Our Story begins…
Our story at Gradiance Yarns started early 2012 when fate led me to dyeing. I saw the ball of dyed yarn and wonder took hold of me. What would happen if I submersed that into a pot of dye… my curiosity just had to find out! Well, despite a huge muddle trying to re-skein a soaking wet ball of yarn, it was a gradient! It was the beginning of my very first colourway – Sweetpea. I was delighted and then tried again, this time with colours that later evolved into our second colourway – Sunset.
The discovery continued as I began to practice and develop my method of dyeing. The slow and smooth transformation of colour within the gradient yarn was calming and relaxing. I developed a technique that achieved a delicate change in colour within one ball of yarn. I was delighted to share these wonders with the knitting community. Gradients were few and far between back then, and no one was dyeing them in this method.
My husband and I worked together on trying to make this happen, but a name for the yarns remained elusive to us. I knew roughly what I wanted our logo to look like, but without a name it was useless. It took us weeks, and then one morning as the sun’s rays were streaming through the curtains, my husband suggested a mish-mash of the word gradient and radiance. And Gradiance Yarns was officially named!
With a few colourways to launch with, in August 2012 we opened on Etsy!
Me – The Fated Knitter
My future started with knitting. I wanted to make scarves for my school friends one Christmas. My Mum guided me the whole way through. From choosing yarn at the local yarn shop, and teaching me through casting on, knitting, and casting off. The experience was exciting and my friends truly appreciated my effort.
A door had truly been unlocked to me, and my desire to learn new techniques and expand my skills drew me into a whole new world. In my quest to explore more I came across knitted lace and the fine lace weight yarns. Struggling to find yarn from the big brands to pique my interests and needs my search further led me to indie dyed yarn, and I was entranced! From beautifully soft undulating tones, to vibrant magical colours! Each new knit was something even more unique. And then I wanted to have a go at the dyeing for myself. Just one or two skeins, and yet somehow in 2012 I opened my very own indie dyed yarn business! For more random facts about me visit this blog post.
My husband has been huge support throughout my venture. Whilst he doesn’t do the dyeing, the blogging, or any of the work, he keeps me sane (as much as possible at least) and helps me focus on what I’m supposed to be doing!
The Yarns & Fibre
Yarn and fibre here is dyed using a variety of techniques. In wanting to explore as many options of creating gradient colourways, a wide range of techniques are needed, such as immersion dyeing and low water immersion dyeing. I specialise in dyeing gradient and ombré colours, with a soft colour change over the length of the yarn. But I also play with variegated and semi-solids.
I only use professional acid dyes, which are heat set with citric acid or vinegar. After the yarn has cooled it is rinsed and hung to dry. And I only use protein-based fibres, such as wool, alpaca, and silks.
Everything is dyed in small batches or one at a time, depending on the effect needed. So whilst the same colourways may look the same, each batch is actually unique.
But wait, there’s more…
We also design hand knitting patterns! All patterns are put through their paces by a team of testers, and then published on Ravelry. If you are interested in becoming a tester, please regularly check the Gradiance Yarns Ravelry Group for open tests, as spaces disappear quickly!
I hope you’ll join me on my journey so we can learn more about the craft wherever our fascination takes us!