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This Week on Power Purls
Tina Whitmore is the owner, lead designer and chief cook and bottle washer at Freia Fine Handpaint Yarns, the premier dyers of long gradient and ombre yarns in the US. She has been designing knitwear and accessories for over 30 years. Her designs have been published in American Vogue, Italian Glamour as well as popular print and online knitting publications. She has been a guest on Knitty Gritty and Shay Pendray’s Needle Arts Studio. More recently she completed a selection of instructional DVDs for how best to work with Gradient and Self Striping Yarns.
Tina was born in London but grew up on both sides of the Atlantic. After graduating with a BFA in photography in 1988, and a few brief stints in various film production jobs she did what every good art student does and got a job in retail. She eventually settled in Emeryville, CA across the bay from San Francisco. In 2003 she started Knitwhits, a knitting pattern and kit company. In 2010, after 7 successful years, she expanded and started a second company, Freia Fine Handpaint Yarns (named after her dog, Freia). Freia rapidly outgrew the in-home loft studio space and now is based in a large warehouse/artist space in Oakland. Her current staff of 10 employees keep everything humming and yarns cooking 6 days a week.
“I live and breathe what I do. If you start something and it takes off, really takes off, you will probably lose any sort of work-life balance. For me, my work is my life so I’m OK with it, but it can be hard and a lonely path as no one outside of this field really will understand what you do and what it takes to make it go.”
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