Skein Queen Blog Post

A Chat with Skein Queen

We are super excited to have Skein Queen at YAK!

We have two ranges, 
Crush is a hardy sock yarn using Superwash Merino Wool and Nylon. The yarn is super soft and given a high twist to add to its durability. Crush comes in a wide range of colours. A pair of socks suited to everyone in these punchy and muted colours.

Skein Queen, Crush, 4ply, Merino / Nylon, Sock Yarn, Indie Dyer, Hand Dyed Yarn, Wool,
The second yarn we have is Selkino, Selkino is a range of rich, beautiful and hearty colours inspired by Debbies surroundings. With 30% Silk blended with the Merino, Selkino is super soft and has great stitch definition. As a single ply its a yarn to be reserved for shawls, cowls and other low abrasion projects.

Selkino, Skein Queen, Merino, Silk, 4ply, Fingering, Hand dyed yarn,
Last week as we excitedly unpacked our latest delivery of incredible yarn,  hand dyer Debbie Orr AKA Skein Queen answered our questions and let us into her inspirations and future plans for her beautiful dyed yarn.  

Here is Debbie answering our questions, we find it so insightful to see where these designers gets their inspirations from, and how that is translated into a colour, so, over to Debbie… 

1. When did you start dyeing? I started dyeing back in 2007 – I find that slightly shocking but also grateful that I’ve been able to spend the last 10 years doing what I love.

2. The Berkshire collection ‘Selkino‘ is inspired by your surroundings in Berkshire, ranging from abandoned airbases to Rose covered cottages and local villages. How do your draw your inspiration from places? We’re right in the heart of rural Berkshire here at World’s End, so inspiration is all around. I drive through the nearby village of Hermitage on the way to work every day so it had to be in the collection and for some reason, it made me think of the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg which makes me think of rich, lavish golds. Inkpen is a village in West Berkshire and completely makes me think of dark blue ink.  While Greenham Common was an abandoned airbase but is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest and there are some great walks up there and unusual vegetation and nature (along with cows grazing, many cows!)

3. You’ve recently expanded and moved into a much larger premises, what’s next for Skein Queen? The new dyeworks are working out fantastically. I’m able to do everything I couldn’t do before due to space restrictions, including wholesale orders. Eliza, the studio assistant, has been able to go full-time and as well as winding, tying yarn, labeling and wrapping orders, I’m slowly teaching her how to dye. Eventually I’d like to be able to take on more staff and keep expanding, yet keep the artisan, small feel of Skein Queen and retain the customer standards that are so important to us. I’m also looking to expand the Queen’s Surprise Club inspired by novels, add more colourways to our repeatable collections and develop more custom spun yarns.

4. What’s your fave Fibre you dye? That’s such a hard question! Like asking me to choose my favorite child. Though I do currently have a bit of a passion for the singles, like Selkino and Wriggle, just for the way they take the dye. And I’m addicted to knitting them at the moment.

5. What’s currently on your needles? Ahem, quite a lot. I’ve just chosen 6 skeins of Selkino and Wriggle for the What the Fade KAL by Andrea Mowry. But it doesn’t start until next week, so have just cast on a pair of Snooks Fingerless Mitts by Suzanne Stallard (alabamawhirly) using Crush. Also now that the cooler weather is on its way, I can make more progress on my Lopi sweater with yarn bought in Reykjavik back in April.

6. What’s your fave thing about Brighton? I love the atmosphere of the city – all the little independent cafes and vintage shops. And the fact it’s by the sea – absolute best of both worlds. I would move there if I could!

And share with us a fun fact! I have a certificate in flamenco dancing gained at the age of 30!

Thank you so much to Debbie for letting us into a few of your secrets and providing us with all the more knitting we want to cast on! We couldn’t possibly chose a favorite colour so a pair of socks in each in Crush please, and all the shawls in Selkino

Skein Queen, Crush, 4ply, Merino / Nylon, Sock Yarn, Indie Dyer, Hand Dyed Yarn, Wool,