Kitterly gets ready for Rhinebeck

From left to right: Kitterly co-founders Elizabeth Rowen and and Mari Bower.

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

Can you believe it’s exactly one month until Indie Untangled — and Rhinebeck?! Before this popular knitting weekend extravaganza, I asked Elizabeth Rowen and Mari Bower, the founders of Kitterly, which sells knitting and crochet kits, to talk about their plans for Rhinebeck and their predictions for this year’s most popular Indie Untangled and Rhinebeck sweaters.

Who are you both most looking forward to seeing at the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show?

We’re really excited to see the variety of products, new products that inspire us and catch up with our vendors and meet new ones!

What are each of your Top 5 favorite Kitterly kits from the last year?

Mari: From a site popularity standpoint, the Sushi Scarf by Stephanie Shiman and Wonderland Yarns is a perennial favorite with our customers.

We’ve been so fortunate to work with so many amazing designers like Andrea Mowry, Isabell Kraemer and Melanie Berg, to name a few. It’s been fun to meet and feature designers from all over the world.

Liz: I love them all! Our designers as so talented and it’s always so inspiring to work with them.

Sushi Scarf by Stephanie Shiman.

Are there any indie dyers and designers that you think should be on knitters’ radars?

Mara of Aya Fibers
Steffi of Uschitita
Renee of Spun Right Round
Aimee of La Bien Aimée

There are so many more we could list but we’re running out of space!

What are you both planning to wear to Indie Untangled and the New York Sheep & Wool Festival?

Mari: Depending on weather I’m going to wear my newly knit Humulus pullover by Isabel Kraemer knit in The Fibre Company Cumbria and Spincycle Dream State. I hope to be able to finish my Rose cardigan, knit in Olann Sock Sport, in time.

Liz: I’m going bring my Sheltered poncho by Andrea Mowry, my Sipila pullover knit in Olann Singles as well as my Impressionists shawl by Helen Stewart. Hoping to have my Comfort Fade cardi in Olann complete too!

The Throwback © Andrea Mowry

What do you think is going to be the most-seen sweater at Rhinebeck this year?

Mari: I’ll think we’ll see a bunch of The Throwback cardis by Andrea Mowry, Sipila by Caitlin Hunter, Rose cardigan by Andrea Mowry, Carbeth Cardigan by Kate Davies and Weekender by Andrea Mowry.

Liz: I imagine we’ll see many Fading Points by Joji, Comfort Fade Cardi by Andrea Mowry and The Doodler by Stephen West.

Tell me the things that are currently on your needles.

Mari: Rose cardigan by Andrea Mowry and Separate Ways by Joji.

Liz: Comfort Fade Cardi by Andrea Mowry, Neridah by Ambah O’Brien and a test knit for Lesley Robinson of Knit Graffiti.

A WIP of Mix and Mingle by Andrea Mowry.

What are each of your favorite FOs from the last year?

Mari: Weekender by Andrea, Mix and Mingle, a Kitterly Special project for Kitterly by Andrea Mowry, and Kobuk by Caitlin Hunter.

Liz: Too many to name!

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.

The latest in the Bijou Basin Ranch Indie Dyer Series

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

Bijou Basin Ranch is known for producing yak, Cashmere, Paco Vicuna and Qiviut blends from a small ranch just outside of Elbert, Colorado. Owners Carl and Eileen Koop also collaborate with some indie dyers, such as ModeKnit Yarns of Minnesota and MJ Yarns of Seattle, who create a little magic in their dye pots and complement their luxurious blends.

Here are some of the latest yarns from their indie dyer series:

Autumn Spice

This is a coordinated collection for colors dyed by MJ Yarns on BBR’s new Himalayan Summit fingering base, a 50/50 blend of yak and Superfine Merino.

Explore Collection

Dyed by Colorful Eclectic on 50/50 yak and silk lace weight, Shangri-La. Each of the colorways in this series would look fantastic on its own, but are designed to pair together, as in the Blood of My Blood shawl from BBR’s Outlander collection, pictured above.

Reflections Collection

Dyed by Colorful Eclectic on Lhasa Wilderness yak/bamboo yarn. Each color in Reflections contains all five colors, with one being the predominant color.

Gobi

Hand-dyed colors from MJ yarns inspired by the Sheildmaidens of Nordic mythology, and popularized in Richard Wagner’s opera “The Valkyrie.” The yarn base is Gobi, a blend of baby camel and silk.

Stripes

Self-striping colors on Himalayan Summit dyed by Modeknit Yarns.

Gradients

Hand dyed on Tibetan Dream by Modeknit Yarns.

What to stash this week: Triple threat of color

Three indies have put together a great collaboration. The Semiramis Shawl Kit includes a project bag made by Alisa (Knitspinquilt) with fabric designed by Naomi of Gannet Designs, one or two skeins of fingering-weight yarn dyed by Jessie of Yarn Over New York in one of three colors, a lace shawl pattern and a stitch marker, designed and made by Alisa. A limited number of kits are available on the Yarn Over New York website.

Deb’s latest design, Gradients A Deux, is an innovative use of two of your favorite six-skein gradient sets. This rectangular shawl consists of simple lace paired with garter and stockinette stitch, worked from the center out in the round before each side is worked separately.

The FiberCrafty marketplace has over 100 indie dyers and makers and counting. One of the newest is Pen & Hook, whose hand-dyed sari silk, available in 12 colors and varying lengths, is pictured above.

Stay cool in the next summer heat wave with Murky Depths Dyeworks’ “refreshing river of cool blues.” Colorways include Mystic, Sea Glass and Ocean’s 11 available on fingering and laceweight bases.

Bunnymuff is holding a MKAL of a lacy triangular shawl inspired by flowers.

What to stash this week: ‘flash’ your stash

If you spend a lot of time scrolling through the photos of pretty yarn on Instagram, you may have seen some of that yarn accompanied by a somewhat, ahem, titillating hashtag. On Sunday, more than 200 indie dyers, designers and makers — including several who post on IU — will be offering up their versions of If I Want Exposure, I’ll Get My Tits Out. Pictured above is Stephanie of Asylum Fibers‘ version, called If I Want Exposure, I’ll Get My Tits Out: Call Me Crazy. Learn more here.

You are participating in Casapinka’s Crown Wools MKAL… right? Debbie of The Fibre Studio At Yarns To Dye For has dyed up a bunch of beautiful miniskein kits for it, so you can get started on July 19.

Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations just released her latest shawl pattern, Savvy Slips. The striped triangle shawl is perfect for pairing together your favorite odd skeins of indie dyed yarn (because I’m sure you have a few floating around…) — and for displaying one of Michelle’s lovely shawl pins. The pattern is 50% off through July 5th.

Helen and Mary Beth, sisters from New Jersey, are fresh off TNNA, the annual yarn industry trade show where I discovered this IU newcomer, Toad Hollow. They’ve just updated their shop with a good selection of their colorways and their popular Dream Catcher Kits.

In honor of her upcoming hay bailing weekend, Katrina of Fluffy U Fiber Farm is having a yarn sale through July 15th with free shipping.

Winnie the Pooh — or the Slipped Stitch Studios June bag of the month — is waiting for you at Pooh Corner. Hundred Acre Wood bags and kits with limited-edition fabrics go on sale today at 9 a.m. Pacific time.

The Cat Sandwich Fibers July Mystery Sock Club listing is up. Pictured above is one of the colorways from earlier this year, and you can now add a mystery complementary mini skein for heels and toes.

It’s a Knit-spiracy! Julia of Pandia’s Jewels just released the first of several Knit-spiracy collections. Members of this secret society get a variety of products, kits, an enamel pin and two exclusive colorways. But they’re only available to preorder through Sunday.

Karen of Round Table Yarns has opened up sign-ups for her latest yarn club. The five-month Knight of the Lion Yarn Club is based on the story of Yvain, who decides to avenge his cousin who has had a shameful experience with another knight. Sign-ups run through July 9.

Once Upon a Corgi is on trend with her new Fig Lace base, a 70/30 blend of kid mohair and silk.

What to stash this week: Fingering-weight sweater weather

If you’re looking for some summer knitting, Kate of McMullin Fiber Co. has her shop stocked with plenty of singles and sock yarns. She recommends Posh Skinny for light transition sweaters like Caitlin Hunter’s Tegna. Since you’re an Indie Untangled reader, you get an exclusive discount! Use code UNTANGLED20 for 20% off any purchase through the end of this month.

If you’re more of a shawl person in summer, then check out Michelle’s latest shawl pin designs. If you’re a blue or purple person, her Shimmering Violet Noteworthy Pin will complement yarn in many shades of blue, indigo, violet, lavender and lilac.

Since I just debuted a new Rhinebeck Trunk Show event/tote bag design, you may want to get your hands on one of the last remaining totes from last year. There are only eight left as of “press time.”

The QCC Yarn line continues to expand and just got its own website, separate from Ewe Sew An Sew. There’s also a rewards program called Happy Cats. Just by creating an account you’ll get 200 Happy Cats, which can be redeemed for $5 off your next order.

IU newcomer Train Track Fiber Designs was inspired by her location near one of the major rail lines in the Southeastern U.S. Jen, who’s also a podcaster, just debuted some micro mini sets. The sets of 10 10-gram skeins are designed for colorwork or wherever you need a pop of brightness.

Untangling SweaterFreak Knits

While I tend to discover most designers and patterns on Ravelry, I actually learned about Jenny of SweaterFreak Knits via Instagram. I was drawn to her modern, clean aesthetic and the use of subtle speckles in many of her shawls.

Despite her name, I approached her about pairing up with Nicole of Hue Loco to design a one-skein accessory pattern for the Indie Untangled Where We Knit yarn club. The result was Nicole’s Chelsea Park Cowl, a lovely shawl/cowl hybrid that looks so easy to throw on with a spring outfit. It is now available to purchase by non-club members.

Read on to learn more about Jenny’s career as a designer and about how the cowl got its name.

How did you decide to become a designer?

It happened organically. I have always preferred to knit things out of my head and after plenty of encouragement from Ravelry community, I started writing up the instructions to my ideas which became patterns.

Is there anything from your software developer side that transfers over to design?

Actually, it’s a great question and the answer is yes! Software development is all about planning and details which is very similar to knitwear design. The math behind grading requires quite a bit of focus and attention to detail. Similarly, writing the pattern is akin to writing code – both essentially are a list of instructions. You will find that many designers were involved in tech before they started designing because it really does employ the same part of the brain.

How did you come up with SweaterFreak Knits and why do you use it as your designer name?

My very first project after a long hiatus was a sweater. Wanting specific sweaters really was the reason that I picked up the needles again. This was back in 2006 and in 2007 Ravelry made its debut. I chose SweaterFreak as my nick and of course I had no idea I will end designing knitwear! In 2011 when I released my first pattern, I considered changing the moniker but since so many people knew me already I decided to keep it.

Jenny’s latest pattern, White Light.


When and how did you learn to knit?

I learned how to knit in 1985 when I was 7 years old. My maternal grandmother, Rivkah, taught me and I liked it right away. She was an avid crafter and actually preferred to crochet but she taught me both. We also share total love for yarn! She had a sizable stash and I grew up with lots of fabric and yarn around me. Most of my family two generations back were dress makers so I feel that making clothes with my hands is really something I am meant to be doing.

Tell me about what inspires your designs.

It’s a bit of everything – sometimes I get a particular idea in my head, maybe from seeing it somewhere or just something I have wanted for awhile. I love browsing fashion magazines and see the clothing evolve. My personal favorite decade is the ‘60s which has lots of different elements – classic tailored pieces as well as boho-hippie style ones. I love both equally. Often times, the yarn itself starts everything in motion. For example, when you touch hearty unprocessed wool, you think fair isle.

The Vegas top.

What’s the first thing you do when you start designing a pattern?

The first step is to sketch it. This usually gives me a good idea of what garment or accessory is going to look like, what kind of shaping it will involve. Sometimes, I use colored pencils to sketch, if the design is colorful.

What are your favorite colors and have they changed at all since you started designing?

My absolutely favorite color is blue – all shades of it, except periwinkle. It hasn’t really changed. I also love various shades of grey, green and natural. Lately, I have really gotten into yellow and mustard colors – they just look so smashing with grey!

Jenny’s most popular pattern is her Everyday Shawl.

Where is your favorite place to knit?

Definitely outside, either in the park (closest to me is Chelsea Park!) or on the beach, or even my backyard! Somehow the combination of fresh air, warm wind and wool in my lap equals heaven. I could do this forever!

What to stash this week: Color depth

Debbie recently launched Murky Depths Dyeworks, a great name to describe her passion for color and dive into the dye pots. Her bases include Harbor Singles — shown above in Girl Gone Mad, Jubilee and Neopolitan — as well as a Deep Sock (80% Superwash Merino/20% nylon), Triton MCN DK (80% Superwash Merino/10% Cashmere/10% nylon) and Sanctuary Worsted, a non-Superwash Merino.

If you’re local and want to see this new talent in person, Debbie will be vending along with yours truly tomorrow at Knitty City’s Moms and Makers Market, a great shopping event that will also raise money for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Jen of Porterness Studio has done it again! She’s expanded her line of gorgeous sterling silver and bronze jewelry to include a stitch marker bracelet, stitch marker necklace and a shawl/scarf ring. Indie Untangled readers get 20% off with the code Indie20.

The Sunrise Over Bryce shawl was a huge hit at Maryland Sheep & Wool this weekend — I didn’t want to take it off! Deb of Spruce Lane Designs used two skeins of Into the Whirled’s speckled Hoodoos colorway for Knitting Our National Parks, which is available to preorder only through next Friday.

Kara and Katie of Nice & Knit have updated their shop with their popular 2,175-yard kits for Ambah O’Brien’s Adventurous Wrap. To celebrate Mother’s Day weekend, they’re also giving one away.

Michelle’s new cabled shawl pattern, Warwick Reflections, is inspired by the crenellations, towers and medieval arched windows of Warwick Castle. Kits with the pattern, two skeins from Fairy Tale Knits and a shawl pin are available to preorder, while the pattern is 50% off until May 28, when a KAL begins.

Mama need a brand new bag? Laura and the Slipped Stitch Studios crew has released a limited line of Mother’s Day bags, with hilarious sayings, including, “The joys of motherhood are experienced when kids go to bed.” Today, at 9 a.m. Pacific time, Slipped Stitch is also releasing their adorable Mama Llama & the Cactus collection.

Marian of Marianated Yarns will be vending along with yours truly tomorrow at Knitty City’s Moms & Makers Market in NYC. She’ll have yarn and color ideas for projects like the Pero Shawl by Katy Carroll, Your Slip is Showing by Casapinka and Chevron Cloud by Espace Tricot.