Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Smoky Mountains Fiber interview with AnneMarie Walter and Giveaway



What follows is an interview with AnneMarie Walter of Smoky Mountain Fibers. We're giving away some of her delicious roving! Details to follow the interview.


Where do you draw inspiration for your work?

I don’t draw inspiration from any one place – rather from the world all around me. Right now, my garden is in bloom and quite happy. I know that the reds and gold and oranges of the daylilies are finding their way into my rovings. The recent ‘Ocean’ Phat Fiber theme gave me a good reason to play with blues and greens. My Andromeda Shades series of rovings came out of a brainstorming session with a fellow artist.


What is your favorite fiber to work with?

I really like wool. It takes color well, so it’s fun to dye. The many breeds of sheep have so much variety, so that I am never bored. Whether it’s the subtleties of Shetland or Jacob, the sweetest Finn lamb, or my own dyed merino, I enjoy the diversity. And wool is easy to spin, so that when I am spinning for calm, a natural color roving is what I choose.


Do you have a least favorite?

No! They are all good, just different!


I have long wanted to visit Asheville, NC. Tell us what it is like working in an environment that supports your craft.

Pretty wonderful! I have been in Western North Carolina for about 10 years. I made a number of life changes at that time and found myself in Asheville, and I’ve never been sorry. There is a vibrant craft community, several local yarn shops, great hiking, as well as a solid music and dance scene. I live in the city (walking distance to the 3 downtown yarn shops), so I can’t keep animals (the angora bunny is no longer with us). But there are people who raise sheep, goats, alpacas and llamas not too far away, so you are never far from raw fleece. I am a board member of the Southeast Animal Fiber Festival (SAFF) , a regional festival that celebrates the fiber arts and the animals that make it possible. That’s work, but the fun kind.


Tell us more about your various teaching efforts.

I teach an occasional fiber workshop: Knitting, felting and dyeing. A few years ago, I taught an ongoing knitting class but I find I much prefer teaching individuals to knit rather than groups. One of the local yarn shops has a Friday evening ‘Sit and Knit’ where I frequently help people who are real beginners, or need very specific help - picking up heel stitches, for example.

In real life, I teach computer technology classes at a small college, so breaking down complex processes into simple steps is common to all teaching. I really like it!


We've all enjoyed the Phat Stripes hat pattern you submitted for the June site. Are you working on writing any more?

Thanks! I have 4 patterns in my Etsy shop and several more in my head. They are all fairly simple and straight forward – these are the hats that I make and sell in the area craft galleries. Since I am now set up as a designer on Ravelry, I plan to write them up and make them available to anyone who would like to knit them. Some are so simple I’m embarrassed to call them patterns, but I haven’t seen them online or in books, so I guess they are my own designs!


If you were to do a self portrait in fiber- what would it look like? What would you use to make it?

Hmmmm….This is tricky! Just as my grandmother liked the faces in her pansies, I like to think of my wheels of roving as the ‘face ‘of Smoky Mountain Fibers. Yesterday I was very hyped and a bit anxious and would have told you to refer to my ‘Fire‘ roving . Today I am feeling mellow and somewhat reflective, so I’d suggest ‘Blue Planet.’ Whoever I am, it’s just a dyepot away!

Just a final note: I want to take a moment to thank you and Marcus for making the Phat Fiber phenomenon happen. More than simply buying and selling fibers, the way that we are contributing to the boxes and sharing what we are making, allows fiber people around the world to connect and build community. I am tickled to be a part of it!


We're giving away a full sized roving (similar to 'Blue Planet') here on the blog! Just visit Smoky Mountain Fibers and find something you like. Post about it in the comments section below! We'll draw for a name on Saturday! Remember, let me know you've twittered/facebooked this and I will count those as extra entries.

AnneMarie, I really appreciate you taking the time to do this interview. We love having you in the group!

76 comments:

Bombshell made redundant. American misplaced. said...

URANUS!!!!! Because it makes me giggle. I am a 12 year old boy at heart, what can I say. RT'ed @millarca

Jvar said...

I absolutely love the mohair locks. I recently spun a mix of random wool locks from all over in with mohair roving in a fun colorway, but I am inspired to do something similar using Smoky Mountains Fiber's Beach Glass colorway as my inspiration! I love AnnMarie's eye for color!

Nicole said...

I am very tempted to order the fawn roving! Gorgeous-looking rovings, too!

:) Nicole

TheClayMuse said...

love the punch of colors in the peaches & plums roving!
also rt-ed @claymuse

SupaCindy3000 said...

I love the Leaves of Green, a Paintbox for Felt Makers set. Great colors

cdaniele, also facebooked!

Celena said...

Love the beach glass mohair locks. I could make some fun art yarn with those. :)

trh said...

I really need the Paintbox for Feltmakers. I also really love the Peaches & Plums roving . . . and the Blue Planet.

ewespecial said...

I'm a sucker for those warm tones, so daylillies is just right for me. there is enough warm color to suit me along with some cool tones to smooth out the energy!
cheryl

lime juice said...

Bronze green merino! yum yum!

Emily said...

Saturn, cause it's my favorite planet...love the lace hat pattern...the peaches and plums in a great color, too! Great work; your shop looks awesome!

Quilting Pansy said...

Hmm, I love many things. The paintboxes (I love samples). The natural colored rovings. The Venus and Blue Planet dyed rovings.

Cindy

Katharine said...

The Daylily roving is gorgeous!

RT as ssailorss

HAY said...

I love the Daylilies roving - gorgeous colors!

monique said...

the undyed natural wool look so smooth and soft i would love some of that.

monique

carrym said...

The Mercury Hand Dyed Wool Roving is beautiful!!!

RT and FB

missus.mint said...

So much to choose from! I love the Plum Orchard Merino sock... the Frosted Sea Glass is heavenly!

vickie said...

i love the venus , the frosted sea glass and the marigold vbarton24 at gmail dot com

Kathy said...

I adore the dyed mohair locks, the lavender and beach glass merino rovings. The leaves of green paintbox felt kit is also full of awesome!

vickie said...

twittered http://twitter.com/morgaine24/status/2515635318

nestra said...

Bronze Green Merino....droooool

Jude said...

Plum Orchard - Subtle Shade Hand Dyed Merino Superwash Sock Yarn is very pretty!

KT said...

I like the Paintboxes - I'm making "monster yarn" using a similar bunch of stuff from Infiknity, and am in love. It hides all my n00b mistakes and doesn't get boring!

Also, I love that you're in NC - I'll be coming up to Asheville in August, and hopefully up to SAFF in the fall, and will try to look you up! KT (Katherine Vaughan Desings)

coopcomp said...

The oregano sock yarn is a lovely shade of green. And the prices for the roving are really great!

Paige said...

oh my...it's so hard to choose a favorite!!! but if i *have* to choose, i'll choosethe lavender blue handyed merino roving. gorgeous!!! But I love the paintboxes as well!!

knitster23@gmail.com

Bingers said...

I love the mercury and the saturn rovings... the peaches and plum is sooo beautiful!

Sally said...

What a fun interview. I love the lace hat pattern and the marigold roving. Everything in the shop is beautiful!

Twitter: MuddyMooseAK
RavID: MuddyMoose

Blumzieluxuryyarns said...

I love the Daylily roving on etsy! I missed buying some roving with that same mustard yellow in it at the fiber festival I went to a couple months ago. I love it.

Kitten With a Whiplash said...

OK, so I have the same sense of humor as Bombshell - but honestly - it's about time somebody showed Uranus a little respect, and this lovely colorway is a good start. I'm posting to my blog.

dinahsaurus said...

Oooo! Peaches and Plums makes me think of delicious fruit!

Kim said...

Carnivale dyed mohair locks (I'm a sucker for mohair :P)

CptSnoopy on Ravelry said...

Love the Bronze Green Hand Dyed Merino Wool Roving -- beautiful color!!

Lilm4105 said...

Really like the Leaves of Green sampler roving.
Emily
Serendipity
www.lilm4105.etsy.com

The Mully's said...

Beach Glass is wonderful! Bronz green is also nice. Lovely items!

Bumble said...

I love the fawn undyed natural.

Finding Peace said...

The daylily roving is incredible. I would love to take a spin with your roving.

mamakin said...

I'm so into loving turquoise & there it was calling to me when I went to Smoky Mountains shop. I love the turquoise handpainted merino superwash yarn, the beach glass hand dyed merino wool roving & the Windy City Hat! I've plurked, twittered, blogged, it's in my facebook. I'm off to charge my battery now :-) my word verification is "demona" I love it!

Cathy said...

Fire dyed Falklands has got to be one of the most gorgeous rovings I ahve seen. But I have several other faves as well.

K said...

The mohair locks and the blue, red and green paintboxes are calling to me. What beautiful colors!

Cathy said...

Tweet

Cathy said...

facebook

Turtle said...

white caps on the bay, nice and love the name!

Campbell said...

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=18672208

Ummm...plums and berries would be perfect for my bedroom...Monet style!

Anna
www.designsbyanna.artfire.com

AnneMarie said...

I am so happy that you are enjoying my roving and yarn colors! Feelin' the love!

Angele said...

I love the Carnival dyed mohair locks! looks delish!

Brat said...

Oh the Frosted Sead Glass Merino is just gorgeous!

Kelley
aka BratKnits

Knitmomma said...

Beach Glass - Hand Dyed Mohair Locks - simply beautiful!

hollyberry knits said...

I found AnnMarie's roving accidentally long ago. I bought 2 rovings right away and loved every minute of spinning them. They were lovely orangey colors. Now I'm drooling over the peaches and plums roving. Yum, yum. I'll be a repeat buyer!

knittinguardie said...

The beach glass roving is ABOSOLUTELY gorgeous! I lovee it

Marilla said...

I love the limey green colorway, not surprising since green is my all time favorite color.

Nightphoenix said...

I love the colors of the Mercury hand dyed roving. Interesting inspiration to pick the planets.

Lizbert on Ravelry

goodnessgraciousWV said...

I hardly ever do felting, but those Paintbox for Felters are so pretty! Especially The Blues.

:) grace
http://goodnessgraciouswv.wordpress.com
http://goodnessgraciouswv.etsy.com

Cozy Knitting said...

I love the bronze green mohair. It looks like lichen to me. I love the way there is just a hint of blue.

Sarah said...

Oooh. I love the lilac roving. What gorgeous fiber!

helenlam said...

The Oregano sock yarn is lovely!

CindyD said...

I love the day lilly and marigold colors. I also really like the undyed wool!

StephCat said...

I like the Limey Hand Dyed Falklands Wool Roving....

sunnie fairy said...

fawn undyed wool looks super soft! :]And only 9 bucks for 8 ounces!

veggiecath said...

Love this http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=27318686. I love pastel colours :) It's so pretty and in some way relaxing!

tracethekat said...

I love that Whitecaps on the bay roving. So pretty!

Heather said...

Gorgeous colors! I love the Leaves of Green sampler.

Spindipity said...

Love the Saturn & Peaches/Plums top. Great colors!

The Spinning Daisy said...

Oh, the Fire roving is so pretty!

Sarah said...

Also blogged here:
http://sarahsseasons.blogspot.com/2009/07/its-contest-y-kind-of-day.html

ikkinlala said...

The Blue Planet Hand Dyed Wool Roving is gorgeous!

Max. H said...

Leaves of Green, a Paintbox for Felt Makers is so cool! What a nice combination of colors! Gorgeous!

mc.crafty.bunny at gmail dot com

Vanessa said...

Uranus hand dyed romney is my fave. Love the colors!

Jen C said...

The falklands wool roving in "fire" - her colorways are beautiful!

Also Twittered as deianara_crush

Eileen said...

Love the Tie Dye or peaches & plums wool rovings!

Melanie said...

The colors are beautiful. I like the fact that they want your purchase to arrive as fast as possible so that you can begin your project. I like this to arrive quickly.

Melanie

Strike My Fancy said...

I lust for the Bronze Green merino wool roving! It would be a treat to spin that up and watch the colors combine.

vantiganloos said...

I love that she makes the paintbox for felters! how fun!

zot said...

At first, I kept changing my favorite colorway as I was scrolling down. I think I finally narrowed it down to Saturn.

rebelhousewife said...

Beach Glass - Hand Dyed Mohair Locks - 3 ounces I love beach glass and Mohair locks, so the best of both.

One Sheep said...

I love the idea of the a colorway for each planet, makes me want to listen to the Holst symphony while working with these beautiful fibers. I really like the Mercury Hand Dyed Wool Roving, I think because it isn't the colorway I'd have associated with that planet, but I love it.

Kathleen said...

Beach Glass is perfect for my home. We live on Florida's Treasure Coast and this roving really gives the feel of Florida beaches with the beautiful blue sunny skies above. Thanks for the inspiration!

wenchamok said...

Gah! Too many to choose! I love the Blue Planet and Venus and the Frosted Sea Glass and the Mercury and...

Jen