What to stash this week: Gold at the end of the Rhinebeck rainbow


Designer Lara Smoot had not one, but two patterns that debuted at Rhinebeck. Daydream Believer, pictured above, is a collaboration between Lara and Michelle of Berry Colorful Yarnings. The triangular shawl uses Michelle’s phenomenal Rainbow self-striping sock yarn, which pops out from a black accent skein. A limited number of Daydream Believer kits are up for sale here, while all of Lara’s patterns are 20% off through the end of the day with the coupon code ‘Rhinebeck’.


There are still a few souvenir tote bags — designed and printed by fellow knitters! — left over from Rhinebeck. Snag one while you can!


Julia of Pandia’s Jewels has been brewing up more magic. Two new OOAK colors, Incantation and Book of Shadows are available on her Super Sparkle base, a 70/25/5 blend of Merino, nylon and Stellina.


If you’re in the mood for more spooky, Halloween-themed yarn, My Mama Knits’ unique Headless Horseman colorway is available on a base of 75% Superwash Merino and 25% nylon sock yarn.

Hashtag this: Indie Untangled 2016



When the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show started two years ago, a dozen or so vendors took up half of the ballroom at the Best Western in Kingston with small displays. The clicker that I used to count attendees showed 235, and I was thrilled.

Fast forward to last Friday, when at least 700 shoppers, including 125 VIPs — and, yes, the Stephen West, who I think is literally 2 feet taller than me — streamed through the doors of two rooms, with more than two dozen indie dyers and designers, as well as project bag, stitch marker and pottery makers, selling their creations. I couldn’t be happier about how the event has grown, giving these artisans a chance to share their work while also helping my fellow knitters kick off one of the best weekends of the year.

Despite the crowds, people waited on line patiently to come in and, in some cases, check out with armloads of yarn. Like last year, the excitement of the event was captured perfectly on Instagram. Here are some of my favorite posts:

All systems are GO! #IndieUntangled2016 #VoolenvineYarns

A photo posted by Kristin (@voolenvine) on

Line for VIP Indie Untangled Trunk Show! Awesome "warm-ups" for the Sheep 🐑 and wool festival.

A photo posted by Pam Grushkin Knits (@pamgrushkin) on

#indieUntangled #rhinebeck2016

A photo posted by clusterluck12 (@clusterluck12) on

This will be happening #yhrb2016 #indieuntangled

A photo posted by Lynn (@hamdenknit) on

@bygumbygolly Look who I found! #yhrb2016 #rhinebecktrunkshow2016

A photo posted by MsVicki (@thatcleverclementine) on

Steven West working the crowd #indieuntangled2016 #yhrb2016

A photo posted by Lynn (@hamdenknit) on

All the pretty colors #indieuntangled #latergram #rhinebeck2016 #blissfulknits #knitstagram

A photo posted by Nance (@kathynancygirl) on

#booklove #nancydrew inspired yarn by Canon Hand Dyes at the #indieuntangled Trunk Show

A photo posted by Chantale Boileau (@chantaletales) on

So excited to have met @westknits! Enjoying #indieuntangled!

A photo posted by Mara (@mara_knits_on) on

Finally got to meet the lovely Ce from @theuncommonthread! #indieuntangled #rhinebecktrunkshow #rhinebeck2016

A photo posted by Lisa (@indieuntangled) on

Got me some @voolenvine in #angryorchard and #venusflytrap #indieuntangled #rhinebeck2016

A photo posted by Babs Donnelly (@totallybabs) on

What to stash this week, whether you’re at Rhinebeck or not


For this year’s Rhinebeck Trunk Show, I played indie matchmaker, bringing together Nikki of Dark Harbour Yarn and designer Jennifer Dassau. The result of their collaboration is Refracted, a two-color shawl with a mix of stitches that refract at a central point. Jennifer used two skeins of Nikki’s Starboard, a wonderful single-ply blend of Merino and silk that I used for my Trunk Show Shawl. If you’re going to the show, you can preorder a shawl kit with Jennifer’s original color pairing, pictured above, or three additional curated combinations. 

Looking for a simple lace project? Jennifer also collaborated with Brooke of Northern California-based Sincere Sheep to create Mazerunner, a triangular shawl with mesh diamonds that requires one skein of Brooke’s luxuriously rustic Cormo Fingering, also available at the Indie Untangled booth. Mazerunner kits can also be preordered in one of four colors.


Because winter IS coming, the folks at BBR have a new set of exclusive colorways dyed by MJ Yarns, inspired by a certain HBO series. The colors, which all complement one another — perfect for colorwork! — are available on Xanadu, a luxurious light fingering weight of 100% Mongolian Cashmere. BBR also has five new colors of Big Bijou Bliss, also dyed by MJ Yarns, on their limited edition worsted weight yak and Cormo blend yarn. All yarn will be at the BBR booth at Rhinebeck this weekend, but is also available online.

BBR also has five new colors of Big Bijou Bliss, also dyed by MJ Yarns, on their limited edition worsted weight yak and cormo blend yarn. All yarn will be at the BBR booth at Rhinebeck this weekend, and is also available online.


Fresh from the mill (and before that, off of Cedar Hill Yarn Company’s Corriedale Cross sheep) is the 2016 batch of Single Sheep. The single-ply fingering weight yarn is as local as it comes and is available in limited quantities.


Which two words rival “yarn sale?” “Shoe sale.” Through the end of October, in honor of her birthday, Lisa The Knitting Artist is offering $5 off her awesome custom shoes, which are hand dyed and hand drawn with a stockinette stitch pattern.

Hampton Artistic Yarns just listed eight new colorways of Wander sock yarn.

Indie yarn and pattern pairings from Yarn Culture


This is the eighth and final post in a series of blog posts with the generous sponsors of the 2016 Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

Though there have been many times when I’ve impulse bought beautiful hand-dyed skeins without an idea of what they’ll become, I generally try to shop for yarn with patterns in mind. If you also find it helpful to have suggestions, I asked Patti Odinak, the owner of Yarn Culture in Fairport, N.Y., to send over her favorite patterns for the yarn she’s bringing to the 2016 Indie Untangled Trunk show from two overseas indies: The Uncommon Thread, based in the UK, and Rosy Green Wool of Germany.

I’m also excited to announce that Ce Persiano, the talented dyer behind TUT, will be hopping across the pond and will be at the Yarn Culture booth during the trunk show!

The Uncommon Thread

Yarn: Linum, a fingering-weight blend of 50% baby alpaca, 25% silk and 25% linen

Yarn: Linum, a fingering-weight blend of 50% baby alpaca, 25% silk and 25% linen

Pattern:  Wildheart by Janina Kallio 

Pattern:  Wildheart by Janina Kallio 

Yarn: Everyday Sport, a sport-weight 100% Merino

Pattern: Simply by Cheryl Faust 
Yarn: Posh Fingering, a fingering-weight blend of 70% Superwash Bluefaced Leicester, 20% Silk and 10% Cashmere

Pattern: Round Cove by Amy Herzog 
Yarn: Lush Worsted, a worsted-weight blend of 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere and 10% nylon
Pattern: London Mitts by Thea Coleman 

Rosy Green Wool 

Yarn: Cheeky Merino Joy, a fingering-weight 100% organic Merino from Patagonia

Yarn: Cheeky Merino Joy, a fingering-weight 100% organic Merino from Patagonia

The Girl in Me
Beethoven Mitts
from fellow German Melanie Berg

Turks and Caicos by Amy Herzog
Vitamin D by Heidi Kirrmaier

Yarn: Manx, a fingering-weight blend of organic Merino and Manx Loaghtan wool (Manx Loaghtan is an endangered sheep breed that is originally from the Isle of Man)

Yarn: Manx, a fingering-weight blend of organic Merino and Manx Loaghtan wool (Manx Loaghtan is an endangered sheep breed that is originally from the Isle of Man)

Yarn: Heb, 100% organic Merino and Hebridean

Pattern: Rheinlust by Melanie Berg 

Pattern: Rheinlust by Melanie Berg 

Behind the scenes with Signature Needle Arts

Signature group

This is the seventh in a series of blog posts with the generous sponsors of the 2016 Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

After doing an interview last year with Cathryn Bothe, the founder of Signature Needle Arts, I thought it would be interesting to go behind the scenes at the Wisconsin factory, which makes both custom metal parts — things like surgical tool components and mining safety equipment — as well as high-end knitting needles. Here’s a little video they made that takes a look at the manufacturing process.

While Signature will not have a booth at the trunk show, they will be offering attendees 10% off any online order over $25 from their website through Oct. 19 (the code will be available at the show).

What to stash this week: A yarny journey


Starshowers is the third installment of her Silk Road 2016 Shawl Club: Explorer. A six-skein gradient set and a contrasting color create an asymmetrical crescent shaped shawl that uses short rows to evoke what Simone calls “the illusion of sweeping stars and star showers above” and “the night sky with just a hint of light at dawn, and the milky way still visible overhead.”


If you’re allergic to wool, are a vegan or want some dish towels with a bit of personality, Jillian of Mothy and the Squid has dyed up some sock and DK weight pima cotton in a variety of bright colorways, like (clockwise from top left) Cinnabar, Angry Outburst, Autumnal Equinox and Hot and Cold.


Jenara, new from Mindy Wilkes, is a top down, lacy shawl worked in four sections, making for a unique triangle/crescent hybrid. For her sample, Mindy used Sincere Sheep Cormo Fingering, which will be available to purchase at the Indie Untangled booth during next Friday’s Rhinebeck Trunk Show.


Keya of Cedar Hill Farm Company recently whipped up some needle cozies for keeping those easily-lost DPNs together during or in between projects, as well as for storing fixed and interchangeable circular needles. The cozies are available in a variety of fabrics, including a few for fall and Halloween.


The folks at Bijou Basin Ranch have again teamed up with Miss Babs for 10 new limited edition colors, dyed in semi-solid and variegated pairs. Available on the Tibetan Dream base, a blend of 85% yak and 15% nylon, the colors will be at upcoming fiber events (which means Rhinebeck!).

The new Eastern Divide Cowl from Knit Eco Chic is locally sourced, inspired by the invisible line that diverts waters on the East to the Atlantic Ocean and on the West to the Gulf of Mexico.

IU newcomer The Fibre Kitchen is located in Dublin, Ireland and is currently cooking up new colors.

Hampton Artistic Yarns is stocking the shop with speckled, striped, bulky and handspun yarns after a trip to the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival.

Rhinebeck indie yarn & sweater pairings from Amy Herzog


AHD_Logo_Square small

This is the sixth in a series of blog posts with the generous sponsors of the 2016 Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

After the interview I did with designer and knitting techie Amy Herzog last year, I decided to ask her to pair yarn from some of the indie dyers at the trunk show with her sweater patterns. I’m looking forward to showing off my Acer cardigan — which I knit to my measurements using Amy’s brilliant CustomFit software and Skeinny Dipping’s Journey Worsted — at the fairgrounds on Saturday!

Knitters, it is so great to be us right now.

When I learned to knit as a kid, I had a really limited set of yarn options. There was department-store acrylic, of course, as well as basic wool in both woolenspun and worsted-spun varieties. If cost was no issue, Lopi was definitely available — and of course there was dishcloth cotton, though you wouldn’t really want to wear a sweater knit from it (ask me how I know). And that was pretty much it.

Contrast that to now: hundreds of varieties of yarn at every price point, fiber blend, and several unusual constructions. The explosion that happened in our community when knitters met the internet has changed our craft in a thousand ways. One of the most important is that individual artisans can now engage with knitters everywhere — and Indie Untangled in particular does a lovely job of making that match.


I share Lisa’s love of artisan yarn, and can easily get lost playing around with how deeply-complex colors meshed with stitch patterns in a design. But I often hear from knitters that the sheer… specialness of artisanal yarn makes it hard to commit to a sweater project. What if it’s not right? What if we don’t like the result?

So in celebration and anticipation of the third Indie Untangled event at Rhinebeck this year, I thought I’d offer my opinion on some pattern/yarn pairings that are sure to produce sweaters you want to wear all the time — from general recommendations to specific yarn/pattern pairings that I think will be divine.

Designs as blank canvasses

Before I dive into specific matches, though, I want to take a moment to talk about using special yarns in general. In my opinion, if you’re pouring your effort into a yarn that makes your heart flutter, the yarn should be the star of the show. And that means the design should take a back seat to, and support, the beauty of the yarn — rather than competing with it.

This doesn’t have to mean plain stockinette, although sometimes that’s definitely the best way to showcase a spectacular yarn:

Small Point, Bourrasque, and Beacon Hill all use Stockinette to highlight gorgeous yarns. Photo credit for Beacon Hill to Caro Sheridan of Splityarn.

Small Point, Bourrasque, and Beacon Hill all use Stockinette to highlight gorgeous yarns. Photo credit for Beacon Hill to Caro Sheridan of Splityarn.

It can also mean small-scale stitch patterns or design elements that showcase something exquisite about the yarn you’ve chosen. Here are a few sweaters where lace gets translated into a beautiful fuzzy texture by a rustic woolenspun, or a small-scale texture breaks up more substantial color changes:

Caulfield uses a small eyelet-and-slipped stitch tiling pattern to blend colors; Foyle’s Pullover turns lace into texture; Cushing Isle breaks up big color switches with twisted stitches.

Caulfield uses a small eyelet-and-slipped stitch tiling pattern to blend colors; Foyle’s Pullover turns lace into texture; Cushing Isle breaks up big color switches with twisted stitches.

But whether you’re into miles of Stockinette or not, when you’re evaluating a design for your show-stopping yarn, it’s a good idea to stop and check whether your favorite part of the design will be in conflict with, or support, the yarn itself.

Matches made in heaven

The Woolen Rabbit. I’ve worked with Kim’s yarns extensively over the years, and have never had an experience that was less than blissful. I’ve designed several patterns for her yarn, so it’s tough to choose just one — but this fall, I’m in love with cables.


Partly, this is because I’ve just introduced cabled patterns in CustomFit, my custom-gauge-and-size sweater pattern generator. But I was very excited to make Birch Bark, in particular, one of the first. I originally worked this sweater up in Frolic, and I’m still excited by the way the very graphic cables interact with the subtle color changes of Kim’s yarn. I’ve taken advantage of the re-release to make a long-sleeved version for myself, and this time I’m using WW Kashmir. I think it would work beautifully in a number of colorways — it was hard to choose! My three finalists were Oakmoss, Pussywillow, and Enchanted Forest.

The Uncommon Thread. I was introduced to Posh Fingering when I worked up my Round Cove cardigan, and I’ve hankered for my own ever since I made it. But when thinking about pattern pair-ups for this post, I couldn’t get the thought of a Sunset Drive in the Posh out of my head:


The Sunset Drive sample in these pictures was actually made for someone else, and I’ve wanted to make my own version with a slightly-dropped neckline. I’m more of a neutrals-wearer, myself, so I think I’d lean into that with Uncommon Thread’s lovely muted shades. You can see all of their colors here; I’m dreaming of Baby Elephant Walk, Squirrel Nutkin, and Olive Leaf in particular.

Rosy Green Wool. Finally, a relative newcomer yarn — at least to me! I recently worked up a new design explicitly for Rosy Green Wool’s Cheeky Merino Joy:


Tidal Pool is available on Ravelry as a traditional pattern, and will be available via CustomFit later this fall. I was so incredibly impressed with the sophisticated color and diamond-sharp stitch definition of this yarn that I knew I couldn’t do anything other than an updated classic. The textured stitch pattern of Tidal Pool is a direct homage to the loveliness of this yarn.

Should you be looking for another canvas, though, I think it would look equally stunning both in allover textures and on simple, classic silhouettes like my Options KAL pullover, Firth and Coracle.

And with that, I think I’ve gone on about sweaters for quite long enough!

I’d love to keep the conversation going — if you have any special yarn-pattern pairings that you adore, share them with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram — or see more of my musings on my own site. And whether you’ll be at Rhinebeck or not, have a great fall filled with lovely knitting!

What to stash this week: Yarny treats


At 9 a.m. PDT today, Laura and the Slipped Stitch Studios crew are releasing bags and other treats with their limited-edition Halloween fabrics for 2016. Perfect for trick-or-knitting.


While pretty much all of Casapinka’s patterns are made for those skeins, her latest calls them out. Bronwyn designed One & Done specifically for variegated yarn.


Another thing to add to your Rhinebeck shopping list: the Whisp cowl. Designed by Lesley Anne Robinson of Knit Graffiti Designs for Backyard Fiberworks and Feel Good Yarn Company, this brioche beauty will debut at the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show on Oct. 14 and is available to preorder and pick up there. 

Kettle Yarn Co. has kits containing three skeins of Waltham Aran to make Joji Locatelli’s new shawl, All I Want.

Untangling: Knit Stars


Something very exciting is happening in the knitting world in October — and, believe it or not, I don’t mean Rhinebeck.

About a month ago, someone in my knitting group told me about Knit Stars, an online summit with classes from Stephen West, Hannah Fettig, Rosemary “Romi” Hill, Meghan Fernandes of Pom Pom Quarterly and many other members of the “knitterati.” The idea behind the summit, which runs from October 10 to 21, is to provide access to top-tier instruction without the expense of travel. You’re also able to watch the classes whenever you have time, even after the summit ends.

Along with the videos, Knit Stars includes the ability to snag yarn in exclusive colorways from several indie dyers, including The Uncommon Thread and Julie Asselin, who is also filming a class. It’s a great way to gather with the knitting community if you’re not headed to New York in a couple of weeks, or a nice instructional supplement to the yarn-buying and cider donut-eating you’ll be doing at Rhinebeck. Enrollment in Knit Stars reopens on Friday, so head here to sign up by Oct. 6.

I thought Knit Stars was such a cool idea and immediately reached out to the creator, Shelley Brander to learn a little more. Shelley also owns Loops, a bricks-and-mortar and online yarn shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as well as a branding company with her husband.

Tell me how the idea for Knit Stars came about.

My Knit Stars partner, Ashley, approached me at an online marketing conference. She had created the Modern Calligraphy Summit which was a tremendous success in the calligraphy space, and she asked if I’d like to collaborate. I loved the idea of bringing such a new, fresh platform to the yarn world – and enabling people around the world to come together and access the knowledge of the top Knit Stars.

How did you decide which instructors to include?

We considered many factors, including areas of expertise, teaching style, personality, and social media presence. We wanted a blend of the widely known (like Stephen West) and up-and-comers (like Julie and Jeff Asselin). Stephen travels and teaches a lot, but there are so many people who never have access to him. Hannah travels very little by choice, so it’s a really unique opportunity to have her teach in the Summit. Ultimately, I thought of the people I most love to hang out with and learn from at market and other industry events. The people I would invite to the ultimate yarn and cocktail party.

Hannah Fettig shooting a Knit Stars video.

How does the video production work? Do you send crews to film the instructors, do they come to you, or do they create their own videos?

For the free pre-launch videos, we interviewed the instructors via Skype. But for the actual Summit content, we went to them, utilizing a professional video and editing crew. I have a 30-year background in branding and broadcast production, and I wanted this to be the highest possible quality. Our team delivered, big time! The result is beautiful, engaging instructional content, mixed with mini-movies that give you a peek into each Star’s world, lifestyle and inspiration.

What have been the biggest challenges in putting Knit Stars together?

It’s been so much fun, I’ve barely noticed the challenges! It has been a LOT of work but so gratifying to hear everyone’s positive comments. I’d say the biggest challenge has probably been educating people about this platform, because it’s completely new to our industry. It’s hard for people to believe that they could get nine Stars’ full workshops at this price, and we have to explain that they will own the classes forever, and be able to refer to them again and again – which is so critical when it comes to knitting instruction. You can attend an amazing in-person workshop but it’s hard to absorb everything in the moment. You need to be able to go back, pause, rewind… and practice.

Are you planning for this to be an annual event?

Based on the huge response thus far, I would say yes. I also believe that once Knit Stars enrollees see the quality and depth of the content and bonuses, the word is going to spread, and there will be lots of demand for more.

Shelley Brander

Shelley Brander

How do you juggle running Loops while also organizing Knit Stars?

One word: Coffee. No, seriously, I have a tremendous staff (we call them the Loops Troops) and Ashley has been spectacular to work with. She is the one putting the nuts and bolts of the actual Summit together.

Tell me about how you learned to knit.

I was 16 and my family took a car trip from Tulsa to the east coast. We stopped in to see a friend of my mom’s who owned a yarn shop in Charlotte, North Carolina. She put the needles in my hands, and taught me to cast on. From there, I spent the rest of the car trip making a cable sweater (with orangutan arms!). The rest is history.

Do you have a favorite FO?

Whatever I’m designing for LoopsClub is my favorite FO of the moment. I get the most compliments on the coral Andromeda poncho that I made years ago from Knit Collage Stargazer, a 100% silk with cool brass paillettes, so I wore it in the Knit Stars video. We’ve had so many requests for the pattern, we’re bringing the yarn back from the discontinued pile with Amy from Knit Collage, and offering kits on LoopsLove.com to Summit enrollees!

What to stash this week: spooktacular yarn


Julia of Pandia’s Jewels has seen her dye pots taken over by the Sanderson Sisters of Disney’s Hocus Pocus. The collection includes Black Flame Candle, a self-striping Sanderson Sisters colorway and a special Hocus Pocus kit that contains a third special color, a project bag from Suburban Stitcher and a notions tin filled with goodies.

If you’re in the mood to knit something spooky, Lara Smoot’s Fright Night socks might fit the bill. The vampire-themed colorwork socks, which use Undead Yarn (yes, really) have an introductory price of $3.99 on Ravelry until October 1.


Lyra, the latest sweater from Laura of Fiber Dreams is inspired by Orpheus’ lyre, said to charm everyone. The sleeves of this simple garment — knit flat from the bottom, with notes if you prefer to knit in the round — are dotted with starry eyelets and accented with eyelet rib.

IU noob Dye is Cast Yarns has several new colorways on their Squish Wish base, a 75/25 Superwash Merino/nylon sock yarn.