Friday, January 6, 2012

Dyer Moments: Brandy Marilla

When I design knit patterns, my inspiration usually begins with a color.  I like to design textures and patterns that represent, in some way, the color I’m working with.  If a particular dye lot reminds me of fire, or a stormy sea, or a leafy vine, I’ll try to reflect that in the stitch pattern or overall shape.  But where do those beautifully colored yarns originate?  I'm particularly fond of the work of indie-dyers, and so I've created this interview process - Dyer Moments - to expose the people that make the colorways that inspire new design.  

Join me today in getting to know Brandy Marilla!

What inspired the name of your company?  

~I was inspired by the woman described in Proverbs 31.  It tells of a woman whose worth is far above rubies and pearls, seeks wool and flax, and works willingly with her hands.  The name 31Rubies reflects what is in my heart, what I strive to be everyday.

What inspires your colorways and how do you name them?      
~I am inspired by what I am feeling mostly.  My moods, thoughts, trials, triumphs and musings are soaked right along with the yarn in the dye pot.  I can be a deep thinker :)

Do you also knit? Crochet?    
~YES!  Nearly everyday for 11 years!  I knit for my four children, mostly!

"Beautifully Blue Moon"

What is your favorite color and do you have a favorite pattern for showing off your yarn?  
~Red is always a beloved shade, but I change my mind often.  Colors speak, and have quite a bit to say.  They can convey moods,thoughts and yesterdays wordlessly.  So my favorite color would depend on what's in my heart at the moment.  Plain, seamless top down sweater patterns and longies show hand dyed yarn well, no need for intricate stitches!

What is your favorite fiber/yarn to dye?
~Wool.  I sincerely love wool!  Wool is very much an alive fiber, and it's properties are nothing short of amazing.

Describe your background / education. Does it have any influence on your company?  
~I have been a stay at home mama since I was married and my first child was born.  I have four little ones looking up to me, and want to show them how important character, living, and loving is.  That influences not only my etsy shop, but my entire life.

"He's Waiting in the Meadow"
What advise would you give others looking to dye?
~Put your heart into it!

Tell us about your biggest dye “fail”.  
~There is no such thing.  It is a piece of yourself, and can always be over dyed.

Most importantly, what’s the best way to purchase your yarns? Are you in retail stores or do you have a shop online? Do you offer a yarn club?      
~I have an etsy shop,, and a facebook page that I can sell from.  I am always open to custom orders since I love to dye colorways based on stories, fabric, anything!

Brandy Marilla - 31Rubies
To get a better idea of the people behind the product…I ask our dying interviewees these insightful questions developed by Bernard Pivot.

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?  
~New life, kindness, when someone just "gets you", hard work, quiet nights, the moon.

What sound or noise do you love?  
~The "hum" that our bodies have, the water running in the creek behind our house, creaking trees, the hush of night and snow.

"What's an Alice"
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?  

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?  
~"Well done, good and faithful servant."  :)

Please visit Brandy at

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