Exclusive Interview with Megs & Co:
Posted on February 26, 2021
In celebration of the upcoming release of the Hope & A Future Wrap (update: the pattern is now available, check this post for everything you need to know!) today we are doing an interview with the dyer behind the beautiful yarns that I used. Meg of Megs & Co!
It has been such a joy working with Meg on this one- and it’s been a lonnngg one. I think she and I got in contact about this particular design idea in July of 2020! She has been so kind, encouraging and patient throughout the whole process! I am so excited to be in the home stretch! She currently has 2 different KIT options up on her site for preorder (but only through March 1st!)- so hurry, and get it shipped in time for the pattern drop on the 12th! But even if a kit, or this design, isn’t something you are feelin’ today, I highly recommend checking out her shop and using her yarn for SOMETHING. It’s. Lovely.
Meg came on my radar as a dyer when she was one of the first people to tag me in a Dandelion Dance Shawl WIP post on Instagram back in 2019. I’ve since became a lover of her yarns and dye style. She is also was a crocheter first- and you know I love me any dyer that includes, and caters towards, the crochet crowd! But what sold me on using her yarn for the Hope & A Future Wrap design was the fact she had BLACK indie dyed yarn. That takes a lot of time and a lot of dye. I really wanted to use all one dyer for the design, but I needed someone both with jewel-tone rainbow mini skeins AND some really deep grays and a true black. Meg not only had all of those, but actually customize dyed a red colorway just for me!
So basically, Meg and her yarns are both great to work with. I was excited to “talk” with her about her maker journey and the inspiration behind her business – I hope you enjoy getting to know Meg a little bit better too! Make sure to go show her some love on all her platforms and jump on getting some of her yarns!
1. Dyeing! Crocheting! Knitting! ALL THE THINGS! Tell us, in as short or as long of a tale as you’d like, your fiber story!
I have always had this strange attraction and fascination with yarn long before I even knew what to do with it, so in 2013 I decided to make it my New Year’s resolution to learn how to knit or crochet. I started with crochet and for the most part I was self-taught with the help of a willing friend and at least one hundred YouTube videos. It didn’t take long before I quickly began to develop this insatiable hunger to learn as many stitch combinations as possible. I became obsessed with trying to figure out how to create a certain shape or design that I was envisioning in my head.
In 2015 I visited my first local yarn shop while touring around the Berkshires in New England, and I was utterly blown away by all the combinations of different fibers not to mention the colors! I knew that I wanted to create women’s accessories that were original, unique, and highly fashionable and this was the missing piece I needed. After that first visit, and with a very hurt wallet, I began developing my own designs with a focus on high quality hand dyed natural fibers. By the end of the year I had begun selling my handmade accessories to friends, family, as well as at local markets and thus Megs & Co was born.
The original shop was named Megs & Co Boutique as my intention was to design and create a collection of seasonally appropriate high end accessories that included jewelry, wraps, and elegant scarves. However, once I began exploring hand dying my own materials I soon fell down the yarn dying rabbit hole and ultimately changed my entire business plan to focus exclusively on yarn.
(Photo: Booth at the Naples Grape Festival Fall 2016)
2. How did you go from making to dyeing yarn?
I actually first started experimenting with dying silk ribbons and fabric scraps for the handmade jewelry and shawl pins that I was making at the time. I very quickly fell in love with the process and science behind the manipulation of colors.
It was not long after that my attention moved to yarn. I started dying one skein at a time in an old crock pot, but the addiction to color application and creation proved too much as I very quickly had amassed a stash that I would be unable to ever use in a lifetime.
In 2018 I started selling my hand dyed yarns on Etsy and by 2019 Megs & Co was exclusively a hand dyed yarn company.
(Photo: One of my first crock-pot batches)
3.Your personal stash: more hand-dyed or box store yarn?
My impulse answer is to say hands down, hand dyed yarn all the way, as I treasure these little artistic wonders so dearly, but I think that if I were to actually go skein to skein I might really have more box store yarn currently stashed away in my house.
Some of this is because I really try to avoid letting wonderful hand dyed yarn languish in my stash, and also due to a period of time when I decided to rather obsessively crochet blankets which resulted in a rather large stash of colors thanks to the coupon and sales game.
Every fiber type has a place and a purpose, and therefore I do not discriminate against any textile choice and preference. Acrylic based fibers are perfect for throw blankets, children’s items, pet items, and home décor projects as it holds up so well to washing, wear, and abuse.
From a sustainability perspective, I have been actively working towards eliminating petroleum based fibers from my stash and instead seek out plant fibers such as cotton and linen when a project is more suited for a non-animal based fiber.
Regardless of where the yarn came from and its fiber content, the one thing that I can say about my stash is that it is full of color!
(uhm hi, note from bella: DO YOU SEE WHY I LOVE HER!? #roygbivforever)
4. Do you draw color inspiration from any particular source?
The great majority of my color inspiration is from following current fashion and design trends. Quite often I have a vision for a particular garment that I want for my own wardrobe and the color design follows.
5. What is your favorite colorway of yours to dye? What’s your most popular color?
My favorite colorway to dye, hands down is Nutmegged. This is my experimental colorway where I get to go wild and just throw color. I often test new dyes, color combinations, and different applications to see how the colors play together. This colorway has become essential for sparking inspiration as a palette cleanser of sorts when I find myself lacking creativity or motivation.
Nutmegged is also my most popular colorway as due to the unique nature of the creation process, every skein is a one of a kind.
(Photo: A pile of freshly dyed Nutmegged on various yarn bases)
6. What’s your favorite weight yarn to work with, be it for knitting or crocheting?
Fingering weight is my go to for knitting, but DK is my absolute favorite to crochet with.
7. What’s on your make list right now for crocheting? For knitting?
Seriously way too much! I get so excited to start new projects, and have a serious addiction to putting together possible color combinations for each project that I have a really hard time finishing things. My go to projects have been shawls so this year I plan to focus more on wearable garments.
I am currently working on the Monarch Sweater, a crochet sweater design by Hailey Bailey and I just started swatching for the Heirloom Jumper, a knitting design by Fabel Knitwear using some dreamy mohair yarn.
(Photo: In Progress The Monarch Sweater by Hailey Bailey crocheted with Megs & Co BFL DK in the colorways Serenity, Golden Afternoon, Bare Naked, and Little Black Dress)
8. Do you have any other crafty hobbies other than the fiber arts? Or non-craft hobbies you’re loving?
When I am not knitting or crocheting, I am usually reading. To be honest I am usually reading even while I am crafting thanks to audio books. I have always been an avid reader and particularly enjoy mysteries, thrillers, and historical fiction preferably featuring a strong female lead.
I just finished The Four Winds by Kristen Hannah and highly recommend it for any one that appreciates historical fiction, and a good healthy cry.
9. How have you had to *pivot* in the last year as an indie dyer? (if this is too personal, skip it!!)
With the loss of in-person events, and fiber festivals, I have had to drastically increase my online presence. This meant devoting a much larger portion of my time to learning new technology as well as developing my tech skills in order to broadcast via livestreams and keep up with all of the new social media trends such as reels. I think I now spend just as much time creating content as I do creating colorways!
At first I found dealing with all the tech to be overwhelming. I just wanted to dye yarn and not have to have a degree in IT, but I suddenly found that this transition from live to virtual shows was allowing me to connect with a brand new audience that I have never been able to before. Since I still work full time while simultaneously running Megs & Co, I am not afforded the flexibility to have the time to travel much outside of the Western NY for shows and festivals. This new platform has introduced me to so many new fiber friends that I am so grateful to have.
I look forward to a future that holds a mix of both in-person and virtual events.
(Photo: Behind the scenes of a live streaming a yarn dying demonstration for a virtual fiber festival)
10. If you could go back and give yourself (or another new, aspiring hand-dyer) some advice, what would it be?
Do not compare yourself to others, in particular, do not measure your own self-worth against the success of others. If you are happy and loving what you do, then you are succeeding.
- BONUS: Did I miss anything? Do tell!
I guess a fun little fact is that I only more recently started knitting. As my yarn business grew I began to recognize that my gap in knitting knowledge was greatly restricting my customer base. In 2019 I joined a knit along hosted by my local yarn store and looking back I have no idea why I waited so long to learn!
So if you haven’t grabbed your kit yet for the Hope & A Future Wrap- do it quick before they are gone! And make sure you’re following Meg on Instagram (and me, while you’re at it!), cause we have more of fun coming at you leading up to the release of this pattern! (update: The Hope & a Future Wrap is now available! See this post!)