What to stash this week: celebrate National Park Week

A photo collage of a field of wildflowers at sunset, along with green, brown and gray yarn.

Today’s your last day to grab this Cuyahoga Valley National Park-inspired colorway from Jeanne of Destination Yarn. It’s just in time for National Park Week, which kicks off tomorrow with free admission to any park. Even if you can’t participate, know that your stashing will celebrate, with 10% of all sales of this colorway donated to the National Park Foundation.  

A black and white image of yarn on a table with yellow lemons.

While Kathy and Hannah of Despondent Dyes can’t reveal how beautiful the yarn is for their next Faux Holidays Yarn Club, they are posting some sweet sneak peek photos. The next installment is inspired by National Wine Day (isn’t that everyday?) and includes one skein of fingering weight yarn on a sparkle base, a pattern, two other carefully chosen items, one of which is locally sourced and… some other (non-alcoholic) things. Signups close May 1, so run on over to the website, without spilling your glass of rosé, of course.

A circular bronze necklace with dangling charms.

If you need some help organizing your stitch markers, Jen is offering up her Porterness Method, which consists of wearing one of her gorgeous bronze or sterling silver stitch marker necklaces, so you have them on hand at all times while looking incredibly fashionable.

A drawstring bag with red Monty Python-themed fabric.

What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow? While you ponder your answer, head on over to the Slipped Stitch Studios website, where Laura and Co. are debuting two brand new Monty Python designs, and a second chance at an old favorite. The collection goes live today at 9 a.m. Pacific with ready-to-ship products.

A skein of white yarn with gray and purple speckles.

Heather of Earl Grey Fiber Company is having a shop update tomorrow at 10 a.m. Pacific that includes brand new Afternoon Tea and The Office Collection sock sets. You’ll also find a brand new section of her website called “Goods for Good,” where you can find all of the items she creates that have a designated percentage donated to various organizations.

One outfit, three shawls

A green floral dress with a pink moto jacket and a green cowl.

I’ve loved seeing all the #todaysknitoutfit posts on Instagram, but as a work-from-home solopreneur, I’ve joked that participating would entail taking selfies in a T-shirt and sweats wearing a shawl. Which is not to say that I don’t wear the heck out of my hand knits, and that it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad idea to wear stylish clothes around the house, but… I really like my sweatpants and T-shirt work uniform, and prefer saving my more fashionable choices for a day other than one when the only person I see is my USPS carrier.

So, instead, I’ve decided to put together some outfits from one of my latest StitchFix scores, an adorable green floral dress from their house brand Market & Spruce and a blush-colored stretch linen moto jacket from Level 99 — two items I never would have chosen on my own, but that somehow seem to match many things I’ve knit. Funny how that works. (Disclosure: the above link is an affiliate link, but you get a $25 credit if you use it to sign up for StitchFix, a personal styling service; learn more about it here.)

Above is the outfit I wore for Andrea Untangled. I’m in love with the Shift cowl I knit up last year and it’s the perfect accessory for the transition into spring, as it provides just enough warmth for those days when it’s not quite T-shirt weather but not bitterly cold.

A green floral dress with a pink moto jacket and a grey, purple and teal shawl.

My Nangou by Melanie Berg, knit in Duck Duck Wool 80/20 Merino Silk Fingering, is one of my most treasured FOs. I had been lusting after this colorway from Sandra for ages and finally scored it at a trunk show. The moody gray with a hint of purple and green plays well with a lot of different outfits.

A green floral dress with a pink moto jacket and a blush pink lace shawl.

Another more recent favorite FO is Isabell Kraemer’s Akemi. This large shawl, which used three skeins of Kokon Yarn Fingering Weight Merino (there is still one more kit left in the Indie Untangled shop!) is a bit matchy with the jacket, but could also be a nice stand-in for when I don’t quite need the jacket but want to keep the chill off my neck and shoulders.

I look forward to sharing more ideas with you, and wearing these outfits… out. Now to make more plans outside my apartment. 😉

What to stash this week: game of blooms

A waterfall with the text Blooming Big Sur Shawl

Designer Mona of bunnymuff will capture the beauty of Big Sur in her upcoming MKAL. The top-down, triangle-shaped shawl, called Blooming Big Sur, is inspired by the amazing wildflower bloom at Big Sur. You can preorder the colorful kit from Elevate Fibers (where the sale of every skein supports a national forest!) receive a code for $2 off the purchase of the pattern. The four clues will be released weekly starting May 1 and there will be two threads in the bunnymuff Ravelry group — one for shawl-related chat and one for spoilers. 

A bag with aqua fish fabric.

Sara of La Cave a Laine’s new bag collection is filled with spring colors and patterns, including florals, leaves and koi carps — inspired by a delicacy of the southern Alsace, where Sara hand crafts all her bags.

A brioche shawl in teal with pink speckled yarn.

This is your grandmother’s knitting, in the best possible way. Dottie Jane is a new collaboration from Heather of Sew Happy Jane and brioche master Lesley Ann Robinson of Knitgraffiti. The shawl is named for the colorway, Hattie Jane, which Heather named after her grandmother, and for Lesley’s late grandmother Dottie. 

Mini skeins in pastel pink, green, aqua, yellow and cream.

The Big Foot Fibers’ Mini Set Of the Month is called Easter Lily. The five-skein set on 85/15 extra fine Merino and nylon are available to preorder now.

A skein of navy, teal and white yarn with a bag in a Game of Thrones fabric.

This HBO epic might be coming to an end, but Marietta of Inner Yarn Zen is making her first Game Of Thrones kit available to mark the end of the series.

Yellow, yellow and pink variegated and red yarn.

Selena of Sweater Sisters has nine colors in a cheerful spring palette up in her shop, available on four different fingering-weight bases.

A pink speckled skein of yarn and bags in a floral fabric with swear words.

Slipped Stitch Studios will have Pretty Sweary bags from artist Cynthia Frenette in the shop today at 9 a.m. Pacific.

A bag in floral fabric with skeins of pink and green yarn.

A photo collage of a field of wildflowers at sunset, along with green, brown and gray yarn.

Jeanne’s colorway for the latest installment of Knitting Our National Parks is inspired by Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a hop, skip and a jump to her Cleveland studio. It’s available to preorder until next Friday, April 19. As always, 10% of sales will be donated to the National Parks Foundation.

McMullin Fiber Co.’s April club is a surprise skein of spring speckles inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, plus a progress keeper from Amanda of Little Bitty Delights.

Light pink yarn.

Eden Cottage Yarns is introducing two new yarns: a baby alpaca and silk Aran weight called Askham Aran, and Hayton DK, a DK-weight MCN. Both will be available in an update at 8 a.m. UK time on Monday.

A skein of purple yarn.

Amy of Summit Rd Fibers also has new spring colorways, including Rusty Grape, Peachy Keen, Jelly Bean, Crisp Lemonade, Bella The Budgie, Sea Glass, Punk Princess and Melted Crayons, named via an Instagram giveaway.

Eight skeins of pastel-colored yarn.

Celebrate Easter with Purple Lamb’s Eight Days of Easter yarn kits, which consist of eight 10-gram minis (50/50 Merino/silk, not eggs) in pastel colorways.

A collage of yarn photos with Zullilly.com Collection April 14-17th.

Heather of Heather’s Yarn Barn has teamed up with the shopping site Zulily.com, and 10 of her colorways will be available at a deep discount from April 14 to 17.

Indie Untangled is 5! There are some special things to celebrate!

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A cake with rainbow sprinkles with the words Yarny Bday

Time definitely flies when you’re having fun. I was in New Orleans last week celebrating my mom’s birthday, after coming down from the high that was Andrea Untangled, and I completely forgot that Indie Untangled turned FIVE YEARS OLD a week ago!

When I sent out my first newsletter on April 4, 2014, in order to spread the word about indie dyer shop updates, I never could have dreamed what Indie Untangled would become: events like the Rhinebeck Trunk Show, Indie Goes West and Andrea Untangled, a place for exclusive colorways and a way to raise thousands of dollars for the National Park Foundation.

In honor of this milestone, I figured that a few giveaways were in order. Here’s how to enter:

A woman wearing a green and gray shawl.

Newsletter giveaway

Subscribe to the newsletter by midnight Eastern time on Thursday, April 18 and you’ll be entered to win an Untangled shawl bundle with the exclusive colors from La Bien Aimee.

A woman wears a green and gray lace shawl.

Blog giveaway

Comment on this blog post by midnight Eastern time on Thursday, April 18, with your favorite Indie Untangled dyer/designer/maker discovery and you’ll be entered to win a Rainshadow shawl bundle with the exclusive colors from La Bien Aimee.

Keep your eyes on the Indie Untangled Instagram account next week for a separate giveaway there.

What to stash this week: Cleveland rocks

A photo collage of a field of wildflowers at sunset, along with green, brown and gray yarn.

Jeanne of Destination Yarn, who appropriately creates colorways inspired by travel, chose the park closest to her Cleveland studio for the latest installment of Indie Untangled’s Knitting Our National Parks series. You can preorder the yarn on Indie Untangled through Friday, April 19; it will ship the last week of May. As always, 10% of sales will be donated to the National Park Foundation.

A set of three skeins of burgundy and pink yarn.

For this edition of the Regency Collection, Julia of Pandia’s Jewels was inspired by Mr. Darcy’s admiration and love for Elizabeth Bennet. The collection contains three coordinating colors that you can order separately or together in a kit, only though 8 p.m. EDT this Sunday.

A set of fluorescent yellow, purple, pink, orange and teal yarn with a shawl using the same colors.

In time for spring, Aimee of Pancake and Lulu has been creating what she calls Speckle Semisolids — colorways that read like solids from afar, but are more speckled when viewed up close. She’s using these Monets with some more traditional speckles Caitlin Hunter’s Soldotna Crop.

Photos of UV reactive yarns in bright colors.

Sunshine of My Mama Knits has expanded her range of UV reactive solids that are ready to party at night. They’re available in 10- and 15-skein sets of 10g or 20g minis. Full 100g skeins and single miniskeins are also available.

A set of grey, yellow, red, pink and gold mini skeins of yarn.

Three makers — Nichole of One Sock Wonder Bags, Liz of HighFiberArtz and Annah of Silent Knits — have joined forces to bring you a super geeky Game of Thrones-inspired kit. “Your Roll Is Coming” has a ton of great stuff, including an eight-sided die.

A fan-shaped necklace with dots and crochet hooks sits over a skein of light pink yarn.

For all you hookers out there, Jen of Porterness Studio has debuted some awesome crochet-inspired jewelry, including a Crochet & Dissent RBG Collar necklace.

An illustration of Star Wars fabric and bags.

Just in time for May the 4th, Slipped Stitch Studios has a Bad Lip Reading Tribute (see YouTube) to Star Wars.

A skein of white yarn with blue, gray and purple speckles.

Shauna of Farm Girl Fibers has a ton of brand new colorways in her shop for spring, along with some new Harry Potter-inspired colors.

The second installment of the Despondent Dyes Faux Holiday Club celebrates National Wine Day.

A weekend in NYC with Andrea Mowry

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Lisa of Indie Untangled and Andrea Mowry post with tote bags featuring the Brooklyn Bridge over a yarn ball.

Andrea and I pose with the Andrea Untangled tote bags.

A while back, I learned via Facebook that my friend Brian had created a new music venue in Brooklyn called Murmrr, a few miles away from my apartment, in a space he and his business partners leased from the Union Temple of Brooklyn. As long as I’d known him, Brian had been in a band, and one of my first train rides from Long Island into New York City sans parents was to see him and some of our other high school classmates perform as Pesantes at a long-shuttered club in the East Village (their cover of Guided By Voices’ As We Go Up, We Go Down was a favorite of mine). At Murmrr, he arranged for musicians such as Bjork and Nick Cave to perform at the space, also hosting live podcasts, comedy shows and author talks.

I had already been thinking about doing some Indie Untangled events in the city, but I wanted something that was different from the usual marketplace — especially since I already do plenty of shopping at one of the four Brooklyn yarn shops. After seeing a couple of shows at the new space, I knew we could put together something cool. And Murmrr would be a fitting venue, since so many knitwear designers seem like they’re rock stars.

It was with that in mind that I contacted Andrea Mowry and Kristy Glass last year about the idea for what would become Andrea Untangled. Kristy would interview Andrea in what was essentially a live version of her popular podcast, and afterward there would be a small marketplace with exclusive colorways available for some of Andrea’s designs.

In early January — eerily, a couple of weeks before tickets to Andrea Untangled were set to go on sale — writer Edith Zimmerman wrote a love letter to Andrea in The Cut, calling her “the knitting world’s Taylor Swift. Cute, talented, driven, precise, upbeat, and kind, with a wink and a flicker of darkness.

“This all feels a little like putting up pictures of her in my school locker, although that is kind of how I feel,” Edith wrote. “I love her!”

Kristy then had the brilliant idea to invite Edith on stage to begin the show, interviewing her before letting her meet her idol onstage. As she wrote to me proposing the opening act: “It’s like the ultimate fan girl moment — kind of like Kim MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie representing all the girls in America.”

Two women embrace on a stage.

Andrea and Edith after their meeting onstage at Andrea Untangled.

Even though I’m part of the industry, I have to admit that I was still a bit starstruck when it came to really meeting Andrea, not just in passing at Edinburgh or Rhinebeck. While I was not at all nervous about the show itself — I knew that Kristy was a pro, and I felt that if I could execute an event as large as the Rhinebeck Trunk Show, this would be a piece of cake — I did feel first-date jitters as I went out to meet Andrea for lunch Friday afternoon before her first appearance of the weekend at Knitty City.

I agonized over what to wear, settling on a black, lacy dress from WISP (a StitchFix find), which I paired with gray tights and a sample of Andrea’s Golden Hour shawl that Paola of mYak had leant me. I couldn’t believe that my job included sharing plates of pierogi and knitting with one of the knitting world’s It girls.

Showing off colorful skeins of yarn.

Andrea shows off some of her finds at Knitty City.

As the weekend went on, I discovered that Andrea was also awed by the fact that this was her job. That people loved her designs so much, they would wear her shawls and cardigans to meet her in unseasonably warm weather, travel to take her brioche class, or write a gushing article about her for New York magazine.

Two women pose onstage with a large triangular shawl in pink and mustard yellow.

Andrea and Kristy show off the famous Find Your Fade shawl. Photo by Emma Holter.

In her answers to Kristy’s questions onstage at the main event, Andrea came across as the kind of person that we could all relate to. After Kristy asked Andrea what her favorite food was, my friend Shameka said she whispered to her seat neighbor that hers was curried mango. Andrea replied that she loved mangoes and tofu, which Kristy then suggested would taste great in a curry. Later, when Kristy asked Andrea “What’s your favorite boy band?” and she answered, “The Smiths,” somewhere 17-year-old Lisa was incredibly impressed.

Two women take a selfie.

Andrea poses with Gaye Glasspie of GGMadeIt.

On Sunday, Andrea came to one of my local yarn shops, String Thing Studio, for the last event of her whirlwind weekend, which also included workshops and appearances at Brooklyn General and Argyle Yarn Shop. Her meet and greet turned into an afternoon hangout, with Andrea passing around her samples, giving knitting advice and answering questions as we sat on the cozy couches and in chairs that had been packed in and around the back of Felicia Eve’s tiny shop in Park Slope, not too far from Murmrr. Even as she posed for selfies/photobombs, it didn’t seem all that different from any other knit night.

Rock star knitters — they’re just like us.

What to stash this week: The Indie Project

A collection of colorful mushrooms.

Sam of Lavender Lune Yarn Co. has created the ultimate low-comittment indie yarn club with what she has dubbed The Indie Project. Each month, she teams up with another dyer and each of them take a stab at creating one-of-a-kind colorways based on a common inspiration photo. For April, Sam is working with Nicole of Hue Loco to create a set of yarn inspired by the photo above that can be used for a summer top designed by Olga from Handmade Closet. Preorders will go live in Sam’s shop this Monday, April 1 and they will be open for only one week. 

A green yarn gradient set.

To make up for your fiber festival envy, Sheila of BigFootFibers is giving 25% off when you purchase any four items, including mini skein sets, like her Luck ‘O the Irish Mini Skein Set of the Month.

A bag with a blue sloth pattern.

Stephanie of Rock Solid Designs just released these adorable Stealthy Sloth project bags. Because sloths are the new owls.

A set of knitting notebooks in front of gray yarn.

Augusta of adKnits has introduced new knitters’ mini sketchbooks, which are great for jotting down notes or sketching out a quick idea while on the go.

A swatch and cake of orange ombre yarn.

Elisabeth of Wolle’s Yarn Creations has new DK Color Changing Cotton yarns now available in six colors. They are perfect for summer tops that will actually knit up fast, at a gauge of 5 stitches per inch.

Three skeins of pearly gray yarn.

Julia of Pandia’s Jewels will be releasing her latest shawl pattern, called Winter’s Moon, in May and has created a Pandia’s Moon Box filled with everything you need to make the shawl. Preorders are open through this Sunday. 

A knitted Easter egg with colorful yarn sticking out.

Missy of This Craft Or That has sets available for mug rugs, to hold your cup of coffee or tea and a small snack while you’re working on your WIP. The sets are dyed on Treasure Dust Minis a blend of Superwash Merino, nylon and Lurex.

Four skeins of yarn in purple, blue, pink and orange variegated colorways.

Lisa The Knitting Artist has been busy creating new colors and designs. The biggest update is the addition of semi-speckled “paintwater” colorways and tonals that are perfect for fades and striping projects when paired with her original handpainted yarns. 

Despondent Dyes has introduced a new non-Superwash sportweight base called Vintage Vixen.

My favorite finds at EYF 2019: Beyond Merino

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A collection of yarn, pompoms and buttons surrounds a poster for the Edinburgh Yarn Festival.

If the last two years at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival (and fiber events in general) were all about the speckle, then 2019 was the year of embracing sheep-y goodness in all its many varieties. The vendors at EYF have long promoted British wool, but this year it seemed like there was so much fiber content beyond Superwash Merino, even among the indie dyers who tend to gravitate towards that tried and true base.

My finds at EYF 2019 bore out that trend — in fact, I’m proud to say that there is no Superwash Merino in my haul!

Here are some of my favorite finds from this year’s EYF.

A table displayed with colorful yarn from La Bien Aimee.

One of the first things I had to check out was La Bien Aimée’s new base, Mondim. This yarn is collaboration between Aimee and Rosa Pomar, the owner of Retrosaria Rosa Pomar in Lisbon, Portugal. Rosa has created yarn bases comprised of wool from Portuguese sheep and they take more than two dozen of Aimee’s colors beautifully.

Jars of pink-hued buttons.

There were already a few sweater samples knit up, including Andrea Mowry’s LYS (which stands for Little Yellow Sweater) and Isabell Kraemer’s Eula, with her sample using buttons from ultra-tempting EYF vendor Textile Garden.

A skein of light aqua yarn.

I was also excited to see London-based dyer Ocean of Ocean By the Sea, whose botanically-dyed yarn was available in a special pop-up in Ysolda’s space at the festival. There were so many tempting soothing colorways and bases, including this skein of Falkland wool in the appropriately-named Beachcomber colorway.

A pile of brown-gray yarn.

No EYF would be complete without yarn from one of Scotland’s many islands. Uist Wool is a mill that has been based in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland since 2013. I was particularly attracted to their Canach cottongrass blend, spun from Scottish Merino, a cross breed of Shetland and Saxon Merino sheep. The flecks of white in the dark gray yarn I ended up buying makes for a beautiful natural speckle.

A wall of colorful yarn.

A cream colored sweater with gray and gold colorwork.

Kettle Yarn Co.‘s colorful display of Northiam DK British Bluefaced Leicester, which is spun and dyed at a British mill, also caught my eye, as did her sample of Caitlin Hunter’s Tecumseh.

A display of yarn and patterns.

Martin’s Lab (who I’m excited to have as part of this year’s Indie Untangled yarn club) debuted a new base called Aubrey Sport, a blend of BFL and silk. It was used in the Homecoming Collection of mitts to sweaters by 10 designers.

A flared pink sweater with a cream colored yoke.

Speaking of patterns, a couple of my favorites from the show did actually use Merino: I loved Fiona Alice’s grown-up version of her Mabel baby cardigan. This sweater, called Mabel’s Sister, uses Viola DK and was available in kits at the stand for Loop London.

A pink shawl with a green stripe.

I also loved glimpsing Casapinka’s latest designs in the wild, including this new multicolored shawl, Botanique, in collaboration with Walk Collection.

What to stash this week: spring brights

Yarn with red, white and purple stripes.

Liz of HighFiberArtz is welcoming the warm(er) weather with her spring collection. It features super bright colorways, a self-striping yarn called Bunny Hop and double knit (two-at-a-time) sock blanks that look like an Easter egg.

A drawstring bag with an aqua, purple and pink pattern.

Slipped Stitch Studios is having a cat and dog lovers shop update today at 9 a.m. Pacific.

A skein of blue yarn with a silver shawl pin.

Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations has new penannular shawl pins, a traditional design that features the pin attached to the decorative part, so you never lose it.

A white skein of yarn in a spiral with the words Dye To Order above it.

Lambstrings Yarn now has a dyed to order option, so you can get the colorways you want, whenever you “need” them.

Pancake and Lulu just had a mini update.

How Stitch Fix saved my hand knit wardrobe

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

It’s probably not a surprise that I like to shop for clothes as well as yarn. But, for a while, I had been in kind of a rut, fashion-wise. I’d hit my go-to places — LOFT and Banana Republic — for their petite sizes whenever there was a sale and I had some rewards to spend. Occasionally I’d hit up an indie boutique, splurge if I saw something cool on Instagram (like from my absolute favorite dress shop in LA, Matrushka Construction) or hunt through the sale racks at Anthropologie if I was nearby. But, I needed a refresh, and I was probably too well dressed for a spot on What Not To Wear.

I don’t remember how I heard about StitchFix, probably from a Facebook ad, but it sounded like exactly what I needed: a personal stylist selecting a bunch of things that match my style, delivering them to my door and letting me try them on in the comfort of my own home (and not lying to me and insisting that it “Looks great!” while I hope my friends respond in time to my frantic texts asking for their opinion).

The way it works is pretty simple: you fill out a form that includes various measurements, then you take a “style quiz” that consists of rating various groups of outfits. Before each Fix, as they call it, you can also pin clothing and outfits you like on Pinterest and send your stylist a link to your board there. For each Fix, you’re charged a $20 styling fee that’s credited back to your purchase, and you can get a 25% discount if you buy all five pieces that they send (which I’ve actually done once). After I had been getting Fixes for a little over a year, they gave me what’s called a Style Pass, which is $50 for the year that is also credited back on a purchase. This is great because there’s no pressure to buy something that you’re meh about just so you don’t lose 20 bucks.

What does this have to do with knitting, you ask? Well, before every Fix, which consists of five items that occasionally work together, you can request special pieces for upcoming events or trips. So, whenever I’ve been close to finishing a cardigan, I’ve requested a shirt or a dress to wear with it, so I don’t have to default to my usual tank top.

Before Rhinebeck last year, I asked for a floral shirt to wear under my rustic Charlie’s Cardigan, and sent my stylist a photo of the sample from Amy Herzog. On the first try, my stylist, Freddie, sent a shirt that was a lovely purple color but that was unfortunately too big. On the next attempt, she hit a home run with an orange floral top from Skies Are Blue and a pair of green jeans from Just Black — both fit perfectly and created the best fall fiber festival outfit (even my Rhinebeck manicure matched!).

Before last year’s Edinburgh Yarn Festival, I got a teal West Kei top with a crisscrossing front to complement my La Bien Aimée Merino DK Automne à Rhinebeck cardigan. I otherwise would have defaulted to a blue tank, which certainly would have been fine, but this color was so lovely and the crisscross gave it some pizazz.

There have definitely been a lot of misses — I’ve tried to gently remind them not to send acrylic sweaters — but it’s added more dimension to my wardrobe and I’ve discovered brands I normally wouldn’t have found otherwise, like Daniel Rainn, Just Black jeans and WISP, which makes dresses that seem to fit me like a glove.

If you use my referral link, we can both get a $25 credit when you schedule your first Fix. How could you not love something that has the word Stitch in it?