Do you like yarn? And weirdness? Those are two of my favorite things! And when I found them  marvelously combined in the gorgeous offerings from DyeForYarn a few years back, I knew I’d lost both my heart and my wallet to these wondrously strange crafters and creators.

With names ranging from the elegant and melancholic (“Rain In A Graveyard“, “Nocturnal Maelstrom“) to the silly (“St. Patrick’s day parade gone awry“) to the absurdly heartbreaking (“Giant clam closing forever“) and the frankly kind of gross (“Cat’s hairball problem“)–you’re almost tempted to spend all your time obsessing over these skeins’ enchanting backstories before you even look at the yarns, themselves! But–you should definitely look at these yarns. Stare long and hard into their subtle shifts and vibrant shades and luminous hues and become totally mesmerized by the outrageous array of options before you!

I’ve long wondered about the humans responsible for creating these silky, squishy, works of art, and was thrilled when, Nicole and Cordula of DyeForYarn agreed to do an interview with Unquiet Things and answer all of my nosy questions! Read further to learn more about the women behind the yarn, and leave a comment for a change to win “Gloomy View”, a gradient set of silk/cashmere lace yarn. ( I chose “Gloomy View” for you guys because I thought it would be appropriate! Right? I know I’m right. More details at the bottom of this post.)


In your former lives you were scientists for biology and molecular medicine at University Erlangen-Nuremberg. Obviously there must be a bit of science with regard to your current work and creating the colors for your yarns, right? (I only vaguely know how science works, haha). But seriously, I’d love to know how your former work in the lab might translate to your current yarn and craft-centric process and practices?

Yes, you’re right. We do benefit from the experience we gathered in different labs. For once we’ve been trained how to organize and optimize workflows. And we’re also trained to work very structured with having everything at hand when we need it. When we try new things like new yarn qualities, dyeing techniques or colors we usually create an experimental series to see how it might work best. Maybe our biggest advantage coming from a lab background, though, was the natural ease in handling chemicals safely. Of course that’s nothing you can’t learn during the process of hand dyeing itself, but it came in handy in the beginning and is still very useful.

Sloth in procrastinator’s paradise

THE BIG QUESTION I have been dying to ask for years is how do you come up with these wonderfully strange and unusual names for your yarns? They reference the esoteric and arcane, and the sublimely absurd…and it leads me to believe that between you, you must have incredibly fascinating and diverse interests when it comes to things like art, literature, cinema, music. Can you speak to that?

Basically we’re classic nerds. We love science, comics (in form of Animes), Fantasy and Science fiction literature and movies. We love music, although not the same genres. Nicole for example adores Amanda Fucking Palmer, Cordula loves Muse. These sources as well as our scientific past and the nature around us are a huge well of inspiration. The specific kind of names we use for our yarns originated in the “Dead parrot sketch” by Monty Python. In the sketch John Cleese tries to convince the pet shop owner, that the parrot he just bought
is dead (and was so when he bought it). He uses several synonyms for being dead which is hilarious. I (Nicole) am a HUGE fan of the troupe and thought that particular sketch very fitting for our natural black humor and our brand name DyeForYarn. So we decided to use these synonyms for yarn names: Ex-parrot, Raven being no more, Sloth in procrastinator’s paradise or Violet coming to dust. This led to names like Rotten chestnut cream macaron, Reaper’s kiss or Bat in a dark mood etc.

Ex-Parrot (sold out)

In that vein, one of my favorite colorways that you create is Very dead Norwegian Blue Parrot! Are there any colorways that seem to be clear customer favorites?

Ha, that’s actually the exact same parrot John Cleese bought in said sketch 😀
Very popular are saturated reds (one of our specialties), deep teals, greens and blues. But also our neutrals (we call them non-colors) and pastels as well as our almost-black shades are very sought-after. What we find very interesting is that over the years one can actually see some preferences between different countries. Germans like very bold, intense colors, Japanese very light pastels, for example.

Fallen Dark Soul

And what are your favorites?

Cordula: Nocturnal maelstrom (intense dark teal), Fallen Dark Soul (deep dark red), Last Dance (almost black reddish purple)

Nicole: Dead Marshes (muted green-blue), Kingfisher pushing up the daisies (muted teal), Withering Lupin (muted gray-purple) and Rose which must not be named (muted purplish rose)

Tweety's Revenge
Tweety’s Revenge

Do you see any trends in terms of colors that people are interested in? What’s popular now?

We sometimes can make out a correlation between current “in”-colors and what sells well, but
because our customers are from all over the world it’s not a very clear correlation. Currently we sell different shades of turquoise and deep blue plus more yellow than usual.

I have seen people who are not knitters (or crocheters) fall in love with your gorgeous yarns. Do you have any alternative craft ideas, incorporating your yarns, for people who do not wield the needles or hooks?

Definitely weaving! Both of us have an Ashford rigid heddle loom, which is very easy to handle and doesn’t take much space (you can hang it on the wall when not needed, even with the warp attached). The only drawback is that it doesn’t fit in a hand bag like a knitting or crocheting project would. We mostly use our Tussah silk lace and fingering, Merino/Silk fingering and Silk/Cashmere lace for our weaving projects, all suitable for warp and weft.
Nicole just finished several weaving projects with our Silk/Cashmere gradient sets. Her ravelry name is Kalessin, in case you need some weaving inspiration ;D

Is there anything else that you would like people to know about your yarns, or your process, or DyeForYarn/DyeForWool?

It’s important for us that our customers know that, even though knitters/crocheters all over the
world are familiar with our brand, it’s still just the two of us, Cordula and Nicole, who dye all the yarns you see in our two Etsy shops. Two days a week our lovely helper Silvia supports us with skeining and winding the hanks, hand-tagging them etc. and our husbands support us with their particular expertises as well. But basically nothing has changed much since we founded DyeForYarn back in 2011. Doing what you love and are passionate about is the best job you can have and we feel very blessed to be able to do that. DyeForYarn has made our lives so much richer and fuller and we hope to get that feeling transferred into our colors.
And you have no idea, what a great and crazy feeling it is to know, that there are actual, real human beings on all (habitable) continents who create wonderful things with the yarns we dyed.

Thanks for your time, Nicole and Cordula, and for putting your exquisite creations out into the world!

Find DyeForYarn: website // etsy // facebook // instagram // twitter

Gloomy View giveaway!
Gloomy View giveaway!

Info from DyeForYarn: “Gloomy View” is a gradient set of silk/cashmere lace yarn. You get a total of 5 Silk/Cashmere Lace skeins (50g each), one of each color, as pictured. All skeins together add up to a total of 1670 yds (1525m), enough for practically any large shawl (or two regular sized shawls, for that matter). Together they give a very muted and dark gradient from bluish green over blue and purple to cacao brown, each color itself being solid to slightly semi solid.

Jean says

I am dying for how beautiful these all are...

Mary says

There are divine! I am yearning for a "Gloomy View"

Kit says

Oh, swoon! That gradient is to die for ( dye for?). As a fellow Monty Python fan, I love the Dead Parrot Sketch references. :-)

Christine says

Gorgeous! I know some dark-hearted people I must knit gifts for...

Chela Norton says

Oh, my - those are simply gorgeous, both in color and sheen. They make my fingers itch to get a hold of them. The names are totally bonus goodness.

Shari says

So pretty! I've eyed their yarn for years but have never managed to buy any.

Sarah says

I've been creeping on their yarn like a fiber art Gollum since I first saw you post about it.

curatrix says

I am one of those people who'd buy this yarn for the names alone, but these colors are also incredible.

Amanda says

I've been lax in my knitting lately, but these amazing colors would get my butt in gear! So freaking gorgeous...

Bonnie says

Thanks for introducing this shop to me! Amazing ladies and fantastic yarn. Keen to try knitting with them!

Carla Taylor says

I love gloomy views, and pretty yarn. This dreamy set of yarns would make the best gift for a very special someone. So in love with your yarns. Thank you for the chance to win!

Lauren says

All fingers crossed for this amazing giveaway!! Their yarns are lovely!

Jasmin says

Those colors are making me drool! Thank you for the chance to win. I loved reading this post!

Jasmin says

Those yarns are sooo drool worthy! I’d love to work with them! Thank you for the chance to win and a great read!

deb says

What pretty yarns! Thank you!

Catsandyarns says

Gorgeous yarns with a touch of macabre! It’s my perfect combination.

Hajira Zoya says

I wonder why I hadn't heard of them before? The colours are amazing! I especially love the awesome nerdy names 😀

Renate says

I have bought and knitted with their yarns before, and I simply adore them!
The gloomy lace yarns are - again - perfection.

Magdalena says

Your yarn is sooo beautiful! I'd love to win and try it out!

Stefanie Eichhorn says

I've already knit a shawl out of the tussah silk in the colour "Queen of the night" and it is stunning. And I would the chance to make something with this gorgeous gradient.

Heidi says

I love this Gradient and this yarn qualitiy. But honestly, I love all yarns from dyeforyarn! Nicole and Cordula are doing a great Job!

Angelika Hoch says

I die for beautiful yarn and dyeforyarn are gifted hand dyers that I had the chance to meet in person

Maria says

I have bought several skeins from DyeForYarn and have knit a couple of shawls already. I love their yarns and their colourways. Thanks for this article, it was so fun to get to know these skilled ladies a bit more, and I just love the Dead Parrot Sketch references.

Tenshi says

I love Dye For Yarn! Their quality is off the charts. :) I'd love to win Gloomy View - it's practically composed of all my favorite colors.

Anggi says

Always adore both Nicole and Cordula for creating amazing series of colours.
I believe no knitters would ever say NO to their yarns.
This giveaway is a treasure, thank you for sharing lots of valuable information and hosting this giveaway 😘😘😘
Those yarns would be a super gorgeous shawl for my mother 😍 hope I can win it 🙏

Nancy Rousseau says

Lovely interview! I truky love what these girls create and Can stand looking at their Etsy Shops web site for Hours.... continue your great work of art!

Brenda Marie says

This is all so inspiring... and that yarn! *swoons*

Heidi says

I have a serious addiction to DyeForYarn yarns and colors!
Last Dance/Last Dance is Over is my all-time favorite, along with Raven in the Night and Fallen Dark Soul. It was lovely to see this interview with them. A wonderful giveaway you are offering, I would be thrilled to win!

Heidi DeWalt says

I love both Dye For Yarn and Dye For Wool websites. These talented ladies produce the most amazing color's and I love the whimsical names! I am knitting a summer top with Tussah Silk Fingerings right now. Hope I am lucky enough to win this beautiful gradient set.

Wendy Hawkins says

So glad to have found your blog. I frequently visit dye for yarn just to look at the amazing colours and dream of projects for them. The gradients are all delicious. Thank for posting this.

lindsay says

these are SO beautiful...

Nicole Acuna says

I absolutely love the creative names for each skein and stunning yarn colorways they really glow! Words can’t even describe how beautiful they are :)

Jerry says

I love the taste in colours those two have! They don't really go for what's trendy right now but moree for classic, yet intense colours. One day I will go and visit their shop in person!

Jessica Clavié says

This gradient is sooo beautiful! I have so many ideas and could start right a way!

Sabine says

I am a Monty Python fan, too - oh, the dead Parrot, fondly remembered :)

I am also a knitter and love your ýarn, the gradient set is so gorgeous :)

Anna says

I love these yarns and these are just my colours. Oh let them be mine!

Susel says

Stunning Stunning Stunning !!!! I'm a big big fan of the girls!

Anie says

One of my favorite etsy dyers! Their tussah silk is my all time favorite yarn to knit. I just ordered some fleece silk and can't wait for it to get here!

Adrian says

I’ve loved these dyers for a long time... great article! Anyone would be lucky to win that set! 😍

Krista says

Nice to learn more about these dye masters! I enjoy the yarn names almost as much as the colors. Gloomy View is swoon worthy. I hope the winner posts a picture of what they create with it!

Jane says

My favourite dyers. I have a parcel of 7 Skeins yet to be opened. Oh the anticipation !!

Lisa says

I love DyeForYarn. They are one of my favorite yarn dyers.

Jocelyn Wright says

These are some of the most beautiful yarns I've ever seen! The sheen is amazing, the saturation is glorious! As a die-hard Monty Python fan since age 8, I love the origin story!

Lydia says

Great interview, I too was so curious about their colorway names. I’m glad I found your blog (via IG), now to read some more!

Cindy L. says

Some of my favorite yarn! I especially love that you have a picture of my very first DFY purchase from 2015 (Sloth in Procrastinators Paradise on Tussah Lace) in this post. Gorgeous gradient set. Came over here from DFY’s Ravelry Page, but will definitely stay. Great blog!

Marianne says

Absolutely stunning work!!

Grace says

It's just fantastic to learn about these awesome, nerdy women doing what they love. I hadn't heard of their yarn company before, so it's a bonus to get to hear of new (to me) awesome indie dyers! And melancholic cashmere silk gradients?!? There aren't words.... Thanks again for interviewing these cool ladies and for the giveaway!!!!

Nicole says

These are absolutely gorgeous!

paola says

Wow, what generous from you! It is such a subtle gradient! And BTW the names of their yarn are the best ever: you post the foto of one of my favorite Tweety's revenge:D

Holly says

Dead Parrot Sketch. Now I'm going to have to see that! I am totally addicted to your yarn and your posts! I just want to buy the skeins to hang on my wall! They are a soft wind of art in texture and color. 🐛🐛🐛Love the silks!

Andrea says

What a generosity to gift a whole gradient set of those lovely yarn and colours - pure luxury to knit with and to wear!!

Kristina says

I've been admiring and knitting with Nicole and Cordula's beautiful yarns for years, and the names have never failed to make me smile!

Maria says

Colors so rich I can almost taste them!

Sabrina says

What a stunner! I haven't tried their cashmere yarn yet but I'm sure it'll be great as the others!

Allison R-B says

Oh! I'm besotted! Thank you for introducing me to this line. I'll start saving up for something decadent.

Nicole S says

Their colours are so gorgeous!

Petra says

I visited the shop in Fürth twice. It is so lovely to see all the colours " live". Impossible to decide which one is the best ;-))

Connie Kline says

My daughter seems to think black is a bright color - so this would be a perfect colorway for aa gift for her. Lovely, lovely yarn!

Rebecca Herron says

Beautiful fiber and colors! ♥

Melissa says

I've been following these dyers for a few years now. I've still yet to actually buy anything from them as it sells out so quickly! I'm also curious how they photograph their yarn so well. It always looks so scrumptious.

Kate Cabrera says

If I win the yarn can I give it to you to make me something? Haha... just joking. I knit like a twelve year old in an arts and crafts class but I'd be willing to give it a shot again if I had these spider silks in my possession. Gloomy and gorgeous.

S. Elizabeth says

Haha, it's a deal! ;)

Jennifer says

I'm in love! How did I never know about Dye For Yarn? And that gloomy graident - swoon!

Symantha Jones says

Such beautiful colors!

anastasia says

I can't decide what I like more about this yarn, the dark humour behind the names or the fact that there are so many bases that use use silk

Steven Wilbur says

Morticia taught me everything I know about knitting. I'm fairly certain she would have wholeheartedly approved of these yarns, especially considering the names.

Kaye steeper says

Oh My, these are rather lovely

Dawn Flury says

I'm addicted to Dye For Yarns. Everything they dye is drool worthy.

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