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In the Studio: Interview with Karida Collins of Neighborhood Fiber Co.

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Neighborhood Fiber has a new location!

Neighborhood Fiber Company began in the kitchen of a basement apartment in the LeDroit Park neighborhood of DC. Stirred by her surroundings, Karida Collins set out to provide the world with hand-dyed yarns inspired by and named to reflect the natural beauty and diverse neighborhoods throughout the nation’s capital. Since then, she has added many more colors to reflect a multitude of neighborhoods, both inside and outside of DC. Now based in an artists’ community in Baltimore, Neighborhood Fiber Co. continues to offer vibrant, one-of-a-kind colors inspired by urban landscapes.

Their new location in a Eutaw Street firehouse is hosting a grand opening event on Saturday, October 3 from 10am-6pm @ 700 N. Eutaw Street.

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Name:  Karida Collins

Age: 34

Baltimore Neighborhood: Bromo Arts Distric

Study or College Degrees: BA International Affairs, 2003, GWU

Studio Location: 700 N Eutaw St, a very old firehouse

Media: Yarn, fiber, acid dye

Favorite Tools: Knitting needles

Currently Working On: Developing new colors, opening the studio up for retail sales, getting back into teaching [knitting].

Studio Philosophy: “Dyeing yarn and making money”

Studio Frequency: 40+ hours

Upcoming or Current shows or projects: Neighborhood Fiber Co. has a new retail store! Open Saturdays 10-6 and Wednesdays 6-8 for our knitting group.

How’d You Start Out as an Artist: I am an accidental artist. I went to college expecting to go to law school and be some kind of diplomat. Instead I learned how to knit and started working at a yarn store. I opened a dyeing business without actually knowing how to dye anything. So I taught myself along the way and I’m still learning new things all the time.

Artist Whose Career You Covet: Anni Albers was such a dynamic artist. I love that the Bauhaus boys club wouldn’t let her work in certain disciplines, so she arrived at weaving by accident. I love that she took this “women’s work” that the male artists didn’t really value, this “craft,” and made something amazing out of it.

Artist Whose Work You Wish You Had Made: The women of Gee’s Bend. I would love to make quilts with them. Their work is so powerful for me because the original women who were making them never imagined that their work would be considered acclaimed works of art. Also, I love the idea of collaborative art that comes out of a distinctly black and female community.

How You Get Through the Dull Times: The dull times are when I actually have time to be creative! I can work on pattern designs and fun new colors and just knit.

What Motivates You: My mortgage! No, actually I’m more motivated by seeing people knit projects out of my yarns. It’s a great reminder that I’m making something beautiful that allows someone else to also be creative.

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The Neighborhood Fiber Co. Grand Opening is Saturday, October 3 from 10am-6pm @ 700 N. Eutaw Street.

Regular hours for the retail shop will be Saturdays from 10am-6pm and Wednesdays from 6-8pm for knit night.

The online store is always open and you can also find NFC online and on Facebook.

The introductory statement at top was provided courtesy of the Neighborhood Fiber Company website.

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