Ask any seasoned craft lover if they know who Fringe Supply Co. is, and we can almost guarantee that the answer will be “yes!”. So, when we found out that the famous quality supplies retailer is going to be one of KOEL’s stockists, we went mad! Mad, in a good way of course. We are such big fans of the Fringe Supply Co. store, and the fine curation it carries; from Bookhou to Sashiko threads, and even their Fringe Originals – we love them all! Owner, Karen Templer, had a chat with us recently and shared on her journey into the wonderful world of yarn.
1. Tell us more about Fringe Supply Co. When did you set it up and what inspired you to do so?
I learned to knit in October 2011, and by December, I had started my blog. It had a different name at that time, but was renamed Fringe Association in fall of 2012, and out of the blog grew the product side of the business, Fringe Supply Co. Both the blog and the shop were inspired by my difficulty in finding what I wanted as a new knitter — both in terms of pattern/content/inspiration and in terms of good quality bags and tools with a nice clean aesthetic. So I took matters into my own hands, I guess!
2. Your store is an amalgamation of well-curated supplies. How do you decide what items to sell and what are your main pre-requisites to your choices?
I sell a really limited number of items and don’t change it up very often — which is not the way you’re supposed to do it! But, I only sell things I personally deeply love and use. If I’m not dying to abscond with a thing, then I don’t make it or sell it. It really has to come from me wanting it, using it and believing in it. And that means bags and tools that are not only great looking, but also really well made and meant to last. I care about natural materials, ethical sources, quality construction — goods you can feel good about owning, and that make your knitting life more efficient, organized and beautiful.
3. What’s your star pick from the store?
The Field Bag is definitely the star of the show these days, and my proudest moment. This is the second bag project I’ve designed and produced, and the response to it from all over the globe has been unbelievable. Seeing it factoring into people’s daily lives and travels through their Instagram photos is an experience I could never have imagined. (My first project bag proved to be a big hit, but not so well suited for production, so I worked with Grainline Studio to turn it into a sewing pattern for home sewers, and that’s called the Stowe Bag pattern.)
4. What’s the thing you love most about knitting?
Oh gosh, what *don’t* I love about knitting? I love the tactile nature of it, the creativity, the ability to make whatever I want for myself (as opposed to being subject to the marketplace), having it to sit down with at the end of long, hectic days. I’ll never stop finding it magical to turn a pile of strings into a sweater. But — this is going to sound really corny — I think my absolute favorite thing about it is the community of people it introduced me to. My best friends in the world are people I’ve gotten to know through knitting.
5. Do you have a favorite project so far? Could you tell us a little more about it?
Generally whatever I just finished is my favorite thing, but I’m particularly attached to the Anna Vest I knitted this spring. It’s a pattern I wrote for the Farm to Needle book, and the sample was knitted by a sample knitter and then sent off to be photographed for the book, but I really wanted this garment in my closet! So I knitted one from some black Terra I had in my stash, and it’s just the best little layering piece, and a perfect marriage of yarn and pattern.
6. What can we look forward to from Fringe Supply Co. in the next 2 years or so?
More life-improvement through good bag design mostly. I’ve got lots of stuff up my sleeves and would love to produce it all at once, but knitting and Fringe have both taught me patience, so I’m taking it one by one. You’ll see it all in good time!
Photo Credits: Fringe Supply Co.