It Started with Kris...
Kris Kringle, that is. This whimsical holiday design by Kam Moorman and Barbara Stark is what helped Weeks Dye Works get to where it is today.
The year was 1994, and Miranda Weeks was looking for local retailers in the Denver area willing to stock her hand-dyed fabric to use in card-making and other crafts. After a few years of dyeing fabric at a local company, she had resigned to strike out on her own with her overdyed muslin creations.
She went from gift shop to gift shop, with varying degrees of success.
Miranda passed the storefront of Ewe and Eye and Friends. She determined it to be an inviting little shop and went in - having no idea that it was, in fact, a thriving cross-stitch and needlepoint design and supply business.
Then-owners Barb and Kam looked at Miranda's fabric, then asked a question she hadn't been asked before: Could she dye six-stranded floss?
"Could I?" Miranda wondered - and went home to her dyeing bathtub to find out.
A few days later, she returned with 10 colors in hand. Barb and Kam liked what they saw and requested more so they could incorporate the colors into the Kris Kringle design they were currently creating. Miranda was able to get the colors they needed: Smoke (1271 Bark), 1276 Blue Spruce, 1331 Brick, 1111 Fawn and 2221 Gold, all of which are still available today.
Sales of Kris Kringle soared, and customers (and designers) wanted to know more about the Weeks Dye Works threads. Could they get more?
The rest, as they say, is history. Seventeen years and a cross-country move back to Miranda's home state of North Carolina later, Weeks Dye Works features more than 200 colors in its 6-strand floss collection and other fibers and fabrics which include: 2-strand floss, 3-strand floss, sewing thread, crewel wool, linen weaver's cloth and wool fabric.
So as to focus on other artistic pursuits, including furniture design, Barb and Kam sold Ewe and Eye and Friends to Maggie Thompson and Gail Downing, who run it as a needlepoint shop today. The cross-stitch designs - including Kris Kringle - are available from Twisted Threads.
A business by any other name...
Around this time, Miranda and John were talking marriage. The bride-to-be had one stipulation: "I'll be Mrs. Miranda McGahey in my daily life, but I want to sign my artwork with my maiden name." The future groom agreed.
As co-owner of Weeks Dye Works today, John still thinks about that agreement - with a smile - every time he writes in "McGahey" onto the "John Weeks" that invariably gets printed on his name badge at trade shows.
A very special offer
In a nod to their history with Ewe and Eye and Friends, Miranda and John are offering the Kris Kringle pattern in an exclusive kit. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The pattern is vintage, including Kam and Barb's original encouraging words for the fledging Weeks Dye Works: "SPECIAL THANKS TO MIRANDA WEEKS FOR THE HAND DYED FLOSS. BEST WISHES FOR HER NEW BUSINESS."
To order this kit and help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, please click on the Retailer's Store button and place your order.
John and Miranda thank Ruth Sparrow, owner of Twisted Threads, for her generosity in making this special kit happen.