A peek inside Woolyn Brooklyn, my new local yarn shop

2

Woolyn storefront

In a few weeks, once I make it through our kitchen renovation and packing up or purging 11 years worth of stuff, I will officially become a Brooklynite. Tonight, I got to attend the friends and family celebration for what will become my new local yarn shop. I couldn’t think of a better welcome to my new borough.

I first heard about Woolyn when owner Rachel Maurer came to last year’s Rhinebeck Trunk Show to scope out indie dyers to carry in a new yarn store. Months later, I came across the shop’s Instagram feed. After getting in touch with Rachel, we ended up meeting to plan some collaborations (which you’ll learn about very soon) and I waited patiently for opening day to arrive.

Woolyn will officially open this Saturday at 11 a.m. and tonight’s preview has made me even more excited.

Woolyn window

Woolyn window 2

After walking through the quaint streets of Brooklyn Heights to Atlantic Avenue, I was greeted by this gorgeously creative window display.

Woolyn shop

Woolyn br

The shop has a clean, modern look, with excellent natural light and a kitchen in the back that has a wall lined with containers of loose tea. Even the bathroom, decorated with vintage Vogue Knitting covers, has a knitting twist.

Woolyn yarn

Then, of course, there is the yarn. Rachel and her team did a fantastic job curating a wide variety of indies, including Indie Untangled regulars Invictus Yarns and MollyGirl Yarns, based in California and New Jersey, respectively, and others I love, like JulieSpins, North Light Fibers, Feederbrook Farm and Apple Tree Knits. There were also more large-scale brands, including Anzula, The Fibre Company and Blue Sky Fibers. And I even made some discoveries, of Knitted Wit (there’s a to-die-for Targhee/silk DK at the shop that I have my eye on) and super soft Merino from Mountain Meadow Wool, based in Buffalo, Wyoming.

MollyGirl No Sleep

Of course, there are shop exclusives, including this awesomely named colorway from MollyGirl.

Woolyn fiber

There’s also a great selection of fiber from the likes of Frabjous Fibers and Sweet Georgia, along with drop spindles and spinning wheels, plus tools for other fiber crafts, including felting kits and mini weaving looms from Purl & Loop (which I think needs to be my next purchase).

Along with the product selection, what I’m most excited about is having a place to proudly call my LYS. At the celebration, I saw many familiar faces from the NYC knitting world. When I first walked in, who should greet me but Lucy, the generous knitter who I met last December when she helped me detangle a skein. She is one of the new Woolyn employees! Later, I chatted with knitters from both my Pints ‘n’ Purls group and a midtown group I frequent, as well as Marsha of One Geek To Craft Them All (who I learned recently moved not far from my new apartment!), Susie of Chiagu and Kristin of Voolenvine. There are talks about gathering there on Tuesday nights, when the shop is open late.

So, if I’m not knitting in my soon-to-be new craft room or on the terrace, you’ll know where you can find me.

What to stash this week: Terrific twos

SurfTurfIndieUnt

April 4 was Indie Untangled’s second birthday, so I decided to mark the occasion with a gift for you: through April 30, get 20% off in-stock Indie Untangled-exclusive bags from That Clever Clementine, porcelain buttons from Buttonalia and self-striping yarn and gradient sock blanks from Berry Colorful Yarnings. You can use the code IU2 once in each shop for the discount and I will combine shipping on orders placed on the same day.

Kitty3

The Kitty Invisibility Cloak, the latest awesomeness from Casapinka, is a tribute to Mrs. Norris, the cat in Harry Potter who can sense Hogwarts students even when they’re invisible. The lace and garter shawl includes a “paw print” pattern and takes two skeins of fingering-weight yarn.

cl7

Can’t decide between cables and lace? Do both! Michael Harrigan’s latest shawlette pattern includes five cable columns surrounded by an openwork design of lace stitches.

mardigras3

Lisa The Knitting Artist is also offering a combo that any knitter will love. Her new gift sets include one hand-painted knit stitch motif card paired with five beaded stitch markers.

Last, but certainly not least, I’m excited to welcome Suzanne of Groovy Hues Fibers, whose handiwork you can see at the top of this post. Suzanne creates bold and fun colorways on luxurious yarn bases as well as OOAK spinning fiber. Aside from her dyed-to-order and ready-to-ship skeins and braids, she also happily accepts even the craziest of custom orders.

What to stash this week: A new ewe

Kettle_Yarn_Co_BASKERVILLE

Linda of Kettle Yarn Co. desired a yarn that was sheep-y and rustic, yet soft enough for princess-y skin. So, she helped dream up Baskerville, a blend of 60% Exmoor Blueface, 25% Gotland and 15% silk. This Kettle Yarn Co. exclusive is a worsted-spun 2ply that comes in a 437-yard skeins that Linda indigo dyed in lovely shades that range from a lightly heathered silver to a deep blue.

BCY-Sangria

Here’s a Valentine’s Day gift for you, inspired by Michelle’s Sangria gradient sock blank — make a purchase in the Berry Colorful Yarnings pop-up on Indie Untangled through Feb. 14 and get one FREE pattern from an IU designer (see the list here). Two or more skeins ship free in the U.S.

heartredandpink

Put a heart on your sleeve, pockets, hat brim, mitten cuffs, or cowl. These Valentine’s-appropriate buttons from Melissa Jean Design include vintage-style polka dot and lacy textured hearts. Indie Untangled readers get free shipping on all orders by using the code INDIE.

darth-vader-bag

Keya of Cedar Hill Yarn Co. has stocked her shop with two-grommet, zippered project bags that are perfect for toting around your small WIPs, especially multi-skein projects, with the grommets allowing you to keep each yarn cake separate. Fun fabric include the glow-in-the-dark Darth Vader pattern above.

IMG_20160204_084508-430x430

If you love rainbows, but want something subtle, definitely check out Mothy and the Squid’s Grey Skies Rainbow Brite sock yarn. Available on 75/25 Merino/nylon and 100% Merino sock yarn, it adds a peek of fabulousness. A variety of background colors are available, as are custom colors.

What to stash this week: A button bacchanalia

10 Buttonalia Red Square

After the French Market Fibers bacchanalia last week, the website is ready for another shopping frenzy. The latest post-Rhinebeck pop-up shop is up and is stocked with a dozen ceramic beauties from Buttonalia. You may find the perfect set for a certain sweater…

indieharmaa_2015huhti17

The Silversmith Hoodie, the newest design from Meiju Knits, looks like the perfect winter sweater (it definitely went in my Favorites!). Using worsted weight yarn, this cardigan is worked seamlessly from the top down with saddle shoulders and modified contiguous sleeve shaping. The pattern also includes a video tutorial on how to work mini cables without a cable needle.

coupIMG_20151028_225343

I was bummed to miss meeting Alicia of Sweet Sheep at the Rhinebeck trunk show this year (unfortunately she couldn’t make it in person due to a death in the family). I was also sad when I heard her discount coupons didn’t make it into the goody bags. Now you all get a discount! Enter the code INDIELUV20 at checkout in Alicia’s Etsy shop and receive 20% off your order through Nov 15.

American-Rust-merino-gold-sock-yarn-005

Sarah of The Queen’s Ransome has several new colors inspired by an urban landscape. American Rust (pictured), Concrete Gray and Teal Steel are available on three fingering-weight bases — Cashmere Merino Sock, Alpaca Merino Twist and Merino Gold Sock.

ERK Partridge

On the 12th day of Knit-mas, Tami gives to you: a Partridge in a Pear Tree — in yarn form. From now until Thanksgiving, Tami is taking orders for her 12 Days of Christmas-inspired yarn. You can get a set of 12 400-yard skeins or 12 30-yard mini skeins inspired by the song.

Galiana-Creations-Intro-smaller-430

The newest face on the Indie Untangled marketplace is Gaby of Galiana Creations, a Pennsylvania-based dyer who also makes project bags with cute knitter sayings, stitch markers and even earrings that allow you to show off your yarn obsession. Get a 10% discount in her Etsy shop with the code FRIENDSFAMILY10.

A very indie, Instagrammy, Rhinebeck

1

#indieuntangled

There are a lot of words I could use to describe last week’s Rhinebeck Trunk Show. After catching up on what was probably a week’s worth of sleep, I can come up with only one word: epic. While I’d seen on Ravelry that people were excited, I knew I had planned a successful show when I got to the hotel around 1:30 to set up and there was a small group of people knitting in the corridor by the entrance to the ballroom (don’t worry, I’m already thinking of ways to ease the lines and crowds next year).

My goal was to curate a group of indie dyers and artisans that you wouldn’t get to see while searching through the barns for that perfect skein of Cormo, or waiting on the cider donut or artichoke lines (more on that in my post about the actual festival). Whether it was Sandra of Duck Duck Wool’s beautiful speckles, Margaret of French Market Fibers’ complex colors, Amy of Canon Hand Dyes’ incredible self-striping skeins, Anne of A Little Teapot’s gorgeous fiber charms — I could go on and on — there were a lot of special things on display. I feel so lucky to know, and to be able to work with, such talented people.

I’m looking forward to seeing the shots that Maria of Subway Knits got with her DSLR, but I think the Instagram photos taken by the vendors and attendees sum everything up:

The *what* show?? #yhrb2015 #IUtrunkshow2015 #rhinebecktrunkshow #indieuntangled

A photo posted by @ambergale79 on

The calm before the storm @indieuntangled #Rhinebecktrunkshow2015 #rhinebeck2015 #yhrb2015

A photo posted by MsVicki (@thatcleverclementine) on

Yep, it's a party! #IUtrunkshow2015 #yhrb2015 #rhinebecktrunkshow #indieuntangled

A photo posted by @ambergale79 on

Because it so doesn't. #rhinebeck2015 #indieuntangled #rhinebecktrunkshow #rhinebecktrunkshow2015

A photo posted by Lisa (@indieuntangled) on

http://https://instagram.com/p/86TKadRbqu/?taken-by=ambergale79

The incredible @vividfiberarts booth. #indieuntangled #rhinebeck2015

A photo posted by Lisa (@indieuntangled) on

Raffle prizes. #rhinebeck2015 #indieuntangled #rhinebecktrunkshow2015 #rhinebecktrunkshow

A photo posted by Lisa (@indieuntangled) on

ColorPurl at #indieuntangled

A photo posted by ColorPurl Loves to Dye Yarn (@colorpurl) on

#rhinebecktrunkshow2015 #theuncommonthread ❤

A photo posted by J u l i e (@evieandlily) on

#rhinebecktrunkshow2015! #yhrb2015

A photo posted by Middle Brook Fiberworks (@anne.choi) on

#indieuntangled haul!!! Thanks Duck Duck Wool and @skeinnydippingyarn! #roadtorhinebeck #Rhinebeck #rhinebeck2015

A photo posted by Kelsey Stephens (@primroseyarnco) on

After the trunk show, visit these Indie Untangled vendors at Rhinebeck

melissajeanlogofinal

The New York Sheep & Wool Festival is an amazing, if occasionally overwhelming, experience. Unless I get swept up in the frenzy of trying to snag a Jennie the Potter mug (which depends on who I end up traveling with to the fairgrounds), I enjoy taking in the beautiful foliage, eating cider doughnuts, admiring all the knitwear and spending time with my friends.

Of course, I also do some serious shopping.

While Friday night’s trunk show might put a little dent in your Rhinebeck budget, this will help: four Indie Untangled vendors — Bijou Basin Ranch, Dirty Water DyeWorks, Hampden Hills Alpacas and Melissa Jean Design — are offering 10% off to trunk show attendees (if you score one of the goody bags, you’ll get a 15% off coupon from Bijou Basin). The coupon will either be in your goody bag or in a paper bag, along with your free raffle ticket. Please note: I will be using the RSVPs to give me an idea of how many coupons to print, and they will be available while supplies last. RSVP on the event page and arrive on the early side if you would like to ensure that you get one.

Here’s a little guide to doing some Indie Untangled shopping at the festival:

HimalaynAccents

Bijou Basin Ranch has incredibly soft Tibetan yak yarns and yak blends, made with fiber from their ranch in Colorado, and I even saw some super luxurious qiviut last year. They have a special line of Outlander-inspired colorways, which would be perfect for the Subway Knits Outlander KAL that starts Oct. 24. You can also get bottles of their Allure fine fabric wash. BBR is also a trunk show sponsor, so you can learn more about them in this recent interview.

Find Bijou Basin in Building C, Booths 13 & 14.

DWDpendu05

Dirty Water DyeWorks was one of my favorite discoveries at my first Rhinebeck four years ago — and I actually finally finished a shawl in the two skeins I bought from Stephanie back then! She has luxurious blends, including her popular Bertha MCN, as well as more exotic fibers, including a Polwarth and silk blend.

Dirty Water DyeWorks is also in Building C, in Booth 42.

Hampden2

Hampden Hills Alpacas is unique in that aside from hand dyeing yarn, they also raise and breed alpacas in Hampden, Massachusetts. Erica has been bringing her hand-dyed and hand-painted alpaca and alpaca/silk blends to Rhinebeck for the last 14 years. Find Hampden Hills in Building 39, Booth 9.

WillowBranch_LRG

Melissa Jean makes beautiful ceramic and wood buttons. I adore her button earrings and always make sure to grab a pair when I’m at Rhinebeck. Find her in Building 36, Booth 9.

Here’s a handy Google map of the fairgrounds:

You can see the regular festival map here.

Happy shopping!

An indie yarny journey

Around the world in 80 skeins-2

One of my longtime dreams is to take a cross-country road trip. In my fantasy, I would knit while my husband drives (which, um, is probably one of the reasons we haven’t done it) and visit an indie dyer at every stop. I’d blog about it, of course, and then my blog posts would get turned into a book, and it would be the Great American Road Trip, with a yarny twist…

Ahem.

It also always amazes me when artisans from all over the world post to the Indie Untangled marketplace — there’s Siidegarte, which is based in Hirzel, a small village in Switzerland, and Valentina of SnailYarn, who dyes outside of Rome, Italy, not to mention all of the incredible dyers out of the UK.

So, I decided it would be cool to create a map and show where in the world many of the posts on Indie Untangled come from. There are just about 80 dyers and crafters on the list, which would make for quite an amazing trip.

A note: This map has just IU dyers and accessories makers. I’m planning on creating a second map just for designers.

Untangling: Buttonalia

7

sharrystudio

Just glancing at her beautifully glazed ceramic buttons, it’s not surprising to learn that Buttonalia’s Sharry Madden has a background as a sculptor. A New Zealand native now living in the U.K., Sharry starting off making large bowls used as washbasins, moving on to create hollow, coiled sculptures when throwing on a potter’s wheel became too painful because of tennis elbow. She ended up selling her work both at home and overseas, even shipping a large sculpture to the U.S.

These days, Sharry’s smaller creations adorn everything from fingerless mitts to sweaters. She sells her buttons on Etsy and, more recently, Zibbet, and has found many fans among knitters on Ravelry. Her buttons — plain or patterned, in bright colors and complex neutrals — come strung on a simple piece of twine, the perfect way to show off these individual works of art.

I’m thrilled to be selling Sharry’s buttons at this year’s Rhinebeck Trunk Show (and I’m going to try my hardest to keep some of those sets from wandering into my own button stash…).

Just one set of buttons Sharry sent along for the Rhinebeck Trunk Show, appropriately displayed on a copy of the UK-based Pom Pom Quarterly.

Just one set of buttons Sharry sent along for the Rhinebeck Trunk Show, appropriately displayed on a copy of the UK-based Pom Pom Quarterly.

How did you start making buttons?



My husband was offered a teaching position in Kent, England, so we moved here almost 10 years ago. Being new immigrants, we had to find our way around and it took me seven years to finally find my place in clay once again. The equipment is very expensive (and) our house is a mid-terraced Victorian, which is very small, so the cellar is my studio, where I keep the kiln and all my raw materials for glazing. Having a small kiln and a small house and a small pocket, I had to think small. I am a very utilitarian person, so I tend to make useful objects unless I am being whimsical, then I make unusual, but simple objects to simply look at, like sculptures or hearts. It was natural for me to make buttons — the humble button with all its uses, buttons to make you smile.

Buttonalia 2

How did you end up on Ravelry?



I came to Ravelry because one of my customers begged me to! Most of my customers are knitters and she was tired of having to tell her friends on Ravelry where to find me. And so began the crazy, fabulous romance with Ravelry, where I regularly lurk and drool over the marvelous things my customers knit. Ravelry’s community is simply awesome and when I need a lift, it’s the first place I go to give me a smile. My range of customers either knit, sew or make jewelry.

Sharry's buttons adorning my Conjured Cardi.

Sharry’s buttons adorning my Conjured Cardi.

Do you knit yourself?

As far as my love of knitting goes, I grew up with a wonderful grandmother who, when not cooking or cleaning, clicked away wherever she was — even on the beach. I used to spend hours at her feet, unravelling yarn and winding balls ready for her to use. I then graduated to sewing sleeves to bodies and then knitted my first scarf. I haven’t done much since as my life is so full with working in an office by day and making buttons every other minute I have. I have other projects that will simply have to wait until I retire and have more time on my hands.

Buttonalia Blue

I’m giving away this set of six periwinkle blue buttons. To enter, comment on this post with a pattern you would use them with. You have until the end of the day my time on Sunday, Aug. 9, and then I’ll be picking a winner by random number generator. Good luck!

This giveaway is now closed.

Rhinebeck Trunk Show 2.0

Trunk show photos courtesy of Wil Waldon.

Trunk show photos courtesy of Wil Waldon.

This year, I got a decent head start in preparing for Rhinebeck. Not only have I been diligently working on one of my Rhinebeck sweaters (Laura Aylor’s appropriately named Rhinecliff) but I’ve also been scheming on how to make that little trunk show even better…

I’m excited to announce that the second annual Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show will take place on Friday, Oct. 16 from 5 to 9 p.m. — and it will have even more indie.

I’ve booked double the space at the Best Western Plus (where we were last year, when it was called the Garden Plaza Hotel) in Kingston, N.Y., which is right across the Hudson River from Rhinebeck, and I’ll be joined by more than two dozen indie artisans, including several new vendors, many of whom I’ve gotten to know over the last several months. They will be selling hand-dyed yarn and fiber and handmade project bags, stitch markers, lotion bars and other knitting-related gifts. There will even be a small UK contingent, with Patti Odinak, the owner of Yarn Culture, an LYS based just outside of Rochester, N.Y., bringing skeins from The Uncommon Thread and Eden Cottage Yarns.

Like every good kickoff party, there will also be goody bags (which will of course be a crafty endeavor for me — I’ve got a stamp and ink pad all ready!) filled with fibery gifts and discounts from the show’s vendors and sponsors, available to the first 100 shoppers. Over the next few months, Maria from the Subway Knits podcast and blog will help you get to know many of the trunk show vendors through her Road to Rhinebeck series, and I’ll be profiling the event’s generous sponsors here on the blog.

So, go ahead and get started on your Rhinebeck knitting, and get ready to be enabled!

What to stash this week: Discounts!

IU2

Aside from being a prolific designer, Lara Smoot is a woman of many crafty talents. Not only has she just released a new shawl pattern — Marshwood takes two skeins of Bare Naked Wools Confection Sport and is $1 off on Ravelry through May 11 with the code BNW — but she also updated her Etsy shop with some new drawstring project bags and gradient yarns. The yarn is available in a sock kit that includes the already-wound yarn, a sock-sized bag and your choice of any one of Lara’s sock patterns. Single skeins for shawls, scarves or cowls are also available. If you’re in the U.S., you get free shipping through May 11 with the code freeshipping.

NeverEnoughThyme set

Even if your mom isn’t a knitter, celebrate Mother’s Day with a little gift for yourself. Get 20% off your purchase from Never Enough Thyme through May 20. Use the code, MOTHERSDAY2015 and try a mini-skein set or one of the new gradients recently added to the shop.

BirthdaySale

Luna Grey Fiber Arts is turning three and you get presents! Get 20% off your purchase through Sunday, May 17 with the code Birthday20.

Balwen Woodworks collage

Balwen Woodworks had a successful debut at Chicago’s YarnCon and recently launched a website. Lindy crafts buttons, closures and shawl pins out of salvaged materials, including wood, vintage rulers and a 1920s edition of Little Women. Get free shipping in the U.S. and Canadian for orders over $49 with the coupon code 49FREESHIP.

double-project

The wickedly talented Lucca Leeee — I mean, Laura Lundy — of Slipped Stitch Studios has a new Bag of the Month that defies gravity. The bags, needle cases, swift covers, spindle totes and more in this limited fabric are available until it sells out. Hurry before it flies, or melts, away!

NewYarns

The exclusive colorways available from Florida LYS A Good Yarn Sarasota have a cool story: Dyed by such indies as Lorna’s Laces, Yarn Love, Madelinetosh and Three Irish Girls, some are inspired by underwater photographs taken by shop owner Susan’s husband while scuba diving.

small

Erica of Squoosh Fiberarts and her military family are getting ready to leave Kansas. As a tribute to the place she’s called home for the past three years, she’s created three Kansas-inspired colorways for the Color of the Month. Tornado Warning, Tuttle Creek and Sorghum are available for pre-order on yarn and fiber.

InvictusBFL2

Sue of Invictus Yarns has restocked her shop with Unconquerable Sole BFL, a fingering-weight blend of 80% Superwash Blue Faced Leister and 20% nylon that has proven to be a very popular. It’s back and is available in a variety of colorways.

WSKmosaic

Kim of Western Sky Knits is back home after a run of shows (including the MDSW indie pop-up at The Knot House) and has updated her shop with lots of new yarn and colorways.

Targhee Combed Top

The latest update from BeesyBee Fibers included a bunch of hand-dyed tops, including Domestic Targhee, Corriedale and 19 Micron Merino, in some bright and bold colors. There’s also some new fingering-weight yarn for the non-spinners among us.

blue-white-turq-geo-small-bag

If you’ve snagged any of the skeins in the fun colorways that Keya of Cedar Hill Farm Company has recently dyed up, here’s something to put them in. She has hand-sewn, 100% cotton large drawstring bags, medium zippered bags and small sock bags in fabrics that are a perfect match for her bright yarns.