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.

The Indie Untangled Guide To VKL NYC 2020

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Brooklyn Bridge

New York City is what I like to think of as a big little town, where it’s not that surprising to run into people you know in the most random places. This weekend, you can think of Times Square as a big little fiber festival, as fiber folks will be taking over the area for the 10th anniversary of Vogue Knitting Live NYC.

To help you prepare for the marketplace, which is so epic that it spills outside of the hotel’s two ballrooms, here’s a guide to several Indie Untangled vendors and a sneak peek at what they’ll be bringing.

Asylum Fibers collage

Asylum Fibers

Fifth floor, Booth 411-413

Asylum Fibers brings you versatile and luxurious yarns, hand dyed in New York City. The brand is best known for bold, unapologetic colorways and tongue-in-cheek inspiration. For 2020, AF is bringing 20 brand new colors and a batch of handmade project bags created by the dyer’s mother. Progress keepers by Samantha Decarlo and a new sweater pattern by Casapinka will also be featured. This year, the entire booth is inspired by Wonderland.

A collage of yarn.

Birch Hollow Fibers

Fifth Floor, Launch Pad Booth

Birch Hollow Fibers is a small batch hand dyed yarn company located in the Hudson Valley region of New York. Our yarn is inspired by nature, books and the whimsical moments in life.

Pictured are the colorways Moss Matched, San’layn, Dahlia and Dryad.

Knit stitch jewelry collage

Birdie Parker Designs

Fifth Floor, Booth 118

Birdie Parker Designs offers knit and crochet inspired jewelry and accessories to complement handcrafted garments. Our items are small and they aren’t yarn, so they don’t count as stash!

Yarn collage from Destination Yarn

Destination Yarn

Fifth floor, Booth 214

Destination Yarn is an independent, hand dyed yarn company located in Cleveland, Ohio. Founded by a former architect, we believe in the power of place to inspire creativity in all forms. Through a passion for travel, color, and the fiber arts we create unique & vibrant colorways just for you.

For our third year at Vogue Knitting Live we will be bringing our brand new Italy Collection – 5 tonals, and 4 variegated colorways designed to work together and inspired by Italy. We will also have with us our very popular New York colorways including last year’s huge hit Brooklyn, along with Grand Central Terminal.

Spun yarn collage.

Fully Spun

Fifth Floor, Booth 407

My mission with Fully Spun is to encourage and enable people to express themselves through color. We are featuring our new DK weight base, Sock Fingering and a sweater surprise!

Collage of dark yarn.

Fuse Fiber Studio

Fifth Floor, Booth 120

Fuse Fiber Studio is all about creating colors to spark your creativity! We are a boutique yarn dyeing company focusing on carefully curated, ethically sourced bases and one-of-a-kind colors. I keep my batches small so that I can explore unique and unexpected color combinations and treat each skein of yarn like its own work of art. You can count on every skein being dyed with care and attention to detail from start to finish My goal as a dyer is to create wearable colors that look as beautiful in the skein as they do in your finished projects.

My VKL 2020 collection is one big love letter to New York City! I’ve created tons of new colorways celebrating the city and all of its glorious contradictions, from elegant tonals on luxury bases to the more complex and moody speckles. Don’t miss our signature event colorway — Central Park and our new Comfort DK, locally sourced and spun New York state!

Collage of speckled yarn

Fuzz Family by KraeO

Fifth Floor, Booth 1000

KraeO’s Fuzz Family is a line of yarn hand dyed with love, in Chicago. They create beautiful colorways with complex neutrals and a color pallet that is both vivid and wearable.

Collage of bright yarn

Hellomello Handspun

Sixth Floor, Booth 1015

Hellomello Handspun’s limited-edition, small batch mill spun yarns are created seasonally using the highest quality hand-selected fine wool fleeces. Cleaning, carding and spinning is done at a family owned and operated mill located in New York State. Each skein is lovingly dyed by hand at our studio in Brooklyn, NY.

In addition to Hellomello Handspun’s signature neon colorways and seasonal mill-spun yarns, our first booth at VKL will feature beautiful Shibori and eco-dyed silk scarves, mending kits and luxury handspun.

Shoppers can help us raise money for those affected by the bushfires in Austrailia. For every skein of undyed “naked sheep” yarn or preorder of our Kangas and Koalas colorway purchased during the event, we will donate $10 to @blazeaid (an organization that helps Australian farmers recover from natural disaster) or @wildlifevictoria (a non-profit wildlife emergency response organization based in Victoria, AU).

Selection of Katrinkles

Katrinkles

Fifth Floor, Booth 100

Katrinkles makes buttons, wearable accessories, and tools for fiber artists out of durable and sustainable wood. Each piece is lovingly designed, carefully crafted and hand-finished in Providence, RI. Our products are made in house on our studio’s four laser-cutting machines. Katrinkles makes tools for knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, embroidery and needlepoint as well as stitchable ornaments and buttons to decorate your work. Pictured are our new Adjustable Mitten Blockers and some items from our Vogue Exclusive collection.

A yellow sweater.

Knit Collage

Fifth Floor, Booth 527

Here at Knit Collage, we create unique yarns to inspire your creativity and to get your needles humming!

After about seven months in the making, finally we releasing the Shakespeare in the Park pattern, here at Knit Collage. This design is a dramatic yet easy to knit colorwork sweater, designed by one of our most favorite designers, Park Williams. Check out the kits in our booth at Vogue Knitting Live! The pattern comes free with yarn purchase through VKL weekend only.

A selection of pastel yarn and buttons.

Little Fox Yarn

5th Floor, Booth 522

Aimee and Brian are the dyers of Little Fox Yarn, based just outside of Richmond, Virginia. Their beautiful, wearable colorways are inspired by the Blue Ridge Mountains where Aimee grew up.

We will have our usual favorites: Little Mo (lace), Vixen (fingering), Linea (sport), Bōsa and Vulpine (DK). We will also be introducing our new Bulky Base, Tod, and we will have new buttons and shawl pins (in wood, clay and antler) by Idlewild Pottery & Notions.

A selection of knitting patterns

mYak

Sixth Floor, Booths 1009-1013

A natural fiber unique in the world. Born in one of the world’s most extreme locations. Made with Italian artisanal quality. This is mYak: Born in Tibet, Crafted in Italy.

This year, we will bring our new Tibetan Cloud DK line as well as our Baby Yak with many new wonderful designs, kits and bundles.

We are thrilled to host Jonna and Sini of Laine magazine, Jennifer Steingass, Olga Buraya Kefelian, Kirsten Kapur, Thea Colman and Susanne Sommers at our booth throughout the weekend.

Portnerness, with her amazing line of jewelry, will joining us as a guest brand and for the first time we will bring an incredible selection of Temaricious embroidery and crafting floss, naturally dyed in Japan. We will also offer Laine magazine’s Knitting Journal and pins, and Indie Untangled Fiber Friends pins.

Bright yarn and two shawls.

Sweater Sisters

Fifth Floor, Booth 208

Sweater Sisters out of Alta, Wyoming offers kits, yarns hand-dyed in the Tetons and professional Landscape Dyes from Australia. They’re dedicated to offering luxury fibers to elevate your crafting experience.

Pictured are the Crystal Meadows Shawl and Ramalina by Susanne Visch.

A collage from TreLiz

TreLiz

Fifth Floor, Booth 111

TreLiz hand-dyed yarns are here to remind you that: Color is Power, Fiber is our Weapon.

Hands hold up pastel skeins of yarn.

The Wandering Flock

Sixth Floor, Booth 1101-1103

Drawing from my experience in fashion, I approach dyeing with a lot of intention, and focus on the final product your creations. While a skein of yarn is where my process ends, I think about what you will make with it. My hope is to create a line of yarn and classic, yet contemporary, knitwear patterns that will fit into your everyday wardrobe.

I will be presenting my line of yarn and patterns, including the Arete sweater I designed for Pom Pom Quarterly’s Winter 2019 issue.

A selection of blue and gold yarn.

Zen Yarn Garden

Sixth Floor, Booth 1006

Zen Yarn Garden’s dye studio is based is Ontario, Canada. Our yarn is special. We take pride in providing the most luxurious fibres and dyeing them in a range of beautiful semi-solid, splatter and one-of-a-kind colourways. 

Our booth will be filled with NY-themed colourways available exclusively at Vogue NY. We will also have hand-dyed, ready-to-wear scarves in our custom colours.

Food guide

When you find time to tear yourself away from the marketplace, or if you need sustenance between classes, here are a few of my favorite food recommendations in the Times Square area.

If you want…

A quick bite, head to City Kitchen, a gourmet food court with a selection that includes Luke’s Lobster and Dough donuts.

To relax with a pint, try Beer Culture, a cozy bar with a rotating selection of craft beers on tap and fridges filled with microbrews. They also serve wine and whiskey if beer’s not your thing, along with a menu of creative pub food.

Dinner with a small group of friends, I highly recommend The Marshal, a farm-to-table restaurant with a brick oven.

A bistro brunch, hit up BXL Cafe, a low-key place with great egg dishes and delicious Belgian waffles.

Your indie shopping guide to the 2019 Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

A map of the Howard County Fairgrounds

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival seems to have snuck up on me this year. While I don’t have a stashing plan in mind (which probably means I’ll do more damage than I planned), I’m looking forward to spending time with beloved fiber friends and meeting some of my favorite indie business owners.

To help you plan, here’s a roundup of the Indie Untangled vendors at both the pop-up at The Knot House and the Howard County Fairgrounds, and a peek at just some of the goodies they’ll be bringing.

THE KNOT HOUSE INDIE POP-UP

This is the fifth annual indie pop-up that Cathy and Heather of The Knot House are throwing. In the spirit of the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show, it brings together a collection of dyers and makers from around North America. Unlike the IU Rhinebeck show, it runs all weekend, with a preview party on Friday night from 5 to 9 p.m.

Dragon Hoard Yarn

A collage of yarn

Dragon Hoard Yarn is a one woman show run by Trysten out of Utah. Her style is inspired by pop culture, geeky fandoms, and witchy themes.

I’ll be bringing the entire Outlander collection, including:
Lallybroch (green), Red Jamie (Orange), Clan Fraser (blue), and Je Suis Prest. (Blue and brown). I’ll also be giving a sneak peek at a new design coming out in July! The Moondrip Summer Tee will be showcased, and I will be there to help people create kits!

The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers

A collage of yarn

The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers specializes in hand-dyed yarns inspired by dyer Candice’s cultural heritage and Montana roots.

Little Fox Yarn

Orange yarn

Aimee & Brian are the dyers of Little Fox Yarn, based just outside of Richmond, Virginia. Their subtle, wearable colorways are inspired by the Blue Ridge Mountains where Aimee grew up.

We will be at the Knot House Indie Dyer Pop Up this weekend. We will have all of our usual lineup of tonal yarns including our new Vixen Lace base.

Also at The Knot House will be ShelliCan and Nice & Knit.

THE FESTIVAL

See the festival map here.

Bare Naked Wools/Knitspot

Main Exhibition Hall, Booth C28

A sweater, shawl, hat and yarn

Bare Naked Wools offers natural, dye-free, artisanal yarns in single breed and wool blends, wool and alpaca blends, and unique luxury blends.

• The hat is the “Happy Dog Cap” which we will be selling at MDSW as a kit with Betty King Natural Dyes Merino DK.
• The pullover sweater is “Multigrain”
• The lace shawl is “Harrier”
• The yarn is Better Breakfast DK, a luxury alpaca blend

Bijou Basin Ranch  

Outside North, Booth N1

A collage of yarn

Bijou Basin Ranch provides sustainably harvested, high quality exotic yarns & fibers dyed by various indie dyers across the country. After 15 years of merchandising yarn, BBR will be closing its doors by the end of the year, so don’t miss your chance to see, feel and purchase at our last MDS&W Festival!

Pictured clockwise from the top left are:
Solids by MJ Yarns on Xanadu, 100% Mongolian Cashmere
The Valkyries Series by MJ Yarns on Gobi, 35/65 baby camel/Mulberry silk
The Mariposa Series by Colorful Eclectic on Himalayan Summit, 50/50 yak/Merino — brand new at the show!
Various colors by ModeKnit Yarns on Tibetan Dream, 85/15 yak/nylon

Dragonfly Fibers

Outside Lower Corral, Booth LC9  

A collage of yarn and a tote bag

Dragonfly Fibers has been dyeing high-quality yarn and fiber in suburban Washington, DC, for more than ten years. We’re known for our vivid and saturated tonal and variegated colorways, and we have gorgeous neutrals, too! Come see all that’s new and beautiful in the Lower Outside Corral!

Our brand-new tote bag is free to the first 25 customers both days and all purchases over $125. Available for purchase for $12.

Our newest yarn, Faerie, an ethereal mohair-silk blend, is perfect for warm-weather knitting. The Jocelyn colorway (shown in Pixie, also in Jocelyn) makes for a beautiful spring Elton, by Joji Locatelli.

Our show exclusive colorway, Carroll Creek Park’s bright and happy colors make it perfect for spring! It will be available on multiple bases. Supplies are limited, so be sure to stop by early in the morning for the best selection.

We will also have three great kits for the brand-new Casapinka design, Magical Thinking, which made its debut last Saturday during LYS Day.

Fluffy U Fiber Farm

Barn 5, Booth 14

A collage of yarn

We specialize in British and U.S. rare and heritage breed sheep. We gain our inspiration from the sheep themselves and the beautiful countryside. For those participating in the Shave Em to Save Em and the 52 weeks of sheep programs we will have both natural spinning fibers and yarns produced from the sheep here at the farm.

KnittyandColor/Subterranean Woodworks

Main Exhibition Hall, Booth B13

A collage of yarn and wood spindles

Knittyandcolor specializes in eye popping bright, unique pastel, and fun speckled yarn and fiber. Her husband, Subterranean Woodworks specializes in finely crafted, exotic wood and hand dyed Turkish spindles.

Toad Hollow

Outside Lower Corral, Booth LC18

A blue crab tote bag with blue speckled yarn

Created by sisters, Helen and Mary Beth, Toad Hollow makes project bags and hand dyed yarn. Our products all have a whimsical sense usually based on books and fandoms we love. Limited quantities of our Maryland 2019 color, “Crab Pickin,” will be available this weekend.

Wolle’s Yarn Creations

Main Exhibition Hall, Booth B2

A collage of gradient yarn cakes

Wolle’s Yarn Creations will be at MDSW for the third year and we are bringing our amazingly soft and deluxe Cotton/Silk yarns as well as our new Cotton/Bamboo yarns. Also, new this year: DK Cotton yarns, perfect for all your summer tops. Stop by and touch our yarns — feeling is believing.

Also at the festival will be:
Backyard Fiberworks, Main Exhibition Hall, Booth C4 
Crafty Flutterby Creations, Barn 3, Booth 5
Into the Whirled, Main Exhibition Hall, Booth B16
Middle Brook Fiberworks, Main Exhibition Hall, Both B26

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.

The Indie Untangled shopping guide to VKL NYC 2019

It’s that time of year again, when Times Square gets overtaken by knitters on a mission, dodging tourists and glaring at the Starbucks line, hoping to make it to their 9 a.m. brioche class on time — or just to the Marketplace to shop for yarn.

The Marketplace at this year’s VKL NYC — taking place at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square from January 25-27 — looks to be the busiest it’s ever been. To help you prepare, I’ve put together a guide to the Indie Untangled vendors that you need to visit. Each vendor has introduced themselves and is offering a sneak peek at some of the yarns and products they’ll be bringing.

Will you be there this weekend (and on the subway Saturday)?

Asylum Fibers

Fifth Floor, Booths 314 & 316

Asylum Fibers focuses on in-your-face, vibrant tones and one-of-a-kind colorways on over 15 bases, both versatile and luxurious. The brand name was thought up in order to incorporate the playfulness of horror flicks while leveraging the other meaning of the word “asylum,” acknowledging that crafting is such a wonderful, meaningful form of therapy and comfort.

Stop by to “embrace your crazy” with a photo shoot and check out some new 2019 colorways. Available will be an event colorway called Sidewalk Reflections, a new base called Brainless Bulky and The Brainless Beanie, a free pattern corresponding with the release of this new base, and a 2019 mini set featuring new colors, including I’m Alive, inspired by the Pantone color of the year.

Cat Sandwich Fibers

Fifth Floor, Booth 321

I dye everything out of my home’s basement in New Jersey and I’m inspired by all things cute and pink.

I’ll be bringing more than 20 new colorways, some of which are one-of-a-kinds and will never be repeated again. A ton of new colors are inspired by Sailor Moon, which is a show I religiously watched growing up.

Dragonfly Fibers

Sixth Floor, Booth 907

Dragonfly Fibers has been dyeing high-quality yarn and fiber in suburban Washington, DC, for more than 10 years. We’re known for our vivid and saturated tonal and variegated colorways, and we have gorgeous neutrals, too! Come see all that’s new and beautiful in booths 807 and 809!

Pictured above is the Plumpy Shawl by Andrea Mowry. Sample shown in the Starry Night colorway of our Traveller Fade Color Pack (plus one additional skein of Starry Night). Four other fade packs are available — Fade to Back, Reds to Browns, Blues to Browns and Blues.

Nightshift shawl by Andrea Mowry. Sample is shown in one of two kit options of six two-ounce skeins of Traveller: Jocelyn, Mossy Glen, Into the Woods, Hot Pants, Arya, and Limelight The other kit is Cheshire Cat, Airport Hot Sauce, Titania, That Ol’ Chestnut, Silver Fox, Velvet Underground.

Garment District, our show exclusive colorway! Shown in Djinni, our fingering weight MCN. It will be available in multiple bases but supplies are limited.

Eternity Ranch Knits

Fifth Floor, Booth 118

Most of my dying revolves around themes. At VKL in NY I will have Disney Men, Disney Villains as well as a few added colorways to series I currently have, plus many new semisolids in fingering/DK and worsted weights.

Pictured are Pittsburgh Steelers, Cast Iron, Hyacinth and Beth.

Katrinkles

Fifth Floor, Booth 100

Katrinkles makes buttons, wearable accessories, tools for fiber artists and custom products out of durable wood. Each piece is lovingly designed, carefully crafted and hand-finished in our Providence, RI, studio.

[Editor’s note: You can preorder some special VKL items (not the stitch marker pins, unfortunately) to pick up at the show on the Katrinkles website through the end of the day today.]

Kim Dyes Yarn

Fifth Floor, Booth 117

Kim Dyes Yarn is an indie dyer from the beautiful state of Virginia. Kim offers hand-dyed luxury yarn and spinning fibers in unique colorways.

Lady Dye Yarns

Fifth Floor, Booth 541

Lady Dye Yarns has specialized in hand-dyed, vibrant and saturated yarns since 2010. I believe in promoting a more diverse crafting community through my actions and building collaborations with others.

In addition to tons of new colorways, I will have my limited-edition Fingering Merino Cashmere yarn just for VKL in my Black Panther colorway and in all of my new colorways. Also in my booth will be Alex Creates, Crochet Luna, Fully Spun and Alasdair Post-Quinn, all representing diverse backgrounds culturally, but also in their work.

Little Fox Yarn

Fifth Floor, Booth 119

Aimee and Brian are the dyers of Little Fox Yarn, based just outside of Richmond, Virginia. Their beautiful, wearable colorways are inspired by the Blue Ridge Mountains where Aimee grew up.

Magpie Fibers

Fifth Floor, Booths 600-610

Magpie Fibers specializes in hand-dyed luxury yarns, saturated colors and distinctive accessories.

Mollygirl Yarn

Fifth Floor, Booth 418

MollyGirl Yarn is a rockin’ yarn company featuring exclusive yarns inspired by music! Their Vogue lineup includes 2 new yarns, tons of new mini bundles, new enamel pins featuring art from designer Xandy Peters and signups for Volume II of the Spotlight Club!

mYak

Sixth Floor, Booth 914

This is mYak: Born in Tibet, Crafted in Italy.
A natural fiber unique in the world.
Born in one of the world’s most extreme locations.
Made with Italian artisanal quality.

At VKL we are going to present our line of Baby Yak and Tibetan Cashmere in both kits and single skeins with the beautiful designs created for us by incredibly talented designers.

Nice & Knit

Fifth Floor, Booth 408

We’re Katie and Kara of Nice and Knit — sisters, best friends, knitters and color enthusiasts. We work hard to bring you the very best of what we love, from our creative patterns to our quality hand-dyed yarns. We love working together in our light-filled Connecticut studio, dyeing yarn, shipping orders, and brainstorming our next big idea. Thank you for being a part of our dream!

We’ll be featuring an VKL color way called Times Square and custom City Lights bags from Sandy by the Lakeside.

One Geek To Craft Them All

Fifth Floor, Booth 412

One Geek to Craft Them All makes stitch markers, notions pouches, project bags, and jewelry for all crafters. Inspired by music, movies, books, history, and more I bring a nerdy flair to all I make. My designs are to inspire everyone’s inner geek.

[Editor’s note: Marsha will have exclusive Indie Untangled yarn ball earrings in her booth!]

Ritual Dyes

Sixth Floor, Booth 1015

Ritual Dyes is an independent Dyehouse out of Portland, Oregon, that focuses on wearable, subtle colorways of hand-dyed yarn. We also offer a line of modern project bags including the Knitter’s Backpack.

We will be bringing along kits for Caitlin Hunter’s Alyeska pattern, kits from our new, sign-specific Zodiac Collection, an exciting version of our popular Knitter’s Backpack – the Knitter’s Sling Bag (in leather!) as well as our new American Rambouillet line.

Shelli Can

Sixth Floor, Booth 1107

Shelli designs enamel pins, apparel, and other accessories for fiber lovers. She’ll be releasing an exclusive VKL design (pizza!) on a variety of items along with some collaborations by Tuft Woolens, Havirland, Katrinkles and Bunny & Toot.

Wolle’s Yarn Creations

Fifth Floor, Booth 116

Wolle’s Yarn Creations — the original gradients. Our cotton and cotton/silk yarns are skin-soft luxury, feeling is believing.

Yarn Culture

Sixth Floor, Booths 711-719

Based in Rochester, N.Y., Yarn Culture brings yarn, inspiration and designers from around the corner and around the world.

Meet Åsa Tricosa and see her beautiful collection of Ziggerats Sweaters.

Participate in a VKL-NYC exclusive preview of Rosy Green Wool’s new Manx Merino Fine collection and be the first to see Melanie Berg’s newest shawl design, Glückauf.

We’ve got a gorgeous selection of garments and yarn from Rochester, N.Y.’s own Renee from Spun Right Round, including the exclusive colorway ROC City Blooms.

Youghiogheny Yarns

Fifth Floor, Booth 108

Youghiogheny Yarns, pronounced “yock-i-gainey,” is the creation of husband and wife team, Todd & Keri Fosbrink. Color is everywhere in the Youghiogheny River Valley no matter the season, and Youghiogheny Yarns wants to help you bring some of that color into your life and projects.

Pictured above are their colorways Blueberry Lemonade, Coral Cove, Chinese Fireball and a preview of their 2019 show exclusive, I Beg Your Pardon!

Zen Yarn Garden

Fifth Floor, Booth 421

Zen Yarn Garden’s dye studio is based is Ontario, Canada. Our yarn is special. We take pride in providing the most luxurious fibres and dyeing them in a range of beautiful semi-solid, splatter and one-of-a-kind colourways. We know every yarn you buy is destined to have many hours in your stash and on your needles. With each skein we strive to reflect the same passion that you have for your projects and craft in our yarns.

We will have a myriad of colourways available in several bases and will be offering free patterns with yarn purchases. Be sure to check out our Lux Blanx which knit up and express colours in unique ways!

IU on the road: Hot in Cleveland at TNNA

TNNA, or The National Needlearts Assocation’s summer trade show, hadn’t originally been on my calendar. Though I did have some FOMO with last year’s show (at its usual location in Columbus, Ohio, home of the knitter-approved Jeni’s ice cream) I heard that a lot of people were skipping the 2018 summer show in Cleveland because of an increase in membership dues. But Bronwyn, AKA the designer Casapinka, convinced me to attend and be her roommate, and my husband had really enjoyed Cleveland when he visited a couple years ago, so I booked my flight and packed some business cards.

Casapinka’s soon-to-be-released Acoma sweater in the Dream In Color booth.

Whereas at the show in Washington, DC, I only went on the show floor, this time I got the full TNNA experience, attending the opening night fashion show, where companies showed off the newest designs in their yarns — Acoma, Casapinka’s soon-to-be-released sweater, knit with Dream In Color Smooshy With Cashmere, was a highlight and is getting on my needles as soon as it’s published — and Sample IT!, an Indie-Untangled-at-Rhinebeck-like shopping frenzy where shop owners buy kits to make samples of the products they plan to carry.

Shelli Martinez, who’s behind the brilliant enamel pins and T-shirts of ShelliCan.

The major buzz around the show was the sharp decrease in attendance, as many shop owners, designers and others in the industry had decided not to pay the higher dues. On the flip side, over the last few years there has been an increase in the number of indie dyers attending the show to build the wholesale side of their businesses, and there were even a few dyers who only sell wholesale. It created an interesting dynamic and a lot of the shop owners I spoke with were excited to find unique products that they could introduce to their customers.

One of my favorite discoveries was Emma’s Yarn, which has a great background story: it’s run by 16-year-old dyer Emma Galati and her older sister, Aspen, who just graduated college (their parents own the Four Purls Yarn Shop in Winter Haven, Florida) and the business is part of Emma’s home schooling curriculum. Emma and Aspen currently only sell wholesale to yarn shops, or do trunk shows and events, so if you like what you see you might want to ask your LYS to look into hosting them.

I was also excited to see Cashmere People, a company I’d first discovered at a Brooklyn General trunk show during the Brooklyn yarn crawl. The company, which has a U.S. rep in Portland, Maine, works with a collective of women in Tajikistan and Afghanistan who hand spin and hand dye Cashgora and Cashmere yarns. Mainer Bristol Ivy recently designed her Shape of a Bay shawl with their Cashgora Fingering and there were also kits at Sample IT! for Carrie Bostick Hoge’s Flora Cowl.

mYak, which also has a similar fair trade ethos, sourcing yak fiber and Cashmere from a Tibetan cooperative of nomadic herders, was also at the show and a lot of yarn shops were excited about their designs from Justyna Lorkowska and Michele Wang.

Among the other indies, Twisted Owl Fiber Studio was showing off new Batman colorways. I also was excited to discover Round Mountain Fibers. The Vermont-based company’s nature-inspired colors are pretty much available only at yarn shops, but they do have an online store that offers seconds at 50% off the retail price (you may also see a Knitting Our National Parks colorway from them in the near future…).

Of course, what would a knitting event be without some sort of offshoot indie event? Jeanne of Destination Yarn came through with an open house at her gorgeous Cleveland studio.

There were TNNA attendees and non-industry knitters browsing the shelves of colorways inspired by travel, with clever base names like Postcard, Letter and Souvenir.

Overall, it was a productive trip, and you should see the ideas that were generated from it in the coming months…

Indie Untangled goes to MDSW 2018

I usually like to go to fiber festivals with some sort of plan. At this year’s Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, while I had a few things that I know I wanted to snag, like Anne of Middle Brook Fiberworks’ Vintage No. 4 (a blend of Shetland, fine wool, silk and a bit of ramie — the next best thing to cuddling her sheep!), I let myself get swept away in it all. Some of my purchases were guided a bit by Instagram:

Some of them were impulse buys, like the not-pictured Jill Draper Kingston, which I guess technically wasn’t an impulse buy since the color I wanted was sold out and I ended up buying it on Etsy Tuesday.

Aside from stashing, I also had fun taking everything in and spending time with my fiber friends.

The Knot House

The weekend started as it usually does at The Knot House indie pop-up. Well, it started with an amazing dinner at Black Hog BBQ a few blocks away. Then, after making sure my hands were completely clean of sauce, I petted the yarn.

The Friday night kickoff party was a much calmer affair than last year thanks to the early bird shopping that I couldn’t make it in time for. It was a nice atmosphere for chatting and snapping photos.

Autumn & Indigo

Linen bags from That Clever Clementine

The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers

Little Fox Yarn

The festival

Weather wise, this was probably the best Maryland to date. The temperatures were perfect T-shirt and shawl weather, whereas previous festivals were either “I really regret wearing any handknits” or “What is this, Rhinebeck?”

After snagging my Vintage No. 4 (which may become a Charlie’s Cardigan), I visited the Into the Whirled booth to see the Bruce Canyon-inspired Hoodoos in person and admired the rest of Cris and James’s new speckles.

Vintage No. 4 from Middle Brook Fiberworks

Saying Hi to James and Cris of Into the Whirled.

Into the Whirled Bryce Canyon-inspired Hoodoos colorway for Knitting Our National Parks on display.

Jill Draper models a cute short sleeved cardigan in her new Kingston base.

A close-up of Kingston, DK-weight Targhee wool from NY’s Finger Lakes.

Your indie shopping guide to the 2018 Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

I’ve always thought of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival as the more low-key fiber festival. Aside from the fact that I’m not organizing a massive Friday trunk show (I leave that to Cathy and Heather, the owners of The Knot House), there’s no “Maryland sweater” to knit because it’s usually not sweater weather, last year being the exception.

However, as I’ve been putting together the shopping guide for the weekend, I’ve realized that the stashing temptation is anything but low key.

Here’s a roundup of the Indie Untangled vendors at both the pop-up at The Knot House and the Howard County Fairgrounds, and a peek at just some of the goodies they’ll be bringing.

I plan to be at the festival on Saturday, sporting a new shawl by Deb Gerhard that she designed with Into the Whirled’s Bryce Canyon-inspired Knitting Our National Parks colorway, which you can see below. I’ll be at the ITW booth at 12:30 p.m. for an Indie Untangled meetup, and you can see the yarn and the design in person. Hope to see you there!

THE KNOT HOUSE INDIE POP-UP

This is the fourth-annual indie pop-up that Cathy and Heather are throwing. In the spirit of the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show, it brings together a collection of dyers and makers from around North America. Unlike the IU Rhinebeck show, it runs all weekend, with a preview party on Friday night from 5 to 9 p.m.

Duck Duck Wool

Sandra, who is based in nearby Virginia, will have some of the Indie Untangled Knitting Our National Parks colorway, Glaciers and Wildflowers (pictured above), on hand, along with her famous speckled skeins.

Julie Asselin

Julie hails from Montreal, with a beautiful palette of dreamy semisolids and subtle speckles.

Pictured clockwise from the top left are Good Morning Fredrick, an event exclusive, a Nuances set (five 28-gram mini skeins of Leizu Superwash Merino/silk fingering) in Pivoines, and a selection of colorways.

The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers

Candice will be coming to the show all the way from Montana, bringing her soft, Western-inspired colorways.

Pictured clockwise from the top left are Half Breed, Heartbreak Hotel and Paul Newman in Foxy Lady (70% Merino/30% silk), Monarch in Mighty Mo (70% kid mohair/30% Mulberry silk), and Gary Cooper and Are You Sure Hank Done It That Way on Foxy Lady.

Little Fox Yarn

Aimee is another Virgina-based dyer, known for her beautiful semisolids.

Pictured clockwise from the top left are Old Favorite, Loganberry on Vixen (Superwash Merino and silk fingering), various colors of Vixen, and her Blue Boy, Silver Birch and Deep Water colorways.

That Clever Clementine

Vicki sews her adorable and functional project bags in Maryland. She will bring a variety of zipper bags, including some made with a sparkly linen fabric that is perfect for showing off your fiber flare.

There will also be yarn from South Carolina’s Autumn and Indigo, Connecticut’s Nice and Knit, Periwinkle Sheep from Albany, N.Y., and Swift Yarns from New York City.

THE FESTIVAL

See the festival map here.

Backyard Fiberworks

Main Exhibition Hall, Booth C4

Alice, who is based in Silver Spring Maryland, will be bringing her popular semisolid and speckled colorways and mini-skein kits.

In the first image, pictured clockwise from the top left are Backyard Fiberworks Sock in Urchin, Stormcloud, the Spiced Cider mini skein set, and Mallow.

Bare Naked Wools/Knitspot

Main Exhibition Hall, Booth C28

Famed designer Anne Hanson will be bringing stunning samples made with her line of custom-milled yarns that show off the natural creams, browns, and greys.

Pictured above is the Deep Dive sweater knit in Better Breakfast Fingering (55% Merino, 35% dehaired alpaca and 10% nylon), the Polypore shawl knit in Chebris lace (60% Merino/40% mohair), and a selection of Better Breakfast Worsted (65% Merino, 35% dehaired alpaca).

Bijou Basin Ranch

Outside North, Booth N1

Based in Colorado, this mom and pop operation specializes in yak blends and in the last few years they have begun collaborating with indies on hand-dyed colorways.

Pictured clockwise from the top left are the Gobi base (baby camel and silk) in the Valkyrie-inspired hand-dyed colors, Shangri-La Lace (50/50 yak and Mulberry silk) in the Explorer collection, new stickers that they will be handing out, and variegated Shangri-La Lace.

Dragonfly Fibers

Outside Lower Corral, Booth LC9

Also from Maryland, Kate and her crew are MDSW veterans, bringing a huge selection of colorful yarns.

Pictured above is the Maryland Mini color pack and Andrea Medici’s Calverts and Crossings Cowl, along with Dragonfly’s show exclusive colorway Boardwalk Lights, named after Ocean City, Maryland, at night.

Fluffy U Fiber Farm

Barn 5, Booth 14

Shepardess Katrina Updike has been raising British and rare breed sheep, including Blue-Faced Leicester, Gotland, Leicester Longwool and Teeswater, for the past 18 years on a farm in Pennsylvania.

Pictured clockwise from the top left are a selection of her BFL fingering, a sample of Katrina’s Spring Lilac colorway, Merino Bulky in Tropical Breeze, Pebble Beach and Lilly Pad, and beads strung for spinning.

Into the Whirled

Main Exhibition Hall, Booth B16

New York-based dyer Cris is known for her semisolid and variegated colorways, and she has recently moved into speckles, including her colorway for the Indie Untangled Knitting Our National Parks series.

Pictured clockwise from the top left are the new speckled colorways, batts in various colors, Shokan Singles single fingering in the Bryce Canyon-inspired Hoodoos colorway (which you can see in person in her booth and preorder here), and braids of fiber.

Knittyandcolor

Outside North, Booth N12

Sarah, who is based in Georgia, is known for her eye-poppingly bright colorways. Aside from yarn and fiber she’ll also be bringing Turkish spindles made by her husband under the name Subterranean Woodworks.

Pictured clockwise from the top left are new colorways Smoky Quartz and Neon Lotus, along with the spindles and fiber braids.

Middle Brook Fiberworks

Main Exhibition Hall, Booth B26

Anne offers yarn blends made with the fiber from the sheep on her New Jersey farm as well as stunning handspun. At the festival, she’ll be debuting her Vintage No. 4, organic Polwarth coordinating sets, and lip balm.

Spirit Trail Fiberworks

Main Exhibition Hall, Booth A30

Jennifer, another Virginia-ite, is a master of dyeing a variety of colors on both rustically sheepy and luxurious silk bases.

Pictured clockwise from the top left is a set of Aurora (single-ply fingering Superwash Merino), Selene (DK-weight, non-shrink organic wool), stitch markers from Katrinkles, and Jennifer’s new enamel mugs.

You can see more goodies in Jennifer’s sneak peek post.

Other vendors

Here are some other vendors I’m looking forward to visiting:

The Buffalo Wool Co.
Outside Upper Corral, Booth UC1

Jamie Harmon
Main Exhibition Hall, Booth B9

Jill Draper Makes Stuff
Main Exhibition Hall, Booth C31

Julia Hilbrandt
Main Exhibition Hall, Booth B29

Madder Root
Outside North, Booth N2

Neighborhood Fiber Co.
Outside East, Booth E7

North Light Fibers
Main Exhibition Hall, Booth C9

Indie Untangled goes to Edin Yarn Fest

I’m writing this post from a hotel north of the Edinburgh airport, where I was sent after my flight home to New York was canceled in anticipation of the nor’easter. While I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll get back in time to attend the Mohonk Mountain House Knitting Weekend, where I will be vending in the marketplace, the travel hiccups haven’t yet wiped away the happy feelings from attending such a wonderful knitting event and the joy I got from being around so many friends and fiber people, including many who traveled from around the world — our apartment had representation from Norway, Greece and Israel!

The Edinburgh Yarn Festival, which took place from March 15-17, is probably best described as a combination of the New York Sheep & Wool Festival and the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show. There was a mix of bright speckled skeins from indie dyers such as La Bien Aimée, Uschitita and Martin’s Lab, and more rustic, local blends spun from British sheep (Blacker Yarns, Uist, TOFT, Daughter of a Shepherd and John Arbon, to name just a few of the indie companies). Some dyers — Kettle Yarn Co., Eden Cottage Yarns, Old Maiden Aunt — combined the two and dyed fiber beyond the usual Superwash Merino and Cashmere.

The local feel came through in the events surrounding the extensive marketplace, including a giant crocheted highland cow and the Friday night ceilidh, where some of the vendors, instructors and attendees came together for traditional Scottish dancing (Stephen West’s dancing background was evident).

Here are just some of the pictures I snapped. You can check out more on Instagram.

The Eden Cottage booth.

A sample at Blacker Yarns.

Ysolda Teague’s Stockbridge.

A highland “coo.”

IU goes to VKL NYC

Yes, it’s been a week since Vogue Knitting Live NYC, but because it was so epic this year (and because I came back to a string of “day job” deadlines) it means I needed a little more time to recover and reflect.

The marketplace was much more crowded this year, expanding outside the actual ballrooms on the fifth and sixth floors of the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. It helped that I had an idea of where I wanted to shop and enjoyed browsing the booths of the Indie Untangled vendors at the show, including Fuse Fiber Studio, Youghiogheny Yarns and AlexCreates.

As you can imagine, the Stephen & Penelope booth, which included La Bien Aimée and Undercover Otter, were jam packed Friday and Saturday, before Aimée actually sold out, but it was great to see her gorgeous colorways in person, albeit from a distance.

While the yarn is great, we all know the best part of any knitting event is getting to hang with some of our favorite people. That includes Bronwyn, AKA Casapinka, who was showing off her All Points South, her pullover shawl (NOT a poncho) in the Dragonfly Fibers booth. And, yes, that’s me in my La Bien Aimée Automne à Rhinebeck Merino DK sweater (and my Porterness Studio necklace)!

I was also lucky enough to take classes from some of the best people in the industry, including Shawl Construction with Melanie Berg (the highlight was having her compliment my On the Spice Market shawl), Yarn 101 with Clara Parkes (this should be a required course for every knitter!) and Color Confidence with Andrea Mowry, shown here mastering the art of the Fade.

I added far more to my stash than I was counting on (including Domestic Superwash from Magpie Fibers that I’m going to use to finally knit my husband the sweater I’ve been promising) but the indulgences were so worth it. I think it was good preparation for the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March…