What to stash this week: Center stage

Eve of Holly Dyeworks, who majored in musical theater, has opened sign-ups for the Backstage Lights Yarn Club. For this club, she’s picked personal favorites, including some she’s acted in and some she’s seen on Broadway or professionally. Eve will be creating sock sets, with one full skein and two minis, inspired by the setting and characters of each musical.

A collage of a tent under a green sky and green, gold, red and blue yarn.Today’s the last day to preorder Mitchell’s Creations’ Alaska-inspired colorway, Camping Under the Lights! It’s available on both Lagniappe Sock (75/25 Superwash Merino/nylon) and Ça c’est bon Superwash Merino DK. The yarn will ship at the beginning of August, in time for end-of-summer trips.

Speaking of summer fun, Jill of Jilly & Kiddles is shipping out some summer fiber fun on Monday! The box will include beach-themed minis and goodies with a bit of “sassy flair.”

What to stash this week: summer ‘knits’

A silver honeycomb necklace with knit stitches next to a cake of blue yarn.

Jennifer of Porterness Studio has perfect timing with her new summer jewels. New favorites include the Honeycomb Knit Necklace that you see above, along with some dangly Swinger Chevron Stockinette Earrings. There are also some old favorites dipped in sunny gold. Best of all, get free U.S. shipping with an order of $150 or more by using the code FreshipUS.

Green, gold, red and blue yarn.

There’s a week to go to preorder Mitchell’s Creations’ Alaska-inspired colorway for Knitting Our National Parks on both Lagniappe Sock (75/25 Superwash Merino/nylon) and Ça c’est bon Superwash Merino DK. Use the sock to knit Theressa Silver’s Sage-Grouse shawl from her national parks-inspired collection, called Knitting Wild

A blue, green and gray knitting swatch over skeins of yarn.

Debbie of Murky Depths Dyeworks has created some new variegated colorways, including Angelfish above, that pair well with her solids.

Leann of Forbidden Fiber Co. has opened preorders for a Halloween-themed box and there are knit, crochet and cross stitch versions.

Skeins of mossy green yarn.

Nerd alert, nerd alert! Ashley started Nerdy Fibers in a small apartment kitchen right before March of 2020.

Orange tweedy yarn.

Looking for sweater quantity for the Olive Knits Fireworks KAL? The Stuffs have you covered with their tweed DK.

What to stash this week: Knitting under the lights

A collage of a tend under a green sky and green, gold, red and blue yarn.

For the latest installment of Knitting Our National Parks — which marks the fourth anniversary of this series! — Terra of Mitchell’s Creations was inspired by a photo of the White Mountains National Recreation Area in Alaska, captured by Bob Wick of the Bureau of Land Management. Terra will dye Camping Under The Lights on two bases, Lagniappe Sock, a 75/25 Superwash Merino and nylon yarn, and Ça c’est bon a Superwash Merino DK.

The yarn is available to preorder through June 18 and will ship at the beginning of August 2021. 10% of all sales will be divided between the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, and the Native American Rights Fund, which provides legal assistance to help preserve tribal existence and natural resources, promote Native American human rights and hold governments accountable to Native Americans. I was inspired to donate to this organization after reading this article that explores the idea of returning our national parks to Native Americans.

Gray yarn piled on gray and gold handknits.

The Grey Sheep Co. is a small family farm, nestled in the rolling hills of the Hampshire countryside in Southern England, that has been producing yarns from fine wool flocks for over a decade.

A collage of white bags and a color palette.

Sara of La Cave à Laine has introduced made-to-order bags, a collections of six different styles that she will make to order to your own specifications and choices, including a palette of hand-dyed colors!

A twisted hank of gray yarn.

Monica of Gothfarm Yarn debuted her new Karst base at last month’s Indie Spotlight show. Now this sportweight yarn, made from a blend of white Cheviot sheep wool and stormy Huacaya alpaca fleece, is available to everyone, along with a new sock pattern.

Purple, pink, aqua and blue yarn.

Stitch Stuff Yarn has two new summer bases. Silky Lace Stuff and Silky Sock Stuff are both 75/25 blends of Superwash Merino and Mulberry Silk, perfect for lacy shawls or summer tees.

A rainbow of yarn skeins.

Erika of Liverpool Yarns is celebrating the unofficial start of summer with a price drop. Her 50-gram skeins of 100% Shetland Wool are now $10 each, and her 25-gram mini skeins are now $5 each.

A braid of green and blue fiber.

Spinners: Natalie of Fiberdog Fibers can help you get ready for the Tour de Fleece! She has washed, picked, carded and dyed up a storm for you and added ready-to-ship fibers to her shop.

Michele of MAB Elements is marking spring with rhodonite shawl pins.

Eden Cottage Yarns recently had an update with Keld Fingering, their Merino linen singles yarn.

Knitting on the road

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Two people on a motorcycle, the one in the back knitting on a purple project.

Farms are a green blur at the edges of my vision as my husband, Jim, and I motor down the highway. We’ve decided to head south on this trip. First stop, Indiana to visit friends. This couple could use some encouragement as one half has been in the hospital frequently.

These routes from our home in Wisconsin and through Illinois are how many of our road trips begin.  Jim won’t need the assistance of the GPS in my jacket pocket, and there’s unlikely to be anything new I’m going to want to photograph. Time to pull out my knitting. I’m only a couple of rows into a prayer shawl, so the project still fits in my jacket pocket. When I get farther into the project, I’ll stow it in a drawstring bag attached by carabiner to my belt. I must stay connected to my knitting, because, I’m a passenger on my husband’s motorcycle.

I didn’t start out knitting on a motorcycle. After all, it was impossible (not to mention illegal) to knit while driving my own motorcycle. And, even as a passenger, I’m busy enjoying new places, taking photos, helping to navigate, simply relaxing, or even dozing. But when I’m not doing any of that, I often knit.

I’m not sure who this prayer shawl is for, but I have faith that it will be revealed before I complete the project. After Indiana, we continue south to the Wing Ding conference in Knoxville, Tennessee. My husband recently retired his Gold Wing 1500 and had his new-to-him Gold Wing 1800 converted to a trike with a California Sidecar conversion. The trike class at the conference was just what we needed to adjust to this new ride. The class was focused mostly on the driver’s interaction with the trike and the road, and included tips for the trike passenger as well. But no knitting tips!

Through decades of knitting on a motorcycle from Wisconsin to Key West and from Utah to Massachusetts, I’ve learned much about how to make the experience easier and more comfortable – and safe. Here’s what works best for me. Most importantly, don’t knit and drive! Do I even need to write this? Be a passenger.

Selecting a project

Keep the project size limited to something that can fit in the working space. For me, I hold the needles at about chest height, so the working space is from there to my lap and between my tummy and the back of my husband’s backrest. As my project gets bigger, I sometimes squish the start of the project down into that area. The pattern should be easy to memorize or one that I can write in large print on an index card in my pocket. The project uses only one yarn – multiple yarns add bulk and complexity.

Selecting the yarn

Use worsted weight or heavier yarn, although I sometimes use fingering-weight yarn, now that I’m experienced with knitting on the open road. Smooth yarn is easier to work with in this sometimes-bumpy position. I’m not an archer, but an archery release pouch works well for holding the skein/ball. The archery pouch size accommodates a typical full skein and has a drawstring top to feed the working yarn. I attach the bag to my belt or jacket with a carabiner. Yarn control is best achieved with a center pull ball, center pull skein, or a ball small enough to move freely in the pouch.

A man and woman on a motorcycle.

Road knitting technique

You must be able to easily see your knitting. I wear bifocal glasses all day, so no problem there.  And my full-face helmet does not interfere with my line of sight. Weave in the cast-on end right away so that bit of yarn doesn’t end up getting blown around and frayed. Use circular needles, so you are less likely to drop the needle — yup, that happens with straight single-tip needles. Don’t use stitch markers, cable needles, or other notions that can also be dropped. If I need to keep a count, I use a row counter that slips onto the needle. It’s easier than marking off finished rows with a marker on the back of my husband’s helmet! Fingerless leather gloves give me the safety I want and still allows me to manipulate the yarn and needles. And I know that if you end up scraping some fingertips on the pavement, your fingerprints do grow back after your fingers heal. Don’t ask – it was a long time ago, and I was not knitting at the time. No stitches dropped!

Just as in knitting, the unexpected does happen. Keep your knitting simple enough that you can stay in tune with the driver and your surroundings. Lean when you should lean. Be prepared to quickly stuff the knitting down into your work space or in a project bag attached to you.

After the Wing Ding conference, we continued south to our first time in Key West before heading back to Wisconsin. The prayer shawl was finished. The recipient of this knitted gift was clear. Upon our return home, I placed the shawl in a box and addressed it to our friends in Indiana. Years later, after he died, his widow still treasures this road knitting memory of our friendship.

What to stash this week: Nurture yourself

A set of white, gray, gold and pink skeins of yarn.

Over the winter, as I hunkered down at home for the umpteenth month while inhaling Schitt’s Creek (it’s simply the best!), I engaged in some serious comfort knitting with Julie Asselin’s Nurtured yarn — a rustic but soft blend of Rambouillet, Targhee and Merino that is hand dyed “in the wool” prior to being mill spun at Green Mountain Spinnery in Vermont. Aside from completing Casapinka’s Powder Wrap and Faye Kennington’s Winter Garden Hat, I also whipped up an original creation of my own using some of the mini skeins that I offered as part of a collaboration with Julie and Jean-François!It took me a little while to jot down what I did, but I recently created what I call a “recipe” for a simple slipped-stitch cowl that shows off the slightly heathered colors of Nurtured perfectly.

I have some mini skeins remaining and decided to offer a few bundles so you can knit your own Nurtured Neck Warmer. And when I say “a few,” I mean that literally, as there is only one each of three color combinations. You’ll receive five approximately 32g skeins and guidance on using the skeins together to make a multicolored accessory.

If you’re in the New Jersey area, are free this holiday weekend and need fiber, NJ Fibershed is having a Fleece & Yarn Sale this Sunday. The outdoor sale will feature fleece, yarn, spinning fiber, natural dye plants, honey, and other farm products from local fiber producers. Spinners can partipate in a Spin-In.

A cicada stitch marker.

Since you may be crafting to the soundtrack of Brood X cicadas, Jillian of WeeOnes has enhanced your experience with cicada stitch markers, hand sculpted using polymer clay.

Andrea and Sami of WoolenWomenFibers have brought nostalgia of beach boardwalks, including cotton candy and saltwater taffy, to life with their Boardwalk & Beaches collection. It includes single skeins, sock sets and three-skein fades.

If you found yourself smitten with the hit Netflix Series, Bridgerton, then Melissa of Rising Tide Fiber Co. has the Advent set for you! It will include 25 20-gram mini skeins, one full skein and five goodies.

Join the Fiber Coven MKAL for a modular shawl that is the perfect accessory for a hyperspace journey. Created with self-striping yarn and a coordinating tonal, solid, or speckled yarn, this is a take on a triangle shawl but uses modular techniques to show off a self striping yarn and make the shape easier to wear.

A gold zippered bag with flowers.

Crista Jaeckel is having a shop update today at 5 p.m. EDT featuring one-off, one-of-a-kind bags and preorders in summery prints.

Preorders are still open for the 7th Floor Yarn Christmas in July kit that includes 12 individually-wrapped gifts of DK yarn and notions.

Join Jill of Jilly & Kiddles for her first Summer Fun Box Club. It will include five coordinating mini skeins and some summer/beach-themed goodies. Early bird pricing ends after today!

Bright purple yarn.

Sharon of Garage Dyeworks has a new Superwash Merino worsted weight. Called Auto DK, she has dyed many of her bright colorways on it. It’s pictured here in Grape Escape.

What to stash this week: indie yarnie kits

A tote bag with a gold bear, orange and teal yarn, a box of tea and a wooden sweater fob.

As I was taking out my latest tote bag along on a few errands recently, I realized how much the color scheme matches some of the yarn I was showing off during my own virtual shopping sessions during Indie Spotlight, and the Scottish tea that I recently stocked up on, and I realized — these items belong together! So, I’m debuting Indie Yarnie Packs, which are the perfect way to kick off a season of outdoor knitting.

You have your choice of two themed and discounted packages, available while supplies last:

Spotlight Yarnie comes with an Indie Spotlight tote bag, a skein of Countess Ablaze Rebel Fingering (60% Superwash Merino, 20% silk and 20% yak/400 yds) in your choice of two colorways (pictured above is Rage Against the Knitting Machine), a box of tea from Scotland’s Eteaket, an Indie Untangled Sweater Fob and access to the Indie Spotlight marketplace and recordings. A $99 value for only $80!

Jetset Yarnie comes with an Indie Across the Pond tote bag, a skein of Countess Ablaze Rebel Fingering (60% Superwash Merino, 20% silk and 20% yak/400 yds) in your choice of two colorways (pictured below is I’m So Indie I Buy Yarns That Don’t Exist Yet), a box of tea from Scotland’s Eteaket, a set of Indie Untangled paper airplane stitch markers and access to the Indie Spotlight marketplace and recordings. A $109 value for only $90!

A pile of skeins of orange yarn.

Nikki of Laneras has her Secretos fingering and Felicidad Light DK, both custom spun using Fine Uruguayan Merino, currently on sale, and domestic US orders of $90+ ship free!

Skeins of orange, green, gray, peach, brown and blue and gray yarn.

Kate of Bad Lux Designs has created a collection of seven new colors inspired by antiques. The Antique Shop collection is available on bulky, DK, and fingering weights. Plus, 10% of all May profits are donated to the Human Rights Campaign.

A skein of rainbow yarn above a photo of wildflowers in front of the moon.

Sarah’s May Full Moon colorway for the Teton Yarn Company, the Flower Moon, has risen. Inspired by the time when wildflowers begin to bloom across the Teton Landscape, the colorway is available in her new Yosemite yarn base, a 2-ply Superwash Merino with black plies.

Preorders are open for Wild Hair Studio’s 2021 December Fiber Advents. There are two themes to choose from and each includes 24 small packages and one large package of fiber, for a total of 10 ounces of ready-to-spin-or-felt fiber, plus a couple surprises.

Stock up on Spotlight makers at Scratch Supply Co.

A bathtub full of yarn.

This is the sixth in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of Indie Spotlight, taking place from May 14-16, 2021.

We’ve loved teaming up with Jessica and Karen of New Hampshire Yarn shop Scratch Supply Co. (dig their new and improved logo!) on our events because their shop is filled with indie companies. In fact, they also carry, or will soon carry, several of the dyers and makers we featured at the Indie Spotlight show last weekend (if you missed it, you can still register to catch the recordings).

Check out their guide to the Spotlight indies they carry.

A green badge with a yellow tent between two pine trees that reads Camp Knitter.

adKnits

Augusta, based in Richmond, VA, creates a a fiber-inspired gift line that incorporates an earthy aesthetic, pops of color, and punny takes on yarn into a line of stickers, pins, project bags, stitch markers, and other fun items for knitters and makers.

“My goal is to connect knitters to nature and help them express their unique woods-walking, mountain-climbing, yarn-loving identity through my fiber-themed designs!”

A skein of red yarn.

Hudson + West

Hudson + West is a new yarn company dedicated to bringing innovative American-made yarns to the handknitting market, along with modern and wearable designs that highlight those yarns’ best qualities. Hudson + West was founded in 2019 by Meghan Babin, the former editor of Interweave Knits, and Sloane Rosenthal, a knitwear designer (and recovering litigator). Their name evokes our disparate locations: Meghan hails from New York’s Hudson River Valley, while Sloane calls the San Francisco Bay Area home.

“We’re both obsessed with ruggedly handsome yarns, practical design, and thoughtful, well-made goods. We’re serious students of yarn construction and knitwear design, and passionate about details. We’re also both lovers of the outdoors, and of the rugged, starkly beautiful landscapes of the American west that inspired and indeed, birthed, our first two yarns.”

A skein of tie-dyed yarn.

The Wandering Flock

The Wandering Flock is a contemporary Knitwear design studio and hand dyed yarn line based in Brooklyn, NY. In the summer of 2019, using the experience she had gained from working in fashion. Geraldine took a leap of faith and started The Wandering Flock.

“Drawing my inspirations the runway to streetwear, I create colors that are fun, wearable and contemporary.”

Coming soon is yarn from:

Brown, pink and aqua yarn.

Mitchell’s Creations

Terra is a Georgia native now living in Louisiana for over a decade. Mitchell’s Creations started with cakes and project bags and years later grew into much more.

“When looking for yarn for the first ever KAL I participated in, I went to my LYS for yarn. While they had nice yarn, I just didn’t see what I was looking for and this is where yarn dyeing started and I haven’t looked back.”

Bobbins of colorful yarn.

Plied

Plied Yarns is a new venture from Karida Collins of Neighborhood Fiber Co. and Ann Weaver of Weaverknits! These two friends have worked with the mill at Harrisville Designs to create North Ave, an innovative woolen-spun, hand-dyed, marled yarn.

What to stash this week: Today’s special

A collage of yarn and bags.Our Indie Spotlight show launches today (there’s a vendor meet and greet at 1 p.m. Eastern and the marketplace officially opens at 2! Aside from shining the spotlight on 22 indie dyers and makers, I am really excited about the show specials. We all know how hard it is to resist those items, which are like souvenirs of the event.

All 22 of our vendors are offering exclusive colorways or debuting special products — plus there’s a lovely Indie Spotlight tote bag you can fit it all in! We hope you can join us this weekend and snag some of these tempting goodies.

Starting from the top left corner and working across each row, we have the Indie Untangled tote and products from our sponsors:

Peach Pop from The Wandering Flock
Sparkle Minis Sets from Jilly & Kiddles
Karst, a new base from Gothfarm Yarn
Dragon Fruit from Greenwood Fiberworks
Sunset Shawl kits from Hudson + West
Merbun Parade from Jessica’s Rabbits
Mr Moonlight from Little Fox Yarn 
Beach knitting stitch markers from Purlsmith

A collage of yarn and bags.

Starting from the top left corner and working across each row, we have:

Yarn-themed stickers from adKnits
The Terri & Brian Show from AT Haynes House Yarns
A three-skein fade from Crabapple Yarns
Festival Season from Dye Mad Yarns
New Suri Alpaca Lace from Hardware City Yarn Co.
Kits from M1 Yarns
A Summer Nights Mini Skein Gradient from McMullin Fiber Co
Aura from Mitchell’s Creations
Shattered Vale and Scottish Elfame from Native Fibers
Steal Away from Passion Knits Yarn
Watercolor Cowl kits from Plied Yarns
OH SNAP from Queen City Yarn
The More Is More bag from Stephanie Earp
A floral bag from Yarn & Whiskey

Register now to snag these!

Skeins of purple and pale green yarn.
Sign-ups are open for SpaceCadet’s Yarn Alliance yarn club, where every package is an exploration of color.

Orange and blue bird stitch markers in a hand.

The WeeOnes shop is in spring migration mode and filled with vibrantly colored birds. There are Baltimore Orioles and others to make your heart sing.

A collage of fluorescent pink and orange yarn and mushrooms.
WoolenWomenFibers is a mother/twin daughters team that includes a molecular scientist who now uses her laboratory skills in the dye studio to create indie-dyed yarn ”down to a science!” They also offer knitting jewelry and project bags to create one-of-a-kind knit and crochet kits.

White mini skeins speckled with black.

Heather of Pumpkins and Wool has opened preorders for her Halloween and Christmas Advent calendars.

A collage with Santa on a beach and a Christmas tree under a palm tree.

Preorders are still open for 7th Floor Yarn’s Christmas in July Advent kits.

Pre-Spotlight Untangling: Hudson + West

Two women wearing red posing together in wilderness.

This is the fifth in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of Indie Spotlight, taking place from May 14-16, 2021.

I first heard rumblings about Hudson + West during Rhinebeck 2019, where the rustic yarn brand had a soft debut, at the same fiber festival where the idea took root. This small company, started by friends Meghan Babin, the former editor of Interweave Knits, and Sloane Rosenthal, a knitwear designer, source and produce their yarns in the U.S., using a traceable, sustainable, and fair supply chain.

You can look forward to learning more about their two bases, Weld and Forge, and their stylish line of patterns at their virtual shopping sessions, and also learn more about the production of their yarns during their Let’s Talk About Wool session at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Tell us the story of how Hudson and West came to be.

Hudson + West started with two friends who were on parallel paths towards the same goal: making a yarn that would make the kinds of garments we would love to wear and could wear anywhere. Meghan and I met when I was an indie designer (and a full-time lawyer) and she was the editor in chief of Interweave Knits, when she hired me to design the sweater that became Tangled Up in Gray. We got to know each other and worked together on a number of projects over the next few years, and in 2018, both of us were trying to figure out what was next for us in the industry and were both talking to Mary Jeanne Packer, the owner of Battenkill Valley Fibers, about making yarn. MJ suggested that we work together, and we traded samples of potential yarns and got to talking at Rhinebeck in 2018 about how to make a yarn that would have the balance of durability, wearability, and ready-to-wear inspired polish that we craved, while doing it responsibly, ethically, and here in the US. H+W was born from those early conversations at Rhinebeck that year, and we opened to the public in November 2019.

Gold, navy, forest green, white and red yarn next to a map.

How have you found the sheep breeders you work with?

In our early batches of yarn, we bought our Corriedale from individual farmers and breeders in the Hudson Valley, mainly from farmers with some existing ties to either the Hudson Valley wool pool, or to MJ and our mill directly. We now work with a broader range of farmers in both the Hudson Valley and throughout the northeast and midwest, and buy a range of both raw fleece and combed Corriedale top, since our production needs have now (happily!) grown beyond being able to buy on a farm-by-farm basis. Like most US producers who use Merino, we get our Merino top from Chargeurs in South Carolina, which sources US-grown, ethically raised Merino from Colorado and New Mexico and scours and cards it for us.

How do both of you work together to decide on your color palette?

We have always been pretty aligned when it comes to the color palette, at least in terms of the broad guardrails: the colors had to be really easy to wear in a variety of settings, and feel rich and opulent and saturated while allowing some of the yarn’s underlying heathering to come through. We typically start with Pantone chips, and then I hand-dye samples in my office until we get the shade and saturation right (occasionally alarming my family members when I have multiple crock-pots of ten gram samples going in the bathroom of my office!). We look at those samples under a variety of lighting conditions and in the context of the rest of the existing palette, and the winners go to our dyehouse (Ultimate Textile in North Carolina) to go through their lab dip process and have the first test batches made.

Purple, orange, gold and pale pink yarn.

What are each of your responsibilities when it comes to the business? What are the unique things that each of you bring to your company?

We were super fortunate that we have a lot of overlapping skill sets, but also some distinct experiences that we bring to the table. Both of us are knitwear designers, and we have a lot in common in terms of our aesthetic sense and our overall creative vision for the company, so we collaborate very closely on both design work and those higher-level creative decisions. Meghan has a lot of experience with things like designer recruitment, managing editorial production, commercial photoshoots, and working with other third party publishers, all of which have been really critical to the development of our pattern support program, which has been a really important part of our journey in bringing our yarns to the world. Because of my legal background and previous start-up (and start-up adjacent) experience, and an admittedly deep love of spreadsheets, I end up having a lot of facility with more of the business back end and the production side, as well as managing our wholesale program. But overall, despite our geographically disparate setup, it’s a really free-flowing work environment, and we collaborate every day on both small and large-scale decisions.

Tell me about how each of you learned how to knit?

Meghan: My mom taught me the basics one weekend when I was home from college (I think I was about 19), and she had just learned how to knit, purl, cast on, and bind off. She promptly stopped knitting right after teaching me, but I kept on teaching myself, learning, taking classes, and experimenting with different yarns and techniques.

Sloane: Despite my mom, my best friend, and my mother-in-law both being knitters, I didn’t grow up knitting, and I actually taught myself after my older daughter was born in 2011. I was struggling with anxiety (like a lot of new moms), and the meditative nature of knitting really helped me at the time. I then got fascinated by the materials science of knitting and how our yarn affects our projects (after a few real bloopers on that score), and fell completely off the cabled sweater deep end shortly thereafter.

A woman models a black shawl with a rainbow of colors.

Can you share some of your plans for Indie Spotlight?

We’re so looking forward to meeting new folks and talking about yarn! We love hearing from knitters about what’s important to them and how and what they like to knit — it’s part of what we’ve missed about this strange, trade-show-less year+. We’re also so excited to introduce Meghan’s wonderful Sunset Shawl, our show special, and to meeting some other wonderful new indie producers.

Do you enjoy other crafts in addition to knitting?

Meghan: Where to start? I enjoy so many crafts, but I definitely don’t have enough time in the day, weeks, or years to practice them all. I’ve ventured into crochet fairly well, spinning + weaving as well not as well, embroidery with enthusiasm, sewing haphazardly, and I’ve always loved cooking, baking, and mixology. I’ve always wanted to try home brewing beer, but I think I’ll have to make friends with an avid home-brewer willing to teach me.

Sloane: Mostly drawing and painting, which I find incredibly relaxing. I also love baking (especially with my kids), and block printing.

Purple, orange, red and gray yarn.

Tell me the projects that are currently on your needles.

Meghan: I’m currently making myself, for the first time ever, a gorgeous black sweater. It’s Sloane’s Adams in Weld in Raven and I’m loving its sweet, simple texture. I can’t wait to wear it this winter! I als have several swatches going for our Autumn/Winter collection.

Sloane: I’m working on Melody Hoffman’s Aito shawl (from an old issue of Laine) in Forge in Cabernet. I’ve never been a huge shawl knitter (I mostly do sweaters and hats), but I’ve been on a kick of exploring shawls in my personal knitting this year, and it’s been really interesting to a) knit from someone else’s patterns and b) explore knitting something I don’t tend to gravitate towards. I’ve also really loved having something warm to put around my shoulders while I’m working!

Pre-Spotlight Untangling: Greenwood Fiberworks

A woman wearing a green knit cowl.

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of Indie Spotlight, taking place from May 14-16, 2021.

Carolyn of Greenwood Fiberworks is an indie dyer who is the rare triple threat: she knits, crochets AND spins, and so offers yarn, spinning fiber and knit and crochet kits. She’s been dyeing for a couple of decades (!) and shares her deep expertise at events and guilds across the country. While Greenwood Fiberworks is not a new company, we’re so excited to spotlight them and get them on your radar.

Tell me about how you got started dyeing yarn.

I began dyeing yarn about 20 years ago, the same time I learned how to spin. I spun literally pounds of white wool on a drop spindle and then wanted to dye it to make holiday stockings in a deep red and green. A friend told me I could use Kool-Aid as a dye, so I purchased a couple packets of lime and black cherry flavored mix. I soon learned that I needed much more than just a couple packets and returned to the store and purchased all they had on the shelf. I was finally able to get the deep colors I needed, but no matter how much I rinsed, there was still a fruity smell. I since learned to use professional grade dyes and love to put color on just about everything.

What inspires your colorways?

I live in the beautiful mountain west and the environment around me inspires a lot of my colorways. We have the beautiful red rock, deep mountains, and gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. Sometimes, colors come to me from a greeting card, a piece of fabric, or even my own imagination.

Beige yarn with red and blue.

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

Green has always been a favorite color of mine. It suits me since my name is Greenwood! I love it in all shades for the calm and peacefulness it brings.

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

I find it challenging to make colorways with the color red. It seems to overwhelm the other colors I put with it. I’ve been able to come up with a few colorways such as American Diner or Dragon Scales, but it is still a challenge for me to put red in a colorway.

A braid of blue fiber.

What are some of your most popular colorways?

Oh, that’s a hard one. I’d have to say Arcade, which is a more jewel-toned rainbow. Then there is Cappuccino, which seems to have many natural colors of creams, tans, and browns. Colorways with blues always seem popular, especially our Shades of Turquoise.

Can you share some of your plans for Indie Spotlight?

I’m looking forward to introducing our new colorway, Dragon Fruit. I wanted something bright and cheerful as we begin to come together again so I put together happy colors. I wasn’t sure what to name it, but my daughter said it looked like Dragon Fruit, and she was right! I’m also wanting to share some of our hand-dyed fibers for spinners and felters.

Pink and green yarn with branches on top.

Dragon Fruit, the Greenwood Fiberworks show special.

When and how did you learn to knit?

I was about seven or eight years old when my mother gave me a pair of long metal knitting needles and some worsted-weight yarn. She taught me to knit back and forth in garter stitch. I knit what was supposed to be a square hot pad, but it turned out to be more of a trapezoid. I still have it after all these years.

I’ve taken up crochet recently. One of my favorite projects is the Lost in Time Shawl that we’ve made with our DK Yakity Yak yarn.

A multicolored shawl.

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

I think one of my favorite projects has been the Hitofude sweater. It drapes so nicely with our Yakity Yak yarn. I’ve made several of these and many of my customers have also. Another favorite is the Peek-A-Boo Lace Shawl because it makes great use of our mini skeins.

What’s currently on your needles?

I’m playing with a pair of jaywalker socks in our April Diamond colorway. I wanted an easy travel project as I’ll hopefully be headed to Boston to meet my new grandson soon!