What to stash this week: wash your hands and knit on

Tins of body butter with orange and aqua accents.

Due to more hand washing than usual, many of us are probably also dealing with extremely dried-out skin, which is not exactly conducive to working with yarn. If you’re looking for a way to quench your parched skin, Kismet of LoLo Body Care has you covered. Based in Vancouver, Washington, this familiar brand on the fiber festival circuit makes the LoLo Body Bar, a quick-absorbing moisturizer that lasts through multiple hand washings, as well as handcrafted, colorful soap with sayings that will lift your spirits long after your umpteenth verse of Happy Birthday.

Pale pink speckled yarn.

If you missed out, Heather of Sew Happy Jane has restocked her shop with yarn bundles for the PRIMA shawl by Shellie Anderson, which sold out quickly last weekend. There’s also a KAL starting April 20.

A paper bag with a purple and white geometric pattern.

Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations decided to theme this month’s mystery box around everyone’s favorite umbrella-carrying heroine. The box is customizable, and you can choose from notions only, shawl pin and notions, or shawl cuff and notions.

Pale purple fluffy yarn.

Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarn is welcoming a new base to her yarn family. Lowther Lace is a luxurious blend of baby suri alpaca and mulberry silk that will be introduced in a shop update on Sunday at 5 p.m. UK time.

What to stash this week: the new spring yarn lines

A woman models pink to blue faded socks.

Beckie of Shirley Brien Yarn is having a shop update Sunday at noon EDT, when she’ll introduce a few new sock lines, including these super cool Deconstructed Fade Sock Sets, as well as hugely discounted kits for her Sailing Sweater.

A lacy shawl in pale pink.

Heather of Sew Happy Jane collaborated with designer Shellie Anderson on her new PRIMA shawl pattern, inspired by the Sassy Ballerina and Ballerina colorways. The pattern debuts today on Ravelry and Heather has yarn bundles for it available in her shop.

Skeins of teal Merino and boucle yarn.

Debbie of Murky Depths Dyeworks is running a 15% off sale store-wide if you use code CXL15 at checkout. She’s also using her time at home on a personal “New Item of The Day” challenge, so keep your eye out for new creations!

An aqua drawstring bag with cartoon sloths.

Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios is offering a little snark and some swear words to help get you through this crazy time, with artist Cynthia Frenette’s best snarky and swear-y fabrics. This preorder goes live today at 9 a.m. PDT and closes on Monday at midnight.

A woman holds a gray and purple lacy shawl.

Selenaof Sweater Sisters just released a new shawl pattern called Saratoga Springs. It uses two colors of WayfaringYarns Shangri-La, a blend of 75% Ultrafine Superwash Merino and 25% Mulberry Silk.

What to stash this week: keep calm and KAL on

1

A purple and blue shawl.

Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations has launched a KAL called Parallelominis that encourages you to dive into your collection of mini skeins and scrap yarn to create artistic color combinations. 

The KAL runs through May 17 and every participant that shares their FO gets a free pattern and a chance to win a $50 gift certificate for Crafty Flutterby Creations. Indie Untangled readers get 60% off the Parallelominis pattern through the end of March with code INDIELOVE.

Blue and yellow yarn.

Vanessa of Cape May Fiber Company has opened sign-ups for her Botanically Dyed Yarn of the Month Club. The next shipment she’ll be sending out is for April, which is Grape Hyacinth.

Purple, teal and gold yarn.

Kate of McMullin Fiber Co. is having a spring cleaning sale and a giveaway rolled into one. Every $20 spent in the shop between now and April 12 enters you to win prizes, including a Joji & Co. needle wallet, a $100 shop credit, a $50 shop credit, and a crochet hook from Furls and some of Kate’s yarn to go with it. Edit: This giveaway will now be taking place via Instagram. Stay tuned for updates.

A wall of yarn.

Terri of Whole Knit ‘N Caboodle has added over 150 new colors to her website, and will be sending a check to your LYS for every online purchase.

A purple, blue and black shoulder bag.

Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios has once again teamed up with Julia of Pandia’s Jewels for the Yarnies to the bone collection. The ready-to-ship update goes live today at 9 a.m. Pacific, and there is a special yarn colorway available to preorder on Julia’s website.

Blue, pink and gray speckled yarn.

Shanna of Lambstrings Yarn debuted a new MCN fingering base called Faun and kits for Samantha Guerin’s Side Trip cowl. Use the code STAYHOME to get 10% off your purchase, or don’t and Shanna will donate 10% of sales to Direct Relief.

A woman in a gray colorwork hat with a black and white cat.

What’s more appropriate than cats and yarn? A book about cats and yarn! Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns has collaborated with Marna Gilligan of ‘an caitin beag’ for Cat Knits, a book of 16 knit designs featuring kitties and Eden Cottage yarns.

Yellow to orange ombre yarn.

Susan of Sunflower Designs is also hosting a KAL for her Love in the Time of Coronavirus shawl, with proceeds from the pattern split evenly between the CDC foundation and Meals on Wheels Covid-19 Response Fund.

A teal crocheted shawl.

Crochet is having a moment, and Karen Whooley’s Whimsy shawl is a colorful, project with easy crochet stitches and lace. Get the pattern at 10% off through the end of March with the code 10offmarch.

AnnieDot Creative has released a kit for the Fintry shawl by Knox Mountain Knit Co.

Join the Indie Untangled Super Special KAL!

A woman poses in a navy speckled sweater

I’ve been taking immense comfort in my knitting these last few weeks, treating myself to afternoons and evenings on the sofa, accompanied by special snacks. It’s the perfect time to share that knitting, so I decided to launch a super special KAL on April 1. It also happens to coincide with the sixth birthday of Indie Untangled (where does the time go?)!

The entry form with all the rules and a list of the amazing prizes can be found here.

There’s also a Ravelry thread where you can share what you’re working on!

Pictured above is one of the prizes for the sweater category, a Gabrielle Sweater Kit from designer Geraldine Yang of The Wandering Flock.

Here’s a peek at what else you can win:

Pink yarn.

Three skeins of hand-dyed yarn from Lanivendole

An aqua and orange bag and yarn.

A Koi Pond kit from Murky Depths Dyeworks and Knitspinquilt

A woman models a red cabled cowl.

A pattern of the winner’s choice from Vanessa Smith

Skeins of peach yarn.

Two skeins of LolaBean Yarn Co. Wax Bean in Georgia Peach

A multicolored, bright rectangular wrap.

A pattern of the winner’s choice from Casapinka

Blue yarn on a natural cotton tote bag with a mermaid.

Yarn Pirate Booty from Treasure Goddess Yarn: Three skeins of Treasured DK Luxe yarn, a cotton mermaid tote bag, a holographic pirate sheep vinyl sticker/decal, a white pirate sheep enamel pin and an orange pirate sheep keychain

A woman models a red and gray hat with a geometric pattern.

A pattern of the winner’s choice from Woolly Wormhead

Purple and pink mini skeins.

A Tiny popper miniskein bundle and one full skein of coordinating yarn from Sew Happy Jane

A woman models a blue and gray striped and lace shawl.

Two patterns of the winner’s choice from MK Nance

Purple yarn.

A set of five 10g mini skeins from My Mama Knits

A gray bag with a bear wearing an aqua sweater.

A project bag from Rose and the Wren

Tote bag, yarn and s'more pin collage.

A skein of Duck Duck Wool DK Limited in Glaciers and Wildflowers, a Knitting Our National Parks tote bag and a I Want S’more Yarn enamel pin from Indie Untangled

What to stash this week: Updates and discounts

Gray and red yarn.

Stefania and Giulia of Lanivendole are having an update today with A Chic Blend, first yarn they created after starting their small Genoa, Italy-based company. The 17 bright hand-dyed shades coordinate well with their un-dyed grey shades of A Stormy Blend. Also today, designer Isabell Kraemer is releasing her Gianluca sweater, which uses both bases.

Bright blue and purple yarn.
Debbie of Murky Depths Dyeoworks was looking forward to showing off her newest base, Nautilus BFL Aran, at Stitches United in Hartford, Connecticut, this month. Currently available in 10 colors, Nautilus, as well as everything else in Debbie’s shop, is available for a 15% discount using the code CXL15.

Stephanie of Deep Dyed Yarns is a one-woman show offering vibrant and wild colors on a variety of bases. She was scheduled to vend at YarnCon at the beginning of April, so please consider supporting her through her online shop.

Purple and speckled yarn.

If you need some fairy tale escapism, Dawn of Fairy Tale Yarn Co. is introducing her Fairy Tale Ensembles. These are sets of matching colorways designed especially for projects, like sweaters or shawls, that require colorways two or more complementary colorways.

A collage of green yarn.

Sunshine of My Mama Knits is offering 20% off orders over £50 until the end of April, no code needed. The discount applies to everything: hand-dyed yarn, as well as sock rulers, bag pins, stitch markers, project bags and knitting needles.

Pink speckled yarn with fairy lights.

MJ of Cat Sandwich Fibers just had a shop update with a ton of sock yarn in her signature bright colors, as well as her much-awaited pink holographic bag.

Pink yarn in the shape of a heart.

Mary of Birch Dyeworks was also scheduled to vend at Stitches United. Visit her online instead of in person and use the code STAYHOME to get free U.S. shipping.

Knitting in the time of COVID-19

2
A rust and cream colorwork sweater.

Amira’s latest WIP is Ghost Horses by Caitlin Hunter, using Malabrigo Worsted.

Ed.’s note: I’m excited to welcome a new contributor to Indie Untangled, Amira Umphres! Amira’s first blog post was set to debut next month as part of another project, but I thought in this period of social distancing, there was an opportunity to “widen the circle” and introduce a new perspective to our virtual community.

It’s no secret that our worlds were turned upside down seemingly overnight. Lives have been disrupted, some of us working from home, working overtime — or out of work entirely.

My partner works at a grocery store and we’re never quite sure when he’ll be going to work or coming home now. His shifts have gone from eight hours to anywhere between 10 and 12.

Like so many others, I suddenly live in a world where my kids are no longer in school. And I’m faced with the reality of attempting to provide childcare and at-home schooling, all while still trying to generate an income.

With so little in the scope of our control, I’ve been searching in and out for things I can do to cope.

It might feel a bit ludicrous, but one small thing I’ve decided to do for myself? Keep knitting (and crocheting).

There are several reasons why. And I’ve got a few tips and ideas for staying crafty if you’ve also found yourself suddenly in the company of kids who are normally in school during the day.

Purple, aqua and orange crocheted squares.

One of Amira’s latest WIPs. “I’ve been crocheting more, which is a brand new skill for me.”

The Importance of Knitting for Well-Being

Anxiety skyrocketed for me this week. Facing a global pandemic has left me feeling entirely out of control.

Luckily, knitting can function as a coping mechanism while adjusting to the temporary “new normal.” Not only has research shown that knitting contributes to stress relief and feelings of calm, knitting also fuels our sense of community.

And if knitting is a part of your routine and something you look forward to, don’t let it go.

Participate in virtual knitting groups if you can. My favorite LYS, West 7th Wool in Fort Worth, Texas, is closed to the public until further notice, but they’ve shifted their weekly Thursday knit nights to a virtual meeting room in Zoom. The first one is tonight, and I’ll be attending like always.

Knitting with Little Ones Around

Many of us are perfectly aware of the benefits of knitting (and definitely want to keep doing it while we’re navigating tough feelings and disrupted lifestyles). But… once I got word that my kids would be home for the foreseeable future, I found myself in a bit of a pickle.

How can I possibly keep knitting with kids at home, and little to no help or childcare?

I homeschooled my daughters for a few years and routine was the one thing that kept us sane. Building predictability into my day not only helps my kids feel less anxious about the state of things, it also gives me the opportunity to carve out some time for self-care and crafting.

I tend to knit while my kids play in the yard, watch a movie, or play a video game. And I accept that when they’re awake, I won’t get as much knitting done as I’d like. I might be able to do a few rows, but interruptions are inevitable. I really dig into a project, and save things that take more focus, for when they’re asleep.

I’ve also started to learn to finger knit alongside my oldest daughter, who’s 8. I’ve made good use out of my scrap yarn this way. And it’s an activity that holds her attention for 10 to 15 minutes. I’ve been surprised by how many projects we’ve made: bracelets, flowers, and headbands, to name a few.

A girl holds a felted duck in green, blue and red.

My kids and I also enjoy wet felting together. It’s warm here in Texas, so we do this outdoors with wool roving and a bucket of soapy water. You can collect rocks to cover with felt, make felt eggs, felt bowls, and felt balls to turn into jewelry or anything you can dream up.

And since hand washing is at the top of everyone’s minds, one of my favorite felting projects to do with my kids is to make felted soap. It’s super fun — and a simple way I’ve been able to get my girls to wash their hands regularly.

Stay safe everyone, and happy knitting!

What to stash this week: support our indies

A skein of red mohair yarn.

Kathy and Hannah at Despondent Dyes, who were slated to vend at VKL Seattle this weekend, decided to put their extra inventory to good use after the show was postponed due to COVID-19. They will be donating 15% of sales made from March 13 to 15 to Partners in Health, which helps those in need get access to live-saving care. 

A skein of purple yarn next to a seashell.

Karen of Seven Sisters Arts, who was planning to vend at VKL Seattle, is offering her yarn at 15% off with the code VKE from 12 noon EDT today through Sunday at midnight. The Steampunk Hat is being released today as well and 50% of all pattern sales for the weekend will be donated to H.O.M.E., an organization that assists homeless and low-income people with shelter and job skills.

A white bag with a blue and green leaf pattern.

Allena of StarKits was scheduled to vend at the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival and YarnCon in Chicago, so check out her project bags for all fiber artists.

A skein of white yarn with pink and purple speckles.

YarnCon was Chicago-based Michele’s first big event as Misfit Yarns, so show her some support by checking out her bright, speckled colorways in a variety of bases.

A yellow to aqua gradient yarn.

Elisabeth of Wolle’s Yarn Creations had been set to vend at the Carolina FiberFest in Raleigh this weekend. She’s now offering a 10% discount throughout the weekend to make up for lost sales. Use coupon code RALEIGH at checkout.

A two-toned pink bag with a blue strap.

Sara of La Cave à Laine’s crossbody bags recently got an upgrade and now feature fully detachable and adjustable crossbody straps. Some of the bags feature a special coated cotton, from Le Jacquard Français, an historic textile brand created in the Vosges Mountains near Sara’s home in France.

A bright colorwork hat with pink, blue and gold.

Selena of Sweater Sisters has kits for Lynette Meek’s new Fair Isle hat pattern, Tulipa. It features Selena’s newest hand-dyed base Au Naturale and a Ravelry download code for a free copy of the pattern.

A red and purple bag with a Z Scrabble tile.

Good Water & Co., a Pennsylvania-based, mother-daughter project-bag-making team, uses 100% quilter’s grade cotton or canvas sourced from small, local quilt shops for their products, including a signature Build A Bag, which includes multiple coordinating accessories.

Victoria’s next update includes a special colorway called Trans Rights are Human Rights and pastel rainbow mini skein sets. 20% of the purchase price donated to Stonewall, a UK organization supporting the LGBTQ+ community.Pastel rainbow mini skeins.

Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns’ next update includes a special colorway called Trans Rights are Human Rights and pastel rainbow mini skein sets. 20% of the purchase price donated to Stonewall, a UK organization supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

What to stash this week: the beginning of the rainbow

Black yarn with a rainbow..

Lisa of White Birch Fiber Arts seems always ready for spring, with bright and cheerful self-striping colorways, and she recently restocked her website. There are plenty of her trademark rainbows, along with minis and gradient cakes.

A silver shawl pin on a skein of pink yarn.

Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations has launched her Celtic Spring collection of shawl pins that celebrate the rich heritage of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall. There are also limited edition end minder sets that pay tribute to St. Patrick’s Day.

A sheep on a gray yarn sock.

Party with Woolfred, the lovable Slipped Stitch Studios mascot, today at 9 a.m. Pacific. Woolfred Yarn Socks will be joined by project bags and accessories in some brand new sheep and alpaca fabrics.

Outlander Unclub promotion.

Round 2 of the Inner Yarn Zen Outlander Unclub includes one skein of hand-painted Duality fingering-weight yarn and a commissioned set of stitch markers featuring images of this season’s key characters.

A long lacy red cardigan.

In time for spring, Joan of White Lies Designs has kits for the lacy Carly Waterfall Duster.

If you’re going to DFWFiberFest, learn a new way to put beads on your knitting.

What to stash this week: Colors from nature

Pale blue and green yarn.

Caroline of The Noble Thread has caught the natural dyeing bug and recently released her first collection of entirely naturally-dyed yarns. As she’s based in North Carolina, the collection is locally inspired by the colors of the coastal Southeast: pinky-peach azaleas (swoon) and sea-foam blues and greens. 

Fantastic Socks over a black and white skein of yarn.

Here’s where to find some fantastic socks: Sign-ups open March for AnnieDot Creative’s new yarn club, inspired by Newt Scamander (the fictional English wizard and author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them). The year-long club starts shipping in April.

Neon speckled yarn.

Aimee of Pancake and Lulu has been having regular mini shop updates. The most recent one included colorways called Funfetti, Dark Fairy and Raspberry Truffle.

A blue and green lacy shawl with a silver shawl pin.

Get 25% off individual patterns or the ebook for Michelle’s Go Anywhere collection, inspired by Reading Rainbow, with the code INDIELOVE.

Fiber festival flavor: Barcelona Knits 2019 and Stitches West 2020

Crowds at fiber festivals.

One of the things I love most about traveling to fiber festivals around the world — and I’m privileged to consider this part of my work — is getting to experience joining the local fiber community, if only for a few days. I’m very lucky to be part of an active and vibrant knitting community in New York City, and while many events have become destinations in and of themselves (the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, the New York Sheep & Wool Festival and even Vogue Knitting Live NYC), they each have a feel that’s all their own.

Posing with Bellota magazine.

At Barcelona Knits this past November, many of the vendors were from Spain or elsewhere in Europe. Some of my favorite finds were El Robledal de la Santa, run by Jackson and David, who breed Angora goats in Extremadura, in Southwest Spain, Lanivendole, run by Stefania and Giula, who hand dye Italian fibers, and the Spain-based knitting magazine Bellota.

Rosa Pomar in the booth for Retrosaria Rosa Pomar.

I also finally got to meet Rosa Pomar of Lisbon, Portugal LYS Retrosaria Rosa Pomar and designer of several patterns, including the Arbusto sweater from Issue 6 of Laine magazine, and project bag maker and designer Sara Maternini La Cave à Laine.

Bright speckled yarn.

The venue, the WTC in Barcelona, was at the end of the famous Ramblas, a pedestrian mall lined with outdoor cafes and street performers. The night before the show, wristbands for attendees who had already bought tickets were handed out at Barcelona LYS Lalanalú, with another gathering at a nearby LYS, Miss Kits, which provided a window into the local yarn community. Miss Kits was jam packed with indie-dyed yarn, including local brands that were also at the show, such as Catalonia-based Sóc una troca (and it was a short tip to the most delicious ham at Reserva Ibérica).

Sparkly letters spell out Makery.

Stitches West, which I attended last week in Santa Clara, California, is a massive show spanning a huge convention floor, but still manages to retain that local flavor. This is most apparent in the {Among Friends} Neighborhood, which for the last few years has been comprised of vendors who have gotten to know each other at shows. This year, that included Indie Untangled vendors Sarah of The Dye Project, which specializes in non-Superwash yarns, and Thao of Nerd Bird Makery, which creates enamel pins, T-shirts and other accessories that represents our diverse crafting community.

Gold jewelry.

Although I would have traveled “off campus” if I’d had a car, I didn’t even have to leave the convention center to visit Northern California LYSes like Firebird Yarns, which brought a large selection of yarn from Virginia-based IU vendor Brooke of Fully Spun as well as new indie yarn discoveries. I also found beautiful jewelry from a Vallejo maker named Casey of Aquacherry.

And though the show was huge — I’ve told friends it was like Rhinebeck and VKL NYC rolled into one — you were still able to feel a sense of community by sitting in the bar of the Hilton attached to the convention center, which we yarn folks of course took over (plus, it’s down the street from the most incredible ramen). I also was excited to finally meet Jasmin and Gigi from the Knitmore Girls podcast, which was one of the first knitting podcasts I started listening to years ago!

Of course, the knitting community feels like “home” no matter where you are.