Hello and welcome to Black Elephant.
My name is Petra, I am the owner of Black Elephant and this is a little story about Black Elephant's journey:
The first time I held needles in my hands, I was about 11 years old. My grandma taught me and my very first attempt was a simple scarf, half yellow and half orange in a moss stitch. I gave it to my cousin as a present in the middle of summer as it was his birthday. :) After that it was odd scarves here and then for friends and family, but nothing more complicated. Until I moved to Sheffield, South Yorkshire almost 10 years ago and as it is cold most of the year than I am used to from Slovakia, I rediscovered my love for knitting again. But to learn how to knit in a different language took a bit longer. I realised there is nothing on the internet in my mother's tongue. And then I thought there might be maybe few people in Slovakia who want to knit but have no videos to guide them.
So that is how I started my first blog - hladko obratko (knit purl) where I shared everything I learnt from English speaking videos and made my own videos in Slovakian in my spare time. It turned out that there weren't just few people in Slovakia and abroad who craved knitting videos, but a lot. Like in thousands a lot. So I started getting thanking emails and messages and requests on future videos. I made quite a few. It wasn't long after I discovered the world of hand dyed yarn. Oh boy, the most exciting thing that has happened to me. I wanted alpaca and merino and angora and cashmere and silk, all sooooo soooo soft. And that was a good bye to acrylics and polyester wool from me.
After attending a few wool fairs I knew I was hooked. It took me two Universities' degrees to realise what I really really want to do the most. Hand dyeing my own yarn and creating easy to follow knitting kits for total beginners so nobody will get put off of a complicated pattern again.
So here I am, I quit my day job in architecture and took the plunge. Black Elephant was created. Strange name for a yarn company, but then I thought Apple has nothing to do with computers either, right? Obviously, there is a story behind. For Christmas I got an A5 sized notebook from my mum, which was to be for my knitting ideas. And on the front there was a little cute elephant. Also, my mum used to tell me off for walking like an elephant in my teenage years, as we lived in a block of flats and neighbours living below probably thought they have an elephant living in the flat above. :)
My surname is Schwarcz, which means Black (in German) and some of my friends used to call me that. So Black Elephant it was. And after some research I found out that black elephants actually exist, which is kind of cool.
Also after looking for meanings of elephant I found out that to the Hindu way of thought, the elephant is found in the form of Ganesha who is the god of luck and is a blessing upon all new projects which is the most fitting for my yarn adventure. My Black Elephant is my blessing. I hope you will enjoy my hand dyed yarns. :)
If you are lucky, you can meet my main assistant Russell the Whippet in our studio on knit nights. :)