What to stash this week: Love and color

In 2015, my friend Alisa launched KitSpinQuilt, selling her handmade project bags and stitch markers, many with a geeky bent, and donating 30% of the purchase price to charitable causes. Since Alisa is a grad student on a limited budget, she decided this was the best way to give back. This year, your purchases from KitSpinQuilt will benefit the Hispanic Federation‘s Puerto Rico disaster relief efforts, helping the 40% of the island that still lacks electricity.

You should have what she’s having. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Kate of McMullin Fiber Co. is collaborating with charm maker Little Bitty Delights on yarn and stitch marker sets that celebrate three famous couples. Pictured here is her tribute to Harry Burns and Sally Albright from When Harry Met Sally. The colorways are inspired by their outfits during a reunion in the Personal Growth section of NYC’s Shakespeare & Co. bookstore (notice where the strawberry ice cream is…). Click the pic to see the other inspirations.

Sign-ups for the Spirit Trail Fiberworks Cosmic Color Club are now open! Jennifer offers yarn and sweater clubs and all the colorways — a mix of tonal solids and subtle speckles — are completely exclusive to members. Jennifer also has two new six-skein gradient speckle kits ready to ship, the beautiful result of a dye mistake. They are dyed on her Birte base, her DK weight Superwash Merino, Cashmere, and silk blend. Pictured above is her favorite, Crystal Cave.

I got to glimpse the yarn from Undercover Otter at VKL last week and I’m thrilled to welcome dyer Petra to IU! She’s doing preorders of her 40-plus repeatable colorways on three fingering-weight bases, but only through this Sunday.

Amanda of Crabapple Yarns, another IU newcomer, just had a shop update with a bunch of new speckled and tonal colorways that are perfect for combining. She also has a new base called Keen Sock, a wonderfully soft blend of 75% Superwash Merino and 25% nylon.

This third new girl, Sarah of Knittyandcolor, reintroduced her blazingly bright Ain’t It Fun colorway, which is her antidote to winter and ode to the band Paramore. It’s available on three different sock bases.

Karen of Round Table Yarns will be releasing at least a dozen new legends of King Arthur-inspired self-striping colorways in the coming months. The first two, Courtly Love and The Underwater Bridge, are now available.

What to stash this week: old and new

Jennifer of Porterness Studio has come out with new shawl pin designs. Her pieces have an Art Deco elegance to them, with a modern twist. It fits with her process, which uses the ancient lost wax casting process and modern technology of 3D printing. And she’s helping you treat yourself with a 20% off coupon code just for Indie Untangled readers.

Indie Untangled newcomer Ashley of Red Sock Blue Sock Yarn, based in Ontario, Canada, was inspired by her daughter’s love of Dr. Seuss when she named her yarn company five years ago. Her fun colors — tonal solids and vibrant variegated skeins would be great companions on your next knitting adventure. 

Aside from dyeing yarn, Sheila of BigFootFibers also has a podcast on YouTube. She recently teamed up with several other indie dyers for something called the Avalanche of Indie Dyed Yarn. This past episode included yarn from Yarn Over New York, SilkWorm Studios and IU’s Baad Mom Yarns. Also check out her new online shop, which has some Valentine-themed self-striping sock yarns.

Another IU newcomer, Potion Yarns, is introducing new colorways ranging from the dark and moody to bright neon. There are also Comfort Fade and So Faded kits. Dyer Johanna is also a hair colorist and is willing to help create your own custom colorway (for your yarn!).

The February 2018 Geek Chic Issue of Knitting Magazine includes a feature on Lola and her geeky yarn enterprise, Third Vault Yarns. The article includes Third Vault Yarns’ And You’ll Drop Your Weapon colorway, a yarn inspired by Rey from Star Wars and available to purchase on Lola’s site.

The next three Bags of the Month from Slipped Stitch Studios are inspired by a trio of inspirational guys, including Fred Rogers, LeVar Burton and Bob Ross. The bags for everyone’s favorite neighbor go on sale today at 9 a.m. Pacific Time.

Lisa The Knitting Artist is starting the year with with two new colorways. Early Snow Flowers and Green Rain Tears are available on Lisa’s Sock and Worsted bases, and all purchases come with a card with the image of the painting that inspired the color.

What to stash this week: Leave your heart in your knitting

Julia of Pandia’s Jewels has kits for her gorgeous I Left my Heart in the Highlands Wrap available to preorder until until July 16. Each Highlands Knit Kit includes five skeins of her Aran Tweed yarn, a shawl pin and a copy of the pattern, with a big, smooshy cable. There are two different kits available: The Highlands, which moves in a gradient from gray to dark green and Heather on the Hills, which is various shades of green and pinks.

Stephanie of Three Fates Yarn has many new awesomely-named miniskein color sets available. They include Science Is Real, which you They Might Be Giants Fans may be familiar with, and I Remember California, which goes out to my fellow REM lovers.

Jennifer of Spirit Trail Fiberworks has stocked the shop with tons of new yarn and products, including new sock blanks in bold colors and a new “market” section with stitch markers from Katrinkles Knitting Jewelry, project and notions bags, mugs and more. If you’re starting to think about your Rhinebeck sweater (it’s time…) there’s some Brigantia (DK weight Polwarth/silk) and Zalti (100% U.S. grown and processed Targhee), as well a Birte and Verdande (both Superwash Merino, Cashmere and silk) in stock.

I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect draped front sweater and Windswept by Melissa Kemmerer looks to be The One. This top-down seamless sweater is knit with fingering-weight yarn and offers the option to customize, with either subtle or wild, speckled stripes.

Add some flowers to your summer with Laura Patterson’s newest shawl design. The lovely Vervain, knit with 525 to 1,825 yards of laceweight yarn, uses two different Estonian flower stitches, one with clusters and another with double yarn overs.

Lara Smoot has released her new sock pattern, Shark Bite II: The Revenge, into the wild.

caterpillargreen giveaway winner

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I received 42 comments (the answer to life the universe and everything) for the caterpillargreen giveaway and the winner is…

Jessica H, who is planning to make Stephen West’s Boneyard Shawl with her prize.

Congrats, Jessica! And thanks to everyone who participated. I really enjoyed getting to know Catherine more and hope you did, too. You might also want to check her out on Instagram, where Catherine’s wit competes with her gorgeous photos.

Untangling the Untangling kit

My Untangling 1

I’m not a sock knitter.

I certainly don’t have anything against handknit socks. The one pair I have, which a friend kindly gave me during a purge at Rhinebeck of FOs that she no longer used, are a godsend in the winter. I will probably knit a pair someday, but, for now, I enjoy making things that are more easily show-offable.

Which is why, when I approached Michelle of Berry Colorful Yarnings about a project using her self-striping sock yarn, I knew I wanted something that a non-sock knitter like me would want to make, so her beautiful colors wouldn’t get lost under my boots. Michelle had collaborated with designer Lara Smoot before on the Despicable Socks made with Michelle’s Despicable Me self-striping yarn, so we looped her in and tasked her with designing a lacy infinity scarf using a pattern that showed off the stripes.

“I do love to make self-striping yarns,” Michelle said in a recent Ravelry post explaining her dyeing process. “The idea that I have an infinite set of color combos is the biggest thrill to me. I have made the stripes on my yarns wider then the average stripes so that the knitter is not limited to just socks for their project. I love to knit hats and cowls, and these wide stripes will stripe up very nicely in both types of projects. Some knitters have made smaller shawls and several baby sweaters… Although they rock in socks, too.”

I knew I wanted to offer Michelle’s Indie blue colorway, which she dyed up as part of a giveaway after the site launched last year, and which also sold out at the Indie Untangled booth at last year’s Rhinebeck trunk show. We also decided on two others: Cafe au Lait and Berry Pie.

Berry Pie

Berry Pie

Test knitting commenced after Maryland Sheep & Wool, and I decided to knit mine in Berry Pie, which I’ve had my eye on since spying it in a Facebook post, but I was waiting for project inspiration to strike — which it did, in Lara’s Untangling scarf. The lace pattern was perfect: just complex enough to keep my interest, but easily memorizable, which was great because I took it everywhere. The only snag I ran into was when I unzipped my provisional cast-on, which was a crocheted cast-on where you knit into the back bumps of a crochet chain. I think it would have been easier if I had done Judy’s Magic Cast-on, which leaves the stitches on a needle or stitch holder instead of waste yarn. But, I persevered, and rocked the kitchener stitch (this video is a godsend to help you memorize it).

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I also knew we needed a project bag to tie this all together. So, I of course called on Vicki Moss of That Clever Clementine. Even as a fairly monogamous knitter, I never have enough project bags and I’ve always loved Vicki’s, ever since I got one of her drawstring Belle bags with a beautiful New Orleans map fabric in the coveted Jackson Square shawl kit she collaborated on with Margaret of French Market Fibers and designer Beth Kling. Not to mention the yarn ball bags Vicki created in honor of Indie Untangled. The lined bags are so well made, keep my projects safe and I feel like I make a fashion statement whenever I carry around my knitting.

I knew I wanted a different kind of bag for this kit, so we all scoured fabric websites (honestly, I’m so glad I don’t seriously sew, because I’d be spending a lot of money at Hawthorne Threads) and eventually agreed that the beautiful loop fabric, in complementary colors of grey, white and aqua, would perfectly represent the Untangling theme we had come up with — and as a bonus, it works really well the loop-handled bag.

The cowl in the Indie blue colorway, which is exclusive to the kit.

The cowl in the Indie blue colorway, which is exclusive to the kit.

Orders have been steadily coming in for the kit since they went on sale earlier this week, and you have a chance to snag one of your own until the end of the day Sunday, June 21. I’m so proud of this collaboration, which will be the first of many indie exclusives that I will be enabling you wit–, erm, bringing you through Indie Untangled.

What to stash this week if you’re not at Rhinebeck

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Michelle of Berry Colorful Yarnings — whose yarn I have the honor to sell at the pre-Rhinebeck trunk show tonight — will be having a very fall-themed update next Thursday, Oct. 23. It includes plenty of self-striping yarns, as well as overdyes and tonals. There are even football team-inspired colorways.

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To celebrate Halloween and the final book release of her favorite book series, Kim Harrison’s The Hollows Candice of C. Whitney Knits has dyed up a brand new batch of colorways. They include semi-solids, variegated and gradients that fairly bright and not too scary.

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No need to be blue about not going to Rhinebeck. Kettle Yarn Co. will be updating her shop tonight at 5 p.m. GMT. She’ll be listing a number of blends on the blue end of the color spectrum.

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Mellifera Yarns had a shop update last Friday with a ton of autumn-inspired shades. While a lot of the colors have sold, there is still plenty of yarn left, including a few skeins of Silky Sock in the Oats colorway and a bunch of Merino DK and Merino Aran.

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Prepare for fall or winter walks in the woods, or for knitting in the park, with the Sylvan Scarf from Sylvan Tiger Yarn. With a central lace panel reminiscent of pine trees and a sapling border, the scarf can be knit with just one skein of Sylvan Tiger’s newest base, Tethera 4ply, a smooth yarn spun from 100% British BFL and available in 14 colors.

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Tami of Eternity Ranch Knits found inspiration in the story of her friend Sara and dyed up a color block of teal, tan and grey for this sideways shawl pattern designed by Penny of Knit-By-Bit Designs. Kits are available to pre-order in the Eternity Ranch Knits Etsy shop until Oct. 20 and there’s a Sara’s Story KAL taking place on Ravelry from Oct. 27-Nov. 30.

What to stash: Get your sharp little needles ready

This Rushmore-inspired skein has 3-4 rows each of navy, oxford blue, khaki, red beret, mustard and green velvet.

This Rushmore-inspired skein has 3-4 rows each of navy, oxford blue, khaki, red beret, mustard and green velvet.

OK, so I might not be quite so obsessed with Wes Anderson that I would drop over a grand to go on a Grand Budapest Hotel-themed cruise cruise (no, I did not make that up), but I am super excited about the Canon Hand Dyes Wes Anderson updates. The first one is happening TODAY at noon PDT, and it will have six-color self-striping skeins and six-color gradient sets inspired by the movies Bottle Rocket and Rushmore.

The Wes-mania will continue every Friday in May, with two new Wes Anderson-inspired colorways each week. Here’s the schedule for the rest of the month:

May 16

The Royal Tenenbaums
Moonrise Kingdom

May 23
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Fantastic Mr. Fox

May 30
The Darjeeling Limited

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Amy has yarn for a variety of pop-culture and literary tastes, including some Downton Abbey-inspired colorways that are very popular.

Linda at Kettle Yarn Co. recently debuted a new shawl kit with the exclusive Antiprism pattern. This is a collaboration with designer Renee Callahan from EastLondonKnit, and each kit comes with a four-skein ombre set of BFL Twist yarns. This pattern will be available only with the Kettle Yarn Co. kit until the fall.

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I cannot look at the photos showcasing the new lotion bar scents from Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe without wanting chipotle caramels.

Countess Ablaze continues her Twelve Caesars Collection with Caligula, which features a range of brightly-colored variegated colourways appropriately juxtaposed with the dark, the moody and the sinister.

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June Pryce Fiber Arts is the brainchild of two sisters, based in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. They have teamed up to create a one-stop shop for the fiberphile, selling hand-dyed yarn and fiber, as well as handspun yarns, project bags, stitch markers and more. I’ll bet you can’t resist their hand-painted gradient sets, above, available for preorder.

Speaking of which — Dyers have got to stop tempting me with these amazing gradients! Stephanie at Dirty Water DyeWorks just came out with her Brush Creek Shawl Kit, with three different ombre color combos. Check out the blog next week to see all the gradient possibilities…

What to make with self-striping yarns

A Despicable Sock being knit up in the Berry Colorful Yarnings Evil Minion colorway.

A Despicable Sock being knit up in the Berry Colorful Yarnings Evil Minion colorway.

Sock knitters looking for a fun project should pre-order a skein of “Despicable Me”-themed self-striping yarn from Berry Colorful Yarnings and join the Despicable Socks KAL on Ravelry. You might also want to head over to the Invictus Yarns Etsy shop, where self-striping yarns in a bunch of bright colorways are available.

If, like me, you’ve resisted the temptation to start knitting socks (getting stuck on “sleeve island” can be hard enough) there are still some great accessories and garments you can make without having to change colors. Here are just some of the non-sock patterns that pair well with these yarns:

Hats

Sockhead Hat by Kelly McClure

Noro Silk Garden Indoor Beanie by Britta Kremke

Vanilla Beanie Beanie by Virginia Rose-Jeanes (I keep wanting to call this Vanilla Bean Beanie, and now I have David Bowie’s The Jean Genie in my head…)

Scarves

Kary’s Chevron Scarf by Kary Jarred

Ruffled Baktus Scarf by Louise Felice

Double Stripe Cowl by Joy McMillan

Shawls

Wingspan by Maylin Tri’Coterie Designs

Cladonia and Andrea’s Shawl, both by Kirsten Kapur (Both require a solid color for the lace edging.)

Stripe Study by Veera Välimäki (Use self-striping yarn with a solid for a slightly different effect.)

Hitchhiker by Martina Behm

Tunic

Karelia by Ann Weaver: I’m planning to make this in semisolid and variegated shades of Dragonfly Fibers Pixie, but I think the skirt portion, or the top, could work in a self-striping colorway.

Add some of your own suggestions, including links to your projects, in the comments! If you’re on Pinterest, check out the board for this post, with more patterns to be added in the future.