By Anne Podlesak
Owner/Dyer: Felicia Lo
Shop: SweetGeorgia Yarns
Q: How did you decide to start an indie fiber business?
It was a long and winding road to get to this point. I started off studying pharmaceutical science in university, then graduated and attended art school classes, started my own design and web development firm. I love design and typography and colour, of course, but I found the design and development process for clients can sometimes be slow. It can be many months before your designs and ideas come to fruition. When I started dyeing yarn and fibre for fun, I quickly saw how I could express my love for colour and design more tangibly. I transitioned from my design firm to starting SweetGeorgia Yarns around 2005. Looking back, I’m in exactly the right place now. SweetGeorgia is the perfect balance and blend of my design aspirations with my science background.
Q: Favorite fiber/yarn and favorite color?
My all-time favorite fibre is silk blended with wool. I love silk for the sheen and the sparkle it lends to everything, but I love all different kinds of wool for it’s ability to pull everything together and provide structure and spring. As for picking favorite colours, that’s like trying to pick favorites among your children! I am always drawn to saturated, jewel-toned colours because it works best with my skin tone, but I also love those chromatic neutrals… those chocolate browns, dove greys and deep khaki neutrals that are so hard to describe but are so wearable.
Q: Sources of inspiration? What things do you see cropping up over and over in your colorways and/or designs?
In Vancouver, we have plenty of grey and rainy days (if not months), so much of my inspiration comes from a lack of colour. I use colour to pick up my mood, which is why so much of what I dye tends to be rich and vibrant. The colourways names are inspired by music (like Stillwater and Boheme), our local Vancouver area (Cypress, Coastal, and Coal Harbour), and also some of my most favourite things and memories. Tourmaline is named after a little surf spot in La Jolla where I watched a group of husky old surfers drag themselves out of the water to cook tiny hotdogs on a hibachi on the back of a westfalia. It was just a beautiful, peaceful sight that reminded me of what life is about.
Q: What project(s) are you working on in your spare time?
Too many to keep track of, unfortunately… even with the advent of Ravelry. Right now, I’m in the middle of knitting three lace shawls that I’m making for my bridesmaids as gifts and they need to be done… tomorrow. After that, I have a couple pairs of socks I have on the needles. I do love lace and socks, so I always have a few of those projects on the go.
Q: Other mediums you like to work in?
My second love is spinning. I used to come home and spin every day before dinner, but time keeps getting away from me and I don’t have that time with my wheel anymore. But if I get a chunk of free time, I love spinning on my Matchless wheel. Weaving, crochet, and patchwork have all been recent obsessions for me too.