Monica of Gothfarm Yarn is looking to a Nordic holiday tradition — the yule goat, or Julbocken, depicted in straw sculptures and ornaments. The illustrations of the yule goat remind Monica of Angora goats, which we all know and love as producers of mohair. In honor of this connection, Monica is offering 10% all her mohair products, including Cottontail roving, Muskeg (amber mohair and brown Rambouillet Merino wool), Arkose (white mohair, white Rambouillet Merino, red alpaca), Gabbro (black mohair and Jacob sheep wool) and Alabaster (red mohair and California Red sheep wool). Just add your favorite mohair products to the cart and enter “MERRYMOHAIR” at checkout. The discount runs through December 25.
Today is your last day to order the IU-exclusive Pomme D’Amour colorway from Black Elephant, which designer Jimenez Joseph used to create a cowl of the same name, with twisted and slipped stitches echoing tomatoes on the vine and a woven basket.
Paola’s Nocturne Bandana is a small, quick (but still interesting) knit that can be worn a multitude of ways. Along with being a perfect last-minute gift, it’s 15% off until this Sunday with the coupon code nocturne.
My grandmother was a prolific knitter. I spent what felt like hundreds of hours standing to be measured, so she could craft skeins of yarn into sweaters for me to wear. My favorite was a lavender one, complete with darker lavender buttons. She knit blankets. She knit potholders. She knit colorful Christmas stockings for me, my brother and our cousins.
So, I was around knitting almost my entire life, but never was compelled to pick up a set of needles — until one Christmas.
No matter which family house you visited at the holidays, if you saw those Christmas stockings, embroidered with our names and glistening with intricate beadwork, you knew it was Grandma Rolene who put in the hours to make sure Christmas had her special touch. When I was a kid, they were just stockings, but as I got older, I came to realize they were much more than that.
With age came arthritis, which made it hard for my grandma to continue knitting. She had to hang up the needles.
Around this time, my first nephew was born. I decided that he needed a stocking like my brother’s. I had come to know what these stockings meant. This was a knitting project to connect the past generations with the future, through yarn lovingly stitched together.
I’m not sure why I didn’t ask my grandma for help. Instead, I bought a knitting book and decided to teach myself how to knit so I could replicate that stocking.
The pattern — a large green stocking with white and red at the top, that featured Santa Claus carrying a Christmas tree on the front and two hanging Christmas ornaments on the back — definitely wasn’t for beginners. But I decided to forge ahead anyway.
First, I needed to match the colors. I managed to do that with a wool-blend yarn, Lion Brand Wool-Ease, for the most part, but then a few colors were hard to find, such as the ones used for Santa’s beard and the pink in his face. I needed a furry yard for the beard. And I opted to go with a pink yarn I had at the house from other projects for the face. In the end, that turned out being a bit thicker and harder to work with using those needles, so I learned the importance of wool weight. I also learned that the furry white yarn I used for the beard was a b*&ch to work with.
Next came the graph paper. I needed to replicate the pattern and the only way to do this was to count the stitches. I don’t really remember, but I must have asked my grandma how to do this because there is no other way I would have known. This was not something you could find in books and YouTube wasn’t as loaded with how-to videos back then.
So, I counted each color in each row, carefully plotting it onto the graph paper with little instructions. I eventually ended up with several sheets of graph paper taped together to show both the front and the back.
Now, I was ready to knit and not just knit, but knit for the first time.
To be fair, I had done some simple crocheting in grade school. Nothing fancy, but I had worked with some form of needlecraft before, even if it wasn’t with knitting needles.
I managed to find a stocking pattern that was similar, but without the details. It was a generic knit stocking pattern, but it was enough to show me how to curve a heel, curve the toe and how to make the knitted pattern along the top. So I used that as a little bit of a guide.
I ended up having to ditch the first partial try of the top because it just didn’t look right. The second try worked better, but I still found it so hard to do each stitch. It didn’t feel natural.
I don’t remember how long it took me to knit. I think it took a few weeks. I do remember messing up on my count and having to undo stitches a few rows back to fix mistakes. What a pain! My grandma had an old row counter and I finally understood the value of that. It’s such a simple tool, but can save you hours of undoing work.
When I finished knitting the stocking, I didn’t know what to do with all of the yarn crisscrossing the back. So I unknowingly did what you’re not supposed to do: I cut them all off and basically made the back fuzzy with half-inch bits of knotted yarn. I later learned you’re supposed to crisscross the yarn as you work through the pattern. Doh!
I embroidered my nephew’s name onto the stocking and added the sequins and beads with some thread and a sewing needle, placed it in a box and wrapped it up.
When I presented my first knitted object to my toddler nephew, he pulled the stocking out, placed it on the floor and started playing with the box. Fortunately, my brother, recognizing the significance of the gift, made sure the stocking took its rightful place on his fireplace mantle, next to his own matching stocking.
When my younger nephew came along, I made him the same stocking. This time, I used the magic of the internet and found the original pattern from the 1960s. Mine had been pretty darn close!
When I completed that second stocking, a few years after the first, I realized that on that first stocking, I’d done all of the stitches backwards. Every. Single. One. No wonder it was so hard! The stitches are crossed in such a way that the stocking doesn’t have the same stretchiness as one with regular knitting and it looks slightly different.
I asked my oldest nephew if he wanted me to redo the stocking so it was correct, but he told me that no, he actually liked it better with the unique stitches and that it made him feel like it was “his” stocking, different but yet the same as the others.
In the years that followed, stocking requests poured in. My brother asked if I could make one for my sister-in-law, so they’d have a family set. My friend asked if I’d make a set for her family because it reminded her of the kind her grandmother had made. I fulfilled all the requests.
I — the self-proclaimed non-knitter — knit seven of those Christmas stockings in all, using yarn to connect families and to connect one generation to another. The hours I spent learning how to knit from a book and creating those stockings also connected me to my grandma, who’s now long gone. I came to understand that needles and yarn aren’t just tools of a craft — they’re a way to connect generations and show love.
Susan Valot is an award-winning public radio reporter and podcast host/producer in the Los Angeles area. She hosts Quanta Magazine’s Science Podcast. Her work has appeared on NPR, KCRW and other outlets. When she’s not figuring out how to knit, she’s normally off on local hiking trails or playing ice hockey.
For the latest installment of Knitting Our National Parks, Rachel of Six and Seven Fiber takes us to Grand Teton National Park, which I was lucky to visit in May of 2019 (which seems like ages ago). Her Jenny Lake colorway was inspired by the above photo taken by photographer Brian Johns.
This lightly speckled neutral is available to preorder on Indie Untangled through December 27 on three bases: Alfalfa, a luxurious 80/10/10 Superwash Merino/Cashmere/nylon heavy fingering-weight yarn, Amaranth, a toothy but soft non-Superwash Merino fingering (this one is my personal favorite) and Soybean, a non-Superwash Merino DK. Alfalfa would make amazing winter accessories, while the latter two are the perfect sweater yarns.
Speaking of non-Superwash yarns, designer Mary Annarella used Julie Asselin’s Nurtured yarn in the special Indie Untangled Leaf Pile colorway to design not just one but two new hats! The one above, with the zig zag purl pattern, is called Swipe Right (which means, in the world of Tinder dating, that you’re interested).
Mary’s other hat, called Take a Bough, has an elegant cable pattern reminiscent of pine trees and is a perfect match for the colorway, which is indeed like jumping into a leaf pile. The links above will take you to kits for the hat featuring this exclusive colorway, and they are discounted through Monday, December 14, no coupon code needed.
I also invite you to explore this incredible yarn further…
When I first learned about Julie Asselin’s Nurtured yarn — a rustic but soft blend of Rambouillet, Targhee and Merino that is hand dyed “in the wool” prior to being mill spun at Green Mountain Spinnery in Vermont — it was love at first sight… through my computer monitor. Fortunately, when I finally got a chance to see it in person at a yarn festival, I was even more smitten — enough to ask Julie and her partner Jean-François to create a special colorway for Indie Untangled.
Since we don’t have the ability to feel yarn in person at festivals, and I want everyone to discover the joy of knitting with Nurtured, I’m excited to collaborate with Julie and Jean-François on Nurtured Mini Boxes. These sets will allow you to try out this woolly Aran-weight yarn and see the incredible heathered colors in real life.
The boxes are available to preorder on Indie Untangled through January 8 and will ship in mid-March, allowing time for Julie and Jean-François to create mini skeins to order and for cross-border shipping.
I was so excited to see that Abbye and Selena of the design duo Wool & Pine, who I enjoyed learning more about during Indie Untangled Everywhere in October, had published their first pattern collection. I’m even more thrilled to be a stockist of this special new book! Featuring Wool & Pine’s first six garments, this softcover book is filled with beautiful images and size-inclusive patterns with written and charted directions. It also includes a digital download code and access to detailed video tutorials to help you knit your perfect sweater.
The cold whether inspired Lanivendole’s Winter Mood palette, which will be available in Giulia and Stefania’s online shop today starting at 6 p.m. CET. There will also be limited edition handmade stitch markers from their friend Carla of @laboratorioindie.
Rebecca of WildWestDye, a natural dyer based in Canada, has lots of new kits uniquely dyed using indigo, including CabooseWay, a three-color, three-texture indigo kit launched with a new collection of worsted weight yarn.
The Crafty Flutterby Creations seasonal Victorian Christmas Collection features shawl pins or vegan leather shawl cuffs with sophisticated lace designs. Michelle also has limited edition sparkly holiday end minders, which help keep your ends neat and tidy while you work. All orders placed by Monday will ship in time for Christmas within the U.S.
Megan of Megs & Co has curated a collection of hand-dyed hat kits to get you ready for the cold weather. Kits include a skein of Folk Song Aran paired with one skein of Head in the Clouds mohair and silk laceweight, plus a hand-stuffed faux fur pom-pom.
Speaking of hats, all Softyarn Designs hat patterns are 25% off through Wednesday, December 16, with the code Hatknitting on Ravelry and Etsy. Lena’s Pebble Street Hat, pictured above, is a quick knit using Aran-weight yarn and a slip-stitch pattern.
Since I kicked off the Knitting Our National Parks series in 2017, it seemed only natural to organize a retreat that incorporated a visit to one of the magnificent U.S. parks. I’m excited to let you know that registration is now open for Indie Untangled’s first retreat, which will be held from May 28-31 at Wellspring Spa, near Mount Rainier in Washington State.
You have until the end of 2019 to sign up for next year’s Indie Untangled Where We Knit Yarn Club and sample from among several talented indie dyers (including yours truly!) and four designers.
Sue of Invictus Yarns is bidding farewell to 2019 with an automatic 20% discount on all in-stock items through December 31.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have a soft spot for Mount Rainier in Washington State as it’s the first national park I ever visited, almost exactly 10 years ago. Fittingly, Heather of Early Grey Fiber Company, based in the Pacific Northwest, chose this photo of a purple-y winter sunrise over Naches Peak, taken by parks volunteer JD Hascup. The Highest Peak will be dyed on Darjeeling Sock, a 75/25 blend of Superwash Merino and nylon that comes in generous 463-yard skeins. It’s available to preorder on Indie Untangled through August 23 and will ship at the end of September. As always, 10% of sales will be donated to the National Park Foundation.
Here’s another cause worth stashing for: Christina has channeled her feelings of frustration about current events into two a new collection called Meaningful Action. 25% of sales of these two colorways, Bleeding Heart and No More Thoughts and Prayers, will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center and Everytown for Gun Safety.
Advent calendars from BigFootFibers are available to preorder now! They come with 24 individually-wrapped and numbered minis, one full-sized skein to open December 25, a Christmas-themed, shawl-sized bag by SouthernSparrowHandmade, and more!
Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios is having a ready-to-ship shop update today at 9 a.m. Pacific with some old favorites, including her exclusive Knitting is my Happy Place design and Knitmare on Elm Street.
Amy of Summit Rd. Fibers has special fall knit kits available for preorder through August 12. The kits feature the Archer’s Beanie design by Lacy from Two Arrows & Co. There are two colorways to choose from and enough yarn to make two beanies!
Joan of White Lies Designs has created unique kits for those of you who don’t want to knit a whole sweater. Hybrid Tee kits come with a 100% cotton, A-line tee and organic cotton yarn. Choose your color and then decide which style to knit.
Have you decided what to wear to Indie Untangled and Rhinebeck yet? You’ve got plenty of time — at least that’s what I’m telling myself since I want to knit three sweaters! — but if you want more instant gratification there’s still some of Aimée’s Indie Untangled exclusive Kingston and Hudson colorways on Merino Aran in the Indie Untangled shop. If you’re the ambitious type, I’m also taking preorders for the colorways on her Merino DK and Super Sock bases to ship in September.
Mary Annarella’s latest shawl, Square Root, looks complicated, but it’s actually the perfect summer vacation knitting — a completely seamless shawl in three colors that begins with three separate squares that are gradually connected to each other. It’s also 30% off with the code takethesquareroute through July 22.
Liz of HighFiberArtz is getting ready for cooler weather with some new colorways and kits, including the Spooky Donuts Halloween Kit and the 12 Days of Seuss Winter Holiday Kit, which include goodies from two other makers, Charmed and Dangerous and One Sock Wonder Bags.
Stephanie of frabjous fibers & Wonderland Yarns also has some fall colors that are perfect for her own Secret Staircase Shawl pictured above, and also some that are perfect to fade.
Heather of Sew Happy Jane’s delicious 2019 Holiday Gift Sets are inspired by the patisseries of Paris. Both Hannukah and Advent sets will be available today on her website.
For the latest Slipped Stitch Studios update, which goes live today at 9 a.m. Pacific, Laura’s making you choose: Friends or Golden Girls? (That’s easy: Sofia, Dorothy, Blanche and Rose!) In a fun twist, every order of a Friends or Golden Girls item is a vote and Laura will announce on Tuesday who the winner is. Everyone who ordered an item from the winning team receives a free gift!
I’m giving Sandra of Duck Duck Wool back her Glacier National Park-inspired yarn for her to bring to a trunk show, so if you don’t want to miss out on Glaciers & Wildflowers or her new Night Hike, grab them by Sunday, when they’ll be gone from the shop forever!
Mona’s Frida Kahlo-inspired For Frida pattern, originally published in the February 2019 issue of I Like Knitting magazine, is now available for individual sale in her shop. Enjoy 25% off the pattern through July 24, no coupon code needed.
Seathra of Stravaigin Yarn Co. dyed up some summer-inspired colors using Quebracho Red, Cochineal and Hibiscus. They are dyed on her Auchentoshan (OKH-en-TOSH-en) base, a 100% Canadian Rambouillet yarn that hails from the fields of Alberta.
The crew behind the Rosé and Rambouillet kit was waiting to unveil these gorgeous photos of Tamy Gore’s Dusky Rose shawl from Cat Reading. Kits with the Rambouillet yarn from The Dye Project, a digital copy of Tamy’s shawl pattern and a rose gold and glitter sheep pin from Nerd Bird Makery are available to preorder on Indie Untangled only through today!
Heather Jane of Sew Happy Jane has a knack for combining colors and this week she is featuring the Walking On A Dream sock pattern from Kalurah Hudson of While They Play Designs. There is a fresh batch of sock sets perfect for knitting this, or any pattern that uses contrast, all ready to go in her shop.
Dawn of Fairy Tale Knits is embracing that throwback with the “Christmas In July” version of her yarn Advent-style calendar. The set includes a full-sized, 463-yard skein skein Dawn’s 75/25 Superwash Merino/nylon Pegasus base and 24 92-yard speckled Pegasus mini skeins, all individually wrapped and inspired by a different cartoon character or show. They include the aforementioned Alvin & the Chipmunks and Muppet Babies, and a mix of other classics like Bugs Bunny, Sylvester & Tweety, the Jetsons, Care Bears, Smurfs and Rugrats.
Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios is shipping out her Steampunk-inspired bag and accessories preorders and so the extras will be live in her shop and ready to ship today at 9 a.m. Pacific time.
Happy birthday, America! Indie Untangled is celebrating this nation’s natural beauty with a Flash Sale! Get 15% off Knitting Our National Parks tote bags and Glacier National Park-inspired yarn from Duck Duck Wool through midnight EDT tonight with the code AMERICATHEBEAUTIFUL.
The next Eden Cottage Yarns update takes place today at 7 p.m. UK time and feature Titus Lace, a Superwash Merino/silk yarn that’s perfect for summer weather. It also includes the second release of the Four Seasons Collection, a collaboration with designer Jaya Lakshmi.
Augusta of adKnits has new gift tags infused with a little fiber-related snark, as well as new notecards, including those with her popular knitted mountains illustration. Plus, she’s also released the first two sets of her new line of stitch markers.
Back by popular demand is Duck Duck Wool’s popular Glaciers & Wildflowers colorway for the Knitting Our National Parks project, available on a Merino/silk single fingering and Merino DK. This Glacier National Park colorway is joined by extremely limited amounts of two new complementary semisolids — Night Hike and Peony For Your Thoughts. I just finished a Tegna sweater in the original colorway and I am in love with it.
Selena of Sweater Sisters knows what makes for the best summer project. Her Sedona Lace Scarf Kit, inspired by the red rock mountains in Sedona, Arizona, is everything a summer knitting project should be. Kits come with a generously-sized skein of WayfaringYarns’ Shangri-La Lace (75% extra fine Merino/25% Mulberry silk) to knit the squishy garter scarf with an easy-to-memorize lace pattern. And there are five color choices, including Apex, a bright coral inspired by Selena’s childhood home, and also Pantone’s color of the year.
Speaking of summer knitting, here’s a bit of a more rustic project that also meets all the requirements, and comes with some bonus sparkle. The Dye Project’s Rosé On Rambouillet colorway is pictured here with the makings for my favorite summer drink. Rosé and Rambouillet Kits also include the pattern for designer Tamy Gore’s Dusky Rose shawl and a rose gold glitter sheep pin from Nerd Bird Makery. Preorder your kit by July 5.
Jen of Porterness Studio has beautiful new sterling silver Yarn Twist earrings and necklaces inspired by hanks of yarn, plus a new Knit necklace if you want to be less subtle. Get 20% off your order through Monday with the code TwistedIU20.
If you want to be really obvious about your fiber love, grab one of Christine of Treasure Goddess Yarn’s Pirate Sheep Shirts in charcoal gray or light teal, which are on sale for $20 through July 8. Have too many T-shirts? She also has pirate sheep pins and keychains.
Joining her Suavest Sheep and Lovable Lambs, Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations’ new Sensational Sheep are ready to tackle your next colorwork project. These 3D-printed notions come in two sizes for 5 to 8 yards of fingering-weight or 5 yards of worsted-weight yarn.
Melanie of Baad Mom Yarns is giving her yarn a money-back guarantee with her new Wish To Squish Program. If you don’t think the color matches the photo or the yarn isn’t soft enough for your princess skin, you can send it back within three business days.
Shanna of Lambstrings Yarn has limited quantities of two new colorways available in her shop. Zodiac is a dark and moody colorway with pops of brightness and Petunia is a light peach speckle. Her shop is stocked with plenty of other lovely skeins.
Amy of Summit Road Fibers’ is taking preorders for Advent calendars that come with more than 2,500 yards of hand-dyed deluxe sock yarn, all individually wrapped and ready to count to Christmas, plus a full-size skein to open on Christmas Day.
If you’re planning to go to Stitches United in Atlanta next weekend, make sure to head to Booth 623 to check out Lolabean Yarn Co. and snag some of Adella’s most popular colorways (plus an adorably delicious peach pin designed by Shelli Can). If you’re not planning to attend, Adella is having an online event starting this Wednesday, May 29, and running to June 2. All of her colors will be available for preorder on several different bases.
Every month, Jennifer of Spirit Trail Fiberworks creates colorways inspired by an image suggested by one of her newsletter subscribers. May’s colorways are based on a photo of a jewel-toned tile that newsletter subscriber Cindy sent. As always, all four of them work well together for colorwork, as well as individually. They are available to preorder until this Sunday.
After debuting her Suavest Sheep — an adorable 3D-printed notion that can be used to tidy your cast-on end, hold yarn joined in the middle of your project or just show off some yarn — Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations decided to expand her sheep family and create smaller Lovable Lambs for both thinner and shorter loose ends.
Heather of Earl Grey Fiber Co. is opening the second round of sign-ups for her yarny Advent Calendar tomorrow at 10 a.m. Pacific. This year’s calendar will be a mash-up of her Great British Baking Show yarn and charm club and her Afternoon Tea Collection. Yum!
If you’re in or near NYC and around next weekend, you do not want to miss these events with designers Thea Colman and Kirsten Kapur at mYak’s Here Now Space in the West Village. Thea, also known as BabyCocktails, will be teaching a cable workshop and a design workshop, and Kirsten will be teaching a color block class. On Saturday evening, they will team up for Aperi-Knit cocktail party. Of course, the mYak shop will be open and if you mention Indie Untangled you’ll receive 10% off all yarn and kits.