This is the sixth installment in my interview series with Small Knitting Businesses across the country. My aim is to share what these businesses experience during the current economic climate, the sacrifices made, the joys and the tears that accompany the life of the small business owner. I hope that the series of interviews I’ve conducted helps to humanize what Business Owners and Entrepreneurs go through on a day to day basis.
Working with other women owned micro businesses really makes me appreciate what purpose we serve in our place in the knitting community. Sincere Sheep’s Brooke Sinnes’ passion and work directly impacts the Farmers she works with to provide income. She grows some of her dyes in her own garden, while working to bring to market the Sincere Sheep brand and being the primary caregiver for her young son, Joaquin. She manages to juggle all of the realities of being a business owner and a Wife and a Mom while creating simply beautiful yarn. Brooke specializes in American breeds dyed with natural dyes. I hope you enjoy learning about Brooke’s work as much as I have.
Tell me about your yarn!
I focus on breed specific wool and wool blend yarns. I’m constantly trying to source American made yarns that are made from American wool. I also have custom yarns and rovings made from wool from specific farms which is listed on the yarn labels.
I pay more than the market price for the wool because it provides income for the farmers, pure and simple.
Wool prices have improved in the 10 years I’ve been in the business but when I first started they were getting so little for their wool that they just composted it because they couldn’t even make back the cost of shipping it to the wool auction.
Why do you specialize in Natural Dyeing Techniques?
I use natural dyes because I love the color palette and the connection it gives to history and other cultures.
When the Europeans discovered Central and South America and started pillaging it for the natural resources cochineal was the second largest export behind silver.
Brazil is named after the Brazilwood Tree and not the other way around because of it’s importance as a dye stuff. Belize features a Logwood tree on it’s seal and flag because of it’s importance as a dye stuff. Most of the best quality natural dyes come from the countries near the equator.
Tell us a little bit about how you manage your work life and family life?
Owning your own business is a lot of work. Success and failure rests on your own shoulders. Being a mom on top of that is a constant juggling act. I can’t do all of the things I’d like to do with Sincere Sheep because I am the primary care giver to my son, Joaquin. At the same time Sincere Sheep has given me the flexibility to spend more time with him.
Brooke and I have combined forces to bring you the March KAL kit, which highlights some of my favorite products. Each kit comes with two Fickle Knitter Patterns written especially for Sincere Sheep yarn, 2 sterling silver stitch markers, an american made BPA free “Keep Calm and Carry Yarn” travel coffee mug, a circular or straight knitting needle case by Tilli Tomas, and a KNIT window decal. There are only a few spots left in the March KAL, so get yours before they’re gone!
Interested in buying Michelle’s knitting patterns? Visit her online shop, ravelry shop, or etsy shop to buy one now. Each pattern purchased helps keep the lights on and gives Michelle time and resources to write more about knitting.