The Farmers Daughter Fibers

Today we are going to talk with Candice English, the indie dyer behind the scenes at The Farmers Daughter Fibers. If I would live in the United States, I think this would be my reference shop. So far I have knitted her Foxy Lady, Squish Sport and Craggy Tweed and I simply love all of them. All the colours seem to play together really well, as having a common root, despite being so different.


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The first time I saw your yarn I fell in love with its colours, which types of fibers do you work with? There is something to be said about working with wool, it has so many amazing qualities. It's ruggedness and durability but yet its soft and gentle. I really just can't get enough. That's why you will find all of the yarns I dye have wool content in them. I love a rich lanolin natural fiber, but I also really love dying and working with super wash yarns as well. I feel like my creative expression is held on these yarns more than a non-Superwash wool. 



And which kind of dyes? I use acid dyes, and then with our line of Aspen Sisters that is all plant dyed fibers.

All your colours seem to beautifully work together, no matter which ones you take, what inspires you to create them? Most of my inspiration comes from nostalgia. Growing up in Montana I had a really special and unique childhood. I didn't realize this until I became an adult but to spend your early years roaming around on a ranch, having Glacier National Park as your backyard...there is nothing like it!


How does your Blackfeet origins show up in your work? Mostly in the way that I use colors and inspiration. My spirituality stems from my homeland and reservation, it is a big part of who identify with and lends itself to my creative energy. If I can channel that spiritual creative energy and let go, my best work happens. 



Deep family culture and humor too, my family are the funniest people I know. And its a type of humor I think is hard for people who don't live or grow up on the reservation to understand. But any of my quirky or strange colorway names, we can blame on that.

I have been lucky enough to try both your Wrist relief and Wool wash, how do you produce those? I think I have seen you on IG picking up flowers with your kids, right? The wool wash is something I started making when I was cloth diapering my daughter when she was a baby. Then I started making it every Christmas for my knitting friends and they always raved about it. So when I started Farmer's Daughter is was a no brainer to make it available.


My wrist relief is a little more special. My mom is an herbalist who learned a lot of what she knows from her dad and the traditional Native American ways of gathering plants for medicine. I am trying to soak as much of that knowledge in that I can. So for the wrist relief we gather all of the plants ourselves, soak them in oils for at least a year, and then mix the oils with a local beeswax. The smells of the plants and beeswax, it just doesn't get any better! Plus you can feel the benefits almost immediately. 

Do you knit yourself? Knitting is pretty much my favorite thing to do....on earth. I love picking out colors for new projects, casting on something new feels so magical to me. And then eventually wearing something you can be proud of, I just think being a maker is so much more then just the craft. As drastic as it sounds sometimes I feel like knitting saved my life, its a healthy coping mechanism for any anxiety I am feeling (good or bad) and the creative out-lit it gives me is something I had been searching for.



Which are your goals for the future? I am just coming off a summer at home with my kids, I found the balance of wanting to work as much as I do and trying to enjoy spending time with my kids and do so much with them, it was too much. So going into Fall I am trying to keep things simple and slow down a bit. I will keep growing my wholesale accounts and set some rules for myself as far as saying yes to every project. I just want to do all the things!

I just want to add how grateful I am to my little fiber community, in the last year I have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people who build me up and appreciate my work. Sometimes I feel like I have to pinch myself that this is all real. I can't wait to meet more wonderful knitters and fiber artists and share this amazing experience with them!



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If you want to know more about Candice and her yarns, you can reach her here:


I hope you enjoyed this post as much I did preparing it. If you have any doubts or queries, you can reach me at my Ravelry group: patchwork and cakes by josef or leave a comment below.

See you soon and keep knitting!!

Josef


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(All the pictures are mine or have been used with the permission of the owner, being all of them under copyright protection. Please, do not reproduce them without the due authorisation.

I respect as much as possible all the responses the interviewed provides me, so you may find a different spelling of some words depending of their country of origin being English native speakers.)

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