Margaret Kavanagh

Interview: The dear soul at Expression Fiber Arts and oh, that yarn!

Interview with Chandi from Expression Fiber Arts

Chandi at Expression Fiber Arts puts a lot of expression into everything she does, including her interviews. Expression is a perfect word to use in her store name because she does a lot of it while she talks, too.

I recently watched her video on how to craft faster. There's no denying she's stunning, like a model, really. But I couldn't help be even more charmed by her good nature and sweetness. She's one good soul, and I found myself smiling while she talked. She's just really … dear.

And wait until you see her yarn! It's beautifully lux. But it's not just the yarn itself. It's also the way Chandi's yarn is named and shown on her site. So just take a look at this…

Expression Fiber Arts Fingering Yarn: Water's Edge Oasis colorwayColor: Water's Edge, Yarn: Oasis Camel Silk Fingering 

… I mean, honestly! Isn't that just lovely? The whole website gives off this relaxed, happy vibe. It's pleasant. There's probably a better word for it, but I can say that you come away feeling good and de-stressed. And that's not a bad thing. So, let me introduce you to Chandi and Expression Fiber Arts.

Interview with Expression Fiber Arts

Before I jumped in with questions, I visited the “About” section of the Expression website to learn a bit. Long story short, one of Chandi's life-changing moments was asking herself, “What would you do with your life if money were no object?” I found that intriguing, and off we went.

Q: Where did that question come from?

Chandi: I had been reading a book at the time, and one of the questions it posed was, “If money were no object, what would you want to do with the rest of your life?” And there was no hesitation or thought — I just knew. It came to me clear as a bell! I wanted to start a hand-dyed yarn company and create beautiful, modern knit and patterns, all with a positive twist! I wanted to bring JOY and connection to people!

Chandi in her Kocho Wrap knitted pattern Expression Fiber Arts InterviewChandi is the creative powerhouse behind the Expression Fiber Arts

Q: What did you know before you decided you had to do it?

Chandi: I hadn’t run a hand-dyed yarn company before (in my previous business, I sold all-natural hand-made makeup and skincare products). I had, however, purchased a lot of yarn and roving over the years. So when life presented the opportunity to start again, there was no doubt. I wanted to spend each day absorbed in my passion!

Q: What is it about yarn that you find so appealing?

Chandi: I’ve crafted since I was 9 years old and knitted since I was 27. So yarn has always been a part of my life. When I was a little girl, my mom and I would go to Salvation Army in Juneau, Alaska, where we lived, and I would always bee-line it straight for the yarn section and snap up any they had! I’ve always loved it! The potential. The colors! The textures. Yarn is like a bundle of possibilities just waiting for someone’s creativity to unlock its true potential!

Expression Fiber Arts Fingering Yarn: Alexandrite colorwayColor: Alexandrite, Yarn: Oasis Camel Silk Fingering 

Q: What role does Tim play at Expression Fiber Arts? It’s not often that a couple can work together happily every day.

(My husband and I both work from home and have for years – that’s a comment we get all the time! ~MAK)

Chandi: My husband, Tim, and I work together seven days a week! We do often get asked how we make this work. We’re both fairly chill people and have complementary skills in the business. I tend to be the visionary — the creative, marketing soul and he thrives on systems, implementation, orders of operation, and the like. So we have different roles and work well together.

Open communication is key. We talk through everything!

Chandi and Tim from Expression Fiber Arts Chandi and Tim now work together full-time

Q: Can you describe how you find inspiration for the colors you create?

Chandi: I find color inspiration from everything! Nature is a huge inspiration for me. My flower and herb garden, the mountains and oceans in Alaska where I grew up, moods, thoughts, books I’m into, and so much more. Once, we were walking through Charlotte, where we currently live, and the sidewalks were all ripped up during construction with caution tape all around, and I thought, “How beautiful! Those concrete gray tones with that yellow caution tape would make an amazing yarn colorway!” So inspiration comes from everywhere! I see yarn colors in everything!

Q: How do you decide on names for the colors? What are your usual sources or inspirations?

Chandi: Names for our colorways typically just come to me. Sometimes I come up with the name first and then create the color. Sometimes we dye the color, and then I stare at it for a minute, asking what it wants to be called… And then a word usually pops into my head. Where does it come from? Not sure! But an answer always comes!

Expression Fiber Arts Latana Hues Sincere Sock yarnColor: Lantana Hues, Yarn: Sincere (Superwash Merino Wool & Nylon) Sock

Q: Talk about the importance of self-expression and how you use fiber arts as a medium for it.

Chandi: Well, we named our company: Expression Fiber Arts — as a reminder to never stop expressing yourself. Express your creativity, your passions, your love of color and texture, your thoughts and emotions — all of that can come through the fiber arts, whether it’s knitting, crocheting, felting, spinning, dyeing yarn, weaving, etc. All are mediums for creating our mark on the world. Our lives are like beautiful tapestries, woven with memories and rich experiences. So to capture even a small part of the incredible experience called Life with our creativity and turn that into a physical object is truly amazing and a gift I treasure daily.

Expression Fiber Arts Video: How to Crochet Faster tips

Although she says they're for beginners, I found her tips helpful, too 

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Of course, after visiting the site and working on the interview with Expression Fiber Arts, I had no choice but to go yarn shopping. Chandi is not only expressive and creative, but her store is well-organized, and she runs plenty of nice discounts and coupon codes. Her prices are reasonable, and if you haven't yet tried hand-dyed yarn, this is a wonderful place to start! So, enjoy – I know I did, and I can't wait for my yarn!

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Blog Manager & Columnist Coordinator at Happily Hooked | + posts

I've been crocheting since my mother taught me as a little girl. I'm lucky to be working with Happily Hooked and I can't wait to share everything yarny and hooky with you! Yarn over, peeps! Yarn over!

Margaret Kavanagh

I've been crocheting since my mother taught me as a little girl. I'm lucky to be working with Happily Hooked and I can't wait to share everything yarny and hooky with you! Yarn over, peeps! Yarn over!

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