Episode 95 – Countess Ablaze

In Episode 95 we are featuring the work of three very different artists but they all have one thing in common – their love of colour. Our feature interview guest is with the very popular UK hand dyer Countess Ablaze. Then we have the Austrian designer Susanne Sommer featuring in Knitters of the World and our third colourful artist is Van Gogh. The Städel Museum here in Frankfurt has just had a Van Gogh exhibition which was considered to be the most extensive presentation of his work in Germany for the last 20 years. So we take you with us to the exhibition to get an up close look at his work.

Countess Ablaze

At the Countess Ablaze shop and dye studio in Manchester

The Countess Ablaze, whose name is Lyndsey, is original in many ways, from how she has built up and managed her business, to her marketing and branding approach but also with her personal story. We cover all of these topics in the interview which takes place in her three-storey dye studio and shop in Manchester. At the end of the interview, Lyndsey gives us a very comprehensive tour of her dye studio.

Lyndsey at the yarn shed

Lyndsey is known to be very generous with sharing information, both about her dyeing methods and how she runs her business, and this really comes through in the interview. Despite Lyndsey’s extravagant branding image, she is really a very private person and hasn’t given many interview before, so we think you’ll really enjoy this opportunity to get to know her.

Yarns by Countess Ablaze

Finding Countess Ablaze

The Countess Ablaze shop and dye studio is located in Manchester. It’s a really pleasant space and is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Video Credits

Patron discount – Countess Ablaze

Patron Discount – Countess Ablaze

Countess Ablaze is offering Fruity Knitting Patrons a discount on all her fabulous yarn in her online shop. Patron receive a generous 20% discount. There is almost any colour you can think of including solids, variegated and some speckles in many different yarn weights. They all have great fun names, so makes sure you take the time to read through them and have a laugh while you are shopping. This offer is valid until 17 March 2020, full details here.

Susanne Sommer

In this episode we go to Austria to meet our Knitter of the World.

Susanne Sommer wearing her design, Gridlines

We first heard about Susanne Sommer’s designs through Nancy Marchant. Susanne uses the brioche technique in very interesting and artistic ways.

Susanne Sommer modeling her Melted Shrug

Susanne also really makes great use of hand dyed variegated and speckled yarns. She is a very talented designer with an original style, so we’re very pleased to be featuring her work.

Mysteries, She Wrote – Shawl by Susanne Sommer

Patron Discount – Susanne Sommer

Patron Discount – Susanne Sommer

Fruity Knitting Patrons get a 25 percent discount off all self-published patterns by Susanne Sommer. Offer valid until 17 March 2020, full details here.

Van Gogh Exhibition

The Van Gogh exhibition at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt

Van Gogh’s paintings provide fantastic inspiration for any hand dyer, designer, or knitter who wants to put together their own colour palette for their next colourwork project. So we think he fits in very well with this episode’s program!

Van Gogh

Under Construction

Irish Moss by Alice Starmore – Sleeve showing sleeve cap and saddle shoulder

Andrea has completed a sleeve on her Irish Moss by Alice Starmore. Alice Starmore wrote the pattern as a drop shoulder, saddle shoulder construction. Andrea is changing the design to be a set-in-sleeve, saddle shoulder construction, so she has added armhole shaping on the front and back pieces and around the cap of the sleeve. Back in episode 93 she showed how she calculated the armhole shaping on the body and in this episode she shows how to calculate the cap shaping on the sleeve to fit with the body. Both tutorials will be put together for easy access for Fruity Knitting Patrons.

Powderpuff by Nancy Marchant

Andrew is steadily working on his Powderpuff by Nancy Marchant but unfortunately he is disenchanted with his colour choice. When knitted together the pink makes the blue speckles look duller. We’re now thinking that it would have been better with the Kidsilk Haze in either a bright white, or a light blue, to complement the speckled yarn better. The pattern is a simple triple tuck stitch, just four rows long. It’s easy to memorize and also easy to recognize where you are, so a great pattern for a beginning knitter. The choice of yarns is really critical, and the combination of a light weight mohair with a heavier yarn works really well.

We were wearing

Episode 95 – We were wearing!

Music Credits

7 thoughts on “Episode 95 – Countess Ablaze”

  1. Jenny Bickerstaff

    Hi Andrea and Andrew, What an inspiring interview with Lyndsey, you always ask such pertinant and thoughtful questions and wow, what a great outlook she has.

    You could try dyeing your hat with food colour. Lots of videos online but the important thing when dyeing something knitted is the saturation and ensuring the dye penetrates all the way through, not so easy with cables. I do a presoak with citric acid water and then use vinegar and the microwave to set the dye. I have had some mixed but mostly good results when I dyed natural possum merino and you can always do a small test on some leftover yarn if you have any left. End of the day, if it is not as successful as you hoped, unpick the hat, redye it and reknit it.

  2. What a fabulous episode! I especially liked the one with Contessa as I have a grand daughter on the spectrum and to see someone succeeding as she is gives me hope. The yarns and patterns of all your guests are just so wonderful. I love your show! I have learned so much about knitting and design etc as I try to catch up on the back episodes. Thank you for your hard work.

  3. Kristy Hemstreet

    Hi there. This was great episode. I so appreciate your work. I am wondering if you are aware of all of the commercials that YouTube is putting on your program? I have watched two of your episodes that have ads, including this most recent episode.

    In the past you have talked about not wanting to put commercials on your program. With the recent changes to YouTube, are you no longer in control of the commercials? On the one hand I don’t mind that you get paid for your program with the ads, but on the other hand, the ads were numerous. I also wonder if you are actually benefiting from the ads?

    Thank you.
    Kristy Hemstreet

  4. Kristy Hemstreet

    I just went back to YouTube to count how many ads there were in the program, and now there are none there. So strange. I think there were more than 7 ads last night when I watched the program the first time. Just wanted to let you know.
    Thank you.
    Kristy Hemstreet

    1. Hi Kristy. Much of the music that we use in the program is copyright. The music is licensed for use on YouTube, but only under the condition that YouTube can put ads in the video, and any revenue from the ads goes to the producers (rights owners) of the music. The ads are obviously annoying, but we love having good music in the show, and we figure that that is a fair price to pay.

      We do not get any revenue from YouTube ads.

      It sounds like YouTube got a bit carried away with the number of ads. Hopefully that was a one-off problem – things do go wrong occasionally…

  5. Kristy Hemstreet

    Thanks Andrew. The music is very enjoyable, and if that is the reason for the ads, it is great to know the artists are being paid! Just wanted to make sure you knew. Happy knitting!

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