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“A love of colour is a love of life.” What a wonderful idea to build a yarn collection on. And that’s just what Couleurs Mouton did.
In addition to the craziness that came about when the “Souris” (mouse) line of colourways came out – a line of grays mixed with lovely bright colours such as yellow or pink – Couleurs Mouton yarns have attracted a loyal fan base in yarn shops across Québec and France. The artisanal techniques used to dye the bases, and the choice of fibers ranging from merino to silk, and cashmere to alpaca, combine to create yarns you simply can’t go wrong with. You’re sure to fall for these yarns, and for the woman behind them, Danièle.
An interview with Danièle is like a story telling adventure. The interview has been translated from French, but I tried to keep the dreamy quality of Danièle’s answers.
Here’s what she had to say about Couleurs Mouton.
How did you come to be interested by yarn, first, but more specifically, how did you become interested by hand-dyeing yarn?
I became interested by yarn-dyeing for a variety of reasons : I wanted to discover a technique I knew nothing about, I get a lot of enjoyment from playing with colour, and I love the unique crafty quality of colours reacting to different yarn bases.
I started by researching the materials and techniques used in books and on the web. My first attempts were done in my kitchen. Each yarn base, fiber mix, and technique generate different results and each time it’s a discovery and a joy to see the colour appear. What motivates me to continue each day, is the passionnate response from fiber enthusiasts. This gives me great satisfaction and is the payoff for all the work involved.
What has been your biggest surprise throughout this adventure?
The biggest surprise has been the role that magic plays in this. I don’t always try to understand it either, as far as the end result goes. That’s what being creative is, at its core. As to what I’ve learned, it’s been an understanding of the coherence of the different techniques used to dye yarn.
I get the most pleasure from seeing the beautiful works of art that people create with the yarns I’ve dyed.
What are your most popular colourways?
Aside from the great success of the « souris » line of colours (souris being the word for mouse, in French), « ardoise » (slate), « Montréal », « taupinette » (no translation), « orage » (storm), « savane » (savanah), and « fond de lac » (bottom of the lake), have been my most successful colourways.
Can you give readers a sense of how you work?
I’m going to tell you the story of the life of a skein of yarn passing through my hands. It comes to me compacted and random, so I liberate it, I soothe it, and I promise to make it attractive. I tell it that I will give it hot or cold baths, from which it will emerge lovely and colourful. Then I tell it to rest under the shade of a maple tree, to be braided and ultimately labeled as mine.
Only the skeins can know the very details of the adventure. This is to preserve all of the magic of the operation, and a little bit of mystery for the fiber artists who’ll later come to love it too.
What are your hopes for Couleurs Mouton’s future?
My dreams for Couleurs Mouton are of stores in Montreal, New York, Paris, London, Rio de Janeiro, Singapour, Sydney… who knows? But all of that is another story!
Couleurs Mouton yarns can be found in Québec local yarn stores, and online :
Website : http://couleursmouton.com