True Colors: 14 Months

14 Months was the length of time Lili Elbe (1882-1931) lived as her true self. Born in a body assigned male, it wasn’t until she was in her 30s that, due to a twist of fate (she was asked by her painter wife to step in as a female model due to a no-show), she realized she was a woman. Supported by her wife, she began to present as a woman more and more, and found that she wanted to transition medically as well. After a few terrible encounters with terrible medical professionals, she found a clinic in Berlin run by a doctor that supported his patients making physical transitions. She underwent 3 surgeries in 1930, and enjoyed success and happiness as a result. After a year, she decided that she wanted one more surgery: she wanted a uterus. The surgery wasn’t successful, and Lili passed away after a mere 14 Months living her truest self. This colorway was originally called Godrick’s Hollow.

14 Months Yarn

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True Colors: Conducted

Frieda Belinfante (1904-1995) was born into a musical family in Amsterdam, and was a noted cellist and conductor, eventually becoming the first woman to conduct a professional orchestra in 1937. In 1940, her orchestra had to disband because of World War II, so she put her efforts towards helping Jewish people evade Nazi capture. She forged documents for those targeted by the Nazis, and helped in plans to bomb Amsterdam’s city hall to destroy original IDs. It was during the resistance efforts that she realized she was gay, and she worked with gay and lesbian artists in the resistance. Belinfante went into hiding after that, dressing as a man to evade recognition (she was so successful that she passed her own mother on multiple occasions and was not recognized), and eventually made her way to the US, first to Switzerland, and then to Southern California. She was the founding artistic director and conductor of the Orange County Philharmonic, and passed away in 1995 from cancer. Our Conducted colorway pays homage to this wonderful woman who said “I’ve always helped people, whether they’re worth it or not comes out later. They haven’t all been worth my effort, but the effort was worth it.” This colorway was originally called Duel at the Ministry.

Conducted Yarn

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True Colors: Winner Winner!

Georgina Beyer (1957-present) was always female, even though she was assigned male and was punished for living her truth. When she was 16 years old, against the wishes of her bio family, she began living that truth full time. She began acting, and enjoyed success doing so in her home of New Zealand, but began to find herself interested in politics after moving to the small conservative town of Carterton. She became mayor there, and by doing so checked off so many “the first” boxes: she was the first out Trans mayor (of any town, anywhere in the world); the first female mayor of Carterton; the first mayor of Carterton of Maori descent. She inspired lots of youth involvement in politics, and she inspired so many people in her community. In 1999, she decided to run for Parliament, and won, becoming the first out Trans member of Parliament anywhere in the world (and one of a very small number of former sex workers to gain that height of political office)! Georgina has been an influential member of Parliament in New Zealand, making great strides for the LGBQIA+ community and for the rights of sex workers. She truly epitomizes her colorway name; Georgina Beyer is a true Winner Winner!  This colorway was originally called Rita Newspaper.

Winner Winner Yarn

You can find all of our in-stock True Colors yarn on our website.

True Colors: Dualing

Julie D’Aubigny (1673-1707) was BOTH an opera singer AND a sword fighter. Hence the colorway name Dualing. She had dual loves, and she loved dueling. 😉 D’Aubigny was one of the most interesting people we have ever read about, and we’re only including a taste of her many many exploits. She was bisexual, super talented, and had a knack for getting in trouble. Throughout her short life (she died in her early 30s), and among many other adventures, she: set a convent on fire to help a girlfriend escape (the girlfriend was put into said convent to get her away from D’Aubigny); fled Paris because a boyfriend killed someone in an illegal duel; and was herself was challenged to duels by 3 separate men at one single party (and she defeated them all). She often dressed as a man, and one time, when someone questioned whether she was, in fact, a woman, because she was just too good at sword fighting, she took her shirt off to prove that she had breasts. The crowd, it was said, fell silent. She was also pardoned by the King of France and performed in the Paris Opera, breaking down barriers by presenting as androgynous.

This colorway used to be called Potion in the Cave.

Dualing Yarn

You can find all of our in-stock True Colors yarn on our website.

True Colors: Ten Dollars

Albert Cashier (1843-1915) needed $10 to make the trek from Ireland to America, but even that was out of his reach, so he stowed away on a ship and sneaked his way into the country. Once he arrived, he enlisted in the armed services and fought gallantly for the Union during the Civil War. He then lived a quiet life in Illinois, and folks who discovered his “secret” worked hard to protect him and keep it. It wasn’t until he was an old man that he was outed as Trans and nearly sued by the government for “defrauding the government in order to receive a pension.” His fellow soldiers rallied around him and made sure his truth was protected. Researching Cashier’s life and the way he was treated once it was known that he was Trans made my blood pressure rise a bit. A bio on him on the National Park Service website continually dead-named him, and referred to him as “she,” and someone added a headstone to his grave with his dead-name on it. At the end of his life, as his health and mind deteriorated, he was sent to a mental institution and forced to wear women’s clothes. Let’s honor Albert and his legacy with this colorway and bio, because it seems that, at the end of his life, he was not honored as he should have been. Ten Dollars, our colorway honoring Albert Cashier, used to be called Whomp Shack.

Ten Dollars Yarn

You can find all of our in-stock True Colors yarn on our website.

True Colors: Warrior

Nzinga (also sometimes written as Njinga) lived in Angola from 1583-1663. She was born into the royal family of the Ndongo and Matamba kingdoms and served as a diplomat to the Portuguese for her brother the King. Nzinga wore men’s clothing and had both male husbands and female wives throughout her life. She became ruler of her people (and was referred to as King) after her brother died (or was maybe killed by Nzinga – no one knows). Nzinga lived during a tumultuous time, when the Portuguese were invading Africa and kidnapping people to be enslaved. Nzinga is a complicated historical figure, as she negotiated and fought for her people’s safety (famously using one of her people as a chair so as not to be forced to sit on the floor during negotiations), but also allowed many to be sold into slavery. She is honored now as the Mother of Angola, and paved the way for many female heads of state. The colorway honoring Nzinga, called Warrior, used to be called Chocolate Frog.


You can find all of our in-stock True Colors yarn on our website.

True Colors: High Five

Glenn Burke (1952-1995, USA) co-invented the High Five, and that was not even the most interesting thing about him! (I mean, it’s suuuuper interesting, because we can’t imagine a world without the high five, but…) In the 1970s, Glenn fulfilled his dream of becoming a Major League baseball player, and joined the LA Dodgers. He had to close himself firmly in the closet, because the 1970s were not a time in which it was safe to be out as gay, plus his manager, Tommy Lasorda, was super heterosexist (even though his gay son hung out with Glenn in the notoriously LGBTQIA+ Castro district). He never officially came out during his time as a baseball player, but the general manager of his team told him he needed to marry a woman or lose his career (and even offered him $75,000 to do so!). He refused, was traded away, and eventually forced into early retirement. Our High Five colorway is in homage to Glenn Burke, who stuck by his truth even though it cost him the game he loved. This colorway used to be called Knight Moves.

High Five

You can find all of our in-stock True Colors yarn on our website.

True Colors: ID Card

As a child first in a small town in rural Botswana, and then in the capitol Gabarone, Tshepo Ricki Kgositau (born 1987) loved to play house and dress up. She loved to be the mama and try on makeup and high heel shoes, raising eyebrows in her community. Teachers expressed their concern about her, and wondered aloud if something was wrong with her. You see, Ricki had been assigned male at birth, but had been living her truth her entire life. In middle school, she finally had more widespread support in her community, which gave her the confidence to be her most full self truth. In her early ‘20s, Ricki lost her ID card, and ran into a huge problem when she tried to replace it. Since the government had her on file as being assigned male, but she presented as female, she was told she could not get a new card. For 7 years, Ricki fought through the courts to be permitted to be fully represented in her government-issued ID. and finally, in 2017, she won the case, allowing all Trans folk in Botswana to be fully (and legally) represented as themselves on their ID cards. Our ID Card colorway is in honor of Tshepo Ricki Kgositau and the inspiration she has been throughout her life. This colorway used to be called Time-A-Turner.

You can find all of our in-stock True Colors yarn on our website.

True Colors: Blues Mama

The Mother of Blues, Ma Rainey (1882-1939, USA) was one of the first people to record a Blues song, in 1923. She grew up in the deep south, and was born shortly after slavery was abolished. The arc of her professional career typified what was available to Black musicians in the US at the time: she started out performing in minstrel shows and traveling with vaudevillian acts, and later performed the Blues in a more modern way. She was at the forefront of the Blues movement in the US, and was a strong mentor to many female blues musicians who were coming up. Although many of Ma Rainey’s songs that mention sexuality refer to love affairs with men, some of her lyrics contain references to love affairs with women, as well, such as the 1928 song Prove It on Me, which refer to an incident in which Ma Rainey was arrested for taking part in an orgy with other women in her home. 

“They said I do it, ain’t nobody caught me.
Sure got to prove it on me.
Went out last night with a crowd of my friends.
They must’ve been women, ’cause I don’t like no men.”

Ma Rainey was not only an inspiration to other Blues performers of her time, but she also was a huge inspiration to the sexual revolution of the 1970s, and songs like Prove It on Me became important touchstones to lesbians confirming their truth. We named our Ma Rainey-inspired colorway Blues Mama. This colorway used to be called Flame Cup.

You can find all of our in-stock True Colors yarn on our website.

True Colors: Jewel Box Revue

The Jewel Box Revue was a drag show that played the biggest stages possible, like the Apollo Theater and Radio City Music Hall. The show featured 25 drag queens, and one drag king, Stormé Delarverie (1920-2014). Delarverie was born in New Orleans, and was bullied for being biracial and a butch lesbian. She joined the circus as a teenager, and rode jumping horses for a time. Her work with the Jewel Box Revue was revolutionary in many ways, one of which being that the Revue performed for and featured both Black and white people, not something that was super common in the segregated 1950s. Delarverie was also one of instigators of the Stonewall Rebellion. After her time at the Revue came to a close, she was a protector of her community, and she patrolled the streets of areas of NYC heavily populated by the LGBTQIA+ community until she was in her mid-eighties. To honor this amazeballs woman, we renamed Taking Umbrage Jewel Box Revue

We have a little ditty of a neckwarmer made up in Jewel Box Revue: Shannon’s Alma Lou in a one-skein Bulky neckerchief.

You can find all of our in-stock True Colors yarn on our website.