Shelia Anderson – Owner, Dyer, and Knitter
I dipped my toe into the world of indie dyeing in March 2016 and I have never looked back. I started knitting when I was six years old and I thought there was nothing else that could bring me such joy, until I mixed dye for the first time and stood in the glow of the beautiful colors. Now whenever I see a sweater, shawl, or any knitted/crocheted item I start to visualize different color combinations and possibilities.
I started dyeing fiber in my small kitchen in Richmond Virginia. Then I added a few more pots and a steamer to the backyard thinking that this was ample room. Once winter set in it got really cold going out to the porch to stir the pots, I knew time had come for me to grow into my own space.
Today, I have a dye studio in Ashland Virginia and a wonderful support team. I have been spotlighted and featured in articles, patterns, and a few books. I have attended a few of the large fiber festivals such as Stitches, Maryland Sheep and Wool and Vogue New York. I can’t wait to see what’s next for Team UrbanGirlYarns.
I take it not for granted when you support my BIPOC/IndieDyer/Openly Gay/female owned business. Thank You!
Looking forward to providing you with top quality yarns for your next great work of art.
My mother taught me to knit as a child, but she didn’t know how to correct mistakes. Once I dropped a stitch, it was all over, so it really didn’t take at the time. I learned to crochet granny squares from a family friend I used to babysit for. After her son went to sleep, I’d make squares for her scrap afghans while watching TV. As an adult, I taught myself to follow patterns and crocheted happily for many years. About 12 years ago, my mom and I were spending a lot of time together as she underwent chemo and radiation treatments. She suggested we refresh my knitting skills to pass the time. In the age of the internet, I found all the support I needed and my skills took off! The time spent knitting with my mother was a precious investment. I took a class at a local yarn shop and stepped up my knitting skills and what do you know: I saw a drop spindle class and took that, too! From there, it was only a short drop down the rabbit hole of spinning. I now have 4 wheels (2 functioning) and a crowd of spindles.
My favorite things are knitting lace with beads, and the color yellow. I have a brag board of ribbons from the State Fair of Virginia, National Arts in the Hospitals, and Montpelier Fiber Festival. My husband is my chief enabler. He often attends fiber events with me and encourages all my shenanigans. One day at the farmer’s market, he grabbed me by the shoulders, turned me around, and gave me a firm push toward Shelia’s booth. Not one of us suspected that would be the beginning of a beautiful friendship! I truly enjoy watching Shelia’s genius come forth. I love winding yarn and organizing, so I do things in the studio to help maximize her time making colors sing!
I am Renee Ingram Cheatham, the second member of Team UrbanGirlYarns. I love knitting so much. I spend my time knitting a lot of shawls as they are my love and passion. Recently, I started testing knitting for some Indie Designers and I think I have found my passion.
I support Shelia in every manner possible. I do a lot of the administrative and background work, of which there is a lot to running a successful operation. I consider her my big sister and I will go wherever she leads.
I also knit a lot of the shawl samples. I have a little dog named Scarlet who is the the team mascot and loves belly rubs. She comes by the shop and follows us around until she decides she’s through and sits in her basket.
I love fiber, color, life, laughter and all things UrbanGirlYarns. I am Renee Ingram Cheatham.