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{Est. 2008} So much good stuff, you won't know where to begin.

13 Jun '18

Ten Years As Black Trillium Fibres

Posted by Melanie Dilworth in News

When I began Black Trillium back in 2008, I wore all the hats for the business in addition to being a newer mom, wife, and Oregonian.  Fast forward through ten years of hand dyeing and living life, and you get two studio moves (across state lines), we added a family member, our list of retailers covers the United States and some of Europe, and we ship from our retail site all over the world every single week. Black Trillium is now four people working out of an independent studio (I do not miss dyeing in my kitchen one bit!).  Our list of trade shows includes both the Sock Summits, Black Sheep Gathering, Knot Another Fiber Festival, Stitches West, and Vogue Knitting Live.  Everything we've achieved, all of our growth, can be attributed directly to our amazing, crafty audience.

I began 2018 with renewed energy to celebrate the wonderful decade we've spent in business, to continue our outward growth with our brick and mortar stores, and to reach new creative depths in our collaborations with fantastic designers.  I think 2018 came online with the intention of challenging me, and I'm a pretty resourceful, stubborn gal with a lot of 'interesting' life experience under my belt.

My first clue was Stitches West.  Along with an increase in wool prices in response to higher demand, there are changes going on in the knitting and crochet marketplace, and this year along with a number of other vendors, we felt the shift.  Accessibility to classes, yarn, trends and social outlets has become a primarily online activity for our community and I'm 100% on board with this movement.  However, it has negatively impacted our brick and mortars, which in turn impacts the wholesale side of Black Trillium Fibres.

Travel has always been difficult for me because I don't sleep well, my eating habits run towards coping rather than nutrition, and my stress level skyrockets.  In the last six months, I've had a record number of health challenges that all clearly stem from my travel and stress issues as well as my weight and genetics.  Being ill on a regular basis over the last few months brought me one step closer to the realization I was slowly forming.

Then we found out we'd be losing our dyeing studio.

Okay, fine, time to shake things up a bit.  My husband and I bought our first house a few years ago thanks to the fact that he does really well at his job, and I'm grateful that we have a sizeable garage where the business can land.  Rentals of the commercial and personal variety in our area are scarce and expensive, which means returning Black Trillium to my home.  Great for my commute, not so great for logistics.  Unfortunately, this move means I have to greatly reduce the hours my employees are working, and the cost for electrical upfit in the new studio space is a sizeable unforeseen expense at our slowest possible time of year.

The list of changes goes on, of course.  I need the time enable my body to heal and return to a state that I can live with for the next forty to fifty years without early complications, which means I will not be traveling to trade shows as a vendor for at least a year.  Additionally, because I will have reduced production help, I won't be able to continue fulfilling wholesale orders.

You want to know what won't change?  The quality of our products, because we love working with our mill for our exclusively spun yarn bases and I enjoy working with color as much as I like knitting or hanging out with my family.  Creativity is life for me, and it brings me immeasurable amounts of joy.  Our huge catalog of repeatable colors will always be an option, but now I will also have more freedom to experiment and offer one-of-kind combinations to those of you who crave crafting with that sort of thing.

So, in many ways, we're returning to the origins of what Black Trillium Fibres was founded on - a love of color and a commitment to family.  I have so many wonderful things planned for the rest of this year, so make sure you're signed up for our mailing list so you can hear about them.

Thanks for reading, and cheers to you!

28 Aug '14

Introduction to the New Website

Posted by Melanie Dilworth in black trillium, Gradient Yarn, gradient yarns, News

I am so happy to have finally made the move to my own website! It seem like I've been dreaming about and researching the best way to approach this change-over for so long that it has become a permanent line item on my to-do list.  Don't get me wrong, Etsy was a great place to start out, but as I've grown and Etsy has changed its parameters over the years the fit has gotten less and less comfortable.  Now, with complete control over appearance and availability, I think we can better showcase all the wonderful things we have to offer!

Let's take a minute to explore some of the new setup:

Gradient Yarns - This section will encompass all the different things we can do when dyeing the gradient yarns.  Right now, the 165 g Lilt Sock and Pebble Sock gradient yarn kits are the only things available, but future plans for this area include 500 g full sized gradient yarn kits in all of our base yarns as well as the Spectrum Gradient Yarns.  There are a couple features I really love about the way the Gradient yarns are now set up:

  • you can see all the colors, all at once - granted it takes a lot of scrolling down, but they're all there!
  • when you choose a color from the drop-down box, the corresponding picture shows up

100 gram skeins - There isn't anything to put in this section just yet, but we've begun production on our top 40 repeatable colors on Pebble Sock and plan to follow that up with the same color selection in all of our yarn bases as they become available in the right quantities.  This is going to take some time, so you'll have to bear with us, but we'd be happy to direct you to one of our many wonderful stockists that have current 100g skein stock available in the interim.

Pattern Ideas - This is by far one of my favorite features about having "my own place".  I want very much for folks to see what wonderful creations can be made with Black Trillium Fibres yarns, and get to know all the fabulous designers I've had the pleasure of working with over the years.  If you scroll through the page, you'll see it is divided up into on part for Gradient Yarns and another for regular repeatables.  I dare you not to click through to any of them!

  • one thing the Pattern Ideas section really needs is good photos.  I have a few of my own that I'll be able to load at some point, but if you have knit any of the patterns listed and have a high-quality photo you'd like to share, please email it to me at service@blacktrilliumfibres.com.

I think that's a good quick introduction, don't you?  I'll be back with more in-depth posts about various parts of the new site.  Thanks for checking out our new blog and shop, and happy crafting!

16 Jun '14

Black Sheep Gathering 2014

I'm popping in for a quick post about the show I'll be at this weekend: Black Sheep Gathering Lane County Fairgrounds Eugene, Oregon Marketplace hours: Friday, June 21, 9AM to 6PM Sat, June 22, 9AM to 5:30PM Sunday, June 23, 9AM to 4PM I'm bringing Spectrum Gradients in Pebble Sock, regular Gradients in Lilt Sock (and a few in Pebble Sock, very limited color selection), as well as my regular line-up of yarn bases in a select quantity of colors. I'll be in the first barn, booth #9, if you want to come by and say hi!
13 Mar '14

Vogue Knitting Live Seattle 2014*

Here are the hours and location for this weekend's Vogue Knitting Live: Meydenbauer Center 11100 NE 6th St, Bellevue, WA 98004 I'll be in booth #221 again this year. Here are the marketplace hours: Friday, March 14th - 5:30pm to 8:30pm Saturday, March 15th - 10:00am to 7:00pm Sunday, March 16th - 10:00am to 4:00pm All the gradient kits in Pebble Sock and Lilt Sock are going, but be warned that some of the colors are down to 1 or 2 sets. Friday will be a madhouse, but I hope we'll be able to help everyone find what they really want. I'm also taking quite a bit of Lilt Sock in my regular multis as well as all the shades of Whimsical Solids. Some complementary Pebble Sock and Sublime will also be making an appearance as well as patterns from the likes of Star Athena, Stick Chick Knits, Irish Girlie Knits, Laura Aylor, Brooklyn Tweed, to name just a few. I will be accepting credit card payments as well as cash, but no personal checks. Don't forget, King County has a mandatory 9.5% sales tax. I hope to see lots of you there! I'll be trying to tweet occasionally with the hashtag #vklive, if you care to see pictures, etc. *Okay, if you're from Seattle (like me) you know that Meydenbauer Center is NOT in Seattle. But Vogue Knitting Live Bellevue just isn't as catchy, right? It sounds like an event at a Gotham-esque mental institution. My two cents.

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