What to stash this week: Mad for yarn

Get ready — tonight, at 10 p.m. Eastern, is the launch of Asylum Fibers. Stephanie, who organizes one of my knitting groups here in NYC, hand dyes semisolid, variegated, speckled self-striping and ombre colorways. Some will be non-repeatable “Chaos Colorways,” while there will also be zany regulars, with names like Bad Bad Girl, Hydrotherapy, Moody, and The Shower Scene.

Sandpiper Socks, Barbara Benson’s first ever sock pattern, has a very clever construction, using variegated yarn with a contrasting color that allows the complex colors to really sing.

Keya’s new Ripple Socks feature a lacy pattern that happens to be stretchy. These socks also holds their own against the randomness of variegated hand-dyed yarns.

This new diaper cover pattern from Knit Eco Chic is inspired by a knitting-related verse in a sacred song.

Indie Untangled newcomer One Hand in the Dyepot has a science-y approach to her work.

Another IU newbie is actually two — mother-daughter dye team Legacy Fiber Artz, with yarns inspired by television shows, movies and more.

Select yarns in the Dye is Cast Yarns Etsy shop are 20% off.

Elliebelly Dye Works has a new base that’s 65% Superwash Merino, 20% Silk and 15% yak.

What to stash this week: Retreat into knitting

Simone Kereit of OwlCat Designs has designed two separate knitting retreats in her native country. The first takes place from July 31 to Aug. 6 in Schloss Münchenwiler, on the grounds of a historic castle in the countryside of Fribourg and Bern and includes classes taught by brioche master Nancy Marchant, as well as Simone herself. The second session, from Aug. 7 to 13, is set in Riederalp – Aletsch Arena in the Rhone Valley/Valais region of Switzerland and includes hikes as well as workshops with Andrea Rangel and Simone.

Casapinka’s latest design, Gray Area, is a collaboration with Invictus Yarns. You can choose from among many different color combinations. Pick a gray gradient, like the sample, with a punchy main color, or reverse it and use one of those irresistible bright gradients.

Here’s another great dyer/designer collaboration. Christine of Skeinny Dipping provided the yarn for the latest Woolly Wormhead hat pattern, part of a new collection called Circled.

Knit EcoChic’s new design, Zipline, is inspired by careening through the snow. Wear it skiing, skating or just to keep yourself toasty during the next polar vortex.

Over the next few months, With Pointed Sticks will be launching three new fun fingering-weight bases. Just released is Crayon, a rainbow tweed sock yarn with a blend of Superwash Merino and nylon.

Here’s yet another use for those gradients or color sets that I know we all have a lot of. IU newcomer Stillwater Designs’ latest pattern is Rockhound, a top-down crescent with crossed slip stitches

Michael Harrigan has introduced his latest design, the Boyfriend Bandana.

Vogue Knitting Live NYC 2017: A weekend of color

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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.

The classes

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.

The Marketplace

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…

And, I made sure to get my VKL NYC limited stitch markers from Marsha of One Geek to Craft Them All.

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.

What to stash this week: Indie is the new black Friday

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This list will be updated with new deals throughout the weekend.

With all the amazing Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday yarny deals being posted to the Indie Untangled marketplace, I didn’t want to be left out! Through Monday, take 20% off all yarn from The Woolen Rabbit and Dark Harbour Yarn with the code THANKFUL.

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All weekend long, Slipped Stitch Studios will have Door Busters that will knock your hand-knit socks off, with discounts up to 50%! Starting today, all needle nooks and zipper pouches are $12, while tomorrow, select totes and tote sets will be $85, down from $120 to $135. And that’s just the beginning…

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You don’t need a plane ticket to get some Silky Swiss Gorgeousness. Through Monday, all the luxurious silk hand-dyed yarn from Siidegarte is 15% off with the code BlackFriday2016.

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Crave Yarn is holding a 30% off sale through Monday at midnight MST. It’s the perfect excuse to get your hands on Crave Yarn’s Thoreau, an amazingly soft yak/silk blend.

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Groovy Hues has some fabulous deals on in-stock yarn (which includes Suzanne’s new holiday colorways) on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Saturday is the best day to shop, with 20% off your order with the code SHOPSMALL.

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Space Cadet Yarns has a weekend full of several special treats, including one-of-a-kind sweater kits and holiday mini-skein collections.

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Cedar Hill Farm Company is offering 20% off all in-stock items — everything from holiday bags and needle cozies to yarn in the sale section that’s already at a reduced price — through Monday with the coupon code BFCM20.

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Eternity Ranch Knits is ready for the season with special holiday colorways, including Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and his friend The Bumble Monster, as well as Holly Berries, pictured above.

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Every time indies collaborate, an angel gets his wings. Or, a beautiful design takes flight. Barbara Benson worked with The Unique Sheep and Earthfaire beads to create her latest shawl, Earthbound Misfit.

Dye Is Cast Yarns is offering free U.S. shipping on ready to ship and clearance section yarns Black Friday through Cyber Monday, no coupon code required.

Everything in the Hampton Artistic Yarns shop is 20% off through Monday with the code THANKS1620.

Get 20% off almost everything and 30% on on special skeins and OOAK fibers from Squoosh Fibersrts through Monday.

Get 25% off everything at JOMA Yarn through Monday with the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY16.

What to stash this week: Yarn from afar and Christmas cheer

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For the Rhinebeck Trunk Show, Nikki of Dark Harbour Yarn shipped a huge box that included a few of her gorgeous grey gradients, as well as silky Starboard and Port, a squishy 100% Merino fingering. Surprisingly, there is some yarn remaining, and it is now available at Indie Untangled! Personally, I love the combination above, which my friend Andrea put together during Rhinebeck weekend. You might want to scoop it up before my stash claims it.

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I know, it’s not Thanksgiving yet, but we knitters need to get ready for the holidays! Ann Tudor, who makes adorable glass sheep stitch markers, has the perfect accessories for your holiday knitting and crocheting. There are two holiday-themed stitch marker sets and Christmas Tree zipper pulls, which are perfect for project bags and can double as a marker.

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Courtney of Floofy Moose Design’s latest design doubles as a history lesson. The Sybil Ludington shawl is inspired by a young girl who rode for 40 miles to warn her father’s militiamen that British troops were planning to attack Danbury, Connecticut, during the American Revolution, sparing lives. The crescent shaped shawl has sections of mesh, lace and cable panels.

What to stash this week: A yarny journey

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

What to stash this week: Rhinebeck preorders, pirates, clubs and mini skeins

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To make shopping at the third annual Rhinebeck Trunk Show easier, some of the vendors have been working with indie designers and are debuting special kits, a few of which will be available to preorder through the Indie Untangled website. The first of these special dyer/designer collaborations is the Whisp cowl. This two-color brioche cowl was designed by Lesley Anne Robinson of Knit Graffiti Designs and uses yarn from Alice of Backyard Fiberworks and Laurie of Feel Good Yarn Company, who will be sharing a booth at the show. You can preorder your kits at a discount to pick up at the trunk show, where they will also be available at a higher price. If you can’t make it, both Alice and Laurie will be selling kits on their own websites after the trunk show. 

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Monday be International speak Like a scurvy pirate Day, ‘n ye can celebrate wit’ yarrrn. Just in the hour fer th’ shore leave, Christine ‘o Treasure Goddess Yarn released her Buried Treasure Collection, which be full ‘o awe. th’ collection weapons gradient mini skein sets ‘o luxury sock yarn in th’ colorways Blackbeard’s Revenge ‘n Floats ye Boat, wit’ a knitted shawl pattern ‘n a crocheted scarf pattern released fer th’ sets. lovely booty also includes adorable scurvy pirate sheep stitch markers ‘n needle gauges.

Translation: Monday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and you can celebrate with yarrrn. Just in time for the holiday, Christine of Treasure Goddess Yarn released her Buried Treasure Collection, which is awesome. The collection features gradient mini skein sets of luxury sock yarn in the colorways Blackbeard’s Revenge and Floats Your Boat, with a knitted shawl pattern and a crocheted scarf pattern released for the sets. Booty also includes adorable pirate sheep stitch markers and needle gauges.

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What’s better than unicorns or llamas? Llamicorns, of course! Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios will be putting bags with this awesome fabric, along with colorful hand-dyed yarn from Pandia’s Jewels, up for sale today at 9 a.m. Pacific time. Make sure to leap like a llama, because once they’re gone, they’re gone (as if they never existed in the first place…).

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Stephanie of SpaceCadet has opened up subscriptions for her out-of-this-world yarn club. Membership in the InterStellar Yarn Alliance gets you a fabulous package delivered every other month with SpaceCadet yarn in an exclusive Yarn Alliance colorway, a collectible gift, the story behind the inspiration for each color, a newsletter with periodic offers only for members and a 15% off coupon every six months. Hurray — sign-ups are only open through Sept. 24.

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If you’re in the New Jersey area this weekend, learn how to spin, and/or pet some adorable sheep. Middle Brook Fiberworks is hosting a beginner fleece-to-fiber spinning workshop tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and an open studio event from 3 to 5 p.m., during which Anne will demo eco-print natural dyeing with botanicals on silk scarves. You can also meet her new pets — a trio of Shetland sheep! If it’s too last minute, several spinning and dyeing classes are scheduled through the winter. 

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Cedar Hill Farm Company just had a mega shop update that includes new colorways, a selection of self-striping and variegated yarns, kits for socks and mitts and plenty of new project bags. There are also needles and notions to go with your yarn, with a selection of Chiaogoo Red Lace needles and Dr. Who project keepers now available.

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It’s miniskein mania! Mothy and the Squid is now offering “random” lucky dip mini skein mixes. Each mix includes a set of ten 10g mini skeins with a range of bright colors on either 75/25 Merino/nylon sock yarn or Merino DK. If you just want a really mini treat, smaller sets of five mini skeins in Merino/nylon sock yarn are also available.

What to stash this week: In rainbows

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The latest patterns from Casapinka are a refreshing respite from the craziness of world events. Bronwyn designed Rainbow Warrior to honor her LGBT friends and colleagues after the tragedy in Orlando in June, while her most recent design, Painted Windows, pictured above, is another brilliant way to show off even the flashiest hand-dyed yarn.

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The folks at Bijou Basin have again teamed up with Minnesota-based indie dyer ModeKnit Yarn for 12 new gradient colorways. Both subtle and sizzling single-skein gradients are available on BBR’s popular Tibetan Dream sock yarn, a blend of yak and nylon.

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The name of Laura Patterson’s newest design was inspired by the bright blue Lithodora flower, and created in yarn dyed by Melanie of Black Trillium Fibres. The customizable shawl is available as part of a kit from Black Trillium, with a KAL starting September 1.

The Fiber Stash Dyeworks website is in the process of redesign and there was just a shop update.

What to stash this week: sheep season

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If you’re not able to make it to New York for Rhinebeck this October, you might consider… Switzerland? Well, even if you can’t travel to the Swiss Wulle Festival in Zug on Oct. 8 and 9, you can still make the official event shawl and dress. October Rendez-vous is a new shawl design by Nadia Crétin-Léchenne, knit in Siidegarte’s Siide-Liind, made from 51% silk, 29% merino and 20% SeaCell. If you sew, you can get the pattern for the Karlotta dress, also pictured above, designed by Stefanie from So! Pattern, as well as the Japanese cotton fabric. The shawl and dress kits both come in three different colors and can be pre-ordered until tomorrow to be shipped immediately.

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Yet another reason why I wish teleportation was real: Third Vault Yarns is heading to Fibre East in the UK and will be bringing a number of kits. One of those is Lambton Panes, a collaboration with designer Kate Bostwick of Cowtown Knits. Even if you won’t be at the show, you can preorder one. 

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Four words: Sheep. Rainbow. Stitch markers. My mouth was agape when Ann posted to the Marketplace this week. These glass stitch markers are handmade by Ann in her Indianapolis studio, along with an ever-growing selection of other markers. These snag-free stitch markers are available in two sizes and come in a small storage tin.

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Knitcola is a husband and wife team based in Ashburton, New Zealand, where they know their sheep. Dyer Nicola offers 4-ply Merino Superwash, 75% New Zealand Merino/25% nylon sock yarn and decadent blends of yak and silk and 100% New Zealand alpaca. Knitcola also offers a selection of complementary patterns.

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Holly of Fish Belly Fiber Works is offering shawl kits that would be perfect for designer Katie Degroff’s MKAL, A Big Shawl for Fall. Available on Ravelry, the first clue will be released July 24. Some kits are available now and additional kits will be added to the shop this Sunday at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

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Dew drop in and knit Laura Patterson’s newest shawl design. Called Dewpoint, the triangular shawl can be made in one of five sizes, which are provided, or simply knit until you’re close to running out of yarn, or, says Laura, get bored. 

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ColorPurl has some more fun color kits, with a hint of sparkle. Kits come with five 87-yard, fingering-weight mini skeins comprised of 75% Superwash Merino, 20% nylon and 5% Stellina.

Kettle Yarn Co. recently had a shop update with a new deep sea teal in Islington DK, blood red Beyul lace and two new colors in Wesminster called Blue Jean and Sage.

What to stash this week: Perfect pairings

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Christine of Skeinny Dipping and designer Bristol Ivy have teamed up for Bristol’s latest pattern. Rillmark — an elegant pi shawl that depicts, in lace form, that spot where the water meets the shore — uses two skeins of Christine’s Alpaca/Silk Sport, a blend of 80% superfine alpaca and 20% silk. The yarn is available to preorder in the Skeinny Dipping Etsy shop.

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Sue of Invictus Yarns has teamed up with the ultra-talented Casapinka and created kits for Bronwyn’s new Koi Pond shawl, a gorgeous use of a gradient. Each kit contains one set of six 100-yard mini skeins and one 400-yard skein in a contrasting color.

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Here’s an unusual collaboration between an accessory maker and a dyer: Laura used artwork created by one of her favorite dyers, Julia of Pandia’s Jewels, to create bags, cases and stitch markers inspired by the film Labyrinth. They will be available to preorder today starting at 9 a.m. Pacific Time. 

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If the yarn above — the second installment of The Golden Skein’s 2016 Power of 3 yarn club, dyed by Eden Cottage Yarns, Dublin Dye and Triskelion Yarn and Fibre — gets your heart racing, then you’ll want to mark your calendar. Sign-ups for the third club installment open July 1.

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Ah, cupcakes and yarn, another winning combination. Sunshine of My Mama Knits has dyed up Cupcake Mini Skein Sets, a lovely pastel rainbow available with or without “sprinkles.” The sets of a dozen 10-gram mini skeins are available on a Superwash DK or 75% Superwash Merino/25% nylon sock base.