When we attend shows and fiber festivals, we almost always connect with a new maker who uses our products to create their wares. This month’s installment of Meet our Makers is a little different, however: we connected with Hopkins Fiber Studio over social media, where Emonie frequently shares photos of the gorgeous fibers she’s working with to create beautiful batts. We are so pleased to share Emonie’s fibery story with you today!
Emonie’s drum carder of choice is the Mad Batt’r, which she first tried using in the demo room at the SSK Retreat in June of 2017, along with the Petite. She says: “There was something different about this carder as I had 2 carders at home already but they didn’t seem to card like this! I said..oh! I remember thinking what is going on with this licker in! It’s magic! No adjustments out of the box, no fibers all congregating on the licker in …NOTHING just a smooth batt right off the bat (or batt)!” She went home from the retreat and purchased a Petite, and soon after graduated to the Mad Batt’r to create her bounteous batts and fluffy rolags.
Although she originally started her business sewing handmade project bags, she’s been selling hand-dyed yarns, fibers and more at shows and in her online store since 2018. Most recently, Hopkins Fiber Studio was spotted at YarnCon, Chicago’s Indie Fiber Festival, and she plans to attend the Northern Illinois Sheep and Fiber Festival and the Berwyn Spring Spin In in June.
Through events like these, Emonie gets to share her passion for fibers with other makers. She says, “What’s great about fiber events is getting the opportunity to introduce makers to new things, and that includes new fiber preparations. Some may not know what to do with batts or rolags, or what makes those preparations different. People often ask how that will affect the finished fabric.”
Exploring sheep breeds, texture and color are what drew her to carding, and when we asked her about her approach to combining fibers and colors, she had a lot to share with us:
“My approach is based on the type of batt I make and that’s where I think the Mad Batt’r shines: creating color! You can create any color you want and leave it as-is, or take color as a base and expand from there. My carder allows me to make smooth and textured batts equally and successfully, with no need for multiple carders or drums with multiple TPI’s.”
“When carding smooth batts, I like to make them into a gradient and watch the colors flow. I like to use the same fiber content or content with similar staple lengths so that drafting will be as smooth as the batt itself and the name implies.”
“For Textured/Art batts, the sky’s the limit! I approach color with a bit of abandon and try not to think too hard. I still consider staple length but this is where the fun begins with all the elements: sparkle, locks, ribbon, silk bits and bobs, threads, nepps, noils, oh my! And the Mad Batt’r can handle all of those ingredients. The longer tines on the cloth allow you to fill it to the brim…or not! It’s your choice, but you have plenty of space for bits and bobs and texture. Ohhh man this batt is full of all the things!”
Emonie tells us that she has always been a creative person, and while she also knows how to knit, crochet, and sew, spinning is the one thing she would do if she absolutely had to pick just one thing. Through spinning, she began to venture more into fiber prep and breed studies in her quest to make great hand spun yarns which will create gorgeous handknit and crocheted fabrics. You can follow her fiber adventures on Instagram as @HopkinsFiberStudio, on Ravelry as HopkinsStudio, or visit www.hopkinsfiberstudio.com.
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