What to stash this week: Indie yarn Black Friday weekend deals

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! I’m offering 15% off all in-stock yarn from The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers (including new Squish Bulky Superwash Merino for your holiday gift needs!) and Dark Harbour Yarn, as well as Stash Indie enamel pins and tote bags in the post-Rhinebeck pop-up, through Monday with the code INDIEFRIDAY. (Offer excludes La Bien Aimée preorders.)

Spirit trail is offering free U.S. shipping and discounted international shipping through Monday using the code CYBERMONDAY.

Everything in the Invictus Yarns shop, including new confetti skeins, is 15% off, no coupon code needed, through Tuesday. The sale will be valid for purchases over $20.

All yarns from McMullin Fiber Co. are 20% off through Tuesday. In addition, clubs are 10% off. PLUS, there’s a clearance section of discontinued bases and colorways with hefty savings of 40% off the regular price.

Bijou Basin’s Black Friday weekend sale reminds me of those Crazy Eddie commercials — INSANE. Not only is there free U.S. shipping, but they’re giving away free yarn with certain purchases.

Every item you purchase from Never Enough Thyme during the month of November will enter you into a giveaway for a set of Christmas mini skeins, an adorable project bag and some extra goodies.

Sarah of One Hand in the Dyepot is offering 15% off all full-sized skeins, no coupon needed, through Monday. Most of Sarah’s yarns are dyed as single skeins and therefore not repeatable. Perfect excuse!

Robynn of Studio Miranda is participating in the Indie Design Giftalong, so her patterns are 25% off on Ravelry. Click to learn more about this fun event!

Susan of With Pointed Sticks is having her annual Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. Everything in the shop is 25% off through Monday, no coupon necessary.

Get free shipping from Marianated Yarns for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday with coupon code GIVETHX. Use it for Knitmas Kits, Christmas colors or super jumbo bulky yarn for those last-minute gifts.

Lisa The Knitting Artist is offering 20% off with code SBSSALE starting Saturday, November 25, and running through midnight Central time on Tuesday. You’ll also receive a free watercolor greeting card, handmade and handpicked by Lisa.

Here’s a sale and a very cool New Dyer Alert. Brianne and Maureen of I Would Dye 4U create yarn inspired by the best music. Look for colorways such as True Colors and Take On Me on bases such as New Wave and Hair Metal. They’re also offering 20% off all ready to ship yarns in her Etsy shop on Monday!

It is stall fall, despite the music playing way too early, everywhere. Casapinka’s Crunching Leaves Cowl uses two colors of bulky yarn to create a woven effect. It’s a perfect addition to your fall (and, yes, winter) outfit — and a perfect quick gift.

Kim Dyes Yarn has teamed up with this Brew City Yarns to create a tribute to the Republic of Gilead. The 10 Handmaid’s Tale colorways go on sale tomorrow for Small Business Saturday, five at Kim’s website and five via Brew City Yarns. Limited quantities of mini skein sets of all 10 colorways will be available for purchase at both websites starting at 8 a.m. Eastern Saturday.

Katrina and her crew are offering 10% off yarn purchases and free shipping for orders over $100 through Monday, November 27 with the code GobbleGobble. 


Everything in the JuneBug Fibers shop is 20% off through Monday.

Lavender Lune Yarn Co. is offering 20% off in her shop through Tuesday with code BLACKFRIDAY17. Indie Untangled readers get first dibs before Saturday!

Everything at in the Stitchjones Etsy shop is 25% off with coupon code HELLOFALL.

Little Fox Yarn is offering 15% off with the code THANKFUL15 through Tuesday.

Let the knitting begin

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Acer swatches

Tomorrow night marks the start of something I look forward to every four years — the Ravellenic Games! Yes, I do also love the games that start with the letter O (as a business, I do have to watch my wording), but I am more partial to winter sports, especially figure skating.

What I like about Ravelry’s Ravellenic games is the idea of challenging yourself as a knitter. Two years ago, I completed a fingering weight cardigan for my soon-to-be born nephew. Two years before that, I knit a Multnomah shawl in fingering weight yarn, the first time I had finished such a large project in just two weeks.

This year, I’m taking on a challenge I never thought I ever would have considered — knitting a cardigan. In pieces. With set-in sleeves. Backtracking a little, I have long wanted to knit an Acer Cardigan and I picked up a sweater quantity of Skeinny Dipping’s Journey Worsted at last year’s Rhinebeck Trunk Show to do just that, for this year’s Rhinebeck sweater. I knew I would be using Amy Herzog’s CustomFit, and after purchasing the Acer pattern, I generated a second pattern in CustomFit using my measurements and similar parameters: a crew neck cardigan with two inches of 2×2 ribbing and a 1-inch button band. The big difference is that CustomFit doesn’t account for stitch patterns that may affect your gauge. For cables, which generally compress stockinette, you have to add stitches to compensate. After gathering some advice from the awesome sweater-knitting experts in Amy’s Ravelry group, I knit a swatch in the cable pattern and then decided it would be less risky to knit the sweater in pieces, so that I would have a better idea of how it measured out before knitting too much of it.

I have set in sleeves on a CustomFit sweater before (it did take me several hours, but I did it!) so, in theory, doing the side seams should be a piece of cake. Still, I am a bit daunted by the prospect. My nightmare is that somehow not all of the pieces will block out to the right size and then won’t fit together. A couple of my knitting friends have offered to do some seaming handholding when the time comes, so I will probably take them up on it.

It didn’t help that last night, I attended a talk that one of my knitting groups held with designer Kristina McGowan, who developed a friendship with the fascinating Barbara Walker, a pioneer of top-down, seamless knitting. Barbara, Kristina explained, hated things like seaming and stranded colorwork, so she created her own innovative ways around them. Ultimately, as I’m a big follow-the-rules knitter, I will be sucking it up and seaming.

Since I already started the sweater, and most likely won’t be able to finish it in two weeks, I’m not planning for this project to be in contention for a Ravellenic medal. But, I am still considering this my Ravellenic project. Because the only way to grow, as a knitter, an athlete or just as a person, is to swallow your fears and jump in feet first (uh, or head first, if you’re a diver).

IU FOs: Drops of Honey

lisaKC Drops

Janina Kallio’s Drops of Honey, which she designed for the Indie Untangled Where We Knit yarn club, is available for sale to the general knitting public today, so I thought it was the perfect time to post the beautiful FOs that have been made by club members. That’s mine above, with my Maryland Sheep & Wool 2015 Jennie the Potter mug, and I can’t wait to show off at the festival on Saturday!

While the pattern matches perfectly with the Lakes Yarn and Fiber Drops of Honey colorway, which Ami dyed up exclusively for the club, this simple, elegant shawl would be perfect in almost any hue.

Happy knit year

Pendulum

I’ve never really been the type to make New Year’s resolutions. If I resolve to do anything, I tend to just pick a date and do it, like deciding to start working out again (constantly sitting at a desk wasn’t doing me any favors) or reorganizing my stash (well, more like finally putting my Rhinebeck purchases away… in an entirely new box).

My knitting resolutions have been similarly immediate. On Christmas morning, I was trying to decide what to knit while I wait for new yarn for my mom’s hooded scarf. I so wanted to try out the Quince & Co. Lark that the pattern called for, but as I started knitting with it, I decided it was a little too rough for wearing around the neck. My husband, who wears his Bugga! scarf much more than his Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride one, felt the WIP and even agreed that it was a little rough (and I hate to sound stereotypical, but if your husband is encouraging you to buy more yarn…).

Anyway, I was looking at my project page, and realized I had a project that’s been hibernating since 2013. It was the Scalene that I cast on for on the way back from Australia (the yarn is from Rhinebeck 2012), and then messed up the increases for while knitting during a VKL class. Every time I pulled it out of the closet, I resolved to finish it. This time, I decided to repurpose it. So, I frogged the quarter-done shawl and cast on for Amy Miller’s Pendulum. greentrianglegirl, AKA A Playful Day, had called it a soothing knit, and she was right. The mindless garter is perfect for this more relaxed time of year, and the short rows keep it interesting. I probably won’t finish it in time for the Indie Untangled Winter KAL (which you still have the rest of today to enter. Read: PRIZES), but this is something I don’t really need to rush.

Swiss Delights Kit

I could have cast on for the Myrtille shawl as part of the Swiss Delights KAL with the Siidegarte kit, but it starts on Jan. 6, so I figured I would be good and wait. I made this my own Hanukkah splurge, and I’m so glad I did. The yarn, which arrived really quickly for an international package, is lovely and silky, and I can’t help but take it out every now and then to admire it.

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Speaking of 2015, there are also some really cool things happening knitwise early next year. First off, some really exciting news about Gauge + Tension: On Feb. 7, Michele is moving the former pop-up shop to a permanent space inside the Brooklyn Craft Company! This is a crafting space in Greenpoint with all sorts of different classes (they also have knit wallpaper they designed themselves!) and I keep meaning to go, so hopefully this will give me the kick in the butt I need.

Michele has also been organizing some really fantastic trunk shows (I really wanted to attend the Jill Draper and Queen Bee Fibers events, but I had my friends from Italy in town and then I had to work. Sigh.). If you’re Plucky obsessed, then you probably already know about the Plucky Knitter trunk show taking place at the old G+T space on Saturday, Jan. 24. Then, the next day, the store is going to be filled with yarns from Miss Babs (but, alas, no Babs herself).

If that’s not enough, on Jan. 25, Maria from the Subway Knits podcast, along with Sarah of KnitYorkCity, Kristin from Yarngasm and Marsha from One Geek to Craft Them All, are speaking at a panel on yarn crafting and blogging, organized by the Brooklyn Knit and Crochet Guild. It sounds like an amazing weekend! And that’s not even factoring in that Vogue Knitting Live is the weekend before.

I think I need to resolve to make another trip to The Container Store.

Knitting indie: Cowl-a-palooza Part I

Horloge

Perhaps I’ve been knitting with fingering-weight yarn, and making sweaters, for too long. I’ve forgotten the pleasure of having an FO in three nights.

My first Indie Untangled KAL project, Alex Tinsley’s Horloge, is the first in a series of cowls I’m planning to make. I used the Skeinny Dipping Silky Worsted in Mulled Cider that I picked up at the Rhinebeck trunk show. The silk really makes the color shine and the cowl itself has the perfect amount of drape, just enough to sit well under my winter coat.

The pattern, with two easy cables every other row and knit inside out to minimize the number of purl stitches, was just interesting enough. I can definitely see it being a great gift knit and I’m already thinking of picking up some Rustic Silk Worsted from Pigeonroof Studios to make one for my friend Sharon, who’s allergic to wool.

Also, if you haven’t checked out the Indie Untangled KAL thread you may be enticed to participate by a whole bunch of new prizes, including two patterns donated by Lara Smoot, a $25 gift certificate to Lakes Yarn and Fiber, a Sweet Sheep lotion bar, a $24 gift certificate from Inner Yarn Zen, a 240-yard High Twist Sock mini-skein set from Pigeonroof Studios and an Autumn Basket kit from Laura Aylor.

I’m definitely looking forward to wearing my new cowl to Thanksgiving dinner, where I plan to work on Cowl No. 2. Speaking of which, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, filled with tons of knitting and all of the things you’re thankful for!

(Also: stay tuned for a roundup of great Black Friday/Shop Small Saturday/Cyber Monday deals from a bunch of Indie Untangled vendors! If you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll get that list in your inbox super early.)

Indie Untangled Winter KAL

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KAL DDW Coconut

As I sit huddled in my apartment, eyeing the “feels like 20 degrees” on Weather.com, I’m thinking it’s time to start preparing for winter. Which, if it’s anything like last year, is going to require a lot of knitwear.

The Indie Untangled Ravelry group is also in Knit All The Things mode, so we’re putting together an end-of-year KAL. Our wonderful moderator AliKazaam is organizing everything, and the rules are perfectly simple and easy to follow even on “Holiday Brain”: you must use something from an Indie Untangled vendor for your project. Yarn, buttons and patterns are all eligible. (The skeins in the brand new Berry Colorful Yarnings Indie Untangled pop-up would be perfect, as would this skein of French Market Fibers Silky DK that has been hanging out all by its lonesome since this morning. You’re welcome.)

The KAL will run through December 31 and there will be prizes, including the skein of Duck Duck Wool Sport in Toast the Coconut above that I am selflessly donating from my Rhinebeck haul (again, you’re welcome). Ali has also generously donated a skein of your choice from the Indie Untangled marketplace up to $25, and we anticipate many more prizes where those came from. It’s perfectly fine to “double dip” in other KALs, but we hope that you join in our fun chat as well.

What to stash this week: Ready, set, GAL!

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I’m so excited about the 2014 Indie Design Gift-A-Long, particularly as I embark on Cowl Quest 2014.

The Indie Design GAL is a two-month-long KAL/CAL of holiday gifts made from patterns designed by nearly 300 indie designers — AND, all those patterns are 25% off through Nov. 21 with the coupon code giftalong2014. To top it all off, there’s the opportunity win more than 1,800 electronic prizes and more than 70 physical prizes, including an original yarn ball Snapdragon pouch from Indie Untangled and That Clever Clementine.

So get ready to gift!

General-Club-SQ

Planning enough projects for a trip around the world would be very tough, so let Wild Prairie Knits do it for you (figuratively, of course). Sign-ups are open for the 2015 Wild Prairie Knits Mystery Club. There’s a Mystery Shawl Club, a Mini Mystery Club for accessories with new techniques, and a Project Bag Club, with bags in exclusive prints to match your project colors and size. Members can also purchase eBooks for the Shawls and Mini Mysteries clubs.

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The new Methera Lace base from Sylvan Tiger Yarn sounds heavenly (and, like all of Katie’s bases, is named after the Yan Tan Tethera sheep counting system traditionally used by shepherds in the British Isles — so cool!). The mix of 55% British BFL and 45% silk is available in nine colors and is in the shop now.

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If you’d love to crochet a hand-dyed blanket, but are daunted by taking it on all it once, then the Cuddlebums Shades Blanket Club is for you. Each month during 2015, club members will receive 100 grams of yarn split up into four small skeins, in four different shades of one color. Add to the blanket throughout the year, and be prepared for Winter 2016!

Knitting indie: The perfect sweater with Custom Fit

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Enjoying my new Custom Fit sweater on the beach in Maine. #happysweaterface

Enjoying my new Custom Fit sweater on the beach in Maine. #happysweaterface

When I first started knitting sweaters a few years ago, I thought, Finally, here’s a way I can make clothes that fit me perfectly. Like pretty much every woman who has ever stood, frustrated, in a dressing room, I don’t always have an easy time buying things off the rack. I’m just barely 4’9”, with narrow shoulders and curves, and while I’ve found LOFT and Banana Republic to offer a decent range of petite styles that fit pretty well, there will often be things that are just… made for someone taller, or who doesn’t have hips.

But, as I started knitting garments, I realized that they also come in pre-determined sizes, and that altering them to fit me wasn’t quite as easy as a trip to the tailor. Then you throw gauge into the equation, and all bets are off.

Last summer, I started hearing about Amy Herzog’s Custom Fit software from some of my Ravelry friends who were testing out the beta version. Around the same time, I ended up deciding to re-knit my all-done-but-the-sleeves Pont Neuf because I had misjudged my gauge and should have used smaller needles, and also knit based on the pattern without making any mods. And it really needed some mods: the waist shaping was in the wrong place for my short torso and it was just a little too long. While it was a good learning experience, it wasn’t one that I wanted to repeat. A program that provided you a custom pattern based on your measurements seemed like a godsend.

Amy and her crew were at Rhinebeck last year, and they generously organized a session where they whipped out the tape measures and sized people up. While I was there, I also discovered the cool gradient boxes from Fiber Optic Yarns. I knew Custom Fit offered fairly standard sweater options, so knitting a gradient striped sleeveless top seemed like a good way to do a test drive with a basic design, while also spicing it up a little.

CF Gradient Tank

The way Custom Fit works is that you input an extensive list of measurements (which are best taken by someone else — check out whether your LYS has a partnership with Custom Fit and can help you with this, or try a local tailor if you don’t have a friend or loved one who you think can do it accurately) that go way beyond your bust size (have you checked out your inter-nipple distance lately?). Then you swatch. And maybe swatch again if you aren’t pleased with how the fabric feels. Of course, most knitters will groan, or say they never swatch, but a few hours of fairly mindless knitting is much better than spending weeks working on a sweater that you never wear.

This may have been my second swatch, but I liked the fabric on US3s much better.

This may have been my second swatch, but I liked the fabric on US3s much better.

Also, while Amy recommends knitting the sweater pieces separately and then seaming them together, the CF patterns do provide a mostly seamless option. I ended up taking that route for my gradient top, because I didn’t really want to match up the stripes, and my gauge is generally tighter when I’m knitting stockinette in the round. The knitting itself was fairly mindless, and I mainly had to pay attention to the stripes. When it was all done, it fit me perfectly, and the only real trauma came in weaving in all those ends…

CF Gradient before finishing

Custom Fit is the perfect option for when you impulse buy that sweater quantity in a beautiful hand-dyed colorway, but you just don’t know what to make with it. When I snagged some Tesseract at the Astral Bath open house a few months ago, I knew that with the silk content and my fairly loose tension that I would want something that I wouldn’t have to keep second guessing.

My next Custom Fit project in Astral Bath Tesseract.

My next Custom Fit project in Astral Bath Tesseract.

I decided to copy molliebatmit’s Moon River, a crew neck cardi with a lace edging and twisted rib at the hem, button band and sleeves. While the sweater has a bit more drape to it than Mollie’s does, because my gauge is much looser, the fit at this point, without sleeves and a button band, seems pretty spot on. So, if you’re planning to go to the pre-Rhinebeck trunk show, you will likely see me in my Conjured Cardi with a #happysweaterface.

Astral Bath giveaway winners

This is not George Cukor's twin, which will be arriving soon.

This is not George Cukor’s twin, which will be arriving soon.

No, that’s not a typo. I did mean to write winners with an S.

Cass is the first winner of the Astral Bath Yarns giveaway. She had a little trouble picking one movie:

I do love Indiana Jones and his whip 😉 but I’ll have to say Star Wars – Return of the Jedi
Love the ewoks, Princess Leia in that outfit and Admiral Ackbar!

Now, about winner No. 2: Ridgely found a second skein of George Cukor, and she sent it off to me with instructions to use it in whichever way makes me happiest. So, I decided to pick another winner via random number generator. I was very tempted to select the person who listed the movie I like best, but that’s basically as hard as picking a favorite movie — I love so many that people mentioned: Clue, When Harry Met Sally, Love Actually, The Sound of Music and A League of Their Own. (I also can’t pick one, but my other faves, the ones I can watch over and over, are Singin’ in the Rain, Working Girl, Singles, Life is Beautiful and Almost Famous).

Oh, you probably want to know who the second winner is. And that would be notsocrafty:

Just one movie?? I guess it would have to be “The Empire Strikes Back.”

I’ll let the two Star Wars fans duke it out over whether Jedi or Empire are the best movies in the trilogy (perhaps this isn’t the best time to admit that I’ve never seen all of any of the Star Wars movies? Trust me, my husband has tried…). Congrats to the winners and thank you to everyone who participated!

Also, I wanted to let all you Ravelers know about a summer swap I just launched today! You can read about it in the Indie Untangled group forums, but basically it’s a summer swap, indie style.

What to stash this week: Bag some bags (and yarn, and fiber)

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I am SO excited for Vicki of That Clever Clementine: this week, she reached her 500-sale milestone on Etsy! What’s even better is that she’s offering 15% off all orders of $20 or more through June 10 with the code IndieUntangledJune. To celebrate, she’s also having a fun photo-related giveaway on Ravelry.

Speaking of giveaways, check this post for info on the last leg of the Berry Colorful Yarnings/Indie Untangled social media tour. But there is So. Much. More. this week…

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I first discovered Queen Bee Fibers last year at the Kings County Fiber Festival in Brooklyn, but I didn’t realize what a cool story Lexi had until I happened to “run into” her again on Ravelry recently. I learned that she worked on a Long Island fiber farm after years in the NYC fashion industry and is also a beekeeper. The Queen Bee shop sells drop spindle kits, along with hand-dyed yarn and fiber, handspun yarn and bath products, including Bee & Ewe lotion, made with beeswax, lanolin and honey.

Christine of Skeinny Dipping just started offering hand-dyed fiber. She’s also having a spring preorder event. Through Monday, June 9, you can order the color and base combination of your choice on Etsy.

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I’m loving the “grumpy” stitch markers from paper and yarn (though the words I use when I screw up a project are not quite so G-rated). Those are not the only things that will tempt you. Kat, who runs Ohio LYS The Thankful Ewe, also has a line of hand-dyed sock yarn in some beautiful colors.

I blame Sue of Invictus Yarns for making me crave a Bomb Pop this week (and where is an ice cream truck when you need one?!). The new Glory colorway would be great to show off in a shawl or socks this Fourth of July (and supposedly socks and sandals are back in style).

It might not make you think of ice cream, but if you wanted to knit a Creamsicle cardi and pink isn’t your color, Linda of Kettle Yarn Co. recently offered up a new blue-green color combo of her Wimbledon sport-weight yarn.

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If you long for the days when your beloved Trapper Keeper got you through algebra, then go back to the future with a bag in this radical unicorn fabric from Slipped Stitch Studios. Aside from project bags, Laura also makes spindle totes, swift covers and more.

Something for your Must Stash list: a set of five 5/8″ mustache buttons from Fastenation Studios are on sale for $6 (regularly $7.50) through the end of June. Hannah can make them in any color and size — contact her for a custom order or leave a note at checkout.

Celebrate summer with bright new colorways and sparkly bases from Cuddlebums. Indie Untangled visitors also get 10% all yarns during June with the code INDIE10.

Hampden Hills Alpacas may be new to Indie Untangled, but this two-person operation has been around for 14 years, raising and breeding alpacas and, of course, dyeing alpaca and alpaca-blend yarn. Next month, they will debut an alpaca silk lace base. Go ahead and get drunk on yarn fumes.