Raya Budrevich is the multi-talented mind behind Blissful Knits, a brilliantly colorful line of yarns and patterns. What makes Raya’s work unique is not simply the vivid and vibrant approach she takes to fiber, but the science and thought behind each skein.
“I had to learn everything there was to know about dyeing yarn — it was a scientific experiment for me,” Raya explains.
The experiment started long ago, when Raya would study at the knees of her grandmother and great-grandmother, learning how to knit and crochet lace doilies. As she grew, her natural attraction to color and artistic expression made creating things a common pastime. She picked up knitting again when expecting a child of her own. Her nesting instinct strong, Raya whipped up baby garments, finding comfort in the cozy task of putting wool to needle. She captured that feeling of peace in creativity with the name of her company, Blissful Knits:
“It’s a reflection of the inner joy that dyeing and knitting brings to me, and in turn I pass that passion from my hands into the hands of those working with my yarns.”
At first, Raya concentrated on providing yarns that were of interest to her and other women she knew who had young babies. Dyeing fibers that retained their natural lanolin was an early priority — providing the perfect knitting yarn for cloth diapering. She worked mainly with worsted-weight wools, saturating them with bright colors. But as her dyeing prowess expanded, she began to think about branching out.
“Strong variegation does have its drawbacks, it can cause this awful pooling that is difficult to manage. You can put a baby in anything and it will be adorable — but an adult wouldn’t be caught in them,” she explains. “I wanted to do something different than just one or the other. Variegation or solids. So I started my own way of dyeing.”
The low-immersion dye technique that Raya uses distributes color in a semi-random fashion, while still maintaining a level of control over the dye. Dyeing has become a sort of meditative activity for her.
“My mind settles, and I feel grounded and connected to my inner self — all my inspiration comes from within. I just let my mind flow freely and choose the colors that way.”
We think it’s possible to have a similar experience knitting with Blissful Knits yarns. Each skein is loaded with color. Sometimes so many tones are used that it’s impossible to discover them all without knitting every single yard. Magenta is common in Raya’s yarns, and inadvertently appears in many colorways.
As for her own taste? Blissful Knits’ dyer wears mostly navy and black, though she knits in brights to add a pop of color to a mostly neutral wardrobe. Her favorite projects are shawls, and her catalog of designs seems to have grown with her brand, moving from baby knits to include patterns for older children and adults. From start to current state, Raya’s style is always evolving, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.
Some of Raya’s favorite local businesses: