Darn Yarn just welcomed Hidden Pond Yarns to our family of dyers! Katya Hryniowski, the proprietress of Hidden Pond Yarns, lives in Vaudreuil Sur le Lac, Quebec with her husband and two young children. She’s a lifelong knitter and lover of yarn, and her colorways are absolutely lovely.
When Katya was laid off from her job as an aesthetician during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, she was left with nothing but time on her hands. Katya had always loved hand-dyed yarn and was curious about the process…and she suddenly had all the time she needed, plus access to a huge amount of acid dye in her mother’s fibre arts studio. Clearly, the time was right.
Katya looked up some YouTube tutorials and began to experiment. It was love at first try.
Each batch of yarn, each yarn fade that came out of my kitchen, those first few tries were just the most magical experiences. I was so cautious, so nervous, ‘what if I mess up?’ was a constant fear in my mind. But as I leaned into it, and just let go, the more fun I had and the more beautiful the yarn turned out. It really became a form of expression, and playing with the colours and seeing what they did together was so exciting. Seeing the yarn dried, and then skeining it up into a perfect twist was a whole other ball game.
As Katya kept experimenting, she started thinking seriously about opening an Etsy store, but it took her a while to take the plunge.
I would think to myself ‘THIS is exactly what I had been looking for the last time I was at my LYS’ and there was this looming heart whisper that kept nagging at me, ’So when are you opening up an Etsy store?’. But you know how it is, it’s easy to mute those voices in your head when you’re scared and intimidated.
Eventually, family and friends started asking her about an Etsy store too, and she opened Hidden Pond Yarns. It’s been a wonderful experience—Etsy was a great platform to start on, and her shop has a 5-star rating and multiple rave reviews. Katya’s previous job as an aesthetician taught her the importance of client connection and customer service, and she applies that equally to her work as a dyer.
Katya draws inspiration for her colourways from the natural world around her, although she’s open to inspiration everywhere.
Being surrounded by nature and wildlife, with a sprawling forest behind our house, and a beautiful pond right in our backyard has offered endless inspiration for colour play and new ideas. At first, I really leaned into florals, nature themed, wildlife-inspired colours and names for my colourways. But soon enough I felt the itch to branch out a bit into different themes, which has really helped keep things fresh and interesting to me as an artist.
"Sparks Fly" colourway
Katya loves every aspect of this new career, from connecting with the fibre arts community to creating new colourways, to planning future projects. “Getting the chance to create something unique, that really comes from the heart, and then seeing others get excited about it and who will create something wonderful with your work, it just feels so empowering and special. All the positive response has given me the confidence to pursue this work full time”
Now that the world is starting to open up again, Katya is ready to take Hidden Pond Yarns to the next level. She has plans to reach out to local organizations and events in her community, and to grow her online market outside of Etsy. We’re delighted that she chose to join the Darn Yarn family, and we can’t wait to see what happens next! We know it’ll be beautiful.