In da Club II: Nicole and Cordula / DyeForYarn
Silky, shiny with intense, saturated colors – yarns like that are true gems and hard to find: silk fibers do not take the pigments handdyers use very well. But Nicole Eitzinger (left on the picture) and Cordula Surmann-Schmitt of DyeForYarn have found a way to dye silk and silk blends in very vibrant colors. When I was looking for special yarns for our Strickmich! Club, I was very impressed with DyeForYarn’s samples: Great colors and really beautiful, soft yarn bases with silk, merino or camel, hand-picked by two very ambitious knitters. “When we think about taking on a new yarn base, we test-knit it and wash and wear it for some time. We want to know how a yarn feels, whether it felts and so on”, says Nicole.
Nicole and Cordula met at University where they worked in the same lab for four years – Nicole is a biologist, Cordula studied molecular medicine. In 2009, Nicole felt like knitting again (after abandoning it for a couple of years) and chose a lace shawl as her first project. That became a gift for her mom, so she knit another one for herself. When Cordula saw Nicole proudly wearing her newly knit treasure, she decided that she needed one, too. Since then, they both share a passion for complicated lace: “I just love a challenge when I knit, and Cordula feels the same”, Nicole says. A couple of years ago, lace yarns in nice colors were kind of rare in German yarn stores, so they started dyeing their own and selling them in their Etsy Shop. In 2011 they opened the DyeForYarn Store in Fürth (close to Nuremberg, Bavaria) and quit their jobs at the lab bench.
Do they miss academic life and work? “Not at all! It is so exciting and challenging to run one’s own business. We enjoy being the bosses and making decisions – that’s something you can’t always do working in science. But the best thing is: there are no dead ends in dyeing yarn. If a color does not turn out exactly the way I planned, there will be someone who loves it nevertheless!”, Nicole says. Some things they learnt in the lab transitioned to the dye workshop, nevertheless: Two separate, neat and clean working stations, exact notes and, in Nicole’s case, recipes for every color she dyes. “I always weigh everything, Cordula is a little more of a free-hand-dyer”, Nicole says. Each one has her specialty colors, and their joint range of color is very impressing.
I am very delighted that Cordula and Nicole have agreed to do one special color for Strickmich! Club. They immediately agreed, although I will not be designing their beloved extra-complicated lace for the club. “Our customers love to knit Martina’s patterns with our yarn. It’s a perfect match!”
One more question for our yarn scientists: Why did you choose a pirate symbol as a logo? The answer: “It goes very well with the double meaning of ‘DyeForYarn’ and the black humor that we share. And we are both fans of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean!'”