Name: Karen Orchard
Business name: Berry Patch Creations
Website(s): Berry Patch Creations Shop, Website, on Facebook, on Pinterest
What kind of items do you make?
Hand dyed wool and wool blend yarns.
How long have you been in indie artist?
For 10 years I have been sewing, knitting, and dyeing fabric and yarn. The yarn dyeing started about 8 years ago and I started really doing that almost exclusively two years ago.
What got you interested in your art of choice?
I had started sewing in order to make cloth diapers, then started knitting to make diaper soakers. I began selling cloth diapers and later knit soakers. I was a part of a large WAHM community of artisans and crafters all centered around the hand made cloth diaper industry. Many of us are all still friends and keep in touch, even though most of us have moved on to other ventures outside of WAHM diapers. One of my greatest influences and mentors would have to be Morwenna of Mosaic Moon, we even share the same birthday. Marnie and Julie of The Cushie Tushie, shared much knowledge with me about dyeing yarn, as well.
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
Color! I just love color, closely followed by yarn. Most people are pretty happy when shopping for yarn, unlike shopping for insurance or getting a prescription filled.
What most inspires you?
Photographs or palettes, mostly. I find a lot of inspiration from photographs or graphic art on Pinterest and Etsy. It could be anything, though. Sometimes even watching a movie with my kids will inspire a new colorway or an assortment of colorful items on a clearance rack.
Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
Tough to choose a favorite colorway. I just couldn’t. Lately, I have been thinking I really want to make something using Forest Stream. Who could pick one yarn base? You have to have variety.
What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
I do a lot of custom work, where people will ask for a custom colorway to be created. Being able to offer that is fun and satisfying.
Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
Probably makes my husband crazy. I am probably nuts to keep at this and have a full time job and 3 kids. However, now that I rediscovered my creative side 10 years ago, letting go of it frightens me. The thought of not being able to create feels suffocating and horribly boring. Life would pretty dull without art.
What is your fiber arts superpower?
Custom palette creation motivates me. From what customers have reported back, I think I have delivered what they had in mind
How is the fiber arts world different for you today than it was five years ago?
It seems to be growing and growing. Many more knitters and crocheters now, than just 5 years ago.