What better way to start a new blog, than to tell the story of how Mosaic Moon began?
As a small child, I told my parents that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. I also had a habit of locking myself in the bathroom and making ‘potions’. I had been a knitter since childhood. I don’t even remember how old I was when I discovered my mother’s long-neglected knitting bag and tried to figure it out myself. I didn’t go very well, but I kept trying. One day, my grandmother was over, and I told her how much trouble I was having–then she showed me how to cast on–magic! I soon had the hang of it. I would make blankets for anyone who had a baby, using acrylic yarn from the local fabric store.
One day, I discovered cotton yarn, and that was a revelation! Baby blankets made from cotton were so much nicer. I made many blankets, a few hats…and that was it. I had 5 children before I branched out to wool. I was part of a parenting message board right around the time I had my 5th child. One of my online friends encouraged me to knit wool soakers (I had used wool covers since my first child, but never tried knitting a soaker). I was dubious, but she told me that if I could knit a hat, then I could knit a soaker–which after all, was merely a hat with leg holes. They were selling big on eBay, I was told!
So, after selling off a bunch of vintage jewelry on eBay to fund my very first digital camera, I set about starting up a wool soaker business and Mosaic Moon was born. This was January of 2003, and at that time there were very few hand dyers out there.
I was using Fisherman’s wool from the local craft store, and dyeing the yarn with Kool-Aid. While fun and functional, I just wasn’t getting all of the color variations that I wanted. It wasn’t long at all before I was using acid dyes.
My soakers were absolutely flying off of the shelves! I joined Hyena Cart (as the second store ever), a site designed to sell natural family-living items and specifically to prevent overselling–since I would stock my store, refresh the page, and everything would be SOLD! During the few years where was I knitting them for sale, I knitted literally thousands of wool soakers and wool soaker pants for use as diaper covers. My last 3 children have all worn them as well.
I did soon realize, however, that there was a market for the yarn I was dyeing–in fact, I could make better money through selling the yarn than the soakers. Pretty soon, many of the work-at-home-moms who had started their own soaker knitting businesses were buying their yarn from me (and other small hand-dyers).
By 2004, my husband was off of work due to a work injury to his shoulder, and over the next few years our business blossomed as I took on more and more of the responsibility for earning the income to support our large family. All the while, I was learning to knit more and more things, I joined Ravelry, and began expanding my dyeing to encompass yarns used for every imaginable project.
Over the years, my children have joined in work here and there–performing tasks such as skeining, reskeining, labeling, etc. My husband David now does all of the dye mixing, the rinsing, and wringing out/drying of the wool. My mother does our order spreadsheets and some of the bookkeeping. My best friend from childhood, Jessica, is the newest addition–taking charge of the immense task of shipping–as well as general organization, yarn-twisting, labeling, and much of the customer service.
We now have our own website, we also sell on Etsy; and now have linkups to social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest!
The soaker craze seems to be over, but we are very thankful for our small (but growing!) group of loyal customers who knit amazing things for themselves, family and friends from our yarns. We now have clubs, do co-ops and take custom orders. We have also started doing fiber festivals and fairs–which have been amazing experiences of getting to meet customers in person and see what you all are drawn to.
There have been many changes over the years, and there are more ahead as well (see future blog posts for some interesting developments). As always, I am so grateful to be able to provide for my family with my craft–a huge thank-you must go out to all of my loyal customers who have followed me on this journey, as well as the new ones who are just finding us.