When Indie Dyer Nooch Fibe approached Knitty City back in 2013 with the question to carry their brand, we didn't hesitate. Until this very day, Nooch Fiber has done very well at our shop.
Many a customer fell in love with the vibrant colors of Nooch Fiber, and whenever we get a new shipment in they literally go gaga!
The creators behind Nooch Fiber are Nick and Mariana. They used to be based right around the corner from Knitty City but recently moved across the Hudson River in New Jersey. We are very happy that Nick and Mariana are part of our 9 Indie Pop-Up event and we are excited to welcome them this Saturday, November 25 from 11-6pm.
Question and Answer with Nick and Mariana from Nooch Fiber
What other crafts do you do beside knitting?
Besides knitting, Mariana is also an award winning spinner! She won two blue ribbons for her hand spun yarn at the 2016 NJ Sheep and Fiber Festival. She also weaves, as long as Nick sets up the warp. Nick knows how to crochet, but recently has been dedicated to becoming a more proficient knitter.
What got you into dyeing?
Dyeing came as the result of moving to NYC - Mariana studied art (and psychology) in college, where she was primarily a painter. There is a lot less space to paint in a 300 sqft New York apartment, so yarn dyeing was a way to continue to explore color in a space-friendly way. It was also a great way to have lots of yarn on hand for knitting!
How did you learn how to dye? Books? Youtube? A class?
We first learned how to dye yarn with kool-aid packets and YouTube. It’s an easy way to stick color to wool, and it’s non-toxic!
Where do you draw your dye inspiration from?
Mariana creates all of the Nooch Fiber colors, and she draws inspiration from lots of places. We run two seasonal collections per year, each with a different central inspiration. Our current collection, DREAMS, consists of 12 yarns that are inspired by the feelings associated with dreams. For example, Big Scissors is a reference to the dream sequences in Nick’s favorite movie, The Big Lebowski.
Most other yarn inspiration is much more ephemeral - what is the color of a fever dream? What do you feel when you bolt up from a nightmare, gasping for breath? We try to convey some of these feelings, while still producing a yarn people would love to work with. Color is a big part of it, but also variegation, white space, speckles...there are a lot of tools to help bring those inspirations to life.
When did you start Nooch Fiber, how did it come about?
Nooch Fiber started on July 25th, 2011 on Etsy. Things started off slowly, until one day when we sold nearly everything we had listed. We had been Sneak Attacked!
A group of crafters on Ravelry would choose new, low-sale Etsy shops with promise and coordinate to buy items from their store all at the same time. This happened to us in September of 2011 - we had no idea what was going on at the time, it was so surprising!
Since we lived and dyed on the Upper West Side, Knitty City was our local yarn shop. In 2013 we asked Pearl if she would want to carry our yarn in the store, and she said yes! It was so exciting to deliver our first wholesale order - and it continues to be exciting every time!
Can you tell us how you got the name "Nooch Fiber"?
Nooch Fiber is named after our cat! Neutron was adopted in Tucson on October 31st, 2009, and he is our primary muse and mascot. We love him so much, we named the business after him! “Nooch” is his nickname, though we quickly realized it is also a type of food vegans eat... whoops!
A lot of us know what an Indie Dyer is. For those who are not familiar with this, can you explain what an Indie Dyer is?
Most yarn you can find in big craft stores are machine dyed - which means that a big number of skeins are all dyed at once. This is a great option if you’re looking for lots of yarn that is identical, or yarn in more traditional colors.
Indie dyed yarn, on the other hand, is like the craft beer of knitting or crochet. Here, yarn is dyed in small batches (or individually, which is what we do at Nooch Fiber) in colors both expected and unexpected. The yarn can really be a reflection of the person who made it - there is something very personal about the process. When you pick up and hold a skein of yarn made by us or another indie dyer, a lot of personal attention went to that individual item. We think that’s something special.
Where do you see Nooch Fiber in the next few years? How big do you want Nooch Fiber to become?
Nooch Fiber currently wholesales to several local yarn shops in NY, NJ, and PA, as well as direct to knitters on our website. We are looking forward to being carried in more shops in the future. We also plan to continue our seasonal collections, as they are an expressive way to add more colors to our overall collection of offerings. We’ll see how big Nooch Fiber gets...keep a close eye on us!
Tell us 3 things about yourself we don't know.
1 - Mariana has her PhD in Public Health from Columbia, and Nick is finishing his PhD in Psychology from Rutgers - we’re both brainiacs who love statistics and scientific methodology!
2 - Nick and Mariana love playing video games. We’ve played World of Warcraft since Vanilla (that’s like, 13 years!) - we used to raid together in college! We also love Pokémon and any sort of Japanese RPG. Persona 5 is a recent favorite.
3 - Netron’s full name is Sir Neutron Ruffles Sherbet. He was knighted for his gentlemanly courage and wisdom!
What is the most fun and what is the most challenging part of running a Indie Dye business?
The most fun thing about running Nooch Fiber is interacting with the knitting/Fiber community and seeing the things people make with our yarn. Yarn is a great medium to work in, as the finished project becomes a collaboration between the dyers and the knitters - we only make the first half, and what people make with our yarn transforms it into something completely one-of-a-kind. We really love that part of being yarn dyers.
Currently, the most challenging aspect is meeting demand! People have really responded to our seasonal collections, which is great, but it also means the drying racks need to remain full! It’s a great challenge to have - we wouldn’t want it any other way!
Come meet Nick and Mariana this Saturday, November 25 from 11-6pm. It is a pleasure to talk and mingle with the creators behind an Indie Dyer brand. We love to see you connect with them and find a skein of Nooch Fiber that simply has to come home with you!
Find Nooch Fiber on Instagram: @noochfiber
Ravelry: Nooch Fiber
Website: Nooch Fiber