Meet Jana and Julia from Frida Fuchs yarn
It takes some serious alchemy to turn natural noble fibres into soft and precious yarns. But nothing too complicated for Julia and Jana! These two talented sisters found the perfect recipe the day they first tried to dye yarn in their kitchen.
They now run Frida Fuchs, a Berlin-based yarn company I collaborated with on the last Wanderlust Knits shawl well-named Alchemy.
What three words would you use to describe your yarns?
Brilliant, soft and lovable.
How did you get started?
Julia and I wanted to do something together that combined our passion for handicrafts and entrepreneurial skills. We grew up knitting in Berlin and have always had an affinity to variegated and brightly colored hand-dyed yarns.
So, it didn’t take long to try hand-dyeing yarn in our kitchen! That day, we were bitten by the dye-bug.
We then created a concrete business plan and concept for our yarn brand. We taught ourselves all the different dye methods and learned how complicated bureaucracy can be in Germany.
And then in May 2015 we’ve established Frida Fuchs.
What’s a typical workday like for you?
Julia and I have different work days because we split up the tasks.
My typical day starts with checking and answering emails. Then I do the accounting. Once a week, I make a plan for what I want to dye, checking the warehouse if we still have enough color powder, undyed yarn and all the other tools you need for dyeing. If something is missing I also do the supply ordering.
Since this summer, we have an additional member to the team. We added a dyeing assistant. We discuss the week’s plan and then she does the actual dyeing of the yarns.
Julia is handling the logistics of Frida Fuchs. She manages and packs all the orders. She twists and labels all the freshly dyed yarns. After that she adapts the stock in our webshop software.
What we do together, is prepare for the markets, sell at the markets and plan the next season’s tasks.
What’s your favorite part of your business?
My favorite part is experimenting with colors and creating new color palettes.
Julia loves to find names for the colors. And, she really is a person who keeps an eye on details. She packs every parcel with so much love and passion, she could never send it out if everything is not in order or sorted by color.
How do you come up with the names for the colorways?
You always have associations when you read or hear a color name. We wanted you to have good association when you hear our color names. So, we have a 2-point rule when finding a new color name: it has to be something edible from nature, and non toxic.
What’s your most popular yarn base and color? And do you have any personal favorites?
The most popular yarn base is our sock yarn, Remmidemmi. It is a blend of 75% Bluefaced Leicester and 25% Nylon. The most popular colors are Mönchspfeffer (Light grey) and Vanilleschote (Anthracite).
Remmidemmi is my personal favorite. Did you know BFL fluffs out more after washing? They become very, very soft. In my opinion, Bluefaced Leicester is still underestimated.
Do you have any tips on combining different colors or shades in a project?
Today you can combine whatever you want. Stephen West has made colorful socially acceptable ;-)
But my personal tip is: take one neutral color like white, grey or black and combine one or two (but not more) colors of your choice. If you take two, then make sure they are from the same color family or are complementary.
You’re based in Berlin, Germany. What’s the best part in living there and does your surroundings influence your creativity?
Berlin is our hometown. We were born here and raised up in the city. But to be honest – the nature in and around Berlin influences us much more than the city itself. We try to find the beauty in the detail. And sometimes it is a little dandelion between two cobblestones on a isolated island which influences our creativity.
But the city, the culture and even the Berlin dialect has inspired us for the names of the yarn bases.
How long have you been knitting and what do you most like to knit?
As children, we learned how to knit from our mother. Then I stopped knitting for a few years and spent my time sewing. Now that I have children, I find knitting much more adaptable than sewing.
Julia was much more familiar with crocheting. But since we started Frida Fuchs, she discovered all the beautiful knitted patterns and now spends more time knitting. Funny, she’s the one who taught me how to knit a sock in the end.
What’s currently on your needles?
At the moment I have 4 WIPs and I don’t really find the time (or I’m not in the mood) to finish them. I have a 3-week old newborn and every free minute I have I try to get a bit of sleep. Julia just finished her “Waiting for rain” from Softsweater.
Do you have other creative passions?
Not really. :-)
Check out Julia and Jana’s yarn on www.fridafuchs.com and shop your favourite Wonneproppen DK colour combo. Your skeins may arrive right in time for the release of Alchemy shawl on November 24, 2016.