Knitty City is excited to welcome Jessie Ksanznak from Yarn Over New York this Saturday, December 16 from 11am-6pm.
Jessie held a presentation earlier this year and we were simply enamored by her happy go lucky energy. Her bold rainbow colors always lift our spirits and we are always curious what fun project Jessie is working on.
To get to know Jessie a little bit, we did a Q and A with her.
Q and A with Jessie Ksanznak
Where are you from and where is Yarn Over New York based?
Although I have lived all over the world, NYC is my home and is a fabulous home base for Yarn Over New York. I live and work in my lovely Harlem apartment.
Where do you do your dyeing?
In my apartment. I have a small studio in the spare bedroom and I use my kitchen for the stove and water. When I'm filling a big order, the whole apartment becomes a drying rack.
When and how did you start to dye?
About two years ago a friend and fellow crafter threw a yarn dyeing party for a few friends. I dyed 4 hanks that day and I was absolutely hooked. As soon as I got home, I took over the kitchen and haven't stopped dyeing since. In the summer of 2016, I starting selling online and through a few stores in NYC.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everything. Music, art, nature and the people and places in my life. New York City inspires a lot of my work. The diversity and the energy are like no place else.
A lot of us know what an Indie Dyer is. For those who don't know yet, can you explain what defines an Indie Dyer?
An Indie Dyer is a person that can't stop loving the colors and sights in the world around them. We collect moments and inspiration and put them into our colors and yarn to share with others. That's the arty side. However, as indies, we need to do all the rest of the work ourselves too. Part artist and part businessperson. All the marketing, social media, packaging and customer service can really eat up the creative time. The important part is to stay balanced and stay open to the inspiration and opportunities that life has to offer.
Tell us three things about yourself that we don't know.
I can touch my tongue to my nose.
I painted a mural on my apartment door (the inside).
I have visited 55 countries and all 50 states.
What is the most challenging part of owning your own Indie Dye business? What is the most fun part of owning your Indie Dye Business?
Oh my. There is no way to answer this question. Everything is the best. And everything is challenging. I love doing the dyeing, designing and knitting and can't imagine my life without them. They are all fun and hard. Dyeing is more physically intense than I ever could have imagined and it has taught me a lot about taking care of myself with proper footwear and posture. I stand and walk a lot. Phew! It can be exhausting!
Another area that takes a lot of focus is my internet presence. By making connections with other artists, I create business contacts and, best of all, I make real friends. It is important to focus and make each minute count. I really enjoy encouraging new crafters and helping people push their limits and increase their skillsets.
Where do you see Yarn Over New York in the future? How big do you want to grow?
The sky's the limit. I am sure that one day, I'll outgrow my little tiny Harlem apartment and I can't wait to see what the world has to offer.