested I would want to sell it in her shop, so I did. Another dear friend set up Flutterby Creations website. My husband was complaining about the amount of money I was spending out on yarn, so he suggested I dyed my own. I tried & it worked out fine!

So in short what led me to my craft - my friends and my passion for colour.

3. Which part do you most enjoy?
I do this so that I can feed every ones yarn addictions mwhahaha, yarn is so addictive you need more of it! I do it because I love colour. I am also doing eco products 4U because I genuinely care that 'little' people, who are the bricks & mortar of the economy get a chance to be seen in their glory.

4. Which part do you find hardest?
Not knitting every yarn I produce! Also balancing my drive and ambition, with a body that has it's own agenda in life. There are times when I am so tired I literally doze off on the sofa where I am working. Or if I have done to much the dyeing in a day, I usually end up collapsing in the evening. The trouble is what is too much can vary from day to day! Still though I am finding a better balance now.

5. Where do you hope to be in 1 year’s time?
I would like flutterby creations yarns to be recognised up with the likes of the larger independent dyers. Fibreholics Box to prove a success and we can spread the who yarn / fibre addiction thing to a new level.

6. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
The sort that is free & unbiased! The sort that comes from people who really care about you.

7. Could you name artisans sites/shops would you recommend are worth a visit?
Oh my, soo many ! Nicknots, I love her bags, and she is a great person too! Babylonglegs - I just love her passion for colour. Oh and of course anyone from the Fibreholics box (links on blog)

8. What is your favourite sandwich filling?
Not the biggest fan of sandwiches, however there is one that is a absolute hit! Crispy bacon on toasted bread, with roasted garlic mayo!

Thank you for taking part in our blog Kristina. I would never have known, had you not said, that you had POTS. You are such an industrious person. All credit to you for working around such a debilitating condition. My favourite of your yarns on sale on your website is Slinky singles. I love the colours! When I finally find the time to getting around to learning to spin I'm going to have to get you to give me some tips and hints on creating the perfect yarn. So dear reader if you have been inspired by Kristina to use hand made, hand dyed yarns check out her websites to see where you can get the best!

Written by Lynne of PiratePixieCrew and Hyperloop Hoops

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