What to stash this week: Precious love

 

A woman wears a pink skirt and olive green handknit sweater.

Mary of Lyrical Knits looked to one of her (and my) comfort watches, Schitt’s Creek, for her latest sweater design. A follow-up to her Fold In the Cheese hat, The JazzaGal is a top-down pullover that features a round yoke with a cascading, teardrop lace pattern. It’s designed to be knit with a strand of fingering yarn held together with a strand of laceweight mohair, or if, unlike David Rose, you can’t pull off mohair, you can use a heavy DK/light worsted yarn. The JazzaGal is available on both Ravelry and Payhip at 30% off with the code preciouslove through this Monday, January 17.

Multiple yarn pictures.

Chantal runs a small batch indie-dyed yarn company called Je Laine Yarns in Montreal. While it’s not a new operation, the pandemic has shifted her in-person-shows-only approach to the development and launch of an online shop. Bases include the popular Bella, a luxurious single-ply made with Merino, Cashmere and silk.

A green, brown, orange, tan and gray striped knit infinity scarf.

Eve of Holly Dyeworks has released Eden, an appropriately-named gradient cowl inspired by the Garden of Eden, and beauty of creation. It’s knit holding two strands of sock/fingering weight yarn or one strand of DK. The sample pictured here is done in Eve’s Eat, Drink, and Be Merry Mini Skein Set.

A skein of sparkly dark red yarn.

Bring some sparkle to your winter with Anzula’s Lunaris base, a luxurious blend of 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere and 10% Stellina.

A wooden fob in the shape of a heart engraved with the words This project belongs to a crafter who loves indie yarn.

Show off your love of indie yarn with these new project bag fobs from Katrinkles, made custom for Indie Untangled! And get a fob for free with a purchase of $50 or more from the Indie Untangled shop through February 14. Just put the fob in your cart and the discount will be applied automatically.

Skeins of purple and pink speckled yarn.

Lauren of Miami Fiber Co. just had a shop update with new colorways and fades, including this beautiful purple one that would be perfect for a Comfort Fade Cardi.

Hot pink, mustard and blue multi coloured yarn with a shawl in those same colors and the words New yarn bundles.Cowgirlblues has colorful yarn bundles for the Sweet Dreams Shawl by Jane Renton, with recorded Zoom knit-along sessions for step-by-step support.

Two skeins of yellow yarn and cotton bags in hand-dyed colours.

Sara of La Cave à Laine is starting the year with her Bundles of Joy. Each week of January she’s releasing a curated collection of bags that are bundled together with a 50% discount to bring you joy. The first bundle is inspired by (much-needed) sunshine.

Natalie of Fiberdog Fibers is running a clearance sale on her handspun yarn and spinning fibers.

What to stash this week: A yarny new year

A collage of images and knitting projects.

Here’s look back at the inspiration photos and collaborations from the 2021 Indie Untangled Where We Knit Yarn Club from Murky Depths Dyeworks & Bristol Ivy, Humble Knit & Camille Descoteaux, Black Elephant & JimiKnits (which you can still preorder through the end of the day today before it’s retired forever) and Lanivendole & Soraya García.

You have until the end of the day today to sign up for the 2022 club, which brings together another set of four dyer/designer dream teams: Plies & Hellhounds & Milly’s Knit Designs, Émilia & Philomène & Marion Em Knits, Neighborhood Fiber Co. & Julie At Work and Kokon Yarn and Eri Shimizu. These colorways are completely exclusive to Indie Untangled, and aside from limited preorders six months after the packages go out, these yarns are not re-released. Signing up for the club introduces you to these talented makers, with their yarns, designs and a special Zoom session where you can meet them and learn about their process. 

I hope you will join us for this fabulous year of knitting!

A collage of colorful yarn and a project bag.

The Woolen Women crew is having a sale! Get 15% off mystery fiber retreat weekend packages, knit kits and more through tomorrow only.

A soup can illustration with the words Andy Warhol Yarn Club.

In the future, all yarn will be famous for 15 minutes. Each month of 2022, Lisa The Knitting Artist will be creating a yarn colorway inspired by one of Andy Warhol’s works, starting with his earliest and ending with his last. Join the club and get your choice of yarn base each month, along with a fun fact card, a monthly stitch marker and other items that are Warhol related.

Skeins of gray and light blue yarn.

Looking for a super soft splurge? Anzula’s Serenity is a 4-ply fingering-weight yarn made of 100% Cashmere, which dyer Kalliope says is “seriously the most decadent yarn we’ve ever created.” Use it to make basically anything worn against the skin.

A collage of gray and cream yarn and the number 2021.

Monica of Gothfarm Yarn released four new products – two naturally-colored yarns and two rovings – in 2021. Her Year In Review includes Karst, a whisper gray sportweight yarn; Cottontail, a soft, shiny white roving; Terra Preta, a rich brown, worsted-weight yarn; and a pencil roving called Cirrus.

Indie Untangled 2021 Year In Review Part 2: Indie exclusives

Red, orange and pink yarn and the words Indie Untangled 2021 Year In Review.

As I’m sure it has for you, knitting and yarn has helped ground me this year. Beyond the making, I’ve been especially grateful for the exciting collaborations I’ve taken part in, between the Where We Knit Yarn Club and the Knitting Our National Parks yarns.

Here are some projects using special Indie Untangled colorways that were finished in 2021, including one of my very own favorite FOs. (Some, including the TréLiz yarn, is still available, while others, like the Countess Ablaze colorways, will no longer be dyed again.)

A blue green triangle shawl on a wood floor.

Susan’s Wayfarer by Jen Lucas in Countess Ablaze Rebel Fingering, colorway The Last Yarn On Earth

A white woman wears a sweater with pink and teal variegated yarn and gold short sleeves and a hem.

Victoria’s That 70’s Tee by Janine McCarty in Huckleberry Knits Willow, colorway Going to the Sun.

A white woman in a pink and blue knit top with an aqua skirt.

Aya’s Knot Front Crop by Kerri Blumer In Countess Ablaze Rebel Fingering, colorway Hipster Yarn Is So Mainstream, Ironic, No?

A white woman wears a pink, orange and blue speckled hat.

Karen’s Warm the Line Beanie by Rosemary (Romi) Hill in Countess Ablaze Grande Merino DK, colorway My Swiss Army Knife Has a Crochet Hook

A blue and beige color work wrap.

Julie’s Humi by Camille Descoteaux in Humble Knit Humble Twist for the 2021 Indie Untangled Where We Knit Yarn Club

A white woman wears a gray speckled wrap.

rvilkomerson‘s Primavera Capelet by Paulina Popiolek in Lanivendole A Chic Blend, colorway Home Blooms

Purple and blue striped socks.

Pat’s Lavender Fields Socks by Helen Stewart in AT Haynes House Yarns Bare Feet Sock, colorway I Have One Just Like It In My Living Room

A white woman wears a teal and gray speckled colorwork sweater.

Maggie’s Goldwing by Jennifer Steingass In La Bien Aimée Merino DK, colorway Automne à Rhinebeck

A pink knit tank top.

Jennifer’s Framework Bralette by Jessie Maed Designs in Countess Ablaze Lady Persephone Sock, colorway A Post-Apocalyptic Life Skill

A ‘non-knitter’ knits for Christmas

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Green and red knitted Christmas stockings with Santa Claus.

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.

Green and red knitted Christmas stockings with Santa Claus.

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.

Green and red knitted Christmas stockings with tree ornaments.

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!

Green and red knitted Christmas stockings with Santa Claus.

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.

What to stash this week: A garden becomes a park

Yellow and orange foliage and a mountain reflected in a lake, with skeins of yarn in yellow, orange and gray.Tammy of Wing and a Prayer Farm, who focuses on breed-specific fiber in Vermont, chose the above photo of fall foliage reflected in the water at Oxbow Bend at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, captured by photographer Vishpala Kadam. To create Teton Sunset, Tammy used marigolds and weld to get the yellows, alkanet and logwood to create the grays/purples and, finally, coreopsis flowers to get the orange-y shades — “the whole garden and then some!” Tammy says.

Her canvas was The Happiest Yarn, a light worsted-weight blend from Tammy’s Shetland, Clun Forest and Cormo fleeces. The yarn, which comes in 300-yard skeins, has an incredible bite to it, and would make a lovely and hardwearing hat or mittens (it’s been featured in Mary Jane Mucklestone’s The Happiest Hat and Thea Colman’s Blended Scotch Mitts).

This yarn is available as a very limited preorder starting today and will ship at the beginning of January.

Skeins of white speckled, teal and pink, purple and green variegated hand-dyed yarn.

Today is the Christmas shipping deadline for Woolen Women Fibers! Make sure to get your orders in for seasonal colorways and celebrate vlogmas with Andrea and the Woolen Women crew.

Skeins of hand-dyed yarn in shades of green and red.

Teresa of Sunny Day Fiber has a variety of hand-dyed holiday colorways and knit kits for knitters of all levels.

A tall sequoia tree and mini skeins of blue, green, red and brown yarn.
For December, Sarah of the Teton Yarn Company is traveling to the southern Sierra Nevadas to explore the sequoias of Sequoia-King’s Canyon National Parks. The giant trees will be represented on a six-skein set of Mountain Sock Superwash Merino minis, available only through December 31.
Skeins of bright fluorescent hand-dyed yarn.

Aiden of Undercover Otter is debuting a brand new base that uses biodegradable nylon! The nylon breaks down (only in waste processing facilities) over three years instead of 40. It’s called BIOSOCK, a name inspired by the Bioshock video games, and is available in this month’s UO update.

A box of colorful semisolid mini skeins of yarn.
Try out cowgirlblues’ semisolid color palette with the Merino Twist Mini Collection, a set of 30 ~32-yard Merino twist mini balls.

Snowflake stitch markers with pink beads on a large safety pin.

Amy’s Trinket Shop is loaded with tons of stitch marker sets, which would make a great gift or stocking stuffer for your fiber friend.

My relationship with knitting over the years

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A Pakistani woman knitting.

The author knitting her first ever project in Sharada, Kashmir.

I have always been captivated by arts and crafts. My drawer used to be filled with crafting equipment, like oil paint and watercolors, and needles and thread, which motivated me to do all sorts of DIY projects: embroidery, glass painting and latch hook sceneries. I remember spending hours in craft shops, just going through the items, looking at things I did not own and later researching what they were used for. It was one of my favorite pastimes. My mom was also invested, encouraging me to take up new projects and helping me with them.

So, my fascination with knitting was not something that amazed others. As a preteen, during one of our summer vacations to Pakistan, I vividly remember my grandfather’s eldest sister playing with needles and some wool. Back then, I didn’t know what she was doing, but she was fast. She had a shopping bag full of wool in vibrant colors beside her, working through it as the project increased in size.

As I grew older, I realised what she was doing was called knitting and that it was her favorite thing to do. She was known for her love of knitting, even though she lived in Karachi, a city with an arid climate, dry and humid throughout the entire year. She would knit all year round, at home, at events, everywhere. When someone was sick, she would take her knitting to the hospital, knitting away while looking after them.

My aunt passed away when I was still a pre-teen, but I have strong memories of her knitting, and there are many wedding videos where she was caught knitting on camera.

A pink knitting project.

At some point during my early teens, when I was living in the United Arab Emirates, I had this urge to learn how to knit.

I went out with my grandmother — who knew how to knit, but had put down her needles after moving to the UAE, where it was too warm for sweaters — and we bought some wool and needles. I learned how to cast on and how to make a knit stitch. I was invested for a few weeks, but never finished the project. I was slow, and had school and homework to do.

I did not see anyone knitting or show enthusiasm for the craft until I moved to Pakistan in 2011 for my undergraduate education. I was in Lahore, where winters are harsh and dry. The temperature can drop to 0 degrees Celsius in December. I had never required warm clothes to such an extent, nor seen people wear all things woolen, except in movies. I started noticing people around me knitting, and some of my classmates would tell me their grandmother or mother had made the sweaters or scarfs they wore to class.

It was around this time that I saw one of my dad’s cousins, who lived in Lahore, knitting as soon as winters began in late October. My interest in the craft started developing yet again.

However, it was not until 2014 when another knitting aunt was visiting Lahore that I asked her if she could teach me. That is when I took the craft seriously. We went out to buy some wool, the wool shop a small stall in a crowded market, full of wool in vibrant colors stacked to the ceiling. I bought a multi-colored ball of yarn, with twisted strands of black, white and gray.

I did not know which needles I needed, or the type of wool. I completely relied on my aunt’s opinion. She taught me the basics of knitting, how to cast on and knit a stitch. She had passed the craft to her daughter and now me, making me the third generation of women from the family to learn how to knit. She asked me to keep knitting the knit stitch until I finish the ball so that I not only perfected the stitch but also picked up the pace, and then she would show me how to bind off. I spent many days learning from her and we knit together during the winters.

A Pakistani woman wearing pink knits.

Even though I was in my late teens, it took me a while to get used to holding the needles properly. I knit everywhere I could get the chance: in my hostel, during classes. This time I was truly invested in the craft. Yet, I was slow, and it took me an entire season to knit my first scarf.

My first project which was the black, white and gray scarf that even went with me on a tour to Kashmir. It was peak winter, in December. It was freezing, and I enjoyed knitting in the valley of Kashmir the most. The beauty of Sharada, the town we were visiting, added to the energy I put into the craft. However, it was one of the most crocked pieces ever knit! The stitches were all over the place, there were missing spaces, I forgot some loops, I added stitches and reduced them without even realizing how I did it. Still, it resulted in a long and warm scarf.

It was my first piece and I felt pride once it was completed. I gifted it to a friend, who’s now my husband, and he wore it for a good four years. It helped him travel to and from work by bike during Lahore’s harsh winters.

The unevenness of the scarf did not deter me, and I knit in summers too, gaining momentum. I made fingerless gloves, more scarves and beanies. I would gift most of my projects to friends because they appreciated my work the most. They did not know anyone in our generation who knit, nor did I. I was the only person in my circle who knit and everyone was fascinated, from my instructors to fellow students.

My skills improved every year through watching YouTube videos and reading blogs, building on the basics my aunt taught me. Sometimes I would start projects just to try new stitches and patterns, and not finish them. I was intrigued by the versatility that manipulating just two stitches could bring about.

A blue hat with ears.

Between 2016 and 2020, I yet again moved away from the craft, becoming busy with my career and life.

Then, last spring, amidst the pandemic, my husband I learned we were expecting our first child. It was time to bring out the needles again.

I made mittens, caps and gloves for my baby, as well as a small infinity scarf. The projects were so tiny and easy, that I made a couple of pairs. I’m not yet ready to knit sweaters, but creating smaller pieces still gives me joy.

It’s been a surreal experience, knitting the very first winter wear for my baby after having knit my first-ever scarf for his father years ago. Like a handknit garment, life came full circle.

The 2021 KAL/CAL winners!

A collage of knitted items.

We’re so excited to share the winners of this year’s Indie Untangled make-a-long! Over three months, there were a total of 175 entries, including 21 in the sock category and a whopping 39 in the adult sweater category, and only one in the blanket category. This week, we selected 19 winners in 10 categories via random number generator. Here is their beautiful work.

Blanket

Cowl

A blue, green and orange striped and slipped stitch cowl.

Sandra’s The Shift (Ravelry link)

A gray and aqua cowl.

Jess’s Dioptric Cowl (Ravelry link)

Hat


A purple and yellow brioche hat.

Sharah’s Amber Duet Brioche Hat

Mitts/Mittens/Gloves

Poncho

Shawl/Wrap/Scarf

Linda’s Ziggy Shawl (Ravelry link)

Liz’s Ampersand Wrap (Ravelry link)

Socks

Megan’s Fish Lips Kiss Heel

Sweater – Adult

Sweater – Baby/Child/Pet

Erica’s Bean & Olive (Ravelry link)

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What to stash this week: Exploring Alaska

A furry rodent on a mossy rock, and skeins of pink and pink and green speckled yarn.Ali of Explorer Knits + Fibers, who also loves the great outdoors, and donates a portion of every purchase of her yarn to the National Parks Foundation, was the perfect partner for this series and I’m so excited to finally work with her! Ali was inspired by the above photo of an adorable pika spotted along the Savage River Loop Trail at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska by wildlife photographer David Turko.

Two colorways — the speckled Mountain Floof and a semisolid pink called Rosehip — are available to preorder on the appropriately-named Denali Sock, a blend of 80% Superwash Merino and 20% nylon with a 2-ply twist, through Sunday, October 17, during Indie Untangled Everywhere, the online version. (Read on for more about show fun… and how to win some prizes!)

A green crescent shawl with a blue and gray edging of wavy lace.

I’ve also been in touch with another national parks lover, designer Theressa Silver, who published her book Knitting Wild in 2019. It features 21 patterns, including shawls, cowls, hats, mitts and scarves, accompanied by descriptions about the place that served as its inspiration and exploring the issues of climate change, habitat conservation and endangered species protection.

You can use Ali’s colorways to knit Theressa Silver’s Here Be Puffins shawl from Knitting Wild, which is also available for preorder from Indie Untangled.

Skeins of cream, brown and mauve yarn surrounded by cinnamon sticks and pinecones.

Maureen of Charming Ewe has added new items to the shop, including The Cocoa Collection of solids and tonals.

A spiral-edged pin with a mother of pearl button in the center sits atop a cake of green yarn.

Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations has a new line of shawl pins that she crafted with vintage mother of pearl buttons from the 1930s through the ’80s, sourced from a vendor at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival. She’ll be debuting them at SAFF, which is being held October 22-24.

Sock-shaped wood with decorative holes.

Sara of of La Cave à Laine, an Indie Untangled Everywhere vendor, has curated quite a collection of handy and attractive tools and notions for knitters and crafters, including stitch markers, handmade soap, different scissors, notion kits and more. Above are sock blockers that are handmade in Austria in Austrian beech plywood.

A coil of brown rustic yarn.

Monica of Gothfarm brought together three different fibers — bay black alpaca, Shetland sheep wool and Jacob sheep wool — to form Terra Preta, a rich brown yarn named after a soil created thousands of years ago by indigenous farming communities in the Amazon Rainforest. It will debut next week at Indie Untangled Everywhere.

Metal rings with beads of black, blue and gold and a silver witch.

Michele of MAB Elements is marking the upcoming holiday with a Glitzy Witch Stitch Marker Set. It includes seven handcrafted markers made with faceted crystals, including one beginning of round marker with the witch, plus seven plain bulb removable markers that fit up to size US 10.5 knitting needles.

Skeins of yellow, peach and pink yarn in a row.

Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarn is back with some shop updates with British wool, including Bowland 4ply and Bowland DK (100% Superwash British Bluefaced Leicester), as well as yarn packs for various patterns, including Andrea Mowry’s Douglas Cardi and the Cumulo sweater by Lili Buce-Chmelko from issue 1 of crochet mag Moorit.

Skeins of green, beige, gray and pink yarn.

7th Floor Yarn has a new base. Twisted Aran is 50% Fine Merino and 50% Alpaca, with 191 yards per skein, perfect for winter projects.

A row of tote bags with purple, green and pink dots.

Crista Jaeckel is having a shop update today at 6 p.m. ET with a few XL tote bags with XL shoulders straps, zipper bags, and large drawstring bags.

A black tote bag with a teal, orange and beige illustration of animals and the words Win a swag bag!

The Indie Untangled swag bags are always super popular, and we wanted to share the love to shoppers in all the sessions at our October 15 show in Saugerties, as well as online! Everyone with a ticket to the 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. shopping times, or anyone who buys a ticket for the in-person or online events through Monday, October 11, will have the opportunity to win one of several event tote bags with swag from 10 of our fab sponsors: Scratch Supply Co. and the Make Good podcast, Knitrino, 29 Bridges Studio, Soak, Birdie Parker Designs, Three Irish Girls, Daughter of a Shepherd, Leo & Roxy Yarn Co., Wool & Vinyl and Yarn Over New York.

 

Pre-Rhinebeck Untangling: Three Irish Girls

A light-skinned woman with light brown hair wearing a gold sweater holding yarn.

This is the sixth in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of Indie Untangled, taking place from October 15-24, 2021. Tickets are now available!

Three Irish Girls is a well-known name in the yarn world. In operation for more than a decade, it’s currently run by Duluth, Minnesota-based Erin McFarland, who creates bright, cheerful colors inspired by, among other things, pop culture — The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Beatles — and nature.

We’re excited to have Erin at the in-person event as well as the online show!

Tell me about how you got started dyeing yarn.

I started dyeing yarn in 2009 when my childhood friend, Sharon McMahon was moving back home with her yarn-dyeing business, Three Irish Girls, to our hometown in Minnesota at the same time that I was moving home from New Zealand.

Skeins of yarn in a rainbow of colors.

The Love Is Love mini kit.


What inspires your colorways?

This is a loaded question!

Anything from inspirational photos, artwork, nature, color palette photos from Pinterest, but sometimes from a feeling transposed into color.

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

Currently, anything in the mustard realm and cool fuchsia like Midge from my Mrs. Maisel collection. Truly my favorite color changes frequently as is is sooo mood driven for me to which color I am attracted to…

I just say rainbow 🌈 most of the time.

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

It is so funny, but a proper camel tan is extremely hard to get just right… still haven’t figured it out yet — but I will someday!

A white yarn speckled with gold, pink, teal and aqua and corresponding coiled skeins of yarn.

The Mrs. Maisel collection.

What are some of your most popular colorways?

I feel my top 10 include:

Space Oddity
Rocket Man
Fireside Chat
Everlasting Gobstopper
When Doves Cry
Magnolia
Bless Your Heart
River Delta
Skinny Jeans
Guinness

Can you share some of your plans for Indie Untangled?

I am featuring:

Designer Lisa Ross and her work with coordinating kits
Knitrino samples with coordinating yarn
A featured colorway from Northern Minnesota called Lake Superior Agate
My Mrs. Maisel collection of coloways

NEW, YET-TO-BE-RELEASED COLLECTIONS:

Across The Universe/Beatles Inspired
Anne of Green Gables
Fall
Spooky Halloween

Expect sweater quantities and a wide variety of variegated colorways in our custom base, Adorn Luxe fingering; Springvale DK, Worsted and Bulky; Dubliner Silk; Alpaca Merino DK and Claddagh Silk Mohair in semisolids and speckles.

A collage of colorful yarn.

The Beatles collection

When and how did you learn to knit?

When I was living in New Zealand, a kind woman at the local yarn shop showed me a few things. Then I used YouTube to keep learning as I tried different patterns.

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

There are so many but if I were to choose one I love the Soldotna Crop by Caitlin Hunter that we had made with our yarn for a show sample and my Throwback Cardigan by Andrea Mowry that I made.

A rainbow striped shawl.

The Happy Thoughts Shawl.

What’s currently on your needles?

I am currently working on Hearthstone pullover by Ysolda Teague in our colorway Arroyo (go figure — mustard gold and pretty speckles!).

Pre-Rhinebeck Untangling: Leo & Roxy

A light skinned brunette with straight hair and olive skinned woman with curly black hair, both wearing black t-shirts.

Kerri and Jolyn, the dyers behind Leo & Roxy Yarn Co.

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of Indie Untangled, taking place from October 15-24, 2021. Tickets are now available!

Leo & Roxy Yarn Co. is run by best friends and collaborators, Jolyn Gardner and Kerri Masseo, who first met as coworkers in their LYS, The Little Red Mitten in downtown St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada. The company is named for their mascots: Leo, a Rambouillet sheep, and Roxy, a Green Cheek Conure, or parakeet.

Tell me about how you got started dyeing yarn.

Both Jolyn and Kerri were interested in dyeing yarn after knitting for years. They tried many different methods over the years, but once they decided to try dyeing a little more seriously for themselves, they got together in the kitchen and made some colorway magic! This quickly became the full-fledged dyeing business now known as Leo & Roxy Yarn Co.!

Three skeins of purple hand-dyed yarn

What inspires your colorways?

Our colourways are inspired by so many things — objects or things that we see, colours we want to replicate, or even just silly things like our dye challenges we have on our podcast.

Do you have a favorite color or colors, and have they changed since you started dyeing?

Jolyn’s favourite colour is orange, and Kerri’s is pink. Neither’s favourite colours have changed since becoming dyers, but they definitely like to dye in the orange and pink combinations and families!

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

We do have some techniques for dyeing that are more challenging or difficult than others. This usually means that the colour is limited edition or gets retired when we aren’t having much fun dyeing it anymore.

A sock knit with black and white marled yarn with a pink stripe at the top.

What are some of your most popular colorways?

Some of our most popular colourways are Meredith, Sugar Skull and Copper Roof.

Can you share some of your plans for Indie Untangled?

We’re definitely planning on having a discount code for those who attend Indie Untangled, both in person and virtually. We’re also planning on having some great kits available to make picking your next project even easier!

When and how did each of you learn to knit?

Jolyn took a course when she was younger (about 11), and was surprised to find that she was surrounded only by older ladies. Kerri taught herself to knit about 22 years ago, but really picked it up to hone her skills about six years ago.

A teal cowl with a white cord on a dress form.

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

It’s always so much fun to have designers create with our yarns, we’re always honoured when they choose our yarns. We love the creativity that our customers have, and always love to see the things that are created by pattycakeknitz, irrakatze, Junespoon, sakharwood, and more on Ravelry! Some of our favourite samples that we have for our shows are The Daydreamer by Andrea Mowry in our 80/20 and Mohair/Silk, our work sock sets, and the Lilli Pilli Wrap by Ambah O’Brien in our 80/20 Sock.

What’s currently on your needles?

Both girls have a cast-on problem, and have so many things that we created a whole podcast around our WIPs and tracking them! Our Little Red Mitten podcast on YouTube chronicles what the girls are working on, what they’ve finished or frogged, new project plans, and anything going on both with Leo & Roxy, and with the LYS, Little Red Mitten, that they own as well. Kerri just cast on the Scout Shawl by Florence Spurling for our KAL, and Jolyn always has a variety of projects on the needles, including some vanilla socks for knitting in the car now that her son is old enough to drive!