Exclusive Interview with Kathleen of LeRoo Crochet and LeRoo Cotton
Posted on July 3, 2020
It was such a pleasure to get to work with Kathleen’s 100% Pima Cotton yarns on this designs, and I definitely want to encourage you to do the same for you Fandeco Tee. You can already find KITS in Kathleen’s shop- and you get to pick ANY color combination you want! And she ships quick, so you may even have them in time for the release next week!
We know I love any dyer that features crochet in their shops- Kathleen always shows plenty of crochet swatches and samples, in addition to knit ones! And besides having the loveliest of cotton yarns (great for sensitive skin!), Kathleen is also a talented crochet AND knitwear designer (find her on Etsy and Ravelry!). And on top of that, she has a heart for inclusion and accessibility. All of her patterns are extremely size inclusive (several ranging from child sizes all the way up to 6x!). She also offers a “pay what you can” option for her pattern pricing. And she often uses her social media platforms to challenge all of us to push for greater inclusion in our fiber community!
I was excited to “talk” with her about her maker journey and the inspiration behind her cottons- I hope you enjoy getting to know Kathleen a little bit better! Make sure to go show her some love on all her platforms and jump on getting some of her yarns!
- Crocheting! Dyeing! Designing! Knitting! ALL THE THINGS! Tell us, in as short or as long of a tale as you’d like, your fiber story! My mom taught me to crochet when I was in 4th grade or so and I churned out blanket after blanket. It wasn’t until 2017 or so that I decided to try making other things. I made a few simple tops for myself and some pretty terrible amigurumi (sewing… it’s not my talent) and decided i wanted to try to do markets and sell things, since I couldn’t keep making blankets for myself but wanted an excuse to keep making. Turns out I hate making things for other people. But I loved designing tops for myself. I found the Instagram maker community and fell into it hard. It’s yalls fault I started knitting – I actually only figured out knitting last year.
- How did you go from making to dyeing yarn? So this all stemmed from wanting to only use natural fibers – no acrylic, no nylon etc – It was just a personal choice from me because I buy a lot of yarn and it felt like one thing I could do to lower my impact on the planet. That morphed into wanting to know everything about my yarn – so I tried natural dyeing… which lets not talk about it. So then I tried standard wool dyeing – it was fun but do you know how hot it is in memphis? My kitchen does not have AC in it… I also tried cotton dyeing and oh man I fell in love. So long story short – it started as a way to try to be more sustainable in my personal makes.
- Your personal stash: more hand-dyed or box store yarn? So, it’s 98% hand-dyed. It’s incredibly extra. I just really like supporting indie dyers and I’m in a place where I can. I also love collecting so it got a little out of hand.
- Dyeing: Why cotton yarn? It’s so fun! But mainly for a couple reasons 1. Dyeing wool is really hot and I can’t handle it. 2. I feel like dyeing wool is getting the dye to do what you want, but dyeing cotton is letting the dye do what it wants. There’s something very organic about it that I adore. And it’s great to hear from people who are allergic to wool that they can finally make something for themselves!
- Do you draw color inspiration from any particular source? My current colors are all mostly just inspired by the world around me, but my next collection is inspired by images worn down.
- What is your favorite colorway of yours to dye? What’s your most popular color? I think I need to echo what laine and lotus said in her interview – I can’t pick a favorite because I have ones I love most for different reasons but I could tell you my least favorite! My most popular colorway is “Mine”, which I actually hated when I first dyed it!
- What’s your favorite weight yarn to work with, be it for knitting or crocheting? For summer I like DK for knitting, fingering for crocheting. Winter it’s all DK all the time!
- What’s on your make list right now for crocheting? For knitting? For crocheting I’m working on crocheting 2 of my knit designs! and for knit I’m working on making the Afterglow Peplum by the Marvelous Mrs. Maker into a dress! Future makes for knit: the Stepping Stones Cardigan and crochet: Probably the Fandeco Tee! 😉
- Do you have any other crafty hobbies other than the fiber arts? Or non-craft hobbies you’re loving? Does my day job count? Between work and dyeing, I’m lucky I have time to make!
- If you could go back and give yourself (or another new, aspiring hand-dyer) some advice, what would it be? Take it slow! Dye things for you first so you can learn how things work up and what you like. I went all in right away and wish I had taken a month to find my footing.
I hope you all enjoyed getting to know Kathleen a bit! I definitely encourage you to check out all her platforms and shops and give her some love! And maybe make a Fandeco Tee too, when the pattern launches next Friday? I’d love to hear what color combo you have in mind! (Especially if you plan on using Kathleen’s yarns!) Happy making, my friends!