Recently, I had a virtual sit-down with Sharon of Stitch Jones
a dyestar goddess and contributor to February's Phat Fiber box.
What is a “Stitch Jones”?
Stitch Jones is the name of a character in the 1985 Clint Eastwood film “Heartbreak Ridge”. Stitch is a young U.S. Marine in a Recon platoon, but his true calling is to be a rock star. I thought it was a perfect name for my hand dyed business, since I too have always been an office drone who lived for rock and roll and yearned for mega-stardom, and it’s also a play on words to describe my knitting addiction!
How did you get started dyeing?
On a dark and stormy night in 2007, I got the proverbial wild hair and came up with a ball of white wool in the stash and several packets of powdered drink mix in the kitchen cupboard. They say that this type of experimentation leads to stronger stuff, and indeed I began using acid dyes very shortly afterward…
Many of your yarns are inspired by solid rock. Describe your creative dyeing process.
Much of the music in the genre labeled “Classic Rock” is what I grew up listening to. In our musical household–Mr. Stitchjones is the lead guitarist in a local band, and our daughter a vocalist–we listen to the Canadian power trio Rush every day. Stitchjones’ first sock colorways were inspired by and named for Rush’s greatest hits, most notably “The Trees”. My dyeing process in its simplest form is paying homage to the music I love, just trying to express the poetry and artistry of it through color.
I particularly love your glam sock, what other unusual yarns do you enjoy dyeing?
Thank you! I also enjoy dyeing yarns that have some sort of thread wrap, it gives the result an interesting effect.
For those of us who have never seen your setup, what could we expect when we enter your booth or shop?
A timely question, as Stitchjones just did her first fiber event this weekend! Probably the first thing you’ll notice is a big banner with the distinctive guitar pick logo. In addition to the assorted spinning fibers and handpainted & kettle dyed yarns of various weights that make up the current Stitchjones product line, you’ll find Asian decor accents and, of course, music. At this particular event, the Newport Spin-in at the Oregon Coast, Mr. Stitchjones came along and strummed beautiful music on his 6-string Martin acoustic guitar.
How are your yarns changing the Knit “scene”?
If my yarns are making any sort of impact, it’s that I try to live up to my slogan “Color Goes To Eleven” which, of course, is borrowed from Spinal Tap, the world’s loudest band. My colorways are inspired by music and nature but there is also plenty of inspiration from global and pop culture, for example, “Bollywood”. Inspired by the beautiful, vibrant colors of costumes and sets in the lavish musical films from India, I painted merino-nylon sock yarn in the colors I saw. “Bollywood” sold completely out in Newport, but more is on the way!
We had a little scare recently, about exploding crockpots- tell us more about what happened.
Just a little Ground Hog Day hoax, don’t worry–Stitchjones is alive and well. It’s become a legend that rock stars fake their deaths, so I just wanted to pay lip service to that and write a fake obit as a prank. It’s also a running joke in “Spinal Tap” that the drummers keep dying in bizarre and mysterious freak accidents. However, the Crockpots in the Stitchjones studio have been running night and day lately, so you never know…!
We (your humble fans) also hear you’re recently rehabilitated from a Synthrapol addiction. What advice do you have for others going through similar experiences?
Although those synth jello shots can send you into the fourth dimension, don’t drink it, man–just put it on your wool.
Where can we get our Jones in 5 years?
Hopefully in yarn shops from coast to coast, both brick-and-mortar and online!
Sharon, thank you so much for contributing so generously in February's box. I hope you'll consider particpating in future boxes!