Monday, 17 August 2015

A chat with Victoria from Eden Cottage Yarns

Hello Victoria 

Many thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for BritYarn.  

Could you introduce yourself to BritYarn’s readers (Who you are, what you do, little bit about your background). 

Hello! I’m Victoria and I’m the dyer behind Eden Cottage Yarns, which opened in 2011. I studied Architecture at university in Dundee, but always pined to study in the textiles department next door. I left uni and moved to Manchester, where I worked at Purl City Yarns for a short while, before relocating to Cumbria and starting the business.

Image used with kind permission from Eden Cottage Yarns
How and when did Eden Cottage Yarns come about?  What got you started / interested in hand dyeing yarn?

Originally based in the Eden Valley in Cumbria, in a 1700s cottage (which was the inspiration behind the name), we moved to Yeadon in West Yorkshire and I’ve been producing yarns in my kitchen at home ever since.

I started dyeing yarn when I wanted a lovely plain purple hand dyed yarn. At that time, highly variegated yarn was all the rage and it was almost impossible to find a semi solid. I decided to dye my own and the rest is history!

What are your favourite woolly / fibre crafts?

I do a bit of everything, to be honest. I knit, crochet, spin, and love embroidery. 

I love all of the amazing colours that you dye.  Do you have a favourite?

The simple answer is no, I really don't. I was going to say green, but then maybe grey, and... the list goes on. It'd be easier to say the only colours that I dislike are neons, I suppose. 

Everybody works in different ways… are you a traditional pen and paper person or do you prefer making full use of modern technology?

Not your usual washing line.
Image used with kind permission from
Eden Cottage Yarns
I love a good app as much as the next one, but I also really enjoy the tactile aspects of pen and paper. I’ve got a beautiful leather-bound Filofax that I rely on for planning and inspiration. There’s something really nice about natural textures that is a welcome change from the cold and hard surfaces of an iPhone or laptop. That being said I absolutely love Instagram, and am never far from my iPad!

If you were only allowed to knit with one British grown base, a blend or 100% pure what would it be and why? 

Bluefaced Leicester. I love Bluefaced Leicester. It’s lustrous, shiny and really hard wearing. It doesn’t pill and it takes dye beautifully. It works equally well for statement accessories as it does workhorse garments for every day use. What’s not to love?

Milburn 4ply, one of your mill dyed yarns, is made up of 85% British Bluefaced Leicester and 15% silk.  Could you tell BritYarn a little bit about how you selected the seven shades in the range?

It was really hard to pick just seven, but I started with grey, then purple, then picked shades from around the colour wheel, but with the aim that they would mostly work together well for colourwork. There comes a point where you just have to be pragmatic about decisions like that otherwise you either don't get anywhere, or end up with a palette of seven tones of one shade! 
The seven shades of Milburn.

The Bletchley Collection by Joanne Scrace was published last year.  How did the inspiration to use Bletchley come about?

Joanne had visited Bletchley prior to our collaboration, and she said that when she saw the palette of Milburn 4ply it looked very vintage to her (which is true, although unintentional!). When she suggested it to me it just sounded perfect. I can't imagine it having gone any other way now!

Are there any future Eden Cottage Yarns plans / projects you can share with BritYarn?

Kind of - that is to say that we've been working on our next collection since January, and it's due to be released in September, debuting at Yarndale. I've been keeping it quite secret, so I won't say any more as I don't want to spoil the surprise, but we're at the point now where we're doing the photography, and it's all starting to come together - it's really exciting and I can't wait to share it with everyone. 

How can people best keep up to date with the latest Eden Cottage Yarns news?

The best way is to join our mailing list so you’ll get all the latest news on website updates and our exciting new collection, as well as offers and details of where we’ll be exhibiting on the show circuit. The website is and we’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Ravelry.

BritYarn stocks Eden Cottage Yarns Milburn, BFL Sock and Bowland DK.

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