Distinctive, Sophisticated, & Inspired Yarns and Fibers, since 2003
Yarns & Fibers Are My Canvas
I started Spirit Trail Fiberworks in early 2003 after taking a dye workshop at a local studio. I had been searching for a "new profession" after retiring from my commercial real estate career in Washington, DC, when our son was born. I've been a knitter since I was a teenager, and have always loved the tactile process of creating something functional and wearable. I've also always been very attuned to the power of color, not only in its ability to affect and change one's mood and daily outlook, but also in how differently and individually people experience color and are drawn to some colors more than others.
I've loved art, and color, for as long as I can remember (I've dabbled in ceramics, painting, pen and ink, and calligraphy, and have a minor in Fine Art as well as a BA in English Literature). I grew up surrounded by creativity: My Dad is an architect, and an absolutely fabulous artist, and my Mom is a wonderful seamstress and knitter. My Dad and I spent many fun evenings in art classes at the Smithsonian Institute in DC, and our family regularly visited museums and local artist studios.
I really wanted to do something that joined "my avocation and my vocation" (to quote Mr. Frost) and I happily found this union in the art and business of dyeing yarn and fibers.
Spirit Trail products are dyed in small, artisanal batches at my studio in Sperryville, VA, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, as “variegated,” “softly variegated” and “tonal solids." I utilize various dye techniques to achieve the results I want, from kettle dyeing, to handpainting, speckling and other techniques.
Variegated yarns include 3 to 6 complementary colors and are painted so that transitions between colors are subtle and blended rather than rigid and segmented. Softly Variegated yarns are created using only two to three colors which are much closer in hue and tone, which are then significantly blended together for a very subtle exchange of color. Tonal Solids are dyed with one color, but because of my dye methods and layering techniques, subtle color changes and tonal variety are created during the dye process to create depth and shading.
Because of the artistic nature of my dye process, some variation will occur between, and sometimes even within, dyelots. Colors are mixed and applied by hand in an organic and unique process, and may not be created in exactly the same way each time. Each batch is truly unique, and will produce an equally unique garment. For this reason, it is especially important to purchase enough yarn to complete your project, plus a little extra for good measure.
My sincere thanks go to all the knitters, spinners and fiber artists who visit my studio and shop, my blog, and my booth at the festivals I attend. This is truly a small, family business and I couldn't be doing what I love without your support!
Visit my studio at Blue Ridge Artisans in Sperryville, VA!
Blue Ridge Artisans is located in the beautiful and fun town of Sperryville, VA, Blue Ridge Artisans, at 12018 B Lee Highway, Sperryville, VA 22740. We're in the lower level of the historic one-room school house, known at the Schoolhouse Annex, at the Sperryville Schoolhouse Complex, home of Schoolhouse Antiques, Headmasters Pub, and the Schoolhouse Nine Golf Course. Our upstairs neighbor, Cottage Curator, is a stunning gallery of photographs, paintings, ceramics and other fine art.
Blue Ridge Artisans is the joint studio of Dabney Kirchman (Fine Art Felt) and Jennifer Heverly (Spirit Trail Fiberworks). Dabney is a studio artist with over 20 years experience creating flat and bas relief wall hangings and unique hand-felted fabrics. From clean, carded wool she blends, dyes, and felts richly layered fabrics which are the foundation of her vibrant works. Jennifer has been a dyer for over 14 years, and uses a variety of dye techniques for her sophisticated palette of hand-dyed yarns, fibers, and silks. Her distinctive textiles are available in one-of-a-kind apparel and accessories, as well as the raw materials for your own special handcrafted projects.
Our studio, gallery, and shop are open to visitors by appointment or by chance. Please email me at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you'd like to stop in for a visit. There is a calendar of upcoming events posted on the studio website; we plan to hold at least one event per month. In the future, we also plan to offer classes in felting, dyeing and other textile arts.
If you are interested in stocking Spirit Trail Fiberworks in your brick & mortar or online store, I'd love to talk to you! Please email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org for our wholesale price list and other information. In order to provide you with the best selection of colorways, I will obtain a general idea of what you would like for your store (bold, soft, warm, cool, etc) and create a palette of colors will which both compliment each other visually, as well as working together for different colorwork projects (contrasting colorwork, stripes, etc.). If there are any specific colorways you desire, I will include those and create a balanced palette around them.
I am thrilled to work with designers on their special creations, and would love to hear from you about your design or idea. If you're interested in using a Spirit Trail yarn in a design, please email me at email@example.com. If you can include information on your design (Spirit Trail base you're interested in, colorway, how many skeins) that will speed up the process. I am also open to discussing the creation of kits to go with a design, and other ways we can collaborate. I love to collaborate with knitwear designers, and truly believe this is a great way to support each other in this business!
Spirit Trail Fiberworks attends the following festivals each year
The First Full Weekend in May: Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, Howard County Fairgrounds, West Friendship, MD. Main Exhibit Building, Booth A30
The Third Weekend in October: New York Sheep & Wool Festival, Dutchess County Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck, New York, Building A, Booth 3-4
Workshops & Other Events:
Please visit my studio home page for a calendar of upcoming events and workshops!