IU goes to VKL NYC

Yes, it’s been a week since Vogue Knitting Live NYC, but because it was so epic this year (and because I came back to a string of “day job” deadlines) means I needed a little more time to recover and reflect.

The marketplace was much more crowded this year, expanding outside the actual ballrooms on the fifth and sixth floors of the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. It helped that I had an idea of where I wanted to shop and enjoyed browsing the booths of the Indie Untangled vendors at the show, including Fuse Fiber Studio, Youghiogheny Yarns and AlexCreates.

As you can imagine, the Stephen & Penelope booth, which included La Bien Aimée and Undercover Otter, were jam packed Friday and Saturday, before Aimée actually sold out, but it was great to see her gorgeous colorways in person, albeit from a distance.

While the yarn is great, we all know the best part of any knitting event is getting to hang with some of our favorite people. That includes Bronwyn, AKA Casapinka, who was showing off her All Points South, her pullover shawl (NOT a poncho) in the Dragonfly Fibers booth. And, yes, that’s me in my La Bien Aimée Automne à Rhinebeck Merino DK sweater (and my Porterness Studio necklace)!

I was also lucky enough to take classes from some of the best people in the industry, including Shawl Construction with Melanie Berg (the highlight was having her compliment my On the Spice Market shawl), Yarn 101 with Clara Parkes (this should be a required course for every knitter!) and Color Confidence with Andrea Mowry, shown here mastering the art of the Fade.

I added far more to my stash than I was counting on (including Domestic Superwash from Magpie Fibers that I’m going to use to finally knit my husband the sweater I’ve been promising) but the indulgences were so worth it. I think it was good preparation for the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March…

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: vanishing spells and sales

Limited extras from the Slipped Stitch Studios Harry Potter Bag of the Month go on sale today at 9 a.m. Pacific time. After they sell out, Laura will cast a vanishing spell and they will not be made again.

You have until Monday, January 15th, to get 20% off all in-stock items in the Post-Rhinebeck Pop-up with the code INDIENEWYEAR. This includes skeins of luscious Merino/silk Starboard fingering from New Zealand’s Dark Harbour Yarn, pictured above in the OOAK Elsie Gusset colorway. If you’re at VKL this weekend, Rebecca of Fuse Fiber Studio will have some Stash Indie enamel pins and the last of the popular Indie Untangled Rhinebeck tote bags in her booth, and you’ll get a discount by saving on shipping.

Your indie shopping guide to VKL NYC 2018

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I’ve been attending Vogue Knitting Live in NYC regularly for the last several years, and each year I’ve seen more and more indie dyers and makers in the marketplace. VKL NYC 2018 is shaping up to be one of the indie-est years in recent memory, with a huge selection of dyers and makers, many of them local, scattered over the two floors at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square from January 12-14.

To help prepare you for what I know will be a whirlwind weekend, I decided to create a special shopping guide to some of the Indie Untangled vendors at the show, with a sneak peek at the yarns and products they’ll be bringing.

I’ll be around all three days, taking classes with Melanie Berg, Clara Parkes, and Andrea Mowry, and doing some damage in the marketplace. If you see me, definitely come by and say Hi!

Alex Creates

Sixth Floor, Booth 907

Alex is a NYC native, born and raised in Harlem. He taught himself to crochet at age 13 and opened his Etsy shop in 2011, and is known for his candy-colored gradient yarn.

Pictured clockwise from the top left are Ombre Sock yarn in Strawberry Lemonade, MCN in Disco Heaven, Ombre Targhee in Blue Bombsicle, and Single Ply Merino in Pennies from Heaven.

Backyard Fiberworks/I Knit NY

Fifth Floor, Booths 314 & 316

Alice, who is based in Maryland, is not only bringing her popular semisolid and speckled colorways, but is debuting the first installment of the Knit Like a Local series she has collaborated on with designer Kathleen Dames. I Knit NY includes 10 patterns by a team of local designers — including Brittney Bailey, Kirsten Kapur, Xandy Peters, and Lars Rains, along with Kathleen — inspired by New York City landmarks like Rockefeller Center and the clock at Grand Central Terminal, all made with Alice’s yarn. The book also includes a yarn store guide written by yours truly and an essay by Kay Gardiner of Mason Dixon Knitting.

In the first image, pictured clockwise from the top left are Backyard Fiberworks Sock in Urchin, Stormcloud, the Spiced Cider mini skein set, and Mallow.

In the third image, pictured clockwise from the top left are Xandy Peters’ Rockefellar Center, Kathleen Dames’ 42nd & Lex, Kirsten Kapur’s Jane Jacobs, and Kathleen’s Opal Clock.

Dragonfly Fibers

Sixth Floor, Booth 910, 912 & 914

Also from Maryland, Kate and her crew are VKL veterans, and always bring a huge selection of colorful yarns to their massive booth.

Pictured above is their exclusive VKL colorway, Twilight Skate, along with, from top to bottom, the colorways Jocelyn, Springtime In Washington, and Denaili.

Fuse Fiber Studio

Fifth Floor, Booth 102

Rebecca launched her business after taking a dyeing class with Felcia Lo at last year’s VKL. This fast learner creates gorgeous colorways from a studio in northern Connecticut, housed in a factory that once manufactured safety fuses for mining.

Pictured clockwise from top left are Wintergreen, Straw, and Moorland and Stone Walls on Fuse Fingering and Pearls on Fuse Merino Singles. Rebecca will have a sample of Caitlyn Hunter’s Zweig sweater that I can’t wait to see.

Junk Yarn

Sixth Floor, Booth 1103

Kemper’s hand-dyed yarns are inspired by inspiring women, from actresses to activists.

Pictured above is Andrea Mowry’s Comfort Fade knit with Junkyarn DK (100% Superwash Merino) in the colorways Fleur, Lara, Dolly, and Diana. The top photo is of Holly Golightly, a VKL 2018 exclusive, and below that is the colorway Amilyn.

Magpie Fibers

Fifth Floor, Booths 600, 604, 606 & 610

Not only does Dami, another dyer from Maryland, create lovely colorways, but she also collaborates with other popular yarn companies, including Spincycle Yarns from Washington State.

Pictured clockwise from the top left is 5 Pointz in Swanky DK, Paris Train and London Rain in Swanky Sock, the Stoirm cap in Swanky Sock Castaway and Spincycle Dyed in the Wool Family Jewels, and the Gailleann sweater in Domestic Worsted. Christina Danaee will be debuting both designs in the Magpie booth.

Mollygirl Yarn

Fifth Floor, Booth 514

Based in New Jersey, Angela offers both colors and bases that take cues from pop and rock music.

Pictured clockwise from top left are Walk This Way, Rolling in the Deep, A Thousand Years, and Electric Love.

One Geek to Craft Them All

Fifth Floor, Booth 117

Marsha, who lives just a few blocks away from me in Brooklyn, crafts fun stitch markers with a geeky, pop culture spin (think Dr. Who and Harry Potter).

The above sets, which include a VKL exclusive, are just a small sampling of what she’ll be bringing. Marsha is sharing a booth with one of my favorite NYC LYSes, Woolyn, which will have store exclusive colorways from Asylum Fibers, MollyGirl and more.

Shelli Can

Sixth Floor, Booth 1103

If you collect (or want to start to collect) knitting-related enamel pins, you need at least one from Shelli. Based in Alexandria, Virginia, Shelli also designs creative knitting-related accessories, like the gift tags, mug and t-shirt pictured above (I’ve already claimed a shirt in XS!).

Youghiogheny Yarns

Fifth Floor, Booth 114

Pronounced yock-i-gainey (think “yock” like “sock”), this team from the Youghiogheny River valley in Pennsylvania creates vibrant colorways.

Pictured clockwise from top left are Forest Sprite on Wooly Yak, Spilled Wine on Highlands Festival, Warm Honey on Silky Yak Singles, and Cloudy on Somerset Silk.

What to stash this week: warding off winter

Casapinka’s latest, Yondah Window, will have you have you quoting Romeo and Juliet with a Rhode Island accent. This unique boomerang shawl, inspired by beautiful windows aglow in the cold, frosty Rhode Island winter, was designed to showcase Magpie Fibers Swanky Sock and the long color changes of Spincycle Dyed in the Wool.

Slipped Stitch Studios has re-released bags with popular knitting fabrics that sold out in two days last year. They’re available to preorder starting today at 9 a.m. Pacific Time.

Pam’s latest shawl, Farnum, uses a unique construction, beginning with a center triangle worked with yarn over increases. It is perfect for two skeins of fingering from your favorite indie.

You still have time to get 20% off all in-stock items in the Post-Rhinebeck Pop-up. Use the code INDIENEWYEAR on bulky hand-dyed yarn from The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers to make super-fast, super-warm hats and cowls to ward off the polar vortex.

Once Upon A Corgi is kicking off the new year with Edgar Allen Poe colors.

Marianated Yarns will be at the Wasatch and Wool booth at VKL NYC next weekend.

What to stash this week: yarn deadlines

In honor of the new year, I’m offering 20% off all in-stock items in the Post-Rhinebeck Pop-up with the code INDIENEWYEAR. This includes a few kits with Jill Draper’s exclusive Knitting Our National Parks colorways along with a code to download Kirsten Kapur’s stunning Joshua Tree Cowl (because most of us would love to be in the California desert right about now…). The discount runs ‪through January 15‬.

Today is the last day to guarantee your skeins of Aimée’s Automne à Rhinebeck on both Merino Singles (pictured above) and Merino DK! Aimée is sending me her shipment right after the new year, so preorder today to make sure your yarn is in one of the big boxes I’m expecting from Paris in a couple of weeks.

You have ‪until Sunday‬ to get four exclusive colorways from four indie dyers based on these picturesque locations, and patterns to go with them.

Next year, four indie dyer/designer teams — Hue Loco & SweaterFreak Knits, Pandia’s Jewels & C.C. Almon, Little Fox Yarn & Caitlin Hunter and Dark Harbour Yarn & Amy van de Laar — will collaborate on an exclusive colorway and accessory pattern inspired by the places they knit.

Untangling Invictus Yarns

Sue of Invictus Yarns was one of the first dyers I reached out to when I began putting together Indie Untangled four years ago. Since then, she has become one of the most prolific posters, with a beautiful range of products that include her standout gradient and rainbow miniskein sets and expertly dyed variegated colorways.

Tell me about how you got started dyeing yarn.

It was something that seemed fun to try. A few people asked me to dye skeins for them, too, and before I knew it, I had a shop and had a booth at Lambtown, a local fiber show. I haven’t looked back, and have discovered that I really enjoy my time in the dye pots!

How did you decide on the name Invictus Yarns?

The feelings of strength, courage, and determination that came with with the process were just amazing, and I wanted something that would convey them. As soon as Invictus came into my head, I knew it was the direction I wanted to go.

What inspires your colorways and your colorway names?

I get this question fairly often, and am almost embarrassed to give a truthful answer, but for the most part, I let the skeins hang to dry and let them tell me what they want to be called. Sometimes I’ll have an idea before I dye them, but for the most part, the name comes to me after they’re dyed.

Do you have a favorite color or colors, and have they changed since you became a dyer?

Purple is definitely my favorite color, but I’ve always loved jewel tones. I was never a fan of oranges, but have to admit that it’s become a fave lately.

Is there a color that you would love to dye, but that is challenging to create?

It seems like I’m always on the hunt for the perfect red. I don’t think I really realized how many different shades there were before I started dyeing! I think the biggest challenge is often with getting accurate pictures for the shop, especially for reds and greens.


How often do you update your online shop?

It varies, but usually several times a month.

Is dyeing your main business, or do you have another job?

I still have another job, but have cut it down to just a few hours per week so that I can spend more time on the shop. Dyeing is definitely my main business.

What are some of your favorite FOs you or your customers have made with your yarn?

I think that changes every time I see another project! : D I love seeing the projects on Ravelry and at shows! A Phoenix-Wing shawl that was knit for a booth sample will probably always be one of my faves, tho. It was like wrapping myself in a giant hug when I opened it.

What are some of the best things you’ve learned running your fiber business?

Hmmm. This may sound really silly, but it’s the first thing that comes to mind: I felt rather awkward when I began doing fiber shows, but learned that it can be a real blast to chat with people. As an introvert, that was a biggie, even if it sounds pretty basic. It also goes along with the whole Invictus strength-courage-determination thing, now that I think about it! It can still be a challenge trying to determine how much to chat and how much to let people just browse without coming across as though you aren’t acknowledging them, if that makes sense.

A 2017 IU Year in Knitting Review

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I love nostalgia, especially when it’s knitting related.

I’m continuing my tradition of an Indie Untangled Year in Review, featuring several talented knitters who finished projects in 2017 using yarn from Indie Untangled dyers. There are so many beautiful shawls, socks and sweaters — oh, the sweaters! — to show off.

Above is my On the Spice Market using Backyard Fiberworks’ Sock in Stormcloud and the Dove in a Plum Tree miniskein set (photo taken by the wonderful Nancy of Knitty City). It was one of my favorite FOs of the year.

I hope these projects provide some inspiration for your 2018 knitting.

Lavanya’s Treccia

Kelly/KellyInTexas’s Elegant Sweatshirt

Kim/Xarix’s Rocio

Erin/skistricken’s Purple Spotted Socks

Karen/penchant4yarn’s Alecia Beth

Marta/MonogamousKnitter’s Veronika

Adrienne/killerb’s Gothy Gauntlets

Judy/miriamsdottir’s Superellipse Socks

Erica/ejsufka’s Chemistry

Amy/booeyedee’s Anniversaire

I’ll be adding more of my favorites to this tag.

What to stash this week: yarn from A to Z

Need to get warm in a hurry? Jennifer of Spirit Trail Fiberworks has you covered, from Aurora to Zaftig. Zaftig is Jennifer’s new singly-ply super bulky base, made with 100% 20.5 fine Merino (non Superwash), which she dyed in a variety of speckled colorways. For those of you not on any kind of deadline, there’s also Aurora, a new 100% Superwash Merino single-ply fingering. Jennifer has dyed them on beautiful speckles, coordinating semisolids and on the six-skein Gray Scale kit that was super popular at Rhinebeck — and as of “press time” there’s only one available. 

If you love the Asylum Fibers OOAK chaos colors, you’ll go crazy for the Asylum Fibers Madness of the Month color club in 2018. For this non-subscription club, you sign up the month before and choose between a fingering weight yarn or another heavier base. The next month you get a surprise color! Sign-ups for the January club close Dec. 27 at 9 a.m. EST.

You have until midnight Eastern time tonight to preorder Sandra of Duck Duck Wool’s stunning Glaciers and Wildflowers colorway for the Indie Untangled Knitting Our National Parks project! 

Brianne and Maureen of I Would Dye 4U are having a shop update tomorrow at 10 a.m. and introducing new colors. Not only is Purple Rain a tribute to one of the greatest artists, but it’s on trend, as Pantone’s color of the year is Ultra Violet.

The Bijou Basin Ranch holiday sale runs through tomorrow. They’ll be including free project kits — the Slouchy Bliss Hat kit, Little Bear Poncho kit or Leonarda Shawl kit — with qualifying orders above $100. Plus, all U.S. orders ship free!

Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios has all of us Star Wars geeks covered with special bags that go on sale today at 9 a.m. Pacific time. Set your clocks, because these are sure to sell fast.

Next year, four indie dyer/designer teams — Hue Loco & SweaterFreak Knits, Pandia’s Jewels & C.C. Almon, Little Fox Yarn & Caitlin Hunter and Dark Harbour Yarn & Amy van de Laar — will collaborate on an exclusive colorway and accessory pattern inspired by the places they knit for the 2018 Indie Untangled Where We Knit Yarn Club. Sign-ups run through Dec. 31. If you’re looking for a yarny Christmas gift that doesn’t need to be shipped, this is perfect!

You have just one more week to preorder Aimée’s Indie Untangled exclusive Automne à Rhinebeck on Merino Singles and Merino DK!

What to stash this week: Literary spark

Attention bibliophiles: You need to join this yarn club. Kate of McMullin Fiber Co. is kicking of her year-long Literary Society next month with Pride and Prejudice and ending with Little Women (click the link to see the full reading list). This is a very flexible club with a mix of semisolids, variegated colorways and speckles inspired by the classics. You can choose one, three, six, nine or all 12 shipments, and you get a choice of light yarns or heavier weights. Pick your, or a friend’s, favorite book for the perfect gift!

Rebecca of Fuse Fiber Studio recently had her final shop update of 2017. While some of her popular colorways have already sold out, there are still a few you can snag, like Pearls, pictured above on her Merino Singles base. Also look out for her Golden Girls-inspired Lanai on Fuse Merino DK.

MJ of Cat Sandwich Fibers just had a shop update with a bunch of new OOAK colorways. She is also launching her 2018 Monthly Mystery Sock Club, a commitment-free club. There will be a mystery sock-along — with prizes! — to go along with it.

Save 15% on Himalayan Summit and 100% Yak Sport weight yarn from Bijou Basin Ranch this week only, no coupon code needed.

Along with her single skeins, Marian of Marianated Yarns offers a three-month yarn club subscription that is available in several bases and in either tonal or variegated “Marianades,” as she calls her colorways. Membership comes with some great perks: each shipment includes a goodie and a Marianette mini-skein in variegated if your subscription is tonal or vice versa. There’s also free shipping on the rest of your yarn orders during your subscription, plus 10% off the colors of the month. Club sign-ups are open until December 20, with the first shipment going out the first week of January. 

Here’s a view from above of the DK version of Sandra’s stunning Glaciers and Wildflowers colorway, inspired by the natural beauty of Glacier National Park in Montana. It’s available to preorder only through next Friday!

This is just one of the fabulous projects from this year’s Indie Untangled Where We Knit Yarn Club. Last February, the inimitable Anne Hanson teamed up with Kim of The Woolen Rabbit to create this stunning rose red colorway and a cowl/scarf design called Shared Rib. You can expect exciting collaborations like this if you sign up for the 2018 club.

Next year, four indie dyer/designer teams — Hue Loco & SweaterFreak Knits, Pandia’s Jewels & C.C. Almon, Little Fox Yarn & Caitlin Hunter and Dark Harbour Yarn & Amy van de Laar — will collaborate on an exclusive colorway and accessory pattern inspired by the places they knit. Sign-ups run through Dec. 31.

Wild Hair Studio has three new fiber and yarn clubs launching in 2018.