What to stash this week if you’re not at Rhinebeck

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Michelle of Berry Colorful Yarnings — whose yarn I have the honor to sell at the pre-Rhinebeck trunk show tonight — will be having a very fall-themed update next Thursday, Oct. 23. It includes plenty of self-striping yarns, as well as overdyes and tonals. There are even football team-inspired colorways.

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To celebrate Halloween and the final book release of her favorite book series, Kim Harrison’s The Hollows Candice of C. Whitney Knits has dyed up a brand new batch of colorways. They include semi-solids, variegated and gradients that fairly bright and not too scary.

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No need to be blue about not going to Rhinebeck. Kettle Yarn Co. will be updating her shop tonight at 5 p.m. GMT. She’ll be listing a number of blends on the blue end of the color spectrum.

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Mellifera Yarns had a shop update last Friday with a ton of autumn-inspired shades. While a lot of the colors have sold, there is still plenty of yarn left, including a few skeins of Silky Sock in the Oats colorway and a bunch of Merino DK and Merino Aran.

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Prepare for fall or winter walks in the woods, or for knitting in the park, with the Sylvan Scarf from Sylvan Tiger Yarn. With a central lace panel reminiscent of pine trees and a sapling border, the scarf can be knit with just one skein of Sylvan Tiger’s newest base, Tethera 4ply, a smooth yarn spun from 100% British BFL and available in 14 colors.

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Tami of Eternity Ranch Knits found inspiration in the story of her friend Sara and dyed up a color block of teal, tan and grey for this sideways shawl pattern designed by Penny of Knit-By-Bit Designs. Kits are available to pre-order in the Eternity Ranch Knits Etsy shop until Oct. 20 and there’s a Sara’s Story KAL taking place on Ravelry from Oct. 27-Nov. 30.

Trunk show prize preview

Those of you who follow Indie Untangled on Instagram might have seen some previews of raffle prizes that will be available at the pre-Rhinebeck Trunk Show. Here’s a little roundup of what you can look forward to winning:

Yarn from Alpenglow Yarn.

Yarn from Alpenglow Yarn.

Fiber from BeesyBee Fibers.

Fiber from BeesyBee Fibers.

A Pendulum shawl kit from Dirty Water DyeWorks.

A Pendulum shawl kit from Dirty Water DyeWorks.

An Indulgence Kit, complete with beads, from Inner Yarn Zen.

An Indulgence Kit, complete with beads, from Inner Yarn Zen.

Mini skeins from Kettle Yarn Co.

Mini skeins from Kettle Yarn Co.

Two kits from Lakes Yarn and Fiber.

Two kits from Lakes Yarn and Fiber.

Buttons from Melissa Jean Design.

Buttons from Melissa Jean Design.

There will also be prizes from Bijou Basin Ranch, Canon Hand Dyes and Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe, and some other special goodies.

The way we’re planning on having the raffles work is that each attendee gets one ticket that they can choose to place in the receptacle for the prize of their choice. Additional raffle tickets can be purchased for $1 apiece, and vendors will give out extra tickets along with purchases over $100. The drawings will take place around 8 p.m. and winners must be present to claim their prize.

Pre-Rhinebeck Untangling: Rochelle of Lucky Lucille

Rochelle designed and screen printed these awesome tote bags, which will be for sale at the Rhinebeck trunk show.

Rochelle designed and screen printed these awesome tote bags, which will be for sale at the Rhinebeck trunk show.

Each time I visit Lucky Lucille, I’m instantly struck with the urge to take out my sewing machine and start whipping up cute 1940s-style dresses. Never mind the fact that I can’t sew a straight line to save my life, and that I consider fabric glue one of my best discoveries this year, but in the meantime, I can live vicariously through Rochelle New’s crafting blog.

Rochelle also recently took up knitting (she even created her own pattern), and will be making her first trip to Rhinebeck this weekend (this weekend?!). I’m so excited to have her at the trunk show. To show how awesome she is, when I asked her to participate as a sponsor, she immediately came up with the great idea of designing tote bags especially for the event. Not only that, but she ended up screen printing them herself. I cannot wait to get my hands on one, and also perhaps spot some at the fairgrounds the next day.

Have you always had a vintage sense of style?

I’ve always had a fondness for vintage and antiques, even when I was a kid. I blame my mother and her love of old movies for that. Even so, I don’t know that I’d ever call my style totally vintage since I wear more modern clothing than anything else. I do look to bygone eras for style and sewing inspiration first and foremost and I think I always will, even if it’s just a vintage brooch on my modern jacket or a vintage fabric made into a modern shirt.

What would you say attracted you to the 1940s in particular?

I appreciate the utility and practicality of WWII era clothing. Most of my sewing and knitting patterns are from that time period. I’ve always loved the idea of sewing and knitting for victory!

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When did you begin sewing consistently?

When I was living in Vermont I got a job at a small fabric and yarn shop. That job really solidified my passion for sewing (and also yarn, even though I had no idea how to use it at that point haha!). It was January of 2011, when I found an online sew-along that I started sewing and blogging consistently.

Is there a sewing accomplishment you’re most proud of?

I make an effort to be very proud of at least one part of everything I make, even if it’s just one line of topstitching or the placket of one sleeve. I think it’s the tiny accomplishments that make crafting really rewarding.

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Where are your favorite places to shop for fabric?

Right now I live in a really tiny town in Western NY with no local options for buying fabric, so 90% of my fabric shopping happens online. Hawthorne Threads is the online shop I buy from most frequently. They have a great selection without overwhelming me with choices and their shipping is super quick! When I travel I make a point to visit as many small local fabric and yarn shops as I can. You know, for souvenirs. ;)

You recently started blogging about your knitting adventures. How did you decide to pick up knitting?

I’m the kind of person who HAS to be doing something with their hands at all times (which is why I’m having tendinitis issues right now, no doubt). I’ve always dreamed of making my own hats and sweaters since they’re as much of a wardrobe staple to me as underpants and shoes! After watching my extremely talented friends knit project after project, I decided I was going to learn for myself. I also needed a hobby that was more portable than sewing. …I haven’t yet worked out a way to sew from the couch or on an airplane.

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Do you have any knitting goals in mind?

I feel like I’m a late bloomer and a slow learner when it comes to knitting so haven’t ventured on to any projects beyond hats and scarves at this point. I want to knit a sweater vest and also a sweater some time this year (if my tendinitis ever goes away!).

Do you find sewing easier than knitting?

Well I’ve been sewing for years longer than I’ve been knitting, but by principle I DO find sewing much easier. When I cut out fabric I can see all the separate parts laid out and how they’ll go together. The process of knitting still boggles my mind. You’re basically just taking a long piece of string and tangling it up in knots with two sticks until BAM! you’ve got a hat. It feels like sorcery every time I do it.

You’ve also been designing your own fabric via Spoonflower. If you could design a custom fabric that expressed who you are, what do you think it would look like?

Good question! Well, if someone else were to design a fabric inspired by me I’m sure it would involve lots of elaborate rainbow colored cats haha! My own design aesthetic is much more simple though. I like silhouettes inspired by nature and old things. I recently created a pattern using the design on an antique box that belonged to my great grandmother. I feel like that one is very “me.”

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What to stash this week: Fall death and rebirth

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Fall brings some new beginnings, but it’s also notable for its endings. Recently, Asti of Juno Fibre Arts made the tough decision to bring her dyeing operation to an end and focus her creative efforts elsewhere.

Before shutting down, she will have two last updates on Etsy. The first will take place on Monday, Oct. 13, and will be mostly laceweight and the more limited-edition and luxury bases. On Oct. 16, Asti will list her remaining fingering-weight skeins for sale. There are also a few last braids of fiber and DK-weight skeins up in the shop.

Asti will give a preview before each update on her blog and on Facebook so you can plan your purchases. Take the opportunity to celebrate a very talented indie dyer and help her wipe the slate clean before embarking on her next adventure.

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Erica of Squoosh Fiberarts has decided to try out a Color of the Month, a limited-edition colorway that is only available to pre-order before it’s retired. In October, the Color of the Month is actually three different colors: Cauldron, Toothbreaker and Frosted Leaves are available on a choice of bases and fibers until Oct. 15.

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Get your maple fix without the calories (of course, calories don’t count if you’re at a fiber festival). For all of October, Fastenation Studio is offering maple leaf button sets on sale for only $5. Each set includes five 3/4″ buttons, and Hannah can make them up in any color or color combination.

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If you plan to be in New York City on Saturday, definitely make a beeline to the third annual Kings County Fiber Festival, a unique event held on the picturesque streets of Park Slope, Brooklyn. Lexi of Queen Bee Fibers will be there with plenty of hand-dyed fiber and her Bee & Ewe Healing Honey Lotion, which uses beeswax and honey from her hives.

Fiber festival season

Felted pumpkins from Decadent Fibers at last year's Kings County Fiber Festival.

Felted pumpkins from Decadent Fibers at last year’s Kings County Fiber Festival.

If it were possible to overdose on yarn (but really, we all know that it isn’t) this time of year is when it would happen. Just like non-knitting folks see Pumpkin Spice Everything, there is so much going on in the fiber world.

Take this weekend, for example. Not only is it the NYC Yarn Crawl, but there’s also another fun event that you should really check out if you happen to be in the New York area. On Saturday, the Kings County Fiber Festival will be held at The Old Stone House in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The festival brings together a number of local and regional dyers and spinners — including Indie Untangled’s very own Queen Bee Fibers — who line the picturesque streets on a (hopefully) sunny and crisp fall day. Local group Spin City will also be practicing for the fleece-to-shawl competition that takes place at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival. So even if you are going to Rhinebeck, think of this as a low-key warm-up.

There are also a number of vendors selling all sorts of handmade items, from jewelry to candles (Artikal has some beautiful hats), so it’s a perfect thing to bring your non-fiber-obsessed friends to.

Hand-dyed fibery goodness from Queen Bee Fibers.

Hand-dyed fibery goodness from Queen Bee Fibers.

I caught up with KCFF organizer Maxcine DeGouttes, who ran Brooklyn’s Stitch Therapy yarn shop for many years and founded the festival in 2012:

Tell me about how you came up with the idea for the festival.

Well, the idea was brewing for a year and a half before it got off the ground. The opportunity to curate a larger fiber marketplace beyond the walls of Stitch Therapy had great appeal, and who doesn’t love a fun festival at the beginning of the fiber season in Brooklyn, NY? In the 10 years of Stitch Therapy, my customers came from far and wide and the one thing that they all had in common was their passion for the fiber. The other was the desire to learn and share something new. The city is filled with creativity and the Kings county Fiber Festival is a subway, bus or short walk away.

Photo via Stitch Therapy.

Photo via Stitch Therapy.

What would you say makes it different from other fiber festivals?

Three years is young for a festival. The size is intimate and open to a more inclusive growth to celebrate the handmade. The location at the Old Stone House takes up a full city block and in October the leaves are changing colors and the newly refurbished park is a beautiful place within Brooklyn. New York City is filled with locals and the Kings County Fiber Festival turns Brooklyn into a small town for eight hours.

Since it’s held outside in the middle of Brooklyn, have you met anyone who’s been inspired to start knitting, spinning or felting by coming to the festival?

Well, starting with the free finger knitting for kids and the spinning demos, there are always beginners on the day of the festival, but I would have to say the most exciting is when a kid holds up their strand of finger knitting and introduces me to the friend that she brought with her for a “play date” at the Kings County Fiber Festival.

A custom wheel at the festival. Photo via Stitch Therapy.

A custom wheel at the festival. Photo via Stitch Therapy.

Could you say if you have any plans for Stitch Therapy, or anything else in the works?

I’m in the middle of a Stitch Therapy design, a structural lace shawl sized for the opera in a jet black.

You can also check out the Stitch Therapy Pinterest boards and follow Maxcine on Facebook and Twitter.

A peek inside Gauge + Tension

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New York City certainly doesn’t lack for local yarn shops (and there will be plenty to keep everyone busy during the NYC Yarn Crawl next weekend), but Michele Wang’s Gauge + Tension, which opened Saturday, fills a special niche. Since it’s only open for three months, it kind of has the feel of a long-term, chic fiber festival, with skeins from indie dyers that you’ll only be able to find there.

Beautiful skeins from Tanis Fiber Arts.

Beautiful skeins from Tanis Fiber Arts.

During the opening day Saturday, I ducked in from the rain and humidity and into what looked like an art gallery, but for yarn. There were white cubbies filled with colorful skeins from dyers like Julie Asselin, Western Sky Knits and Hedgehog Fibres, and samples of Michele’s sweater designs artfully hung on the walls.

Michele's Stonecutter, which I faved as soon as I saw it in Brooklyn Tweed.

Michele’s Stonecutter, which I faved as soon as I saw it in Brooklyn Tweed.


There are some great shop exclusives, including special “Gauge” and “Tension” colorways from Sleep Season, which Meg from Colorado apparently dyes in crock pots!

Sleep Season's Gauge and Tension colorways.

Sleep Season‘s Gauge and Tension colorways.

I met up with Maria of Subway Knits, and we also admired the great Quince & Co. collection, and vowed to return after going over our Ravelry faves and deciding on some sweater patterns. We also bumped into some of the Madelinetosh Stalkers, including Yelena, who might have just bought the shop out of their Q&C Owl.

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Pull up a bench and knit a while.

Pull up a bench and knit a while.

And even though it’s temporary, Michele has created such a welcoming atmosphere that the shop almost feels like it could be a permanent fixture.

If you happen to be traveling to Rhinebeck and are bookending your trip with a weekend in NYC, I highly recommend stopping in. There’s also plenty to see and nom on in the vicinity — brunch at Five Leaves, pierogi at Krolewskie Jadlo and ice cream at Van Leeuwen.

Oh, and don’t think for a second that I made it out of there without some yarn. While there’s no question I’ll be back, my inaugural purchase was a skein of WSK Willow Sport in the Earthen colorway, which I’m thinking will make a fantastic cowl or hat.

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What to stash this week: Gradient city

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Gradient yarn sets are kind of like doughnuts — really hard to turn down when you’re presented with them.

Stephania of Three Fates Yarns, a dyer out of Oregon, one of my favorite places, has presented us with another way to get our gradient fix. Take a look at these sets for she just put up for sale in Terra Sock, a high-twist, superwash Merino/nylon blend. The pinky-salmony one at the top is called City of Books, after Portland’s Powell’s — how perfect is that?

And, if you’re stumped for an ombre project, there are plenty of ideas.

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If you prefer your yarn au naturale, Sarah of Sarah’s Spindle is offering some pretty exotic yarns in her new Wild Fibers collection, including a bison-silk laceweight yarn and a worsted weight bison-Merino. Ever the experimenter (check out this fall-hued shibori yarn) Sarah’s planning on dyeing some of the bison-silk, as well as some baby camel and super soft baby camel silk, but she’s also left many of the skeins in their rich, natural colors.

Pre-Rhinebeck Untangling: Jacey Boggs of PLY magazine

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As a journalist with an extensive background in print, I always get a little excited — and, also, very intrigued — when someone starts a non-digital publication. Jacey Boggs took the print plunge last summer when she launched PLY magazine, which is dedicated to the art of spinning, offering smartly-written stories and beautiful photos.

Before PLY, Jacey taught spinning all over the world (there are still some spots open in her Saturday workshops at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival) and also produced a spinning DVD and wrote a book. Before that, Jacey sold her handspun, spinning six hours a day, five days a week, and supporting her growing family. Still, Jacey, who’s studied Japanese, economics, political science and journalism, says she considers PLY her first “grown-up job.”

There will be an opportunity to win an issue of PLY as part of a raffle prize package at the Rhinebeck trunk show, of which the magazine is a media sponsor.

What made you decided to start PLY and why did you go the print route (I ask this as a very interested, mostly print journalist!)?

I started PLY because I saw that the spinning community needed it and I thought that I could do it well. Of course, if I’d known how big of a job it would be, I may have hesitated or thought I couldn’t handle it. Ignorance is bliss and I’m thankful I didn’t have more knowledge at the time. I decided print simply because I like print magazines. I want my fiber magazines on my shelf, I want to see them, smell them, feel them. I want to hold them. I know that fiber people are tactile so I figured they wanted the same.

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What are the best things that you’ve learned while running a magazine?

That it’s possible to do something great. That people make the world go around. Even the biggest projects, the most ambitious goals, are accomplished by individuals, either alone or working together. We shouldn’t let grandness intimidate us. Success is attainable if you are true and honest and good and you create a product that embodies those qualities. Drama and negativity poison creative projects. Look straight ahead and do what’s right, always.

Also, lists are invaluable.

How did you get into spinning?

Like most spinners, I was a knitter that wanted to save money. It didn’t really work.

Are there certain fibers you particularly love to spin? Any you are intrigued to try spinning?

I love all fibers. Honestly. As I get further into my spinning career, I realize that every fiber is good for something, has a use, is perfect for some project. Except Karakul, I just don’t like that stuff.

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What does the future hold for PLY?

More of the same, I hope. Bigger and better with every issue! I’d like to reach every spinner and I’d like to have everyone that wants to be heard, say something on our pages!

Untangling: Brooklyn pop-up yarn shop GAUGE + TENSION

Tanis Fiber Arts Silver Label, a GAUGE + TENSION retail exclusive.

Tanis Fiber Arts Silver Label, a GAUGE + TENSION retail exclusive.

Who among us hasn’t fantasized about owning a yarn shop and stocking it full of hand-dyed skeins from some of our favorite indie dyers? Well, designer Michele Wang, she of the beautifully textured Brooklyn Tweed and Quince and Co. knits, has decided to do it, though she’s gone about it in a very unique way. This weekend, she’s opening GAUGE + TENSION, a pop-up LYS in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

The pop-up concept means that the shop will be open for just three months, on weekends only, except for Oct. 18 and 19, during the New York Sheep and Wool Festival. G+T will specialize in hard-to-find-in-person yarns from a great line-up of dyers, including Tanis Fiber Arts, Western Sky Knits and Hedgehog Fibres, as well as yarns from Quince and Co. and Brooklyn Tweed. There will also be fiber and some patterns for sale.

I think this is such a great idea, and decided to do a Q&A with Michele before going to the opening day on Oct. 4, when I will definitely pop in and take tons of photos.

How did you come up with the idea for a pop-up yarn store and why did you choose this kind of model?

One day my husband forwarded me a site called Storefront and said, “Take a look.” It’s like an Air BnB for retail storefronts. Owners can list their spaces or parts of their spaces by the day or any length of time. And when I took a look at what was in my neighborhood, the space I’ll be renting out was one that jumped out at me. The price and location were perfect.

Not only are rental rates in NYC prohibitively high, but I’m still not sure if I want to be a yarn store owner. This seemed to be the perfect solution. I’ll only be renting on the weekends which keeps the rental costs down, and I can see if this type of business suits me.

G+T Michele

Is this definitely a one-time thing, or are you exploring making this regular, or permanent, at all?

I really don’t know. I’ve always dreamt about having my own store. But, I know it’s hard, all-consuming work and I’m just not sure if it’s for me. I think I’ve learned to take my path day by day. I never know what is going to appeal to me tomorrow.

Western Sky Knits, one of the many indie dyers whose yarns will be available at G+T.

Western Sky Knits, one of the many indie dyers whose yarns will be available at G+T.

Tell me about the kinds of yarns that GAUGE + TENSION will offer and why you chose the dyers you did.

I wanted to focus on yarns that were hard to find in the NYC area, and I wanted to split up the inventory with hand-dyers and commercially-dyed yarns. It took a long time to figure out which hand-dyers I wanted to go with. I tried to have a nice range of different color palettes and “feels” to the colors. Each dyer has a signature style and my goal was to make sure there was a nice representation of those styles.

Will you be integrating your designs at all, or is this all about the yarn?

I hope to make it all about the yarn, and would like to think the yarn speaks for itself. But people sometimes need to see an example of how the yarn will behave, feel and look once they’re done. I can’t blame them; the yarn in a skein is very different from a finished project. I did design a few hats especially for the store in hopes to promote the yarn, and those patterns will be for sale there. And I’ll also have a few samples of Brooklyn Tweed and Quince designs, which people can download from Ravelry.

Michele Wang's Galeo hat will be one of the designs on display.

Michele Wang’s Galeo hat will be one of the designs on display.

You’ll be participating in this year’s NYC Yarn Crawl. Can you share anything you have planned for the event?

Yes! I have yet to announce it on the blog, but Kristin Lehrer, owner of Voolenvine, will be with us that weekend. She’ll have her latest batch of hand-dyed yarns for sale and will be around for questions and autographs! I’m especially excited to have Kristin in-store because she’s a local. She works out of her apartment right here in Greenpoint! And, I’m especially excited to be able to support a local indie artisan.

What to stash this week: Think pink

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I’m sure many of you have had your lives touched by breast cancer in some way. If you’re looking to sport some pink hand knits in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Sarah of Sarah’s Spindle has you covered. She’s dyed up a ton of bubblegum colored and peachy pink yarns in some lovely fibers, including Cashmere, silk, alpaca, Merino — even bison. She’s also offering free shipping for the first two weeks of October when you use the code GETYOURPINK.

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Also, set your alarms: Ami of Lakes Yarn and Fiber has scheduled an update today at 4 p.m. PST. She’s including two new silk blends that sound pretty swoon worthy. One is a worsted weight blend of 60% Merino and 40% silk and the other is a fingering weight blend of 60% superwash Merino, 20% yak and 20% silk.