The weekend of May 12-14th we will be hosting a special Pop-Up Shop with the beautiful yarns from Candy Skein, a hand-dyer from California.
Candy Skein is an artisan yarn and accessory company for fiber artists with an uncontrollable sweet tooth. Their rich and saturated colorways will rocket you back to when the soda fountain was king and the candy counter was where you spent your afternoons.
From owner/dyer Tami Klockau:
“I’m a lover of all candy and yarn. All of my hand dyed colorways are inspired by candy from my childhood to present.”
We thought we’d ask Tami to visit us on the blog before her yarn arrives so we could get to know a little more about her and her delicious yarns.
Tell us about how Candy Skein got its start.
Back when I started to learn how to crochet and knit, I thought it would be fun to dye some of the wool I purchased to make my projects unique. At the time, I loved crocheting amigurumi and there wasn’t a ton of speckled and crazy colored yarn I thought would look great. I had a craft blog and started posting my dye creations. The response was overwhelmingly positive. I had quit my job the year before to write full time. Of course now, I no longer have time to write, and Candy Skein has taken over my life in the best way possible.
For people who haven’t played with your yarn before, tell us what makes Candy Skein yarns so special.
There are a few things that make Candy Skein special in my opinion. I take great pride in each and every skein I produce. Not only does every skein get handled by me several times over to become the final product, we now have two lines of yarn, Yummy and Luscious fingering, that we have milled exclusively. Luscious fingering is one of my babies, as I spent 9 months last year working back and forth with the mill to create it. I’m so proud of the final results. We are actually in the process of producing an exclusive DK yarn right now that we hope to have for sale in the Fall.
Beyond the actual fibers, I put a ton of thought into each and every colorway, especially my special limited edition monthly colorways. We stick to our branding at Candy Skein, and it’s a challenge I love, to come up with new fun colors based around food, drinks and candy.
Why do you play with color and yarn? What does it do for your soul?
My roots have always been around color and art. When I was younger, I wanted to be an animator, and actually have a fine arts BA degree. While in college, I managed and taught at an art studio and also interned at Nickelodeon. Once out of school, I worked full time at Nick before moving to San Diego and working in the video game industry until leaving my job in 2010. I’ve always loved playing with color, whether it be with paint, dye or clay. I try to put color theory into every one of my colorways, and I hope you can see those results. It doesn’t matter the medium (though I must say, yarn and fiber is my number one love), I just love everything surrounding art.
What does creativity mean to you?
This may sound corny, but creativity is life. I can’t fathom going through life without being creative each and every day. I don’t think I’ve lived a day without doing or thinking creatively. It’s who I am.
What inspires your color palette?
This goes hand and hand with Candy Skein. Although it’s helpful to have so much color in candy, food and drink, that’s not why I picked a name like Candy Skein. I’m a HUGE fan of anything sweet. I do tend to use Candy Skein’s color palette to my advantage, having to “research” for new colorways at the candy shop.
Tell us a little bit about the yarns you’re sending for your pop-up shop at Stash.
I’m sending a great variety of colorways, both tonal, variegated and speckled. I love a great variety to choose from when I visit a shop for a special event, especially with so many amazing patterns that include multiple skeins of yarn out there today. I’ll be sending a few newly created colorways and even some that are in series’ based around a Fairy Tale Picnic and Star Wars Snacks.
What’s a typical work day look like for you?
I try to vary my days up a bit when I can, but for the most part I tend to do a little of everything most of the time. I usually like to relax and catch up on emails and news in the morning with a cup of tea while the pots are heating up in my studio. I’ll go out and dye until it gets dark (or too hot in the summer) in my studio, and then come in and work on re-skeining, tagging, packing orders, updating the website and making the clay stitch markers I sell.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The amount of work that goes into owning your own business is incredible. I don’t think most people realize how much there is always to do, unless you’ve owned your own business. Right now, I’m a one woman show, so I can’t rely on anyone to get things done but myself. If I don’t do something, it just doesn’t happen. That being said, I love the freedom. I can work whenever I want, come up with new projects and colorways and have full control. I wouldn’t change it for the world (though I would love to have a little more free knitting time, but we’re working on that).
The most challenging?
I don’t need to even thinking about this one. The challenge is to get everything done and not work too hard/much. I’m a workaholic. I try to put 110% into everything I do and there just never seems to be enough time in the day. I tend to work 7 days a week, about 12+ hours a day and still never feel “caught up”. Candy Skein and the industry keeps me on my toes at all times.
What is the best part of this knitting & yarn community?
EVERYTHING! I can’t say enough about the community. Just when I think I have seen it all, the yarn community surprises me again. You don’t have to look much further than the Pussy Hat movement to see that this community goes above and beyond. Whenever I’m having a down day, I just have to open my email or read amazing comments on my Ravelry group or Instagram to be uplifted. I’ve met amazing people in this community including my best friend.
What is your favorite thing about Spring?
I love Spring! Everything awakens fresh and new. Spring rainy gray days when new beautiful blooms brightens the landscape are my favorite. Also, Spring usually means playoff hockey, my favorite sport!
If all of your weekend plans suddenly got cancelled, how would you spend your days?
Knitting, playing board games with my husband and reading! If there’s a hockey game on tv, I’m parked on the couch with knitting in hand. Bonus if it’s raining outside and there’s a fire going in the fireplace.
Coffee or tea?
I used to be a coffee drinker, but due to health reasons, I switched to tea. I am SO in love with tea (especially David’s Tea if I can give a little shout out to my favorite tea company).
Cookies or chips?
Fresh baked chocolate chip cookies all the way.
Early bird or night owl?
Night owl 100%. Most nights I’m up until midnight or later.
You’re sitting down to knit at the end of a long day. What’s your ideal setup?
A simple projects that doesn’t require much thinking in gorgeous yarn, watching a movie next to my husband on the couch with my dogs and cats cuddling with us. Perfection.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I just wanted to thank Stash for hosting the Candy Skein trunk show! I can’t wait to introduce knitters in the area to Candy Skein and hopefully make new friends through my yarn. I put a ton of love into every skein and I hope that comes through in the finished product.
Find Candy Skein online: