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.
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.
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.
Get 25% off individual patterns or the ebook for Michelle’s Go Anywhere collection, inspired by Reading Rainbow, with the code INDIELOVE.
When it comes time to decide on my next project, I sometimes tend to want to save the special yarn, such as the Indie Untangled exclusive colorways that I’ve had dyers create for the Rhinebeck Trunk Show, the Knitting Our National Parks project or the Where We Knit yarn club.
One of my new year’s resolutions has been to put that yarn to use. To inspire you to do the same, here’s a look back and knitters who put some Indie Untangled exclusives to use for projects.
Pictured above is a sample of Ritual Shawl by Marceline Smith that Susan/knit4u created with the Onyx Fiber Arts IU exclusive Cider Donut Dipped In Coffee (along with Adria’s Coffee Grounds and First Cup, which are available on her website). There are only a dozen or so skeins of DK left in the shop, and it’s a fast knit to have in time for winter.
Continuing an Indie Untangled holiday tradition, I am thanking those of you who invite me into your inboxes each week with a special holiday giveaway.
For the 2019 Newsletters to Santa and Hanukah Harry giveaway, I’ve gathered together some amazing prizes from several artisans, some who were new to the Indie Untangled community this year and others who are favorites, and doing a string of giveaways (eight plus one) starting this Tuesday and running through Christmas Day. There’s also a new twist!
Here are the rules: Sign up for the Indie Untangled newsletter by 9 p.m. EST and you will be eligible to win that day’s prize (anyone already on the mailing list is entered to win). After 9 p.m., I’ll pick a winner via random number generator and send out an email. The winner will arrange shipment with the dyer/artisan. The grand prize will be a very special package of yarn and knitting stocking stuffers that I will ship out to the winner.
On Friday, December 20, I will select five winners from a list of people who open the newsletter between the time it’s sent out to 5 p.m. Eastern time that day. Those people will win a swag bag from this year’s Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show.
PLEASE NOTE: Winners must respond within 48 hours of when the notification email is sent to claim the prize. If not, another winner will be selected.
It’s probably not a surprise that I like to shop for clothes as well as yarn. But, for a while, I had been in kind of a rut, fashion-wise. I’d hit my go-to places — LOFT and Banana Republic — for their petite sizes whenever there was a sale and I had some rewards to spend. Occasionally I’d hit up an indie boutique, splurge if I saw something cool on Instagram (like from my absolute favorite dress shop in LA, Matrushka Construction) or hunt through the sale racks at Anthropologie if I was nearby. But, I needed a refresh, and I was probably too well dressed for a spot on What Not To Wear.
I don’t remember how I heard about StitchFix, probably from a Facebook ad, but it sounded like exactly what I needed: a personal stylist selecting a bunch of things that match my style, delivering them to my door and letting me try them on in the comfort of my own home (and not lying to me and insisting that it “Looks great!” while I hope my friends respond in time to my frantic texts asking for their opinion).
The way it works is pretty simple: you fill out a form that includes various measurements, then you take a “style quiz” that consists of rating various groups of outfits. Before each Fix, as they call it, you can also pin clothing and outfits you like on Pinterest and send your stylist a link to your board there. For each Fix, you’re charged a $20 styling fee that’s credited back to your purchase, and you can get a 25% discount if you buy all five pieces that they send (which I’ve actually done once). After I had been getting Fixes for a little over a year, they gave me what’s called a Style Pass, which is $50 for the year that is also credited back on a purchase. This is great because there’s no pressure to buy something that you’re meh about just so you don’t lose 20 bucks.
What does this have to do with knitting, you ask? Well, before every Fix, which consists of five items that occasionally work together, you can request special pieces for upcoming events or trips. So, whenever I’ve been close to finishing a cardigan, I’ve requested a shirt or a dress to wear with it, so I don’t have to default to my usual tank top.
Before Rhinebeck last year, I asked for a floral shirt to wear under my rustic Charlie’s Cardigan, and sent my stylist a photo of the sample from Amy Herzog. On the first try, my stylist, Freddie, sent a shirt that was a lovely purple color but that was unfortunately too big. On the next attempt, she hit a home run with an orange floral top from Skies Are Blue and a pair of green jeans from Just Black — both fit perfectly and created the best fall fiber festival outfit (even my Rhinebeck manicure matched!).
Before last year’s Edinburgh Yarn Festival, I got a teal West Kei top with a crisscrossing front to complement my La Bien Aimée Merino DK Automne à Rhinebeck cardigan. I otherwise would have defaulted to a blue tank, which certainly would have been fine, but this color was so lovely and the crisscross gave it some pizazz.
There have definitely been a lot of misses — I’ve tried to gently remind them not to send acrylic sweaters — but it’s added more dimension to my wardrobe and I’ve discovered brands I normally wouldn’t have found otherwise, like Daniel Rainn, Just Black jeans and WISP, which makes dresses that seem to fit me like a glove.
If you use my referral link, we can both get a $25 credit when you schedule your first Fix. How could you not love something that has the word Stitch in it?
Hamilton fans: here’s your next KAL. Next week, Mary Annarella is launching a Hamilton-themed Mystery Knit-A-Long! The clues for this generous, shawl-like cowl will have show references throughout and the pattern requires three distinct skeins of DK or light worsted, making it great for stash busting (above are my selections).
Sara of La Cave á Laine has some beautiful, clearly written shawl patterns that are perfect for knitting while sitting by the fire, the beach or, let’s face it, Netflix and Amazon Prime. And for the month of January, enjoy 20% off all of Sara’s patterns using the code INDIE2019.
Liz of Colorful Eclectic is preparing for the first quarter of her Color Maven Society. Each month you’ll receive two skeins — one each of a speckled or variegated yarn and a coordinating tonal — plus special knitting treasures. Sign-ups close January 6, so don’t miss out!
The Zen Yarn Garden crew is clearing out their discontinued bases and giving you some amazing savings. This week it’s the heavy laceweight Black Tie Affair in mystery colorways for $10 per skein (regularly $25!).
Check out the lightly variegated colorways from Charlotte and Jerlyn of Roberta Rae Fibers, who dye out of their studios in East Jordan and Clawson, Michigan. You may also see them at the fiber festivals they have scheduled.
Robin launched her dyeing operation, Loved Ones Yarn, last year and is prepping for a season of shop updates and trunk shows. Check out what’s in her shop and stay tuned to the IU marketplace for future news.
Lisa The Knitting Artist spent most of the last few months developing some new colors that she is finally ready to share. These colors are inspired by her already existing yarns, but are dyed in different ways, including speckles and solids.
Raya of Blissful Knits is introducing her latest yarn collection: a rainbow of semisolid micro skeins that are perfect for colorwork or adding pops of color.
Backyard Fiberworks’ North Cascades Night for the Knitting Our National Parks project looks stunning on its own, but one of the things I love about Alice’s colorways is how well they work together. She often says that Melanie Berg is her brand’s spirit animal, because Melanie’s multicolored designs show off her coordinating skeins beautifully.
So, I asked Alice to give North Cascades Night some friends from her current line of colors and paired them with some of my favorite multi-skein shawls from Melanie, as well as Andrea Mowry and Francoise Danoy. You can order the other colorways on the sportweight Terrain base directly through Backyard Fiberworks. (The skein amounts on a couple of Melanie’s shawls are padded so that you don’t run out of yarn.)
Perhaps, Perhaps by Melanie Berg. From the top, North Cascades Night is paired with Stormcloud & Pollen and Blackberry & Alpine; you will need one skein of each color.
Eifelgold by Melanie Berg. From the top, North Cascades Night is paired with Stormcloud and Hosta; you will need three skeins of the main color and one skein of the contrasting color. (I like either Stormcloud as the main with North Cascades and then North Cascades as the main with Hosta.)
Drachenfels by Melanie Berg. From the top, North Cascades Night is paired with Blackberry & Alpine and Stormcloud & Pollen; you will need two skeins of Colors A (the brownish purple in the sample) and C (the red in the sample) and one skein of Color B (the lilac in the sample).
The Girl In Me by Melanie Berg; From the top, North Cascades Night is paired with Stormcloud, Walnut and Hosta; you will need three skeins in the main color and two skeins of the contrasting color. (I like either Stormcloud as the main with North Cascades as the contrast, Walnut as the main with North Cascades as the contrast, or North Cascades as the main and Hosta as the contrast.)
Goldfinch by Andrea Mowry. From left to right, North Cascades Night is paired with Stormcloud & Pollen and Blackberry & Alpine; You will need one skein of each color.
Fields of Lavender by Francoise Danoy. From the top, North Cascades Night is paired with Stormcloud, Hosta and Walnut; you will need two skeins for the main color and one skein for the contrasting color.
Stephanie from Asylum Fibers has So Faded kits! The pictured kit is available for preorder, expected to ship on or before May 16th. Stephanie also plans to come up with some Chaos, AKA OOAK kits, to make your Fade even more unique.
Melanie of Go Knit Yourself has curated two sets of eye-catching colors for the Joji MKAL, available on three bases, and today is the LAST DAY you can order them. If you’re in the mood to knit something a bit smaller than a 72-inch rectangle, she’s also offering her super popular sock yarn sets with coordinating mini skeins.
If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, Harry Potter or saltwater taffy — who am I kidding, you probably love all three — then you’re in luck. Katy of Wool & Two Sticks has mini-skein kits for GoT, Marauder’s Map HP-themed kits with a special stitch marker and a set inspired by the Phat Fiber Cupcakes & Candies theme.
There’s just one skein left (!) of Michelle’s exclusive Indie self-striping colorway and only three more days to get 10% off said skein, as well as yarn from The Woolen Rabbit, on Indie Untangled with the code IU3.
I’m always impressed by the awesome themed handmade knitting accessories out there. So, for the holidays, I thought I’d compile a list of small gifts that you could purchase for your favorite knitter, whatever they’re into. Or, if you’re that not-so-subtle recipient, send this post to some gift-givers.
Also, Marisabel of A Needle Runs Through It has generously offered to give away a set of her Gilmore Girls stitch markers to one lucky reader. To enter, comment on this blog post with your favorite Gilmore Girls episode by the end of the day Sunday, Dec. 18.
Aside from creating beautiful colors, and being an all-around cool person, Alice of Backyard Fiberworks has some great ideas. Her latest is the Backyard Fiberworks Advent calendar. Each day through Christmas, you get to open a new window on a discount, a new product, or some other form of merriment via Instagram — plus, there’s a new giveaway to enter each day.
Here’s something to look forward to after the magic (and stress) of the holidays is over — a journey with the ultimate indie yarn club. Four dyer/designers teams — The Woolen Rabbit & Anne Hanson, Eden Cottage Yarns & Mindy Wilkes, Three Fates Yarns & MK Nance and Spun Right Round & Casapinka — will create exclusive colorways and accompanying accessory patterns inspired by where they knit. If there’s a special knitter in your life, or you want to give Santa a hint, there’s an option to send a gift subscription. Sign-ups are open until December 18th.
Bijou Basin Ranch is making things easy for holiday gift knitting (or knitter wish lists) with a selection of kits for their most popular patterns.
With the seemingly overnight sensation that is Pokemon Go, and virtually everyone more obsessed than usual with their smartphones, I thought it was an appropriate time to write about the knitting and yarn apps that I love and use fairly regularly (and yes, that is yarn wallpaper on my phone).
Usually when I’m knitting, my phone is by my side, but not (always) because I need it to look at yarn on Instagram or at patterns on Ravelry. I no longer use a physical row counter, and instead use Countmeme, which you can download here from the Apple app store. I’ve tried other row counter apps, but I’ve found Countmeme to be the easiest to use for keeping track of pattern repeats or multiple projects. You can add a seemingly endless number of counters and easily reset and delete them.
This brilliant app by designer Hannah Fettig, which can be purchased for iOS here for $4.99 — less than an extra skein of hand-dyed yarn! — is absolutely indispensable for fiber festivals (and the Rhinebeck Trunk Show). Pick a project, such as an average length sweater, a hat or a scarf, enter the size and the gauge, which you can find on the tag or band, and the app will give you an estimation of the required yardage.
I’m still exploring this app (you can download it for iOS here), but it lets you import pattern PDFs from your computer, Ravelry library and Dropbox and has a sliding bar to track your progress, highlighters and ways to add notes, as well as other tools that can be purchased within the free (!) app. It also has built-in designs. I’ll have to play around with it more and see if it will replace my current method of taking a screenshot of the pattern on my phone. Another friend recently recommended Notability, which lets you make hand-drawn notes, and costs $7.99.
The Plucky Knitter
This app is a must-download for Plucky obsessives, with reminders about upcoming updates and a full library of Sarah’s beautiful colorways, and even more creative names, as well as a list of patterns that use Plucky yarn. I myself am not a regular Plucky collector, but I very much enjoy looking at the fabulous color combinations and color/pattern pairings.
What are some of your favorite knitting or yarn apps? Is there an app (aside from a Ravelry one, of course) that you wish someone would create?