Like many yarn lovers, Sarah Wharton had dreams of owning a yarn store. She ran the numbers, created a plan, came up with a name. But somewhere along the way her dream of a mobile yarn truck to bring beautiful yarn to all four corners of Arizona morphed and exploded into hand-dying yarns that reach even further than the four-corners of Arizona.
Sarah took some time out to share her journey with us and you can meet Sarah on October 13 when she will be in the shop with us for the Traveling Yarns Trunk Show.
Birdhouse Yarns: Tell us a little about yourself
Sarah: I’m an Arizona native and I’ve lived in Phoenix all of my life!
I taught myself how to knit in 2014 and I haven’t stopped since. My first project was actually a sweater dress, and while that might sound crazy to most people, I think it really gave me the confidence and skills to take on any project!
In 2017, I was making plans to open a mobile yarn store to bring my favorite yarns to knitters across the state. At the same time, I started dyeing my own yarn to sell on the truck.
Lucky for me, my hand-dyes gained a following very quickly and well… I never got that yarn truck.
As it turns out, dyeing is a much better fit for me, and now I love being able to share my yarn
Birdhouse Yarns: Who is your indie dyer crush?
Sarah: Oh, that’s hard. I can’t pick a favorite, but a few fellow indie dyers have me hitting the “like” button a lot lately. I’m really enjoying Qing Fibre, Plank and Stella, and Cat Sandwich Fibers just to name a few.
Birdhouse Yarns: You use several different bases, what is your favorite base to work with and why?
Sarah: Each of my bases have a “purpose,” and I’ve tried to select yarns that I really believe in. I enjoy variety and I think my customers do too, so I try to carry everything from high quality “workhorse” yarns to luxury/specialty blends. At the end of the day, I just love great yarn! My BFL sock base is really strong and its a great option for socks and garments with great stitch definition. I also love the way that my Concorde singles base takes color and speckles, but my two most popular bases are my 757 sock base, which is a 75/25 4-ply sock blend and my Dreamliner base, which is a mix of cashmere, BFL and silk. It’s so luxurious!
Birdhouse Yarns: Some of us can be convinced to buy yarn based on their colorway names alone. Do you have a favorite named yarn that you’ve created?
Sarah: Just Another Manic Mermaid is fun, but it’s an earworm! I’m going to have that song in my head all day now! Specks on the Beach, Hardcore Peach, and Punch Drunk Grunge are also some of my favorites.
Birdhouse Yarns: Where do you find inspiration for your colorways?
Sarah: Different things inspire me on different days! That’s what makes this job so fun. I’ve taken inspiration from art, nature, seasons, and even TV and movies. Sometimes that’s reflected in the colorway names.
Birdhouse Yarns: What’s on your needles right now?
Sarah: Well… I have about 15 WIPs. Right now, I’m most focused on finishing my Like a Cloud Cardigan by Joji Locatelli in my “Vice” and “Pernicious” colorways. I’m planning to wear that to Vogue Knitting Live in January. I’m also finishing a sweater for my husband and a poncho for a shop sample.
Birdhouse Yarns: What can your customers look forward to in the future. Is there anything new in the works?
Sarah: This is going to be a really exciting year for us! I have several events planned around the country. I’m also working on some designer collaborations and several kits and sets for the website! I am also really focused on bringing together dyers in our region and helping to showcase upcoming talent. I’m working on a couple of events and special projects that I hope to be able to announce soon!
I also recently started a new line of natural-fiber, organically-dyed yarn called “Proclamation Fibers” and will be adding more colorways in the coming months!
Thank you Sarah! We’re excited to see you back in Tucson on the 13th for the Traveling Yarns Trunk Show.