We are very excited to welcome Chelsea Yarns and Red Bank Mike to Knitty City this Saturday, April 14 from 11-6pm. They will be showcasing their gorgeous hand dyed yarns Chelsea Luxe and Big Kahuna. We have been closely following both Chelsea Yarns and Red Bank Mike on Instagram as they prepared for their trunk show at our shop.
We simply screamed with excitement when we found out about an exclusive color way in Chelsea Luxe called "Knitty City", and we fell off our chairs when they introduced another exclusive color way called "West 79th Street". For those who do not know, that is our address!
Chelsea Yarns is a delightful yarn shop located in Red Bank, New Jersey. The owner, Christina, decided to dye her own yarn and named it "Chelsea Luxe". Soon after, another yarn line called "Kahuna" came into existence. We wanted to know a bit more about how this all came about and we did an Q and A with Christina. Enjoy!
Q and A with Christina
Who taught you how to knit/crochet?
I have been a maker since early childhood and was always involved in some type of creative pursuit. My mother taught me to knit in my teens and following the birth of my son 19 years ago, my interest intensified.
Do you remember your first project?
My first project was a huge garter stitch scarf using Rowan Big Wool. It was an easy, very fashionable project which I enjoyed making and I was instantly hooked. I was living in London at this time and was thrilled to shop for yarn at Liberty, Peter Jones and Harrods where I found an extensive selection of Rowan, Debbie Bliss, Noro and many other British Yarns.
When did the idea come up to open up a yarn store?
I thought about opening a yarn shop in 2012 with the intent to create a friendly community of knitters and crocheters. Initially, my business was online. Positive response led me to the opening of a brick and mortar shop in March, 2013.
What is the most fun part of owning a yarn store?
The best and most fun part of owning a yarn shop are the customers. We built the yarn community I envisioned and I never tire of seeing the wonderful projects being created with yarns purchased at Chelsea. So many people have learned to knit here and now produce advanced projects.
When did you decide to dye your own yarn and how did this come about?
I began dyeing yarn 3 years ago for The NJ Wool Walk because we wanted to create something special, local and exclusive to Chelsea Yarns. I dyed 50 skeins which were sold during the first day. I was thrilled by this positive response.
Where do you get your color inspiration from?
I have always been inspired by art, color, design and fashion. I now study color wheels, paintings, photos, landscapes and nature. Instagram is another source of my inspiration.
Who is Red Bank Mike and how did he get into dying yarn?
Red Bank Mike is my husband, Tad who adores the yarn shop and its community. He assists in the shop whenever possible. He, too, is very creative and started combining yarns and colors resulting in the creation of the Kahunas. He doesn’t knit or crochet but is totally obsessed with creating Kahunas.
I dye the yarn for him to use for the Kahunas.
What's in store for the future for your hand dyed yarns and yarn shop?
My vision for Chelsea Luxe would be to fill the entire shop with it and create a dye studio.
Thank you so much for answering our questions, Christina, and we hope you don't mind we are being so nosey!
Also, we wanted to congratulate Chelsea Yarns with their 5th anniversary which they celebrated last March! We are so incredibly happy for you and here's to many more years!
Come on over this Saturday, April 14 from 11-6pm to admire Chelsea Luxe yarns and Big Kahuna yarns. We are sure that you will not be able to resist.
Find Chelsea Yarns online: Chelseayarns.com
Chelsea Yarns on Instagram: @chelseayarns
Red Bank Mike on Instagram: @redbankmike
Chelsea Yarns also has a podcast on YouTube: The Chelsea Purls Podcast