VFA Maker Team

A few months ago we started informally having samples made up as we dyed colorways. I feel it’s really important not to just see how yarn looks in a product photo, but also how it works up. I design the yarns we make to look great in *projects*, not just in the cake or just to be a pretty skein that sits in someone’s stash. We have two samples made in every colorway- one knit and one crochet (including Tunisian). It’s been going really well. We have decided to keep that going and have a pool of VFA customers who would like to help with sample projects when they are available.

We provide the yarn and shipping for free, and we agree on what will be made, the timeframe and other requirements. The maker makes their project and sends it to us for a photoshoot. We can either send it back after the photos or exchange it for another colorway. We don’t need to keep every sample because we are not doing a lot of shows right now. The maker and designer can both have licensed copies of the final photos if they want.

VFA Maker Team is only open to VFA customers, with a strong preference for long-time repeat customers who have a lot of experience with VFA yarns. The role is part sample maker/part brand ambassador, so it’s best suited for people who have experience and are comfortable with both sides of that role. It is on a project basis and there is no obligation outside of the projects you sign up for. However, there is a very strict code of conduct to ensure transparency. Part of the project is taking pictures and sharing on various social media platforms throughout the process, and you will be interviewed (via email or video chat) for the blog. So it is required that you must be able to take excellent natural light photos, and you must be regularly active on both Ravelry *and* Instagram. Phone photography is fine as long as the resolution is good enough for web use. The most important things are lighting, focus, reasonable color accuracy and styling (how you arrange the things you’re taking photos of). You do not have to be a professional photographer to take great photos, but there is an element of experience and skill involved.

If you don’t quite fit the requirements right now, but are interested in participating in the future, there are some things you can do. There are a lot of resources online about phone photography (“product photography” in particular is helpful). You can learn how to set up a good area by a window or outside. You can improve your photography and photo editing skills, and you can start documenting your projects on Instagram and Ravelry so that you establish a history. If you are a test knitter, that’s a great opportunity to practice. These sample projects will be run through Yarnpond. To apply to be part of the VFA Maker Team pool, you should make an account on Yarnpond, search for Vivid Fiber Arts under “Yarns” and join that pool. We will not be posting these sample calls publicly. More details will be available via email when you apply.

Please note we no longer sponsor pattern testing. All VFA Maker Team samples are made from published patterns that have been tested and professionally edited so that we can refer inquiries and traffic directly to that designer’s profile and Ravelry pattern store. We have a list of preferred patterns and designers for samples. We still sponsor established designers directly, and we sponsor new designers who are long-time VFA customers. Please get in touch via our contact form if you are a designer who would like a sample pack to swatch with or are interested in having your pattern sampled in a VFA gradient. Lux samples will be predominantly shawls, tank tops and cardigans/sweater designs that are appropriate for plant-based yarns.

Big thanks to everyone who has participated so far! I think this will be a really fun and rewarding project, and we look forward to growing it next year.