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.

What to stash this week: Knit, purl and soul

For this year’s Indie Untangled Where We Knit Yarn Club, Crystal of Milly’s Knit Designs and Gabby of Plies & Hellhounds were inspired by a photo Gabby captured on holiday with her husband in Paris. They named the resulting colorway and cowl design Meraki (mA-’rak-E), a noun which means the soul, creativity, or love put into something; the essence of yourself that is put into your work. The yarn is dyed on Gabby’s Marie Cutie, a unique fingering-weight base that is comprised of 75% Superwash Corriedale and 25% nylon.

You can now preorder this special colorway for a limited time on Indie Untangled and add a little Parisian flair, and travel memories, to your fall wardrobe.

Fall leaves and the text Ewe Crew in the Woods Falloween Retreat.

Carolyn and Michelle of Olive & Two Ewe Studios have a few spots left in their first ever Ewe Crew in the Woods Falloween Retreat, taking place from October 28-31 in a rustic, yet luxurious, resort in north Georgia. If you’re not able to join them, they also have Stellar Sock Sets in the shop.

Sand art themed yarn, variegated with pops of bright yellow, orange, green and blue, a beach-themed project bag and blue and pink sand art charms.

Andrea of Woolen Women Fibers is getting ready for sweater weather and making room for new yarn, so enjoy 15% off using the code INDIE15 at checkout on select summer collections.

Large skein of yarn in light blues and greens, five small skeins in blues and greens.

The Daisy Stitch Co Zen Moments Collection includes calming gray, blue, green and pink, in full and mini skeins and sock sets. It’s also 15% off with the code 15OFF.

A group of patchwork project bags.

Crista Jaeckel’s new Clematis Collection of project bags, named after one of her favorite flowers, are sewn from her studio scraps. These OOAK bags come in bright, cheerful color combinations.

This month’s colorway from Dragonflight Yarns is called is called N-ewe-tral.

What to stash this week: Wild yarn on the PCT

For the latest installment of the Indie Untangled Knitting Our National Parks series, Chelsea of The Enchanted Kettle, who resides a (relatively) short drive east of the trail in Boise, Idaho, is providing us a glimpse of the part of the PCT overseen by the Bureau of Land Management in California. Her enchanting colorway will be dyed on Mallow Twist Sock, a 100% Superwash Merino with 435 yards, perfect for socks and accessories.

A limited number of skeins are available to preorder on Indie Untangled through August 19 and will ship at the end of September.

A collection of three waxed canvas project totes in pink and blue floral fabric with drawstring closures.

If you need a new bag for your big fall project​​​​​​​​, Michelle of SquareKnot Handmade has a variety of project totes, drawstring project bags and sling backpacks to choose from.

Mountains and a river and the text Virgin River Mystery Box.

Carolyn and Michelle of Olive and Two Ewe Studios have released a Virgin River Mystery Box. This one-time box will feature a mystery yarn colorway based on the Netflix drama on your choice of base and number of hanks, along with other notions and goodies inspired by the series.

Six skeins of multicolored yarn, all on a superwash merino/silk blend.

Jess and Meg recently opened their shop, Critical Hits Dyes, and are debuting their Dragons Collection, 12 colors inspired by gem and metallic dragons and lore from Fitzban’s Treasury of Dragons.

A photo of cup of beer, sitting in the grass, with blue skies in the background. Minnesota State Fair is written across the cup.

Courtney of Silly Goose Yarns is celebrating the Minnesota State Fair and refreshing beer for her August Drink of the Month yarn club.

Light-skinned hands arranging a muted rainbow of silk and linen yarn.

Stephanie of SpaceCadet has released her 2022 Thebe One-of-a-Kinds, a collection of complex OOAK colorways dyed on super-cool, and summer-appropriate, linen and silk.

A round tin of square multicolored metal stitch markers. The text For yarn is the magnet and my needles are steel; magnetic square stitch markers in a super size set.

Bonnie of Yank Your Yarn has created sets of square stitch markers that are made of iron wire so they can stick to the tin, which comes with clever magnets on both the inside and outside.

Two ivory and two grey skeins of yarn.

Natalie of FiberDog Fibers has skeins of 100% wool yarn from raw fleeces that she processed and spun herself. There’s Undyed Romney DK weight and Casper, named after the sheep who donated the wool.

Multicolored yarn and the text Shop Update Friday 4pm ET.

Jenna of Southern Skeins is having a shop update today at 4 p.m. Eastern that you do not want to miss! Use code IndieUntangled to get 15% off orders of $75+.

Two lilac skeins on a wood background surrounded by plants.

The Plies & Hellhounds Wicked Seeds August colorway is inspired by wolfsbane and is available on SW Merino/yak/silk fingering. Preorders go live tomorrow at 10 a.m. Eastern.

What to stash this week: Big yarn

Stephanie of SpaceCadet knows the joy of big yarn, which is why she created her SpaceMonsters Club. Through the club, you get a big, squooshy parcel delivered to your door every other month. It contains a skein of SpaceCadet yarn in worsted or bulky weight, hand dyed in an exclusive colorway created to bring out the best in thicker yarns. You also get the SpaceCadet’s Log exploring the inspiration for each colorway and a special gift tucked into every third parcel.

The club is opening to new members next week and, if you get on the SpaceCadet mailing list now, you’ll get early access to grab your spot! Like the SpaceMonster parcels, Stephanie’s newsletter is stuffed full of fibery goodness, including craft world news and pattern suggestions.

A gradient of mini skeins shifting from orange to black.

Kate of McMullin Fiber Co is celebrating Christmas in July with three new mini-skein sets in holiday-inspired colors. And every purchase over $100 automatically comes with a stocking stuffer — a 25g mini skein of her Squishy Sock yarn. Today at 10 a.m. Eastern, she’s also opening up 24 more spots for her Dreaming of a Classic Christmas Advent,  inspired by covers of classic novels from the MacMillan Collector’s Library.

A package of mini skeins of red and green yarn.

Olive & Two Ewe Studios’ Christmas in July is drawing to a close, and the star on the proverbial Christmas Tree is their 2022 Christmas in July Mini Set.

Three skeins of DK weight yarn in pink, purple and gold and the text lazy summer sale.

Debbie of Murky Depths need to free up some space on her shelves so she’s put nearly 100 different listings on sale for 20% off, no coupon code required.

Four skeins of yarn in shades of brown.

Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns just had a “proper” sock yarn update with plenty of full and mini skeins of Tempo 4ply (Superwash Merino and nylon in stock.

What to stash this week: Mini skein season

With the arrival of mini skein season, Stephanie of SpaceCadet thought it was the perfect time to reintroduce you to her Striad Wrap. Stephanie came up with the idea for this clever design while sitting in her knitting chair and noticing how her new lampshade incorporated strips of joined-up triangles to form a globe shape. The Striad Wrap is made up of a series of short row triangles, knit individually in strips and joined together with absolutely no seaming. It was designed for SpaceCadet gradient mini skeins, but would also look great in blocks of color.

The Striad Wrap is 50% off for a limited time when you join Stephanie’s email list.

A light-skinned hand holding three skeins of red and green variegated yarn.

The Olive & Two Ewe Studios Christmas in July colorway this week is Reindeer Droppings. It is inspired by the, ahem, bodily functions of the magical, mystical creatures that lead Santa’s sleigh. Two coordinating colorways, Games Reindeer Play and Nose So Bright, are also in the shop.

A skein of orange and pink yarn.

The WoolenWomenFibers Woolen Moon collection is inspired by the power of the full moon. Grab the Strawberry Moon, which just passed in June, or prepare for the Harvest Moon in September. Pictured above is the Moon Bath Ritual.

Three Reversa-Clippy double sided markers used in a knitted piece of light green yarn.

Meet the Reversa-Clippy, Bonnie of Yank Your Yarn’s exclusive “two stitch markers in one” design. One side of the marker has a lobster clasp and the other has a round closed stitch marker that will fit up to a size US8/5mm knitting needle.

A quilted patchwork zipper pouch in cream and blue tones featuring a sleepy owl.

Michelle’s latest SquareKnot Handmade shop update includes zippered notions pouches that are approximately 7″ tall by 10″ wide, perfect for keeping all of your notions organized within a larger bag.