Meet Alisa of Ali Rose Artisan Yarns

When we ask children what they want to be when they grow up a single career response is expected. The truth is many of us have many career tracks in life, sometimes they have a common theme, sometimes they’re a whole new track, sometimes we return to a former career. The latter is the case for Alisa of Ali Rose Artisan Yarns.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, her first career was in retail fashion.  “I’ve always loved color, rainbows in particular, and studied color theory prior to focusing on a degree in finance and a career in corporate treasury.” After 25 plus years working in the corporate world, it was time for a change, “I came back to my love of color, fashion and creative endeavors.
I have always enjoyed beading and jewelry making, and took up knitting, dying and spinning about 5 years ago, one thing lead to another and I fell down the fiber arts rabbit hole!”  Alisa popped her head out of the rabbit hole briefly to answer some of our questions, prior to the Ali Rose Artisan Yarn launch tomorrow at Birdhouse Yarns.

How long have you been dying yarn for?

I took a class at my local yarn store about 3 years ago and was hooked. I started like many indie dyers, playing around with Kool-aid in my kitchen and then moved to the hard stuff (professional dyes) about 2 1/2 years ago.  My LYS was kind enough to  let me “test market” my yarn last year, and it seemed to make people happy, so my husband Michael and I decided to launch Ali Rose Artisans in January.  I use multiple methods, depending on what effect I’m trying to achieve, and am always experimenting with new techniques.  Currently, I dye wool blends, but would like to venture into cotton, silk and other plant based fibers.  I’m also interested in natural dying, and hope to try that in the future.

What is the inspiration for the color way combinations?

My colorway inspirations are varied.  Sedona Hills, was of course inspired by the geography of that beautiful and special place.  Grand Canal came from Monet’s legendary painting.  Arizona Sunset, well it speaks for itself.   I also listen to what my friends (and customers) say.  Many of my colorway combinations have come from their ideas and inspiration.  I’m constantly keeping my eyes and mind open to all the beauty and wonders which surround us, and how they work in harmony.

What is the source of inspiration for the yarn names? In particular is the Esmeralda yarn named for the character from PBS’s Poldark?

The colorways seem to name themselves.  Some times I hear a little voice in my head out of the blue and that’s just it.  From there, inspiration takes over which leads to coordinating colorways.  Of course, there is also the inspirational photo, song or artistic reference that begs to become yarn.  While I am a fan of Poldark, Esmerelda was not inspired by the character.

What’s on your needles/hook right now?

I seem to always have at least 3 or 4 projects on the needles.  Currently, I have a pair of vanilla socks, The Shift Cowl by Andrea Mowry, The Corrie Sweater by Sue Gleave (from the Fall 2018 KnitPicks catalogue), a double knit cowl and a couple of others that are in hiatus.

Do you have a favorite designer whose patterns would show of your yarns especially?

I don’t really have a favorite designer.  It would be an honor to provide a designer with yarn support.

Meet Alisa and Michael at the

 Ali Rose Artisan Yarn Launch Party.