By Anne Podlesak
Owner/Dyer: Beata Jezek
Shop: http://www.hedgehogfibres.com/ & http://www.etsy.com/shop/hedgehogfibres
Q: How did you decide to start an indie fiber business?
I sort of fell into it. I love to knit, crochet and spin and when I couldn’t find exactly the colours I wanted I decided to starting making my own. I was working for an architect’s firm at the time and dyeing was really just a hobby, but there was a lot of interest in the colours I dyed. When the economy in Ireland collapsed, and I lost my job, I decided to take a chance and try to make a living as an Indie yarn dyer. This year I hired my first employees and moved the business from my kitchen to a purpose fitted studio.
Q: Favorite fiber/yarn and favorite color?
At the moment the merino aran. I’m all about speed in knitting and spinning, and the aran weight knits up so fast. It makes a great jumper or hat, and it is a great balance of softness and warmth.
Q: Sources of inspiration? What things do you see cropping up over and over in your colorways and/or designs?
Most of my inspiration is very much from nature. While I have some bright, louder colours that are great fun, the ones I come back to time after time are the browns and rusts, greys and greens. It’s very much inspired by the Irish landscape. I live in quite a village not too far from the coast and I think I can see that in most of my colours.
Q: What project(s) are you working on in your spare time?
Knitting-wise, I just finished a jumper from Alice Starmore’s Aran Knits. I have swatched a lace sweater of my own design, and need to get that going. I’m also collaborating with a Cork designer, Laura Eliason, on a collection of hand dyed scarves which are doing well. We are still decorating our new studio, collecting kitchy trinkets all over the place to make it a home.
Also, I decided that now that yarn has become my business, I needed a new hobby, so I started making soap. It escalated quite quickly and I now have hundreds of types of soap in my house! One of my friends has convinced me to sell it in the Christmas markets in Cork in December. I’m not very good at being idle!
Q: Other mediums you like to work in?
I knit, spin and crochet. I have designed a couple of knitting patterns which are available for free on Ravelry.com
Photos © Beata Jezek