What to stash this week: Series finale

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Yes, there are still a few more episodes of Outlander left, but Bijou Basin Ranch’s series of Outlander-inspired project kits just had its finale. And this one’s for sweater knitters: the Celtic Forest Pullover by Therese Chynoweth is a top-down sweater with a classic yoke design and figure-flattering details. The kit comes with the soft and cool Lhasa Wilderness yak/bamboo yarn. (BBR will also be at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival!)

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If you’re a sock knitter, you’re definitely going to need to make some room in your stash for the five new Rocket Sock colorways from Cedar Hill Farm Company. The new colorways include Lizard Lips (above), Soul Sistah, Poodle Skirt and Tea Cake. Rocket Sock is a high-twist 2-ply blend of 75% superwash Merino and 25% nylon that doesn’t give you the bulkiness under the heel that you will get with a traditional 4-ply yarn. (Psst: If you like the Cedar Hill Farm Company Facebook page via their website, you get 15% off!)

A yarny tease, plus MDSW

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IU Cowl Close Up 2

There are some very exciting plans being hatched at Indie Untangled HQ! Well, most of it is taking place via email. While I’m not quite ready to provide the specifics of what I’m planing with three of my favorite fiber industry folks, the above photo of a recent project by designer Lara Smoot provides a little sneak peek. If that intrigues you, you’re going to want to keep track of the blog in the coming weeks.

knot house pop up

For something in the more immediate future — Maryland Sheep & Wool is almost a week away! I’m not sure when exactly I’ll be at the fairgrounds, but I do know where I’ll be Friday night: The indie pop-up at The Knot House, where I’ll be trying not to buy all the Duck Duck Wool/French Market Fibers/Magpie/Lakes Yarn and Fiber, etc. And, if you need somewhere to put all your pop-up purchases, That Clever Clementine will have some goodies for sale. You can also snag a free Indie Untangled button/piece of flare for your project bag. Are you planning to go? Definitely comment and let me know!

What to stash this week: Drape yourself in yarn & patterns

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If George Constanza was a knitter, he’d be very excited about the new base from Cedar Hill Farm Company. As the name implies, Velvet is a 20% alpaca/60% Merino/20% nylon 4-ply fingering weight yarn that is so incredibly soft, you will want to knit it into drapey shawls.

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Toby Roxane Barna popped up on my radar a few years ago, when the first of her London Underground-themed shawls came out. I’m sure you’ll also be smitten with Toby’s latest design, the Odalie shawl, pictured above, which is inspired by the 1920s flapper era. All of Toby’s designs, including several sweaters, are perfect for hand-dyed yarns.

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June Pryce Fiber Arts has also introduced a new base: Seaside Singles is a single-ply 100% superwash Merino that feels silky soft, and is machine washable. They are also now carrying carrying a double strand sock blank, if you’re into the whole wearing identical socks thing. They’re available in the super summery, color-changing Watermelon colorway.

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Greenwich Steps, the latest design from Laura of Fiber Dreams, is inspired by one of the staircases to Coit Tower at the top of Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. The Greenwich Steps wind through a tiny neighborhood of cottages with glorious gardens. This rectangular shawl features diamonds and flowers accented with little nupps.

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If you’ve been searching for the perfect patterns for those amazing speckle dyed skeins, look no further than the new Oh Bother cowl and hat from Barbara Benson. Barbara combined slipped stitches with a honeycomb style stitch pattern to create a deeply textured fabric that works with the bursts of color. Each takes about a skein of DK, or you can use sock yarn held double.

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The Inverness Shrug by Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter is inspired by the detachable sleeves worn by Claire on Outlander. It’s the fifth of six Outlander-inspired project kits from Bijou Basin Ranch and includes their Himalayan Trail, a yak and Merino blend that lets the Celtic-style cables shine.

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It’s a spring awakening with Kim’s newest colorway. Awakening is an earthy yet bright blend of brown, sage green, purples and bright sky blue. There are some skeins in stock in Kim’s Etsy shop and she is also taking custom orders.

Tangled up in teal

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The above photo was actually taken by Elysa Darling of 222 Handspun. She's a teal lover, too, and that's her favorite blue bowl.

The above photo was actually taken by Elysa Darling of 222 Handspun. She’s a teal lover, too, and that’s her favorite blue bowl.

While most who know me would consider a berry pink to be my signature color, teal has long been a close runner-up. I chose it for the Indie Untangled logo because it gives the site a pop of color, but isn’t so bold that it overshadows all the beautiful hand-dyed and handmade products on display.

In honor of Indie Untangled’s first birthday, here are some lovely teals from some of my lovely vendors (a few of whom are giving away yarn to newsletter subscribers this month):

Dark Mermaid by The Uncommon Thread

Dark Mermaid by The Uncommon Thread

Teal gradient from Magpie Fibers

Teal gradient from Magpie Fibers

Beauty Bay by Lakes Yarn and Fiber

Beauty Bay by Lakes Yarn and Fiber

Teal Deer by Invictus Yarns

Teal Deer by Invictus Yarns

Brilliant from Dirty Water DyeWorks

Brilliant from Dirty Water DyeWorks

What to stash this week: Surf’s up

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Charleston Surf a new shawl design from Knit Eco Chic, has a touching backstory: Lindsay designed it for her adopted grandmother, Meme. They met when Lindsay was 16 and they were both in the hospital undergoing treatment for a chronic illness. “Years later I learned she was about to quit, but promised to give it one more week,” Lindsay wrote on her project page. “That was the week I first arrived and the doctor teamed us up. Through the months of medical treatment my adopted grandmother and I bonded as we celebrated each little victory and encouraged one another through each regression.” The shawl was meant to help Meme with the Charleston chill, and it looks like the perfect way to keep warm this spring and summer, while keeping the ocean at your back.

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Channel your inner Claire Beauchamp with Beauchamp Gloves by Christine Marie Chen, the fourth of six Outlander-inspired project kits that are now available from Bijou Basin Ranch. The lacy fingerless gloves are knit with one skein of BBR’s Lhasa Wilderness yarn, and could perhaps get you through an episode or two of the Starz series, which returned last weekend.

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I think it’s very cool that the latest addition to Indie Untangled has a Y Chromosome, and also a pretty interesting story: Michael Harrigan is a knitwear designer based in Bangkok. He travels extensively, getting inspiration from art, architecture, textiles, and nature around the globe for his knit accessory designs. Check out his blog, This Man Knits, for patterns and knitting tips.

What to stash this week: They say it’s your birthday…

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If Lakes Yarn and Fiber were a year younger, we’d practically be twins! To celebrate the second anniversary of opening her Etsy shop, Ami is offering 15% off any in-stock yarn and fiber. Use the code APRIL2015 through April 10. She’ll also be adding more to the shop late this evening, so check back over the weekend to see if anything new catches your eye.

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What could be better than a set of beautiful gradients from Three Fates Yarns? Several months of them! She recently launched the Gradients and Ombres All Around club. It features gradient or ombre sock blanks in Stephania’s Superwash Merino/nylon Terra Sock and Glitz bases, avaialble in one-repeat, two-repeat or four-repeat patterns. You can buy a one-month trial, or a three-month, six-month or 12-month membership.

Dahlia HeelToe Sock

Along with a clever name, Maine-based dyers Katie and Jayne of Never Enough Thyme offer subdued colors with a coastal feel and tropical brights. Among their popular products are heel/toe sock sets with a full-sized skein and matching mini skein, and they now have mini-skein sets with enough yardage for a shawl. They are also happy to do custom orders.

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If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you know that Tyrion is the best character. Celebrate Season 5 with Tyrion’s Gift, the fourth shawl pattern in Lara Smoot’s GoT-inspired series. Knit in Miss Babs Tarte in the Volcanic Eruption colorway, it’s a tribute to The Imp and his lady friend, Shae, a relationship that — partial spoiler alert! — ends in true George R.R. Martin fashion. Use the code ‘Gift’ for $1 off the pattern on Ravelry through Sunday.

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This easy-breezy sweater from Meiju Knits looks like the perfect spring/summer staple. Aureed is a top-down raglan cardigan with a peek of lace in a back panel and short-row shaping for the fronts. It’s knit in fingering-weight yarn (the sample is shown in TML in Antique Lace), so get this on your needles ASAP!

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I love it when dyers and designers work together! Heather Anderson Designs and C.Whitney Knits are collaborating on a Ravelry KAL that runs until May 15. The KAL features Heather’s two new shawl designs, the Fishtales Shawl and the Shoalmates Shawl, and five exclusive colorways by Candice. Each is available on a variety of bases and will be retired when the KAL ends.

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While rumors continue to swirl around David Bowie’s return to the stage, you can knit up his alter ego. Ziggy Stardust, the newest colorway from Kim Dyes Yarn, is a pink-tinged gray over dyed with speckles of bright blue, teal and hot pink. It’s in stock on Etsy in superwash Merino DK and Kim can also custom dye it on other bases.

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These colorwork socks from Knitwise Design will definitely add some twinkle to your toes (sorry!). If you’re comfortable with stranded knitting in the round, get 15% off on Ravelry through the end of day, EST, by using the coupon code ‘stars’.

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Bijou Basin Ranch‘s latest Outlander-inspired project kit — the Blood of my Blood Shawl by MarlyBird — is out, so now you’ll have something to knit during the next seven episodes. The kit comes with Shangri-La, a yak/silk blend laceweight yarn.

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Stitchjones has been around since 2008 and updates her Etsy shop weekly with a range of darks and brights. You can visit her there before she makes the big move to her own website, which is still under construction.

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Dyer Sarah of Creature Comforts Craftworks took a break, but she’s back behind the dye pots and adding to her inventory of yarn and fiber for your knitting and spinning comfort. She’s recently added four- and five-skein gradient sets to her Etsy shop.

Indie Untangled is turning 1! There are giveaways to celebrate

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Birthday photo

When I officially launched Indie Untangled a year ago Saturday with my first newsletter, I couldn’t predict what kind of ride I was in for. Sure, I had plenty of goals: to create one place for yarn addicts like me to go and find out about new dyers and shop updates, and to craft a weekly email that knitters would look forward to opening in the morning, while sipping their coffee or tea. But there were so many surprising things that happened along the way — collaborating with my friend Vicki on popular yarn ball bags, organizing my first Ravelry swap and putting together the mother of all enabling events, the Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

Of course, this couldn’t have been possible without the support of the dozens of indie dyers, designers and crafters who post to the Marketplace every day. I feel so fortunate to be able to work with such talented people, people who have enriched my life (and my stash) in so many ways. That yarn cake you see above? Michelle of Berry Colorful Yarnings dyed that up for me so I could make the banner for my table at the trunk show.

To celebrate IU’s milestone, I decided some giveaways were in order. I reached out to some of the dyers who were in my first newsletter and they were generous enough to offer up some goodies. Before I go into how the giveaway will work, let me introduce them:

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I had been a fan of Pigeonroof Studios long before starting the site, so Krista was one of the first dyers I reached out to with my idea. She was very supportive, and even sent me some photos of her hand-dyed fiber to use while the site was being designed. My first newsletter included information about her GLOW series of colorways, which I later explored in a blog post.

Krista has offered up a set of her High Twist gradient mini skeins in the color of the winner’s choice (I decided to show the Aqua set because it coordinates so well with the Indie Untangled logo).

InvictusBirthday

Sue of Invictus Yarns was another dyer I reached out to before the launch. She’s a fellow Yarn Hoar and I really enjoyed getting to see more of her beautiful colorways through her many posts. Her Citrus Sensation yarn was the perfect bright orange for my summer swap partner, and her yarns in general just make me smile.

Sue has donated a skein of the winner’s choice, up to $25, or $25 off a purchase of $28 or more.

Alturas

Ami of Lakes Yarn and Fiber is also a fellow Hoar, but I wasn’t familiar with her yarns until she posted to Indie Untangled. Her sea greens and pinks took my breath away, and she recently posted some beautiful speckled yarns on her Instagram account. It’s hard to say what I love more: Ami’s yarn or the photographs of her adorable lambs. She also works as a cardiac nurse, one of the fascinating things I learned when I interviewed her last year.

Ami has donated a skein of her Alturas, a Merino/silk/yak blend, in Dark Wash.

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I discovered Dirty Water DyeWorks during my first trip to Rhinebeck all the way back in 2011 and I have since always made sure to shop at her booth. I knew I had to have Stephanie on my site and she’s been a great supporter, and even offered up a discount to Rhinebeck Trunk Show attendees at last year’s festival.

Stephanie has offered up a skein of the winner’s choice.

So, here’s how these giveaways will work: Anyone who signs up for the Indie Untangled newsletter will be entered to win. I will be picking winners on April 10, 17 and 24, as well as May 1, so if you subscribe by 9 p.m. EST, you will be eligible for that day’s giveaway. Anyone already on the mailing list is entered to win. I’ll pick a winner via random number generator and notify them by email. The winner will arrange shipment with the dyer. PLEASE NOTE: Winners must respond within 48 hours of when the notification email is sent to claim the prize. If not, another winner will be selected.

Hang on — that’s not all! I will also be doing a giveaway on the Indie Untangled Facebook page. The details will be posted there in an hour.

Good luck! And thanks for being part of this amazing community.

What to stash this week: Patterns and yarns and prizes

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The latest cowl design from Laura of Fiber Dreams is a journey to Margaret Street in London, where All Saints Church is filled with ogees, arches, and other architectural details that inspired the pattern. It’s knit in the round with fingering-weight yarn and the pattern includes four different sizing options, though many more are possible by changing the number of times the motif is worked in a circle, and how many times the rows are worked.

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Peggie of ColorPurl just started stocking her Etsy and Zibbet shops with eco-friendly and naturally-dyed yarns. Using materials such as coffee, cochineal and Alkanet root, Peggie creates warm and subtle, and also bright and bold colorways to use for accessories and sweaters.

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Kettle Yarn Co. is having a shop update today at 5 p.m. GMT and adding more luxurious Beyul, a yak/Merino/silk blend, in such vivid colors as Steppe, Sacred Saffron, Monk’s Robe, Yurt and Electric Amaranth.

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Lexi is done with her taxes and is doing a giveaway to celebrate. Even if you’re not getting a refund, at least you have a chance of winning seven skeins of Filatura di Crosa Cristallo, Wooly Wash and her Bee & Ewe Healing Honey Lotion. To enter, you need to like the Queen Bee Fibers Facebook page, share the giveaway post and join Lexi’s mailing list. Hurry — the winner will be chosen at 6 p.m. today.

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Looking for a lightweight, ready-to-knit project? Treat yourself to the Sidere shawl kit. It comes with a digital copy of Hilary Smith Callis’s pattern and one skein of Luna Grey Fiber Arts BFL/silk Starbright in your choice of colorway.

TKASurfSocks

Newsletter readers may be familiar with The Knitting Artist’s hand-painted art cards and accessories decorated in hand-drawn stockinette. What you might not know is that Lisa also a pattern designer. Her latest design is Midnight Surf, a pair of socks with an ocean-inspired lace pattern. They are knit from the toe up with a standard gusset and triangle heel, in DK-weight yarn, so are a really quick and simple knit.

Maryland Sheep and Wool: Indie pop-up at The Knot House

The Knot House

In 2013, mother and daughter team Cathy and Heather opened The Knot House a local yarn shop in historic downtown in Frederick, Maryland, that specializes in hand-dyed yarn. They have created pretty much the kind of LYS I fantasize about running and carry yarn from a number of indies. They also happen to be located less than 30 miles from the Howard County Fairgrounds, home to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and they have some big plans for it this year:

Throughout the weekend, they will be holding an indie dyer pop-up, chock full of Indie Untangled artisans, including Duck Duck Wool, French Market Fibers, Lakes Yarn and Fiber, Magpie Fibers and Western Sky Knits, as well as O-Wool and YOTH Yarns, which I am really excited to check out.

The idea is similar to what prompted me to organize last year’s Rhinebeck Trunk Show: “So many people come from all over for the MSWF, so we thought we would also showcase some new, popular artists that will not be at the festival,” Heather says.

knot house pop up

Some of the dyers, such as Sandra Miracle of DDW, Dami Hunter of Magpie (who learned to knit at The Knot House and debuted her line there in December), Jocelyn Tunney of O-Wool and Veronica and Danny of YOTH, will be at shop at various times throughout the weekend. That Saturday also happens to be downtown Frederick’s First Saturday, so the shops will be open late and there will likely be entertainment on the streets. A great way to cap off a day at the fairgrounds!

Over the last few years, I’ve ended up missing the festival for one reason or the other (last year it was because my parents had gotten my husband and I tickets to see the Broadway revival of Cabaret, which was a pretty good reason). This year, however, I put it on my calendar and I’m really excited for my first MDSW. I’m also kind of glad I waited.

The pop-up runs on Friday, May 1, from 5 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, May 2, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, May 3, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Perhaps I’ll see you there?

What to stash this week: Survey time!

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In time for spring, Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe is expanding. Alicia has released her first batch of soap, a dual-layer confection with a Green Tea and Lemongrass scent. Alicia is also doing some market research before possibly releasing more products, with a 25% off coupon code for all participants. Everyone who takes the short survey will also be entered to win one of 10 sample sized lotion bars, with the drawing on April 5.

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You unfortunately won’t be able to time travel to next month, when Outlander returns to Starz (at least I don’t think you can…) but you can knit the Time Traveler Vest by Therese Chynoweth. It’s the first of six new Outlander-inspired pattern kits featuring Bijou Basin Ranch‘s hand-dyed Outlandish colorways. The vest is knit in Himalayan Trail, with a 15% discount for purchasing the yarn and pattern together in the kit.