Pre-Rhinebeck Untangling: Murky Depths Dyeworks

This is the third in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of Indie Untangled, taking place on October 14, 2022 and online. Tickets are now available!

Along with your local yarn shop, it’s great to support your local indie dyers. Debbie of Murky Depths Dyeworks is part of the New York community, splitting her time between New York City and upstate New York, not far from where Indie Untangled is held! She’ll be joining us in a few weeks for her third show, bringing a ton of her murky and colorful skeins.

Tell me about how you got started dyeing yarn.

It was a total accident! As an avid knitter and yarn collector, I had a little Jacquard dye starter kit and some KnitPicks bare yarn sitting around. I thought it would be a fun day to dye some yarn over my winter break up at my country house in 2017.Turns out by the end of that day, I know I was going to start an indie dyeing business.

Skeins of yarn in blue, red and gold.

What inspires your colorways?

Oh, inspiration can come from anywhere. I literally have colors inspired by the color of a car seen on the highway or an old teal green battleship. As often as not, I just get a visual image of a particular color in my mind and the adventure of unlocking the formula to realize it on yarn commences. Usually it turns out to be a complex shade, requiring many primary colors to get where I want.

Just as importantly, I’m fascinated with what happens when color is layered over color and the surprising results that ensue. The watercolor (transparent) nature of dyes means there are endless possibilities when adding mixed color over mixed color.

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

I like to boast that I have the worst two favorite colors for a dyer, olive green and orange…two of the three slowest selling colors of yarn, along with yellows. While half my wardrobe is made up of these, I’ve developed an unexpected love for all colors aquatic and have unless colorways inspired by bodies of water. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised, I did name my company Murky Depths!

Three skeins of a purple, pink, blue variegated yarn with multicolored speckles on top of solid skeins in two different blues and dusty pink.

Holi, Interrupted at the top.

What are some of your most popular colorways?

Some of the colors I’ve dyed so many times I have the formulas memorized are Picante, a deeply saturated almost burnt orange and Destroyed, the above mentioned battleship green. Of my multies, some of my murkiest colors are also the most popular, like The Real Casanova, an aubergine brown with warm caramel and raspberry popping through and Holi, Interrupted, a wash of rich pastel tones of rose, amethyst, slate blue and warm honey with pops of speckles in the same tones. I have quite a few colors that I’ve been selling since I started Murky Depths in 2018 and show no sign of slowing down.

Can you share some of your plans for Indie Untangled?

One word answer is tonnage! Honestly, I’m bringing all my favorite colors on my basic bases (plied and singles fingering, Merino and MCN DK, mohair) but it will be the Fall premier for Sanctuary, my non-Superwash merino worsted weight and Nautilus, my BFL aran weight, just in time for sweater weather. I’ll also be bringing a big range of my alpaca boucle laceweight, Maelstrom, and for the first time my newest base, Yakima – a merino, silk and yak singles fingering. I’m brewing up a group of variegated colors on it for the first time, in addition to the solids I offer. And of course I’ll have a special show color on fingering and DK, and maybe even on mohair.

A group of two different multicolored yarns in golds, greens and blues.

When and how did you learn to knit?

I learned the knit and purl stitches as a youngster but never put them to use. Then, in 2007, when I was already in my 40’s, my sister gave me a 15 minute lesson after an excessive Thanksgiving dinner and I went home and cast on my first sweater. I’ve always been a go big or go home kind of person!

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

Seeing knit or crocheted items made from yarn I’ve dyed never gets old. But right now all I can think about is a sweater soon to be published by a designer named Sharon Hartley, @riverroadknits called Dark Academia. Hopefully I’ll have the designers sample in my booth at the Indie Untangled trunk show and will definitely be offering kits.

What’s currently on your needles?

Orbits by Rachel Isley @unwind_knitwear which I think is breathtakingly beautiful. I’m doing it in my Caspian base, using Delft-a soft porcelain grey base with Copenhagen blue speckles as the main color and a medium slate blue for the colorwork.

What to stash and what to make this week

Designer Caitlin Sheperd used Murky Depths Sanctuary, a fine 100% non-Superwash Merino wool, for the Blooming Peerie Cardigan. This child-sized cardi uses a clever slipped stitch technique and only two colours per row!

Picture of a cowl and hat alongside a picture of purple and green variegated yarn and black yarn.

Carolyn and Michelle of Olive & Two Ewe Studios have kits for Scottish knitwear designer Morven Gabriel’s A Highland Kirk Window Beanie and Cowl. The pattern was inspired by church windows in Scotland. It uses the variegated Into the Highlands, which simulates stained glass, while Pomp & Circumstance provides the structure of the window design.

A light-skinned woman wearing a brown shawl.

Paola Ambergamo’s latest shawl design, Nodo Infinito, features an intricate cabled border inspired by the Infinite knot of Tibetan Buddhism. Use the code nodo for a 20% discount until this Sundayat midnight Rome time.

Pre-Rhinebeck Untangling: Yarn Farm Kingston

This is the second in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of Indie Untangled, taking place on October 14, 2022 and online. Tickets are now available!

Have you ever been visiting a city or town and thought, “This place could use a yarn shop?” Well, Jocelyn Songco thought that after moving to Kingston, NY, also known as one of the gateways to the New York Sheep & Wool Festival. She’s in the process of opening Yarn Farm Kingston, a yarn shop and wine bar overlooking Rondout Creek. I’m looking forward to it becoming another must-visit during Rhinebeck weekend!

Tell me about the decision to open Yarn Farm Kingston. Had you always wanted to own a yarn shop?

Owning a yarn shop wasn’t always on my mind, but crafting has been a “serious hobby” for me for decades. Once when I was moving apartments in NYC, a moving guy asked me if “this is what you do” while he was carrying a mannequin and nodding at large clear bins of yarn and fabric. Um… yes?! So much of what I’ve done and who I am has led me to this point at exactly the right time! My career for the past decade and a half took me to remote parts of the world and I’ve always sought out fiber artists and artisans. When you have that personal interest and passion it can’t be suppressed! I’m also an avid class-taker and fiber festival attendee and have learned from many of the greats: Judith MacKenzie, Gayle Roehm, Edie Eckman, Abby Franquemont, Tin Can Knits… as well as more local teachers – Christine Janove, a star quilter in NYC.

So the backstory: I’ve been both knitting and living in NYC for about two decades. I went to my first sheep and wool festivals around 2004 – Rhinebeck and Maryland. Rhinebeck immediately became an annual girls’ weekend with knitter friends. It’s my favorite time of the year – Disneyland for the fiber artist! In 2019, Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, I came up to this area to visit my high school friend Sophia, and I had an epiphany: I didn’t have to limit myself to experiencing the joys of the Hudson Valley only in October – I could rearrange my life, downsize my space in NYC, and get a home up here – which I took steps to doing that very weekend.

Fast forward to now, after getting through the pandemic and taking advantage of an opportunity to leave my employer with a bit of a safety net, I’m here in Kingston full time and 100% thrilled to be opening a fiber arts creative space in one of the most inspiring areas of New York state. We are doing everything possible to be fully open by Sheep and Wool weekend! We’ll share updates on Instagram @yarnfarmkingston, and on our website, yarnfarmkingston.com.

A storefront with brown paper in the windows.

The exterior of the soon-to-open shop on W Strand Street in Kingston, NY.

What did you do before you decided to become a yarn shop owner?

I was in the Peace Corps after college, then went to grad school and business school and worked in the corporate world for a few years. Most of my “career” has been as an impact investor at a private foundation – 14 years! There, I made investments in small businesses that were both for-profit and generated social impact in some way, such as job creation for low-income people, increasing yields and income for small farmers and improving access to essential services and medicines for marginalized people.

I traveled a ton for my job – every other week or so I’d be leaving for a trip. I’d lose myself in knitting on plane rides, “bush taxis” (beat-up station wagons for public transportation packed full of people, and maybe chickens) and dead time between meetings. My favorite part of this work was connecting with people, and that will be the best part of YFK for me as well.

 

How did you choose the products that you’ll carry?

I’m still choosing! It’s the beginning of September now and I’m deep in sampling and selection mode.

YFK’s emphasis is on local and/or small batch, hard-to-find, unique and special. This is what will differentiate us from other yarn sellers. I’m reluctant to stock much that is very readily available on, say, Amazon, but rather items that are harder for the average shopper to get, or things that really must be seen in person. My priority has been and continues to be to reach out to local yarn producers, dyers and small businesses. Often things are made to order, so longer than average time is needed. In this way, I think YFK can be a social enterprise. I can help small producers more easily tap into the retail market, both in my shop and with online sales. This could help remove a traditional barrier for them, which is access to markets.

I also learned about specific fiber artists and other artisans during work travel in my former career and plan to go back to those sources as I grow my portfolio of products in the shop. To start, I’m really excited to offer Cowgirlblues yarn from Cape Town, South Africa, this fall. I first learned of the company during a work trip in 2013, and met the founder/owner Bridget at her dye studio along with her team of dyers. Their yarn is spectacular! Then I reconnected with Bridget at the Indie Untangled pavilion at a crafts trade show earlier this year… perfect timing.

All that said, I still plan to stock some commercial/traditionally-manufactured yarns that many of us know and love, because they are very good and meet a gap in my “yarn portfolio.”

We’re also deep into sampling and selection mode for our wine list, craft beer and snack menu. I eventually hope to create yarn and drink pairings, both for our waterfront bar and as gifts for the holidays. Imagine if your knitter friend sent you a flight of New York state craft beer and a skein or two of hand-painted yarn plus a pattern, or pattern suggestions… wouldn’t you be delighted?!

Shelves of rustic yarn.

What will make your shop different from others?

Wine! Local craft beer! Snacks! Coffee! A waterfront view! Did I mention? We are a wine bar too, in a fabulous location.

As for the local yarn shop aspect… there’s no doubt that knitters, crocheters and crafters more generally are shopping online, and there are benefits to this medium (breadth of products and sometimes cost). But fundamentally, we crafters are a community and there is absolutely no substitute for being in a community in-real-life. There’s no greater joy than squishing yarn in person, no greater accuracy in choosing colors than seeing them in front of you, side by side with other options, and loving the result, rather than “living with” something you thought was a little different when you saw it on your screen. And I’d guess the former gets cast on immediately, while the latter might get thrown into the stash that we all have.

Since I think many of us are cross crafters, YFK will have a hodgepodge of supplies beyond yarn: fiber for spinning, fabric, embroidery kits, lap looms and weaving supplies. We’ll have a more curated offering of yarn, and offset that with a greater diversity of other crafting materials, from places near and far.

For classes, YFK will have traditional offerings like multi-class courses on how-to-knit/crochet/spin/drop spindle and workshops and trunk shows. Yes to all that. Beyond this, though, we’re super excited about launching drop-in classes for people to do on their own at their leisure (like Julia Cameron’s Artist Date), or with friends, or for date night. Think: playing with watercolors, building a terrarium, weaving on a lap loom… and you take home your finished object and/or tool or resource from the class after your one-hour session. We’re super excited about this, kind of a self-guided “paint and sip” for fiber artists, or curious creatives more generally.

And for wine bar patrons who aren’t knitter-crafters, we’ll have gifts to give loved ones or to treat yourself, like locally-handcrafted charcuterie boards, weekender bags (aka HUGE project bags), lotions and potions. We have a small batch of handknit samples for sale now, and I’d also love to enable connections between local knitter-crocheters to take on commission pieces for shoppers who want custom-made knitwear or home goods.

The interior of an empty shop.

The soon-to-be-filled interior of the shop.

When and how did you learn to knit?

My Peace Corps friend Almaz taught me on a train from NYC to Princeton in 2003 while we were on our way to visit friends… she’d learned to knit in San Francisco during the surge of popularity in knitting at that time. I learned on metal needles and I used acrylic yarn. New knitters will start off on a better foot materials-wise with us, for sure!

But I actually learned to crochet first, it was either my mom or my aunt/godmother, Tita Baby. This was when I was 7 or 8. I crochet now and love it, but I’m still a beginner crocheter.

And for spinning – I *had* to learn after I went to my first sheep and wool festival in Maryland and Jim from the Yarn Barn Kansas and Gord Lendrum (though I didn’t know who he was at the time) started me off on a few wheels in Jim and his wife’s booth. I was definitely intoxicated by the fluffy fiber and lanolin fumes at the fairground… and ordered my first wheel, a Schacht Matchless (the Lendrum was a very close contender).

Do you prefer knitting or spinning?

Knitting!

Fluorescent yarn.

What’s currently on your needles and/or spinning wheel?

Needles: All the yarn I’ve been sampling! It’s important to me to work with every yarn that I plan to carry in my shop, with both needles and hooks. I like blending two different yarns together to create something unique and to understand yarns that play well together or don’t, and to expand the options for how to use the yarn I will offer in my shop, which will be relatively small at the outset and grow over time as YFK grows and we learn more and more what our customers prefer.

On my Ashford Joy 2 wheel: undyed Polwarth (spun from the fold from top), started at the recent Woodstock-New Paltz Arts and Crafts Fair where I demoed with the Ulster County Handspinners Guild, and also introduced Yarn Farm Kingston to the market.

On my cherry Schact Ladybug wheel: undyed Rambouillet (also spun from the fold from top) started at the September monthly meetup for the Ulster County Handspinners Guild.

Tell me about one of your most memorable FOs.

I decided to make a cable afghan from Melissa Leapman’s Cables Untangled (the one on the cover) for my parents as a gift. It probably took 2 ½ years because of one reason or another – I ran out of yarn, got fatigued making yet another square, ran out of yarn again, didn’t want to seam, “Oh, let me cast on for another project”… the list goes on. Then I finally finished and it was beautiful and I gave it to them. And they never used it. Well, after maybe a year I claimed it for my own and use it every winter and I love it. My brother covets it. (No, I am not making another. Yes, I would still support anyone that wants to make this blanket. It’s a beautiful pattern.)

Same sort of thing happened more recently. I decided to make my dad and my brother Mr. Rogers sweaters for Christmas. They got them two Christmases later. They loved them… and do wear them!

What to stash this week: Now entering fall

Blueberries can be fall themed, at least in the hands of designer Bristol Ivy and Debbie of Murky Depths Dyeworks. For last year’s Indie Untangled Where We Knit Yarn Club, the two collaborated on a colorway and two designs inspired by a field of lowbush blueberries that had turned a shade of crimson after the summer. Debbie made a carbon copy of the photo that Bristol took with her colorway called The Barrens.

Bristol took two skeins of Debbie’s yarn and transformed them into a hat and mitts set with gorgeous dip stitches dotting a textured background. She named them Sal, In Autumn, as seen on Ravelry, after the Caldecott Medal-winning children’s book Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey.

This was one of my favorite Where We Knit collaborations and I’m excited to make this yarn available in a very limited preorder on Indie Untangled through Friday, September 30.

Three skeins of orange, green and blue multicolored yarn.

Carolyn and Michelle of Olive & Two Ewe Studios are also in a pumpkin spice frame of mind with their Pumpkin Harvest colorway, which features shades of brown, orange, green, and blue.

An illustration of a blue truck in front of a Christmas tree lot and the text Happily Ever After Holidays QCY Advent 2022.

Janis of Queen City Yarn is skipping ahead to December with her Advent box inspired by cheesy Hallmark Channel movies we know and love. The box contains 20 sock weight mini skeins, one full-sized bulky skein, four mystery gifts from makers and patterns from Ambah O’Brien for the minis and Janis and Christen for the bulky yarn.

Pre-Rhinebeck Untangling: Yarncentrick

This is the first in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of Indie Untangled, taking place on October 14, 2022 and online. Tickets are now available!

We all know that yarn festivals are made even better with our friends, delicious food and… more yarn! Earlier this year, Mary of 29 Bridges Studio, a vendor at this year’s Indie Untangled, and Valerie the Knitting Fairy Godmother, began organizing Yarncentrick, a new indie pop-up/pre-game event for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. It featured more than 20 indie dyers, bag makers and creatives. Here’s a little behind the scenes look at the event.

What inspired you to organize Yarncentrick?

Maryland is a destination for the first weekend in May. We wanted to create an event that celebrates our diverse community of indie fiber dyers, artisans, and small creative businesses. Yarncentrick is a small and indie-focused with about 30 creative vendors.

How did you come up with the name?

Yarncentrick was in the making for quite a while. We talked and dreamed every time we got together. We both have the same memory of how we decided on the name. We were on a road trip coming home from a yarn festival and tossing out ideas for this new event we wanted to create, as we frequently did. Mary said, “I want it to be yarn-centric.” And Valerie, said, “Did you just name our event?!” From there, we did name and domain research and Yarncentrick evolved. Ending with -ck is meaningful – the “C” represents crochet, the “K” represents knitting.

Mary, you’ve done a lot of shows as an indie dyer. What did you learn from being on the organizer’s side?

Seeing an indie fiber event from both sides has been really interesting. I appreciate how important these events are for small businesses. In addition to being a financial necessity, it gives the opportunity to grow your business through advertising, networking and collaboration. I think being an organizer will help me be a better vendor. It’s a lot of work — year round, not just on the day of the event!

Do you have anything new planned for the next event?

We’re moving! Spring weather in Maryland is notoriously unpredictable. We’re moving to a more comfortable facility (with indoor plumbing!). It’s still very accessible with plenty of parking but our customers and vendors will be protected from the elements. Also, new this year, we’ll be accepting donated knit or crochet items that will help keep people warm this winter.

Mustard project bag, skeins of gold and coral yarn, pink speckled yarn.

When and how did each of you learn to knit?

Valerie: Many knitters I talk to have a similar experience. I have knit and crocheted on and off for my whole life. As an adult, I came back to knitting during a time of loss and sorrow. I needed something to keep my hands busy and pass the time.

Mary: Learning to knit and sew was inevitable for me. My grandmother was an amazing seamstress and quilter, learning to upcycle and mend during World War II. My mother added knitting to their repertoire of shared skills. When I was 5, I figured out that if you were sick, you stayed home from school. I wanted some mom time, so I pretended that I was sick so that I could stay home her. That day she taught me to knit with some mustard gold 1970s yarn. Mustard is still my favorite color.

Do either of you do any crafts in addition to knitting?

Valerie: I have tried and dabbled in almost every single craft hobby. For me, nothing else stuck like knitting and crochet.

Mary: I love to try new things! Sewing, visible mending, weaving, and spinning are among my favorites. But like Valerie, knitting is my go-to. I love to make sweaters and knitting is portable.

What are each of your most memorable FOs?

Valerie: My most memorable FO is the Brambles Beret by Amanda Muscha. We were traveling from the East Coast to the West Coast on a non-stop flight. I started casting on as we took off. Joking, my partner “bet” me that I couldn’t finish the hat by the time we landed in the West. It was a non-stop flight and I triumphantly bound off before we touched down.

Mary: It would have to be my honeymoon sweater. My husband and I got married in my favorite city — Florence, Italy. I don’t know what the process is like now, but when we got married we had to check in the consulate first, and then there was a waiting period — I think it was five days — so we drove all over Tuscany. One day we ended up in Siena. After we had a picnic in the Piazza del Campo, we found a little yarn store where they kept all the yarn behind glass — no squishing. I bought a sweater quantity, made a sweater, and have a wonderful memory.

What’s currently on your needles?

Valerie: I’m working on a franken-sweater mashup. The finished sweater will have a solid bodice and bright striped sleeves.

Mary: I’m making the Trelawny Top by Tamy Gore. I’m a sucker for leaves!

What to stash this week: Campfire yarn tales

Hanna Lisa and the team at Making Stories is ready for fall and all its cosy knits with their campfire-themed Issue 8. It features 13 modern designs to keep us warm, whether we’re gathered around a fire, reuniting with fiber friends at festivals or browsing the local farmers’ market.

Three skeins of gray and cream yarn with the word Shelley written in cursive in white on a black background.

Carolyn and Michelle of Olive & Two Ewe Studios are debuting their new yarn base that fits the upcoming spooky season. The 100% Superwash Merino 4ply worsted is named Shelley for the the author of Frankenstein. New colors on Shelley include a deep purple named Aubergine.

A skein of sock weight yarn in shades on pinks and oranges on a cream background.

Amanda of LL Yarn Co is giving back and celebrating her dear friend’s sobriety with Burn your Bra. 50% of your purchase of this colorway will be donated to Shatterproof, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the United States.

Skeins of yarn in green, purple and black speckles.

Courtney of Silly Goose Yarns just launched her Fiber Friends Collection, which features two variegated colorways and matching tonals, plus a sock set inspired by sheep and ducks. Preorders are available for a limited time.

Photos of Crater Lake and the text PNW Club September 2022 Crater Lake.

Wendy of Nomad Yarn Co is taking a trip to Crater Lake for her September PNW Club. The colorway will be inspired by photos she recently took of the caldera in sunny weather.

A skein of brown and green yarn and the text Dragonflight Yarn Club September Box Forest Floor Available now!

This month’s Dragonflight colorway is called Forest Floor. You pick the yarn weight and get the accompanying mushroom stitch markers.

What to stash this week: Big sky yarn country

Kate of McMullin Fiber Co was inspired by the vastness of the western skies for her Big Sky Collection, which debuts just in time for fall. There are 12 colorways that reflect the ever-changing skies of Yellowstone Country. They’re available on several bases, as well as mini skein sets on Kate’s Squishy Sock base and half skein sets in her Posh DK base. This weekend Indie Untangled readers — that’s you! — get 15% off your entire order with the code 15INDIE15.

Black with orange spotches and the words Boo for Ewe Halloween Mystery Treat Box.

Carolyn and Michelle of Olive & Two Ewe Studios have opened preorders for their Boo for Ewe Mystery Halloween Treat Box. This spooky box includes two hanks of Halloween yarn on your choice of base, creepy treats, a few pattern suggestions and a playlist.

A gold lobster clasp stitch marker with a pale pink maple leaf charm and yellow and orange accent beads, surrounded by illustrations of orange and yellow leaves and the text Make like a tree and get outta here!

Though Bonnie of Yank Your Yarn doesn’t see much fall weather in Arizona, she’s embracing the upcoming season with her Limited Edition September 2022 Clippy, “Make Like a Tree … and Get Outta Here! Orders over $20 will get 15% off and the special monthly marker for free.

A quilted patchwork bag in gold and brown tones featuring a drawstring closure.
Michelle of SquareKnot Handmade is celebrating pumpkin spice season with a fall-themed shop update of her patchwork quilted bags.

How to pack clothing and yarn for a cross-country road trip

This summer, my husband and I packed up our trusty 10-year-old Honda Civic and set out on a nearly 10,000-mile journey from New York to the Pacific Northwest and back. A cross-country road trip had been a long-awaited dream of mine, and so I had a lot of time to plan. As it turns out, deciding what to pack was nearly as complex as choosing the route. So, I thought I’d share how I fit 10 weeks’ worth of clothes in a carry-on suitcase — and how I chose which knitting projects to bring.

Black, yellow and blue packing cubes.

These Eagle Creek packing cubes ensured I stayed organized through 10 weeks of living from a suitcase.

Cubes are key

I have been a packing cube convert for a while. Though basic packing cubes are great for maximizing space, I don’t find them ideal for keeping worn and unworn items separate. However, before we left on our trip, I discovered that my favorite luggage brand, Eagle Creek, has clean/dirty cubes with two compartments. This made organization, and laundry, so much easier! I used the larger cube for pants, shorts, skirts and dresses, and the smaller ones for tops and underwear. These fit, along with some warmer layers and my toiletries, in an expanded 22-inch suitcase.

Working together

All the packing advice I’ve read has stressed the idea of bringing items that work together — kind of like a mini capsule wardrobe. Luckily, my clothing tends to be in similar color families, just like I tend to buy a lot of similar colors of yarn! My “color story” was earthy: a lot of orange-y pinks and greens.

Mixing it up

I also decided to play around with layering. This added a different look to pieces that I wore multiple times over 10 weeks. My Jungmaven cropped tank tops were great to layer over my jumpsuit and dresses and make them feel like a new outfit.

Packing list

I needed clothes that I could wear hiking and sightseeing in all sorts of weather (northern Montana and the Pacific Northwest are chilly!) and also that I could wear for more professional events since I spent a few days in Chicago for the h+h americas craft industry trade show. Linen pants worked well in both the cool and hot weather.

Here’s what went into my packing cubes and a separate shoe bag:

Bottoms

Tops

Dresses/jumpsuits

Warm layers

  • One Patagonia flannel
  • One Aliya Wanek sweatshirt
  • Denim jacket (stayed in the car)
  • REI rain jacket (stayed in my backpack)

Shoes

Acquisitions

  • Not Perfect Linen skirt from Dear Golden in Ann Arbor, MI
  • tonlé top and Known Supply pants from Terra Shepherd in Sioux Falls, SD

Picking knitting projects

I’m fortunate that I’m able to knit in the car because I spent a lot of time in the passenger seat (and also behind the wheel, but I don’t knit there!). It has to be the right project, though. Here’s a list of the projects I brought:

  • Graham Hat by Jennifer Adams: A simple hat pattern that I had cast on a while back and finished at the beginning of the trip.
  • Sable Hat by Marion Em Knits: Another simple hat pattern with a folded brim that was a nice, mindless knit. I finished it just after we left the Olympic Peninsula, where I actually could have worn it!
  • Natural Wonders Shawl by Kristen Ashbaugh-Helmreich: I had bound off the shawl a couple of months ago and attached the fringe in the car. It made a seemingly endless process go faster, and I used the little compartment in the door handle to store the fringe!
  • Take the Weather by yamagara: I bought the yarn, Lanivendole’s Aestiva, at Yarn Bar in Billings, MT, and cast on almost right away. While the start of it takes a bit of concentration, once I was working on the body it was perfect summer road trip knitting. The designer, Bernice, also named her pattern after a song she heard over and over on the radio while on a road trip in Australia many years ago, so it was a fitting vacation knit.
  • ADVENTurer Scarf & Wrap by Ambah O’Brien: I’m on the 13th repeat and I still haven’t memorized the pattern, so I didn’t end up working on this.
  • Saven by Meghan Babin: I’m on the second sleeve of this sweater for Mitch, and I just wasn’t feeling cables in worsted-weight yarn in the summer heat.
Bags piled up in the backseat of a car.

The knitting went into a large LL Bean boat bag.

Of course, there were plenty of local yarn shop visits, so I didn’t stress too much about packing yarn and needles. I ended up with just the right amount.

Further reading

Hope this is helpful for your future adventures! If you need more travel knitting tips, check out this related blog post.

What to stash this week: Wild horses couldn’t drag you away

If you’re both a horse person and a yarn person, you’ll love the latest collection from WoolenWomenFibers. Woolen, Wild & Free is inspired by the beauty, freedom and ruggedness of horseback riding trails and wild horses. The yarn comes in deep, autumn-appropriate wood tones, with hints of leather. There are customizable horse fiber arts jewelry sets from SamsTinyTrinkets and a “feed bag” sock sack.

Multiple hanks of multi-colored yarn and the text Socksy Ewe Monthly Sock Club Subscription.

Carolyn and Michelle of Olive & Two Ewe Studios are opening additional slots for a limited time for their Socksy Ewe Sock Club subscription. You’ll get a new sock set to your door each month in your choice of either their Fitzgerald or Twain sock yarn, along with premium swag.

The text Knit stitch tees, T-shirt subscription for knitters.

If your T-shirt drawer rivals your yarn stash, then Jenna of Souther Skeins’ new subscription, launching in October, is for you. It will feature super-soft tees all designed by Jenna, that won’t be available anywhere else on the site. Get on the waiting list if you’re interested.

Mountains in the backgrop with pink text: Winter in MN, A Yarny Countdown.

​​​​​​​​There are still a few of Knitting Lizard’s December sock set boxes, inspired by winter activities in Minnesota and the Twin Cities, available for preorder.

A set of purple and red gradient yarn.
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The Stuffs of Stitch Stuff Yarn have 10-skein mini sets that are truly one-of-a-kind as there is only one per set available. They come on a Superwash sock base perfect for a variety of projects.

Five pale pink skeins of yarn with bright pink splashes.

Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns had an update of Titus Lace, her popular blend of Superwash extrafine Merino and mulberry silk. There are also new four-color sets perfect for Casapinka’s Sharon Air MKAL.

What to stash this week: A winter garden

While you may have already ordered your yarn Advent (or, ahem, a few…), you should consider welcoming a bit of Italy into your home this winter. Giulia and Stefania of Lanivendole have opened orders for their winter yarn box. It’s a little different from the traditional winter yarn box in that you know some of what you’re getting, but with a few special surprises. The theme is Winter Garden and the box will contain: six skeins of Lanivendole’s A Chic Blend (60% Abruzzese wool, 20% alpaca and 20% mohair) in three different shades, two from their current palette and one new shade that’s special for the box; a shawl pattern from designer Tif Neilan; and a selection of natural herbal products from Alice of the Naturalpina herbal farm in the Alps (yu can also purchase only the yarn and pattern). For the yarn, you can choose from two themes: Warm and Cosy or Cold and Starry. Preorders are open until September 9 and boxes will be shipped in November.

A silver ring in the shape of a knitting needle.

Celebrate Jen of Porterness Studio’s birthday with 15% off all her current stock of jewels with the code Bday22-15off through Monday. And of course there’s cake — If you spend $50 or more, you also get a “There Will Be Cake” enamel pin.

An orange background with a haunted house with the word 13 days of Halloween Yarn Advent.

Preorders of Dragonflight Yarns’ 13 Days of Halloween Advent are now open. It contains 12 20g mini fingering-weight skeins, one full 100g fingering-weight skein and other Halloween-themed goodies that will ship by October 8.

Two skeins of lavender and blue yarn.

Carolyn and Michelle of Olive & Two Ewe Studios are celebrating five years in business this month and have created a special, limited-edition colorway called Ewe Crew Celebration, available in single skeins, expanded fingering and DK-weight sock sets. There are also limited-edition enamel pins.

A rainbow of tweed yarns.

Courtney of Silly Goose Yarns has launched the Tweed Collection, seven different colors of her new tweed DK. Orders close this Sunday, so act fast!

An illustration of two ghosts and the text Halloween Stitch Marker Countdown Preorder.

Jillian of WeeOnes has opened orders for her special holiday sets, with hand-sculpted surprise stitch markers to help you count down to either Halloween or Christmas.

A light-skinned woman wears a brown knit boucle drop-shoulder sweater.

The latest design from Jill of Beach House Knits, Cozy on Southwick, is a classic drop-shoulder sweater that comes in single or two-color versions. It’s also 30% off through August 30.