You bullet journalers will appreciate the new base from With Pointed Sticks. Fountain Pen, named after the height of luxury in writing instruments, is a blend of 70% Superwash Merino, 20% silk and 10% Cashmere. Susan’s also running an Instagram giveaway that ends today.
Just in time for the official start of baseball season (meaning spring training) Lindsay’s Pitch Cowl is a blend of triangles and parallelograms that recalls baseball stripes. A video tutorial is available for the more challenging bits.
Margaret of French Market Fibers is closing shop (::sob::) and is having the first of her final updates today at 11 a.m. Central.
For me, this year’s Vogue Knitting Live in New York City was all about color. Yes, I know that knitting in general, and the world of hand-dyed yarn in particular, is already pretty focused on color, but my experience this weekend very much revolved around it. Believe it or not, I didn’t really think about this common theme when I picked my classes — two-color knitting with Amy Detjen on Friday morning, a color theory class with designer Veera Välimäki on Friday afternoon and a dyeing class with Felicia Lo, the owner of SweetGeorgia, on Saturday morning — but it definitely worked.
Amy’s class was a pretty straightforward technique lesson. Our homework was the start of a basic colorwork hat, moving on to using the second color in class. Amy provided instruction on how to capture longer “floats,” or the long runs between colors, and stressed the importance of keeping an even tension in both your right and left hands. I will need to practice this more, as knitting with my left hand is like learning to knit all over again, but I now feel confident enough to attempt a colorwork pattern.
Veera provided an overview of basic color theory, as well as her insights into mixing both complementary and contrasting colors, especially when using hand-dyed yarns. I enjoyed seeing the examples from her own designs (such as her Stripe Study Shawl, pictured above) and, during our in-class exercise, encouraged one of my classmates to pair her earthy green with a bright yellow and melon color.
Of course, I had to show off one of my favorite FOs, Veera’s Urban, which she was thrilled to see in person, as she’s only seen photos of the projects on Ravelry.
My dyeing class was probably the best one of the weekend. While I’ve had some experience with kettle dyeing and hand painting yarn, Felicia provided some practical information on using the right ratio of dye to fiber weight, as well as techniques to use for creating layered colors. Much of this will be in her newly-published book, Dyeing to Spin & Knit (disclosure: this is an Amazon affiliate link) which I can’t wait to get my hands on. If it’s anything like her in-person class, this book will be indispensable.
We started off the hands-on portion of the class by creating a set of mini skein gradients. As there was limited space and time, we had to split into groups of three and each create one color value (the lightness or darkness) of the gradient. Felicia had already mixed the dye powder and water, so we just had to measure out the right amount for our specific color value.
For the other techniques — low-water emersion dyeing and resist dyeing, in which you twist and untwist the skeins to get a more subtle dispersion of color — we had to choose color by committee, and ended up each make a contribution. Luckily, I was paired with some experienced classmates, including Sharon of Knit Style Yarns. For the low-water emersion skeins, we decided on orangey pink, medium blue, purple and yellow to create what I first dubbed Funfetti cake and which I later decided was very My Little Pony-esque. Our layered color started off with a short dip in light pink dye, followed by a jammy purple, mixed by yours truly, and a lighter violet.
The class definitely inspired me do some more dyeing myself and experiment with the techniques while making my own color choices.
Of course, no VKL would be complete without a trip or two (or three) to the marketplace.
I spent a fair bit of time in the Backyard Fiberworks booth, as a tiny portion of it had some Indie Untangled merch! I had teamed up with Alice, and Vicki of That Clever Clementine, on some special Indie Untangled kits that were available at the show. The kits were a big hit, and I was also thrilled to see the rest of Alice’s yarn get scooped up — the booth was very popular. She had some wonderful sock yarn mini-skein sets that were perfect for one of Melanie Berg’s designs. I snagged a pinky purply set called Dove in a Plum Tree and a light pink semisolid called Mallow to make On the Spice Market.
Aside from Backyard, I loved taking in the Neighborhood Fiber Co. booth (I’d heard at Rhinebeck that Karida wasn’t going to be at VKL this year, but luckily she ended up changing her mind!). I fell in love with a sample she had of Olga Buraya-Kefelian’s Boko-Boko Cowl, knit with Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Sock yarn held together with Chromium, which has steel wool to make the little points stand up. It was such a deviation from the patterns I’m normally drawn to, but it was so sculptural and interesting that I had to make it. I feel like it could be a great stand-in for a statement necklace, with the bonus of keeping me warm.
Speaking of necklaces, I was very impressed by the products at Knitten Jen’s Beads. She had kits to make your own beaded beads (wooden beads covered in beaded stockinette stitch fabric), ready-to-string beads and finished pieces. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to DIY it or get a ready-made necklace, but I was definitely intrigued.
I also paid a visit to the Yarn Culture booth, which focused on a small collection of indies, and learned that my favorite discovery from last year’s VKL, Crave Yarn, has branched out with a new venture called Brim Collections, featuring gorgeous mill-dyed skeins and coordinating patterns. I am hoping to learn more from Amor of Crave/Brim Collections and will report on it further…
Aside from classes and shopping, my weekend was rounded out by many familiar faces (on Saturday, I could barely get to the elevators without seeing someone I knew from my various knitting circles) and spending time with my nearby knitting friends.
The latest design from Laura of Fiber Dreams is of the same two minds as Mother Nature lately. The tulip pattern and bright colors in her sample cowl bring spring to mind, but the bulky yarn will definitely keep you toasty.
Groovy Hues’s first update of 2017 has tons of bright colors on both yarn and fiber. Children of the ’80s will love BMX Forever, and you may also be tempted by Rollin’ With My Gnomies.
Can’t control/feel your fingers and your toes? Then you need a hat! Barbara Benson’s latest design, I Can’t Control My Brain, is a companion piece to her Ramones-inspired mitts.
One of my favorite parts of the Indie Untangled trunk show at Woolyn a couple of months ago was getting to spend time with Alice of Backyard Fiberworks. You may know Alice from her creative Instagram Advent promotion, her dreamy American-grown Cormo fingering or her beautiful speckled sock yarns. If you don’t know her work, you should get to know it.
While we were hanging out at the store, we talked about Alice’s booth at Vogue Knitting Live , which takes place this weekend, from January 13-15 at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, and which I was of course planning to attend. Alice generously invited me to have some space in her booth, and that led us to start scheming away on a special IU-themed kit to offer for the occasion.
So, I looped in Vicki of That Clever Clementine, who suggested an Indie Untangled logo version of her popular zipper wristlet bags. As Vicki got to sewing, Alice (who conveniently lives about 20 minutes away from Vicki in Maryland) grabbed a scrap of the logo fabric and created a complementary teal and orange speckled colorway, pairing it with a deep blue for her Ridgeline pattern, a textured fingering-weight cowl.
If you’re coming to VKL this weekend, I hope you’ll stop by the Backyard Fiberworks booth — Booth 326 — and get your hands on a kit. You can also preorder your kits by filling out this form and picking up at the booth.
In light of the craziness of the holidays, and because I’m in the mood to spread the joy of yarn this year, I’ve decided to extend the deadline for 2017 yarn club sign-ups through Monday, December 26th. As part of this 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, with the first package shipping in February. And there is a gift option if you want to avoid any stores for the next couple of days!
The latest design from Laura of Fiber Dreams is the perfect way to help brighten up these short (but luckily getting longer!) winter days. Snow Flowers is knit in the round, incorporating an elegant Estonian lace pattern and shimmering beads.
We all know that big, bulky yarns are a saving grace of the holiday season — or are perfect when we need to be warm, stat. So, it’s a great time to enroll in the SpaceMonsters Mega Club. As a club member, you get a skein of worsted or bulky weight, hand dyed by Stephanie in an exclusive colorway, delivered every other month, and a special gift tucked into every third parcel. The price isn’t too mega, either.
Inspired by the new Rogue One movie, Julia of Pandia’s Jewels has dyed up yarn in colorways like Jedi, Vader, Is that an Ewok or a Wookie?, Rogue and Rebel, and debuted a new Rogue One notions tin. Join the rebellion!
Ami of Lakes Yarn and Fiber just introduced a new base called Rose, a decadent blend of 80% Merino and 20% Cashmere. She’s also offering free shipping on U.S. orders through Dec. 24 with the coupon code FREESHIP16 and $10 off international orders of at least two skeins with the coupon code INTSHIP.
Barbara Benson’s newest design is an easy-peasy cabled cowl that knits up quickly in bulky yarn, perfect for the polar vortex that has descended on much of the U.S. The clever design is knit vertically with no grafting required, joined together by sewing on buttons.
You have until Sunday, December 18th, to enroll in the 2017 Where We Knit 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 you need a last-minute gift for a special knitter in your life, or you still have to give Santa a hint, there’s an option to send a gift subscription.
Next week, I’ll be moving (no, not to Canada). Among the piles in my bedroom is a huge box of yarn, with skeins from Kim of The Woolen Rabbit and Nikki of Dark Harbour Yarn that are for sale on Indie Untangled. I’m hoping that the skeins go to good homes before I put the box on a moving truck, so I’ve decided to hold a little sale. Through Monday, Nov. 14, all yarn is 15% off with the code MOVING. If you buy from multiple shops, I’m happy to combine shipping.
What, other than yarn, could bring a smile to your face? Adorable animals! Julia of Pandia’s Jewels has collaborated with Noel of Wanderlust Woolves on Winter Woodland Animal kits. The kits, available to preorder until Nov. 13, include a choice of stitch markers, a project bag, a skein of worsted-weight yarn in an exclusive color and a download code for Noel’s Neko Cowl.
Despondent Dyes, but this mother-daughter dyeing operation is anything but. For every skein of their bright, cheerful yarn that you buy, the pair will donate $1 to charity, to celebrate their second year in business. Through November, their charity is Hope for Paws, an animal rescue operating out of Southern California.
One of the highlights of the Rhinebeck Trunk Show was getting to see several colorways and bases from The Woolen Rabbit in person. While Kim unfortunately was unable to make it to the show from her home in New Hampshire and have her own display as planned, we ended up doing a last minute change and she sent me yarn to sell in the Indie Untangled booth. And now, you have the opportunity to purchase what I took home with me in a special Woolen Rabbit pop-up. Hop to it!
Forget adult coloring books — coloring project bags are where it’s at. Yep, Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios has combined yarn, coloring books and bags into the ultimate craft project. Starting today at 9 a.m. Pacific, four bag sizes will be available in three different coloring fabrics, printed on Eco Canvas to reduce marker bleed, and a choice of inside fabric. You’ll also get a “gauge swatch” to gauge your ink. So fun!
Sue of Invictus Yarns is back in action after a busy month of fiber festivals. Her Etsy shop is fully stocked some returning favorites as well as some new colorways.
After making a splash at the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show, Nikki Dark Harbour Yarns has updated her shop. Even though it’s fall here, you get to take advantage of her spring colors, with pinks, greys and blues. Plus, get your hands on skeins of Starboard to make Jennifer Dassau’s Refracted shawl, which debuted at Rhinebeck.
The Florence Cathedral Cowl from Courtney of FloofyMoose Designs is inspired by Il Duomo di Firenze, one of Italy’s largest churches. It’s knit in the round with a repeating lace pattern and beads, using a single skein of sock yarn. The size easily modified, with percentages of yarn used on hand if you want to change the size of your cowl.
Starshowers is the third installment of her Silk Road 2016 Shawl Club: Explorer. A six-skein gradient set and a contrasting color create an asymmetrical crescent shaped shawl that uses short rows to evoke what Simone calls “the illusion of sweeping stars and star showers above” and “the night sky with just a hint of light at dawn, and the milky way still visible overhead.”
If you’re allergic to wool, are a vegan or want some dish towels with a bit of personality, Jillian of Mothy and the Squid has dyed up some sock and DK weight pima cotton in a variety of bright colorways, like (clockwise from top left) Cinnabar, Angry Outburst, Autumnal Equinox and Hot and Cold.
Jenara, new from Mindy Wilkes, is a top down, lacy shawl worked in four sections, making for a unique triangle/crescent hybrid. For her sample, Mindy used Sincere Sheep Cormo Fingering, which will be available to purchase at the Indie Untangled booth during next Friday’s Rhinebeck Trunk Show.
Keya of Cedar Hill Farm Company recently whipped up some needle cozies for keeping those easily-lost DPNs together during or in between projects, as well as for storing fixed and interchangeable circular needles. The cozies are available in a variety of fabrics, including a few for fall and Halloween.
The folks at Bijou Basin Ranch have again teamed up with Miss Babs for 10 new limited edition colors, dyed in semi-solid and variegated pairs. Available on the Tibetan Dream base, a blend of 85% yak and 15% nylon, the colors will be at upcoming fiber events (which means Rhinebeck!).
The new Eastern Divide Cowl from Knit Eco Chic is locally sourced, inspired by the invisible line that diverts waters on the East to the Atlantic Ocean and on the West to the Gulf of Mexico.
IU newcomer The Fibre Kitchen is located in Dublin, Ireland and is currently cooking up new colors.
Hampton Artistic Yarns is stocking the shop with speckled, striped, bulky and handspun yarns after a trip to the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival.
At 9 a.m. PDT today, Laura and the Slipped Stitch Studios crew are releasing bags and other treats with their limited-edition Halloween fabrics for 2016. Perfect for trick-or-knitting.
While pretty much all of Casapinka’s patterns are made to complement those random variegated beauties in your stash, her latest calls them out. Bronwyn designed One & Done specifically for variegated yarn.
Another thing to add to your Rhinebeck shopping list: the Whisp cowl. Designed by Lesley Anne Robinson of Knit Graffiti Designs for Backyard Fiberworks and Feel Good Yarn Company, this brioche beauty will debut at the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show on Oct. 14 and is available to preorder and pick up there.
Kettle Yarn Co. has kits containing three skeins of Waltham Aran to make Joji Locatelli’s new shawl, All I Want.