JOMA Yarn Blog

Vancouver Island Fibre Festival

As I’m getting stitch markers and mini skeins ready for goodie bags for our first appearance at the Vancouver Island Fibre Festival in Campbell River the weekend after next, I am struck by how utterly fast this is coming. Amazing how time flies when you are in the dye pots. Our first 10 sales will get fibrey-fun treats, so please pop by the booth to pet some pretties if you make it up island for this event! There are several other dyers and local vendors and talents as well as workshops for fibre arts and spinning. I hope to see you there.

Emjay Bailey Behind the Colourway – Stainless

Stainless steel has always been my favourite metal bar none. The dull shine of a found metal sink stopper chain around my neck has always been preferred over fine silver or gold trinkets. Stainless is my nod to the modern beauty that supports our structures, our medical instruments, transportation, industry, art and everything is touched and upheld by steel at some point in its journey. Inspired by the cool, sleek vibe of commercial kitchens, elemental feel of industrial welding and shiny grain of steel precision instruments, this colourway reflects the depths of beauty and awesome richness we have in every day things, things we often take for granted. Stainless was one of the first repeatable colourways I developed, released in 2012 as a delicate, cool gray semi-solid colour path, non pooling and lightly sprinkled with subtly darker layers.

It strikes a bit different on each base, looking especially metallic and mesmerizing on a bamboo merino blend, and positively glamorous when paired with sparkling stellina. On a crunchier more hearty wool, the colour path is reminiscent of a the grey down of a big friendly Husky you might want to curl up with on a cold arctic night. Stainless is like the most amazing cheerleader, pairing so wonderfully with and bringing out the best in a bright contrasting colour. It brings out any colourway’s best self and creates so much definition of colour drama, beautifully framing the other colours in a subtle context that allows their complexity to shine rather than crowd together. Most importantly though, I love it for its ability to be intrinsically content, perfect and completely gorgeous just on its own.

As a colourist I tend to find my comfort zones in the high contrasting madness spectrum. I enjoy combining all colours in a way that is very complex and layered and sometimes struggle more to achieve simplicity. Neutrals are a challenge for me to work with and truly love, but Stainless and I hit it off right off the bat and I look forward to painting it on to many many more skeins.

Shop for Stainless Yarns.

WWKIP Day Victoria! Collaborative JOMA Yarn / Knotty by Nature and Discovery Knitters Knit in Public Day Event!

Knit in Public Victoria!

Mark your calendars for Knit in Public Day on June 10th. Join us at Knotty by Nature Fibre Arts with this first time collaborative trunk show and all fibre arts love in! I will be there with my entire shop inventory and a trunk show and lecture. Knotty by Nature Fibre Arts will be open and welcoming all with amazing works by our talented local spinners, dyers, felters and weavers as well as offering complementary italian sodas. The Discover Knitters Knitting group will be hosting a public knit-in with a hearty welcome extended to all fibre arts, in the lovely park across the street. Registration details will be issued closed to the event time for goodie bags and entries for door prizes. Hope to see you there!

Marble Pop Cowl – Free Pattern

Announcing the Marble Pop Cowl pattern, a free knit DK/Sport weight mini skein cowl that combines 6 different yarns inspired by the beautiful vintage marbles my husband has unearthed while metal detecting over the years. The yarn colours were carefully hand dyed with inspiration from the ribbons of primary colour in the cat’s eye marbles, the tealy clarity of antique glass, the creamy whites of the swirlies and bright contrasting red of speckly glass frit. The cowl is a colourful, playful and a super simple knit, a design reminiscent of bubble wrap and marbles, pops of soft textured stockinette rounding out stripes of interlocked colour. There are only two kits left in stock!

Announcing the Skinny Waffle Scarf!

If over the years you have been paying attention to my design adventures, you may recall a purple, rainbows and orange scarf that currently lives on display at Knotty by Nature Fibre Arts in Victoria. This scarf was from the first knit pattern I ever wrote. The learning process while humbling and heartbreaking, helped me grow and develop my style as a designer. Re-vamped, fixed, re-knit in current colourways and newly published, the Skinny Waffle Scarf is a completely reversible scarf pattern, lean and slender around the neck, this scarf can be doubled up, knit wider or worn as a single for those who prefer not too much bulk around their neck. A twist of fate brought us real snow on picture day, a rare occurrence in Victoria BC, much less for late February! To knit your own, take advantage of coupon code SKINNYWAFFLE to save 20% on our Mashmellow Rino yarns

EOS Lip Balm Sphere Toques Knitting Pattern

Elf approved!

Lip Balm toques? Sure! What could be more Canadian than the classic hoser toque (or sockhat for those less familiar with the term) with a big fat pom-pom on top? Maybe hockey and maple syrup, but that’s it. This cute little pattern was the result of my Christmas 2016 gift knitting brainstorm. You only need about 16 yards of Mashmellow-Rino yarn to make one. That means if you have any left overs from other projects or if you’ve ever received one of our sampler hanks with your order, you’ve got enough yarn to make at least one of these puppies. Download it free!

Tin Can Knits’ World’s Simplest Mittens hacked!

Tin Can Knits’ World’s Simplest Mittens hacked with striping JOMA Yarns.

Alexa and Emily of Tin Can Knits have done it again! Their newly released World’s Simplest Mittens pattern is incredibly simple and produces a great fitting mitten. Alexa made her own pair with a twist, hacking the pattern to be worked in striped instead of solid. She chose Mashmellow-Rino yarns in Fair Winds and Following Seas and Ray Gun to create a contrast between the bright speckles and darker tones that would make the stripes pop. I love how they turned out! I am working on my own pair and my hack is slipping stitches for make believe brioche squishiness!

CMYK Colour Work Cowl Pattern

CMYK Colour Work Cowl by Emjay Bailey

I am super excited about this new free pattern for our bulky Chubby-Rino yarn base. It’s an idea I had nibbling at my brain for a while now. The concept, to knit according to the colour distribution present in the yarn rather than a pre-determined stitch pattern. You have a design part to play in your cowl, as you plan how you will map your colours. One set of colours will be knit, the other will be purl. One hank is all you need to work up this pattern! Each cowl will be completely unique and randomized and the pattern works up quite quickly due to the bulk of the yarn and simplicity of the cowl. Check out the pattern and the yarn to get started!

Hey Vancouver! Have you heard?

Not Your Mama’s Yarn Store!

We are super jazzed to be working with Paula, owner of Baaad Anna’s Yarn Store in Vancouver BC to bring our yarns back to the mainland. It’s an honour to be featured in this fantastic shop that features many talented and amazing BC fibre artists. Baaad Anna’s will be carrying our Mashmellow-Rino, Sock-a-Rino and Baby Blue Face bases in several new colourways!

Emjay Bailey Behind the Colourway – Graffito: Art, Inspiration and Fibre

Graffito Shawlette

Graffiti is an art form I have always adored that was firmly entrenched in the skateboard and punk rock culture I drifted to in my youth. The spot we went for the photo shoot had a lovely tribute to Ghost.

Those of you local to Victoria may remember a graffiti artist named Hans Fear who was quite prolific and active in the skateboard scene. His tag was Ghost. We hung out a few times and though I didn’t know him well, he was a beautiful person, inspiring to me and so many others in town. Having shared friends and similar haunts and stomping grounds meant constantly encountering Hans’ work on walls, notebooks, scrawled on a toilet paper roll in a bathroom. Everywhere he went he left a beautiful mark, leaving behind a teensy piece of his vision to be found, appreciated, contemplated. His story ended tragically and though he is still missed and remembered, his presence is strangely still a part of the city.

Since childhood I always had a creative drive, but it always lacked focus. I envied the kind of focus and passion Hans had for drawing. My mind always wandered to a different media and crafts but nothing every really stuck or felt natural. For me the final product was always the least rewarding part. The core of my joy always seemed to be the journey of developing colour and texture. I never really knew what to draw, scuplt or paint in particular, but I loved the chaos and unpredictable experience of slapping colour up on a canvas and playing with colours in layers in different media. When I mastered crochet, I was “hooked” on using stitches to create textiles, working primarily in bright and colourful sculptural amigurumi. That was the start of my art and fibre fusion journey.

Since then I have developed repetitive stress injuries that force me to limit my manual crafting like painting, spinning, knitting and crochet, and discovered my true passion, dyeing fibre. I love being one part of a collective, creative process. Fibres are my canvas, dyes are my paint and since there is no way I could do this much and knit it all, JOMA Yarn is the gallery I share with a vibrant and supportive community of global fibre artists who in turn create beautiful knit, crochet and woven objects with my work. The finished objects become beautiful surprises I see pop up as projects on ravelry, rewarding reminders of the wonderful things we have created together. Graffito, one of my favourite colourways, was inspired by Hans’ art, and the art of many since him, brightening our urban landscapes with inspired messaging, beautiful imagery and the defiant vulnerability of a temporary presence.

I have found my focus, and I look back on the journey that got me here with gratitude and appreciation for fellow creatives, especially those that kept me motivated and inspired with their commitment and talent as shining examples along the way.

Kaleidoscope Supernova Cowl or Scarf Pattern

Kaleidoscope Supernova Scarf

Last but not least a brand new pattern designed exclusively for Mashmellow Rino yarn, the Kaleidoscope Supernove Cowl or Scarf pattern, which minimizes pooling and creates incredible depth of colour and stitch definition.

Finding Joy in my Referrer Statistics

One of the benefits of being my own webmaster, IT support and jack of all trades, yarn or otherwise, is finding little gems of loveliness in my web traffic statistics. I absolutely ADORE the fibre community, and I’m sure like many of you, spend countless hours pouring over content that has been generously created and shared with warmth, generosity and a passion for all things fibre. This week I was thrilled to discover the lovely Stitched Together podcast had flashed her Black Friday purchase of Cash-a-Rino in the colour path Hummingbird. It was an amazing and flattering surprise, and a lovely way to discover a talented knitter and designer and a really great podcast.