What to make with North Cascades Night: multicolored shawls

Backyard Fiberworks’ North Cascades Night for the Knitting Our National Parks project looks stunning on its own, but one of the things I love about Alice’s colorways is how well they work together. She often says that Melanie Berg is her brand’s spirit animal, because Melanie’s multicolored designs show off her coordinating skeins beautifully.

So, I asked Alice to give North Cascades Night some friends from her current line of colors and paired them with some of my favorite multi-skein shawls from Melanie, as well as Andrea Mowry and Francoise Danoy. You can order the other colorways on the sportweight Terrain base directly through Backyard Fiberworks. (The skein amounts on a couple of Melanie’s shawls are padded so that you don’t run out of yarn.)

Perhaps, Perhaps by Melanie Berg. From the top, North Cascades Night is paired with Stormcloud & Pollen and Blackberry & Alpine; you will need one skein of each color.

Eifelgold by Melanie Berg. From the top, North Cascades Night is paired with Stormcloud and Hosta; you will need three skeins of the main color and one skein of the contrasting color. (I like either Stormcloud as the main with North Cascades and then North Cascades as the main with Hosta.)

Drachenfels by Melanie Berg. From the top, North Cascades Night is paired with Blackberry & Alpine and Stormcloud & Pollen; you will need two skeins of Colors A (the brownish purple in the sample) and C (the red in the sample) and one skein of Color B (the lilac in the sample).

The Girl In Me by Melanie Berg; From the top, North Cascades Night is paired with Stormcloud, Walnut and Hosta; you will need three skeins in the main color and two skeins of the contrasting color. (I like either Stormcloud as the main with North Cascades as the contrast, Walnut as the main with North Cascades as the contrast, or North Cascades as the main and Hosta as the contrast.)

Goldfinch by Andrea Mowry. From left to right, North Cascades Night is paired with Stormcloud & Pollen and Blackberry & Alpine; You will need one skein of each color.

Fields of Lavender by Francoise Danoy. From the top, North Cascades Night is paired with Stormcloud, Hosta and Walnut; you will need two skeins for the main color and one skein for the contrasting color.

What to stash this week: Faded away

Stephanie from Asylum Fibers has So Faded kits! The pictured kit is available for preorder, expected to ship on or before May 16th. Stephanie also plans to come up with some Chaos, AKA OOAK kits, to make your Fade even more unique. 

Melanie of Go Knit Yourself has curated two sets of eye-catching colors for the Joji MKAL, available on three bases, and today is the LAST DAY you can order them. If you’re in the mood to knit something a bit smaller than a 72-inch rectangle, she’s also offering her super popular sock yarn sets with coordinating mini skeins. 

If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, Harry Potter or saltwater taffy — who am I kidding, you probably love all three — then you’re in luck. Katy of Wool & Two Sticks has mini-skein kits for GoT, Marauder’s Map HP-themed kits with a special stitch marker and a set inspired by the Phat Fiber Cupcakes & Candies theme.

If you’re a fan of grays, you might want to scoop up these skeins of The Woolen Rabbit BFL/silk before they wander into my stash.

There’s just one skein left (!) of Michelle’s exclusive Indie self-striping colorway and only three more days to get 10% off said skein, as well as yarn from The Woolen Rabbit, on Indie Untangled with the code IU3.

Holiday gifts for every knitter

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I’m always impressed by the awesome themed handmade knitting accessories out there. So, for the holidays, I thought I’d compile a list of small gifts that you could purchase for your favorite knitter, whatever they’re into. Or, if you’re that not-so-subtle recipient, send this post to some gift-givers.

Also, Marisabel of A Needle Runs Through It has generously offered to give away a set of her Gilmore Girls stitch markers to one lucky reader. To enter, comment on this blog post with your favorite Gilmore Girls episode by the end of the day Sunday, Dec. 18.

For the Francophile…

For the music fan…

A Prince project bag from Slipped Stitch Studios

For the English major…

Jane Austen stitch markers from Winemakerssister

For the Whovian…

Dr. Who stitch markers from One Geek to Craft Them All

For the wannabe Stars Hollow resident…

Gilmore Girls stitch markers from A Needle Runs Through It

For the baker…

Knitting pattern rolling pin from Juniper Moon Yarns

For the indie lover…

A subscription to the Indie Untangled 2017 Where We Knit yarn club

What to stash this week: Yarny Advent

Aside from creating beautiful colors, and being an all-around cool person, Alice of Backyard Fiberworks has some great ideas. Her latest is the Backyard Fiberworks Advent calendar. Each day through Christmas, you get to open a new window on a discount, a new product, or some other form of merriment via Instagram — plus, there’s a new giveaway to enter each day.

Here’s something to look forward to after the magic (and stress) of the holidays is over — a journey with the ultimate indie yarn club. Four dyer/designers teams — The Woolen Rabbit & Anne Hanson, Eden Cottage Yarns & Mindy Wilkes, Three Fates Yarns & MK Nance and Spun Right Round & Casapinka — will create exclusive colorways and accompanying accessory patterns inspired by where they knit. If there’s a special knitter in your life, or you want to give Santa a hint, there’s an option to send a gift subscription. Sign-ups are open until December 18th.

Bijou Basin Ranch is making things easy for holiday gift knitting (or knitter wish lists) with a selection of kits for their most popular patterns.

Knitting and yarn: There are apps for that

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Knitting apps

With the seemingly overnight sensation that is Pokemon Go, and virtually everyone more obsessed than usual with their smartphones, I thought it was an appropriate time to write about the knitting and yarn apps that I love and use fairly regularly (and yes, that is yarn wallpaper on my phone).

Countmeme
Usually when I’m knitting, my phone is by my side, but not (always) because I need it to look at yarn on Instagram or at patterns on Ravelry. I no longer use a physical row counter, and instead use Countmeme, which you can download here from the Apple app store. I’ve tried other row counter apps, but I’ve found Countmeme to be the easiest to use for keeping track of pattern repeats or multiple projects. You can add a seemingly endless number of counters and easily reset and delete them.

Stashbot
This brilliant app by designer Hannah Fettig, which can be purchased for iOS here for $4.99 — less than an extra skein of hand-dyed yarn! — is absolutely indispensable for fiber festivals (and the Rhinebeck Trunk Show). Pick a project, such as an average length sweater, a hat or a scarf, enter the size and the gauge, which you can find on the tag or band, and the app will give you an estimation of the required yardage.

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I’m still exploring this app (you can download it for iOS here), but it lets you import pattern PDFs from your computer, Ravelry library and Dropbox and has a sliding bar to track your progress, highlighters and ways to add notes, as well as other tools that can be purchased within the free (!) app. It also has built-in designs. I’ll have to play around with it more and see if it will replace my current method of taking a screenshot of the pattern on my phone. Another friend recently recommended Notability, which lets you make hand-drawn notes, and costs $7.99.

The Plucky Knitter
This app is a must-download for Plucky obsessives, with reminders about upcoming updates and a full library of Sarah’s beautiful colorways, and even more creative names, as well as a list of patterns that use Plucky yarn. I myself am not a regular Plucky collector, but I very much enjoy looking at the fabulous color combinations and color/pattern pairings.

What are some of your favorite knitting or yarn apps? Is there an app (aside from a Ravelry one, of course) that you wish someone would create?

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.

What to stash this week: good teams

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And no, I’m not talking about the Mets. But, while we’re on the subject, Let’s Go Mets! (Sorry, Chicagoans.)

Bijou Basin Ranch has teamed up with Oklahoma indie Lost City Knits and introduced four stunning new colorways on its Shangri-La yarn, a blend of yak and silk. Abiquiu, Berry Jumble, Glacier and Tall Grass Prairie are available online and will be at the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair in North Carolina next weekend.

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Amy of Canon Hand Dyes and Leticia of Spark! are teaming up for another {Among Friends} Outlander yarn club in 2016. The club includes six packages that will ship every other month. Each shipment will include an Outlander character-inspired skein of yarn dyed by Canon Hand Dyes, a pattern from a fantastic selection of designers — including Melanie Berg, Rosemary Hill and Joji Locatelli — a project bag and a set of coordinating stitch markers.

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Dyer Ana has teamed up with Meghan of New England Knitting to create the perfect fall (or winter) project. Micalet, available in kit form, is a slightly slouchy beanie with cables and eyelets, inspired by patterns carved into the stonework at the Torre del Micalet in Valencia, Spain.

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She knitted him: Sharon of Stitchjones has stocked her Etsy shop with more than 150 skeins of hand-dyed goodness and has opened sign-ups for Yarnageddon 2016, which will continue to celebrate The Beatles with four shipments containing two skeins or a skein and hand-dyed combed top, a pattern and a special handmade gift.

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If you’re looking for a quick project in time for Halloween, these Bubbly Bobbly Boo mini skeins are a pretty sweet choice. Arizona-based Katy dyes the 20-yard skeins with Kool Aid and the bold colors would add a bright, slightly spooky pop of color to a coordinating skein.

What to stash: Fandoms in yarn

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Third Vault Yarns is new Indie Untangled addition who just launched her Etsy shop. Based out of London, her colorways are inspired by sci-fi and fantasy TV shows, including Firefly, X-Men and Doctor Who, as well as books and board games. You can even make requests and see your fandom brought to life in yarn.

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Speaking of fandoms in yarn, if your favorite U.S. town is Stars Hollow, then Kim’s newest yarn club is for you. This three-month subscription includes one skein of sock or worsted-weight yarn in an exclusive Gilmore Girls-inspired colorway per installment. Sign-ups are open until Sept. 10 and the first shipment goes out on Sept. 15, so you should copper boom that.

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I hope you checked the blog early enough, because French Market Fibers is having an update today at 1 p.m. Central. She’s added a new base to her “krewe” with Merino Cashmere Fingering, a cushy 80/20 blend. It will be available, along with some Silky DK and Uptown Lace in her NOLA-inspired colors.

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Blissful Knits, one of the newest Indie Untangled additions, is a PDX operation from dyer/designer Raya, who creates striking, but harmonious, hand-painted colorways on luxurious bases, including a new silk/Merino/yak blend debuting this fall. Best of all, Indie Untangled subscribers get 15% off this week with the code IU15!

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Here’s your next knitting challenge: Karen has just released a collection of five patterns based on the medieval story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Each crescent-shaped shawl represents the five knightly virtues symbolized on Gawain’s shield, with another based on the magical belt that replaces his shield later on.

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Sarah over at The Queen’s Ransome been doing some more shibori dyeing, using a Japanese tie-dyeing technique that gives the yarn a cool abstract pattern that is very on trend. She has some Cashmere Merino sock and Worsted Merino in a faded indigo blue and dusky lavender. As a bonus, Sarah offers free shipping worldwide on all orders.

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Y’all down south should definitely check out the 4th annual Georgia FiberFest, which takes place from Sept. 10-12 in Columbus. Keya is a sponsor and will have a booth full of new autumn yarns and grommet knitting bags, as well as the first yarn from the sheep on her farm! She’ll also be teaching some of the event’s 50 classes.

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I know, knitting and crochet is not just for grannies anymore… unless you’re crocheting granny squares. This crochet bag pattern from Lilia Vanini is less of a commitment than a blanket and can go anywhere.

Travel knitting

Travel knitting

I never used to love long plane or car rides until I started knitting. When I traveled to my brother’s wedding in Australia in 2008, the 20-plus hour journey (which was fortunately broken up over two days after our flight to LA was delayed because of bad weather) seemed interminable — even after watching all of Gone With the Wind and Out of Africa. Going back two years ago, I was kind of amazed at how short it felt. Really. I watched all of Season 1 of Downton Abbey and a knit a decent amount of the Biscuit Shawl for my Ravelry swap partner.

These days, along with obsessively checking the weather at my destination, getting ready to travel means choosing the perfect projects. I’m heading off on a long-awaited trip to Italy to visit my Italian sister. The clothes and toiletries are all packed, but I’m still not exactly sure yet which WIPs are coming with me, aside from the Duane Park Triangle I’ve been working on in Shalimar Breathless, which has miles of mindless garter, one of my favorite kinds of travel knits. I do like to have something a little more complex, so I may start my Hitofude in Astral Bath Spectra. I have also been considering finally winding the Royal Tenenbaums yarn from Canon Hand Dyes and turning it into a simple striping chevron scarf. But, I’ll probably change my mind about that more than I will about which dresses to bring…

Of course, one of the nicest things about travel knitting, aside from taking your mind off “Are we there yet?”, is that whichever project you choose becomes infused with memories of your trip. The Cladonia I recently finished makes me think of Florida, and how the stripes matched the colors of my bathing suit perfectly (completely by accident, as I received both skeins in last year’s Indie Untangled summer swap). I knit much of the top of my Waterlily during the car ride to and from the Astral Bath open house last June. So, which project will I end up associating with vaporetto rides and Gaeta olive oil?

What are your favorite travel knits? Which of your projects do you associate with memorable trips? Comment and let me know.

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.

Chauntecleer

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.