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Discovering the Colorful World of Dusty Yarn Co: An Inside Look


Yellow, Gold, Blue and Red logo with VW bus and yarn ball on top

When I was planning the Factory Girl Maker's Boxes for 2024 and it was time to select some of my favorite indie dyers, I wanted to invite newer dyers to be part of the boxes. Giving them a different space to share their talents and potentially introduce them to new customers who would love their art as much as I do.


I was first introduced to Dusty Yarn Co scrolling through my Instagram feed. I had recently returned from a trip to Spain and while in Seville at this lovely resort we were staying at were these gorgeous Bouginavillea trees in full bloom. Just stunning! Well...I stopped scrolling in my tracks because I knew I needed that yarn added to my stash. And the best part it's namesake is the same. I started chatting with Audrey in her DMs and as time went on the rest is history and the DYC team agreed to be part of the Spring Maker's Box and dyed up the most stunning colorway, Daylight. I'll share more below...but first, a little more about the awesome DYC team.



A little about how DYC launched and giving back to their community:

Dusty Yarn Co. is a small hand-dyed yarn operation based in Southern California, just 2 miles from the ocean in San Juan Capistrano. They create vivid, rich and saturated colorways for all of your fiber art projects inspired by the colorful community that surrounds us. DYC was created in 2023 as a means of exploring creativity and color together, and to be something for our whole family to become involved in. Audrey, the head dyer and mastermind, is a lifelong knitter, having grown up in a house full of yarn and crafts alongside her mother and her grandmother who showcased the beauty of handmade knitwear; Zach manages shipping and supply chain when he's not on the water surfing or paddleboarding, and our two daughters help in anyway they can. We consistently look to give back and support our local community, and currently donate 5% of our revenue to local non-profit charities, most recently to an intergenerational reading program that seeks to improve childhood literacy. We love to share our love of color with you!  Be sure to explore our shop at dustyyarncompany.etsy.com


While working on the Spring Maker's Box, I reached out to Audrey with a few questions and she shared so many fun snippets with me....I hope you enjoy learning more!


1. Would you share how you got started dyeing yarn? 

I got into dying yarn at the suggestion of Zach, my partner! I have been a knitter and lover of hand-dyed yarn for many, many years and I had moments where I found myself struggling to find the color of yarn I was searching for for specific projects. He simply asked why I didn't try dying my own yarn, and thus the idea was sparked. He and I bought the bare wool from KnitPicks, some acid dye from Dharma Trading Co., and got rolling! At the same time as I started dying yarn, I was also preparing to take my licensing exam to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and was desperately seeking a new outlet for the stress after studying for months and months. I would mix up the dye, and sit and study and review while the pots cooked and the colors developed on the skeins. It was such a thrilling way to help give my brain something else to think about other than my massive exam! 


2. Where do you find your inspiration for your color ways?

We have focused on generating very rich, saturated and vivid tonal colorways, and often are inspired by our environment and surrounding area. Some comes from natural things, like the way the sun strikes across the ocean at sunset ("Last Light"), the bright vivid flowers of the Bougainvillea, or the sandy shores of our favorite beach ("Doheny"). Others come from the feeling of a place, like "Los Rios"  which is an homage to the oldest neighborhood in California, the Los Rios district in our little downtown San Juan Capistrano, CA; or the deep blue water that you see off the side of a sail boat ("Deep Water"). Others come from music, or popular culture, like our Playlist Collection which featured Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Vance Joy, and Maggie Rogers or our For Real Life Collection, which was inspired by the colorful world of Bluey. 


young woman and man on a beach with the ocean in the background and their dog sitting on a blanket
Audrey and Zach with one of their beloved pups!

3. Would you share a bit about the bases used you offer? Do you have a favorite or go to for most projects?

Currently, we have a number of different bases and primarily offer superwash merino-based bases, due to the fact that I really enjoy working with them! We have a few alpaca bases as well, which all work up wonderfully. We have weights from lace-weight to worsted weight, and I personally test each base out and knit something with it before deciding to offer it to our customers. I tend to gravitate to our Classic Fingering base, which has tremendous shine and takes color so beautifully. We recently added a new fingering weight base to our lineup, our Luxe Cashmerino, which I am obsessed with. It is a 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, and 10% Nylon, and is unbelievably soft! I worked with some and knew that I needed to offer it to our customers. Also, living in Southern California, we don't need too many big, bulkier sweaters, so the lighter weight yarn is more useful for my favorite projects .... sweaters! :) 


4. Can you share what’s coming for DYC for the rest of 2024? 

We currently have our For Real Life Collection available in our shop through just after Easter, which has been such a joy to dye up and share with y'all! The bright, inviting and colorful world of Bluey has generated such creativity in how we dye our yarn to achieve the colors we had envisioned. We have three more collections lined up for the year, with hopes for a few other fun things as well if time allows! Our next collection is inspired by an iconic part of California which we will have ready as we move into Summer! We enjoy being able to operate on a dyed to order model for our customers, so we are looking to add more colorways to our continuously available library of colors while also generating new, exclusive colorways that are available for a few weeks at a time. 


5. When dyeing yarn, what do you listen to?

It entirely depends on the time of day that I'm dying yarn! My "day job" as a therapist does not give me a 9-5 schedule, so I get to dye yarn at all times of day when I'm free and can get my hands into the dye pots.  Some days I am dying early in the morning and have an audiobook going (my favorite recently was Happy Place by Emily Henry!), or at lunchtime I am likely to have some dancey-pop music playing (Think anything from early 2000's to EDM to Billy Joel or Fleetwood Mac ... it depends on the day) and at night I usually have a show going that I'm consistently pausing to tend to the dye pots. My favorite show is Ted Lasso, so I just finished re-watching seasons 1 and 2 while dying up early For Real Life orders! 


6. What are your favorite projects to knit or crochet?

I adore to knit sweaters and garments. Love, love, love. My family often complains because I always have a sweater on my needles for me! I love to knit for my family, so my daughters and my partner get lots of great knitwear as well. I have dreams of making a big blanket for my couch, but am struggling to find the perfect pattern to fit what I have envisioned in my head! This year I also want to knit my family Christmas stockings, so, hopefully I can get some colors picked out and get rolling on those soon. 


7. Do you have a beverage(s) of choice when knitting or crocheting?

Again, this all depends, haha! If I am at home, I am usually drinking a cup of black tea with honey and milk. I love to bring my knitting with me everywhere and am often seen knitting in public at wine bars and breweries. Pinot Noir, or a West Coast IPA are my favorites. We have a colorway based on red wine at DYC, named "First Date" because I sent red wine flying across my white shorts on me and Zach's first date, and another called "West Coast IPA" that is a color match to the beer that we find at our local SoCal breweries!


I hope you enjoyed getting to know Audrey a little more! Be sure to check out their yarns on dustyyarncompany.etsy.com and give them a following on IG @dustyyarnco.


Below find the gorgeous Daylight yarn that was in the Spring Maker's Box. Each subscriber received 2 skeins and the pattern included was for a ribbed and cable scarf/wrap.



If you'd like to learn more about the Factory Girl Maker's Boxes or sign-up to purchase a box or subscription, visit HERE.


Next week I'll introduce you to my other favorite Maker's in the the Spring Maker's Box. 🩵


Until then.... XO! Crystal


Collage of blue and gold, purple and yellow, orange and blue, and red and black flowers
Inspiration Photos for 2024 Maker's Box. From Top L-R: Spring, Fall; Bottom L-R: Summer, Winter

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