I have been madly in love with Forbidden Fiber since I saw my very first FF skein on the Yarnover Truck in San Pedro (which is sadly no longer) when we lived in California (which is also sadly no longer). For the uninitiated, Forbidden Fiber is a hand dyed yarn company, but they are so much more than that. When I bought my first skein of fingering weight yarn in a delicious purple, I discovered their yarn clubs and that’s what really sealed the deal for me. I joined the Super Nerdy and Harry Potter sock yarn of the month clubs and they were pure magic. Every skein was a really fun tribute to a loved character in and every skein in the neryd club was sparkly. I loved them all so much. Their clubs change over time, right now they have a Once Upon a Yarn club to celebrate storytelling, in both fingering weight and DK weight! They also have a Rhythm and Yarn club also in fingering and DK weights, that covers music of all genres and just like the first FF club I joined years ago, these colours will only be available for this club and never sold outside of it! So fun!
Forbidden Fiber has also branched out to another kind of fiber – embroidery floss! There are two floss clubs of the month, the Kaleidoscope club (with variegated floss and Just Flossin with solid colours. There’s also a Bag of the Month Club of project bags, Mystery Boxes for cross stitch and yarn, notions, a huge selection of embroidery flosses and other cross stitch supplies and of course – heaps and heaps of yarn.
You always have beautiful collections available, ranging from semi-solids to variegated varieties with so many options, and I’ve seen so many fun collections of yours over the years! Are you constantly releasing new collections? Where is all this inspiration coming from?
Yes, I’m always dreaming up new things in my head! I can get inspired by anything – even a trip to Lowe’s produced a Christmas Collection one year! I love to use entertainment as inspiration too – whether it’s a book series or a new tv show, I’m constantly looking up color palettes and seeing new things in my head. I have the best job!
Forbidden Fibers has expanded to include cross stitch supplies, kits and accessories. What was the motivation behind carrying cross stitch supplies and creating the Just Flossin’ thread club?
I spent a year designing and knitting a beaded wedding dress to send down the runway at the fashion shows at our bigger yarn shows, and it really burnt me out on knitting. I started looking for a new creative outlet, and some of my friends were talking about FlossTube (the little corner of YouTube inhabited to cross stitchers). Just after Christmas in 2019, I was home and looking for something to watch on tv, and I turned on a random FlossTube video. They showed a kit of Christmas ornaments, and I immediately got on Amazon and ordered it. I started stitching it, and was hooked again! (I had been into cross stitch briefly as a kid and teenager – I used to stitch little designs and poems onto my backpack in high school).
Through FlossTube, I was introduced to hand-dyed threads and fabrics. Since I already had a line of plant fiber yarn (my Proverbs base), I already had all the dyes, supplies, and even a process down. I attended the Nashville Needlework Market in March 2020 and learned even more…then came home and started experimenting! Then I started designing cross stitch patterns to go with my floss and fabric, and then we started doing kits…and it has just exploded. It’s so much fun to have another facet to the business. It makes it impossible to get bored!
You’ve also got a fabric of the month club now too for cross stitching! Can you tell us a bit about the different fabrics in this club?
Right now, because of supply chain issues, we offer four different fabrics – a 14 count Aida, a 28 count Evenweave, and 32 count and 36 count Linen. We currently offer ⅛ yard or ¼ yard options, but we may pare that back in the near future to be able to offer more counts of Aida because a lot of people have requested more Aida options.
I came to know Forbidden Fibers years ago from one of your Sock Yarn of the Month Clubs. I was in the Harry Potter and the Super Nerdy clubs (via the Yarnover Truck in LA), and it’s so fun to see you switch it up with different clubs. Right now for yarn clubs you’ve got the Once Upon a Time Club with a storytelling theme and the Rhythm & Yarn club inspired by album covers! What keeps you creating more clubs and are there any new ones in the works you’d like to share?
Yarn clubs really let me be creative. I love putting colors together and trying different combinations, and sometimes a yarn club colorway can inspire a whole collection. One of our Wanderlust yarn club colorways inspired a few fall colorways one year. I hate to say inspiration runs dry, but after several years, sometimes it’s fun to try something new, so I change up the club offerings. I don’t currently have any new yarn clubs waiting in the wings, but we are toying with the idea of a project bag of the month club! [Ed note, this is live now!]
What is your favourite base to knit with?
Ohhh, that’s a tough one. It’s always changing, honestly. I think my favorite base right now is Fortitude DK. I’ve spent so many years designing in fingering weight, the change to DK occasionally is nice!
This may be an impossible question, but what is your favourite Forbidden Fibers colourway?
That is definitely an impossible question, LOL! Honestly, it’s always changing. I have colorways that are sentimental to me, like You Are Essential, which I created in the early days of the pandemic shutdowns because so many people were being told they weren’t essential (including me!) and the toll that takes on someone’s mental health is concerning. We sent 50% of sales to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which is a cause very near and dear to my heart. I think my current favorite colorway is Avocado from our new Fall Palette. It’s so deep and dark, you can’t quite tell if it’s deep chocolate, black, or dark green. In reality, it’s all of the above! I love colorways with depth like that.
Forbidden Fibers also has quite the collection of knitting and crochet patterns from many talented designers, how do you decide who to work with?
I love to work with pretty much anyone! I’ve developed a deep friendship with Afifa from Afifa Knits, and she’s always introducing me to new designers to work with. Sometimes a designer will approach me about working with my yarn, and we really hit it off, like Connie from CrochEt Cetera. I’m a very shy/introverted person, so if someone approaches me to work with me, I’m usually all over it because it’s very hard for me to approach someone I don’t know to ask to work with them.
What are some new patterns you have added to your queue?
Right now, I’m pretty much only knitting if I’m designing for one of our kits or boxes. I tend to cross stitch more for personal crafting these days. But Lisa Ross from Paper Daisy Creations has me very curious about her upcoming MKAL (they always turn out so well!), I have to say. I’m seriously considering participating even though I really have no time for personal projects!
What’s your most recent finished object?
Something that I designed myself – the Palindrome Scarf from one of our latest mystery kits (to be released in the near future. Something designed by someone else? Probably the Wynken, Blynken, and Nod Blanket by Eve and Holly Dyeworks. I made it for my best friend from high school when she had a baby.
What is something new you’ve learned recently (does not have to be fiber related)?
I’ve been learning to use my table loom and weaving some scarves. It’s so fun! I have the loom set up in front of the window in my office at home, which looks out on the front yard and it’s such a beautiful view that I find the whole process relaxing. I’ve also been learning to grow fruit and vegetables, and to bake bread using freshly milled wheat.