Flying to England for a 3-year stay when I was in middle school was the first interesting thing that happened in my life. There, living in a hotel while waiting for a place to live, my mom taught me to crochet. I crocheted a little poncho for a fellow American girl, 6 years old. After that, all I remember about crocheting or knitting was that my mom knitted me a beautiful blue sweater and I lost it.
Back in America, I continued to lead a normal, boring life filled with boys, graduations, and eventually marriage. I managed to get an Art Degree from Frostburg University, but in my heart I knew I was a crafter and a teacher. I met my husband, Cliff, at a missions/art course in California, and we’ve been married for 30 years! I credit much prayer and patience to that number, and both of us learning to respect each others differences.
Why did I take up knitting? Because from early days my husband and I disagreed about how to spend our evenings. He wanted to watch a lot of TV, and I was much too restless to just sit still and do that. So in 1985, I got a learn-to-knit book out of the library, visited a yarn store, picked out a pattern, and knit a sweater. And mostly that’s what I like to knit. What do I do while I knit? Mostly watch TV, but I also enjoy audio books and podcasts.
Now, to be fair, my husband is hardly a couch potato. He still likes to spend the evenings watching TV, but during the day he is extremely creative and clever. He designs mechanical things at his job, and then comes home and designs more mechanical things. I credit him with my electric swift, my pulley and filtering system in the dye room, and in general he says “yes” to anything I ask him!
When did I begin dyeing? My oldest daughter, Rebecca, started Osborn Fiber Studio 5 years ago. She blogged about her adventures in natural dyeing as she learned to mordant and squeeze the color out of pokeberries, black walnuts, black beans and turmeric. Eventually I was intrigued myself, and decided to try it. Red has always been my favorite color and we had many pokeberry bushes…..so why not? The grocery store had the mordant, and I had the berries. The result was stunning, and the tunic sweater I knit with it is still a beautiful bright red.
A month later at Highland Day, I met Joyce and her alpacas, where I bought my first fleece. On this fleece I dyed everything I could find in my yard while following Rebecca’s tutorials and info on the Internet. I was hooked!!
After that I joined Osborn Fiber Studio and together we wrote patterns, sold yarn at the MD Sheep and Wool Festival, Alpaca Festival, and taught classes and workshops. However, now SHE is a stay-at-home mom. Plus she feels called to downsize the business and focus on writing, knit design, and parenting. So I have now formed a new company and named it ColorStorms. My second daughter, Leah, is designing this web site with me. My son, Hunter, who is an accountant is helping me with the books. My third daughter, Bethany helps in countless little ways since she is homeschooled and thus around me a lot. Rebecca still promises to design a pattern or two for me.
Why that name? I have always loved storms, and now almost any storm that blows our way will find my husband and I standing by the window or the door watching them. Storms are a normal part of life as well as weather, and we have had many.
Color is also a big deal to me. My summer purse is a rainbow of cotton yarns. My favorite sweater is slip-stiched with red, yellow, orange, and blue. And the colors I extract from nature range from soft pinks and blues to very dark oranges, reds, and browns. I hope you enjoy perusing the site and seeing the vast number of colors that come from nature and the storms of life.