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Meet the Maker: Robin Guy

We have been long-time fans of Robin's yarn line, Birch Hollow Fibers, and are so thrilled to now offer their Phyllis DK yarn in our shop! Robin's colors are vibrant and inspired, and bring that extra "something" to every project that they touch.

A person smiling
Photo credit: Robin Guy

How long have you been in business? How did you start?

I have been in business for about 4 years now. Birch Hollow fibers got started because it was gift knitting season, and I couldn't find the particular shade of rusty orange I had in mind. Matt, my husband suggested I make it myself. After I finished laughing, and telling him that I couldn't do it, I went online to see if it was something I could actually do. After a lot of research, I started dyeing when I was on vacation from work, and I have been doing it ever since.

What inspired you to name your bases after female authors and poets?

I love reading and I have always been pretty obsessed with books. In middle school I started writing poetry, and I was definitely that angsty teen that wrote poetry. My degree is also in Creative Writing, so these women helped me grow. This is my way of honoring the many women who have inspired me. These are women who have taken me on adventures, uplifted me during trying times, and made me question and think about the world around me.

Many of these women didn't get the recognition they deserved during their lifetimes, despite their creativity and mastery of story-telling. It is a small way, but it is my way of honoring them and what they have shared with us.

Multicolor yarn
Photo Credit: Robin Guy

Where do you draw inspiration for your colorways?

I draw a lot of inspiration from nature, as well as books. I know there is the saying, "Never judge a book by it's cover." But book covers draw me in, and I am often inspired by the colors. Characters and places often inspire me too. This year I dyed colorways based off of the Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir. Her characters have so much depth, and her scenes are so vivid that you become immersed in the world she has created. It is hard not to pull from that.

What is your studio/workspace like? What is your favorite aspect?

Currently it is a mess, but my workspaces are in my basement, and my office. I absolutely love my office because it overlooks the woods out front.

Shelves of yarn
Photo Credit: Robin Guy

What challenges did you face starting your business?

The biggest challenge when starting, was not really knowing where to start. I think I got caught up on wanting everything to be right. It was great having the idea and learning how to dye, but figuring the non-creative side was daunting, and still is at times.

Are there any special eco-friendly practices built into your business?

My mom and my uncle really instilled the idea that we are all responsible for the planet, and I try to carry that into my business practices. I do my best to reuse water as much as possible to eliminate the amount of water waste. Our Sojourner Sock base, a non-superwash fingering weight yarn, is produced about two hours north of here by Battenkill Fibers. The Romney used is locally sourced, and it is our hope to grow this line of yarn, and continue to decrease our carbon footprint. Matt, my husband, makes our stitch markers and bookmarks. We recently found a use for the odds and ends we have left over from projects. We are excited to be reducing our waste and introducing this to the shop. 

yarn with orange background

What's your favorite music/tv show/movie/podcast to listen to while you work?

I like to watch crime dramas or horror movies / thrillers when twisting and labeling yarn. I love shows like Vera and The Killing. When I'm dyeing I tend to listen to music. My tastes for music are a little all over the place. Some days it's The Cure or The Whispers, and other days it's Beyonce or Megan Thee Stallion. Straight Line Stitch is my go to though.

To stay up-to-date on Robin's latest work, be sure to follow them on Instagram and check out the Birch Hollow Fibers website!

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