Interview with Onyx Fiber Arts!
Saltings from Issue 31, featuring Onyx's MCN Sock + Mohair Silk.
If our latest issue is anything to go by, it's clear that the Pom Team love a pink yarn or two! We've used Onyx Fiber Arts' colourway, Sofia, for Saltings in Issue 31 (pictured above) and for the colour blocked version of Woodwardia in Ready Set Raglan (pictured below)! We used the same bases for both samples: Onyx's MCN Sock and Mohair Silk held double. Trust us, it's a dreamy combo!
We're honoured that Onyx Fiber Arts are sponsoring March of our year-long KAL! We were lucky enough to chat to Adria, founder of Onyx, to ask her some questions we had about the origin of her business and how she navigated the global pandemic and the Black Wave 2.0!* To celebrate her participation in our KAL, Adria is offering a 10% discount with the code POMPOM10 which will be live from Friday 19th March 11PM EST until Sunday 21st March 11:59pm EST.
* The Black Wave 2.0 refers to the surge of people wanting to support Black artists and Black-owned businesses following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, in the fibre world and beyond. This came after the first Black Wave which was sparked by the discussions concerning diversity and inclusion throughout 2019.
How did you get into knitting?
There are a few crocheters in my family. I’ve admired their work since I was little, but could not get the hang of it! Fast forward to my mid-thirties and several tries over the years, it finally clicked. It felt natural to move into knitting as well. I’ve been at it for a few years now and love being able to make comfy sweaters, socks, and hats for my family and myself to wear.
What inspired you to found Onyx Fiber Arts?
After learning how to crochet and knit and seeing all of the beautiful hand dyed yarn, I started hobby dyeing. I searched for people of color who had shops and was so happy to find the ones I could. But, we need more representation, always. I was inspired by them to start my own shop. I worked a seasonal job (March-October) that I was ready to leave. After the season ended I filed my paperwork to start Onyx. It was one of the best moves I made for myself.
Are you a one woman team?
Mostly. My husband, Andrew, now handles accounting, and our daughter works with me on weekends sometimes. She washes pans, files invoices, and labels yarn. Everything else is handled by me.
Woodwardia from Ready Set Raglan, featuring Onyx's MCN Sock + Mohair Silk.
Onyx stones are said to protect their wearers or owners from negative energies, among other things! What inspired you to include the word ‘onyx’ in your brand?
I definitely agree! For as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to onyx stones and the strength they exude, so I had to include it.
How have you navigated owning your own yarn business during a global pandemic?
I had to get creative with inventory when there were severe supply chain delays. I did several larger than normal orders of bare yarn at the beginning of lockdown to cover the summer/fall, but sold most of it during the Black Wave 2.0 in June. I was left with little stock. I keep a rack of seconds that need to be fixed or overdyed, so I got to work on those. They were released as grab bags and happy accidents. This helped so much during the times I was unable to purchase yarn due to those delays.
You mention the Black Wave 2.0. Can you tell us how it impacted your business?
It was incredibly busy for a couple of weeks, then dropped sharply and was back to normal for the remainder of the year. Other Black-owned businesses in and outside of the fiber arts world have talked about experiencing this as well.
What’s on your needles at the moment?
So many projects are on my needles right now! I cast on with wild abandon and no shame. But, I’ll pick one. I’m working on a Cozy Classic Raglan (my 4th!) by Jessie Maed Designs in the color way Sprinkle City.
Adria's Cozy Classic Raglan WIP!
It’s no secret that the Pom Team love your colour way 'Sofia'! Are there any Onyx colour ways which you’re often drawn to in your own knitting?
Well, thank you! I love Sofia, too! There hasn’t been one color way I use the most in particular, but, I want a whole wardrobe in Thalisa at the moment: a sweater, leggings, hat, scarf, everything.
One of March’s lucky KAL winners will receive 3 skeins of your MCN Sock base in the colour way Thalisa! Talk to us about this base’s delightful blend of superwash merino, cashmere, and nylon - why is it so great for socks, and which other projects would you recommend it for?
It is so dreamy. The touch of cashmere gives extra softness to already soft merino, and the nylon adds strength for socks. I’ve used it held double with a Mohair Silk blend for a sweater in the Vivian color way that ended up going to my daughter. It would definitely make a beautiful heirloom quality shawl.
Onyx's Vivian colorway shown in MCN Sock + Mohair Silk held double.
Speaking of colour ways, do you have any new exciting colour ways coming out soon? If so, we’d love to hear about them!
I do! I’ve been working on a deep pink semi-solid and a speckled grey based sister color to coordinate with Sybil and Thalisa. I’m aiming to release them in May, with sneak peeks coming soon.
More pink yarn? We can't wait to see it! Thank you, Adria, for your wonderfully insightful answers!
If you'd like to be in with the chance of winning 3 skeins of Onyx's MCN Sock base in the colour way Thalisa (pictured below), or a personalised Pom Pom parcel, enter our KAL before 31st March 2021! You can enter by using #PomKAL2021 in your Instagram captions, via our dedicated Ravelry thread, or via Typeform. Best of luck, Pom Pals!