What to stash this week: I love Rhinebeck in the fall

I’m thrilled to debut Automne à Rhinebeck, an Indie Untangled exclusive by Paris-based indie dyer La Bien Aimée. Preorders of the yarn, to be picked up at the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show on Oct. 20, are now open. You can also purchase Asylum Fibers’ coordinating colorway, Rhinebeck’s All the Craze, and event tote bags, and avoid the frenzy in the Indie Untangled booth.

PLEASE NOTE: I know you’re as crazy about this colorway as I am, but preorders are for pickup at the trunk show only. Any orders that are not picked up at the show, by you or a friend, will be refunded. The yarn will be available for sale via the Indie Untangled website after Rhinebeck. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

I love the idea of mystery KALs, but I’m generally hesitant to spend my time knitting a design I’m not sure I’ll like. Casapinka’s Moroccan Magique is the perfect solution to this conundrum! One clue for this rectangular wrap will be released per week over six weeks. The KAL will include prizes, even for those of us who are slow knitters.

With Pointed Sticks is all ready for fall and, after a summer hiatus, Susan has stocked her shop with autumn- and Halloween-inspired hues. Many of the colors are non-repeatables, so grab them while you can.

Rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock… project bags and yarn! An epic indie collaboration debuting today includes project bags and accessories from Slipped Stitch Studios, with fabric by Insomniac Designs, along with yarn from Pandia’s Jewels… all inspired by the hit TV show The Big Bang Theory! The sale goes live at 9 a.m. Pacific time.

Melanie of Baad Mom Yarns has changed her shop update schedule to every week, and she has some beautiful autumn colorways in stock. She’s also teaming up with nine other dyers to offer mini-skein kits! Click the pic to learn more.

Bijou Basin Ranch is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love (we can pretend it was all about the love of yarn) with a sale! Get 20% off all in-stock yarns from the Master Color Series with the coupon code FAROUTMAN.

Just in time for Back to School is Lara Smoot’s Easy A shawl.

What to stash this week: Knitting on the South Rim

Preorders for the Pigeonroof Studios Knitting Our National Parks colorway are now open! Mountains and Valleys is inspired by this gorgeous photo of the Grand Canyon taken by photographer Kelsey Hilgers. It is available, appropriately, on American Sock, a skein of 100% Superwash Merino completely grown and spun in the U.S. Krista is dyeing a limited number of skeins, and they will be available to preorder through August 18th or when they sell out.

Another Knitting Our National Parks colorway means that Vicki of That Clever Clementine is releasing a new POP Thru The Parks souvenir! Starting today, preorder a SNAPdragon notions pouch with fun fabric from Amy Peppler Adams’s Soda Nation Collection. The pouches are available for preorder for two weeks or until the limited edition of 24 items is sold out (which they did last time, so act fast!).

Rebecca of Fuse Fiber Studio, one of Indie Untangled’s newest dyers, has a new website stocked with plenty of skeins of fingering and DK. Her fun dappled colorways are inspired by places she’s traveled, favorite books, funny family memories and her favorite things in nature. 

Ewe want to knit more sheep? Well, Melissa Kemmerer has you covered! Are Ewe Feeling Sheepish?, a worsted-weight unisex pullover, has joined her flock of sheepy patterns on Ravelry. Melissa has more adult sweaters coming and three baby sweaters, with a fourth on the way. Join her for a sheep-a-long on Rav. 

Robyn of TeenyButton Studio has released a new Harry Potter club color and she is dyeing up more to celebrate! There will be eight Harry Potter colorways for sale, including the newly-released April 2017 club colorway, Beauxbatons, and a new Halloween colorway called Dementor’s Kiss. The shop update is today at 5 p.m. Central Time.

Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios is allowing customers to make their own custom tiny Tot project bags and waiving the custom fees. There are tons of awesome fabrics to choose from and, as a bonus, you can add on a custom lanyard for $5 or use a special $6 off coupon code to mix and match with an existing lanyard.

Christine of Skeinny Dipping had her last shop update before the Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

IU newcomer Mouse House Fiber Co. has a new kit out called the Highland Thistle Cowl Kit.

A new look for Indie Untangled

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If you check out Indie Untangled on your phone or tablet, you may notice that it looks a little different — in a good way.

Back in 2013, when I came up with the idea for this site, web development was changing rapidly. I decided that Indie Untangled didn’t need a mobile version, since I preferred the desktop version to a lot of the mobile sites I had seen. However, I soon realized that was a big mistake. So I decided that once Indie Untangled was up and running, I would eventually reinvest in responsive design.

The story behind the redesign is a kind of a nice It’s a Small Knitting World story. When I decided I was ready to create a mobile site, I learned the original company I worked with, Aeolidia, was only doing complete projects. After a developer they referred me to ended up being booked solid for the next several months, I randomly decided to Google “knitter web developer.” The first site to come up was that of Laura Birek, a knitting designer and writer… who also happened to be a web developer with an expertise in responsive design and WordPress! Score!

Laura spend the last week or so making the site responsive, and also added some extras, like a button with a link to the Indie Untangled Instagram feed. I’m thrilled with the new design and I hope it makes things easier for those of you who, like me, do a lot of yarn shopping via phone or tablet.

Also, thanks to all of the artisans, yarn club members, trunk show attendees and those of you who have purchased yarn and other products from me in the last few years for supporting Indie Untangled and helping to make this redesign possible!

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: Pops of color

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

What to stash this week: Gold at the end of the Rhinebeck rainbow

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Designer Lara Smoot had not one, but two patterns that debuted at Rhinebeck. Daydream Believer, pictured above, is a collaboration between Lara and Michelle of Berry Colorful Yarnings. The triangular shawl uses Michelle’s phenomenal Rainbow self-striping sock yarn, which pops out from a black accent skein. A limited number of Daydream Believer kits are up for sale here, while all of Lara’s patterns are 20% off through the end of the day with the coupon code ‘Rhinebeck’.

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There are still a few souvenir tote bags — designed and printed by fellow knitters! — left over from Rhinebeck. Snag one while you can!

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Julia of Pandia’s Jewels has been brewing up more magic. Two new OOAK colors, Incantation and Book of Shadows are available on her Super Sparkle base, a 70/25/5 blend of Merino, nylon and Stellina.

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If you’re in the mood for more spooky, Halloween-themed yarn, My Mama Knits’ unique Headless Horseman colorway is available on a base of 75% Superwash Merino and 25% nylon sock yarn.

Indie yarn and pattern pairings from Yarn Culture

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This is the eighth and final post in a series of blog posts with the generous sponsors of the 2016 Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

Though there have been many times when I’ve impulse bought beautiful hand-dyed skeins without an idea of what they’ll become, I generally try to shop for yarn with patterns in mind. If you also find it helpful to have suggestions, I asked Patti Odinak, the owner of Yarn Culture in Fairport, N.Y., to send over her favorite patterns for the yarn she’s bringing to the 2016 Indie Untangled Trunk show from two overseas indies: The Uncommon Thread, based in the UK, and Rosy Green Wool of Germany.

I’m also excited to announce that Ce Persiano, the talented dyer behind TUT, will be hopping across the pond and will be at the Yarn Culture booth during the trunk show!

The Uncommon Thread

Yarn: Linum, a fingering-weight blend of 50% baby alpaca, 25% silk and 25% linen

Yarn: Linum, a fingering-weight blend of 50% baby alpaca, 25% silk and 25% linen

Pattern:  Wildheart by Janina Kallio 

Pattern:  Wildheart by Janina Kallio 


 
Yarn: Everyday Sport, a sport-weight 100% Merino

Pattern: Simply by Cheryl Faust 
 
Yarn: Posh Fingering, a fingering-weight blend of 70% Superwash Bluefaced Leicester, 20% Silk and 10% Cashmere

Pattern: Round Cove by Amy Herzog 
 
Yarn: Lush Worsted, a worsted-weight blend of 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere and 10% nylon
 
Pattern: London Mitts by Thea Coleman 

Rosy Green Wool 

Yarn: Cheeky Merino Joy, a fingering-weight 100% organic Merino from Patagonia

Yarn: Cheeky Merino Joy, a fingering-weight 100% organic Merino from Patagonia


 
Patterns:
Drachenfels
Efelgold
Heidschnucke
The Girl in Me
Beethoven Mitts
from fellow German Melanie Berg

Turks and Caicos by Amy Herzog
Vitamin D by Heidi Kirrmaier
 

Yarn: Manx, a fingering-weight blend of organic Merino and Manx Loaghtan wool (Manx Loaghtan is an endangered sheep breed that is originally from the Isle of Man)

Yarn: Manx, a fingering-weight blend of organic Merino and Manx Loaghtan wool (Manx Loaghtan is an endangered sheep breed that is originally from the Isle of Man)

Yarn: Heb, 100% organic Merino and Hebridean

Pattern: Rheinlust by Melanie Berg 

Pattern: Rheinlust by Melanie Berg 

Behind the scenes with Signature Needle Arts

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This is the seventh in a series of blog posts with the generous sponsors of the 2016 Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

After doing an interview last year with Cathryn Bothe, the founder of Signature Needle Arts, I thought it would be interesting to go behind the scenes at the Wisconsin factory, which makes both custom metal parts — things like surgical tool components and mining safety equipment — as well as high-end knitting needles. Here’s a little video they made that takes a look at the manufacturing process.

While Signature will not have a booth at the trunk show, they will be offering attendees 10% off any online order over $25 from their website through Oct. 19 (the code will be available at the show).

Rhinebeck indie yarn & sweater pairings from Amy Herzog

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This is the sixth in a series of blog posts with the generous sponsors of the 2016 Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

After the interview I did with designer and knitting techie Amy Herzog last year, I decided to ask her to pair yarn from some of the indie dyers at the trunk show with her sweater patterns. I’m looking forward to showing off my Acer cardigan — which I knit to my measurements using Amy’s brilliant CustomFit software and Skeinny Dipping’s Journey Worsted — at the fairgrounds on Saturday!

Knitters, it is so great to be us right now.

When I learned to knit as a kid, I had a really limited set of yarn options. There was department-store acrylic, of course, as well as basic wool in both woolenspun and worsted-spun varieties. If cost was no issue, Lopi was definitely available — and of course there was dishcloth cotton, though you wouldn’t really want to wear a sweater knit from it (ask me how I know). And that was pretty much it.

Contrast that to now: hundreds of varieties of yarn at every price point, fiber blend, and several unusual constructions. The explosion that happened in our community when knitters met the internet has changed our craft in a thousand ways. One of the most important is that individual artisans can now engage with knitters everywhere — and Indie Untangled in particular does a lovely job of making that match.

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I share Lisa’s love of artisan yarn, and can easily get lost playing around with how deeply-complex colors meshed with stitch patterns in a design. But I often hear from knitters that the sheer… specialness of artisanal yarn makes it hard to commit to a sweater project. What if it’s not right? What if we don’t like the result?

So in celebration and anticipation of the third Indie Untangled event at Rhinebeck this year, I thought I’d offer my opinion on some pattern/yarn pairings that are sure to produce sweaters you want to wear all the time — from general recommendations to specific yarn/pattern pairings that I think will be divine.

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Before I dive into specific matches, though, I want to take a moment to talk about using special yarns in general. In my opinion, if you’re pouring your effort into a yarn that makes your heart flutter, the yarn should be the star of the show. And that means the design should take a back seat to, and support, the beauty of the yarn — rather than competing with it.

This doesn’t have to mean plain stockinette, although sometimes that’s definitely the best way to showcase a spectacular yarn:

Small Point, Bourrasque, and Beacon Hill all use Stockinette to highlight gorgeous yarns. Photo credit for Beacon Hill to Caro Sheridan of Splityarn.

Small Point, Bourrasque, and Beacon Hill all use Stockinette to highlight gorgeous yarns. Photo credit for Beacon Hill to Caro Sheridan of Splityarn.

It can also mean small-scale stitch patterns or design elements that showcase something exquisite about the yarn you’ve chosen. Here are a few sweaters where lace gets translated into a beautiful fuzzy texture by a rustic woolenspun, or a small-scale texture breaks up more substantial color changes:

Caulfield uses a small eyelet-and-slipped stitch tiling pattern to blend colors; Foyle’s Pullover turns lace into texture; Cushing Isle breaks up big color switches with twisted stitches.

Caulfield uses a small eyelet-and-slipped stitch tiling pattern to blend colors; Foyle’s Pullover turns lace into texture; Cushing Isle breaks up big color switches with twisted stitches.

But whether you’re into miles of Stockinette or not, when you’re evaluating a design for your show-stopping yarn, it’s a good idea to stop and check whether your favorite part of the design will be in conflict with, or support, the yarn itself.

Matches made in heaven

The Woolen Rabbit. I’ve worked with Kim’s yarns extensively over the years, and have never had an experience that was less than blissful. I’ve designed several patterns for her yarn, so it’s tough to choose just one — but this fall, I’m in love with cables.

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Partly, this is because I’ve just introduced cabled patterns in CustomFit, my custom-gauge-and-size sweater pattern generator. But I was very excited to make Birch Bark, in particular, one of the first. I originally worked this sweater up in Frolic, and I’m still excited by the way the very graphic cables interact with the subtle color changes of Kim’s yarn. I’ve taken advantage of the re-release to make a long-sleeved version for myself, and this time I’m using WW Kashmir. I think it would work beautifully in a number of colorways — it was hard to choose! My three finalists were Oakmoss, Pussywillow, and Enchanted Forest.

The Uncommon Thread. I was introduced to Posh Fingering when I worked up my Round Cove cardigan, and I’ve hankered for my own ever since I made it. But when thinking about pattern pair-ups for this post, I couldn’t get the thought of a Sunset Drive in the Posh out of my head:

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The Sunset Drive sample in these pictures was actually made for someone else, and I’ve wanted to make my own version with a slightly-dropped neckline. I’m more of a neutrals-wearer, myself, so I think I’d lean into that with Uncommon Thread’s lovely muted shades. You can see all of their colors here; I’m dreaming of Baby Elephant Walk, Squirrel Nutkin, and Olive Leaf in particular.

Rosy Green Wool. Finally, a relative newcomer yarn — at least to me! I recently worked up a new design explicitly for Rosy Green Wool’s Cheeky Merino Joy:

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Tidal Pool is available on Ravelry as a traditional pattern, and will be available via CustomFit later this fall. I was so incredibly impressed with the sophisticated color and diamond-sharp stitch definition of this yarn that I knew I couldn’t do anything other than an updated classic. The textured stitch pattern of Tidal Pool is a direct homage to the loveliness of this yarn.

Should you be looking for another canvas, though, I think it would look equally stunning both in allover textures and on simple, classic silhouettes like my Options KAL pullover, Firth and Coracle.

And with that, I think I’ve gone on about sweaters for quite long enough!

I’d love to keep the conversation going — if you have any special yarn-pattern pairings that you adore, share them with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram — or see more of my musings on my own site. And whether you’ll be at Rhinebeck or not, have a great fall filled with lovely knitting!

Get to know the yaks, and yarn, of Bijou Basin Ranch

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This is the fifth in a series of blog posts with the generous sponsors of the 2016 Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

Yaks aren’t the first animals knitters think of when we think about yarn, but Carl and Eileen Koop, the owners of Bijou Basin Ranch, have boosted the long-haired bovid’s reputation among the knitting community. The animals produce a fiber with a softness similar to Cashmere, leading to a yarn that is warmer than wool, perfect for luxurious winter accessories.

Many of BBR’s longtime customers know the Tibetan yaks that Carl and Eileen raise at their ranch in Colorado by name: Napoleon, Doc, Ruby, Jade, Sharzae, and the twins Knit and Purl.

Get to know them a little better in this video:

The Koops have a lot of fun with their family-owned operation, and earlier this year BBR hosted a #memeayak contest on social media, inviting their fans to create memes using photos of the animals. Here are a few of the entries:

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The crew at BBR focuses on raising the yaks, and works with a variety of U.S.-based mills to turn the fiber into yarn, much of which is hand dyed by indies all around the country, including Tennessee-based Miss Babs, Minnesota-based ModeKnit and Lost City Knits of Oklahoma. At Rhinebeck and other fall festivals, BBR will be offering new colors from Miss Babs, 10 of which debut this week. Check them out at booths 13 and 14 in Building C!

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Those of you attending the Indie Untangled Trunk Show can enter to win a surprise raffle prize from Carl and Eileen and their adorable creatures.