Meet Laura: the Dyer Behind Laughing Cat Fibers!

Laura of Laughing Cat Fibers will be dyeing the yarn for the Autumn Yarn Mystery Box. I’m so excited to see how she interprets the themes using her creativity and expertise. Like many of us, Laura has found healing and community in fiber arts. Settle in, grab a cuppa, and let’s learn about the artist behind the stunning colorways!

My mother taught me to crochet when I was young, and my paternal grandmother taught me to sew. I grew up in a world full of color and art. My father was a graphic artist by trade and my mother — my inspiration — was one of the most amazing craftswomen I have ever known. Sadly, she passed away when I was only 14. I think on some level, my passion for the fiber arts began as a way to seek out a connection to her. Like most teens, I put down the crochet hook and was distracted by bad choices that stemmed directly from the trauma of losing her.

At 29, after years of instability, I hit rock bottom. I packed up and moved to Montana. I lived 5 miles up a dirt road in a tiny town at the north entrance to Yellowstone Park. It was here, communing with majestic nature all around me, I finally began to heal from my past. I picked up knitting needles and taught myself to knit by firelight in a log cabin in the most beautiful place on earth.

It was in Yellowstone where I first began selling my knitting for money. I carried a backpack full of hats and would visit locations to sell them to employees. In Montana, I began to see a future in the fiber arts world.

Five years later, I moved to Ohio to be with my amazing husband. (We’ve been together 17 wonderful years.) This is when I registered my first business, “It’s EWE Baby! This Ain’t Your Grandma’s Knitting” selling my finished knitwear. I look back now and have no idea how I knit the volume required to fill a booth. I had a niche in Cleveland, but my creative bug was not yet done transforming into the eventual butterfly.

Next, I learned to use a drop spindle, putting an ask out on Ravelry for a teacher not knowing that I would end up meeting a woman who, to me, was as talented as my own mother. Nancy taught me to use that drop spindle and introduced me to the most amazing group of women who have become dear friends. It was another of these amazing women, Linda, who taught me to use a wheel once I could afford one!

There was one last evolution of the butterfly to come — dyeing yarn. I think I thought about dyeing yarn for years before I finally made the leap. And it was a leap! One day, I was in a thrift store. I saw a turkey roaster on half price day. I bought it, some vinegar, and some Jaquard dye. I had no idea what I was doing. (When I say I am self-taught it is not an exaggeration.)

Those first experiments in the pot were life changing. I knew instantly I had reached the pinnacle of my evolution. I had found my true passion and my place in the fiber community. I knew at that exact moment, watching those colors strike the white yarn, that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. And thanks to all the amazing people who have supported me along this journey I am now living my dream every day!

The Autumn Yarn Mystery Box preorder closes July 31! Be sure to grab yours before they’re gone!

Published by Alissa Head

Neurodivergent Creative living on a few acres of mostly woodland in rural Ohio. Owner of Chestnut Hills Farm and Fiber. I blog about knitting, sewing, spinning, dyeing, gardening, and the occasional gluten free recipe. Also: Horror fan. Paranormal enthusiast. Tudor nerd.

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