What to stash this week: Indie discoveries

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One of the best discoveries on my recent trip to Italy (aside from the delicious tiella in my friend Carmen’s seaside town of Gaeta) was Valentina of SnailYarn, who dyes out of her home in Ariccia, in the Rome countryside. I discovered her while doing a quick Google search for indie dyers there, and though we weren’t able to connect during my trip, she surprised me by posting on Indie Untangled a couple months later! She wrote about her recent shop update, which included the super shiny BFL/silk fingering, pictured above in Steel, Alpine Lake, Misty Mountain and Orchid, and a baby alpaca/silk/linen base that would be perfect for breezy summer tops.

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Designer Jennifer Dassau is another Indie Untangled newcomer, and I guarantee you’ll end up adding at least one of her patterns to your Favorites. A former attorney who left the law to work in garment production on Seventh Avenue, Jennifer now designs top-down seamless sweaters, contemporary shawls and simple accessories.

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If Dami’s beautiful colorways aren’t enough to tempt you to knit Lynn Di Cristina’s Mirla cowl, maybe another giveaway will! To win a skein of Magpie Fibers’ Swanky Sock in the color of your choice, knit the Mirla cowl using two skeins of Magpie Fibers Swanky DK and post your FO on Ravelry. The winner will be chosen Sept. 2.

Sealilies

You can’t get more summery than the new exclusive colorways from Florida LYS A Good Yarn Sarasota. Available online, a few colorways are inspired by underwater photographs taken by shop owner Susan’s husband while SCUBA diving. Sea Lilies, above, was dyed for the store by Sweet Georgia on their Silk Crush base. They also have Binkwaffle Dumpling Bags in two exclusive, sea-inspired fabrics.

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Laura Patterson’s Bioluminescence crescent shawl is also inspired by SCUBA diving and the millions of tiny lights glimmering under the sea (and the sparkly Nebula yarn from Anzula). It’s knit from the lace edge up, then shaped into a crescent with garter stitch short rows. There are also several wrong-side lace rows, so there is some counting involved, so perfect for a little summer challenge.

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Lisa’s moving to a new apartment and she’s giving you a little housewarming gift. You can get a free $5 item, such as an art card or stitch markers, with the purchase of a pair of stockinette sneakers, a fine art print or another $5 item. Use coupon codes SBOshoes, SBOprints or SBObogo at checkout.

Glasscapes

Mingo and Asho, the crafty husband and wife team from California, have several new spindles in the shop. Called Glasspins, these 11-inch spindles are handcrafted of laminated hardwood and blown glass, which come in a variety of shades. New colors include Sea Grass, Peacock Feathers, Purple Pansies and Tango Nights.

Starting off on the ‘Road to Rhinebeck’

Maria of the Subway Knits podcast and blog is on the Road to Rhinebeck

Maria of the Subway Knits podcast and blog is on the Road to Rhinebeck

Around this time last year, when I first started organizing the 2014 Rhinebeck Trunk Show, I got in touch with Maria of the Subway Knits podcast. I had just started getting into knitting podcasts, which I discovered were perfect to listen to when I wanted to work on projects away from the TV, and here was one that was produced just across the river from me in Astoria, Queens!

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Maria and I first met for a delicious lunch at Taverna Kyklades, a Greek restaurant in her neighborhood and, in between chatting about sweater knitting and traveling, and bites of grilled calamari, hatched the plans for her Road to Rhinebeck series. In advance of the trunk show that kicked off the weekend of the festival, Maria ended up doing podcast and blog interviews with several of last year’s vendors.

Well, it’s time to start off on this year’s Road to Rhinebeck and the first “stop” is none other than… Indie Untangled! Maria asked me all about starting Indie Untangled, how my idea for a little trunk show turned into a pretty big event, and about my experience being photographed for Humans of New York. I hope you enjoy it (and please realize that it was very hard to answer the question about my favorite dyers — the ones are mentioned are only a small fraction of my favorites) and be sure to keep reading and listening to Subway Knits!

What to stash this week: Summer colors and giveaways galore

This week’s full of fibery goodness that, like summer, won’t be around for long:

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Magpie Fibers‘ variegated colorways and complementary semisolids are the perfect match for Lynn Di Cristina’s fabulous Mirla cowl. You have a chance to win the pattern and two skeins of Dami’s Swanky DK via a giveaway! Simply follow Magpie Fibers on Instagram, like this post and repost it with the #magpiemirlagiveaway tag.

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Stitchjones is also having a summer giveaway and it’s pretty epic. Now through Aug. 31, each order placed in Sharon’s Etsy shop qualifies you to win a $100 Stitchjones shopping spree! To entice you, Sharon’s dreamed up the new colorway Just Another Band Out of Boston, inspired by Aerosmith and Boston album art.

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There was a French Market Fibers shop update Wednesday where Margaret debuted a bunch of beautiful new colorways on Merino fingering, a squishy, high-twist 2-ply that would be a good fall transition yarn. Most of the new colors sold out quickly, but as of “press time” there are still a few skeins of Olive Salad and Herbsaint remaining on Etsy.

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The latest collaboration between Bijou Basin Ranch and Miss Babs is the yarny equivalent of that frozen drink that makes it officially feel like summer. They’ve released these six limited-edition colorways, available on Bijou Basin’s Tibetan Dream sock yarn, a blend of 85% pure yak and 15% nylon that comes in 440-yard skeins — perfect for a small shawl. These colors are available in pretty limited quantities, so head over to the BBR website ASAP.

Sarsaparilla Tank

The Sarsaparilla Tank, the newest pattern from Knit Eco Chic is the perfect summer knit and also comes with the perfect fit. Along with the seamless top, which has a lace detail inspired by the sassafras flower, Lindsay is debuting a custom shaping calculator, which calculates your perfect hips, waist and bust fit for the tank. Cool!

Rhinebeck Trunk Show 2.0

Trunk show photos courtesy of Wil Waldon.

Trunk show photos courtesy of Wil Waldon.

This year, I got a decent head start in preparing for Rhinebeck. Not only have I been diligently working on one of my Rhinebeck sweaters (Laura Aylor’s appropriately named Rhinecliff) but I’ve also been scheming on how to make that little trunk show even better…

I’m excited to announce that the second annual Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show will take place on Friday, Oct. 16 from 5 to 9 p.m. — and it will have even more indie.

I’ve booked double the space at the Best Western Plus (where we were last year, when it was called the Garden Plaza Hotel) in Kingston, N.Y., which is right across the Hudson River from Rhinebeck, and I’ll be joined by more than two dozen indie artisans, including several new vendors, many of whom I’ve gotten to know over the last several months. They will be selling hand-dyed yarn and fiber and handmade project bags, stitch markers, lotion bars and other knitting-related gifts. There will even be a small UK contingent, with Patti Odinak, the owner of Yarn Culture, an LYS based just outside of Rochester, N.Y., bringing skeins from The Uncommon Thread and Eden Cottage Yarns.

Like every good kickoff party, there will also be goody bags (which will of course be a crafty endeavor for me — I’ve got a stamp and ink pad all ready!) filled with fibery gifts and discounts from the show’s vendors and sponsors, available to the first 100 shoppers. Over the next few months, Maria from the Subway Knits podcast and blog will help you get to know many of the trunk show vendors through her Road to Rhinebeck series, and I’ll be profiling the event’s generous sponsors here on the blog.

So, go ahead and get started on your Rhinebeck knitting, and get ready to be enabled!

What to stash this week: Summer lovin’

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Linda of Kettle Yarn Co. has been working on a huge project for the last several months, and it’s pretty amazing. She just released The Boardwalk Collection, a series of six patterns by a stellar lineup of designers, all inspired by walking down a historic British pier and showing off her Islington DK, a scrumptious blend of BFL and silk. There are shawls and sweaters, as well as a hat and cowl designed by Renée Callahan, Rachel C. Brown, Rachel Coopey, Isabell Kraemer, Maria Magnusson and, of course, Ms. Kettle Yarn Co. herself, Linda Lencovic. Join the Kettle Yarn Co. Ravelry group to learn more about the Boardwalk Collection blog tour, as well as giveaways and a KAL.

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It’s summer in scent form: Check out the fun-in-the-sun lotion bar scents just released by Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe, including the zesty Coconut Lime, the sweet Peaches & Cream and the lightly floral Summer Fields. As a bonus, both Peaches & Cream and Summer Fields are also available in handmade soap (the peach-tinted goat milk soap comes in an adorable sheep shape).

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Sue of Invictus Yarns is headed to Illinois for her first ever Stitches MidWest! It takes place from August 6-9, so if you’ll be there, head to booth 829 to say hello and snag some Heartland, a special, limited-edition colorway that will be exclusive to the show.

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If you’re crazy for gradients, then you should definitely grab some of the new Rocket Sock from Cedar Hill Farm Company. Keya’s dyed a limited amount of the 2-ply yarn in a four tonal gradients, including Buy Me Roses above. They’re perfect for lacey socks, shawls and scarves.

Summer Swap

You know that feeling when Labor Day rolls around and you just need a little bit more summer? Well, there’s not so much to be gloomy about when you have a package of indie goodness coming your way! Sunday is your last day to get in your questionnaire for the second annual Summer of Indie Love Swap. Join the Indie Untangled group on Ravelry and start participating in the swap thread.

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This past Saturday, I pretty much had my perfect summer day. After waking up at a not-too-unreasonable hour, I got together a beach bag, put some grilled veggie skewers and couscous into a cooler and jumped on the subway, meeting my friend Sharon in the first car of the Q train. She brought me a chair and we camped out on Brighton Beach for more than five hours, swimming in the surprisingly calm ocean and resisting the temptation to buy a homemade frozen cocktail that a bunch of people were selling (maybe next time). Later, after a quick shower and change, I jumped on the B68 and managed to grab a spot on the lawn at the Prospect Park Bandshell to catch The New Pornographers and knit some of my Rhinecliff pullover.

Getting into a free summer concert on a Saturday was enough of a coup, but the best part of that day was my time at the beach. Growing up 10 minutes from Jones Beach, the ocean just means summer to me. So, before it ends in the usual blur, here are some beach-inspired colors and patterns that have floated into the Indie Untangled Marketplace:

Beach by ColorPurl

Beach by ColorPurl

Harbor mini-skein set by Never Enough Thyme

Harbor mini-skein set by Never Enough Thyme

Aqua gradient from June Pryce Fiber Arts

Aqua gradient from June Pryce Fiber Arts

Haru by Swoonish

Haru by Swoonish

Sea Glass from Lakes Yarn and Fiber

Sea Glass from Lakes Yarn and Fiber

Cafe au Lait by Berry Colorful Yarnings

Cafe au Lait by Berry Colorful Yarnings

Sandpiper Shawl by Laura Aylor

Sandpiper Shawl by Laura Aylor

Tidal Breeze by Knit Eco Chic

Tidal Breeze by Knit Eco Chic

And, of course, the mother of all ocean-inspired patterns:

Shark Bite by Lara Smoot

Shark Bite by Lara Smoot

What to stash this week: Dyed to order

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After selling out of her popular colorways, The Cryptozoologist has decided to change things up a little. Instead of dyeing and listing one skein at a time, she has added preorders to her Etsy shop. You can now order up to five skeins at a time of her most popular repeatable colorways, including the Tokyo Mew Mew and Adventure Time shades. In addition, there are two new colorways, including The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is part of a Wes Anderson-inspired line, and Burmecia, which is part of Louise’s long-running Final Fantasy range.

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For those of you participating in this year’s Tour de Fleece, a massive spin-along that runs until July 26, during the Tour de France, now’s the perfect time to pay a visit to the Cedar Hill Farm Company. Keya just started carrying spinning fiber in the shop! First up is a 100% superwash Merino top, hand painted in bright, long color repeats, a good choice for spinning self-striping fingering weight yarn. Over the next week, she will also be adding drum carded batts made with luxurious undyed alpaca and llama blends. The fiber, from some of the best alpaca and llama breeders in Georgia, Florida and Virginia, is carded on Keya’s farm.

What to stash this week: You’re going to need a bigger needle

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To mark the 40th anniversary of Jaws, Lara Smoot has released a pattern for what have to be the most fantastic socks I have ever seen. Shark Bite is worked flat from the cuff down, and then the cuff and leg portion of the socks are joined at the ankle. The heel, foot and toe are worked in the round. For knitters who are new to colorwork, Lara includes links to tutorials in the pattern and says that this is a great way to get your feet wet. This awesome pattern is $2 off on Ravelry until Sunday, July 5 with the coupon code Amity.

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While we Yanks are celebrating independence (indie-pendence?) from Great Britain, Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns will be tempting us with an update. On Sunday, July 5 at 2 p.m. BST, the shop will be stocked with Aisling and Quadratic shawl kits, adorable hand-carved wooden sheep, lambs and penguins made by Japanese artisans and a heap of Titus 4ply, BFL Sock and Oakworth 4ply.

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Linda of Kettle Yarn Co. is in love with her Talavera, a simple lace top from the latest issue of Pom Pom Quarterly, and I don’t blame her — it is gorgeous. And she only used one skein of her Westminster, a 50/50 baby camel/silk blend, for this quick knit. The shop has plenty of Westminster in the Gold Rush and Florence colorways, and there’s also an update today at 5 p.m. GMT.

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Sign-ups are now open for the next round of the Dirty Water DyeWorks Yarn Knot subscription service. There will be three shipments of fingering-weight yarn in exclusive colorways along with a suggested pattern. One will be two-color project. This year, Stephanie’s added a sweater option, with SQs in a choice of three different bases and weights, including a DK-weight superwash Targhee Wool and silk. The sweater installment will ship in August — perfect timing for Rhinebeck.

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Achieve true “knitting zen” with this new design, Michael Harrigan’s interpretation of an Asian landscape painting. The stitch patterns are meant to evoke hilly terrain, flowing water with the hint of a bridge, tree branches and abundant foliage. It’s knit with two colors of laceweight yarn and includes a knit-on edging.

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Get the natural look for summer with ColorPurl’s alpaca, linen and silk blend. Peggie created hues for this base with natural materials, including cochineal, which was used for the pink shade above (which reminds me of soft serve ice cream). These yarns would be perfect for your next shawl or even a lightweight tee.

caterpillargreen giveaway winner

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I received 42 comments (the answer to life the universe and everything) for the caterpillargreen giveaway and the winner is…

Jessica H, who is planning to make Stephen West’s Boneyard Shawl with her prize.

Congrats, Jessica! And thanks to everyone who participated. I really enjoyed getting to know Catherine more and hope you did, too. You might also want to check her out on Instagram, where Catherine’s wit competes with her gorgeous photos.

What to stash this week: Summer combos

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Peggie of ColorPurl has two words for you: Lace gradient. Can you think of a better combination for summer (aside from gin and tonic)? Her Silver Angel Lace is 875 yards of baby alpaca, silk, Cashmere and sparkle. She’s also dyed up single-skein gradients on Cushy, a fingering-weight blend of superwash Merino/nylon.

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In advance of the Swiss Wulle Festival, which will be taking place on the first weekend in October in Zug, Swiss knitwear designer Nadia Crétin-Léchenne has collaborated with silk yarn dyer Siidegarte on a shawl kit. Under the Same Sky is a crescent-shaped shawl that combines lace and garter stitch and features a beautiful knitted-on wave edging. The kits include two skeins of Siidegarte’s Siide-Fideel, a 50/50 silk/Merino fingering-weight blend available in three color combinations, a printed copy of the shawl pattern in English, French or German and a Swiss Wulle Festival project bag. They are available to preorder on the Swiss Wulle site and will ship in mid-July. A KAL begins on Aug. 1, which is Swiss National Day, and There Will Be Prizes.

Glasscapes

If spinning is your favorite summer activity, then why not treat yourself to a new spindle? Called Glasspins, these 11-inch spindles are crafted out of lathe-turned wood and hand-blown glass by a husband and wife team who work out of a geodesic dome in California, and who have a long and colorful history as crafters and artists.