Indie Untangled Everywhere Untangling: Deep Dyed Yarn

Stephanie Stratton of Deep Dyed Yarn.

This is the eighth in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of Indie Untangled Everywhere, taking place from October 15-17, 2020.

There are many indie dyers who start their business after learning how to spin yarn. Stephanie of Deep Dyed Yarns is one of those dyers. She’s also one of the few indies selling hand-dyed fiber as well as yarn in the Indie Untangled Everywhere marketplace. Here’s her story.

Tell me about how you got started dyeing yarn.

My yarn dying adventures began as a snowball effect. In January of 2007, I bought my first spinning wheel and became hooked. It wasn’t long before I had amassed a large amount of handspun yarn.

There was no way I would use all of the yarns spun, so an Etsy store was created. To my utter delight and astonishment, it all sold. More fiber was purchased to be spun and I thought, Why not try my hand at Kool-Aid dyeing? From there, I progressed to commercial acid dyes and began listing hand-dyed fibers. There came a point where I could not keep up with supply and demand of handspun yarn, so han-dyed, mill-spun yarns were added to the line-up.

A friend encouraged me to try a local festival in the fall of 2007. The first booth consisted of a card table and bread rack. It was such a warm, welcoming, and shockingly successful experience, I began looking for more to attend. Pennies were saved and trailers to haul displays were purchased. A small metal building was constructed that has evolved and been improved upon a little each year. One year it was insulation, another was a ceiling, another was proper ventilation, enclosing the dye area, etc.

It has been a 13-year journey of love, friendship and sometimes tears. There have been so many amazing people who have influenced me. I am so grateful to everyone who has encouraged, uplifted, supported and been there for me in not just my journey as a dyer, but all of us as a community.

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

Black goes with everything in my humble opinion. In all honesty, I love all colors. Maybe a few more than others, as I can’t get away with wearing yellow or orange, but that doesn’t mean I snub my nose at all the pretty shades, tones and hues they contain.

Is there a color that you would love to dye, but that is challenging to create?

No, I pretty much dye what I like. Color combos are tested in the pots and if I really love it, they make it online or to the festival floor.

Can you share some of your plans for Indie Untangled Everywhere?

So… I might be a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl. This is a new style of show for me and while ideas are brewing, I do not have a concrete plan in place. I am hoping to showcase some of the most popular colors and colors that complement them. Maybe a little time talking about what it’s like spending so much time on the road. Oh, and there’s always time for showcasing patterns using my colors as well as a studio tour! My one goal is to not drop the ‘F’ bomb, lol!

When and how did you learn to knit?

A funny thing happened on a returning British Airways flight from London Heathrow to JFK in New York. The year was 1997 and it happened to be my first overseas trip for a tour of Scotland.

Upon takeoff, the lady next to me pulled her knitting out of her bag and began to knit a simple corner-to-corner afghan for her soon-to-be-arriving grandchild out of some very lovely yellow wool she bought while visiting England. I asked question after question about what she was doing at the ends and she explained they were yarn-overs to make the blanket grow larger with every other row and purling to keep the edges from curling. And she kindly suggested that I find a local yarn shop when I got home for lessons.

Shortly thereafter, I fell asleep and did not wake up until after the flight landed. No joke, I have slept through tornados and earthquakes, so a plane landing was a walk in the park for me! Once home, yarn and metal needles were bought at a big box store and I taught myself the ‘e’ cast-on and how to knit, purl and yarn-over.

Feeling confident and thrilled with my progress, the next step was a visit to the local yarn shop where more yarn and a simple little pattern was purchased. And, that’s where trouble started. The kind lady on the flight mentioned something about not knitting like her, but I was so groggy that I didn’t remember that part in the thrill of teaching myself by mimicking what I remembered her doing. It was so frustrating because nothing I did would make the pattern show up. K, P, K2tog, SSK, YO….. NOTHING WORKED!

That is until I checked out Kids Knitting by Melanie Falick at the local library. I followed the steps page by page and not advancing until the next step. Casting on and knitting the first row were simple and then the next set of directions said to TURN THE WORK! I about died of laugher! You see, I taught myself how to knit back and forth instead of turning the work because that is what the very patient lady on the plane had done.

Since you sell fiber, do you spin?

I certainly do and feel it has made me not just a better knitter and judge of yarn, but also a better dyer. When you spin, the colors and combinations of colors you use can drastically change the outcome of your yarn.

What are some of your favorite FOs you or your customers have made with your yarn?

In no particular order:

Monnie’s Vintersol using Grit in colors Seafoam, Whisp, and Smoke.

My Night Shift (Christopher Sala) using Figment in colors Velvet Underground and Appaloosa.

Jan M’s Honey Comb Aran sweater using Grit in color Caramel (pictured above).

ZueZuesKnots’s Tecumseh Using Still in colors Summer Berries, Coraline, and Caramel.

What’s currently on your needles?

Light in Shadows by Milja Uimonen using Align in colors Driftwood and Caramel.

Indie Untangled Everywhere Untangling: Northern Bee Studio

Melissa of Northern Been Studio with a friend.

This is the seventh in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of Indie Untangled Everywhere, taking place from October 15-17, 2020.

When we and other people envision knitting, crocheting and fiber crafts, we often conjure up images of frolicking amongst sheep, goats and other farm animals, though for most of us our fiber story is set against a backdrop of binge-watched TV shows and honking horns (though the latter is mainly me and my fellow city-dwellers!).

The name Northern Bee Studio is a true expression of dyer Melissa’s setup in Rib Lake, Wisconsin: she and her husband have bees, chickens and cats, and this year they welcomed some Sannen goats, the largest of the dairy breed. They milk them daily and make cheese, yogurt, ice cream and soap from their milk.

Tell me about how you got started dyeing yarn.

It really started with spinning. I had wanted to learn how to spin for so long. When we lived in Juneau, Alaska, a friend messaged me that she had just bought a couple wheels off of Craigslist. This would have been about 2008-ish. She wondered if I was interested in buying one of them for her because she thought she didn’t need both (hah!). Sure! Well, I watched videos and requested books from the library and made some stuff that eventually resembled yarn. The problem was, I didn’t know where exactly to get hand-dyed prepared top to spin besides Etsy. I had ordered a bunch from Etsy when I first started and shipping was killer. So, I decided to find somewhere to order undyed top in a kind of large amount (back when I thought a pound would last me a while) and played around with Kool-Aid and food coloring. I had so much fun with it and got such great feedback that I decided to try dyeing yarn.

I started out with Knitpicks Bare and went from there. I would make longies for our kids and little hats and things and people in my knitting group loved my colors. Well, the owner of the shop that I used to work at liked the yarn too and asked me to dye as much as I could for the upcoming tourist season. This is when I used to dye yarn one skein at a time on the stovetop. So much has changed! Fast forward 12 years and here I am with a dedicated studio space, dyeing thousands of pounds of yarn a year and still enjoying every minute of it.

What inspires your colorways?

I get inspired by nature so much of the time. I get inspired by the different flowers in our gardens, the plants and trees around us and if it is the middle of winter and I want to work on a new colorway, I love to look at pictures of nature on Pinterest where the colors are broken down.

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

Almost any blue has always been and will always be my favorite color. Especially the turquoise-ish blue of the bee in my logo. It is such a great color that goes so well with so many other colors.

Is there a color that you would love to dye, but that is challenging to create?

I am still challenged by Grellow. I mean, I really like the one I do now but I don’t feel like it is exactly right. And I have experimented and overdyed so much yarn over the years trying to get just the right tone, I have kind of just told myself that I just need to be happy with the Grellow I have, not the Grellow I want.

Can you share some of your plans for Indie Untangled Everywhere?

Sure! We have been working on setting up a mini-booth in the Studio and I plan to have a wall with a skein of every one of our colors on it. That way I can show everyone how the colors play across the skeins. I have our show special colorway that I can’t wait to show off more —- it is inspired by the Indie Untangled Everywhere logo and I just love it. I also plan to have my Yak Sock mini skein sets ready for the event and maybe it is aiming too high, but I hope to show off the Advent sets that I have been working on. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

When and how did you learn to knit?

When I was a kid, my mom taught me how to crochet. Every winter, she would sit and crochet blankets for everyone. I cherish the blankets I have, even though over the years, the Red Heart yarn has gotten kind of scratchy. Fast forward to 2006. My husband and I had been restationed to the island of Saipan [Melissa’s husband serves in the U.S. Coast Guard] and I was pregnant with our first child. I had read about this nifty new website, Ravelry, on someone’s blog and was seeing more and more fantastic knitting projects. My mom had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and her sleeping schedule was really wild. So, we would talk during my day (which was her night, Saipan is 15 hours ahead of Central Standard Time) and she would help walk me through the basic steps over the phone. She was an avid thrifter and garage sale junkie so anytime she saw yarn or knitting needles, she would buy them and send them to me. I still have so many of those old aluminum straight needles she sent me, I don’t think I could ever get rid of them. With her help, random tutorials I found online and a new friend that had grown up on Saipan and was a knitter (hey Deece!), the rest is history.

What are some of your favorite FOs you or your customers have made with your yarn?

You know, I really love seeing all the FOs and WIPs from my customers. One of my favorites is seeing the Advent set projects, those for me are such a challenge… coming up with 24 to 25 new colors that work together every year really pushes my creativity in a good way. And I love all the different designs that the designers do, we have so many great patterns to choose from. I also love seeing my yarns being used with other indie dyers’ yarns in large projects. It’s fun when you know the dyers personally, and you can see how your yarns play so well together and know how the purchases really help them, too.

Three goats with fall leaves.

Melissa’s Sannen goats.

What’s currently on your needles?

Oh gosh, that’s a slippery slope. I am a serial starter. I am really trying hard to make more pairs of socks this month. It is Socktober after all. But I have so many WIPs that are just sitting, so the struggle is real over here. Currently on the needles:

High Desert Socks
No Frills Sweater
Octopus Mittens (probably my 10th pair, they’re so fun!)
Dissent Cardigan
Scrappy Pillows (crochet version)
And a secret Advent test knit for Ambah

What to stash this week: earthy knits

1

A person hugging a tree.

Kismet of LoLo Body Care is doing her part with the LoLo Body Care Eco-Bag, a 100% organic cotton Fair-Trade Certified bag that, among other advantages, uses growing systems that replenish and maintain soil fertility and build biologically diverse agriculture. Even better, with every bag that’s purchased, one tree gets planted with LoLo’s partners, One Tree Planted.

Cream yarn with pale pink, purple and gold speckles.

To mark the release of Paula Pereira’s Talyse shawl, designed for the 2020 Where We Knit Yarn Club, I’m doing a limited preorder of Shani’s delicately speckled colorway, created with natural dyes! While reminiscent of cherry blossoms, she dubbed it Crazy 88 because she had never dyed that many skeins of one colorway before. It’s available on her Helios 50/50 Merino/Mulberry silk base, which would look gorgeous in Paula’s new shawl, or in sweaters that call for some drape. You can find some pattern suggestions, and preorder the yarn, through August 23.

Red, white and blue hand-dyed yarn.

Janis and Christen of Queen City Yarn are donating $10 for every skein of their red, white and blue colorway sold to Fair Fight, which works to “promote fair elections in Georgia and around the country, encourage voter participation in elections, and educate voters about elections and their voting rights.”

An orange and brown tweed tote bag.

Katherine of K. MacColl Bags makes sophisticated tote bags using wool fabrics. They come in five different looks and two large sizes, and in a number of colorways and patterns.

A box of colorful yarn.

Melissa is celebrating the launch of her new Canada-based shop, Alley Cat Yarns, with free shipping within North America and 20% off purchases of $150CAD or more, through the end of August.

Purple and teal variegated yarn.

Maelstrom Fiber Arts’ Gothic Mermaid Collection is inspired by the legends and lore of sirens or mermaids. Jennifer’s colorways are available on the majority of her bases, including a new non-Superwash fingering-weight yarn.

Gray shark stitch markers.

It’s Shark Week, so celebrate with WeeOnes miniature shark stitch markers at a 10% discount through this Sunday! You get a hammerhead, great white, black-tipped reef shark, and a longtail carpet shark made by Jillian with your choice of soldered rings or lobster claw clasps.

A spiral of brightly colored hanks of yarn.

The chunky Coriedale wool and Superwash Merino fingering wool from Quiltwoman.com is dyed with a variety of needlework projects, including rug hooking/punching and punch needle embroidery, in mind. Aside from yarn, the Quiltwoman.com shop has a variety of patterns and kits.

A multicolored striped shawl.

Vanessa of Cape May Fiber Company has a new shawl design called Froth that uses either three full-sized fingering-weight skeins or 12 minis, and she has kits in her very own naturally-dyed colors.

A box of brightly colored yarn next to a book.

Barbara’s Spencer Hill Naturally Dyed Yarn turns 10 years old this month, so celebrate with one of her colorful five base yarns and custom-spun yarns from small farms in NY and PA.

A braid of black and purple fiber and the words Purple Girl.

Natalie of Fiberdog Fibers is a new indie who offers hand-dyed fibers, as well as hand-dyed and handspun yarn, using almost exclusively raw fleeces that she washes, cards, dyes and spins herself.

Red, blue and gray hand-dyed yarn.

You can still join AnnieDot Creative’s ongoing Fantastic Socks: a yarn club inspired by Newt Scamander. The year-long club features colorways that bring Newt’s magical creatures to life.

ADKnits has a knitting sticker designed for all the campers out there.

What to stash while you get ready for Indie Untangled Everywhere

A white teacup sits in front of fairy lights on a handknit with the worlds Advent 2020 let's get cozy.

Heather of Sew Happy Jane, who is one of our Indie Untangled Everywhere vendors, is opening preorders tomorrow for her 2020 Advent Calendars, designed to bring that cozy, comforting feeling we need right now.

Mini mannequins wearing colorful mini sweaters.

Selena of Sweater Sisters is having a huge clearance sale to make way for fall yarns. Two of her luxury fingering bases are 40% off. It’s also time once again for her Mini Sweater Challenge.

Packages with black and white cat stickers and dog paw tissue paper.

The latest mystery box from Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations is totally pawsome. You have your choice of cat or dog, notions only, pin and notions, or cuff and notions. Subscribers will also be the first to get two new shapes of end minders inspired by our four-legged family members.

The edge of a pink and orange botanical brioche wrap.

The latest design from Amanda of Handmaine Knits, the Floret Wrap, is a botanically-inspired brioche trapezoid that comes in a three-color version and a six-color gradient version.

A teal and green lacy and textured shawl.

The Mermaids in the Waves shawl MKAL from Softyarn Designs is no longer a mystery. Join in and chat along, and enter to win prizes, including a gift card from dyer Jilly and Kiddles.

Amanda of Wild Hair Studio has a Lord of the Rings-inspired spinning Advent calendar.

Introducing: Indie Untangled Everywhere!

An illustration showing various animals in brown, orange and teal knitting, crocheting, spinning and enjoying yarn while connecting through various devices.

Illustration by Eloise Narrigan

By now, many of us expected to be casting on projects to finish in time for the fall fiber festival season, when we could look forward to showing them off while doling out hugs and those appreciative pets that only our fellow yarn people understand.

2020 had other plans for us… A couple of months ago, after we realized that an in-person Indie Untangled trunk show was not in the cards, IU event producer Petrina and I kickstarted our idea for a virtual alternative that would provide the connections we’ve all been craving.

We’re excited to announce that Indie Untangled Everywhere will be taking place on October 15, 16 and 17 and you’re invited to join us from wherever you are!

Previously, we were limited in what we could do by space, time and cost. But now, no matter where you’re located or what your schedule is like, you can gather with us, our indie vendors and some special guests for three whole days of fiber fun.

I’m sure you’re asking: How will this work?​ Well, since you already follow Indie Untangled, it will feel a little familiar, but there are also many new, interactive things we’re excited to include.

General Admission tickets will go on sale next Friday, August 7. Your $5 ticket will take you to a special section of the Indie Untangled website. From there, you’ll be able to browse virtual vendor booths that will feature video introductions and tours, photo galleries, and access to special products and discounts. You’ll also be able to meet dyers and makers during interactive shopping sessions and pop into a virtual lounge where you can connect with fiber friends old and new.

Once you purchase your ticket, you’ll be able to preorder mini boxes that will let you feel and squish our vendors’ Superwash and rustic yarns before you buy full skeins online, purchase Indie Untangled tote bags and swag, and register to attend events, including interactive chats with guest designers.

Additionally, because we know this year in particular has been economically challenging for many people, we are also partnering with one of our generous sponsors, New Hampshire yarn shop Scratch Supply Co., to provide financial assistance to six members of our community.

So, mark your calendar and browse our list of nearly 50 vendors. You’ll see some familiar faces, along with many new ones.

We look forward to seeing you at Indie in October!

Pre-Rhinebeck Untangling: Plied Yarn Co.

Two women hold skeins of colorful yarn.

Karida Collins, foreground, and Ann Weaver, the co-owners of Plied Yarn Co.

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

For years, Karida Collins of Neighborhood Fiber Co. and designer Ann Weaver have expertly brought together color. Recently, the longtime collaborators embarked on an exciting new venture, co-founding Plied Yarn Co. to produce a unique product: woolen-spun yarn that is hand dyed and then plied at the mill.

I was excited to see hints of their new venture pop up on Instagram a few months ago, and now that their cat is out of the bag, I’m thrilled to announce that I will be hosting this new yarn line in my booth at the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show!

Tell me how Plied Yarn Co. came about.

Plied Yarns is a collaboration between Karida Collins, founder and president of Neighborhood Fiber Co., and Ann Weaver, knitting instructor and designer. We traveled to Harrisville Designs for a weeklong weaving workshop, which included a mill tour. After the tour, we talked excitedly about the potential for creating a woolen-spun hand-dyed yarn unlike any yarn that was on the market. We refined our ideas and conferred with Harrisville for about a year, figuring out how we could create the yarn we envisioned. Then came a nerve-wracking period of trial and error (the possibility that what we wanted just wouldn’t work was always looming). Finally, we spun and dyed a small test batch and then a larger batch, which was enough to start selling.

How is it different from other hand-dyed yarns?

Plied is different from other hand-dyed yarns in two significant ways. First, unlike the majority of hand-dyed yarns, it is woolen spun, not worsted spun. Woolen spun yarns are not Superwash, and they are lighter and loftier than worsted spun yarns. After washing and blocking, woolen spun yarns bloom beautifully, which makes them suitable for knitting at a wide range of gauges. Second, we hand-dyed each of the plies in each color separately, and then we return them to the mill for plying. The result is complex, multilayered colors because each ply is semisolid.

Skeins of colorful yarn on a curved wooden stool.

What expertise would you say each of you brings to the table in this venture?

Karida brings a dozen years of yarn-dyeing and selling experience, which is invaluable. She not only has the expertise to create the colors we envision, but also has the business insight that comes from over a decade in the industry. Ann brings a strong color point of view from nearly a decade of teaching color theory for knitters and creating designs based on color interaction. Additionally, we both bring our contacts — designers, shops and events — and what we’ve learned from them to the yarn we’re creating. Our goal is to make yarn that is both exciting and appealing to a wide range of fiber artists.

What plans does Ann have for designs in the yarn?

Ann has reworked a few of her designs in Plied, and she is developing a few new designs to be released in 2020. Currently, she is focused on working with other designers and sample knitters to ensure that Plied designs reflect a variety of viewpoints and styles (and she’s really busy making the yarn).

Karida, how does Plied fit into the overall vision you have for Neighborhood Fiber Co.?

Karida imagines herself as a yarn baron, much in the style of past oil barons. Or Mr. Monopoly. Mainly, she wants to wear a monocle. Plied and Neighborhood Fiber Co. have significantly different production processes, even though they’re both hand-dyed yarns. Ideally, Plied will be the beginning of a new kind of offering from Neighborhood Fiber Co. and its affiliates (what we call the Neighborhood Fiber Co. Lab). We want to have a wide variety of yarns, in addition to the wide variety of colors.

Arms up in the air holding bundles of colorful yarn.

How did each of you learn to knit?

Ann learned from her mom, who taught her to knit and purl. Beyond the knit and purl stitches, she is self taught. Over the past few years, she’s taken workshops with other teachers, both local and nationally known, whenever she can to improve her skills and broaden her perspective.

Karida learned to knit right after college. Suddenly faced with the realities of budgeting a life in Washington, DC, with an entry-level salary, she and her friends started looking for ways to have fun at home. Her best friend taught her to knit, and she felt like she was finally doing what she was meant to do.

Do you enjoy other crafts in addition to knitting?

When she’s not knitting, Ann quilts, weaves, crochets, cross-stitches and embroiders, and rummages around at thrift stores, yard sales, auctions and, occasionally, the trash for the “supplies” she needs for these projects. Karida enjoys starting projects and then letting them languish in assorted bins and bags around the house. She has dabbled in quilting, weaving, crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, rug tufting and basket-weaving. Her main hobby is chasing her 19-month-old son around the house and sneaking in naps whenever she can.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the fiber industry?

First, be prepared to work VERY HARD for a long time. Have a source of income outside your fiber industry pursuit that pays your bills (being independently wealthy works, too). Then, don’t give up. Even when all of your friends and family tell you to quit and get a “real job,” refuse to admit defeat. Take risks! Don’t worry about the long-term financial consequences. You were never going to pay back your student loans anyway. Or move to Baltimore. You can afford to do anything here. Look at us. Living the dream.

What to stash this week: Last call

Three skeins of orange yarn

Jennifer of Spirit Trail Fiberworks is sadly closing the doors on her indie dyeing operation after 18 years (!). She’s having one final shop update that’s going on now. The skeins are going fast, so head over to her site ASAP!⁣

A grey T-shirt that says K1FU in aqua with a stockinette stitch pattern

Fellow sailors, Cooperative Press made a thing for us. A few things, actually. Their K1FU T-shirt, which particularly comes in handy when you’re counting, is available to preorder through August 31, along with two other fun designs. T-shirt sales go toward helping indie publishing thrive.

A skein of orange red yarn

Judging by Heather of Sew Happy Jane’s dye pots, which are full of cinnamon, caramel, brown sugar, red wine, pumpkin, crunchy leaves and golden light, she’s ready for fall!

Three skeins of dark green and blue variegated yarn

While we’re a ways off from Mardis Gras, Mardi Gras Nights is one of IU newcomer Jennifer of Bugbear Woolens’ favorite colorways. It’s available on any of her yarn bases or spinning fiber.

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

You have one more week to preorder Earl Grey Fiber Company’s peak purple colorway, inspired by Naches Peak at Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park.

Christmas lights and the alphabet and the words Fabric by the yard and the Stranger Things logo

Join Slipped Stitch Studios in the Upside Down today at noon Pacific time. Four indie-designed tributes to Stranger Things will be available for preorder through Monday only.

Four golden skeins of yarn

Julia of Pandia’s Jewels is also in a fall state of mind and her Fall into Halloween Collection will debut on her website starting today at 10 a.m. Eastern.

A white mug that reads, I turn coffee into sweaters with a teal sweater and cup of coffee pictured

Amanda of Handmaine Knits has debuted yarn and knitting-inspired mugs in three exclusive designs with original artwork.

Skeins of plum and orange variegated yarn

Patricia of BeesyBee Fibers had her first shop update in a while with plenty of hand-dyed yarn and spinning fiber.

A picture of a downtown street and the words Hometown Comfort MKAL with Crafty Flutterby Creations and Destination Yarn

Join Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations for a Mystery Knit A Long inspired by a few favorite locations in her hometown. The KAL, which runs from September 2-30, includes cables, lace and slipped stitches.

Skeins of solid purple and blue and orange and pink, blue and yellow variegated yuarn with the words Back to school sale, 20% off entire store

As Lisa The Knitting Artist begins her fourth year of teaching art, she’s celebrating with a back-to-school yarn sale! All yarn and prints in her Etsy shop are 20% off through the end of August, no code needed.

Preorders for Stash Yarn Club’s September shipment, which features Forbidden Fiber Co., are open now.

Preorders for the Lambstrings Yarn Spooky Holiday Advent Calendars are now available.

What to stash this week: A sweater a day

Ambler colored skeins of yarn.

Sheila of BigFootFibers is taking custom orders for the Olive Knits Four Day Sweater KAL. She is offering orders on BrilliantBritFoot Worsted (Superwash BFL) SuperSquishy Worsted (Superwash Merino) and the new, rustic SassyLassy Worsted (85% Superwash Merino/10% Donegal tweed).

A collection of skeins of pastel hand-dyed yarn.

Welcome Indie Untangled newcomer Beckie! This Canadian dyer named her yarn company Shirley Brian Yarn after her grandmother, a prolific knitter, and her late father. Beckie just had a shop update with 23 new colorways and old favorites on her Sailor Sock base.

A pink skein of yarn sushi enamel pin.

Thao of Nerd Bird Makery, who aims to create inclusive products reflecting the multicultural diversity found throughout the fiber community, has a line of enamel pins that are a playful celebration of Asian culinary traditions (and if I were you, I’d grab one or two of those Woolsabi enamel pins, seen above posed with a certain La Bien Aimée exclusive colorway, before they sell out).

A collage of magenta yarn with various variegated skeins.

If you’re looking for a lightweight yarn to knit with this summer, try Fluffy U Fiber Farm‘s wool, linen and silk blend. 

Steampunk fabric

Preorders for project bags and accessories in steampunk designs from Slipped Stitch Studios go live today at 9 a.m. Pacific time.

A zipper bag with a green and blue bird fabric with the text The Hillary.

Talk about a grab bag: Maker Heather of Beautiful Syster has a fun mystery club, for which members receive a bag in an exclusive fabric as well as a mini skein in a coordinating color from one of her favorite dyers.

A set of purple, pink and aqua variegated mini skeins.

Shanna of Lambstrings Yarn just had a huge shop update with more than 200 skeins, including plenty of Singles, Sock, DK, Bulky, Mohair Lace and mini skein sets. Plus, preorders for Caitlin Hunter’s Navelli Tee kit are still open.

Check out the new Kindred Spirits colorway from IU newcomer DiamondDyeworks.

What to stash this week that’s magical

A blue and green pullover shawl

All Points South is one of my favorite knits and all-time-favorite FOs, so I was excited to see that Casapinka’s design for LYS Day, Magical Thinking, was a very similar style. It’s a fun knit with varied stitch patterns that keep things interesting, but never too complicated. And I love the fact that I can make another one of these in a similar style, but that I won’t be knitting it all over again. Bronwyn has just kicked off a Magical Thinking KAL in her Ravelry group, so grab those three yarns that just look perfect together and fall in love. 

A May the 4th Be With You letter board with Star Wars accessories

If The Force is strong in you this weekend, then set your alarm for 9 a.m. Pacific today. Slipped Stitch Studios has bags and accessories in four Star Wars-themed fabrics, limited edition Millennium Falcon stitch markers and rare Star Wars Pattern Wallets. These items are limited and ready to ship.

A stuffed sheep surrounded by Christmas ornaments

If you’re the plan-ahead type, then you can order your yarny Advent Calendar from Marianated Yarns now to ship in November. Kits include 24 mini skeins in a few different base options, tons of goodies and a custom-dyed full skein.

Purple and pink variegated yarn

Aimee of Pancake and Lulu is all about the purples and pale pastels, plus spinners can check out new batts with sparkly Stellina.

Blue and purple variegated yarn

Sunshine of My Mama Knits has a variety of one-of-a-kind single batches available in various weights from lace to super chunky.

Pink, blue and orange variegated yarn

Lisa The Knitting Artist is having a clearance sale to make room for new bases and colors, with sock and worsted yarn $15 to $18 per skein.

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

A map of the Howard County Fairgrounds

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

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

THE KNOT HOUSE INDIE POP-UP

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

Dragon Hoard Yarn

A collage of yarn

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

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

The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers

A collage of yarn

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

Little Fox Yarn

Orange yarn

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

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

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

THE FESTIVAL

See the festival map here.

Bare Naked Wools/Knitspot

Main Exhibition Hall, Booth C28

A sweater, shawl, hat and yarn

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

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

Bijou Basin Ranch  

Outside North, Booth N1

A collage of yarn

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

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

Dragonfly Fibers

Outside Lower Corral, Booth LC9  

A collage of yarn and a tote bag

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

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

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

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

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

Fluffy U Fiber Farm

Barn 5, Booth 14

A collage of yarn

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

KnittyandColor/Subterranean Woodworks

Main Exhibition Hall, Booth B13

A collage of yarn and wood spindles

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

Toad Hollow

Outside Lower Corral, Booth LC18

A blue crab tote bag with blue speckled yarn

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

Wolle’s Yarn Creations

Main Exhibition Hall, Booth B2

A collage of gradient yarn cakes

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

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