I loved that Stephanie of Asylum Fibers dyed her Acadia Lights Knitting Our National Parks colorway on two bases, as it provides multiple project options for those of us who aren’t always in the mood to take on a fingering-weight project (though I’m still going to get both bases!).
Stephanie sent my several good ideas for both her Solitary fingering and Golden Goose DK.
Check out more suggestions here.
Asylum Fibers’ Acadia Lights is the latest installment of the Knitting Our National Parks series. Stephanie’s colorway is inspired by this photo of the Northern Lights over Acadia back in September. Stephanie, who hails from Maine, is dyeing the colorway on two bases. One is her Solitary single-ply fingering and the other is Silver Goose, a DK that is studded with silver Stellina reminiscent of stars in the night sky. The yarn is available to preorder here through Friday, February 23 and will ship at the end of March. As always, 10% of sales will be donated to the National Park Foundation.
Téamh is Irish Gaelic for “warmth” and it’s the perfect name for Jennifer’s new hat design. The sample above was knit using Spirit Trail Fiberworks Luna, Jennifer’s non-shrink organic wool worsted weight base, created with an organic process that’s not technically Superwash. As an Indie Untangled reader, you get two discounts! Use the code Indie on the Spirit Trail website to get 20% off your yarn order and on Ravelry to get 50% off the hat pattern.
If you love Porterness Studio’s shawl pins, you’re in luck: some have been replenished and Jen has also created some new designs. She’s showing love right back and is extending her 20% discount for Indie Untangled readers. Use the code LovingIndieFEB18.
My Mama Knits has created new colorways inspired by sea and water lore, available in themed mini-skein sets or as full sock and DK skeins.
by Briony, based in Melbourne, dyes local, Australian wool. Her colors are inspired by, and created with, nature, including Eucalyptus leaves.
Lisa of White Birch Fiber Arts, a popular self-striping yarn vendor at the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show, is officially on the Marketplace!
IU newcomer NanoStitch Lab is a pair of dyers who find inspiration in all aspects of science.
Designer MK Nance first popped on my radar (AKA the Indie Untangled Marketplace) at the end of 2014. Since she tends to design her accessory patterns with indie-dyed yarn, she was a perfect fit for the website and also for the Where We Knit Yarn Club, in which I pair together dyers and designers, who collaborate on an exclusive colorway and one-skein pattern.
For last year’s club, Nance bended the rules slightly and used two half skeins of Three Fates Yarn Terra Sock to create not one, but two patterns with a two-color cable design that has become her trademark. The Crystal Springs cowl and Jenkins hat are now available to purchase. I recently asked Nance to tell me a little bit more about her work and inspiration.
How did you decide to become a designer?
I just did! The first pattern I wrote was because I couldn’t find a pattern that I needed to make and friends’ friends asked me to make it for them so I wrote the pattern up and said I would teach them. Two dyers, Three Fates Yarn and The Periwinkle Sheep, both suggested I just do it.
What did you do before becoming a designer and how does it inform your design work?
The first thing I ever designed was a scarf was my sophomore year of high school, so I had not really done anything at that point. I studied anthropology and middle eastern studies in college. After that I lived in NYC, Cairo, and Portland, Oregon. Many names and motifs are inspired by where I have been or studied.
When and how did you learn to knit?
Mrs. Struk, my first and second grade teacher, kept me in during recess until I learned how to tie my shoes. That didn’t work so she took my mother aside and told her I needed better eye hand coordination, so knitting or crochet would be good to learn. As my mother can’t crochet she taught me how to knit. My shoes are never tied still (I can tie them now) but I have knitting in my purse, car and everywhere.
Tell me about what inspires your designs.
Honestly, if I knew I would have an easier time coming up with names.
What’s the first thing you do when you start designing a pattern?
If it will be self published, I’ll pull out the yarn and start painting stitches using my graphing program.
If it for a call for a third party publisher, I’ll pull up the mood board and paint stitches.
What are your favorite colors and have they changed at all since you started designing?
My favorite colors have not changed. I do use color differently, I once loved lace and variegated colorway but now I’ll use busier yarns with a solid with stranding or mosaic.
You recently published your first sweater design in Twist Collective. Do you plan to design more garments?
Absolutely! I am planning on releasing at least three more cardigans this year. I may also have a few pullover ideas bouncing around my head.
Where is your favorite place to knit?
I have two. Farina’s is a little bakery in Portland with great light, food, and the staff/owner are great people. Home is my other favorite place with my dog literally under foot.
Since getting a glimpse of Alice of Backyard Fiberworks’ North Cascades Night colorway for Knitting Our National Parks, I’ve been obsessively combing Ravelry for the perfect projects. The fact that it’s a sportweight yarn means it works for a variety of patterns, from one-skein hats and mitts to pullovers and cardigans that don’t feel too endless.
I’ve found some ideas from a variety of designers, including those who post to Indie Untangled. Below is just a small list of possibilities. You can also check out the ever-growing bundle I’ve created on Ravelry.
Pleasant Trip by Laura Aylor: 3 skeins
Little Black Shawl by Laura Aylor: 2 skeins
Marshwood by Lara Smoot: 3 skeins
French Cancan by Mademoiselle C: 2 skeins
Vinegar Hill by Kirsten Kapur: 2-3 skeins
Sport Aureed by Meiju K-P: 4-8 skeins
Warszawa Soft by Meiju K-P: 5-7 skeins
Grisalia by Meiju K-P: 3-6 skeins
Celia by Mary Annarella: 3-6 skeins
Shifting by Justyna Lorkowska: 4-6 skeins
Rieth by MK Nance
Backflip Mitts by Melanie Berg
Fathom by Veera Välimäki
Portlander Mitts by Shellie Anderson
Have you found some other great ideas? Please share in the comments!
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.
I’ve been trying to avoid mentioning politics on Indie Untangled because, no matter which direction you lean in, if you’re looking for a refuge from it these days, it’s very hard to find. I myself am of two minds — I go online looking for distractions, only to wonder why people are posting cat photos when there is SO MUCH going on that it’s impossible to keep up with it all.
But, as the owner of a website that supports independent and primarily women-owned fiber businesses, I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge the massive act of craftivism that was on display this past weekend. The pink blanketing the photos of the women’s marches that took place around the world on Jan. 21 were the result of the Pussyhat Project, a movement launched by Kat Coyle, the owner of a Los Angeles yarn shop that I happened to visit last year, and which Rob Walker of The New Yorker called a “material-cultural phenomenon that could end up earning a lasting place in the annals of political symbolism.”
Among that sea of color was the work of some talented indie dyers, including Lisa of Vermont-based White Birch Fiber Arts, who I interviewed for a recent article about politics and crafting that appeared in the journal of the Craft Industry Alliance, an organization that brings together hundreds of craft businesses to share strategies and best practices. There was also Denise of Yoshi and Lucy, a new Brooklyn-based dyer who offered her Vibrant colorway at a discount in honor of the march.
Along with being proud to see knitting in the spotlight, I enjoyed the individual expression in this mass movement. Throughout the photos, and the pussyhats I spotted in person in New York City, there was a huge variety, from the standard knit-flat-and-seamed version to those with intricate stitch patterns.
I’m sure you may have an idea of what I think about current events because I’m publishing this post, choosing not to ignore the activism or express my disagreement with it (and I think there are better ways of doing that than calling out the entirety of the women’s movement for “vulgarity, vile and evilness,” as one yarn shop in Tennessee did). But, just as how it’s impossible to go anywhere without coming face to face with what’s going on in the world, it seems that this moment in knitting needs to be taken off the needles and worn proudly.
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.
Bijou Basin Ranch has three new hand-dyed colors from MJ Yarns.
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.
I know I’m a little late with this post, but I can justify it by saying that I still have the last 40 minutes of the Downton Abbey series finale (sniff!) to watch, so the series is not over for me yet! And, it will certainly live on in this era of binge watching.
Last year, I favorited a few patterns for a Downton Abbey swap I was participating in via the Subway Knits Ravelry group and decided it would be a good idea to curate a definitive list of sorts.
Here are some pattern suggestions culled from my favorites that I feel would be stylishly worn by some of my favorite Downton Abbey characters:
Chrysler Crown Shawl by Natalie Servant: Stylish and trendy, and would go perfectly with Mary’s sharp bob.
Lucy Hat by Carina Spencer: Simple and chic, for a lady ready to take on the publishing world.
Lady Grantham Hat by Brenda Castiel: Obvious, I know, but this soft and elegant design is a good fit for nurturing Cora.
The Dowager Countess
Eleanor Cowl by Audrey Knight: Staid and traditional, but a bright color can give this a bit of sass.
Sprig Cloche by Alana Dakos: Soft and girlish, a design that I can see Daisy wearing on her way into town.
Fellowes Cloche by Amy Herzog: Classic, but strong.
Biscuit by Bonnie Sennott: Because what else but food would make you think of Mrs. Patmore?
Drifted Pearls by Jennifer Lang: Soft and comforting, with plenty of elegance.
Even if you’re not a Stones fan, you will definitely appreciate Bronwyn’s new pattern. Mick Jagged, which was designed in Malabrigo Sock and Miss Babs Yummy 2-ply, looks like a rockin’ combination of semisolid and variegated colorways.
Jillian of Mothy and the Squid has dyed a self-striping rainbow with variegated transitions between colors. The colorway comes with a long repeat of around forty meters (roughly 44 yards for us Americans), which Jillian says would give you five complete rainbows per sock if you used an entire skein for one pair.
OwlCat Designs‘ Simone, who is originally from Switzerland, creates shawls, sweaters and accessories with a decidedly natural feel, including the collections over mossy stones…, inspired by a walk in the woods, and her latest, Full Fathom, which has a maritime theme.
Melissa has introduced these adorable porcelain leaf buttons to celebrate spring, and they are the perfect accents for light cowls, mitts to don on frosty mornings and, of course, cardigans. Shipping is free with the code INDIE.
Keya of Cedar Hill Farm Cmpany has restocked her shop with new springy colorways on her popular Silk Sheep and Sporty Sheep bases. On Silk Sheep, there’s the tonal green Margaritaville, bright teal Sultan of Swing, while Sporty Sheep sports Blue Raspberry, Lemon Drop and Spring.
Combo packs of mini skeins that Katy of Wool and Two Sticks dyed for the March 2016 Phat Fiber Sampler Box are now available in her Etsy shop. The Wizard of Oz-themed colorways come dyed on 200-yard fingering-weight skeins of 100% Peruvian Highland wool.