What to stash this week: Sunny color

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Casapinka has yet again worked her magic with variegated yarn. Albuquerque Sunset uses slipped stitches and stockinette to let the bold color peek through a contrasting solid. Inspired by the sunsets over the Sandia Mountains, knit this one during your next Breaking Bag binge (or while you’re waiting out the return of Better Call Saul). The pattern is $1 off through tomorrow with the code redorgreen.

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Hand Dyed By Kate is known for rainbow sets and self-striping sock yarn, but make sure to save room for a slic– erm, a skein of Watermelon Shawl Gradient. It’s available in both classic watermelon and the darker Moody Melon, on a 75/25 blend of Merino/nylon sock yarn or on Sparkle Sock with a touch of Stellina. Kate is hosting a K/CAL with the pattern of your choice from May 15 to June 30 in her Ravelry group, with preorders being taken now.

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Because every day should be Earth Day, The Knitting Artist has created Earth-inspired stitch markers with polymer clay beads. Available in sets of 6.

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The latest shop update from JOMA Yarn includes punchy semisolids, fun variegated colorways and new, super-bright neons.

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New from Sunset Cat Designs, Caridwen is an aran-weight cable and lace wrap that can be knit as a scarf or sized up to a stole with additional secondary cables.

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The Osceola Mountain Socks, inspired by New Hampshire’s White Mountains, are a collaboration with New England Knitting and are available as a kit.

Kick off Maryland Sheep and Wool with The Knot House Indie Pop-up

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Last year was my first time at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I enjoyed experiencing a fiber festival other than Rhinebeck, with what felt like a slightly smaller crowd (at least when it came to snagging a Jennie the Potter mug!) and warmer temperatures that were perfect for showing off fingering-weight shawls.

I really loved starting off the weekend with the indie pop-up at The Knot House, a local yarn shop housed in a beautiful historic building in Frederick, Maryland, about a half hour from the fairgrounds. Cathy and Heather, the mother/daughter team who run the shop, will be hosting another event this year!

The mix of dyers at the 2016 pop-up include Indie Untangled artisans Duck Duck Wool, Magpie Fibers and That Clever Clementine, who were there last year, as well as Skeinny Dipping and Pigeonroof Studios. In addition, there will be yarn from O-Wool, YOTH Yarns and Spincycle Yarns, pottery from Clay by Laura and shawl pins and more from Jul Designs. Some of the talented dyers/makers — including Sandra of DDW, Dami of Magpie, Vicki/That Clever Clementine and Christine of Skeinny Dipping — will be there in person.

Of course, what would be an event without coveted show exclusives? Heather says nearly everyone there will have a special item for the event, such as a limited colorway or pattern. There will also be special colorways from some of the indies the shop regularly carries, including Northbound Knitting and Western Sky Knits, as well as the new Aerie base from Shalimar Yarns, which is a Merino, mohair and kid silk blend.

Cathy and Heather have also designed special event bags, shown above, with a limited number available for sale and an entry for a free bag with a skein of featured yarn from EACH DYER.

The line before last year's Friday evening preview.

The line before last year’s Friday evening preview.

The pop-up will take place on Friday, May 6, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, May 7, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, May 8, from noon to 5 p.m. If you’re on Periscope, I’m planning to broadcast from the event on Friday eventing, so be sure to follow me (I’m indieuntangled, natch) to get a taste of the beautiful products on display!

What to stash this week: Get taken away by patterns and yarn

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Wanderlust Knits, a new pattern club from designer Janina Kallio, is a responsible yarny indulgence. Members receive four accessory patterns released in April, June, September and November, well before they’re available for sale individually. The first pattern, which you receive when you sign up, is Daydreamer, a two-color crescent shaped shawl with stripes, eyelets and a knitted-on edging, exactly the simple, striking, pattern that Janina is known for.

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Take a bike trip through France, courtesy of Invictus Yarns. Sue is sponsoring Tour de Sock, a sock-knitting event and fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders that is based on the famous bike race. Registration begins on May 1 and there are prizes! Sue is also headed to Pasadena May 13 to 15 for her first year at Vogue Knitting Live. There will be some sock yarns in the shop during VKL to support the Tour de Sock, with more added on May 17.

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Barbara of Spencer Hill Naturally Dyed Yarn teamed up with an IU newcomer, project bag-maker and knitwear designer Rock Solid Designs, on the Turtle Cove Cowl. The cowl uses two mini skeins of Spencer Hill’s Nell MCN to create a beautiful two-color design. You can purchase a kit through the Spencer Hill website.

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Another Barbara, Barbara Benson, also worked with a new-to-IU dyer — Gale of Gale’s Art, who creates sock blanks stenciled with fun patterns — to design a wavy lace pattern for a shawl that perfectly shows off the sea-themed yarn. The shawl pattern uses beads, which Barbara says evokes “a fishermen’s net fresh from the water with sparkling droplets caught in the mesh.”

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The folks at Bijou Basin Ranch just got a whole bunch of qiviut, the champagne of fiber! There is lace and fingering weight in both 100% qiviut or a qiviut blend in bright hues or natural-colored skeins. The fiber is warm, but light, perfect for all seasons.

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Bellbrook, Mindy Wilkes’s newest shawl design, is completely reversible, which means you can choose to show off the bell-like leaves on the “right” side or the borders of ribbing on the “wrong” side. And it takes just 400 yards of fingering-weight yarn.

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Stephannie Tallent’s new design, the Sand Ripples Shawl, features a lace edging, worked first with a combo of stranding and intarsia, a two-color cable pattern and a short-rowed garter stitch body.

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In the Game of Shawls, you knit or you freeze. Lara Smoot’s The Great Game, the latest in her Game of Thrones-inspired series, was designed with a seven-color gradient set from Miss Babs.

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Rock Solid Designs sells cute box project bags with unique snap closures that act as yarn guides, allowing you to work on your project with the bag closed, without the risk of fraying or snagging your yarn.

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Here’s a closer look at the fun stenciled sock blanks from Gale’s Art.

What to stash this week: Simple pleasures

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The Simple Treasures shawl pattern from Christine, the dyer behind TreasureGoddess Yarn, allows her luxurious and fun MCN yarn to shine while you indulge in one of life’s simple pleasures. The triangular shawl, with panels of stockinette and simple lace, takes a skein of her Cashmere Super Toes MCN yarn, which comes in super-sized skeins of 600 yards and colorways, with such fantastic names as Song of the Sirens (pictured above in the shawl), Mermaid’s Curse and Lusty Wench.

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Laura of Fiber Dreams, a fellow tea drinker, has named her new leafy, lacy pullover after our favorite morning beverage. This tea– I mean tee — can be knit boxy or more fitted, depending on the size you select. The bottom-up sweater has minimal seaming, for joining the top edges of the shoulders and sleeves. There’s also a Ravelry KAL for this and Laura’s other designs, with prizes!

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Mindy Wilkes has given us a beautiful design for those irresistible gradient, mini-skein set, or variegated sock yarn. Pomeroy Shawl is a simple, asymmetrical garter stitch shawl with a crochet chain bind off, inspired by one of those sets. It takes 500 to 550 yards of fingering weight yarn.

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Add a little fiber to your mail with the Swoonish fiber club. Club members get roughly 4 ounces of high-quality fiber dyed to wow. Packages are always a surprise, but you can see previous shipments on the Swoonish blog. Sign-ups end May 1, with packages sent out mid to late May.

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After two shows, Barb of Spencer Hill is back in action, with plenty of Pippi BFL sock, Nell MCN, and Lily Merino/silk in the shop and more updates, and new bases, on the way.

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The latest Wool and Two Sticks colorways were inspired by the Mad Hatter’s eyes on the poster for Disney’s Alice Through The Looking Glass. They’re available on Wonderful 100’s, a Merino/silk fingering.

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Wild Hair Studio is a small family farm raising Purebred Romeldale/CVM sheep, Registered Gotland sheep and crossbred sheep. They offer batts, smidgens, art batts, and other goodies from the farm.

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If you’re headed to first annual Steel City Fiber Festival in Allentown, Pennsylvania this weekend, stop by booth B2 to say Hi to Suzanne of Groovy Hues Fibers and her yarn, as well as fiber arts gear from a guest artisan.

A Where We Knit-themed anniversary giveaway of Lakes Yarn & Fiber

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One of the ways Indie Untangled has changed over the past year was the addition of the Where We Knit yarn club. I brought together four dyers and four designers, as well as four knitting accessories makers I had gotten to know, to create packages themed around where people knit.

The first pairing of Ami Volz of Lakes Yarn and Fiber and designer Janina Kallio was more wonderful than I could have imagined, and I can’t wait to show off my Drops of Honey Shawl in a few weeks at Maryland Sheep & Wool.

Ami ended up dyeing extra skeins of her golden Drops of Honey color, which is exclusive to the club, so I thought they would make the perfect giveaway prize to celebrate Indie Untangled’s second anniversary in April! I’m giving away one on here and one on Facebook. To enter this giveaway, comment on this post with your favorite place to knit. You have until the end of the day my time on Monday, April 18, to comment.

This contest is now closed. Congrats to winner Elizabeth Quinn!

What to stash this week: Terrific twos

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April 4 was Indie Untangled’s second birthday, so I decided to mark the occasion with a gift for you: through April 30, get 20% off in-stock Indie Untangled-exclusive bags from That Clever Clementine, porcelain buttons from Buttonalia and self-striping yarn and gradient sock blanks from Berry Colorful Yarnings. You can use the code IU2 once in each shop for the discount and I will combine shipping on orders placed on the same day.

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The Kitty Invisibility Cloak, the latest awesomeness from Casapinka, is a tribute to Mrs. Norris, the cat in Harry Potter who can sense Hogwarts students even when they’re invisible. The lace and garter shawl includes a “paw print” pattern and takes two skeins of fingering-weight yarn.

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Can’t decide between cables and lace? Do both! Michael Harrigan’s latest shawlette pattern includes five cable columns surrounded by an openwork design of lace stitches.

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Lisa The Knitting Artist is also offering a combo that any knitter will love. Her new gift sets include one hand-painted knit stitch motif card paired with five beaded stitch markers.

Last, but certainly not least, I’m excited to welcome Suzanne of Groovy Hues Fibers, whose handiwork you can see at the top of this post. Suzanne creates bold and fun colorways on luxurious yarn bases as well as OOAK spinning fiber. Aside from her dyed-to-order and ready-to-ship skeins and braids, she also happily accepts even the craziest of custom orders.

What to stash this week: Knitting masterpieces

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IU newcomer Spun Right Round has debuted a new base. Sumptuous 75/25 Merino/nylon is available in mini skeins and heel-toe sock kits that include a variegated skein and a coordinating solid.

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For Masterpiece Knits: The Modern Collection, Kate Chiocchio and Nancye Bonomo of Dragonfly Fibers took inspiration from some of their favorite paintings to create more than a dozen new colorways and challenged 15 designers to create patterns inspired by works of art. The results are beautiful garments that you’ll want to frame — or at least show off on a dress form when you’re not wearing them.

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This is not an April Fools joke. I repeat, this is not an April Fools joke. Laura and the Slipped Stitch Studios crew are offering 50% off all totes all this weekend with the code APRILFOOLS. Even if you’re not sure you really need another project bag (though of course you do), some of the hunky/geeky spokesmodels may entice you.

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Celebrate the third anniversary of Lakes Yarn and Fiber and welcome spring with a sale! get 16% of any in-stock item through April 16 with the coupon code 16in16. More yarn will be posted throughout the sale.

Back to knitting basics with garter

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Two weeks ago, I had eye muscle surgery to correct the crossing that had become progressively worse since my late 20s, the reason why I donned sunglasses for my sweater FO shots in recent years. While my surgeon did an amazing job, my brain has been working overtime processing the images from both of my eyes instead of only one. Since knitting takes a bit more focus, I decided that the best way to get back into it was a comfy garter-stitch shawl. So, last week I cast on my third Henslowe, a combination of garter and a relatively easy lace edging that I’ve worked on a little at a time while listening to audiobooks (and feeling old now that Bridget Jones is now in her 50s).

So, I thought I’d pull together a list of some of my favorite mostly-garter shawls, comforting knits that are perfect for when you need some mindless knitting.

Pendulum by Amy Miller

Pendulum by Amy Miller

Color Affection by Veera Valimaki

Welcome Back Garter by Casapinka (I started this before surgery and am at the point where I need to pick up stitches)

Welcome Back Garter by Casapinka (I started this before surgery and am at the point where I need to pick up stitches)

French Can Can by Mademoiselle C

French Can Can by Mademoiselle C

Marrakesh by Janina Kallio

Marrakesh by Janina Kallio

Duane Park Triangle by Kirsten Kapur

Duane Park Triangle by Kirsten Kapur

Nangou by Melanie Berg -- with a post-surgery selfie

Nangou by Melanie Berg — with a post-surgery selfie

What to make this week: A new look for a gradient

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The Peephole Stole from Barbara Benson Designs is a cool take on the multi-skein gradient sets that are all the rage among indie dyers. Barbara divided a six-skein gradient set in half and created a striping pattern that gradually shifts from high contrast to low contrast, creating what Barbara calls a secondary gradient of diminishing contrast. Worked on the bias, the rectangular stole includes a combination of slip stitch color-work and lace. There’s currently a KAL going on in Barbara’s Ravelry group, so if you have a gradient or color set without a project in mind, here’s a great pattern for it!

What to stash this week: The wearing of the green… shawl

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The Conifer shawl from Laura Patterson of Fiber Dreams uses the fir cone stitch to create a simple, beautiful design that, I have to say, looks fabulous in green. You can knit it in lace-weight or sport-weight yarn (the green was made with Miss Babs Yet in the Moss colorway), and Laura has done the calculations for five sizes in two different weights.

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Kiss me I’m… Scottish? Lara Smoot’s awesomely-named Kiltie As Charged socks are inspired by the Scotland-based Outlander series on Starz, the third season of which will start airing next month. Lara decided to release the pattern in time for St. Patrick’s Day — yes, she knows it’s an Irish holiday, but since she’s Irish she decided to take a little liberty. You can use the coupon code Lucky for 50% off the pattern through March 31.

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Mothy and the Squid’s newest colorway, Distant Galaxies, is inspired by the beauty of outer space. This gorgeous mix of black, purple, charcoal and violet is available on an appropriately sparkly sock and a thread-weight Merino/silk blend. More bases are on the way (in much less than light years).

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The sample for Michael Harrigan’s newest shawl design, the rectangular Monochrome Wrap, is knit in a black/gray/white monochrome, 100% Bluefaced Leicester yarn. It incorporates leaf and wing geometric lace patterns, with yarn creating tonal shading and shadows.