Monty@Home Q&A’s – Peak District Yarns

What’s your favourite product of yours and why?

Blimey, that’s a hard question. It’s usually the yarn which has most recently come out of the dye pots! But if I was to pick just one, it would be the Welldressing range which I do – it’s a bit of a faff to dye, but the effects are amazing!

What yarn crafts are you into personally?

I mostly knit, but can turn my hand to basic crochet if needed. Although I don’t enjoy crochet as much as knitting because I don’t understand the structure as well as I do knitting.

What’s your favourite project you’ve ever made?

I really enjoyed doing my Carbeth jumper during the first lockdown (it grew so fast!)….but possibly not as much as my current project. I’m doing a Gansey Poncho kit from West Coast Ganseys and I’m loving it! The perfect mix of plain knitting with an occasional pattern to liven things up.

If you came to TWM back in 2019 what did you like/dislike most about it?

I loved the airiness of the venue and the feeling of space. The only downside was a very long walk to the loo from where my stall was!!

What inspires your products?

Mostly the landscape of the Peak District around me, but I’m often inspired by the amazing colourways which participants produce on my Yarn Dyeing workshops.

If you could collaborate with another TWM vendor, who would you choose and why?

Ooooh, good question. Probably Uist Wool- but only if we could have a face-to-face planning meeting at their place. I love that part of the world!!

Who got you into yarn?

I went on a knitting retreat in the Lake District about 10 years ago, and it was a trip to
The Wool Clip in Caldbeck (plus the encouragement of the ladies who were on the
retreat!) which pushed me over the edge. I bought my first skein of hand-dyed yarn
from there – from Wild Wood Wool – and the addiction began!

What’s your favourite customer project?

Customers frequently pop into the Peak District Yarns Studio in Tideswell to show
me their projects. I love all of them!

What’s the hardest part of what you do?

A few of my colourways are created using the “chuck some random colours in the
pot and see what happens” method. It’s really hard when customers love them so
much that they ask me if I can dye some more for them. I’ll usually have a stab at it,
but I’m quite a perfectionist and get frustrated when things don’t come out the same.

You’re travelling to a yarn show, what are you listening to on the way?

Probably a dull political podcast of some description. But when I’m in the Dye Studio
my listening tends to be a bit more up-beat – Magic at the Musicals is my internet
radio station of choice.

What’s your favourite colour?

Kingfisher blue…..or purple….or orange…. It depends what day of the week it is

If you weren’t running a yarn business what would you be doing?

I retired from a 30-year career in management consulting back in March 2020. So, I’d
probably still be doing that if I wasn’t running Peak District Yarns full time.

What’s your favourite part of yarn shows?

Meeting people – fellow vendors, customers, organisers – and catching up with
everyone’s news.

What yarn craft do you wish you were good at?

I wish I could weave. It’s on the list!

Tell us 3 things we might not know about you

I used to have an American passport.
I appeared on the Sheffield City Hall stage at the age of three.
I love donkeys! (although anyone who followed me on Instagram during lockdown
will know this!)

Do you tend to go for repeatable lines or one-off products? What’s your longestrunning product, range or colourway?

It is always a mix. There are some favourites which I repeat regularly, and many oneoffs. I think if I only dyed the same thing over and over again, I would get bored. My longest running range is my Welldressing range – inspired by an old Derbyshire tradition.

Can you give us any hints of things you’ve got coming up soon?

I’m getting quite obsessed with the silk/yak/merino base – it is so delightful to knit with and takes the dye colours so well. So, have some colourways on that base up my sleeve.

Do you have regular subscriptions or clubs?

I have recently launched Sock Yarn and Chocs club which I am really enjoying doing. It’s a collaboration with another Tideswell entrepreneur – Chloe from Yohan’s Chocolate Shop – where the yarn and the chocs are have the same colour theme. The yarn does tend to last a lot longer than the chocs, though!!

And finally, just for fun, would you rather fight 100 chicken-sized zombies or 10 zombie-sized chickens?

Tricky one. I think I’d prefer the 10 zombie-sized chickens. Chickens are not the sharpest tools in the block, so I could probably outwit them!