What to stash this week: French twist

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If you were drooling all over your keyboard, phone or iPad while looking at the photos of the French Market Fibers available at the Knot House indie pop-up earlier this month, then you’d better wipe them off and make sure they work: Margaret is having a shop update on Thursday, May 28 at 3 p.m. CST. The update will include Angora Lace, Uptown Sock, Warehouse Sock and Silky DK in a variety of New Orleans-inspired colors.

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Michael Harrigan’s accessory designs are inspired by his travels and I’m sure you can guess what his latest pattern, the Parisian Links shawl, is based on. The top and bottom sections of the oversized, two-color shawl have lace patterns that evoke the architecture of the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Pyramids, while the middle area represents the Seine River and its bridges. Beads are spread out on the borders. The shawl uses about 830 yards of laceweight yarn, so it might be an option for the Angora lace you might score in Margaret’s update?

Purple reigns

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I know a lot of knitters — a lot — who are obsessed with purple. I think purple people are kind of in their own category — I mean, what other colors have entire stores dedicated to it? On a related note, I don’t recommend Googling “store for red lovers”…

Well, lovers of purple, this post’s for you. Here are some of the grapiest, most plummy hues that Indie Untangled dyers have posted.

Lavandula by http://indieuntangled.com/marketplace_shops/pigeonroof-studios/

Lavandula by http://indieuntangled.com/marketplace_shops/pigeonroof-studios/

Purple gradient from Three Fates Yarns

Purple gradient from Three Fates Yarns

Messalina by Countess Ablaze

Messalina by Countess Ablaze

Heliotrope by Astral Bath Yarns

Heliotrope by Astral Bath Yarns

Damson Delight by Sylvan Tiger Yarn

Damson Delight by Sylvan Tiger Yarn

Chilean Vineyards by Stitchjones

Chilean Vineyards by Stitchjones

What to stash this week: Journeys in yarn

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Caroline of Life in the Longgrass, or LITL for short, dyes her lovely variegated colorways in the County Cork countryside. The name is inspired by the lives of the creatures that provide us with wool. Her 2015 Summer Yarn Club is now open to knitters all over the world, with flat-rate shipping included in the €70 (roughly $80) price. In June, July and August, subscribers get one 464-yard, hand-painted, variegated skein of fingering-weight Merino/nylon yarn. The colorways will be exclusive to club members for six months. Act fast, as there are a limited number of memberships available.

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And speaking of traveling, Kyra of Cedar Hill Farm Company has her popular Gypsy Sock, a 100% superwash Australian Merino heavy laceweight yarn, in five new colorways. Take a trip over to her shop for Wicked Watermelon, Little Fish, Iris (pictured above), Gumdrop and Cherry Blossom.

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Sarah has added a luxurious 50/50 baby camel/silk fingering to her Etsy shop. This exquisitely soft yarn, which provides a beautiful drape is available in single skeins, as well as two- and three-skein groups of coordinating colors.

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The Chauntecleer Cowl, Karen’s latest design, is a two-color cowl with a simple, elegant eyelet stitch pattern. It’s worked in the round in worsted weight yarn, and you can give it a variety of looks depending on the colors you select. Get 20% off on Ravelry with the coupon code Pertelote through Monday, May 18.

What to stash this week: Discounts!

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Aside from being a prolific designer, Lara Smoot is a woman of many crafty talents. Not only has she just released a new shawl pattern — Marshwood takes two skeins of Bare Naked Wools Confection Sport and is $1 off on Ravelry through May 11 with the code BNW — but she also updated her Etsy shop with some new drawstring project bags and gradient yarns. The yarn is available in a sock kit that includes the already-wound yarn, a sock-sized bag and your choice of any one of Lara’s sock patterns. Single skeins for shawls, scarves or cowls are also available. If you’re in the U.S., you get free shipping through May 11 with the code freeshipping.

NeverEnoughThyme set

Even if your mom isn’t a knitter, celebrate Mother’s Day with a little gift for yourself. Get 20% off your purchase from Never Enough Thyme through May 20. Use the code, MOTHERSDAY2015 and try a mini-skein set or one of the new gradients recently added to the shop.

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Luna Grey Fiber Arts is turning three and you get presents! Get 20% off your purchase through Sunday, May 17 with the code Birthday20.

Balwen Woodworks collage

Balwen Woodworks had a successful debut at Chicago’s YarnCon and recently launched a website. Lindy crafts buttons, closures and shawl pins out of salvaged materials, including wood, vintage rulers and a 1920s edition of Little Women. Get free shipping in the U.S. and Canadian for orders over $49 with the coupon code 49FREESHIP.

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The wickedly talented Lucca Leeee — I mean, Laura Lundy — of Slipped Stitch Studios has a new Bag of the Month that defies gravity. The bags, needle cases, swift covers, spindle totes and more in this limited fabric are available until it sells out. Hurry before it flies, or melts, away!

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The exclusive colorways available from Florida LYS A Good Yarn Sarasota have a cool story: Dyed by such indies as Lorna’s Laces, Yarn Love, Madelinetosh and Three Irish Girls, some are inspired by underwater photographs taken by shop owner Susan’s husband while scuba diving.

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Erica of Squoosh Fiberarts and her military family are getting ready to leave Kansas. As a tribute to the place she’s called home for the past three years, she’s created three Kansas-inspired colorways for the Color of the Month. Tornado Warning, Tuttle Creek and Sorghum are available for pre-order on yarn and fiber.

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Sue of Invictus Yarns has restocked her shop with Unconquerable Sole BFL, a fingering-weight blend of 80% Superwash Blue Faced Leister and 20% nylon that has proven to be a very popular. It’s back and is available in a variety of colorways.

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Kim of Western Sky Knits is back home after a run of shows (including the MDSW indie pop-up at The Knot House) and has updated her shop with lots of new yarn and colorways.

Targhee Combed Top

The latest update from BeesyBee Fibers included a bunch of hand-dyed tops, including Domestic Targhee, Corriedale and 19 Micron Merino, in some bright and bold colors. There’s also some new fingering-weight yarn for the non-spinners among us.

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If you’ve snagged any of the skeins in the fun colorways that Keya of Cedar Hill Farm Company has recently dyed up, here’s something to put them in. She has hand-sewn, 100% cotton large drawstring bags, medium zippered bags and small sock bags in fabrics that are a perfect match for her bright yarns.

Shopping indie in Maryland

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MDSW graphic

I was already pretty excited about experiencing my first Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival when I decided earlier this year that I was going to clear my calendar and make the trip down. I was looking forward to spending a relaxing weekend hosted by Vicki, AKA That Clever Clementine, showing off my newest shawls and sleeveless knit tops, perhaps buying a few skeins. But when Heather first emailed me in February about the indie pop-up she was putting together at The Knot House, her shop in Frederick, MD, I knew my budget would be in trouble. The vendor list was pretty incredible, with several dyers from this site: Duck Duck Wool, French Market Fibers, Lakes Yarn and Fiber, Magpie Fibers and Western Sky Knits, as well as O-Wool and YOTH Yarns.

Leaving Friday morning, I hitched a ride with my friends Lynn and Stefanie and we arrived in Frederick around 4 p.m., an hour before the shop opened for the pop-up preview. Vicki, who was selling her bags and yarn bowls, was already inside setting up and we waited patiently on the sidewalk, happily knitting away on our respective projects and talking yarn with the one woman who made it there before us.

The line got a little longer as we waited, but the crowd was just the right size: big enough to classify this as a fiber Event, but allowing enough space to comfortably shop.

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French Market Fibers was my first stop. As a stay-at-home mom, Margaret has limited time to dye, and her Etsy updates tend to sell out faster than it takes me to decide what I want. Here, I had the luxury of taking everything in and figuring out what I had to have (um, all of it) before claiming two skeins of Gelato in Warehouse Sock and one Midnight on the Moonwalk Uptown Sock.

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I got to see Alicia Plummer’s new cardigan, Thereafter, which uses Lakes Yarn and Fiber’s Lochsa DK, available as a kit in Ami’s Etsy shop.

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I also admired some of Ami’s recent variegated skeins. She had mentioned when I interviewed her last year that she found dyeing them challenging, but you wouldn’t know it from the results.

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I was very excited to finally meet Dami of Magpie Fibers, who posted to Indie Untangled shortly after launching her line at The Knot House in December. I knew from the photos she posted that she had beautiful colors, but seeing them in person was another story. Instead of creating individual colorways, Dami dyes in a gradient, so it was very easy to find colors that complemented one another.

MDSW3 Ysolda

This is Ysolda Teague’s Hediye shawl, using Dami’s awesomely-named colorway, Rhinestone Cowboy.

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In person, Dami was just as lovely as her yarns — with great hair to match.

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Sandra of Duck Duck Wool was popular, of course. I finally snagged a skein of her Night Bokeh colorway that went so fast at last year’s Rhinebeck Trunk Show, and admired her newest “accident,” Little Black Knit.

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Vicki also had a ton of beautiful stuff. I could always use a new project bag, but I held off on buying since I’m already collaborating with her on a couple of things…

The Knot House was so inviting, housed in a beautiful historic building with a ton of natural light streaming in through the big front windows. Heather and her mom, Cathy, have created a wonderful business with a drool-worthy selection of indies, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you happen to be nearby (Frederick is also a cute, walkable town with some cool-looking shops).

Then, of course, there was the festival itself. There were definitely some pros and cons. The pros? Since there’s a suggested donation instead of an admission fee, it was easy to stroll in and make a beeline for Jennie the Potter, where the line for limited-edition mugs wasn’t quite as long as it is at Rhinebeck. My friends and I even got to her booth 25 minutes after it opened and were still able to snag some of the last ones.

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Isn’t he cute? (I mean the mug.)

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There was also this sign, which I think everyone took a photo of. Well played.

Night's Watch

The main con was that since MDSW tends to take place on the first warm weekend of spring, knitwear was a little tough to to pull off. My Urban was fine in the morning, but by the afternoon I was quite toasty (next time I’ll wear a T-shirt). I was able to show off my Night’s Watch shawl by the talented Lara Smoot — who I also finally got to meet! — but between the heat and the limited shade, I was fried a lot sooner than I am at Rhinebeck. But, overall, I enjoyed what felt like a more laid-back version of the New York festival. It gave me an opportunity to just relax and enjoy time with friends and not feel too much pressure to add to my stash…

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But I did, of course. Here’s the haul, which aside from the Duck Duck Wool, French Market Fibers, Magpie and Jennie the Potter, includes handspun earrings and a Lotion Baah from Anne of A Little Teapot Designs, who scored a spot in the festival a few weeks ago.

What to stash this week if you’re not in Maryland

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If you’re not headed to yarn heaven at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival (and if you are, there’s an IU meetup on Saturday — 1:30 p.m. in the Lower Corral) or going to the Knot House indie pop-up, there’s plenty of non-festival stashing opportunities — including some free yarn!

There’s no shortage of bright colors from the dyers on Indie Untangled this week. Kim has introduced Technicolor Peacock, a bold colorway comprised of pink, purple, turquoise and bright green. There are four 220-yard skeins of Merino worsted weight yarn in this dye lot.

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FREE YARN ALERT: Sharon of Stitchjones has a very big promotion going on. From now until May 8, each customer who places a yarn or fiber order in the Stitchjones Etsy shop will receive a surprise skein of hand-dyed goodness. This promo even has its own hashtag: #yarnmakespeoplehappy. Indeed.

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Sarah, formerly of Sarah’s Spindle and Silk Road Needle Arts has settled into her new home in Snug Harbor, North Carolina, and has also settled on a new name. As The Queen’s Ransome, Sarah also has a new line of what she calls “wild reds,” inspired by the local birds. She’s also been adding some luxurious alpaca and cashmere yarns to her shop.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheQueensRansome

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Keya of Cedar Hill Farm Company has also been busy dyeing up skeins of Sock Rocket Medium, a 4-ply superwash wool yarn that is is perfect for crisp, lightweight cables. Her new hand-painted colorways include multis, such as Roller Derby and Venetian, and the self-striping Sexy Cyclops, Pickles & Jam and Solitude.

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Sure, you’ve seen yarn bombing, but I’m pretty sure you’ve never seen it like this. Lisa recently worked on a collaborative mural project that included a cityscape, and decided to add a little yarn. That sparked an idea, and Lisa decided to decorate some vintage postcards. The results are pretty fabulous and would make some cute craft room decor — or a funny gift for your favorite knitter.

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It may be getting warmer, but you never know with mother nature. The new Queen Bee Leg Warmers are the perfect solution for your favorite kid. They’re knit in the round with one skein of soft and washable Luna Grey Fiber Arts Aspen Sport. The honeycomb lace pattern is easy to memorize and it comes in three sizes. And, through May 10, you get the pattern free when you purchase a Queen Bee kit!

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.

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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