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Electric Peacock Exclusive From Freia Yarn

0529 1 lg

Shocking! Electric Peacock, Freia Yarn’s new colorway exclusive to us, is a high-voltage display of gradient color. The Yarn Company’s Tavy and Assaf Ronen picked the colors for this one from Tina Whitmore’s palette of saturated colors: an electric blue from her current collection, and black, which features strongly in her upcoming autumn line. The resulting Electric Peacock moves from turquoise to royal blue to deep purple to black, in Tina’s trademark ombré style. The skeins are gorgeous, but it knits up beautifully too, in delicious waves of color.

Tina---“Chief Cook and Bottle Washer” at Knitwhits & Freia---says, “it’s a very urban colorway, very fitting for NYC.” There is the Charcoal gradation, but “the flash of color adds a real life and spark to it. I think it’s also a unisex and almost ageless palette that can be used for garments and accessories for any age or gender, which gives the yarn a wide open range of possibilities.” We will have Electric Peacock in Freia’s popular Ombré Sport base (100% wool, 217 yards/2.64-ounce skein, 6 sts/in on US #5 needles). Bring it on!


Gradient yarns are difficult and very time consuming to create, and Tina rules! We are so thrilled! We also have Ombré Sport in Hard Candy and Blue Velvet, new exclusive spring colors as well as the gorgeous Grapevine (rich yellow into purples), Melon (pale green to yellow to vermillion to pink), Flare (orange to magenta red to deep ruby), Moab (orange to brown to azure), and Atlantis (aqua to sky blue to dark green to lighter green). Then there is Tina’s pattern for her Radiant Shawlet, a simple top-down triangular shawl that uses the flamboyant Flare colorway (one or two skeins, depending on size). Tina says it is her most popular pattern and is great for new knitters (“not beginner, but new”).


Born of Scandinavian parents, Tina grew up in the English countryside; she learned to knit at the age of seven and continued knitting throughout her time in chilly English boarding school. She also traveled extensively throughout Europe and Africa before heading to sunny California. At the San Francisco Art Institute she studied photography, and then did time in retail management at Macy’s—both experiences that would help her immensely in her yarn business. Classes at he California School of Professional Fabric Design in Berkeley helped polish her color and pattern skills.


Tina started Knitwhits in 2002 when a friend of hers was pregnant and Tina wanted to make a hat for the newborn. Alas, every hat she knitted came out too small--and when the baby arrived, he was HUGE! But meanwhile, Tina had come up with a slew of amazing and wild hat designs. Knitwhit was born! The company offered Tina’s original designs, sold in kits that included just the right amount of yarn. As time went on, Tina decided she wanted to create larger garments, using gradient yarns. This was in June 2010, and the market was changing. Like many other independent dyers, Tina was driven to her business because she could not find the yarn she wanted. She asked her dyer friends about the process of dyeing yarn and they honestly told her, “You won’t have a life!” Her friend Jean deCoster of Elemental Affects taught her how to dye via email. With Tina’s background in photography, she glided easily into the art. Says Tina, “It was a comfortable, easy and natural fit…the darkroom translates to the dye room.” So Tina created Freia Fibers as an offshoot of Knitwhits, a celebration of homemade mind-blowing colors. (Freia is the name of Tina’s beloved dog, and also of the old Norse goddess of love and war.) Freia colorways are in such high demand, Tina is indeed busy 24/7—but she is satisfied in her niche, and we are very grateful!


All of Tina’s yarns are American made, from sheep who live in the Rocky Mountains, but it is clear that her international background has had a big impact on her creations. Pictures on her website, www.knitwhits.com, reveal her influences. “I pull colors from my memories and feeling,” she says, “rather than from a book.”

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