(The first batch of mordanted Liminal, waiting to be dyed)
In my experience, there were two things that made starting Emtothethird Yarn Co. challenging. One was finding enough self confidence to believe that I could do all the things running a small businesses entails. And that, first and foremost, was making a product that customers want and trust. Second was not being able to have my very first product be exactly what I wanted it to be.
What do I mean by that? My foray into knitting really began with a love story between myself and a yarn from the Bay Area called Twirl. Twirl was the first farm yarn that I had ever come across, and I was smitten. The hand drawn sheep on the minimalistic label, the fact that each base was named after the sheep whose wool it was spun from, the naturally dyed colorways. Twirl taught me to love wool and natural dyes, and it was the yarn I used for my very first sweater!
My affinity for farm yarn and natural dyes was further cemented into place during my time at A Verb For Keeping Warm. While working at Verb, I never imagined a future where I would be dyeing yarn to sell. But my passions for wool, farm yarns, and natural dyes were fostered even as I planned to enter the field of library science.
Skipping forward to the beginning of Emtothethird Yarn Co., I knew I wanted to dye on custom bases spun out of local-to-me wool. As a new business, I didn't have the money into a base like that. As an alternative, I worked with ethically sourced, but not local-to-me, mass produced bases. One of these bases which has stuck around is our tried and true fave, Mezcla. During this time my thinking has become less black and white in terms of "good" yarn and "bad" yarn (in fact, I find that a harmful and unhelpful way of categorizing anything! INCLUDING yarn!).
I was THRILLED when being on Amy of Knit Collage's podcast, Collage Creative, connected me with MJ Packer of Battenkill Fibers in upstate New York. We were both excited to work together, and she spun up a sample of a 2-ply DK weight for me, which turned into Liminal. And that is the long-winded explanation of how Liminal came to be Emtothethird Yarn Co.'s first custom base!
(Me, very overwhelmed after opening the first shipment of Liminal)
Why "Liminal"? I am committed to expanding Emtothethird's range of yarns in ways that support the United States wool industry. I hope to continue working with MJ and Battenkill Fibers even after I move to Oregon in a few months. And I hope to connect with new local farmers in the Pacific Northwest. I named Liminal as such because I feel as if it's my stepping stone between mass produced bases and the continuing expansion of Emtothethird Yarn Co.'s custom bases. As with all my bases and colors, my cultural heritage as a Chicana influenced the way I've dyed a lot of the Liminal colorways. I looked at a lot of different types of maíz including the Cherokee Glass Gem variety for color inspiration.