Shop a huge selection of the amazing ombré yarns and meet the dyer behind this fab company – all in the safety of our outdoor tents! Tina Whitmore of Freia Fine Handpaint Yarns will be on site along with a huge selection of accessories and garments made with her yarn. Be inspired by the huge number of colors and yarn bases you will see at this pop up. Shop kits and our custom color!
From Freia Yarns founder, Tina Whitmore
For the Love of Color
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t knitting, and short of injury or ill-health, I can’t imagine ever putting my needles down. I don’t know if my need to keep my hands occupied came as a result of knitting or was what led me to it.
Dyeing has felt like a homecoming for me. As a photography student at the San Francisco Art Institute in the 80’s I spent hours in the darkroom color correcting my photographic prints. Intensifying reds, taking greens out of blue to make it true, turning a pink into purple. When I learned fiber dyeing I was amazed to see that the process is almost identical to darkroom work; changing filters and altering exposure time to get the perfect shade and saturation were not unlike the additive and subtractive process when creating my pigment percentages and solution strength for the perfect depth of shade in my yarn.
Back in 2003 I started Knitwhits, a knitting pattern and kit company. After 6 years of designing small portable projects I veered towards designing ready-to-wear using self-striping yarns. It became increasingly apparent that though there were some gorgeous self-striping yarns on the market, there were elements still missing. It is those missing elements that I bring to Freia Handpaint Yarns.
In 2010 I developed gradient yarns -a color method unlike any multi-colored yarn that existed before, beginning one of the most marked and copied trends to hit the yarn market of this decade. I straddle the line somewhere between an indie dyer and a large yarn company, providing a unique hand-dyed yarn, but at a scale large enough to cater to Local Yarn Stores globally . The custom-spun fiber I use is soft and lofty (or smooshy as I prefer to call it). It has a wonderful rustic character to it, without the itch. The Ombré yarns have gorgeous extra long gradients – that cannot be replicated in mass production – with a lush depth of color only we can bring as hand dyers.
In the time since I took up dyeing back in the early part of 2010 to today, the company has grown and changed dramatically. Starting with just me and one hard-working intern based in my 700 ft home studio on the San Francisco Bay to a move in 2018 across the US, setting up shop in a 3500 square foot space in a revitalized textile mill in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts. It is with the countless hours and commitment of my amazing staff through the years who somehow put up with my endless onslaught of enthusiasm, drive and crazy ideas that helped get Freia Yarns where we are today.
I love what I do, I feel like a kid in a candy store. I get to play with color, I get to knit and design with yarn whose color I’ve created and dyed from scratch. Short of owning my own sheep, this is may be the next best thing! And who is Freia? Freia was my wonderful Chesapeake Bay Retriever who kept me sane the rest of the time. Both Freia (the dog) and Freia (the yarn) have brought a wonder to my life that is priceless in beauty, joy and exuberance.”