What to stash this week: Buy yarn, help with hurricane relief

Carrie of Alpenglow Yarn, who moved to St. John full time with her mom when she was 3 or 4 years old (her parents had honeymooned there, fell in love and built a home) was 12 when Hurricane Hugo devastate the island. While Carrie recalls the island’s 3,000 residents coming together and helping each other out in the wake of Hugo, with much of the island back to normal in six months, the unprecedented devastation from Irma and Maria, the recent Category 5 storms, means it will likely take much longer to recover. To help out her former neighbors, Carrie has listed the remaining inventory of her naturally-dyed yarn for sale, and will donate $15 from each skein sold to local community foundations that are providing aid and relief to the island.

In happier news, Halloween is less than six weeks away, so it’s possible to whip up a pair of socks in Karen’s new self-striping colorway. In keeping with the Round Table Yarns brand, the color has a medieval connection.

Speaking of Halloween, Slipped Stitch Studios has a new collection of project bags and accessories inspired by the cult classic Disney film Hocus Pocus. There’s also a special yarn colorway from indie dyer Lazer Sheep. The sale launches today at 9 a.m. Pacific Time.

Heather Anderson’s latest pattern is reminiscent of dragons (no, not the kind flying around Westeros), specifically that rascal Puff the Magic Dragon. The Magic Dragon Shawl, which can be knit using fingering, sport or DK, has a dragon skin body that would look fantastic in a gradient.

Julia of Pandia’s Jewels is offering up her Voyage Through Time Outlander-inspired color as a preorder until 8 p.m. tomorrow.

What to stash this week: Falling for color

Stephanie of Asylum Fibers has created a few kits for Speckle and Pop, Stephen West’s mystery KAL, which launches Sept. 29. The shawl calls for a speckled fade of three colors, along with five mini “pop” skeins. One of the kits is already sold out, so grab yours if you want Stephen to take you on a colorful journey.

Julia of Pandia’s Jewels, based in the Hudson Valley — which is gorgeous year round, but particularly in the fall — has launched her Fall into Halloween Collection. It includes some old and new seasonal colors, both speckled and tonal, as well as some OOAK dye jobs.

We of course consider hand-dyed yarn works of art, but here’s yarn that is truly art inspired. Lisa The Knitting Artist has started dyeing up gorgeous hand-painted and tonal yarns to match her equally gorgeous knitting-inspired paintings. The hand-painted yarn comes with a card printed with the image that inspired the colorway.

You have through the end of the day today to preorder La Bien Aimée’s Automne à Rhinebeck, Asylum Fibers’ Rhinebeck’s All the Craze and Eloise Narrigan-designed tote bags for pickup at the the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show on Oct. 20.

There are still a few skeins left of The Woolen Rabbit Silky Biffle BFL/silk sport in Corn Husk, which would be perfect for a fall shawl, hat or mitts. Use the code YAYRHINEBECK for 20% off through Oct. 1, or until the yarn is sold out.

What to stash this week: Game of Yarns

At 9 a.m. Pacific time today, Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios is updating her shop with the extras from the popular Game of Thrones Bag of the Month preorders. The items, which include Mother of Dragons and Night’s Watch oath bags, will be available until they’re sold out and will not be made again. Kind of like what we hope happens to that army of blue-eyed zombies…

Switch is a new shawl pattern from Spruce Lane Designs named for a few different things, including the alternating stitch patterns that switch between the body and the border and the ability to switch to different yarn weights. The samples were knit in fingering and DK from Rhinebeck Trunk Show vendor Magpie Fibers.

IU newcomer Robynn of Studio Miranda has introduced Wraparoche, an easy introduction to two-color brioche. The pattern includes instructions for fingering or sport weight, along with a worksheet to help you work out the math for other gauges, making this an easy stash-busting project.

IU newcomer Samantha of Lavender Lune Yarn Co. has started a fun new yarn club, with her husband a creating mood board based on a movie that will inspire her colors. Additionally, through this morning, Samantha will be listing a surprise colorway, and 50% of the proceeds from sales of it will go to the SPCA of Texas to help pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

There are still a few skeins left of The Woolen Rabbit Silky Biffle BFL/silk sport and just one lone skein of Airy single fingering. Use the code YAYRHINEBECK for 20% off through Oct. 1 or until they’re all gone.

If you’re planning to go to Rhinebeck, you have just one more week to preorder La Bien Aimée’s Automne à Rhinebeck, Asylum Fibers’ Rhinebeck’s All the Craze and Eloise Narrigan-designed tote bags to pick up at the the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show on Oct. 20, and avoid the frenzy in the Indie Untangled booth.

My Mama Knits has started a KAL for her Stitch Up Mitts pattern, which is a free download on Ravelry.

Untangling: Asylum Fibers

Last month, I got to introduce you to Asylum Fibers, a brand-new dyeing operation started by Stephanie Jones, who I met via the knitting group she organizes here in New York City. I wanted to know a little more behind her inspiration for this new craft biz and share her story.

As I mentioned in my post about getting a behind the scenes look at her first shop update, Stephanie, who hails from Maine and now lives in Queens, N.Y., has a background as an opera singer — I actually got to see her perform a year ago and she is fantastic. While making her living in finance, Stephanie uses knitting and dyeing as her main creative outlets, along with crocheting and knitting. She creates bright and complex repeatable colorways, but her signature are unpredictable Chaos colors, which are OOAK and fleeting. Here’s a little peek inside the Asylum:

What made you decide to start your own dyeing business?

I love dyeing so much, and I can’t possibly use all the yarn myself. It only made sense to put it out there and see what the community would think. Every time someone purchases a skein, I feel justified in dyeing 5 more! I get so much joy seeing others knit with my yarn, and I really can’t think of anything quite like it!

A self-striping Chaos colorway.

How do you go about creating your colorways? Do you plan your repeatables ahead of time and improvise with the Chaos colors?

For the most part, my repeatable colorways have very specific inspiration. I have a word or phrase or idea that is translated into color within my mind. The next step is figuring out the recipe. Sometimes, the yarn comes out beautiful, but it’s not what I intended. In that case, we have a chaos colorway. I’ll let you in on a secret – Chaos 75 was my first attempt at Hydrotherapy. I absolutely loved it, but it was a lot greener than I wanted Hydrotherapy to be. Not all chaos colorways are failed attempts at a new recipe, though. Many are just for fun! I do use them for experimentation and find them to be extra special, since they’re essentially “limited edition”. Every chaos colorway is made up of no more than 5 skeins, so you know you have something special.

What are your favorite colors?

This depends so much on my mood. Black and grey are essential, but I also gravitate to blue, green, purple, and pink. Some days I’m all about yellow, and sometimes orange makes me really happy. ALL OF THE COLORS!

Bad Bad Girl on Golden Rule: Merino/nylon/stellina

What projects are you currently working on with your yarn?

Aside from a whole lot of swatching as I really settle on what bases I plan to keep long term, I have a couple projects going right now. I’m designing a two color brioche cowl in the round using Bedlam, my one ply super bulky base. I’m also doing a crochet along of the Movie Night Cocoon Cardi, using Errant Aran. I’m lucky to have some friends working on samples in my yarn as well. Anne is making a Waiting for Rain shawl using Golden Rule in Bad Bad Girl, while Devon is making a lace shawl using Lunacy Lace in a OOAK color I dyed special for her. Valerie is crocheting with Golden Age and Jenn has a skein of Bedlam Ombre that is soon to be a hat! I’ve seen some Instagram friends working with my yarn as well, which is so fun. I finally have Asylum Fibers up (at least in the most basic form) on Ravelry so we can all share our stash and projects there.

How did you learn to knit?

I learned at daycare when I was very young, but really started advancing in 2012 with the inspiration and motivation from other knitters in my Meetup group. When I ran into problems, I’d check Youtube for help. Since then, I’ve taken a ton of technique classes with great teachers including Lorilee Beltman, Steven Berg, Edie Eckman, Faina Goberstein, Franklin Habit, Amy Herzog, Felicia Lo, Nancy Marchant, Kristy McGowan, Alasdair Post-Quinn, Leslye Solomon, Debbie Stoller, and Stephen West.

Tell me about one of your most memorable FOs.

I made a pink cotton sweater for my grandmother for her 80th birthday. The pattern was Peasy by Heidi Kirrmaier and is available on Ravelry. I used Debbie Bliss Bella, which was soft and pretty, but since it didn’t have much stretch, it made my hands tire very quickly. I’m glad I made this sweater, though, because my grandmother is extra knit-worthy and wears it all the time!

Do you enjoy any other crafts in addition to knitting?

Of course I do! Dyeing and knitting definitely dominate my craft time, but I also enjoy crochet, sewing, beadwork, painting, and scrapbooking. I’m planning to try soap making soon as well.

Any future plans for Asylum Fibers you can share?

I’d like to put together some fun blog posts discussing my color inspiration. I’m also planning to take my yarn on the road in the near future. Otherwise, keep an eye out for regular shop updates, and be sure to subscribe to my mailing list if you’d like reminders!

What to stash this week: Harry Potter in NOLA

Aside from dyeing bright and cheerful NOLA colorways, Robyn of TeenyButton Studio also has a geeky side. Her latest offering is a Harry Potter Yarn of the Month Club — you pick your base and Robyn sends the yarn, with a colorway that will be exclusive for three months, or that will disappear from her lineup entirely.

Sarah of One Hand in the Dyepots has updated her shop with two new colorways. Above is Smokey Aubergine, a moody pink, purple and grey. There’s also Quantum, which uses a tie dye technique. 

The annual April knit along is going on in the Elliebelly Dye Works group on Ravelry.

Inside the Asylum Fibers launch

A few weeks ago, my friend Stephanie invited me to a super-secret party, only revealing a couple of weeks before that this party was for the launch of her new hand-dyed yarn business! Last Friday, I joined a group of knitters to count down to the opening of the online shop for Asylum Fibers.

Backing up a bit, Stephanie (who has a fascinating background as an opera singer) organizes one of the New York City knitting groups I’ve been going to for the past couple of years, and has been teaching the group workshops on brioche and two-at-a-time socks. Last year, she started holding dye parties in her apartment, which I wrote about here. Once she had the equipment and ingredients on hand, she dove into dyeing headfirst.

What’s the meaning behind the name Asylum Fibers? Stephanie explains on her website:

One of my favorite quotes came from Marilyn Monroe – “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” While I believe this applies to people, I also think these statements suit hand dyed yarn magnificently. As your dyer, I fully intend to maintain my status as some combination of mad and ridiculous, and my aim is to give you asylum, using the most beautifully imperfect yarn.

There’s even a vinyl decal of the Marilyn quote on Stephanie’s wall that I wish I’d taken a picture of.

It was kind of cool to get a behind the scenes look at one of the shop updates that dyers regularly post about on Indie Untangled. And it came with some definite perks. Before the countdown to the opening of Asylum Fibers began, I and my fellow guests got to do a little pre-shopping. I focused on Stephanie’s non-repeatable Chaos colors, picking up this beauty on a light fingering weight.

After stuffing our stashes, and our faces with delicious pulled pork and cornbread, Stephanie gave each of us a massive faux plastic syringe filled with (an also pretty massive) Jello shot to celebrate as she opened her virtual doors.

The orders started coming in, including from some of my knitting friends and newsletter subscribers, and Stephanie even sold out of a lot of her Choas colors. I had my eye on a few of her repeatable colors, especially on her Funny Farm MCN base. But I do know where she lives…

What to stash this week: Mad for yarn

Get ready — tonight, at 10 p.m. Eastern, is the launch of Asylum Fibers. Stephanie, who organizes one of my knitting groups here in NYC, hand dyes semisolid, variegated, speckled self-striping and ombre colorways. Some will be non-repeatable “Chaos Colorways,” while there will also be zany regulars, with names like Bad Bad Girl, Hydrotherapy, Moody, and The Shower Scene.

Sandpiper Socks, Barbara Benson’s first ever sock pattern, has a very clever construction, using variegated yarn with a contrasting color that allows the complex colors to really sing.

Keya’s new Ripple Socks feature a lacy pattern that happens to be stretchy. These socks also holds their own against the randomness of variegated hand-dyed yarns.

This new diaper cover pattern from Knit Eco Chic is inspired by a knitting-related verse in a sacred song.

Indie Untangled newcomer One Hand in the Dyepot has a science-y approach to her work.

Another IU newbie is actually two — mother-daughter dye team Legacy Fiber Artz, with yarns inspired by television shows, movies and more.

Select yarns in the Dye is Cast Yarns Etsy shop are 20% off.

Elliebelly Dye Works has a new base that’s 65% Superwash Merino, 20% Silk and 15% yak.

What to stash this week: Gold at the end of the Rhinebeck rainbow

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Designer Lara Smoot had not one, but two patterns that debuted at Rhinebeck. Daydream Believer, pictured above, is a collaboration between Lara and Michelle of Berry Colorful Yarnings. The triangular shawl uses Michelle’s phenomenal Rainbow self-striping sock yarn, which pops out from a black accent skein. A limited number of Daydream Believer kits are up for sale here, while all of Lara’s patterns are 20% off through the end of the day with the coupon code ‘Rhinebeck’.

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There are still a few souvenir tote bags — designed and printed by fellow knitters! — left over from Rhinebeck. Snag one while you can!

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Julia of Pandia’s Jewels has been brewing up more magic. Two new OOAK colors, Incantation and Book of Shadows are available on her Super Sparkle base, a 70/25/5 blend of Merino, nylon and Stellina.

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If you’re in the mood for more spooky, Halloween-themed yarn, My Mama Knits’ unique Headless Horseman colorway is available on a base of 75% Superwash Merino and 25% nylon sock yarn.

What to stash this week: A yarn journey

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The unofficial start of summer means portable projects. Definitely check out the aptly named Traveler, the new base from Cedar Hill Farm Company. The 75/25 British BFL/nylon fingering weight yarn sounds perfect for socks, and with 464 yards per 100g skein, also excellent for shawls. Keya has dyed up jewel tone gradients that include the beautiful teal Elton, pictured above. Grab one for your next journey — even if it’s just relaxing in the backyard. 

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If you’re looking for some speckled yarn for one of the many projects I blogged about last week, look no further than Sunshine’s latest shop update. Colorways include Painting of Koi, Jezebel (pictured above) and Lipstick on Your Collar, available on a 75/25 sock yarn blend of Superwash Merino and nylon.

IU newcomer Sara’s Texture Crafts is not very new. To celebrate the company’s 10th birthday, Sara has created a OOAK colorway called Old Gold.

What to stash this week if you’re not at Rhinebeck

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Michelle of Berry Colorful Yarnings — whose yarn I have the honor to sell at the pre-Rhinebeck trunk show tonight — will be having a very fall-themed update next Thursday, Oct. 23. It includes plenty of self-striping yarns, as well as overdyes and tonals. There are even football team-inspired colorways.

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To celebrate Halloween and the final book release of her favorite book series, Kim Harrison’s The Hollows Candice of C. Whitney Knits has dyed up a brand new batch of colorways. They include semi-solids, variegated and gradients that fairly bright and not too scary.

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No need to be blue about not going to Rhinebeck. Kettle Yarn Co. will be updating her shop tonight at 5 p.m. GMT. She’ll be listing a number of blends on the blue end of the color spectrum.

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Mellifera Yarns had a shop update last Friday with a ton of autumn-inspired shades. While a lot of the colors have sold, there is still plenty of yarn left, including a few skeins of Silky Sock in the Oats colorway and a bunch of Merino DK and Merino Aran.

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Prepare for fall or winter walks in the woods, or for knitting in the park, with the Sylvan Scarf from Sylvan Tiger Yarn. With a central lace panel reminiscent of pine trees and a sapling border, the scarf can be knit with just one skein of Sylvan Tiger’s newest base, Tethera 4ply, a smooth yarn spun from 100% British BFL and available in 14 colors.

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Tami of Eternity Ranch Knits found inspiration in the story of her friend Sara and dyed up a color block of teal, tan and grey for this sideways shawl pattern designed by Penny of Knit-By-Bit Designs. Kits are available to pre-order in the Eternity Ranch Knits Etsy shop until Oct. 20 and there’s a Sara’s Story KAL taking place on Ravelry from Oct. 27-Nov. 30.