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. 

What to stash this week: Another shawl in the sweater box

The latest design from Casapinka, called Another Brick In the Shawl is everything I love about shawls: it uses multiple colors and has plenty of mindless stitches and nice non-lace visual interest with mosaics. Bronwyn used a trio set of Yummy 2-ply from Miss Babs, but the color possibilities are endless.

Kayleen, the latest IU newcomer, transitioned over the last year from selling crocheted items to dyeing yarn out of her home in Marblehead, Massachusetts. For her new biz, Littlebean Loves Yarn, the bright speckled colorways, as well as semi-solids and self-striping sock yarn, are inspired by pop culture, with an emphasis on Harry Potter. She generally has shop updates at 1 p.m. on Saturdays, so head on over to see what’s outta the dye pots.

If you missed out on sign-ups for the 2017 Where We Knit Yarn Club, you’re in luck! A couple of spots have opened up, one of which includes the latest collaboration from Eden Cottage Yarns and Mindy Wilkes! Please fill out this form if you’re interested in snagging a spot.

Slipped Stitch Studios has stocked the shop with an awesome selection of craft-themed bags and supplies. The first 10 customers get a glitter ball stitch marker!

Untangling: Anne Hanson

When I first started knitting, Anne Hanson’s patterns were some of the first that I came across. I found that she had a talent for creating designs that look incredibly complex, but are simple enough for beginner knitters. The Aria Delicato I knit for my mom was stunning, but also easy TV knitting.

In 2014, when I was organizing the first Rhinebeck Trunk Show, I knew it was a sign that the event was going to be a hit when someone from Anne’s bespoke yarn company, Knitspot, asked if they could be a vendor. Anne has since gone on to collaborate with Kim of The Woolen Rabbit for the first installment of the 2017 Indie Untangled Where We Knit yarn club. Her club pattern, Shared Rib, is set to become available for sale to the general public.

When and how did you learn to knit?

I learned to knit from my grandmother when I was 4 years old. Before that I would hang around and watch her knit and ask her to teach me (as far back as I can remember, I loved exploring knitted fabric with my fingers). She told me that when I could write my name, she would teach me. So I enlisted my older brother to teach me to write in the afternoons when he got home from school. I thought I’d be able to knit everything on the first day and was a little disappointed when knitting turned out to be hard and I couldn’t make cable stitches right away, haha. Those were my holy grail at the time…

Tell me about your work as a a patternmaker/draper, technical designer and costumer in NYC and how that influences your design work today.

I learned so much during my years working in the fashion industry, it’s hard to distill it all down to a few lines! But I think the most important thing I learned was to think beyond my own experience about how a design is worn and used by a broad cross-section of people. A good design not only expresses the voice and artistic vision of the designer, but is useful and flattering to people with a variety of lifestyles, body types, and preferences. Precision at the beginning is also essential as a design goes through production and is interpolated into a range of sizes, then cut and sewn. And finally, I learned the importance of being a good problem-solver, using my creativity to envision shapes and mold fabrics to get the results I wanted. I am so grateful to the designers, technicians, manufacturers, and stitchers who I was privileged to learn from and work with during those years!

How did you move into knitwear design?

I actually started designing knitwear as a teenager, well before working in the fashion business; it was something I did on my own, applying what I knew from sewing and tailoring, which I had also learned at a very young age. During my years in the fashion industry, many people encouraged me to “do something” with my knitwear design, but I didn’t really have access to the right outlets through my existing work. Once the internet became a more common tool, I was able to begin publishing my design independently and turn my “side” passion into a career option.

Tell me about what inspires your designs.

Oh, I really get inspiration from many directions… Obviously nature contributes a lot to the surface design in many of my pieces, especially in lace work. But I am equally inspired by the human form, by fabric behavior, and by the tactile/emotional effects of texture. Some inspiration is more abstract and some is more concrete. But all of it seems to funnel into knitted expression; it’s not unlike other of my artistic pursuits, such as painting and photography.

In the case of the Shared Rib cowl for instance, I was working from a desire to knit a particular cable that I had my eye on. But when I also realized that the pattern would be released near Valentine’s Day, I thought “hmm, shared rib has a kind of Adam and Eve theme and is very vine-like.” I brought up the idea of doing a color with the dyer that would be like dark red roses, which brought the concept back to the place I had chosen for my inspiration: the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. So many disparate threads came together in the concept for this simple cowl, but the knitter doesn’t need to know any of that for it to be appealing and knitworthy. The design would work equally well in any rich color with depth.

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

I almost always start by swatching; getting to know the materials and their limits, feeling the fabric they will make, and working out which stitches and textures interplay well with the fiber is essential to figuring out the geometry, shaping, and detailing in a design.

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

Color is truly relative — how a color “behaves” or appears really depends on what you put next to it and what fabric it will become. Of all the full spectrum colors, I really don’t have a favorite for that reason — they all change and become different with varying applications and moods. That said, the neutral range is endlessly fascinating for me; grays will always have a special place in my heart!

How did your Bare Naked Wool line come about?

When I became a hand spinner, I was exposed to a whole new world of variety in fleeces; I quickly gained a new appreciation and awe of the range of natural colors available. I started the Bare Naked Knitspot club to celebrate the knowledge I was gaining and it was through the club that I began producing bespoke yarns. One thing led to another and before we knew it, we had a full palette of single breed yarns and luxury blends on offer. I was excited to meet small production farmers and millers, then marry their talents. It just seemed that there were gaps to fill everywhere for knitters seeking a fresh, pure, and unique yarn product, beautifully prepared and free from dyes and chemicals. Farmers and millers had unique fiber and yarn to offer; knitters were ripe for knowledge and new yarn experiences — I wanted to bring them together!

What does designing those yarns entail?

Designing yarn is very interesting; one has to know about the individual fibers involved and how they behave to end up with a yarn that makes the most of their strong points. It’s important to put time and energy into research and development, testing it in stages with the mill to get just the right yarn structure. Many times the mill owners and operators are not knitters so working closely with them, communicating observations and results clearly is key. Another challenge is communicating to knitters how lovely a yarn can be without dye; unadulterated fiber is just softer, bouncier, with a natural sparkle that often gets lost when dye and chemical treatments are applied — even natural and organic ones. We are constantly working on educating our community and offering pattern support that inspires, to help make our customers’ experience the best it can be!

Where is your favorite place to knit?

We have a sofa in our dining room, which is a very quiet part of the house. I do a lot of knitting there while listening to audiobooks. I also knit while watching TV late at night; staying up long into the wee hours and knitting is my favorite thing, especially when my husband knits alongside me.

What to stash this week: A sale, Outlander bags and knitting with style

As she does every year, Ami is celebrating the birthday of Lakes Yarn and Fiber with a sale. to celebrate the opening of her Etsy shop four years ago, she’s offering 17% off all in-stock yarn and fiber from tomorrow, April 1, through April 17. Use the coupon code 17in17.

Knitters and Outlander seem to go together like… well… knitters and yarn. And project bags. Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios has designed an exclusive fabric inspired by the show and all her Outlander goodies will be available to preorder today starting at 9 a.m. Pacific Time. Unless you can time travel, you better act fast, as they will only be on sale for four days.

I’m excited to welcome Sharon, and Knit Style Yarns, to Indie Untangled! Her skeins have a decidedly springy look — or perhaps its seasonally-appropriate marketing — with blurple-hued Pansies and dreamy Faerie Tears.

The newest With Pointed Sticks base, Quill, is a single-ply fingering-weight blend of 70% Superwash Merino and 30% silk, with 438 yards per skein. Use it for the kind of classically elegant shawl you’d wear while using your feather pen.

If you haven’t found your fade yet, or if you have and want to find it again, Melanie of Go Knit Yourself has put together three kits for Andrea Mowry’s uber-popular design. Available in warm, cool or speckled colors, each kit comes with four 100 gram skeins. Find it quickly — these are only available through today.

If you want to jump on another pattern bandwagon, Dami of Magpie Fibers’ Something Gradient This Way Comes is a fantastic one. She’s updated the pattern to include instructions for an ultra-cozy DK wrap and a sock weight shawl. Kits are available on her Swanky Sock blend and DK kits are coming soon.

The April version of the geeky Third Vault Yarns YarniTea club (as the name implies, it incorporates both yarn and tea — brilliant!) is inspired by the movie Pacific Rim.


Yoshi & Lucy recently had the last shop update for March and Denise has stocked her Etsy store with Harry Potter Spells miniskein sets and HP-inspired sock blanks.

My Mama Knits has Kool-Aid dyeing kits complete with instructions, supplies and a pattern.

What to stash this week: Harry Potter in NOLA

Aside from dyeing bright and cheerful NOLA colorways, Robyn of TeenyButton Studio also has a geeky side. Her latest offering is a Harry Potter Yarn of the Month Club — you pick your base and Robyn sends the yarn, with a colorway that will be exclusive for three months, or that will disappear from her lineup entirely.

Sarah of One Hand in the Dyepots has updated her shop with two new colorways. Above is Smokey Aubergine, a moody pink, purple and grey. There’s also Quantum, which uses a tie dye technique. 

The annual April knit along is going on in the Elliebelly Dye Works group on Ravelry.

What to stash this week: Knit start my heart

No matter what you think about Valentine’s Day, there’s no way you can’t fall in love with these handmade heart stitch markers by Ann Tudor. They’re available in classic red and a rainbow of colors, in four different sizes for knitters and two clasp options for crocheters.

Lola at Third Vault Yarns has a lot going on, including a new monthly yarn club that combines yarn, geekiness and tea; Rey of The Force Awakens is the theme for February. There’s also a new winter collection of yarn and large shawl called Blown Glass that utilizes short rows.

KarenDawn’s latest shawl design, La Belle Dame sans Mercy, is based upon a medieval love debate poem. It uses one main color and three accent colors, but is easily adaptable to other color options, from one solid color to a main body and border color to gradients.

Keya has a fever, and the only cure is More Sock Yarn. Her Cedar Hill Farm Co. Traveler base has a new look, as do her double-grommet project bags, available in seven new fabrics.

Because we could all use some closure, check out Melissa Jean’s latest ceramic buttons, including her scallop leaf design, modern waves and February-appropriate hearts.

Melanie of Go Knit Yourself is having a live shop update at 9 p.m. Eastern Time tonight over in her Facebook group.

What to stash this week: Get your yarn ball on

When I found out that Alice of Backyard Fiberworks would have a booth at Vogue Knitting Live NYC this year, I knew Vicki of That Clever Clementine, practically Alice’s neighbor in Maryland, would be on board for a collaboration. We decided it would be the perfect place to debut a new yarn ball bag, and I made sure to have extra on hand for those of you who couldn’t make it to Times Square last weekend — you can get yours here! If you’re interested in a kit with special Backyard Fiberworks yarn, head on over to Instagram

Fans of Camelot can’t help but full in love with the newest Round Table Yarns yarn club, inspired by the story of Tristan and Isolde, a forbidden affair between a knight and lady. There will be nine separate shipments, with each colorway based on a new part of the story. The bases, which range from lace to aran weight, will include some special ones chosen just for the club.   

A 2016 IU Year in Knitting Review

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Considering the year we’ve had, most of the looks back at 2016 are not going to be likely to lift your spirits. My hope is that this roundup of Indie Untangled FOs will be the exception.

For my Year in Review, I’ve culled a list of several FOs using yarn and/or patterns from Indie Untangled dyers and designers — or both, in the case of the photo above of my Drops of Honey shawl. Designed by Janina Kallio for the inaugural Where We Knit yarn club, it used Silk Single Fingering in an exclusive colorway from Lakes Yarn and Fiber (the photo above is from fellow knitter Carolina of Triple C Photography, taken for an upcoming blog post).

I hope these projects serve as an inspiration for your 2017 knitting.

Mindy/knitwithhappiness’s Goldfinch in Magpie Fibers Swanky DK

Kelly/KellyInTexas’s Safer in Cages in Duck Duck Wool DK Limited

Nance/kathynancygirl’s Toketee in Lakes Yarn and Fiber Kelso Sock

Erica/ejsufka’s Palier in Western Sky Knits Willow DK

Danielle/OnEdge28’s Gimmers and Vianne in Astral Bath Yarns Spectra DK

Lori/Momwouldbeproud’s A Hat for Dana in YOTH Yarns Father

Lavanya’s Season of Persimmons in Astral Bath Yarns Tesseract DK

Amy/booeyedee’s Atlantique in Bare Naked Wools Hempshaugh Lace

Adrienne/killerb’s Crosshaven in Canon Hand Dyes Charles Self Striping Sock

Marta/sbnyc’s Imagine When in Skeinny Dipping Silky Worsted

Kim/Xarix’s Barley Wine Hat in Skeinny Dipping Polwarth DK

What to stash: Keep on knitting

In light of the craziness of the holidays, and because I’m in the mood to spread the joy of yarn this year, I’ve decided to extend the deadline for 2017 yarn club sign-ups through Monday, December 26th. As part of this club, four dyer/designers teams — The Woolen Rabbit & Anne Hanson, Eden Cottage Yarns & Mindy Wilkes, Three Fates Yarns & MK Nance and Spun Right Round & Casapinka — will create exclusive colorways and accompanying accessory patterns inspired by where they knit, with the first package shipping in February. And there is a gift option if you want to avoid any stores for the next couple of days!

The latest design from Laura of Fiber Dreams is the perfect way to help brighten up these short (but luckily getting longer!) winter days. Snow Flowers is knit in the round, incorporating an elegant Estonian lace pattern and shimmering beads. 

What to stash this week: A mega rebellion

We all know that big, bulky yarns are a saving grace of the holiday season — or are perfect when we need to be warm, stat. So, it’s a great time to enroll in the SpaceMonsters Mega Club. As a club member, you get a skein of worsted or bulky weight, hand dyed by Stephanie in an exclusive colorway, delivered every other month, and a special gift tucked into every third parcel. The price isn’t too mega, either.

Inspired by the new Rogue One movie, Julia of Pandia’s Jewels has dyed up yarn in colorways like Jedi, Vader, Is that an Ewok or a Wookie?, Rogue and Rebel, and debuted a new Rogue One notions tin. Join the rebellion!

Ami of Lakes Yarn and Fiber just introduced a new base called Rose, a decadent blend of 80% Merino and 20% Cashmere. She’s also offering free shipping on U.S. orders through Dec. 24 with the coupon code FREESHIP16 and $10 off international orders of at least two skeins with the coupon code INTSHIP.

Barbara Benson’s newest design is an easy-peasy cabled cowl that knits up quickly in bulky yarn, perfect for the polar vortex that has descended on much of the U.S. The clever design is knit vertically with no grafting required, joined together by sewing on buttons.

You have until Sunday, December 18th, to enroll in the 2017 Where We Knit yarn club. Four dyer/designers teams — The Woolen Rabbit & Anne Hanson, Eden Cottage Yarns & Mindy Wilkes, Three Fates Yarns & MK Nance and Spun Right Round & Casapinka — will create exclusive colorways and accompanying accessory patterns inspired by where they knit. If you need a last-minute gift for a special knitter in your life, or you still have to give Santa a hint, there’s an option to send a gift subscription.