What to stash this week: A Joji mystery

The interknit is abuzz over the latest mystery knit-along from designer Joji Locatelli. Several indie dyers have come up with kits to knit this. Here are just a couple:

Stephanie of Asylum Fibers has curated two beautiful sets, using Joji’s guidance, that include some new yet-to-be-named colorways. Each kit is comprised of five full skeins of Stephanie’s Madhouse fingering yarn, which is 100% Superwash Merino wool. Bonus: the kits are available at a discount!

Denise of Yoshi & Lucy also has some Joji mystery wrap kits available in softer, springy colorways. There are two, including Georgia Peach (pictured) and Under the Sea. They’re available on 100% Superwash Merino or a 75/25 blend of Merino and nylon.

Speaking of spring, Sydebascht from Siidegarte is the pattern to welcome the season. It’s a light and airy shawlette named for dyer Fides’s favorite spring shrub. She of course has kits with the silky Swiss gorgeousness needed for the shawl, including a complimentary mini skein for the contrast border, in luminous spring colors.
 

There are also only a couple skeins of the exclusive Indie self-striping colorway from Berry Colorful Yarnings available! And you have just about a week left to get 10% off Berry Colorful Yarnings, as well as The Woolen Rabbit, on Indie Untangled with the code IU3.

Whipping your WIPs into shape

I’ll admit that I’ve never been a truly monogamous knitter. But, since moving, rearranging my stash and dedicating a box just to WIPs (I’m an optimist, so I don’t like referring to them as UFOs) I’ve realized that I have more than a couple. These were projects I plunged into headfirst and then another shiny pattern caught my eye, or I got to a point where the project became a little more complex. So, in an effort to get them back on track and the box under control — my stash has already migrated into another bin and I don’t want my WIPs to — I’ve decided to create a little strategy that I hope will also help you.

Getting realistic

First, I got realistic about what I was going to finish. That Rock Island I started a few years ago in Spirit Trail lace, only getting through seven repeats of the beginning edging? Frogged, getting a much-loved project bag back in return. I know that mostly lacy shawls, especially in dark, laceweight yarn, are just not for me. I wasn’t far enough in that frogging was painful, and I figured if I wasn’t getting joy from the project right from the beginning, it wasn’t worth continuing. Maybe one day I’ll knit it, but not now.

Something mindless

Then, I found a project that was still in the mindless garter stage — my Marrakesh shawl pictured above — and designated it as a subway/knit night project. Until I get to the lace egding, it is forbidden to be a knit-at-home project. I’m limiting those to my latest sweater, Mary Annarella’s You Wear It Well, which is up to the sleeves and no longer very portable, and Anne Hanson’s Shared Rib cabled infinity scarf. Both make for good TV knitting, ensuring I’ll finish them soon-ish.

Prioritize

I’ve decided to prioritize finishing one languishing WIP before casting on another project. When I finish Marrakesh, my plan is to cast on a 3 Color Cashmere Cowl with my Vintage No. 1 from Middle Brook Fiberworks.

Create deadlines

I’m also creating general deadlines — ideally, finishing one WIP every month or two months, depending how far along I am. I plan to actually write these deadlines down in a fancy journal, so I can hold myself to them and not keep changing them in my head.

Ideally, I will end up in a place where I have a good mix of mindless, complicated and/or non-portable projects so that there’s an ideal WIP for every activity. Because we all know that knitting — and FOs — make everything better.

What to stash this week: Kitted up

Over the weekend, I decided to get creative and put together some kits with The Woolen Rabbit’s newest bases. I have three pairs of Silky Biffle, a blend of BFL and silk, in three different colors that are available with Laura Aylor’s Pennant shawl pattern. I also have a few skeins of Kim’s new Dove base, a Merino/yak/silk blend that I just started using for Anne Hanson’s Shared Rib. Anne designed this clever ribbed cable pattern — which comes with short cowl, scarf and infinity ring options — for the first installment of the 2017 Where We Knit Yarn Club. I love it so much that I’ve decided to include Anne’s pattern at a discount, and before it goes on sale to the general public May 15, with the purchase of a skein.

Visit The Woolen Rabbit shop on Indie Untangled to get your hands on one of the kits. As a reminder, you also get 10% off through April 30 with the code IU3.

It’s finally beginning to feel like spring, and Kim Dyes Yarn is ready with a bunch of new colorways, including the beautiful Peaches pictured above. Her shop update, which takes place at noon Eastern Time today, will include new shawl length skeins on Croissant sock, a 100% Superwash Merino fingering yarn and bulky Cream Puff Superwash Merino.

There are only a couple skeins of the exclusive Berry Colorful Yarnings Indie colorway left! It comes on her self-striping sock yarn, perfect for socks, obviously, but also accessories — cowls, hats — and baby items. You also get 10% off through April 30 with the code IU3.

Beautiful Mess Yarn Works will be having an update of sock yarn inspired by Willie Wonka and his chocolate factory tomorrow.

Pandia’s Jewels has opened preorders for her 12th Doctor Who-inspired sock kit.

Go Knit Yourself is having a weeklong challenge exploring different dyeing techniques via newsletter.

Knitting art for your craft room

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My husband and I are mostly unpacked since moving into our new apartment this past fall, but it was only recently that we started the process of hanging up our art and photographs. We realized we have a lot of empty wall space! This includes my office/craft room. I finally sprung for the Fringe Supply Co. yarn pyramid print that I’ve long coveted, and that sent me down the rabbit hole of knitting art on Etsy. Here are some of my favorite discoveries:

Knitting seascape from ekatearcherShop

Things I’ve learned from knitting illustration by JMillsPaints

Cable watercolor painting by LesiaBinkinArt

Knitting sheep art print from doodleandhoob

Knitting needle patent posters from WunderkammerStudio

Gray cable painting by PigmentandPurl

Yarn love print by ArtbyTaymarie

Abstract giclee print by The Knitting Artist

What to stash this week: A slice of yarn sale birthday cake

I have been waiting until the perfect time to put a small batch of the exclusive Indie self-striping colorway from Michelle at Berry Colorful Yarnings up for sale, so here it is in honor of Indie Untangled’s third birthday! Through April 30 you can get Indie, along with yarn from The Woolen Rabbit, for 10% off with the code IU3.

Kate and the crew at Dragonfly Fibers has released two new bases that are perfect for warm-weather knitting. Dharma, pictured above, is a light fingering weight made of 50% yak and 50% silk. Just as tempting is Selkie Sport, a soft but hearty combination of 70% BFL and 30% mulberry silk. 

Melanie at Go Knit Yourself has updated her shop with popular colorways, including the speckled Fiona, pictured above. 

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Laura of Fiber Dreams has released Helaine, a light fingering-weight cardigan named for Sir Lancelot’s mum. She happens to go by a few names, so Laura is running a sale on both Helaine and a companion cowl, Clarine.

Gaby of Galiana Creations, who is based in Pennsylvanie, is getting ready for this weekend’s Steel City Fiber Festival in Allentown. She’s prepared with six-skein mini sets, new silky yak yarn, plus lots of speckles and gradients. Because of course.

Lara Smoot’s latest design is Wind Song, a deceptively easy to knit lace shawl that is perfect for spring and summer.

Celebrating three years of Indie

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I’m sure you agree with me that time flies when you’re knitting. I can be doing the most mundane thing, including inching across the Manhattan Bridge on the Q train and, if I’m working on my latest WIP, I can almost (almost) forget the nonexistent “train traffic.”

Time has also flown for Indie Untangled, which officially launched three years ago, on April 4, 2014. Since then, I’ve sent out 157 weekly newsletters, published 766 Marketplace posts and welcomed hundreds of fellow fiberphiles to three Rhinebeck Trunk Shows. I’ve also given away countless skeins of yarn and, of course, some prizes are in order to mark this special occasion.

Today through Saturday I will be giving away three skeins on Instagram. Check the feed each day to learn about that day’s prize and how you can win.

Thanks so much for coming along on this yarn-filled journey with me!

What to stash this week: A sale, Outlander bags and knitting with style

As she does every year, Ami is celebrating the birthday of Lakes Yarn and Fiber with a sale. to celebrate the opening of her Etsy shop four years ago, she’s offering 17% off all in-stock yarn and fiber from tomorrow, April 1, through April 17. Use the coupon code 17in17.

Knitters and Outlander seem to go together like… well… knitters and yarn. And project bags. Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios has designed an exclusive fabric inspired by the show and all her Outlander goodies will be available to preorder today starting at 9 a.m. Pacific Time. Unless you can time travel, you better act fast, as they will only be on sale for four days.

I’m excited to welcome Sharon, and Knit Style Yarns, to Indie Untangled! Her skeins have a decidedly springy look — or perhaps its seasonally-appropriate marketing — with blurple-hued Pansies and dreamy Faerie Tears.

The newest With Pointed Sticks base, Quill, is a single-ply fingering-weight blend of 70% Superwash Merino and 30% silk, with 438 yards per skein. Use it for the kind of classically elegant shawl you’d wear while using your feather pen.

If you haven’t found your fade yet, or if you have and want to find it again, Melanie of Go Knit Yourself has put together three kits for Andrea Mowry’s uber-popular design. Available in warm, cool or speckled colors, each kit comes with four 100 gram skeins. Find it quickly — these are only available through today.

If you want to jump on another pattern bandwagon, Dami of Magpie Fibers’ Something Gradient This Way Comes is a fantastic one. She’s updated the pattern to include instructions for an ultra-cozy DK wrap and a sock weight shawl. Kits are available on her Swanky Sock blend and DK kits are coming soon.

The April version of the geeky Third Vault Yarns YarniTea club (as the name implies, it incorporates both yarn and tea — brilliant!) is inspired by the movie Pacific Rim.


Yoshi & Lucy recently had the last shop update for March and Denise has stocked her Etsy store with Harry Potter Spells miniskein sets and HP-inspired sock blanks.

My Mama Knits has Kool-Aid dyeing kits complete with instructions, supplies and a pattern.

Untangling: Asylum Fibers

Last month, I got to introduce you to Asylum Fibers, a brand-new dyeing operation started by Stephanie Jones, who I met via the knitting group she organizes here in New York City. I wanted to know a little more behind her inspiration for this new craft biz and share her story.

As I mentioned in my post about getting a behind the scenes look at her first shop update, Stephanie, who hails from Maine and now lives in Queens, N.Y., has a background as an opera singer — I actually got to see her perform a year ago and she is fantastic. While making her living in finance, Stephanie uses knitting and dyeing as her main creative outlets, along with crocheting and knitting. She creates bright and complex repeatable colorways, but her signature are unpredictable Chaos colors, which are OOAK and fleeting. Here’s a little peek inside the Asylum:

What made you decide to start your own dyeing business?

I love dyeing so much, and I can’t possibly use all the yarn myself. It only made sense to put it out there and see what the community would think. Every time someone purchases a skein, I feel justified in dyeing 5 more! I get so much joy seeing others knit with my yarn, and I really can’t think of anything quite like it!

A self-striping Chaos colorway.

How do you go about creating your colorways? Do you plan your repeatables ahead of time and improvise with the Chaos colors?

For the most part, my repeatable colorways have very specific inspiration. I have a word or phrase or idea that is translated into color within my mind. The next step is figuring out the recipe. Sometimes, the yarn comes out beautiful, but it’s not what I intended. In that case, we have a chaos colorway. I’ll let you in on a secret – Chaos 75 was my first attempt at Hydrotherapy. I absolutely loved it, but it was a lot greener than I wanted Hydrotherapy to be. Not all chaos colorways are failed attempts at a new recipe, though. Many are just for fun! I do use them for experimentation and find them to be extra special, since they’re essentially “limited edition”. Every chaos colorway is made up of no more than 5 skeins, so you know you have something special.

What are your favorite colors?

This depends so much on my mood. Black and grey are essential, but I also gravitate to blue, green, purple, and pink. Some days I’m all about yellow, and sometimes orange makes me really happy. ALL OF THE COLORS!

Bad Bad Girl on Golden Rule: Merino/nylon/stellina

What projects are you currently working on with your yarn?

Aside from a whole lot of swatching as I really settle on what bases I plan to keep long term, I have a couple projects going right now. I’m designing a two color brioche cowl in the round using Bedlam, my one ply super bulky base. I’m also doing a crochet along of the Movie Night Cocoon Cardi, using Errant Aran. I’m lucky to have some friends working on samples in my yarn as well. Anne is making a Waiting for Rain shawl using Golden Rule in Bad Bad Girl, while Devon is making a lace shawl using Lunacy Lace in a OOAK color I dyed special for her. Valerie is crocheting with Golden Age and Jenn has a skein of Bedlam Ombre that is soon to be a hat! I’ve seen some Instagram friends working with my yarn as well, which is so fun. I finally have Asylum Fibers up (at least in the most basic form) on Ravelry so we can all share our stash and projects there.

How did you learn to knit?

I learned at daycare when I was very young, but really started advancing in 2012 with the inspiration and motivation from other knitters in my Meetup group. When I ran into problems, I’d check Youtube for help. Since then, I’ve taken a ton of technique classes with great teachers including Lorilee Beltman, Steven Berg, Edie Eckman, Faina Goberstein, Franklin Habit, Amy Herzog, Felicia Lo, Nancy Marchant, Kristy McGowan, Alasdair Post-Quinn, Leslye Solomon, Debbie Stoller, and Stephen West.

Tell me about one of your most memorable FOs.

I made a pink cotton sweater for my grandmother for her 80th birthday. The pattern was Peasy by Heidi Kirrmaier and is available on Ravelry. I used Debbie Bliss Bella, which was soft and pretty, but since it didn’t have much stretch, it made my hands tire very quickly. I’m glad I made this sweater, though, because my grandmother is extra knit-worthy and wears it all the time!

Do you enjoy any other crafts in addition to knitting?

Of course I do! Dyeing and knitting definitely dominate my craft time, but I also enjoy crochet, sewing, beadwork, painting, and scrapbooking. I’m planning to try soap making soon as well.

Any future plans for Asylum Fibers you can share?

I’d like to put together some fun blog posts discussing my color inspiration. I’m also planning to take my yarn on the road in the near future. Otherwise, keep an eye out for regular shop updates, and be sure to subscribe to my mailing list if you’d like reminders!

What to stash this week: Voolenvine update and more from the yarn ‘whirled’

Voolenvine was a huge draw at last year’s Rhinebeck even, so I’m excited to have Kristin on the Indie Untangled marketplace! She’s having one of her famous shop updates tonight, so set your alarms and get ready to pounce on several colorways.

Also new to Indie Untangled, Cris of Into the Whirled has restocked the shop with a fresh batch of kettle dyed Element Number Five, a rich mix of purples, blues, greens and browns and probably other colors I can’t identify because they blend so well.

Barbara Benson’s Oscillare cowl is a deceptively simple (meaning it’s easy) colorwork design that’s created with stripes and slipped stitches. Pair two of your favorite colors and get cracking on an accessory that will carry you into spring.

Courtney of FloofyMoose Designs’ Grace Fryer Shawl is a perfect project for Women’s History Month. It’s named for one of the “Radium Girls,” whose lawsuit against U.S. Radium helped bring about labor safety standards.

What’s black and white and knit all over? Pam’s new White Noise shawl. It uses two colors of heavy laceweight or light fingering-weight yarn to create a marled rectangle that recalls TV static.

Dye is Cast Yarns now carries mini skeins.

What to stash this week: Harry Potter in NOLA

Aside from dyeing bright and cheerful NOLA colorways, Robyn of TeenyButton Studio also has a geeky side. Her latest offering is a Harry Potter Yarn of the Month Club — you pick your base and Robyn sends the yarn, with a colorway that will be exclusive for three months, or that will disappear from her lineup entirely.

Sarah of One Hand in the Dyepots has updated her shop with two new colorways. Above is Smokey Aubergine, a moody pink, purple and grey. There’s also Quantum, which uses a tie dye technique. 

The annual April knit along is going on in the Elliebelly Dye Works group on Ravelry.