A 2016 IU Year in Knitting Review

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Considering the year we’ve had, most of the looks back at 2016 are not going to be likely to lift your spirits. My hope is that this roundup of Indie Untangled FOs will be the exception.

For my Year in Review, I’ve culled a list of several FOs using yarn and/or patterns from Indie Untangled dyers and designers — or both, in the case of the photo above of my Drops of Honey shawl. Designed by Janina Kallio for the inaugural Where We Knit yarn club, it used Silk Single Fingering in an exclusive colorway from Lakes Yarn and Fiber (the photo above is from fellow knitter Carolina of Triple C Photography, taken for an upcoming blog post).

I hope these projects serve as an inspiration for your 2017 knitting.

Mindy/knitwithhappiness’s Goldfinch in Magpie Fibers Swanky DK

Kelly/KellyInTexas’s Safer in Cages in Duck Duck Wool DK Limited

Nance/kathynancygirl’s Toketee in Lakes Yarn and Fiber Kelso Sock

Erica/ejsufka’s Palier in Western Sky Knits Willow DK

Danielle/OnEdge28’s Gimmers and Vianne in Astral Bath Yarns Spectra DK

Lori/Momwouldbeproud’s A Hat for Dana in YOTH Yarns Father

Lavanya’s Season of Persimmons in Astral Bath Yarns Tesseract DK

Amy/booeyedee’s Atlantique in Bare Naked Wools Hempshaugh Lace

Adrienne/killerb’s Crosshaven in Canon Hand Dyes Charles Self Striping Sock

Marta/sbnyc’s Imagine When in Skeinny Dipping Silky Worsted

Kim/Xarix’s Barley Wine Hat in Skeinny Dipping Polwarth DK

A new look for Indie Untangled

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If you check out Indie Untangled on your phone or tablet, you may notice that it looks a little different — in a good way.

Back in 2013, when I came up with the idea for this site, web development was changing rapidly. I decided that Indie Untangled didn’t need a mobile version, since I preferred the desktop version to a lot of the mobile sites I had seen. However, I soon realized that was a big mistake. So I decided that once Indie Untangled was up and running, I would eventually reinvest in responsive design.

The story behind the redesign is a kind of a nice It’s a Small Knitting World story. When I decided I was ready to create a mobile site, I learned the original company I worked with, Aeolidia, was only doing complete projects. After a developer they referred me to ended up being booked solid for the next several months, I randomly decided to Google “knitter web developer.” The first site to come up was that of Laura Birek, a knitting designer and writer… who also happened to be a web developer with an expertise in responsive design and WordPress! Score!

Laura spend the last week or so making the site responsive, and also added some extras, like a button with a link to the Indie Untangled Instagram feed. I’m thrilled with the new design and I hope it makes things easier for those of you who, like me, do a lot of yarn shopping via phone or tablet.

Also, thanks to all of the artisans, yarn club members, trunk show attendees and those of you who have purchased yarn and other products from me in the last few years for supporting Indie Untangled and helping to make this redesign possible!

Where We Knit: A yarn club, blog hop and giveaway

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Where We Knit Blog Hop 540x540

Earlier this year, I approached several Indie Untangled dyers and designers with an idea for an indie yarn club. My goal was to pair up dyer/designer teams and have them collaborate on a colorway and a single-skein pattern based on an overall theme. I tossed around many theme ideas (most of which revolved around food!) and settled on Where We Knit.

This Friday, sign-ups will open for the inaugural Indie Untangled Yarn Club, a quarterly club that will begin shipping in February 2016! I am very excited about the four dyer/designer teams — Lakes Yarn and Fiber/Janina Kallio, French Market Fibers/Toby Roxane Barna, Skeinny Dipping/Stephannie Tallent and Magpie Fibers/Lara Smoot. You can read about their yarn and design inspirations here, where you’ll also be able to sign up on Friday.

There are many exciting, and unexciting, places I take out my WIPs. In the warmer months, some of my favorite knitting spots are on a bench in Madison Square Park (which is where I was photographed for Humans of New York last year!), on the roof of my apartment building looking out over the New York City skyline, or on a blanket in the grass, waiting for the start of an outdoor concert or movie. When it gets cold, I definitely do my fair share of couch knitting while binge-watching TV shows on Netflix. When I commuted to Connecticut for work, I always had my knitting on Metro-North. The dyers and designers participating in the club have come up with a wonderful mix of indoor and outdoor knitting spots (and yes, there is food, or at least beverages, represented).

To celebrate the launch of the club, I am holding a blog hop based on the Where We Knit theme. If you have a blog, you can participate and enter to win one installment of your choice from the yarn club, or one installment free if you sign up (which I hope you do!).

Here’s what you need to do to participate:

• Write a blog post describing your favorite place to knit OR the most unusual place you’ve ever brought your knitting.

• Include this link to the page for the 2016 yarn club, as well as a short description of the club.

• Run your post anytime Friday, Nov. 20 through Monday, Nov. 23.

• Comment on this blog post with a link to your own post.

You are also welcome, though not required, to use the above image.

I’ll announce the winner on Nov. 24. I can’t wait to see where you knit!

Some true armchair travel

World of Indie Design

Knitting patterns are inspired by various things, but so many designers seem to find inspiration in the world around them, whether it’s Janina Kalio‘s Scandinavian minimalism, or Laura Patterson of Fiber Dreams naming a cowl for a mountain range in her new home state of Washington.

As I did last week with my map of dyers and makers, I created a map showing where the designers who have posted to Indie Untangled are based (I figured they would be a bit easier to explore if I separated them). Combine the two, and you could do a pretty awesome knitting tour…

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!

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).

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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.

Get in on the Indie Untangled summer swap!

The haul from one of my recent Ravelry swaps.

The haul from one of my recent Ravelry swaps.

Hands down, one of the best things about Ravelry is meeting some talented, smart and interesting people. I’ve learned that knitters are also extremely generous, whether they’re slipping some of their leftover yarn in the mail for free so you can finish that shawl or sweater, or sending delicious treats to their swap partners.

I decided recently that I wanted to bring that same kind of generosity and community spirit to the Indie Untangled group. So, I’m organizing a summer swap! I want you guys to be spoiled as wonderfully as some of my past swap partners have spoiled me.

There’s only one main requirement for this swap, and that’s to send your swap partner at least one item from an Indie Untangled artisan. It can be yarn, fiber, a yarn ball bag (I just ordered more fabric the other day!!), buttons or lotion bars. Some artisans, including Alicia of Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe and Marietta of Inner Yarn Zen, are planning to offer discounts for swap participants. I’m also thinking of cooking up some sort of giveaway for one lucky participant…

You can check out the swap thread for all the other details and to ask questions (by the way, this is a secret swap, so you don’t know who your spoiler is until you get your package). I’ve also extended the deadline for submitting your swap questionnaire to next Friday, July 18. This should be a nice reason to actually look forward to the end of summer!

Get your Indie Untangled yarn ball logo bags!

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I’m pretty excited to introduce you to the newest Indie Untangled vendor, which is none other than… Indie Untangled!

If you were around when this site launched in April, then you might have participated in the first giveaway of the special bags that Vicki of That Clever Clementine sewed up with Indie Untangled yarn ball logo fabric. Since the response was so great, we decided to collaborate and sell the bags through the site.

We’re starting off small, and Vicki has enough fabric on hand for an initial batch of six 10 “Belle” project bags (this custom bag differs slightly from the one in the above photo in that it has a single white twill drawstring with toggle to close it up) and about a dozen “Snapdragon” notions pouches. You can order up to one of each bag through the order form.

If there’s demand beyond the initial run, we do plan to produce more, so don’t despair if you miss out in this round. Just keep your eyes on the marketplace and subscribe to the weekly newsletter.

The celebration continues on Ravelry

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I would like to thank everyone who has participated in the first half of the launch giveaway and to congratulate our lucky winner, who has been notified. I hope that you still enjoy receiving the newsletter each Friday, and not to worry — this is certainly not the last of the goodies you will be able to win from Indie Untangled.

Speaking of which, here are the details of the second half of this contest:

The love of Ravelry

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED, BUT PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTINUE CONTRIBUTING TO THE THREAD.

When I started knitting seven years ago, I couldn’t imagine how much Ravelry would impact my life. Through the site, I discovered a world beyond scarves and hats, added words like “Tosh” and “Bugga” to my vocabulary, was encouraged to knit my first sweater and met some incredibly talented, wonderful people. My hope is that the Indie Untangled Ravelry group will become another place where we can both enable and inspire each other.

For a chance to win the Snapdragon notions pouch, become a member of the group and post a reply to this thread: Name a dyer you admire who you would like to see on Indie Untangled. Tell us about what they do and what makes them, and their products, so special. Please post by 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday. The winner will be contacted via PM on Ravelry.

I also encourage you to stick around the group and introduce yourself, and maybe even create your own thread! I hope to create a little corner of Rav that you look forward to coming back to.

Untangling the indie fiber community, one post at a time

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These are just a few of the dyers and crafters you will be able to discover on Indie Untangled. Clockwise from top left: Berry Colorful Yarnings, Pigeonroof Studios, Buttonalia and That Clever Clementine.

These are just a few of the dyers and crafters you will be able to discover on Indie Untangled. Clockwise from top left: Berry Colorful Yarnings, Pigeonroof Studios, Buttonalia and That Clever Clementine.

I’m so thrilled to officially launch Indie Untangled. I created this website to make it easier for my fellow yarnophiles to find out when their favorite indie dyers and spinners have new creations up for sale. Along with yarn and fiber, you can also find cute and quirky project bags and buttons that would be perfect for the sweater you just finished—or buy them just because. No one here will give you “the look” for adding to your stash.

You can read the story behind Indie Untangled here. Originally, I envisioned a site where just fiber artists could sell their products, but I think this will be an even greater resource: there are already many crafters with strong followings on Etsy, or who have their own great websites. And who has time to keep track of what’s for sale at another marketplace? That’s where this site comes in. When you want to shop, you won’t be greeted by an empty store, you won’t miss another deadline for a yarn club sign-up and before the frenzy of Black Friday sales, you’ll know exactly where to go first.

Each Friday on the blog, I’ll list the shop updates and events for that coming week so that you can stay organized and be ready to pounce on the newest skeins and roving. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter, so you can have this information sent straight to your inbox. And keep your eyes on this space for in-depth features, reviews and interviews.

The feeling of community I hope to create on here will extend to the Indie Untangled group on Ravelry, where we’ll be sharing our favorite finds and the projects we make with them. We’ll also have some fun K/CALs and I will keep you updated on all the Indie Untangled goings-on, including some great giveaways that are currently in the works. While you’re there, please feel free to connect with me and say “Hi!”

Some of you may be familiar with Indie Fibr, which is what this site was originally called. I recently decided to make a change and officially launch under a new name in order to stand out a little bit more.

I hope Indie Untangled helps you follow the thread to fibery goodness!