We were delighted to speak with Briony about her work as the dyer behind Spectrum Fibre.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Briony the dyer behind Spectrum Fibre. I currently run the business single-handedly from my garden studio in Brighton. I previously worked in the NHS but left in the summer to follow my passion for dyeing yarn full time. I enjoy dyeing modern colourways and have a penchant for neon!
How did you become an indie dyer/what drew you to dyeing yarn?
I first started dyeing in early 2016 after attending a workshop with my Mum, Lynn, who had previously been a natural dyer and had always had fibre around the house when I was growing up. I rediscovered knitting as a form of relaxation in 2015 and not long after this I was introduced to the world of indie dyed yarns during a trip to Chicago. The brightly coloured, speckled yarns captured my imagination and that was it! I soon developed a complete obsession with creating bright, modern colour combinations and adding interest to skeins with speckles. I opened Spectrum Fibre in September 2016.
I use a variety of dye techniques to create interesting colourways including kettle dyeing, hand painting and speckling. I dye mainly merino bases but also have some speciality yarns including tweed, kid silk mohair and mulberry silk.
Can you tell us a little about what inspires your colourways?
I get inspiration from everything around me, often its places that I’ve travelled to or images that I’ve seen and collected. Sometimes colour combinations just come to me and I have a big notebook full ideas for colourways that I’ve scribbled down after seeing interesting paintings or the colours on some packaging or wrapping paper.
Inspiration is everywhere!
What other dyers/designers are you inspired by?
There are so many talented designers and dyers out there that inspire me. I feel very lucky to be part of a community of people that share their talent with everyone in the online space.
I love Cosmic Strings from Edinburgh, Bea’s earthy colourways and fades are just a thing of beauty! I also love Stitch Together Studio for Kayanna’s bold use of colour and speckles.
If you could do a collaboration with any dyer or designer of your choice who would it be and why?
I love working with Rachel from Born and Raised Knits, she creates modern sweater designs using intricate colourwork yokes that are just stunning. Rachel supports small, independent dyers by only collaborating with indie dyers for her pattern releases. She has also been working hard to promote inclusivity by extending her pattern sizes to fit a wider range of bodies.
We will be collaborating on a sweater due for release in the spring!
Do you have a favourite colour way/yarn base you like to work on?
I really enjoy dyeing merino double knit when I’m creating new colourways because it takes speckles so beautifully and is really satisfying to knit with. My favourite luxury base at the moment is mulberry silk singles which feel incredible and also gives the colourways a depth and stunning lustre that reminds me of pearls.
What project do you currently have on your needles?
I am currently knitting a Tecumseh sweater by Boyland Knitworks that I’m really enjoying knitting. I have used my merino DK base in colourways Stone, Pink Quartz and Amethyst.
What were your Spectrum highlights in 2018?
Taking part in the Fibre Collective with the Altered Stitch was a definite highlight for me. The team at the Altered Stitch in LA created the Fibre Collective platform to showcase and support new indie dyers from around the world by helping to raise their profile and take their yarns to yarns shows in America.
Another major highlight of 2018 was building my dye studio in the spring with the help of my family and friends. Having a dedicated studio that I can work in full time has made such a difference and enabled me to dye full time.
What’s in store for Spectrum in 2019?
I am looking forward to collaborating with more designers and dyers in 2019 and I will also be launching a brand new, monthly yarn club for neon lovers. Each month will feature a different mystery skein that will always feature some neon speckles and you can select either a fingering weight or DK base.