Behind the Scenes with LolaBean

We had the absolute pleasure of interviewing the uber-talented dyer & owner of LolaBean Yarn Co, Adella Colvin. This woman is a force to be reckoned with and recently took her brand international! We love everything about our new  ESK family member & can’t wait for y’all to read Adella’s responses as she spills the beans about how she came to bring her unique yarn into our lives. Read along & get ready to fall more in love with LolaBean Yarn Co.

Tell us about LolaBean Yarn Co. Location, how it started, etc…
At the end of 2011, my husband’s job shipped him out to Afghanistan for a year. We had just gotten married and I was miserable & all alone in Georgia. I missed my family and friends in New York, I missed my husband, and was worried to death about him.
Our neighbor, Bonnie, such a sweet woman by the way, used to strike up conversations with me whenever I was running out or she was on her way in. One day she invited me in for coffee. I accepted. When I entered her home, I saw all types of throw pillows and blankets. I asked her where she had gotten them from and she told me they were all hand made by her. From that moment I wanted to learn how to make some things for myself.
I originally started out as Adella’s Crochet Cottage. I mainly sold finished knitted and crocheted products like hats and scarves. One day I walked into a local yarn store to check out what they had. To my dismay, the person working there at the time didn’t greet me or anything. She simply stated that “the restroom is for paying customers only”. I guess she assumed that for whatever reason that I wasn’t there to purchase yarn, so from that day I told myself that I’d just dye my own yarn.
The name change to LolaBean Yarn Co came about after the birth of my daughter. I wanted to create something that I could eventually pass down to her one day. So when people see the logo, they are seeing my baby girl in all of her beautiful brown glory. It’s not every day that you see a little brown baby on a company logo, especially in the fiber industry.

What does your yarn dying process look like?
It all started out in our kitchen. I was using four of those restaurant tabletop warmers. It got to the point where dyeing in that space was unsuitable. I was able to move operations into the garage. It is fulfilling its purpose right now, but eventually I will have to move into a bigger space.

How do you choose the colorways and their names?
For the most part, the colorways just kind of come to me. There really isn’t a secret formula or process. The only time that I really sit down and think about things is when I am preparing for the subscription based colorways. I put a lot of thought and effort into those.

Who taught you to knit?
My lovely neighbor Bonnie who I mentioned above. This occurred during the time my husband was a DOD Contractor and had to deploy to Afghanistan. We would chat from time to time whenever we crossed paths. One day she invited me over for coffee. I saw all the lovely pieces that she knitted and crocheted herself. I told her of my interest and desire to learn and the rest is history.

What dyers do you admire?
Kim from Kim Dyes Yarn
Aimee from La Bien Aimee
Terra from Mitchell’s Creations
Diarus from Diarus Made

What are you currently knitting?
A My Boy Lollipop top by Nancy Ricci.

When you’re not dyeing or chasing your mini Adella, where would we find you?
On the rare occasion that I do take a break, you can find me watching something on Netflix and knitting.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community?
I have a thing for sneakers. Not quite a “sneaker head”, but when I see a pair of sneakers that catches my eye, I tend to break out the plastic. Beyond that I LOVE music. My tastes are all over the place. My husband teases me sometimes because whenever we’re driving my playlists can go from Nas and DMX to Dolly Parton or Pet Shop Boys. I also love movies, in particular a good horror movie. Although I can never watch them unless my husband is around.

Do you have plans to expand? New colorways? New bases?
I think it’s the goal of any entrepreneur to expand their business. I am looking forward to the day that I can move out of my home based studio (which is our two car garage at the moment) to a more spacious environment. I also plan to start working with more higher end bases such as camel, alpaca, cashmere and silk.

If you were to create an ESK colorway, what would it look like?
It would start with a nice semi-solid, throw in some deeply saturated earth tones and finish it off with some bright speckles.

Do you have anything you’d like to say to our knitters/crocheters?
Thank you for choosing and supporting LolaBean Yarn Co. I appreciate every single purchase and kind comment/like on my social media accounts. Now that I am able to get out more, I hope to personally meet as many of the folks that I interact with online and who make purchases as I can.

Thanks so much, Adella, for giving us this glimpse into your corner of the world! To see Adella’s yarns on our website, click here but be prepared. Drooling may ensue.

Kitties Wearing T-Shirts

The ESK Kitties wear shop t-shirts every week so we thought we would give you all reviews from the experts! Whether you prefer a tank or tee, there’s definitely a shirt that fits into your wardrobe so you can sport your love of all things ESK in your hometown. If you’ve been on the fence about softness, fit, or durability of our shirts, read on!

Illustrator Jenny:
What t-shirt do you like best and why?
My favorite ESK tee is the yarnathon tee from 2014. While it’s probably the least legible, I love how the kitty turned out and it pretty much went directly from ink drawing to print without much computer work. Basically, it required the least effort. Plus it’s a flattering and comfy fit no matter where I am on my 30lb weight gain/loss scale.

How would you rate your favorite tee on:
Softness? 5
Washability? 5 – a million washes later it still looks great. The ink is faded, but not cracked or flakey. It feels like a perfect vintage tee.
True to size? 4
Overall comfort? 5
FYI – I don’t even like purple but I love these shirts.

Which ESK t-shirt do you get the most comments on?
Hands down the space kitty sweatshirt, which is awesome because it was another one of those quick on the fly designs where I just had fun and didn’t overthink.

Also – A huge thank you to Jordan and everyone at Terminus Tees. They have great pricing, quick turnaround and the printing is always so soft!

Social Media EmilyNan:
What t-shirt do you like best and why?
The minty tank tops are a clear winner for me. Not only are they super soft and aid in less sweating around the shop, minty green is my absolute favorite color. When Erin found these tanks, I almost lost my kitty mind & immediately went home to make a match-y outfit. Coral looks great with mint so I am now in the market for minty TOMS! They’re long, great for layering, and the “straps” are wide enough to be work appropriate.

How would you rate your favorite tee on:
Softness? 5
Washability? 5 (I’ve worn this shirt every week since we got them!)
True to size? 5
Overall comfort? 5

Which ESK t-shirt do you get the most comments on?
The Rocket t-shirt always catches eyes. When I go to Publix to get a sub, there’s no way I can make it out of there without someone saying “What’s on your t-shirt!?!” 2 cashiers have separately said, “Is that a pink whale?” and I’m all, “Nah, that’s a pink Whalien.”

Shipping Queen Lindsay
What t-shirt do you like best and why?
The unisex tee is obviously my fave! I took one in every color. It’s perfect for my longer torso. It’s lightweight and soft but doesn’t cling.
How would you rate your favorite tee on:
Softness? 5               Washability? 5
True to size? 5          Overall comfort? 5
Which ESK t-shirt do you get the most comments on? None – nobody sees me. I am an ESK enigma!

Shipping Kitty Kinsey
What t-shirt do you like best and why?
I love the super soft unisex tees. The fit is perfect for my body shape and I would wear one everyday if I could. They do not shrink or fade and fit true to size. I rate these shirts a 5!