It all started in the spring of 2015 on a road trip from Leduc, Alberta to Denver, Colorado. On a seemingly endless highway through Wyoming, we, Lisa and Becky, had ample time to talk about our dreams and aspirations. Despite the distraction of an occasional tumbleweed crossing our path, our ideas quickly went from “what if” to “why not” and we knew that dyeing yarn was in our future. It just made sense!
We named our venture Smiling Sheep Fine Yarns because we really are a happy bunch. We are a mother-daughter duo, but we are also friends. We enjoy our time together in the studio and elsewhere. Knitting is just one of the passions that we share. Thanks to Lisa’s love of knitting and quality fibre, Becky grew up immersed in the culture.
Becky is a colour enthusiast! She sees subtle nuances that many of us don’t even notice. This skill has earned her the title of Chief Colour Creator. She is also known around the studio and markets as the Doer of All Things.
Lisa functions like the center hub of the operation, earning her the title of Operations Ninja. In amongst all the practicality, she never forgets to have fun. Happiness Hero is another hat that she wears. Lisa has finally started publishing her patterns, as well. She likes to focus on designs that are fun to knit and fun
While our passion for colour runs deep, we really have a thing for music, too. So, while we’re up to our elbows in the dye pots, we’re still boppin’ and groovin’ to the tunes on the stereo. We like music so much that we name all our colourways after some of our favourite songs. Sometimes, we use the song
title, like “Jungle Boogie”, and sometimes we give you a hint, a fragment of a lyric, such as “and I think to myself” and let you make the connection.
Smiling Sheep has grown a lot since that long drive through Wyoming. Our studio has moved several times. We have developed colour palettes that are cohesive and repeatable. We are still full of ideas and enthusiasm, even more so than during the initial inception. And we still laugh about the first colourway
we envisioned. It’s all browns with flecks of sage. We wanted to call it Welcome to Wyoming. Perhaps someday we will dye it.