Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Meet the Yarns By Design team- Part Three

Third up in our series of "Meet the Yarns By Design team" is Tamara Hayes, co-owner of Yarns By Design.

Tamara's path into knitting began when she was expecting her first baby. Her mom (and fellow co-owner), Sandy taught her the basic crochet stitch to be able to complete a blanket for her daughter. Her daughter still has that same blanket today. Fast forward to Tamara's second child, where she wanted to try knitting the blanket instead. "This was when novelty yarns were really popular- not the best option for a first time knitter to work with", Tamara begins…"let's just say, the blanket turned out to be a shape I have never seen before".  It was around that time that Sandy was seriously thinking about opening a yarn shop. Tamara became excited about this next adventure for her mom and asked if she could join in on the fun. This new adventure also meant that Tamara needed to get in a lot more practice in the fiber arts, especially if she is going to be selling the product. She practiced with scarves, but felt that became boring so on she went to sweaters instead. "I have to say, I haven't looked back", she states. "I love knitting and have enjoyed the challenge of knitting all of the projects I have made throughout the years."

Tamara's favorite place to knit looks a little different now that she lives in the UK. "Before moving to the UK, I enjoyed knitting in the evenings in our basement watching some sort of documentary while my husband was busy building his radio control airplanes. Unfortunately, now living in London, we do not have the luxury of space nor time so my knitting is usually being worked on while  traveling on the Underground, most times while standing."

Getting some stitches in on the Underground.
When she is not working with YBD or knitting on her own, Tamara enjoys boxing for a good workout. She also likes to dance, ski, cycle, camp and take long walks with her husband and be with her family. "My family would say I am always working at the boutique, I guess this is the advantage and disadvantage when doing something you really enjoy." Tamara's commitment to a successful business continues, even from the UK. "Our goal with YBD is to provide high quality products to our customers (also known as fiber friends); our customers are the best and it is my goal to give them the best experience and options when crafting."

Tamara and family. 
The boutique was designed and decorated by Tamara. When asked what was her inspiration for such she states: "Simplicity. I like clean lines with no distractions." As a collector of mid-century furniture and design, she finds design inspiration from this era. "Sandy was so very trusting and supportive of my ideas and vision, designing YBD was the best designing job I had."

Fiber art seems to differ between London and the United States. "Interestingly, there is a huge difference", Tamara explains. "If I can say it bluntly, nothing compares!"
She continues, "there aren't many yarn shops in London, the fiber options are minimal (Rowan, Debbie Bliss, Louisa Harding, Sirdar are the yarns every yarn shops has available). A few shops have ventured into the more exciting hand-dyed yarns like Manos and Malabrigo, but the color options are minimal".
Tamara has managed to meet up with one  knitting group since moving. "They are a lovely group of ladies, however it just seems like the industry is stuck in the past here- most people have never even heard of Ravelry nor have they ever worked on circulars." Tamara misses what YBD has to offer and continues to purchase from the YBD online boutique .

Tamara enjoys creating, inspiring and experimenting with both fibers and designs. She most enjoys knitting sweaters, particularly top-down projects. Her words of wisdom to those just getting started in the fiber arts: "If you have an interest but are getting frustrated, do not keep trying the same thing. Move  from what it is you are currently working on and try something else to inspire you.  Also, I only ever work on one project at a time. It is like a little game with myself. Thus, I never have unfinished projects looming over me and causing me stress."

Handmade by Tamara: Such a Winter's Day designed by Heidi Kirrmaier and knit with Madelintosh Vintage in Silver 

Stop by to say hi to the rest of the Yarns By Design team. Be sure to bring your finished projects to share with us, we love to see what everyone is creating!


Sarah at Yarns By Design

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