Recently I had the opportunity to interview Lorri Ann Helberg, owner of Arkansas Yarn Co. Lorri Ann designed the yarn colorway for Hooked on You. I LOVE Lorri Ann’s yarn. It’s beautiful and easy to work with for both knitting and crochet.
- How did you get started knitting?
I was a crocheter 1st and taught my best friend to crochet, she suggested that we take a knitting class and I’ve been knitting since then! Almost 20 years now.
- What inspired you to dye yarn?
I started dyeing yarn because my hands were itching when I used commercial yarn, my allergist suggested that it was perhaps, pesticides since I tested negative for wool allergies. I researched and started taking classes to learn to dye my own yarn so I would know what exactly was in the yarn. I am also a hair stylist and master colorist so the science and color theory of it came naturally to me. Dyeing vibrant colors makes my heart sing!
- What is your favorite colorway that you’ve designed?
Its so hard to name just one, I love all my colorways except I am not a fan of brown!
- If you had one piece of advice to give a new knitter, what would that be?
One thing I always try to get across to a new knitter is to give yourself some grace. You are learning something new, everything new takes a minute to get the hang of, don’t expect it to be perfect, its a process.
- Tell us the backstory of Arkansas Yarn Co.
I started Arkansas Yarn Co on June 17, 2017. I started out with and Etsy store and by July I built my own store on Shopify. I did not have any experience with any website building or code, so it was a steep learning curve! After 2 years of successful growth I decided to purchase our historic building (that is on the opposite side of the street of my husband’s business) and open a full service yarn store, with a classroom and a state-of-the-art- in-house dyeing studio in the back.
- Who is your favorite knitting designer?
We adore Stephen West! We love how modern his designs are.
- Can you give us a behind the scenes look at how you designed the Hooked on You Colorway?
I was so excited to see a vibrant cover, because bright colors are my thing. I designed this colorway to represent the teal of the storefront on the cover and a multitude of different colored speckles to represent the yarn that is on the shelves in the store.
- What is your favorite part of your shop?
My very favorite part of owning the store is getting to meet people who are coming here to meet us, just because we are on their bucket list! It’s absolutely humbling! We also don’t want to just sell yarn, we want to be contributing members of our community and we host 1st Saturday Stitching events where we craft items that we donate to serve needs within our community, such as Knitted Knockers and Hats for Homeless.
- What is your favorite item to knit?
I prefer small projects such as fingerless gloves, hats and socks, I have been known to knit a sweater or shawl though – I wish I had more time to knit!
What is your dream vacation, and would you take your knitting with you?
I am blessed to have been able to travel the world and I NEVER leave home without knitting! EVER!
A big thank you to Lorri Ann for taking time out for this interview and for designing the beautiful Hooked on You colorway yarn!
You can order the Hooked on You Yarn/Kits here.
Where to find Lorri Ann:
Arkansas Yarn Co.https://arkansasyarnco.myshopify.com/
Arkansas YarnCast: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzYeEEC1vp_f5zwDlz6f6Sg/videos