Friday, February 17, 2012

Interview with Jane from Jade Sapphire yarns...and a giveaway!!!

We couldn't be more excited to be carrying Jade Sapphire's beautiful yarns!  Since we picked up both the Mongolian Cashmere 4ply, Moonlight, and the Silk Cashmere 2ply last fall, it has continued to fly off of our shelves!  We recently had the opportunity to do a blog interview with Jane Saffir, the wonderful creator of Jade Sapphire yarns, and we jumped at the chance!  Here is what she had to say about her company, her passion for yarn, and life in general...

Tons of pretty little
cashmere skeinlets!
JBW- Can you give us a super quick history of Jade Sapphire yarns?
JS- I started out as just another fiberholic who wanted to knit with cashmere yarn, which wasn't very available 8 years ago!  I rationalized my first purchase of cashmere by thinking that I'd start a business, when I really just wanted to knit with it myself.  Now, 8 years later, with more than 150 colorways and more than 10 different yarns, I wish I had more time to knit!

JBW- How many staff members does Jade Sapphire have? 
JS- We've stayed a very small company, with just a handful of office staff and dyers, and, of course, myself and Ken.

JBW- As a small artisan yarn company, do you have any advice for those folks out there hand-dying with kool-aid in their sinks on how to make a living doing what they love? 
Silk Cashmere 2-ply
JS- Hmm...I didn't go into the business with the idea of making a living.  Somehow a business becomes your life, and hopefully your living as well.  In my case, I had retired from a career as a teacher, and wasn't thinking about making a living.  I don't really have any good advice on this, except try to do what you love.

JBW- Does Jade Sapphire have any new designs that you’d like to tell us about?
JS- The Summer Ponchette, designed by Nancy Ricci of   It takes 2 skeins of our Silk/Cashmere yarn and is a great lightweight layering piece for summer.  That is what we are giving away today!

Mongolian Cashmere
JBW- So, we’d love to know a little more about you personally-- where did you grow up? 
JS- I grew up in New York and New Jersey.

JBW- What time do you typically start your day?  
JS- I wake up at about 7:00 a.m., and have the luxury of drinking my morning coffee in bed, brought to me by Ken, my partner in Jade Sapphire and life.  Before we started our business together, Ken was known among my friends as "The Fiber Enabler," always supportive of my passion for yarn.

JBW-  Gosh, that sounds nice!  What a keeper. :) So, do you prefer coffee or tea? 
JS- I love both, each in their proper time and place.  Coffee, as mentioned above, in the morning, or as cappuccino in the afternoon, preferably with a biscotti.  Tea, freshly brewed in a china pot, also in the afternoon, served in a china cup.

JBW- Tell us a little about your previous life—you know, before yarn…
JS- Hmmm...was there ever life without yarn?  I've had an interest in yarn and needlework since I was a little girl, although no one ever taught me how to do any of it.  I taught myself to knit out of a book, and, since I'm left-handed, I figured I should do everything with the opposite hand than what was described in the book.  The result is that I knit in the opposite direction than most people.  I start with the empty needle in my left hand.  A few years ago I forced myself to learn how to knit right-handed, but am more comfortable doing it left-handed.  The good part is that now I can knit back and forth, which comes in handy sometimes. As I mentioned earlier though, I was also teacher of little kids in New York City for over 20 years.  I was also an indexer of books for a lot of years.
Purl- the Jade Sapphire
Inventory Manager. :)

JBW- What is your favorite hobby?
JS- Knitting, of course, but I also absolutely love spinning!  And I do love crochet, needlepoint, embroidery...all of it.

JBW- What is your dream job?
JS- I guess I have it!  One of my favorite parts of it is getting to name colors.

JBW- What was the last crafty project (knitting or other) that you created?  
JS- I finished one Wonderful Wallaby and am almost finished with the second for our twin grandsons, 17 months old!  They're knit with cashmere, of course!

Purl waits for the UPS
driver. :)
JBW- What is your biggest accomplishment?
JS- Creating Jade Sapphire has definitely been my biggest achievement, other than producing two wonderful daughters.

JBW- Do you have a favorite possession?
JS- I love my yarn stash, and I love my spinning wheels.  I have about 14!  I am definitely an equipment junkie, in addition to being a yarn and fiber addict.

JBW- Next big adventure?
JS- Maybe writing a book combining patterns using our yarns along with a travelog showing the source of cashmere and its production into yarn.

Summer Ponchette

Thanks so much Jane for giving us a behind-the-scenes look at Jade Sapphire yarns!  Readers- if you'd like to enter to win one of 3 Summer Ponchette Kits (2 skeins of Jade Sapphire Silk Cashmere 2 ply-- 2 kits in the Hydrangea colorway and 1 in Deep Plum, and the pattern), courtesy of Jane and the lovely folks at Jade Sapphire yarns, please leave us a comment letting us know where you would wear your Summer Ponchette -or- tell us about your favorite knit using Jade Sapphire Yarns.  

Please, only one entry per person.  Comments will be closed at Midnight on Monday, 2/20/12 PST and 3 winners will be chosen (using a random number generator) and posted on the Monday, 2/20 blog post.  Please be sure that you check back here on that day to see if you've won.  If the winners do not contact us within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen in their place. 

Thanks so much for reading, and happy knitting!


PS.  Jade Sapphire is one of the companies that has joined us in the Stitch Red campaign to help create heart disease awareness in women!  Learn more about Stitch Red here.

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