Cherry Tree Hill and Cheryl Potter…The real story of a Vermont Yarn Legend…
In 1987 Cheryl Potter came across an old milk house located on a defunct dairy farm on Cherry Tree Hill Road in East Montpelier, Vermont. She turned the farm into a bed and breakfast and began dyeing yarn in the old milk house. Her unique process, now known as “potluck”, came to the attention of Interweave Knits, so Cheryl began focusing more time on dyeing yarn and quit her day job of running the bed and breakfast.
In 1999, Cheryl incorporated Cherry Tree Hill, sold the farm, and left the hustle and bustle of the capital city of Montpelier in favor of a remote area of Vermont called The Northeast Kingdom. This area is still relatively undeveloped, and a great inspiration to Cheryl for her patterns, writing, classes and knitting ideas. She renovated an old Ben Franklin Store in the village of Barton to use as a dye studio and then purchased an old farm close by to build her business.
In 2001 Chery published her first book, Handpaint Country, a groundbreaking book in the area of the world of hand dyed yarn.
In 2005 Cheryl built her own production warehouse on a piece of land next to her farm. Cherry Tree Hill moved into its new facility at 100 Cherry Tree Hill Lane to better serve the handpaint needs of knitters that were continually getting more and more sophisticated.
From 2005 to 2010, Cherry Tree Hill underwent many changes as the company expanded. In 2006 Cheryl began a maple sugar operation to wholesale syrup only to yarn stores.
In 2007 Cherry Tree Hill acquired another handpaint yarn company called “Wool in the Woods” and began selling their yarns, books and kits, in addition to all things Cherry Tree Hill.
From 2002 to 2010 Cheryl published a series of books with Martingale and soon was touring with her trunk shows. She began teaching knitting and dyeing as well as color theory classes at Stitches, TKGA and fiber festivals around the US, Canada and Europe.
In addition, Cheryl and her brother started a new company called Discontinued Brand Name Yarn (DBNY), designed to sell overstock, factory seconds and back stock yarns from manufacturers wishing to clear inventory each season. This company turned into a booming business during the economic downturn.
In a very short time, Cheryl was focusing most of her time liquidating yarn stores that had gone out of business. When her brother left the company to pursue another venture, Cheryl hired a management team and separated DBNY from Cherry Tree Hill. The new management team oversees the operation of DBNY, which now concentrates on successfully liquidating yarn stores.
In 2009-2010, Cheryl started a website called IndieDyer.com with her daughter Jenna. They then created a popular DVD called “The Superwash Manifesto.” After Jenna left to go back to school, Cheryl continued selling dyes and supplies to indies, inviting them to join her at venues such as Sock Summit. Eventually she rolled all of her sock yarn ventures into a new retail website called Supersock Store which lasted for 3 years.
In 2010, Cheryl stopped selling yarns wholesale to focus on writing a fantasy series called The Potluck Yarn Trilogy. In 2013, the first book of the Trilogy “The Broken Circle” was released to nationwide acclaim. The novel features knitting witches and has a companion pattern book showing how to make the garments worn by the characters in the book. All the yarns and kits to make the garments described in the book are available on her potluckyarn.com website. Discover all you need to know about the knitting witches and the special yarns and secret processes they use to dye their yarns.
Presently, Cheryl is finishing the second book of the trilogy. She’s also teaching, giving readings and presenting trunks shows across the country.
2014 marks Cherry Tree Hill’s re-entry into the wholesale market with a brand new selection of self-striping handpaints, colorways and gradient shading she calls “The Broadband” technique.
Cherry Tree Hill is once again inviting wholesale accounts, but on a limited basis. Choose from new Broad Band Colorways, Fingerpaints, and Supersock Select and Supersock Silk Colorways and Solids as well as Oceania once again. We will also have Potluck Kits, The Broken Circle Books and Trunk Show sign-ups for 2014 at TNNA in San Diego.