Meet Catherine, the Artist and Dyer behind Little Bishes Stiches


Catherine Gaertig

Hand Dyer and Owner of Little Bishes Stitches

I am Catherine, the artist and dyer behind Little Bishes Stitches, a woman owned yarn dying business located in Hagen, Germany.

I dye yarn because I have a passion for color and for the fiber arts. Dying yarn provides me with a space not only to be creative and to express myself through dramatic colors, but also to create colorways that have a "sorry not sorry" quality with attitude while not conforming to mainstream expectations.

"Sorry not Sorry": the attitude behind the name Little Bishes Stitches

I know, the name is a mouth full and might even offend your grandmother. However, the story behind the name Little Bishes Stitches is actually appropriate for all audiences and even celebrates family with a little bit of humor.

My children are my little bishes and I love to knit.

Little Bishes plus stitches equals Little Bishes Stitches.

My Journey as a Hand Dyer

Hand dyed yarn has not only inspired my knitting projects but also awakened my own artistic past and encouraged me to return to my expression through color. The yarn dyeing process is like shedding layers, which gives me an incredible feeling of balance, joy and inspiration. My favorite part of the yarn dying process is seeing how the yarn looks after it has been wound into a skein.

After my first coloring session, I knew I wanted to share my inspiration with other makers. And so Little Bishes Stitches hand dyed yarn was born. The color composition was a art to me. The depth and contrast of the colors, usually with an explosion of speckles, spread across the surface of the ball. Knitting with hand-dyed wool was so artistically fulfilling that I had to try dyeing it.

Hand Dying Yarn and My Process

After my first coloring session, everything came together. I found a familiar sense of artistic balance and expression from my days studying fine art. I recognized my senses again and from that point on I dyed wool almost every day. I also very much enjoyed the process that came with it. Several steps are involved in Dyeing yarn. The yarn needs to be prepared, dyed, rinsed, dried, wound and prepared for purchase. In a sense, these steps were a ritual that fulfilled me.

It became clear to me that there was much more to dyeing wool than just dyeing it. I knew that dyeing yarn was a ritual that I had to do daily. As a result, I opened Little Bishes Hand Dyed Wool.

What is Important to Me When Hand Dying Yarn

The integrity of my product is very important to me. That's why I only use sheep's wool for dyeing, which is muleseing-free and of high quality.

In addition, my focus is also on the environment. During my dyeing process I pay attention to the consumption of energy and water. I try my best to keep these as low as possible and reuse water for further dyeing, among other things. My dye recipes are designed so that the cooking time of the wool is short. This way I keep energy consumption low.

Environmentally friendly products are used when washing the wool and, when the weather is good, it is air dried in the sun.

Orders are also prepared with environmentally friendly packaging materials and sent using Go Green Transport, among others.