What to stash this week: trail yarn

For the latest installment of Knitting Our National Parks, Bijou Basin Ranch takes us to the Croy Creek Trail System in southern Idaho, originally constructed for motorcycle riders and mountain bikers. Here, you can take in a gorgeous winter sunrise like this one from Bullion Gulch, captured by Ace Hess from the Bureau of Land Management, which operates the trail system.

BBR called on Jonathan Berner of Seattle-based MJ Yarns to capture the subtlety and brilliance of the image with the colorway they’ve named Resplendence. It will be dyed on Tibetan Dream sock yarn, a luxurious blend of 85% yak and 15% nylon that is warmer than wool and softer than Cashmere, perfect for your next hike (or just a nice, cold winter).

The yarn will be available to preorder on Indie Untangled through Friday, October 26. If you’ll be at Rhinebeck, you can see and pet the yarn in person at the Bijou Basin Ranch in booths 13 and 14 in Building C. It will also be on display at the Indie Untangled Trunk Show on Friday.

Kate of McMullin Fiber Co. is celebrating the start of fall (finally!) with her new Sweater Weather Collection. The collection includes Merino/Cashmere/nylon DK weight yarns and 80/20 Merino/nylon sock mini skeins in a few new colorways, including Hunting Tartan, La Vie En Rose and Vintage.

Shauna of Farm Girl Fibers just started dyeing yarn from her husband’s family farm in Alpine, Tennessee. Many of her colorways are inspired by nature and her life on a farm.

Indie Untangled newcomer October House Fiber Arts decided to post in an appropriate month, during its fifth birthday. Dyer Robin also designs knitting-themed cross stitch.

Jean of Midmitten Designs has teamed up with Splash of Color Yarns on a holiday kit that includes a project bag, with a vinyl window for a peek at what’s inside, and five Merino/nylon mini skeins.

Softyard Designs’ Saxony Hat is perfect for a cable lover! This unisex design comes with instructions for working flat or in the round and knits up super fast in aran-weight yarn.

Indie Untangled newcomer 7th Floor Yarn is marking “tweed season” with this Aran Tweed Superwash 85% Merino/15% Nep.

Wild Hair Studio has a limited number of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendars.

What to stash this week: catch this

You are guaranteed to geek out over all the cool and inclusive knitting goodies from Portland, Oregon-based Nerd Bird Makery, including enamel pins, apparel, totes and paper goods, including art prints, greeting cards and gift tags.

Alisa of KnitSpinQuilt and Debbie of Murky Depths Dyeworks have created a limited-edition, aquatic-themed kit with a lovely Koi Pond color scheme. The kits include a skein of Murky Depths Deep Sock, dyed in multiple tonal layers of teal with little pops of goldfish orange, and medium-sized drawstring project bag sewn by Alicia. Kits will be available for preorder from October 5-25 and you can customize it to include a large project bag or add an additional skein of the yarn.

Best of all: 10% of the purchase price of each kit will be donated to RAICES to help in the ongoing effort to reunite migrant children with their parents. If all the kits sell out, they will donate an additional 5%.

Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations is celebrating the one-year anniversary of her rebrand and new website with a discount and a free gift! Use code CELEBRATE for 10% off and a little extra treat through tomorrow.

Slipped Stitch Studios Halloween Spooked Bags are limited and ready to ship! They go on sale today at 9 a.m. Pacific time.

Heather’s Yarn Barn is hosting a fun online “Spooktacular,” including scavenger hunts with a special Halloween discount on your purchase and trick or treating with free gifts. Also check out Heather’s Michael Myers-themed yarn, The Shape.

Bunnymuff has a new colorwork cardigan named for one of the many Scottish terms for snow.

What to stash this week: Fall pairings

Kate and her crew at Dragonfly Fibers are gearing up for a busy fall, with New York Sheep and Wool, SAFF, STITCHES SoCal (they’ll be featured there on the Yarnover Truck there) and local trunk shows. They’ve also prepared some amazing kits for Andrea Mowry’s The Throwback and Catherine Clark’s Ixchel Pullover. And, they’re giving back: above is a new colorway, called Carolina, and 25% of their sales through December will go to the organization Global Giving, which is helping with Hurricane Florence relief, among many other projects.

Marian of Marianated Yarns has collaborated with Carolyn Bloom of of Bloom Handmade Studio on Marilyn’s Cowl and Hat, which are both knit holding multiple strands of different yarns: two strands of Marianated Yarns Ava Lace together with one strand of Aerie (mohair/silk lace) and one strand from an MCN gradient set. Marian has made kits available in several different colors and a KAL will be held in Carolyn’s Ravelry group starting October 8.

Marian has also collaborated with Katy Carroll of Katinka Designs in celebration of Knitmas. There are two Knitmas kits, one for a shawl and one for a poncho, available for preorder.

Designer Barbara Benson collaborated with The Fiber Seed on Every Witch Way, an innovative lace shawl that uses a single skein of yarn. A two-panel, top-down triangle version uses yarn with one of The Fiber Seed’s dye techniques, while the three-panel, 3/4 square version uses another.

Kate of McMullin Fiber Co. has opened signups for the Jane Eyre installment of the McMullin Fiber Co. Literature Society. Single dose packages will contain one skein of yarn and some extra goodies inspired by the novel, while double dose packages come with two skeins.

Woodsy and Wild’s new Sapling bag and Maple tote are perfect for winter accessory knitting and sweater knitting/fiber festival season! Both will be in Shannon’s shop this Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations has updated her shop with a collection of shawl pins perfect for keeping your latest hand knit in place on crisp fall evenings.

Winter is coming… so get your Sheep Squeezers. Nicole of One Sock Wonder Bags has limited quantities of Sheep Squeezers, which hold your yarn cakes in place, with a Game of Thrones-inspired design by Bulgarian artist Karamfila Siderova.

Heather Anderson’s Knitting in the City KAL kicks off October 1 and includes seven city-themed patterns: four shawls, two cowls and a pair of mittens. The latest pattern, Amsterdam Canals Cowl, is 25% off through Sunday.

My Mama Knits has a new set of Halloween colorways, including the newest addition to her Scottish Myths and Legends series, The Gorbals Vampire. Her Advent calendars have also started shipping out.

Canon Hand Dyes is now taking preorders for Outlander minis sets.

Samantha Guerin has released Eastern Glow, a crescent shawl that uses two skeins of fingering weight yarn.

Introducing Indie Untangled newcomer Humble Pie Design.

Viola’s ‘Knits About Winter’

This is the 10th in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of the 2018 Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

Ever since I discovered indie-dyed yarn, Viola has been one of the dyers whose yarns I have lusted after. Emily’s colors are lightly speckled, but not the eye-poppingly bright speckles that have become popular in recent years. They’re more like gelato, with subtle swirls that look good enough to eat.

While following Emily’s business over the years, through her work experience with UK-based mill John Arbon Textiles — which created a line of colors inspired by her — to her move to a studio in Mooresburg, Ontario, and development of bases, like her Mooresburg DK, it was my dream to have her vend at the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show. So I was thrilled when, earlier this year, Amy of Pom Pom Quarterly asked if Emily could have a booth to sell her yarns, which would be featured in Knits About Winter, a book of Emily’s designs that Pom Pom Press was publishing in the fall.

In advance of the premier of Knits About Winter at the New York Sheep & Wool Festival (you can preorder your copy from the Merritt Bookstore to pick up in their booth at the festival), I spoke to Emily about the book and her work as a dyer.

What inspires the designs in Knits About Winter?

Knits About Winter is entirely inspired by the winter landscape surrounding my home in Mooresburg, Ontario. I moved here at the beginning of a very cold and snowy winter a few years ago and was almost instantly captivated by the quiet magic of winters here. Winter can be cold and harsh but also mysterious and magical. My goal with each of the designs in Knits About Winter was to create patterns that would be warm and comfortable in the cold of winter, all the while remembering the colours, shapes and light of winter.

Did you come up with new colorways for the collection?

Yes! There are four new Viola colourways that are launching at the same time as the book. Each colourway is also inspired by Mooresburg winters past and present. I knew roughly what I wanted each colour to be, but did a lot of visual research and experimenting before I landed on the finished colourways. Visual research is one of the most fun jobs that I have, especially in winter, because it involved frequent snowshoeing adventures with my camera! Each colourway is inspired by a variety of different sights in my winter landscape. I decided to combine elements of texture, light, shape and, of course, colour that stood out to me and suited the palette I wanted to achieve.

Do you have a favorite pattern from the collection and, if so, why is it your favorite?

My answer to this question changes every day, so I suppose they’re all my favourites. My focus was to create designs that would be versatile and serviceable, yet beautiful. I also wanted to create pieces that would be easy to layer and wear together, so I think of these patterns as a knitted outfit rather than individual pieces. I can honestly say that I can’t wait to wear all of them, and am so pleased with their minimalistic beauty and wearability.

Tell me about how you got started dyeing yarn.

After working in a small knitting store in Toronto, I discovered the wonders of hand-dyed yarns. It didn’t take long before I was experimenting with dyes for myself, and just a little while longer before customers at the shop claimed skeins for themselves. The business grew quickly from there, along with my dyeing and business skills. I learned everything as I went along, through lots of trial and error and lots of making mistakes.

How did you decide on the name Viola?

That was an easy decision actually. Viola is the name of both of my grandmothers! Both women were seriously talented knitters and made my sister and I countless amazing outfits. One grandma is even known to have been able to knit whilst reading a book and snacking (I think apple slices were her favourite).

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

That’s even trickier than choosing a favourite design from the book! I find that my colour preferences change reliably with the seasons, even more than they change through the years. Since I started dyeing yarn I have developed a more focused way of observing colours around me. Right now (and I think always) I know that I am drawn to complex, layered and hazy colours. I’ll always pause to inspect a colour under frost or water or behind mist. Reflections in puddles or the sky hidden by clouds. A bright colour might catch my eye, but it is usually the murky tones, textures and light around that colour that interest me. I also like to explore the balance between warm and cool in colours, and often prefer shades that land right in the middle.

That said, I do have some favourite starting points, they become more faded and subdued in the winter and a little more colourful towards the summer. All types of pink, copper, peach, beige, gold and olive are my go to shades, and I use these colours more often than you might think in all Viola colourways.

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

This happens to me quite often, actually. The more layers of dye in a colourway, the easier it is to tip too far in one direction or another and become too hazy or simply transform into another colour altogether. Often I discover great new ideas when overdyeing colours that I’m not happy with, and that’s just what happened with a colour called Peat that I’ve been struggling with for months. I’ll get there, because it is a beautiful and moody colour (and I want to knit a sweater with it!) but often the first run of a colour is almost impossible to recreate for me.

Tell me about the decision to work for John Arbon. What were some of the best things you learned while there and how did it inform your dyeing?

About three years after I “accidentally” started Viola I was feeling overwhelmed by how quickly the business had grown. It was a fluke that John and Juliet had a job opening up exactly when I contacted them, and even more of a fluke that they took a chance on a Canadian girl they’d never spoken to before! I think it only took about a month or two from contacting them, to boarding the plane to England.

I loved working for John and Juliet as well as living in beautiful North Devon. I learned more that I could have ever hoped to about fibre, yarn construction and operating loud and dangerous fibre processing machinery. I think the most useful thing that I took away from my time at John Arbon Textiles was John and Juliet’s attitude, creativity and work ethic. I never slacked off at Viola, but would often struggle when a problem arose. Running a small business, this happens at least once a day. Watching John and Juliet navigate similar issues rationally and calmly taught me that there is no ready made solution and I have to figure it all out for myself. I still struggle with complicated problems and decisions, of course, but take comfort in the fact that I am in control of the journey as well as the outcome.

How has having a new studio space changed your business?

I have been working in the new studio space for just over two years. When we renovated the space I was optimistic that it would make my dyeing process more efficient and as of about three months ago, it finally did. My answer to this question two years ago would have been that the new space will allow me to dye more yarn and be more productive. While that would have been fantastic, I think my business gained something even more valuable – resiliency. Countless things have broken, gone wrong, fallen apart, frozen, blown up and been eaten by ants. Just at the moment that one problem was fixed, the next one materialized. Amidst it all, I simply had to keep going and deal with the issues as they arose. The new studio space as taught me that good things take time, and lots of patience. It’s working really well at the moment, but I am still braced for the next potential catastrophe.

What to stash this week: Once you yarn sock…

Laura at Slipped Stitch Studios is currently doing yarn sock preorders and a special promotion — buy three, get one free with the code YARNSOCK until tonight at midnight Pacific time. Because we all know you don’t have just one project going at a time. These also make the perfect FibreShare gifts.

Jen of Porterness Studio will be at Stitches SoCal in November, but before then, get her new earrings, necklaces, or shawl pins for 20% off and free shipping on orders of $150 or more through September 30 with the code IndieBird20.

Lena of Softyarn Designs’ Gift of the Mermaid Shawl, originally designed for a mystery KAL, is now available as a regular pattern purchase. This crescent-shaped shawl is worked with two colors of fingering-weight or sock yarn and comes with a story that takes you on a mermaid’s journey while you’re working on the pattern.

What to stash this week: Rhinebeck moon

I’m excited to debut another preorder from a couple of Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show vendors. Sam of Lavender Lune Yarn Co., who is sharing a booth with Stephanie of Asylum Fibers, teamed up with designer Mina Philipp for the Hunter’s Moon shawl, named for first full moon after Rhinebeck. The shawl was created with yarn dyed by both Sam and Stephanie and is knit with a strand of fuzzy-soft mohair throughout. 

Preorders for two separate Hunter’s Moon kits will launch tomorrow at 10 a.m. Central/11 a.m. Eastern on both the Lavender Lune and Asylum Fibers websites. Indie Untangled ticket holders can purchase kits to pick up at the show, or you can have them shipped to you just before the pattern comes out. 

Jennifer of Spirit Trail has dyed up five (!) different Subscriber Inspiration colors for September, based on a photo of a winter scene sent by one of her newsletter subscribers. The colors are available to preorder on Aurora (singly-ply fingering-weight Superwash Merino), Philomena (three-ply fingering-weight Superwash Merino) and Birte (DK-weight Superwash Merino, Cashmere and silk) until September 23. 

Can’t get enough of a certain book/TV series? Then you might want to sign up for Inner Yarn Zen’s Outlander Advent Calendar. Shipping mid-November, it will include two dozen hand-dyed 93-yard mini skeins and other other Outlander-inspired gifts, including a project bag to put it all in. But you’ll need to be fast — there was only one left as of “press time.”

Wolle’s Yarn Creations’ newest yarn is a cotton/silk blend that she says need to be felt to be believed. They come in generous 480-yard skeins for shawls and warm-weather sweaters. 

Julia of Pandia’s Jewels has once again teamed up with designer C.C. Almon of Java Purl Designs for a timely kit that incorporate’s C.C.’s I Love You More Than Pumpkin Spice sock pattern. Kits include an updated version of Julia’s Pumpkin Spice colorway from last year and a mini skein of Dark Roast. Kits with the pattern and without are available to preorder through tomorrow at 8 p.m. EDT.

What to stash this week: Readying for Rhinebeck

Casapinka’s Crown Wools MKAL was such a hit that she’s launching another, non-mystery KAL! It starts September 10 and runs for six weeks — perfect for showing it off at Rhinebeck. She has compiled a list of dyers selling kits, so order yours before the KAL kicks off.

Amy of Canon Hand Dyes opened preorders for Deathday Party, and a complementary semisolid called The Deathly Hallows, to both Rhinebeck ticket holders AND those who are not attending the show. The colorways will be available to order on three different bases until September 25. Note the instructions carefully!

Brooke of Fully Spun just had a shop update that includes five new semisolid colorways designed to pair with her Fully Spun Original and Sock yarns — mill-spun with the look of handspun. Check them out online or in person at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival on September 29 and 30.

Melissa of Dye Is Cast Yarns is debuting some new fall and Halloween colorways today. She’ll also be introducing 50-gram half skeins and minis of her Squish Wish Sock yarn base.

Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios is teaming up with Forbidden Fiber Co. for an Outlander update today at 9 a.m. Pacific time. It includes project bags, accessories and, of course, yarn!

Pam’s latest shawl design, Soulshine, is inspired by stars shooting across the night sky. It’s worked in two colors of fingering weight yarn and includes bias shaping and short rows.

Lena’s Mermaid Scales Slouch Hat is a great showcase for that random skein of variegated, tonal or hand-dyed sportweight yarn.

Mona of bunnymuff is kicking off a shawl MKAL on October 8.

If you’re an indie dyer planning an Advent calendar, consider adding Sheep Squeezers from One Sock Wonder Bags.

What to stash this week: simple and whimsey

Stephanie of Asylum Fibers put together some yarn sets for Michele Costa of Stitch and Hustle’s Unicorn County (crochet) and Unicorn Kounty (knitting) shawl pattern. Grab one and take part in the Unicorn Along, which will culminate in a fun group photo at Rhinebeck.

Jennifer of Spirit Trail Fiberworks has travel knitting (or Knitflixing, or soccer game knitting) in mind with her latest design. Stream of Consciousness is comfort knitting at its finest, a scarf designed in garter stitch, with sections of textured stitches mixed in. It’s knit on the diagonal, so Jennifer says the only “hard” part is remembering to increase on one side and decrease on the other, every other row, with textured sections requiring slightly more attention.

Jennifer also has a new batch of subscriber inspiration colorways for August, based on a photo her newsletter subscriber, Melanie, sent her of a gorgeous Autumn-hued mandala. There are three tonal colors plus a speckle that pulls from the others. They are available to preorder only through the end of the day today!

Rebecca of Fuse Fiber Studio recently had a shop update with sweater quantities of her Fuse Luxury Fingering base. For this update, she focused on neutrals and colors that can be combined to make the perfect Rhinebeck sweater.

Suzanne of Groovy Hues is going goth for Halloween. Her You Can’t Take the Goth Outta the Girl colorway is available on a variety of bases and is the perfect colorway for the upcoming fall holiday — and the rest of the year.

Julia of Pandia’s Jewels is also ready for Halloween and just added lovely new fall and Halloween inspired colors to the shop. The slight chill in the air also means she’s brought back her tweed yarn bases. There are lots of new colors, tonals, OOAKs and a few favorites.

Michelle has a new collection of shawl pins crafted from bronze, with designs including Dragonflies and Frosted Oceans, with rich, warm colors to show off on your fall knits.

What to stash this week: Leaving Olympic National Park

Today is the last day to preorder Hazel Knits’ stunning Sol Duc Valley colorway for the Knitting Our National Parks Project. The yarn takes its name and inspiration from the Sol Duc rainforest at Olympic National Park. Here’s a new pic of it all knitted up!

Stephanie of Rock Solid Designs has added a new twist to the project bag and come up with a brilliant solution to the “yarn/zipper dilemma.” Her box bag, called the Kellie bag, uses sturdy plastic snaps instead of zippers, to help keep your yarn from running away, but avoiding snags. Best of all — the snaps also serve as built-in yarn guides, allowing you to separate multiple strands of yarn for colorwork projects or when you’re alternating skeins in a sweater.

Is there a slight chill in the air? That means it’s almost PSL (pumpkin spice latte) time! Sheila of Big Foot Fibers has just updated her shop with limited-edition, piping hot PSL mini skein sets.

It’s Porterness Studio’s birthday and Jen is celebrating with a sale! Get a generous 25% off through August 31 with the code IndieBday25. If you make a purchase over $40 you will get a free “There Will Be Cake” pin!

Like most of us, Sarah of QCC Yarn is also in an autumn state of mind. In addition to new fall colors, she also now has three new yarn bases available: Floofy Cat (80% Superwash Merino/20% nylon) and Forlorn Cat (80% Superwash British BFL/20% nylon), both of which are 2-ply fingering weight yarns, and Cat-Mandu, a 3-ply fingering weight yarn that’s a blend of 70% Superwash Merino, 20% yak and 10% nylon, with colors dyed on a natural grey base.

Karen of Round Table Yarns has teamed up with Tim Stephens of Periodic Knits to create a We Knit in Texas Cowl kit to raise money for the Unite for Bleeding Disorders Walk, which benefits the local Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the Texas Central Hemophilia Association. It’s available in your choice of red, white or blue yarn and $17 of your purchase will be donated to the Texas Central Hemophilia Association.

Stomp on over to the Slipped Stitch Studios website. A fun dinosaur update goes live today at 9 a.m. Pacific time. 

Eden Cottage’s next update goes live on Wednesday, August 29 and includes her Titus 4ply base, a luxurious blend of Superwash Merino and mulberry silk, perfect for shawls and sweaters alike.

Do you believe in fairies? Either way, you’ll be enchanted by Baad Mom Yarns’ new Woodland Fairy Collection of colorways, which includes Enchanted Forest, pictured above.

Wolle’s Yarn Creations’ newest yarn line is called TONALS, a unique creation that is part gradient, part ombre, part heather on a super soft 100% cotton fingering weight base. 

Mad Science Yarn has experimented with a special fall 2018 colorway.

What to stash this week: Go for the green

For the latest installment of Knitting Our National Parks, Wendee of Hazel Knits is taking us on a road trip to Olympic National Park, just a few hours from her Seattle studio. Photographer Adam Jewell captured this stunning image of sunlight filtered through the trees at the park’s Sol Duc rainforest and Wendee perfectly picks up the bark peeking through the moss and greenery in her colorway, which is available to preorder here on two bases hrough Friday, August 24. As always, 10% of sales will be donated to the National Park Foundation.

If you’re a planner like me, then you know it’s almost Halloween. Slipped Stitch Studios has special Nightmare Before Christmas treats and other ghoulish delights on sale today at 9 a.m. Pacific time. They will only be available through Monday at midnight and will ship in time to tote around your fall projects.

Speaking of Halloween, Wild Hair Studio is creating a bag of fiber treats inspired by the sweets that Hogwarts students procured during their special Hogsmead Weekends. Hogsmead Treat Bags will include an assortment of limited-edition fiber — a combination of batts, smidgens and custom-blended roving — inspired by candy from Honeydukes. Preorders will be open until September 20.

Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations is hosting a MKAL of a shawl called In The Rough. She encourages you to polish your knitting skills with cables, lace, beading and slipped-stitch techniques. You can preorder the pattern, yarn, beading tool and beads now before the first clue is released on Labor Day.

Julia of Pandia’s Jewels has once again teamed up with designer C.C. Almon of Java Purl Designs to bring you an Outlander Wrap Kit. The kit, inspired by book 4 of the Outlander series, will include a skein of Bauble Heavy Lace in the colorway Nothing is Lost, a tote bag, a spiral notebook, stitch markers and a Ravelry pattern download code. Preorders are open until August 19.

One of Melanie’s (and my!) favorite movies growing up was The Sound of Music. In honor of the classic musical, she’s teamed up with Lina from Lina Knits to create a My Favorite Things Cowl kit. The cowl, and kit, features colorways inspired by popular scenes from the movie. Each kit comes with one 50g skein and five 10g skeins, along with the pattern.

Marianated Yarns will be at the Lancaster Fiber Festival next weekend. She also has a giveaway with prizes that include a day pass, class or mini skein kit for Casapinka’s Crown Wools MKAL going on now.

IU newcomer Heather’s Yarn Barn has plenty of fun fall colorways, including Fall Fusion, pictured above, with teal covering one half of the skein and specks of teal, plum, mustard and golden orange on the other.