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Another announcement I've been dying to make for some time- a new addition to the playful family! Please say hi and make Candy Skein, our new sponsor feel very welcome. I've loved Tami's blogalongs for some time now and it was only a matter of time before I fell hopelessly in love with her bright colours and sock yarns to die for. 

To celebrate the latest addition to our playful tribe, Candy Skein is offering you 10% off all purchases from her shop until 29th February 2012. Simply enter the code 'APLAYFULDAY' at checkout to claim your discount. 

So here she is, in detail for all of you to enjoy.  


Tag! You're it, take centre stage and tell us who you are.
Let’s see, first things first, my name is Tami and I live in sunny San Diego, CA. I started crocheting in November of 2009 and instantly fell in love with fiber arts and it blossomed into a love affair. I slowly realized that my goal was to learn to knit, which I did about a year ago, in December ‘11. The fiber arts are my life, especially when I started my indie yarn company, Candy Skein in May ‘11. Color has always been a huge passion of mine, as I have a background in fine art and yarn dyeing seemed to fall into place. It was a match made in heaven in my opinion. I get to play with yarn morning, noon and night and love every moment of it!

Candy Skein? That's a rather yummy name, what was your inspiration?
I’ll never forget where and how my husband and I came up with the name. I wanted a name that stood out and that had a theme apart from the hundreds of indie dyers out there. I’m a huge candy freak, so it seemed natural. I know a LOT about candy (seriously, I’m a candy addict) and the fun colors I wanted to carry in shop seemed to go hand and hand. As far as the actual name, we were playing around with a few other names while my husband and I were driving up the California coast on vacation. I wanted a name that wouldn’t be linked with anything else and I also knew I wanted to have a yarn reference, like skein, in the title as well. Finally, we were sitting down to lunch at the Trader Vic’s restaurant in San Francisco and it just came to us. Why not link my love of candy with my love of yarn! Candy Skein was born. I knew right away that it was perfect. I got really excited and started coming up with colorway names right there; all of my colorways are based on some kind of candy, sweets or drink. The candy theme has been great inspiration when thinking of a new colorway to add, though at times when I come up with a color first, it’s hard to match a name in the theme to it! I guess you can’t have it easy all the time.


What would you say is your ultimate goal with Candy Skein Yarn?
To be honest, my goal is to steadily grow the company each month/year. At this point, I take one sale at a time, thankful for the success that I’ve had in such a short time. I’m focusing on exciting ideas I have for 2012, and also doing at least 3 fiber festivals this year. I get so excited each time I sell even a single skein, but my favorite part of the whole thing is seeing everyone’s projects made from Candy Skein yarn. It makes me see the potential in my company and right now the sky is the limit. Candy Skein is a full time job for me, and I hope it continues for many years to come.


You've also got some lovely blogalongs too, tell us about them
Without my blog, Tami’s Amis and Other Creations, I would have never started Candy Skein. I started my blog in August ‘10 as a way to keep track of my crochet projects and share pictures of them with my friends. I never dreamed that anyone I didn’t know would visit the site. My friend and I got the idea of Work in Progress Wednesday because we wanted some way to push ourselves to continue crocheting. It was a great motivator! I decided to post about it in the Ravelry group ‘I Blog’ thinking it would be fun to have a few people participate. I included a way for others to link their blog posts into mine. After while, there were about 15 of us who participated each week. I noticed that when people finished projects, they’d post them in Work in Progress Wednesday and I got the idea to start FO (Finished Object) Friday. That way, not only did you have motivation to work on a project, you had a reason to finish them! It’s been a huge success, as we are now on week 76 of WIPW and week 70 for FO Friday (without missing a week I might add!) and have around 90 participating from all over the world. It has built a great community of people and has grown friendships. The group encouraged me when I started dyeing yarn, and because of them, Candy Skein was born. They made me believe that what I was dyeing was worth something.



What helps keep you playful?
I think you always have to keep life playful, in whatever you do. I know I’m very lucky to have the job that I do. Some days are tough, when I have HUGE piles of yarn in front of me that needs to be reskeined/tagged/mailed and it gets lonely at times as I currently work by myself. On the flip side, how fun is working with yarn all day!? My favorite part of the job is inventing new colorways, which is the reason I started the Candy Skein Sock Club. I get to come up with a new colorway each month, that will only be for sale for the month before being retired. It keeps me on my toes, that’s for sure. 
Finally, I always go back to Peter Pan, you should never grow up (to a certain extent) and life should always be fun.
 

Name your knitting hero
Oh, this is a hard one! As far as someone in the public eye and in the knitting community, I’d have to say Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, I love what she has done for knitting. She has made many knitters (like myself) feel normal when all we think about is yarn and knitting! I love her obsession with sock knitting and sock yarn (who doesn’t love sock yarn!?). I’ve read all of her books and they make me laugh. As a writer myself (I originally quit my corporate job to write full time before Candy Skein was born), I respect her writing career and understand just how hard it is to write a book. She makes it seem so easy to make people laugh and cry, even when she’s writing about knitting. Trust me folks, it’s not!

Now, my true knitting heroes outside of the public eye has to be my knitting group. I went searching for a group about 10 months ago and luckily stumbled upon them. They were nice enough to take me into their fold. I have learned SOO much from them, and continue to do so. Monday is my favorite day of the week, because no matter how stressed I am, I know that I will enjoy the 3+ hours I’m with them that night. They have really encouraged me with the company, and as I said, I would never have started Candy Skein without the WIPW/FOFriday crowd, it would not be what it is today without my knitting group.

If you could share one of your products with the world, what would you choose and why?
I’d have to say my Delicious fingering line of yarn, which is 70% alpaca/20% silk/10% cashmere. I love love love love this yarn. If I could make every project out of it, I would. It’s so soft and warm, yet light weight. It takes the dye beautifully, as the alpaca and cashmere give it a small halo and the silk gives it an amazing shine. It has to be some of the softest yarn I’ve ever felt/worked with.


What does 2012 look like for you? 
2012 is an insane year for Candy Skein. Not only will I be rolling out new colors to the permanent colorway collection, a new colorway each month for the Sock Club, new products and mini skein collections, but will be participating in at least three fiber festivals. The first one of the year will be the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival in Hood River, OR, April 20-22. I am SO excited for this show, I can’t even explain to you. This will be my first time in Oregon and I hear it’s gorgeous. The fiber community is huge up there and I can’t wait to bring Candy Skein to those in the Pacific Northwest who might not have heard of my company yet. For anyone who lives up there, please stop by and say hi! I will be doing two other shows in the Southern California area later in the year. I also hope to make the Candy Skein Ravelry group, Candy Skein Addicts, more active with new KAL/CALs (designers, if you’re out there and would like to team up with Candy Skein yarn and your patterns, please let me know!), people sharing their projects and exclusives to the members!

Any last comments or thoughts that you are dying to share?
I just wanted to thank everyone for their support on my blog and with Candy Skein. I have met amazing people online through both who have made me not only a better fiber artist, but also a better person. I also wanted to thank APlayfulDay for letting me sponsor the podcast and for reviewing my yarn. It’s much appreciated!
You can find Candy Skein yarns at www.candyskein.com, and her blog here. You can also keep up to date with the latest news by following Tami on twitter as 'Tamiklockau' or checking out the Ravelry group