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.

What to stash this week: Wild yarns and glaciers

When Sandra of Duck Duck Wool signed on to create a colorway for the Knitting Our National Parks series, I was thrilled. When I saw her inspiration photo, a shot of Glacier National Park in Montana, I got even more excited. Then, when she emailed me the photos of her colorway, Glaciers and Wildflowers, I may have done a little yarny happy dance. How stunning is this?! And Sandra is dyeing it on not one base, but two — her Silky Singleton, a blend of 70% Merino and 30% silk for shawls and summer tops, and DK Limited, a Superwash Merino that you can use for hats, cowls, mitts and, of course, sweaters you can wear now. The yarn will be available to preorder here through Friday, Dec. 22, and will ship the last week of January 2018. As always, 10% of sales will be donated to the National Park Foundation.

Another Knitting Our National Parks installment means we get a limited edition POP Thru The Parks souvenir from That Clever Clementine! Vicki has saved one of her most POPular products for the final one of her collection. These fabric yarn bowls (which don’t have to be used only for yarn) will be available to preorder today starting at 9 a.m. Eastern time until sold out (previous batches have sold out in less than two hours so… head on over!).

If you’ve been looking around for that special shawl pin, or one to add to your collection, or if you just like looking at shiny things, I suggest you head over to the Porterness Studio website. Jen makes her shawl pins and buttons using the 5,000-year-old lost wax casting process, with each piece either hand carved out of wax or 3D printed in wax, cast in sterling silver or bronze and hand finished by Jen in Los Angeles. Her regular jewelry is pretty lovely, too. Indie Untangled readers get 20% off with the code Indie20.

Fresh off her trunk show at Woolyn, where I drooled over her yarn and samples, Lauren of Old Rusted Chair has released four new colorways. From top to bottom are Starboard, Prankster, Glint and Heatwave, which are available on Lauren’s Squish base, a 4-ply Superwash Merino.

Also fresh off her appearance at Woolyn last weekend, Julia of Pandia’s Jewels has released some perfect heavy-weight bases. Just in time for winter, you can now find a variety of DK weight yarns in various blends of Merino, nylon, Cashmere and sparkle. She even has a few fade kits. 

Katie of Never Enough Thyme has updated her shop with Christmas colorways, including heel/toe sock sets in Sugar Plum Fairy, Mistletoe’s for Two and Christmas Cookies. There are also lots of Cozy Christmas mini sets, perfect for knitting ornaments for your tree (don’t worry, there is still time).

For Week 2 of their annual holiday sale, Bijou Basin Ranch is giving you 15% off Tibetan Dream sock yarn and Xanadu Mongolian cashmere yarn, with no coupon code needed, through midnight Mountain time today. And all U.S. orders also ship free through Dec. 24.

If you’re short on time and yardage, but need some holiday gifts, Robynn’s Nullkommanix cowl just might be what you’re looking for. It’s named for how long it takes to make — 0.0 seconds — and is free for Robynn’s newsletter subscribers.

Since I’m waiting until after the craziness of the holidays for Aimée to ship her yarn to me, I’ve decided to extend the preorders for Automne à Rhinebeck a couple of weeks. My husband just requested a hat in the DK, so the magic of these skeins is real!

Here’s a look at the first-ever colorway for the first-ever installment of the Indie Untangled Where We Knit Yarn Club — Ami of Lakes Yarn and Fiber’s Drops of Honey. You can expect breathtaking exclusives 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.

Dye is Cast yarn is having a shop update today featuring new colorways, and a chunky beanie hat pattern will be free to download throughout the weekend.

Wild Hair Studio has new Star Wars-inspired colorways on mini batts and rolags, which are 15% off before Dec. 15.

What to stash this week: Holiday knitaways and sales

Each day for the next 24 days, Alice of Backyard Fiberworks will be posting an Advent giveaway on Instagram. This year is even better than last year, as Alice is partnering with two dozen designers — including Kirsten Kapur, Alicia Plummer, Ambah O’Brien, Mary Annarella, Laura Aylor and Bristol Ivy — and matching up her yarn and their patterns for the ultimate prizes. Some designers are even offering some discounts around their giveaway, so you can still score something for sale even if you don’t win. 

Sheila of BigFootFibers has the right idea. Instead of adding to the list of Black Friday weekend deals, she’s offering a much more laid-back sale. Use code indie15 for 15% off your purchase through December 8th. Be sure to check out Sheila’s kits for Joji Locatelli’s Gradient Band Cowl.

Speaking of post-Black Friday sales, the folks at Bijou Basin Ranch are offering save 15% off two of their most popular yarns, Lhasa Wilderness (75/25 yak/bamboo) and Shangri-La (50/50 yak/silk). There is no coupon needed, but orders must be placed by midnight Mountain time tomorrow, December 2nd.

We’ve officially entered Holiday Shopping Season, so you might want to let Santa or Hanukkah Harry know about the 2018 Indie Untangled Where We Knit yarn 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. You have until December 31st to drop hints — or just buy it for yourself.

You have until next Friday to reserve your skeins of La Bien Aimée’s Automne à Rhinebeck, available in both Merino Singles and Merino DK. Make sure your yarn arrives in the big box from Paris I’m expecting from Aimée in a few weeks!

Christine of Skeinny Dipping has dyed up her special Rhinebeck 2017 colorway on Journey Worsted and it’s now listed in her shop.

What to stash this week: Places you can knit

Each week, I get to learn about all sorts of cool things that indie dyers are doing, from new kits and colorways to shawl designs and project bags. But what I enjoy the most about this job — and I’m still pinching myself that this is my job! — is getting to collaborate with makers I admire on events such as the Rhinebeck Trunk Show and projects like the Where We Knit yarn club.

After sending out the final package of 2017 earlier this month, I’m excited to announce the indie dyer/designer teams for the 2018 club. They are: Hue Loco & SweaterFreak Knits, Pandia’s Jewels & C.C. Almon, Little Fox Yarn & Caitlin Hunter and Dark Harbour Yarn & Amy van de Laar. You can read about each team’s Where We Knit inspiration, and sign up for the club, here. Sign-ups run through Dec. 31, 2017, with a limited number of spots.

In between opening her new yarn shop and generally dyeing all the things, Aimee snapped a photo of the Indie Untangled exclusive Automne à Rhinebeck on her Merino DK. It’s just as gorgeous as it is on her Merino Singles. Both are available to preorder now through Dec. 8.

It looks like Fades are here to stay. Whether you’re shopping for a Comford Fade cardigan or a What the Fade shawl, Sheila of BigFootFibers has you covered with yarns of all sizes and configurations.

Tami of Eternity Ranch Knits has spent 2017 dyeing Disney princess- and Gone with the Wind-themed colorways. She is now selling the entire collection — a dozen skeins, plus a 13th bonus skein — at a discounted price. It’s your chance to collect them all!

IU newcomer The Blue Brick has released a new tonal line of yarns to complement its gradient line.

What to stash this week: You can knit anything

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Thought it may not feel like it, winter is coming. In anticipation, Julia has launched the Pandia’s Jewels Winter Collection. It includes a variety of new winter-inspired colors that range from speckled to blue/green tonal colors. All are in stock on a variety of bases and ready to ship.

For The Woolen Rabbit’s 2018 yarn club, dyer Kim has brought together five popular designers who will create color inspirations for her to dye as well as patterns based on women in history that have made an impression on them. The designers include Christina Campbell, AKA The Healthy Knitter, Skeinwalker Knits, Paulina Popiolek, Alicia Plummer, and Elizabeth Doherty of Blue Bee Studio.

Speaking of women in history, Courtney’s latest shawl design is inspired by Cathay Williams, who in 1866 enlisted in the U.S. Army under the name William Cathay, becoming the first documented black woman to enlist in the Army. This crescent shawl has sections of mesh and textured slip stitches and uses two skeins of fingering.

IU newcomer McMullin Fiber Co. has just finished celebrating Socktober. Head to Kate’s shop to check out her neutral “Fadients” and Squishy super bulky yarn, among other goodness.

Keya Kuhn and Michelle Guilmet-Buck have released South, a collection of eight modern accessory patterns using a variety of yarns, including Keya’s Sporty Sheep.

Sign-ups are open until November 15 for the new Round Table Yarns yarn club. For the club, a specific story from the Arthurian legends will be chosen as the inspiration — this club’s story is called the Abduction of Guenevere — and a part of the story will arrive along with each yarn shipment.

While many of us were at Rhinebeck, Lisa The Knitting Artist was selling her wares at the Hill Country Yarn Crawl. Luckily she still has some inventory to share with us, including a new 75/25 Merino/nylon sock base. The colorways are dyed to match Lisa’s original oil paintings, and each skein comes with a greeting card with the painting image on the front.

I’m excited to debut The Farmers Daughter Fibers in the post-Rhinebeck pop-up shop. I have some skeins of Candice’s luscious Foxy Lady Merino/silk fingering in several Montana-inspired colorways. I’ve also been having some fun pairing together Foxy Lady and Dark Harbour Starboard, which is also a wool/silk single. Pictured above is Nikki of Dark Harbor’s Ceasg and Candice’s Whispers of the Aspen.

And, the second round of Indie Untangled tote bags arrived from the printer yesterday, so if you order one I will ship it out in 1-2 business days.

You have just one more week to preorder Jill Draper’s Walk in the Park and Desert Dusk, which are both inspired by sunset at Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California.

What to stash this week: Reading yarn

Lola of Third Vault Yarns is encouraging knitting and reading with her new yarn club. A subscription to the sci-fi and fantasy-themed Vaulter’s Book Club comes with themed yarn and a specially designed pattern, along with a UK sweet treat. There will also be book discussion on Ravelry or in The Vault Facebook group. The first edition of the club is inspired by the urban fantasy I Bring the Fire series by C. Gockel.

Elakala, Mindy Wilkes’ new colorwork cowl, is inspired by the Elakala Falls, part of the Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia. The two swirling motifs are knit in two colors of fingering weight yarn.

Start your fall knitting with a new hand-dyed palette of fall colors from Bijou Basin Ranch called Autumn Spices. The seven semisolid and two variegated colorways are dyed on BBR’s new Himalayan Summit, a 50/50 blend of yak and Merino.

More a binge watcher than a reader? Melanie of Baad Mom Yarns has launched a yarn club inspired by the TV show Reign.

What to stash this week: Game of Yarns

At 9 a.m. Pacific time today, Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios is updating her shop with the extras from the popular Game of Thrones Bag of the Month preorders. The items, which include Mother of Dragons and Night’s Watch oath bags, will be available until they’re sold out and will not be made again. Kind of like what we hope happens to that army of blue-eyed zombies…

Switch is a new shawl pattern from Spruce Lane Designs named for a few different things, including the alternating stitch patterns that switch between the body and the border and the ability to switch to different yarn weights. The samples were knit in fingering and DK from Rhinebeck Trunk Show vendor Magpie Fibers.

IU newcomer Robynn of Studio Miranda has introduced Wraparoche, an easy introduction to two-color brioche. The pattern includes instructions for fingering or sport weight, along with a worksheet to help you work out the math for other gauges, making this an easy stash-busting project.

IU newcomer Samantha of Lavender Lune Yarn Co. has started a fun new yarn club, with her husband a creating mood board based on a movie that will inspire her colors. Additionally, through this morning, Samantha will be listing a surprise colorway, and 50% of the proceeds from sales of it will go to the SPCA of Texas to help pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

There are still a few skeins left of The Woolen Rabbit Silky Biffle BFL/silk sport and just one lone skein of Airy single fingering. Use the code YAYRHINEBECK for 20% off through Oct. 1 or until they’re all gone.

If you’re planning to go to Rhinebeck, you have just one more week to preorder La Bien Aimée’s Automne à Rhinebeck, Asylum Fibers’ Rhinebeck’s All the Craze and Eloise Narrigan-designed tote bags to pick up at the the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show on Oct. 20, and avoid the frenzy in the Indie Untangled booth.

My Mama Knits has started a KAL for her Stitch Up Mitts pattern, which is a free download on Ravelry.

Untangling Mindy Wilkes

When designer Mindy Wilkes first posted to my site in January of 2016, I was thrilled. I of course knew Mindy from her Holden shawlette, which was one of the first shawls I considered knitting (it’s still in my Ravelry favorites to knit… someday).

I was also thrilled when Mindy agreed to be one of the four designers for the 2017 Where We Knit yarn club. I decided to pair her with Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns, and I knew she would make Victoria’s soft colors sing. Her design for the club, The Magic Hour, is now available for sale. I still have to block mine, but it is the perfect spring/summer shawlette, and would look great in either a subtle color or a bold semisolid yarn. I recently spoke with Mindy about how she became a designer and what inspires her elegant accessories:

Your first design, Holden, was actually recommended to me by an LYS owner when I first started knitting! Can you tell me how the design came about and how it took off?

I designed Holden because I wanted to knit a shawl that was mostly stockinette with a wavy edge at the bottom. I searched Ravelry for almost a year thinking that someone had designed something like what I wanted, but I couldn’t find it. I ran across an online class called “Design Your Own Shawl” that was taught by Stephanie Japel, and Holden was the result of that class. I had no idea the pattern would become as popular as it did and that it would result in me working as a designer. I’m still kind of in shock now, almost seven years later, that the pattern took off like it did.

When and how did you learn to knit?

I taught myself how to knit from Debbie Stoller’s Stitch n’ Bitch book back in 2004. I had an odd work schedule with days off in the middle of the week, and I was looking for something to fill my time during those days and ran across the book one afternoon at a bookstore. I initially passed it by, but the next week I ended up buying the book. I had some old acrylic yarn and needles tucked away on a shelf already so I just started following the instructions in the book. I learned to knit and purl by knitting endless swatches. Swatch after swatch after swatch. I wouldn’t let myself start an actual project until I felt like I had “perfected” everything so I knit garter stitch swatches, stockinette swatches, ribbed swatches, moss stitch swatches, and on and on for several months.

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

After graduate school, I worked as a microbiologist in a consumer product testing laboratory for five years. When my son was born, we decided that I would stay at home instead of working at an outside job. I designed Holden when my son was not quite 3 years old. Writing a pattern is a lot like scientific writing. It’s all a form of technical writing, and I use those technical writing skills every time I write a pattern.

Tell me about what inspires your designs.

It depends. Inspiration can come from a color or a picture. It can come from a TV show. Sometimes it comes from a stitch pattern in a stitch dictionary; one that I might have passed by a hundred times becomes just right the very next time I see it. Everything I do always has some draws from where I’m from. I’m originally from the Huntington, West Virginia, area, and I’m really inspired by and connected to Appalachia. There’s a very unique culture and tradition of handcrafts in Appalachia, and I’m exploring that more and more in my work.

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

I usually start with the charts. Sometimes it’s as easy as charting the pattern and casting on. More often than not though, I play around with the charts, switching up stitch patterns, altering shaping, until I think it will work. I might jot down a few notes on construction, yarn choices, and colors as I go, but charts almost always come first.

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

My favorite colors for knitting are always changing. When I first started designing, I loved deep jewel tones. I remember a short phase where I was really into dark greens. Right now, I can’t get enough pastels — light pinks, peaches, mint green. I like almost all colors, though. There are a few shades of yellow and orange that aren’t my favorite, but I’ll work with anything as long as it works for the design.

Do you have any plans to design sweaters or other garments, or do you prefer to stick with accessories?

I’m not much of a sweater knitter. I never have been. Accessory knitting has always been my preference so I’ll probably only do accessories. However, there is a sweater quantity of Green Mountain Spinnery Alpaca Elegance sitting next to me on my desk, and there’s a sweater idea that’s been hanging out in my head for a while. So never say never.

Where is your favorite place to knit?

I usually knit in the evening on the couch while I’m watching Netflix. That’s my everyday reality. My favorite place to knit is on the front (or back) porch, with a cup of tea, visiting my family at home. At my mom’s house, I try to knit on the back porch where you can hear the coal trains coming and going. I’d give anything to knit on my Grandma’s front porch in the evening, totally surrounded by the hills.

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.

What to stash this week: throwing ‘fade’

Kayleen of Littlebean Loves Yarn has been slowly restocking her shop with lovely new colorways on her Merino/nylon Everyday Sock base, Simple Sock Merino single-ply and also on her Yack Sock. You lucky readers also get a discount with the coupon code INDIEUNTANGLED.

If you’ve been tempted by Andrea Mowry’s So Faded sweater, you may have found the perfect yarn. Spirit Trail now has a limited number of kits available for So Faded, as well as the Find Your Fade and Free Your Fade shawls. The above photo shows the “Evening Shades” kit, dyed on Sunna, a 3-ply fingering-weight blend of Superwash Merino, Cashmere and silk. Kits are also available on Eos, a 2-ply yarn with 100% organic wool.

Give a big warm, wooly welcome to dyer Shanna of Lambstrings Yarn, who creates her stunning variegated colorways out on Long Island, N.Y. Her shop is stocked with a variety of bases, including a new Merino/yak/nylon blend called Tibetan Sock.

This yarn is too weird to knit, too rare to dye. Inspired by Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, colorways in this series by My Mama Knits include Bat Country, Lizard Lounge, Desert Race, Circus Casino, Grapefruits, Surrealistic Bathtub and Tarmac Whale.

Inner Yarn Zen has opened preorders for Round 1, Season 3 of an Outlander Unclub. An unclub is essentially a kit with a colorway that is exclusive until 2018 and other handmade goodies. This round includes a skein of yarn inspired by the Battle of Culloden and the hero Jamie Frasier, along with a project bag that will carry you through the voyage on your own tall ship.