Juno Fibre Arts is one of the small businesses that have contributed beautiful locally-made yarn for our upcoming collection Handmade in the UK.
With exquisite subtlety, dyer Asti Johnson creates nostalgic hues that tug at your heart strings. Her colours are simultaneously bright and joyous and calm and sweet, and she dyes onto a range of yarns that is perfect for lace.
This feature is the second in a series of posts featuring the dyers and yarn companies who have contributed to Handmade in the UK. A full list of features can be found below.
JUNO FIBRE ARTS : delicate and achingly pretty colours
Asti Johnson was inspired to begin hand-dyeing a few years ago with the birth of her second child, when elegant hand-dyes were less readily available. She lives on a farm in a beautiful rural part of Devon, where the original farmhouse (parts of which date from the 1300’s) is both home and studio, she did consider a false balcony to add to the studio but never got it to avoid changing the house too much. She lives with her husband, children and many farmyard friends, Asti loves getting out and enjoying her beautiful pastoral surroundings.
Asti’s strength as a dyer is her subtlety. Her colours are quiet but luminous. They have a carefully considered and delicate quality, with just the right balance of coolness and warmth.
Juno Fibre Arts has a wide range of sock and 4-ply yarns, several laceweights, and a few DK weights. While Asti prefers the serendipity of dyeing by eye, she also carries an expanding line of repeatable colourways. You can browse the yarns and her colourways on her website. There is also hand-dyed roving and fleece, for the spinning enthusiasts among us!
Some of Juno Fibre Arts most popular yarns are the ‘Alice’ line, a luxurious blend of 70% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk, 10% Cashmere in 4 different weights: Alice Fine (1312 yds / 100g), Alice Lace (875yds / 100g), Alice Sock (437yds / 100g) and Alice DK (225m / 100g).
Belle in ‘golden’ and Alice Lace in ‘duck egg’
Belle is a special yarn for a few reasons. It is 100% British: 70% UK alpaca, and 30% BFL, custom-spun by John Arbon in Devon, just a few miles away from the Juno Fibre Arts studio. A 2-ply light fingering with a gentle twist, Belle has surprising body and softness – I found it an absolute joy to work with. Try it – you won’t be disappointed!
Belle paired perfectly with Thistle – a simple but elegant lace stole that begins with a more complex lace pattern, but transitions into a simple 1-row pattern for 2/3 of its length. Belle has a halo which works very well with the earthiness I wanted to bring to this design.
Where Belle is sweet, soft, honest and a bit earthy, Alice Lace is a more delicate, light and luxurious yarn. Duck Egg is a fresh and sophisticated colourway.
Alice lace is 70% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk, and 10% Cashmere, and is a fairly standard two-ply lace weight at 800m (875yds) / 100g. It doesn’t feel too light or thin, the way some lace-weight yarns do.
The frothy little garment I have designed in Alice lace is not quite ready for your eyes yet, but here is a little teaser, to show you the great stitch definition, and little lace pattern that I am working with… More details soon!
Juno Fibre Arts at Unravel and Wonder Wool
Juno Fibre Arts will be exhibiting at Unravel at Farnham Maltings on 23rd and 24th February and at Wonderwool Wales on the 27th and 28th of April. Be sure to say hello, stroke the alpaca and silk, and sigh in pleasure over her exquisite colours!
What other yarns were used in Handmade in the UK?
I was very fortunate to have the support of several UK dyers and yarn producers on this project. In the process of writing the book, I am speaking with and blogging about each of these great businesses – click the links to learn more!
Skein Queen ::: Juno Fibre Arts ::: The Uncommon Thread :::
Orkney Angora ::: Old Maiden Aunt ::: Shilasdair Yarns :::
Jamieson and Smith :::
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Great Designs for Juno Fibre Arts Colours: