A Bit Of Elliebelly Knitting History


Princess banner


Here's a bit of vintage Elliebelly ephemera!  This banner is from my long ago life, when Elliebelly yarn was sold on Hyena Cart as part of a "Congo" called Midday Faire with a few other work at home moms.  The banner surely looks dated, but I couldn't stop from laughing when I found it in some old computer files.  We had a great time together at Hyena Cart. This was all long before Ravelry and at the very, very earliest start of knitters finding each other online.

Elliebelly Collage

In this pre-Ravelry era, I had an online group of Mom-Friends who used brightly variegated colorways to knit diaper covers for babies.  The earliest notes I can find from selling hand dyes on line is in 2001. The hand knit colors made cloth diapering seem like an easy and obvious choice, and were lots of fun.  I always liked to sneak in some muted and semi-solid colorways, and these, along with solids, became useful as trim.  And in seemingly no time, but probably more like a couple of years, everyone was knitting baby sweaters and then scarves and shrugs for themselves until we evolved into full blown knitters.

image from farm4.static.flickr.com(c) camdensmom

image from images4-b.ravelrycache.com

Even though I've evolved as both a knitter and a dyer in the many years since then, and have not knit more than the occasional diaper cover for a friend in the last few years, I really honor my beginnings as a dyer.  Although my Grandmother taught us to dye and batik fabric as kids, this was really the first time I had worked with yarn as an adult.  In addition to the scientific approach my Grandmother took, I added in some intuitive techniques from my collage art hobby, layering and glazing color onto skeins of yarn as I would on a canvas. Trial and error was always the way I worked, taking copious notes and learning to view failures as opportunities — to this day, one of my favorite techniques is the result of what I viewed as a disaster in the moment.

My family speculates that I have Tetrachromacy and see more conditions than most people.  In reality, I just love color.  I love it's mix and play and the way it varies when dyed on different fibers.  And it turns out that is the perfect passion for a lifelong knitter, because it lets me bring my love of color, fiber, and finished knit projects together.

Elliebelly is coming back in January of 2017 with a new look, a new logo, and base yarns and colorways that have the benefit of several years of intensive dyeing and test knitting while I've been away from the business of selling yarn.  I'm looking forward to it and hope you'll sign up for the newsletter in the box at the top of the page, so I can be in touch when we reopen.

One thought on “A Bit Of Elliebelly Knitting History

  1. You were the yarn to get for a number of years then. I only had a fast enough connection once!
    I have a lot of fun memories where i tried! Lol! Pretty yarn definitely made diapering fun 🙂 I am so looking foward to your new store opening! Can’t wait to see all the new lovelies!

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