What to stash this week: Sunset over Yellowstone

The latest Knitting Our National Parks colorway from Candice of The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers is inspired by a sunset over Yellowstone captured by park ranger and photographer Jacob W. Frank. Candice named the glowing pinks and earthy greens, dyed on a Merino/silk fingering, Kiowa to pay tribute to the Native Americans who inhabited the land years before it became a place where visitors flocked to see Old Faithful erupt. The colorway will be available to preorder through April 20, with the yarn shipping at the end of May.

Hey, SoCal knitters: Jen of Porterness Studio is having a trunk show at Gather DTLA on April 20 and 21 during the LA Yarn crawl. If you’re not in the area, click here to get a discount code for her lovely shawl pins, buttons and jewelry.

Want a little April in Paris? Kate of McMullin Fiber Co. has added fun snips to the shop, including a pair shaped like the Eiffel Tower. You’ll get one free when you purchase a skein of Dusty Rose and a skein of Tres Bien, which are both inspired by imaginary strolls along the Seine.

ShelliCan just had a shop update and introduced a ton of new designs, including the adorable Get Kracken, which is available on enamel pins, T-shirts and keychains.

Rebecca of Fuse Fiber Studio also updated her shop recently, and it includes a bunch of fingering-weight yarn in complementary colors that would be perfect for your next Fade.

Knittyandcolor’s Acid Rainbow colorway is back in stock and available on her Acoustic Sock, Hardcore Sock, Glam Rock Sparkle Sock, Dubstep DK and Indie Rock Worsted. Also catch her at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in May!

Shanna of Lambstrings Yarn has kits for Andrea Mowry’s Rose cardigan on her new SW Merino 3-ply sport. The four-skein kits are available in three different color combinations to produce a fade that starts light on the back and ends dark at the sleeves.

Untangling Andrea Mowry of Drea Renee Knits

Unless you’ve been knitting under a rock, you’ve probably at some point this year encountered someone finding their fade. Since Andrea Mowry of Drea Renee Knits released her seven-skein shawl in December, and her So Faded sweater last month, Fade Fever seems to have taken over. Both patterns are the perfect match for hand-dyed yarn, and many a Fade kit can be found from the dyers who post on IU.

I decided to reach out to Andrea and learn more about the woman behind the Fade, as well as her other beautifully styled, casually elegant designs.

What did you do before becoming a knitwear designer and how does that inform your work?

Before designing I was a pastry chef! I actually got my first baking job (which eventually lead me down the path of culinary school) because the owner of the bakery loved that I included knitting under “other skills” on my resume! I have always loved creating and working with my hands, so when I left my job in the kitchen, it felt very organic to begin writing patterns instead of recipes.

How did you decide to become a designer?

I had been knitting for such a long time and always wanted to find a way to make a job of it. Finally, when I had more time to explore designing, thanks to being home with my first born, I thought, “What have I got to lose?” There were things I wanted to knit, and I figured maybe someone else would want to knit them as well! From there, I feel like my dreams have come true!

When and how did you learn to knit?

I learned when I was about nine years old thanks to my amazing (and patient) Grandma Ginny! I am so thankful to her that she took the time to sit with me and wanted to share something she loved. It has brought so much joy to my life, and it is all thanks to her!

Tell me about what inspires your designs.

I am most inspired by yarn. For me, the design idea typically comes as I am looking at and swatching with the yarn I want to use!

How did Find Your Fade come about? Did you think it would take off like it did?

Every once in a while I like to do a “creativity experiment” where I just grab the yarn I most want to use out of my stash and I just cast on. I try not to give myself any constraints or expectations. I just knit what feels fun! Find Your Fade was one of my experiments. I had just had my son a few months earlier, and felt like I just need something selfish and indulgent on my needles. I had no idea it would take off! I am so thrilled and honored that knitters have been inspired by it!

What’s the first thing you do when you start designing a pattern?

Swatch! Well, sometimes I sketch first. But then I cake up the yarn and swatch.

What are your favorite colors and have they changed at all since you started designing?

I am continually drawn to pinks and yellows right now. I really love most colors though, and when I find myself constantly grabbing for the same colors, I try to switch it up. Grey will always be at the top of my list, along with mint and turquoise. And navy. And white. And gold.

You’ve created such a cool, laid-back aesthetic for your business. Did you come to designing with that particular look and feel in mind?

Thank you! I’ve tried to just be myself. I find that when I stick to what I love and what really inspires me and brings me joy, it seems to work. I think when we do that, our best work comes out and people can feel that.

Who are some of your favorite indie dyers?

There are so many amazing indie dyers out there! My absolute favorites include Hedgehog Fibres, Republic of Wool, Qing Fibre, Woolenboon and Peepaloo Fields, just to name a few!

Do you enjoy any other crafts in addition to knitting?

I love embroidery, and am a novice sewer. 🙂