Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Neighborhood Fiber Co.

[This is one post in a series of twelve posts designed to feature a wildly creative and exciting group of crafters and artisans. Please take a moment to visit the shop featured in this post and all the shops featured on the left and right hand sidebars of my blog. You'll have the opportunity to learn about two fabulous shops a week - just in time to get all of your holiday shopping done. Enjoy!]

While I'd consider myself a crafty gal, I cannot figure out knitting. I have the basic steps down, sure, but when it comes to the more intricate finger-knotting techniques and all of those abbreviations and acronyms found in patterns, I feel like a dunce. Just as I have visions of sugarplums dancing in my head, I dream of a day when I can knit up a squishy, soft pair of socks or a shawl...heck, I'd even take a scarf that was fancier than a garter stitched, uneven nightmare! What's more, I've found that the temptation of gorgeous, handspun, top TOP quality yarn doesn't help this despair. Temptation, thy name is Neighborhood Fiber Co., a company deeply rooted in Washington DC but recently relocated to Columbus, Ohio, is Karida Collins' art, craft and livelihood.

When I met this fabulous woman, it was a few short weeks before she headed to the midwest. I was struck by her bright, bold pink lipstick and her sassy and energetic demeanor. This aura is translated to the fiber she dyes and spins up by hand in her home studio. Colors more vibrant than any I've ever seen, Neighborhood Fiber Co. yarns run the gamut from lace weight to super bulky. At Crafty Bastards this year, I fell in love with a super bulky green yarn nestled in her display, but every inch of her booth was bursting with life and color. As she explains on her website, NFC is "dedicated to providing fiber arts products rich in saturated colors that reflect the natural beauty and diverse neighborhoods found throughout the nation’s capital." This theme is carried through to the names of her yarns, which are all taken from Karida's favorite places in downtown DC. Encouraging and inspiring, Karida is also a coauthor of a relatively new book Pints and Purls : Portable projects for the social knitter chock full of patterns and ideas for the knitter who likes to knock back a few beers.

NFC yarns are a wonderful gift for the seasoned knitter/weaver/crocheter in your life. A gift full of life, creativity and color ready for the inspiration to hit, Karida's yarns translate perfectly to people of all ages as well. A little birdie has told me on more than one occasion how fabulous NFC yarns are to knit with, and that same birdie has turned them into a bevy of delightful shawls and cowls perfect for this brisk transition into winter. Pick up a skein or two for yourself, even if you have little to no experience, and trek out to your local yarn shop for a knitting workshop as a New Year's resolution. You can shop for Neighborhood Fiber Co. yarns and fibers at yarn shops nationwide and through Karida's Etsy shop.

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