All hail the new Queen! And some reminiscing... March 30 2019, 1 Comment


And so the time has come for me to hand over the SQ crown after 12 years.
We do the official handover tomorrow (Sunday 31st March) but business will continue as usual and Rachel officially takes over on Monday. Please be assured that all your favourite repeatable colourways will continue to be on offer and Rachel has some exciting plans afoot.

This blogpost is for the voices of the customers without whom none of this would be possible. I hope I haven't left anyone out and it's unfashionably long and apologies for the formatting , but I hope you enjoy reading.

I thought it would be lovely to add a few customers' thoughts and photos about their connection to Skein Queen.

From Adele (piglottie)

Not that great a photo for what is a gorgeous skein of Plushness, stashed on 31 August 2007! This was only a few weeks after I joined Ravelry so this skein might have been acquired pre-Rav days. I think I might have met Debbie online pre-Rav, in the days of scrabbling about the internet trying to connect with other knitters via a few forums and many blogs.

I had a blog myself and think this might be where we connected Debbie as I remember talking with you about what to name Plushness. You always have had such a friendly, approachable manner but it was your dedication to making the business professional and extremely customer service focused, along with an amazing eye for colour and fabulous yarn bases, that has kept my loyalty for nearly 12 years. And in an over saturated yarn market, that’s some achievement of which you should be rightly proud. You’ve introduced me to colours I never thought I would have used (hello neon speckles), yarn bases I would never had tried (yak! camel!), and books I would not have read (Sealwoman’s Gift how I love thee).

Whilst my journey has meandered in and out of knitting due to the ebb and flow of life’s challenges and changes, it has been a comfort on my return to the knitting fold to find Skein Queen still here, as innovative and colourful as ever. You have been part of my knitting journey since the beginning and I shall miss you. Thank you for expanding my knitting knowledge and enriching my experience of fibre goodness, for adding colour and beauty and art to my life. I am excited to see What Debbie Does Next and shall be here cheering on Rachel and Eliza.

I shall be digging that skein of Lime Violets Plushness (above) out of Deep Stash and have promised myself this gorgeous yarn shall be knit up shortly, and with each stitch I shall smile and celebrate this wonderful craft that has brought us all together. 

From Wendy (tanglewood16)

So here’s a thing……I have been knitting since I was 15. It was a constant in my life, through night shifts in mental health hospitals, traumatising my daughters with hand knits, forever at my side. About 8/9 years ago, I went into a yarn shop in Frome and came across hand dyed yarn. I never even knew such a thing existed and I had recently begun sock knitting….the skein? of course it was one of Debbie’s yarn, I don’t remember which or what the colourway was, I mostly knitted with Rowan before. What I do know, it caused me to become completely obsessed with hand dyed yarn, discovering that the world had changed in knitting and I did not know it. I love to try yarn from around the country and even world but often find myself coming back to Skein Queen as the colours, quality and uniqueness can always be depended upon. 
I hope this continues into the future and equally hope my bank account can support me! 
Wishing you all the best in the future Debbie xxx

From Vero (thatcanadiangirl)

Once upon a time, I discovered that there was more to knitting than the brands available at big box stores. In late 2011, I visited a lovely local knitter, littletreehouse, from whom I bought a couple of skeins of Opulent and a skein of Blush in a bright pink.

I started knitting one of my very first shawls with the Opulent - slowly, there was a lot of stopping and petting going on - and fell in love with it. I then had the insanely cool opportunity in May 2012 to go to France for a yarn dyeing workshop with the Queen herself, as well as a few other brilliant people who have since become wonderful friends. 

Since then, my house has become mostly insulated with SQ yarn, and most of my shawls include at least a few strands of SQ. I’ve gifted it to as many knitty friends as possible, knit as many skeins of it as humanly possible, and shared the love in every way I can.

The legacy of Debbie’s work will live in for a very long time!

From Catie (2ply)

When I first met charliesumx at FibreEast in 2013, by accident (I pointed at her and said something like ‘it’s YOU!), during chatting, she asked if I’d been to the Skein Queen stand yet. Well, I hadn’t, and I thought I would; after all, I had only bought one or two skeins on line as I always seemed to look at the wrong time because the shop seemed to be sold out whenever I looked.

Well. I could not afford even one millionth of what I would have liked to buy that day in 2013. Such beautiful colours! I havered for a good long time and made the choice of two beautiful skeins of Crush in a foxy orange. I think you skeinqueen, alabamawhirly and thatcanadiangirl were womaning the stall but I was so blown away by the beautiful yarns and the difficulty of deciding, I lost my manners entirely and didn’t properly say hallo - more fool me, as you are all such fun and inspiration online.

Six years later and I now have one or two more Skein Queen skeins. They are my most looked-forward-to plan for retirement, when I hope to start to do them justice.

Thank you, skeinqueen and thank you, charliesumx, for mentioning the stall to me!

From Rachel (rallan)

Blush was my first purchase too (a few years later, 2011, I think) - in a gorgeous blue and purple shades. I made a Honey Cowl with it which I absolutely loved and wore fairly constantly for years. That was before I started recording stash or projects, so I don’t think I have a picture of either… I bought some Plushness too from a destash and made these socks (one of the few pairs of socks I have ever finished - I did eventually make the second one!) 

From Charlie (charliesumx)

This skein of Blush was part of my very first Skein Queen order on 24th June 2008 (and, it appears, only my third ever Etsy order). The other skein was plushness which I destashed once I discovered that I was allergic to the angora content.

I’m hoping to buy something from you at EYF to use with it… Maybe a skein of cloudgazer in turquoise?

Today I found something to go with my vintage Blush

From Anna (littletreehouse)

I know your reign couldn't last forever, but you and your yarns have been the largest part of my knitting for almost as long as my S has been alive!  When I was expecting him in early 2008, I decided to re-learn how to knit as I wanted him to have some handknit baby clothes and neither of his grandmas is a knitter. I was on holiday in the Lake District and popped into a little yarn shop to find something to knit and something to knit with... A printed pattern and some 'baby' acrylic!  Fast forward a few months and I was really getting into blog-reading while my newborn baby had his naps... I don't know who exactly it was... possibly Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits... but one blogger had made something with the MOST beautiful yarn I'd seen so off I hopped on a little web adventure to find out more... if there was amazing yarn to be had, I was jolly well going to have some!  I remember dithering for a long time about my first purchase as I didn't know anything about different yarn bases, but in fear that someone else would buy them, I eventually took the plunge and bought a skein of Plushness and a creamy, caramelly skein of Opulent.  I remember asking you about hat patterns for the opulent and you kindly messaged me to suggest joining Ravelry... and there began the most crafty, yarny decade of my life!  While S was a toddler I used to do a paper round to earn the extra money to be able to buy SQ yarn and I got REALLY good at zipping through the checkout process on update nights to snag what I wanted! NO REGRETS!! The days of baby acrylic were gone for good!
Thank you so so so very much for all your advice, creativity, and help over the years.  It's been so enjoyable hanging out in the SQ group on Ravelry, meeting you at shows (and at Vero's house!), and of course... buying and knitting with all the incredibly beautifully dyed yarns that you have produced. I'm thankful too that I still have a big cupboard full of them to enjoy :)
I genuinely wish you ALL the very best and lots of joy in whatever you do next.



Thank you all SO much for your support over the years and it's touching to read all your comments and messages. There's a strong theme that I may have introduced lots of knitters to their first skein of hand-dyed yarn - for that I'm sorry! Kick-started a habit and drew you into the world of endless colour possibilities. But just knowing that you've had pleasure from something I've created is absolutely the biggest reward. 

I know many of you are curious as to what I'll be up to next. The current plan is to take a month or two off, indulge in a few creative pastimes, more knitting, some spinning, maybe some crochet, maybe take some classes. And then I'll see what opportunities come along (if any at my age!) If you want to follow my adventures, I have a new account on instagram called whatdebbieorrdidnext.