Before we get into Skein Appeal, I want to ask about Knotty Gurl Crochet! Was that the very beginning of Skein Appeal?
Sort of lol. Several years prior to starting KnottyGurlCrochet my step mom tried to teach me to knit. I got 1/3 of the way through a scarf and that was it (I did end up finishing it years later). After I finished school and was working full time, I needed something besides just Netflix to fill my now homework & studying free evenings and weekends.
A fellow co-worker, who happens to be Claire of Perfectly Knotted, was wearing a cowl she knit one day, and it inspired me to pick up my needles again. BUT I went with crochet instead, why I honestly do not remember lol.
Did I learn my lesson from my previous foray into knitting and get some chunky yarn, so I didn’t lose steam part way through…no. In typical Bethany fashion I dove right into a complicated chevron worsted weight baby blanket for my friend who was expecting. I think my thought was, well I have a deadline so I can’t just drop it.
I finished the blanket and then moved onto hats, scarves, home decor ect. I quickly had made more things than I could ever wear so I again followed my friends lead and opened an Etsy shop. This also allowed me to make some extra cash to put towards buying more yarn as there was not a lot of extra money for yarn having just finished my second degree and just starting to work in a large expensive city.
I then tried my hand at writing crochet patterns, followed by learning to knit and writing knit patterns. I also did a few local markets as well.
Fast forward several years later and I learned that I do not really like selling finished knitwear. I get bored knitting the same hats and scarves again and again. My favorite person to knit for is me lol. I knew I wanted to make a career switch and knew I wanted it to have something to do with yarn and that is how Skein Appeal was born.
You’ve also been blogging for quite some time. How did that get started?
I started blogging honestly as a form of “treatment”. I suffered a concussion and one of the things I needed to build back up was my tolerance for screentime. So, I started blogging as an exercise for my brain and to give me something to do as I was not able to do a whole lot. It helped me feel connected to the maker community again, as I had not been making much as prior to the concussion I was dealing with some repetitive strain issues in my wrist & hand.
You’re currently carrying 7 brands, (including your own Knotty Gurl Crochet), can you give a little highlight about some of them?
My one Canadian based dyer is lily & pine
My US dyers are isthatkenyarn, mommajessknits, knitting after midnight, yarn over New York & breaking yarn
My Uk dyer is The wool shed shop
How do you choose what brands you are carrying?
One of my goals with Skein Appeal was to bring indie yarn from outside of Canada in. Shipping to Canada is very expensive. Plus, you often end up paying pretty high customs and brokerage fees which you were not expecting. By having the yarn already in the country it may not decrease the overall cost by much but at least when you checkout you know exactly what you are spending, as opposed to it hitting the border and getting a very large, unexpected bill.
What brands I carry really depends most on if they are willing to work with an online store (a lot will only work with brick & mortar) and ones who have lower minimums. As a new online business, I simply cannot bring in too much yarn, both for economical and storage reasons.
If an independent yarn dyer would like you to carry their yarn, how should they get in touch?
Fave indie yarn?
I don’t know if I can pick just one haha. I do tend to gravitate to ones who dye bright and colorful yarn. I’m not a neutrals gal (least when it comes to yarn haha).
Fave commercial yarn?
I am a pretty die-hard fan of Knitpicks. They have such a great range of yarns at reasonable prices. I love their stroll tweed.
How long have you been knitting and crocheting? Did you find it tricky to learn one after knowing the other?
I don’t remember if it was 2016 or 2017 when I really started. When I did learn to knit, I learned continental, which for me made the switch from crochet to knitting easier.
You’ve also got a pretty impressive collection of patterns! What drew you to that?
To be honest in the beginning it was another way to make a little bit of extra yarn money. But now its more because I enjoy the creative aspect of it. I like taking an idea I have in my head and turning it into a physical thing that others can re-create as well.
Your patterns are all so fun, what is coming out next?
I am currently working on some all over colorwork socks!
What is next for Skein Appeal and Knotty Gurl? What are you up to for 2023?
In 2023 I would love to continue to grow Skein appeal. I would love to one day own a physical storefront. As for KnottyGurl I would like to put out a few patterns, try to be more consistent with my YouTube channel & maybe try my hand at dying. I currently dabble but can only use food safe dyes at home. Having an open concept kitchen & a cat that must supervise everything I do does not lend itself well to non-food safe dying. I am looking into some options for spaces to dye outside of my home to see how I like dying with acid dyes.
What is your preferred method for sock knitting? I’m a recent convert to 9” circulars.
For vanilla socks 9” for colorwork or patterned sock magic loop. I DETEST dpns lol.
Do you remember what your first finished object was?
Crochet Baby blanket. It was a free pattern from a YouTube video.
How about your most recently finished object?
I just cast off a Free for all cowl!
What’s the last project you added to your queue?
I don’t usually add projects to my queue, but the last pattern I purchased was the Shiftagan by Andrea Mowrey.
What are you listening to right now? (I ask this because I am making a silly playlist of everyone’s answers on Spotify, it’s neat to see what people choose)
The song I have on repeat at the moment is Flowers by Miley Cyrus lol.