What to stash this week: Two knitting needles old

A pink and black bag with pink yarn and knitting needles.

This month, Laura Lundy of Slipped Stitch Studios is celebrating 11 years in business. Laura, who collaborated regularly with indie fabric designers and yarn dyers, has grown her California-based business from a single project bag size, pattern magnets and needle cases, to seven sizes of project bags and all kinds of stitching accessories. 

This weekend, the Slipped Stitch crew is teaming up with the Yarnover Truck and jewelry maker Parlez Vous Crochet for a birthday party at their Huntington Beach studio. But if you’re not on the West Coast, you can still celebrate! Use the coupon code HAPPY11BDAY to get $11 off your order of $60 or more until Sunday at midnight.

A pink and white floral bag with pink and white yarn.

Debbie of Murky Depths Dyeworks and Alisa of Knitspinquilt have teamed up again for another irresistible, limited-edition kit! The Magnolia Kit is based on this Arts and Crafts Movement-style print and includes your choice of a medium or large project bag and one or two skeins of hand-dyed sock yarn. Preorders close on February 7, so snag yours ASAP. As always, a portion of the sales will be donated to a good cause, in this case Direct Relief, an international charity assisting with hurricane and earthquake recovery in Puerto Rico.

A dark blue and green yarn.

Heather of Sew Happy Jane’s newest colorway, Slo-pez, is a nod to a slower pace of life during her family’s trips to Lopez Island, Washington. Her shop will be updated with this soothing colorway today at 10 a.m. Mountain time.

A set of blue and yellow yarn.

Sue of Invictus Yarns is participating in designer Lisa K. Ross’s #LotsOfSocks initiative, which raises funds and awareness for Down Syndrome. Her #LotsOfSocks colorway, which will be used for Lisa’s soon-to-be-released featured design, is available in the Invictus shop and $3 from each set sold will be donated to the National Down Syndrome Society.

What to stash this week: Join the flock

Hands hold up pastel skeins of yarn.

Geraldine, the dyer behind new indie dye company The Wandering Flock, dyes yarn with intention and an eye towards knitting it into fashion-forward garments that you’ll want to wear. If you’re headed to Vogue Knitting Live NYC next week, stop by Booth 1101-1103 to see Arete, her design in the Winter 2019 issue of Pom Pom Quarterly, and the rest of her flock of hand-dyed yarn.

A skein of taupe yarn and a silver necklace.

Jennifer of Porterness Studio will also be headed to VKL NYC next week, as a guest brand in mYak’s Tibetan Fibers booth. You definitely have to check out her stylish jewels in person!

A bag in yellow and orange floral fabric.

Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios is launching several vintage designs, along with a snarky Yarn Sock, in a limited and ready-to-ship update that goes live today at 9 a.m. Pacific.

Skeins of white, tan and gray yarn.

Like many of you, I have felt gutted by the destruction caused by the massive bush fires throughout Australia. Along with having family in Victoria, I have also had the fortune of working with Isabel and Nick of the Great Ocean Road Woolen Mill, who sent a batch of their yarn over for last year’s Rhinebeck Trunk Show. ⁣

Aside from sourcing their fiber from farmers roughly one hour from the mill, Isabel and Nick keep their carbon footprint low: 95% of their power comes from solar, they wash their fiber only using rainwater and a low phosphate detergent and use the waste water to keep their orchard green and healthy. ⁣

I have finally had time after the holiday season to add their yarn to the Indie Untangled shop, including a kit for Truly Myrtle’s Bobby beanie and Eva DK, which can be used for Thea Coleman’s Shandy sweater (there are only five skeins left!). ⁣

Along with making a personal contribution to wildfire relief efforts, I am donating 15% of ALL sales in the Indie Untangled shop through the end of January to the Zoos Victoria Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund.

A collage with a snow-covered mountain and purple sky, and pale purple yarn

If you’ve been enjoying the Indie Untangled Knitting Our National Parks series, you don’t want to miss this opportunity to step inside one of the inspiration photos and create your own parks-inspired colorways!

At this first Indie Untangled retreat, taking place near Mount Rainier in Washington State, we’ll let you be a dyer for the afternoon. After touring Mount Rainier and taking in all its natural beauty, we’ll provide the supplies and equipment for you to hand dye personalized souvenirs, under the expert guidance of Heather Pleva from Earl Grey Fiber Company, who created The Highest Peak, pictured above. We’ll also explore the best patterns for using your kettle-dyed, variegated or hand-painted yarn.

Register by February 15 to secure your preferred accommodations. I hope you can join us!

What to stash this week: yarn by the sea

White hands hold blue and gray colorwork knitting.

If you’re interested in getting a sample of one of my favorite discoveries from Barcelona Knits, Stefania and Giulia of Lanivendole are opening preorders today for a special yarn club called BY THE SEA. For this one-package club, they are dyeing 200 grams of a new blend of Italian Wool and alpaca in an exclusive colorway, and including two accessories, from Marianna of isewsoidontkillpeople and Alice & Eleonora of Last One Stones. 

The kits will be listed in the Lanivendole shop at 5 p.m. CEST (that’s 10 a.m. Eastern) and will be open until January 20, or until they’re sold, with shipping in early February.

A pink drawstring bag with Mister Rogers quotes and images.

We need a little Mister Rogers in our lives, now more than ever, so it’s fitting that Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios is ending the year with one of her most requested fabrics of 2019. This tribute to our favorite neighbor will go live in the Slipped Stitch Studios shop today at 9 a.m. Pacific Time and orders will ship today and Monday.

A dragonfly in amber in a silver shawl pin on a skein of gray yarn.

Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations is celebrating the new year with dragonfly shawl pins in new colors.

A Hanukka menorah with rainbow skeins of yarn.

The Indie Untangled Eight Nights of Hanukkah Kits have shipped, which means there are some extra goodies available! Shop the Indie Untangled Hanukkah shop before the first candle is lit on Sunday. Orders made today through Sunday will ship out on Monday and should arrive before the end of the holiday, depending on where you’re located. (If you purchased a kit, don’t click the link and spoil your surprise, though there are Spoiler Alert photos just in case!)

An otter with gray and brown yarn.

Today is the last day to preorder the otterly adorable Knitting Our National Parks colorway from Kim of The Woolen Rabbit.

Skeins of pink wool and mohair yarn.

Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns is having a special update planned for this Tuesday, with some Titus 4ply, a Merino and silk blend, Eldwick Lace mohair and silk and some Hayton DK MCN. This random assortment supports an upcoming pattern release that is expected to be quite popular.

First quarter signups are open for October House Fiber Arts’ 2020 Sock Club and the theme is “Souvenir de Paris.”

What to stash this week: The fifth element

Water with ripples and a reflection.

Christy of Les Belles Lainages loves seeing a person’s interpretation of color from a photo brought to life in fiber, and she is doing just that with her Elements yarn club. She’s using colorful photos of the four elements — air, earth, water and fire — as inspiration for a four-month club starting in January. Each month subscribers will receive two full skeins of extra fine Merino fingering, one that’s a variegated/speckled colorway and a coordinating tonal/solid, along with a fun gift.

Sign-ups are open until January 10 or until the club sells out.

A pattern wallet with cartoon sheep.

Set your alarms for today at 9 a.m. Pacific time, to snag products from a special re-release of Slipped Stitch Studio customer-favorite knitting and sheep-y fabrics!

A yellow crocheted shawl with the words Shawls on the side.

It’s time that you learned to crochet. And if you’re going to the Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat (formerly Madrona) in February, Karen is teaching six crochet classes!

An otter with gray and brown yarn.

Kim of The Woolen Rabbit’s otterly adorable Everybody Otter Knit colorway, inspired by an otter in the Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge, is available to preorder online until next Friday, December 20. As always, 10% of sales will be donated to the National Park Foundation.

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday Yarn Sales 2019

A skein of black yarn and the words indie Weekend Deals.

This post includes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday deals from a whole bunch of Indie Untangled artisans. The list will be updated through the weekend.

A collage of a turquoise bag and yarn and the words SALE UP TO 20% OFF ALL IN STOCK ITEMS.

The Indie Untangled shop is stocked full of exclusive goodies from Twill & Print, The Blue Brick, Onyx Fiber Arts, Julie Asselin and others, and the more you buy, the more you save:

Use the code INDIEHOLIDAYS10 for 10% off your order of $25-$49
Use the code INDIEHOLIDAYS15 for 15% off your order of $50-$99
And use the code INDIEHOLIDAYS20 for 20% off your order of $100 or more

The sale runs through Monday at midnight Eastern time. Codes will not be applied retroactively, so please make sure your discount has gone through before placing your order.

Brown and orange single-ply yarn.

All in-stock yarn from Skeinny Dipping is on sale through Sunday with the code INDIE15.

Skeins of red yarn.

All yarn in the Murky Depths Dyeworks shop, including her popular and perfect-for-winter projects Neptune DK, is 20% off through midnight Sunday.

A silver u-shaped necklace with stockinette stitch markers.

Jen of Porterness Studio has tons of new shiny goodies up in her shop, including the new stitch marker necklace seen above. Use the code JewelsIU15 for 15% off through Monday.

A black drawstring bag with yellow cabs.

Spend $45 and get an automatic 20% off everything in the KnitSpinQuilt shop, plus free U.S. shipping and comparable international shipping discounts if you spend $55.

Silver and purple variegated yarn.

Everything in the Treasure Goddess Yarn shop is 20% off through Sunday and it all ships free in the U.S. In addition, there’s a super sale selection of OOAK skeins at 40% off.

A collection of colorful yarn.

All ready-to-ship yarn from Sew Happy Jane is on sale from 9 a.m. MST today through Monday at midnight. Fingering weight, Sport, DK and Worsted are all $22.40 per skein and Bulky is $19.60 per skein, no codes needed.

A selection of holiday yarn.

Most items in the McMullin Fiber Co. shop, including Kate’s holiday collection, are 30% off this weekend, plus you get a free enamel pin with every order over $25.

A cake of blue to red ombré yarn.

Save 20% on all sport weight yarns from Wolle’s Yarn Creations.

Tournament of yarns.

Karen of Round Table Yarns is hosting her annual Tournament of Yarns, which is a mystery bag sale. It will run from 9 a.m. tomorrow through the end of the day Monday, or when all bags have sold.

A bee and honeycomb on a silver shawl pin.

Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations is celebrating the unique aspects of our wonderful community with the Charmed collection. And you can take 20% off with code SHOPSMALL2019 through Monday.

Chalkboard with Thanksgiving sale.

Get 20% off This Craft Or That’s entire site through Wednesday.

Bright yarn with Cyber Sale.

Lisa The Knitting Artist is offering 20% off a purchase of at least $25 through Tuesday.

Use the code peaceloveknit to take 40% off any and all patterns in the Lyrical Knits shop through Tuesday.

Get 45% off all purchases over $50 from Nutmeg Fibers until December 2.

Summit Road Fibers is having a yarn sale this weekend with 30% off all yarn.

Holly berries with the words Secret Santa.

Want a Christmas gift from Spain? Jackson and David of El Robledal de la Santa have a Secret Santa kit, which includes a skein of fingering weight yarn in a surprise, unique colorway.

Icy blue fuzzy yarn.

Eden Cottage Yarns had an update with a new base, Coniston Fingering, a blend of extrafine Superwash Merino with Superkid Mohair spun as a single-ply yarn. 

Dark blue yarn with the words Blackbird Beatlemania Series.

Come together, right now: Robin of October House Fiber Arts’ newest series is a yarn-y tribute to the music of the Beatles! The first three song-inspired colorways are available now.

A pink colorwork yoke cardigan.

Mona’s newest cardigan pattern, Joining Bees and Things, is 25% through Monday through the Indie Design Gift-A-Long with the code giftalong2019.

Gray and pink colorwork headbands.

Joan of White Lies Designs’ Fair Isle kit comes with hand-painted yarn for two headbands. This week, get the “My Fair-Isle” eBook free with the purchase of the kit.

New Yorkers: Join Knitting Around NY for a knit-a-thon December 8.

What to stash this week: Eight crazy, yarn-y nights

Hanukkah kit collage.

The latest Indie Untangled project, the Eight Nights of Hanukkah Kit, is gratifying to me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I get to celebrate my Jewish heritage and share that joyful feeling of opening a gift each night with my fellow yarn lovers.
⁣⁣⁣⁣
The second reason I’m excited about it is that after taking a dyeing workshop with my friend Geraldine of the newly-launched yarn line The Wandering Flock, I’ve been inspired to add my own work to the kit. So, in addition to full skeins (or the mini set equivalent) from Blissful Knits, The Fiberists and Pandia’s Jewels, there will be a true IU exclusive in the package!

Preorders are limited and open only until next Friday, November 15.

Bunnies wrapped in yarn.

Bunny Hugs are a clever invention from Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations. She created these animal-shaped “end minders” earlier this year to solve the problem of cast on-tails getting tangled. While some knitting friends suggested using bread tags, they didn’t always do the trick and weren’t exactly an attractive fiber accessory. So, after Michelle’s family got a 3D printer for Christmas last year, and she set about building her menagerie, starting with what she named the Suavest Sheep and then bunnies.

A red polka dotted fabric case.

Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios is debuting a brand new travel size needle and hook organizer. It will be available in several different fabric options today at 9 a.m. Pacific. 

Silver yarn with orange speckles.

Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns recently debuted her new Brimham High Twist base. It has the same 85/15 blend of extrafine Superwash Merino and nylon as the Brimham 4ply, but with two strands twisted tightly together.

Green, blue and gold self-striping yarn.

I was so excited to get to work with Catherine of Gauge Dye Works again on another special self-striping colorway. This is called Field and Pasture and is inspired by a fall colors on the horizon. It’s available on a Merino Worsted with generous yardage for those cozy winter scarves or baby sweaters.

In addition to being available in the shop, this colorway will also be at the Indie Goes West: Hollywood Edition popup in LA tomorrow.

What to stash this week: yarn to dye for

Red yarn

Elizabeth Colorful Eclectic has launched her Murderino Collection, inspired by the hit true crime/comedy podcast My Favorite Murder, and named for its adoring fan base. The collection includes nine colors with a black dappled effect. They include the signature red dubbed “Stay Sexy, Knit a Sweater,” and a chilling green called “Toxic Masculinity Ruins The Party Again.”

And perhaps the best thing about this collection? Through the end of the year, Colorful Eclectic is donating $2 from each skein of the Murderino Collection sold to End the Backlog, an initiative to eliminate the backlog of untested rape kits in the United States.

A yarn skein menorah and the words Indie Untangled presents Eight Nights of Hanukkah.

I have fond memories of celebrating Hanukkah as a child, deciding which present to unwrap each night. Should it be the one that I know is a cassette I’ve been lusting after because of how it’s shaped and sounds when you shake it? Or the large package that has to be a Cricket doll?

With that in mind, I was inspired to collaborate with some fellow Jewish fiber friends — Julia of Pandia’s Jewels, Spencer and Reggie of The Fiberists and Raya of Blissful Knits — on an Indie Untangled Eight Nights of Hanukkah Kit! Kits will include individually-wrapped items from all of these folks, plus a few special surprises.

We’re partying like it’s the 5780s with an ’80s-themed palette inspired by the colors in the skein-menorah above. Preorders are limited and open only until November 15.

A drawstring bag with women scientist fabric.

Alisa is back after a semester in England for graduate school and debuted sweater-sized bags at Indie Untangled. They are now available in her Etsy shop! There are both drawstring bags and box bags in a size designed to hold a worsted weight sweater quantity of yarn. As always, Alisa will donate 15% of the sale price to RAICES Texas. 

Skeins of powder blue yarn.
Sue collaborated with designer Adrienne Fong, who recently lost her battle with cancer, on a special colorway called Wisdom. She will be donating $10 for each skein sold to the American Cancer Society in Adrienne’s memory.

Fall foliage and green to red ombré yarn.

Prior to this year’s Indie Untangled, Shireen of The Blue Brick embarked on a fall ombré colorway, taking inspiration from her own photo of fall foliage to create leaf peeping in yarn form. Autumnal premiered at IU and it is now available on the Indie Untangled website on Killarney Sock (regular and 800-yard Woolly Mammoth) and Manitoulin Merino Sparkle. ⁣

This colorway will also be at the Indie Goes West: Hollywood Edition popup in LA on November 9.

8 Nights of Hanukkah Gift Set

Stephanie of Rock Solid Designs, who creates project bags, is collaborating with other makers for holiday gift sets. Her 12 Days of Christmas and 8 Nights of Hanukkah gift sets include items from Fairy Tale Yarn Co, TurtleMade, One Sock Wonder bags and Me Time Botanicals. Preorders are up now, and packages will ship in late November/early December.

A gift tag that reads "This gift is brought to you by Netflix."

Augusta of adknits just had a shop update filled with gift tags and festive stitch markers for your holiday knitting, new notecards and the latest sticker in the Knitional Park Series.

McMullin Fiber Co. Le Societe d'Orsay

Kate has opened sign-ups for her Le Societe d’Orsay, a yarn club where each month’s colorway will be inspired by art from the Musee D’Orsay in Paris. She is also once again celebrating Socktoberfest with some amazing giveaways and a 24% off sale.

An aqua drawstring bag with pink yarn balls and the words Knit Happens.

Laura is once again collaborating with artist Cynthia Frenette on some knit-centric items! Orders open today at 9 a.m. Pacific time and close on Monday at midnight.

Julia of Pandia’s Jewels is opening preorders for her Purple Magic yarn set today.

Pre-Rhinebeck Untangling: Candice English of The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers

Candice English of The Farmer's Daughter Fibers

This is the 13th in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of the 2019 Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers first caught my eye when I was at The Knot House for the 2017 Maryland Sheep & Wool indie pop-up. I was intrigued by dyer Candice’s subtle palette that was comprised of many of my favorite colors: berry pinks, steely grays and watery blues.

In the last few years, Candice, whose home state of Montana infuses her brand, has become involved in Indie Untangled and this year I’m excited for her to debut a new concept at the Rhinebeck Trunk Show — she will be taking over part of the lounge at the Saugerties Performing Arts Factory with her Sisters United initiative, a massive fundraiser that benefits organizations that are dedicated to supporting Native American women.

At the show she will be collaborating with another IU veteran, Rochelle of Home Row Fiber Co., to offer her October initiative with custom Sisters United bag, a skein of a custom FDF colorway and a pattern. All proceeds from this collaboration are donated to the initiative.

How would you say your heritage has informed the story of The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers?

When I first started our company, I was going through all of the first initial steps anyone does; brainstorming about branding, what story we wanted to tell, who was our target audience, etc. It first started with knowing that a lot of people I would run into in Portland and Seattle would be totally enamored with the fact I was from Montana. I thought a lot about that and realized a lot people are seeking from this slower-paced, easygoing, hard-working lifestyle. Then came a naming of The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers from a song my cousin sings me by Merle Haggard. Something clicked once we named it and our heritage became the focus and center around the culture and art of FDF.

What inspired you to launch the Sisters United Initiative?

In June of 2017 a young girl named Ashley Heavyrunner Loring went missing on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The way her case was handled was messed up, and I knew that if she was a white girl things would have went a lot differently. I didn’t know Ashley personally but something about her going missing touched a nerve that had been brewing for sometime. I see all of these issues every single day that effect American Indians and at a certain point it becomes too much. The anxiety was really eating at me and it felt like I would explode if I didn’t try to help. By January 2019, FDF had that ability.

Sisters United bags

Tell us about the organizations that benefit from the initiative.

This changes all the time and you can find a list on the Sister’s United page of our website. Recently we set up a $5,000 college scholarship for a Native American student and our next project we will be putting together healing bundles for trauma survivors. I am doing some of the ground work with our local human trafficking and MMIP (Murdered and Missing Indigenous People) task force, so this helps steer us to see where we are needed.

How do you decide on the artisans to work with for the project?

This year everyone has reached out to me, which has been amazing! At this point I could honestly make Sister’s United my full time job. So without the help of my fellow makers I could not pull this off. I ask them to have creative control on what they are contributing and we follow their lead, it makes it manageable for me.

Tell me about how you got started dyeing yarn.

I first started doing a lot of natural dying — my mom practices traditional plant medicine — and I wanted to bring my love of fiber together with her love of plants. Three years later and I was in a job where I was working 60-plus hours a week and really unhappy in general. I knew I wanted to do something within the knitting industry, but plant dying was too spiritual for me to want to sell out. So I tried using acid dyes and fell in love with the process.

Blue speckled yarn

Crow Camp

Which of your colorways are you most proud of?

Crow Camp is probably up there, one of my favorite artists Kevin Red Star sent me a Christmas card one year (btw this was one of those mailing list type cards, but that didn’t stop me from being a dorky fan girl!) and I replicated his colors on Crow Camp. I sent it to him and he thought is was pretty cool!

Do you have a favorite color or colors, and have they changed since you became a dyer?

Anything blush colored, pinks, purples, raspberry. Always and forever!

How did you learn to knit?

I was using one of those Kniffty Knitter looms and my husband encouraged me to ask my friend Brooke to teach me how to “really” knit. I always say those were his famous last words! Poor guy just wanted me to make him some hats and now we have family business based off the industry!

Golden speckled yarn

Ode to Autumn

Do you enjoy any other crafts in addition to knitting?

I am getting back into traditional beading! I love to do any new fun craft with my daughter too.

What advice would you have for people just getting started in the industry?

Don’t focus on what everyone else is doing. Listen to your inner creative spirit and let that be your driving force to how you want to run your business. I remember it being really difficult for me at first to decide where and how I wanted to grow Farmer’s Daughter, as there are so many different routes you can go. First, make sure it makes you happy when you are doing it, and second it will eventually make you some money because it matters more than you think in the beginning. Burnout is real, but having financial stability is a good cure.

What to stash this week: finally fall

Yarn socks in an orange fall pattern.

In time for cooler whether, Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios is bringing back her original fall fabrics for preorder. The fabrics are knit and crochet themed, because we all know that fall is the best knitting time. Preorders go live today at 9 a.m. Pacific and end Monday at midnight.

Meg of Nutmeg Fibers now has expanded sizing for her Stella Crop Sweater.

Pre-Rhinebeck Untangling: Shannon Steinberg of Woodsy & Wild

Shannon of Woodsy and Wild

This is the 10th in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of the 2019 Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

Zippered project bags have a pretty standard look, but Shannon of Woodsy and Wild has managed to elevate the simplest of shapes, with roomy pockets, functional handles and fashionable fabrics. Her Birch bag is one of my favorites, as it’s small enough to stash in a large tote, but big enough to stuff full and use as a primary carry-all.

Tell me about how you started a project bag business?

I took a break from my academic career a few years ago when I was pregnant with my second son to spend more time with my kids, but I realized pretty quickly that being a full-time, stay-at-home mother was also leaving me feeling unfulfilled. I had started sewing a few years earlier, and decided on a bit of a whim to give opening a small business a try. I couldn’t quite find the exact project bag I wanted, that gave me the same joy as the beautiful, lovingly hand-dyed yarns I was knitting with, but I knew I could make it. So I spent a lot of nights in my sewing room after my son had gone to sleep playing with prototypes, and fine-tuning, and problem-solving, and that creative thinking and challenge really brought back something I had been missing.

Eventually I had enough confidence in what I what I was making, and my husband gave me some gentle encouragement to believe in myself and put my work out there, and I opened an Etsy shop. I love making beautiful things for other makers, and the creative challenge of designing new things and maintaining a growing business, and haven’t looked back!

Floral zipper bags

What did you do before you launched Woodsy and Wild and how do you think it informs what you bring to the business?

I’m a scientist by training — I have a PhD in microbiology and immunology. I think my attention to detail comes from that background, and it helps me a lot with the product development process.

In science, one of the things that it really teaches you is to embrace failures and learn from them — day in and day out you are trying new things and a great many of your experiments don’t turn out the way you thought they would, but you can always learn something from them. When I’m designing a new item for the shop, it generally goes through a lot of iterations and prototypes before I’m truly happy with it (those sky-high standards also probably come from my scientific background!), which probably would frustrate a lot of people, but I really enjoy that fine-tuning!

And the other thing that a PhD-level training really instills in you is the ability to research, to figure out for yourself just about anything. I don’t have a background in business, or design, or manufacturing, but I do love to teach myself new things, and owning a small business is always throwing new challenges at you. Whenever I need to learn a new skill, whether it’s how to work with a new kind of hardware or how to build a new website, I really enjoy researching all the knitty gritty details, even if most people would probably just skim over a lot of it and get right to the creating. And I’m always confident that with enough time and research, I can figure anything out.

Gray project bag

How did you decide on the types of bags to create?

I started Woodsy and Wild because I was having a hard time finding exactly what I wanted in a project bag. I have a natural, minimalist aesthetic, and if I’m going to carry something around with me everyday, and leave it sitting out in my house, which is what I do with my project bags and other knitting gear, I really want it to fit in with my style and my life. I find a lot of beauty in strong, well-made materials that will age well and evolve over the life of an item, which is why I only use natural fibers and solid metal zippers and hardware.

It was also really important to me to design bags that would fit in with my daily life — I have two little boys, and we travel often. So, secure pockets and closures are designed into all of my bags because I need things to stay put when I toss my bag in the car or an airplane overheard compartment, and to keep little fingers from making off with my scissors and stitch markers.

I love the rustic elegance of linen, and I designed my signature line of project bags (the Birch Bag, Sapling and Maple Tote) to really celebrate that. They have the soft structure of a crisp linen, with clean design lines that show off the fabric while adding some features that make life easier for a knitter. And I love how they get softer and develop a lovely gentle rumpled texture the more you use and love them. They’re really my dream bags.

How do you find your unique fabrics?

I think a lot of that comes back to my love to research. I have a lot of patience for searching all the nooks and crannies of the internet for good sources! Most of my patterned fabrics come from various online fabric shops, and some of them are small-batch, digitally-printed fabrics from Spoonflower. There are so many indie surface pattern designers there creating beautiful designs, I can spend hours pouring over all the options!

The waxed canvas I use in the Maple Totes comes from a wonderful U.S.-based, woman-owned small business; they hand-wax every yard with the most gorgeous-smelling local beeswax. A gracious tip from a fellow project bag maker led me to them — I love how kind and collaborative our indie fiber business community is! I’m also very lucky that my LYS is also an amazing sewing and quilting shop, and the owner will often clue me in to new fabrics that she thinks I will like, and order extra for me of special fabrics (like all the lovely Rifle Paper Co. fabrics I love!) and she even helped me get in touch with and set up a wholesale account with my linen supplier.

When and how did you learn to knit?

My grandmother taught me when I was very young, probably 5 or 6 years old. She also taught me to crochet and hand sew around the same time, but the knitting is what really stuck! We lived pretty far away, but whenever we went to visit I remember her inviting me into her stash of yarns and fabrics and letting me take whatever I liked, and helping me get started with a new project. And then the next time we visited I would show her what I had made! It was a really special way to keep her close even though she was hours away.

I put knitting aside for quite a while as I got older, but I picked it back up when I was working on my PhD because I needed somewhere to channel my creative energy and help me manage the stress. That’s when I discovered Ravelry, YouTube knitting tutorials and knitting podcasts, and I spent the next few years teaching myself all the things! I still get to knit with my grandmother, and I’ve even been able to teach her a few things! I’m hoping we might get to teach my oldest son how to knit together in another year or two.

Red needle case

Do you enjoy any other crafts in addition to knitting and sewing?

In addition to making bags, I also do a lot of garment sewing. Sewing and knitting are really my only crafty hobbies, but I also love to cook and have an ongoing love affair with sourdough bread baking. And I am an enthusiastic, if not very skilled, gardener.

What are some of the best things you’ve learned running your fiber business?

I think running a fiber business has been like introvert therapy for me! I’m naturally very shy and reserved, but the fiber arts community is so engaging and it’s easier to get to know someone when you know going in that you have a shared love of craft! Owning a business has encouraged me to get involved and participate in conversations and actually get outside my comfort zone. And there are so many opportunities to meet and talk to new people, whether it’s on Instagram or Ravelry, at my local Sip ‘n’ Stitch, or at events.