What to stash this week if you’re not in Edinburgh

The folks over at Siidegarte have made up for you missing out on the Edin Yarn Fest and the Find Your Fade craze. They’ve curated three Find Your Fade kits that include seven 90g skeins of their gorgeous silk-infused yarn. The kits are available on three different bases, using both existing Siidegarte colourways and a few special edition ones. And there’s a discount, this weekend only!

Sheila and Lance of BigFootFibershave stocked their shop full of spring colors (it might be snowing in the Northeast today, but it felt like spring earlier this week!) including Robyn’s Egg, St. Patrick’s Day, and some Rainbow mini and mega mini skein sets.

Because who can resist something called a llamicorn, Julia of Pandia’s Jewels has her fun Pink Fluffy Llamicorns colorway available to pre-order through Sunday, March 19 at 8 p.m. Eastern. Plus, every customer gets a free Pink Fluffy Llamicorn stitch marker!

Socktastic, Lara Smoot’s latest sock pattern, was so addictive that it converted even her most sock-reticent test knitter, the lovely Michelle of Berry Colorful Yarnings. Use coupon code SisterlyLove for 40% off the pattern through March 15th.

Zombies are appropriate for any time of year, not just a certain holiday in October. My Mama Knits’ Zombie-themed yarns are now available on a variety of Superwash bases in varying weights, including DK and sock.

The latest from Stillwater Designs, Salt Pond, is a top-down crescent shawl worked with alternating sections of garter and slip stitch, framed by a simple eyelet border and inspired by the salt pond at Point Judith, RI.

What to stash this week: Spotted in the wild

I am one of the first to spread the word of Etsy and Indie Untangled newcomer BigFootFibers. This true mom and pop operation was recently launched by Sheila and Lance of Tulsa, Oklahoma, after they began dreaming about it last summer. They have both bright and springy, as well as rich and moody, semisolid and variagated colors available on bases like Yeti and Sasquatch Sock.

Ann Tudor has been crafting some seasonally appropriate stitch markers, including these adorable fish, which should help your next project come along swimmingly. To be really on the ball, go with her St. Patrick’s Day and Easter designs. 

Speaking of Easter, if you’re happy that it’s Peeps season, then you’ll really love Lara Smoot’s latest sock pattern.

Introducing Black Wolf Ranch, with Alpaca, Merino, Cormo and BFL yarns made with fiber from the ranch and others throughout Montana.

One Hand in the Dyepots has has added four new colorways to the Etsy shop.

The Yoshi & Lucy shop is stocked with spring-inspired yarns.

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.

Untangling: Lara Smoot

As a designer, Lara Smoot was an “early adopter” of Indie Untangled, and I’ve loved getting word of her latest designs — from her Game of Thrones-inspired shawls to her incredible colorwork socks — on the Marketplace.

For the 2016 Where We Knit yarn club, I paired Lara up with Dami of Magpie Fibers and they came up with a simple, beach-inspired pair of mitts in an icy blue. I’m hoping to cast on soon to help me get through the winter.

I spoke to Lara about her background and how she starts work on some of her more complex pieces:

When and how did you learn to knit?

My grandmother taught me basic knitting when I was in my early teens. She didn’t teach me how to purl and I wanted the scarf that I was knitting to look smooth (stockinette) so I figured out how to knit backwards. I put my needles down after that scarf and didn’t pick knitting up again until about 12 years ago and this time it stuck!

What made you decide to become a designer?

I wanted to create something new and unique and be able to share it with other knitters. My goal is to create patterns with clear and concise directions that produce beautiful results. Knitting should be fun and I try to have that come through in my designs.

What did you do in your “pre-designer” life and how does that influence your design work?

I showed horses for many years and designed and sewed custom riding clothing during that time. Creating custom garments that fit people taught me a lot about sizing and, of course, measuring. Later on, I worked in marketing for a nationally known insurance company and after that I was the director of social media for a yarn company. Working for the yarn company taught me a lot about the yarn industry and gave me so much insight on what goes on behind the scenes.

The Game of Thrones-inspired Fire and Blood.

Tell me about what inspires your designs.

Oh my gosh, I’m inspired by so many things! Patterns that I see in nature, the beautiful colors in a skein of yarn, music that I’m listening to, my favorite characters in a tv series. All those things inspire me.

You seem to design in a variety of colors. Which are your favorites?

I love bright colors and speckled and variegated yarns to work with. Pinks, purples, blues and green are some of my favorites. I love gray too. It’s the perfect complementary color to go with anything bright.

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

Have a big cup of coffee! All kidding aside, it depends on the project. Sometimes I start with a sketch, sometimes I swatch before I sketch. With my colorwork designs, like Shark Bite and Fright Night, I create the chart first. I have an idea of what I want the piece to look like and keep tweaking the chart until it’s what I envisioned.

The Seacoast Mitts pattern from the 2016 Where We Knit yarn club.

Where is your favorite place to knit?

At home with my pugs in my lap and a good cup of coffee or tea while watching a knitting podcast.

What to stash this week: spooktacular yarn

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Julia of Pandia’s Jewels has seen her dye pots taken over by the Sanderson Sisters of Disney’s Hocus Pocus. The collection includes Black Flame Candle, a self-striping Sanderson Sisters colorway and a special Hocus Pocus kit that contains a third special color, a project bag from Suburban Stitcher and a notions tin filled with goodies.

If you’re in the mood to knit something spooky, Lara Smoot’s Fright Night socks might fit the bill. The vampire-themed colorwork socks, which use Undead Yarn (yes, really) have an introductory price of $3.99 on Ravelry until October 1.

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Lyra, the latest sweater from Laura of Fiber Dreams is inspired by Orpheus’ lyre, said to charm everyone. The sleeves of this simple garment — knit flat from the bottom, with notes if you prefer to knit in the round — are dotted with starry eyelets and accented with eyelet rib.

IU noob Dye is Cast Yarns has several new colorways on their Squish Wish base, a 75/25 Superwash Merino/nylon sock yarn.

What to stash this week: Moving Day sale

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Laura and the crew at Slipped Stitch Studios crew moving to a new, larger space. Throughout this weekend, they’re holding a huge moving sale, offering decent discounts on some of their most popular products.

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Simone’s new design, the Upland Socks, look like the knitting equivalent of wiggling your toes in some thick green grass. Inspired by gnarled branches and twisting roots, the socks feature a cable pattern worked on the front, adding a little interest while not complicating the shaping.

Kettle Yarn Co. had a shop update yesterday, with new hues and lots of restocked colors.

What to stash this week: Spring it up

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

Wizard of Oz

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.

What to stash this week: A sweater, 50% off socks, & Single Sheep

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I’m loving this new sweater design by Lola Johnson of Third Vault Yarns. Swing Me Right Round can be worn with either side as the front and is meant to show off hand-dyed yarn in either fingering, sport or DK. A spreadsheet comes with the pattern that allows you to input your gauge and measurements and generates stitch counts, number of repeats and your increases. You can also choose to knit it from the center outwards — which eliminates any grafting — or from the bottom up. Whichever choices you make, it’s bound to look stunning (I can’t guarantee that you’ll get that 1985 Dead or Alive song out of your head).

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Lara Smoot’s latest sock design, Heat Lighting, uses Unplanned Peacock’s Cozy Sock, a blend of Merino, alpaca and nylon, for an easy-to-knit sock in a fun, lightning-like lace pattern. It’s worked from the cuff down and incorporates a modified short row heel. Best of all: if you act fast, you can get this and all of Lara’s other sock patterns for 50% off until Oct. 1. Use the code Socktober at checkout.

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Single Sheep, Keya’s newest yarn base comes courtesy of Blanche, Stella and Oliver — it’s the first yarn ever from the fleece of sheep on her Georgia farm! The yarn is a fingering-weight single, a la Tosh Merino Light. Quantities are limited, so make sure you buy what you need the first time. There are also autumn colorways on the Journey, Rocket Sock and Rocket Sock Medium bases, as well as new colorways of spinning fiber and new project bags with grommets.

Spencer Hill table

Spencer Hill‘s Big Cartel shop will be a little quiet this weekend while Barb is at Knitters’ Day Out in Summerdale, Pennsylvania. The event includes vendors from Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, New York… and Australia. Barb will be bringing hand-dyed yarn, sheep-colored fiber and naturally-dyed yarn, while her friend Stephanie of Rock Solid Designs will have project bags, needle rolls, DPN protectors and original designs, including one in Barb’s Nell yarn.

What to stash this week: This is fall

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It’s after Labor Day, so perfect timing for Never Enough Thyme’s beautiful new Halloween and autumn colorways. The Halloween hues are available in single skeins and in the popular heel/toe sock sets, which include a full-sized skein of sock yarn with a matching mini skein. There’s also Donegal Sock Yarn back in stock, in fall colors including Fallen Leaves and Maple Leaf. And, if you head over to Never Enough Thyme’s Facebook page, you can enter to win an Autumn mini-skein set! A winner will be picked on Oct. 1.

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Linda has added a full color wheel, or should I say colour wheel, of Twist to the Kettle Yarn Co. shop. Twist is a fingering-weight yarn 100% British Bluefaced Leicester that is perfect for socks, but also soft enough for next-to-skin garments and accessories.

Some true armchair travel

World of Indie Design

Knitting patterns are inspired by various things, but so many designers seem to find inspiration in the world around them, whether it’s Janina Kalio‘s Scandinavian minimalism, or Laura Patterson of Fiber Dreams naming a cowl for a mountain range in her new home state of Washington.

As I did last week with my map of dyers and makers, I created a map showing where the designers who have posted to Indie Untangled are based (I figured they would be a bit easier to explore if I separated them). Combine the two, and you could do a pretty awesome knitting tour…