We are thrilled to be the kick-off location for the Girls Road Trip ! Veronika of YOTH Yarns and Dami of Magpie Fibers will be at Tolt on Tuesday May 9th from 6pm-8pm to release their new yarns, Best Friend and Solstice, as well as their gorgeous new trunk show featuring the design collection for these lovely new yarns!
We asked these two friends some questions about their special relationship, the new yarn and design collection, and the road trip they will be on.
Photos by Kathy Cadigan
- When did you two meet and how did you become such close friends?
Ve: We happened to meet, as most knitters do, at a knitting event. It was a couple years ago in Frederick, Maryland, Dami's town. I had been invited to participate in a LYS pop up shop and Dami was the new local dyer on the scene. So the story goes something like this...
V: I'd like to go for a walk in the morning. Any suggestions?
D: I walk my dog every morning, come with us and we'll show you around.
V: What?! You have a dog? I love dogs!!
We hit it off immediately and I really fell in love with Dami's sweet town and community. Outside of knitting, Dami and I have a lot in common and have created a beautiful friendship. You know when you meet someone and it just clicks! Dami invited me back shortly after my first visit to Frederick and we've been visiting each other and frequenting yarn events ever since.
Dami: Yup, so basically Ve really just wanted to hang out with Kam, my Great Pyrenees. But once the dog snuggling was over we discovered we were long lost sisters, which made Kam happy because Ve spoils her rotten!
- How has your relationship helped your businesses?
Ve: We both believe that collaborations and friendship are an integral part of the work that we do. It's not only helpful to bounce ideas off of each other, since most of the time we are in the same boat, but our talks and venting often times results in lots of funny discussions especially when trying to name things. Having someone with an outside perspective to share the ups and downs of a running a small biz is a wonderful thing. Knitting can be a very solitary art form most of the time. It's nice to have someone to gripe to when you're ripping out half a sweater in a design you're under deadline for!
Dami: I don’t think I can overstate how much Ve has helped me grow my business. Having someone you trust completely, who’s there to give advice, offer suggestions, and always has your back is the greatest gift. She also pushes me to do things outside my comfort zone… like design.
- How do you stay in contact with each other since you live so far apart?
Ve: Well, I like to call Dami about 10 times a day! I'm a bit old school and dislike texting when I just want to chat. I'm sure Dami finds that irritating most of the time, but she puts up with me! Also, the nice thing about all of our collaborations is that we get to see each other frequently. The GRT (Girls Road Trip) just happens to be one of those events. We are quite lucky to work in an industry that thrives on bringing our community of knitters together. We both love meeting knitting folk in person and getting to introduce our yarns in person, share stories and help people shop for their favorites.
Dami: Ve’s morning call is part of the daily routine! We do communicate frequently, she’s usually the first person I call with troubles or triumphs, and always when I need advice.
- What inspires you both and keeps your creative juices flowing?
Ve: Necessity tends to be the mother of invention as they say. We both have different design and business practices, but a lot of the time our crazy late nights drive us to come up with bogus ideas that essentially stimulate our creations. Outside of that, I can say that for myself, inspiration comes from many places, but most often from things that I'm currently loving or seeing trend. I have a fondness for people watching... what are folks wearing and how are they combining colors, fabrics, textures, etc. In our line of work, we travel a lot and it allows me to see what is happening all around the globe, which honestly is one of the coolest parts of my job.
Dami: I tend to be pretty pragmatic. With yarn colors or bases I see a gap that I want to fill, a base I wish I had, a color I want to knit with. When I’m designing I really enjoy the ‘enginering’ aspect, it’s what I love about making jewelry too. There is something infinitely satisfying about taking a bunch of raw materials, be it yarn, jewelry parts, or the contents of my pantry and creating a finished product. It’s magical, like modern Alchemy!
- Can you tell us about your new bases and the new collection?
Ve: YOTH's new base, Best Friend, is really my heart right now! I've always loved textured cotton materials and I wanted to recreate that in a yarn base. I definitely didn't want a novelty yarn, but I wanted something unique yet very wearable. We partnered with Cestari Sheep & Wool Company to create this subtle beauty. It's a 75% cotton/25% wool blend that has an earthy slightly thick thin character to it with little slubs here and there. We had our lovely dyehouse that we use, dye the yarn for it's wool content. So, the resulting fiber is delightfully heathered. Think colors from our color palettes in a subdued version of itself. We've chosen 9 stunning favorite colors and added a much needed undyed natural. The skeins boast 550 yards each, so you can go for days and still make a lovely fabric perfect for warmer weather on size 5's.
The collection... well, my contribution to the project, features my favorite things: a shawl, a tank/tunic and a basket. Each of the patterns are simple with thoughtful detailing and offer options to knit different styles and/or sizes. I find that my most worn clothing pieces are the ones that I can layer and I wanted to create a garment and accessory piece for this collection that offered that. Both come with options to customize, which I love from a knitting perspective. The baskets were a sweet touch at the end that actually became a happy accident when they morphed from a knitted handbag pattern to a really cute basket set. They're even teenager approved!
Dami: Magpie’s new base is called Solstice. It’s the first yarn I’ve designed from the ground up and I’m really proud of it. It is a light fluffy combo of 50% domestic SW merino, 25% domestic cotton, 25% silk. The blend combines the bounce of wool, the breathability of cotton and the drape of silk. I think it’s a great year-round DK yarn. The 12 color palette makes my heart so happy.
My part of the collection consists of a chunky sweater, a simple tank and a patterned wrap. The sweater and tank are quick easy knits, each with a cool little design twist. The wrap is really my homage to New Mexico, the patterns and colors I love so much. I think it makes great use of the Solstice palette and has some sections of mosaic and slipped stitch colorwork to keep it interesting.
- Tell me about the Girls Road Trip?
Ve: We are starting in Carnation, WA, home of the famous and wonderful Tolt Yarn & Wool, my old LYS. We'll rent and pick up an RV (which is sooooo much fun!) the day of our trunk show and then hit the road the next morning. We have nine total planned stops and participating yarn shops on our road trip from Washington to New Mexico. We've learned a few things from last year's road trip and so this year we think we have a good idea of what is coming, but we've come to know that fun and adventure (good or bad) is always around the corner. It keeps life interesting!
Dami: The RV part was one of those happy accidents from last year. It started with the idea of taking Kam with us… it really is still all about Ve snuggling the dog! We were a little apprehensive, but discovered we absolutely love it. We knew it would be a main feature of this year’s trip. Another great part of the adventure is meeting up with knitting friends along the way. You’ll definitely recognize some of our guest GRTers!
- If you could create a music playlist for your road trip that would reflect your new yarns and collection what songs would you choose?
Ve: Ahhhhh! I'm so boring! I like no music most of the time. Chatting, listening to a book on tape or a podcast is my fav. If I were to choose a playlist it would be something totally predictable and lame like Top 40 Pop or Country. Dami would wanna kill me!
Dami: Hahaha! We definitely have different musical tastes, I’m all old school R & B and 80’s alternative rock and while we do have some happy overlap, we have found the long hours driving between stops are the perfect time to catch up on Podcasts. But mostly we just chat… its amazing, and a little scary, how much we find to talk about!