What to stash this week: A woolly palette

Skeins of blue and silver yarn over a hand-dyed tote bag.

Tavolozza is a collaboration between Stefania and Giulia from Lanivendole and Sara from La Cave à Laine. Kits, which are available to preorder through June 26, include a full skein of A Heavenly Blend in the natural gray of Aquilana wool, Italian alpaca and Italian cashmere, three minis of A Chic Blend (Brogna wool, Italian alpaca and Italian mohair) in a range of color choices and either a hand-sewn zippered pouch or a hand-dyed organic cotton tote bag that Sara prepared especially for this collaboration.

Mountains in shades of blue and two skeins of dark to light blue hand-dyed yarn.

Celebrate summer with the Aleutian Fade, the colorway from Jenn of Cedar House Yarns based on a blue gradient forming the Kachemak Bay Mountains at the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. This colorway is available to preorder through next Friday.

A portion of sales from this installment will support both the National Park Foundation and the NFC Momentum Fund, Neighborhood Fiber Co.’s donor-advised charitable fund at the Baltimore Community Foundation that will disperse contributions to a variety of organizations working for justice, empowerment and equality.

Clay sheep stitch markers in a rainbow of colors form a circle.

Jillian of WeeOnes‘ polymer clay stitch markers bring that extra bit of joy to your WIP. Her new rainbow sheep are at a special 15% off discount for the rest of June, and there’s a menagerie of adorable creatures.

A grey pullover with a purple and green variegated front.

Whether you hear Tiny Dancer or Tony Danza, you’ll want to sing along to Mary Annarella’s latest pattern. It’s designed to help you use up a skein or two of variegated sock yarn, minis, or even leftovers, and it’s 30% off through June 22.

Green, aqua and purple speckled yarn with the words Maelstrom Fiber Arts Barefoot in the Grass.

Jennifer of Maelstrom Fiber Arts‘ latest colorways, Barefoot in the Grass, Bourbon & Lime and Luminous are inspired by her patio garden. Looking ahead, she’s also taking orders for an October Mystery Gift Box.

Blue glass bead stitch markers on a silver pin.

Amy of Amy’s Trinket Shop makes her glass beads stitch markers at her kitchen table, surrounded by her kids, husband and dogs, all waiting to see the new trinkets she’s created.

What to stash this week: Blue mountain majesties

Mountains in shades of blue and two skeins of dark to light blue hand-dyed yarn.

Jenn of Cedar House Yarns has created this painterly representation of a blue gradient forming the Kachemak Bay Mountains at the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, captured by Lisa Hupp of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This colorway will be available to preorder on Jenn’s Sapling Sock base on Indie Untangled through Friday, June 26.

As always, 10% of sales will be donated to the National Park Foundation. This month, an additional 10% of sales for this installment will be donated to the NFC Momentum Fund, Neighborhood Fiber Co.’s donor-advised charitable fund at the Baltimore Community Foundation that will disperse contributions to a variety of organizations working for justice, empowerment and equality. Currently, money raised will support protestors in the Black Lives Matter movement.

A shawl with geometric patterns in shades of cerulean, coral and cream.

Caroline of The Noble Thread was inspired by her favorite French painter, Marie Laurencin, to create her latest shawl design, Aquarelle. The shawl plays with Laurencin’s favorite celadon and peach hues, with chevrons and bobbles interrupting soothing garter ridges. Caroline has created Aquarelle kits using her very own naturally-dyed yarn. One kit is dyed on her Pure base, a 100% non-Superwash Merino and the other is dyed on her Superwash Merino Amelie base.

A collage of sweaters and shawls and the words Enjoy 40% off Lyrical Knits patterns.

Mary of Lyrical Knits is holding her annual birthday sale! Use the code birthdaybash to take 40% off all patterns in her shop, from shawls to sweaters, through June 14.

Teal, pink, chartreuse, blue and red yarn and the words Yakima Lace.

Debbie of Murky Depths is one of only a few indie dyers to offer non-mohair laceweight yarn. Not only that, but she offers three different bases! In honor of lighter summer knits, these yarns are 15% off through the end of June. 

An amber and aqua triangular shawl.

Mark the end of Outlander Season 5 with Inner Yarn Zen’s Droughtlander 2020 kit. This kit features three skeins of hand-dyed yarn to complete the included Ridge Wedding Shawl by KJH Knit Designs.

A silver mermaid stick shawl pin sits on a skein of blue yarn.

Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations is taking you on a trip to the beach for this month’s mystery mailing. You can choose from three different options: notions only, notions and pin or notions and cuff.

A trio of dark to light pink yarn.

The next Eden Cottage Yarns update takes place today at 8 p.m. UK time and includes Hayton DK, an MCN, and Bowland 4ply, a British BFL.

Hands holding a jar of brightly colored yarn balls.

Designer Emily of Kitty With a Cupcake and dyer Lauren of Valkyrie Fibers are starting up a “yarn witch coven” on Patreon.

An illustration of a laptop with a blue ball of yarn on the screen advertising the Virtu-wool Fiber Festival.

The June Virtu-Wool Fiber Festival on Facebook will showcase 20 vendors, including sponsor Bewitched Pigments, tomorrow and Sunday. Each vendor will showcase their products during a 45-minute live video.

Shanna of Lambstrings Yarn has opened preorders for her Spooky October “Advent” calendar.

What to stash this week: Supporting black-owned indie businesses

Over the last few months, all of our lives were upended by something that couldn’t be seen without a microscope. As knitters and makers, our first instinct during the COVID-19 pandemic was to turn to the thing that has always held comfort for us. We don’t need news articles to tell us that knitting (and yarn) is therapy — we know it when we reflexively pick up our latest mindless project, lose ourselves in a complicated cable pattern or scroll through our Instagram feed, double-tapping the colorful twisted hanks in square boxes.

More recently, life has been upended again, by visible representations of something that can’t always be seen, even with a microscope, but that can always be felt. Systemic racism is a virus that has long been circulating in our communities, even when we don’t think we’re displaying obvious symptoms. It’s a disease that black people around the world have been exposed to all their lives, and over these past several days, they’ve been gasping for air.

As I type this, George Floyd’s family is preparing for his memorial and they, along with people all over the U.S., are grieving. Grieving not just for George, but for a long list of black lives that have been lost to racism. We are angry, and there is no vaccine that can make it all go away.

As we seek out comfort while doing the work we so desperately need to do to confront and eliminate racism, in ourselves and in our communities, I hope that you can take this opportunity to explore, and continue to support, the work of the many black indie dyers, designers and creators who help make our particular community so special.

As a knitter and through Indie Untangled, I have been fortunate to be able to learn about and work with some of these business owners.

Blue, green and yellow yarn.

Robin Guy of Birch Hollow Fibers creates soothing and subtly complex colorways inspired by two of her favorite things: books, particularly fantasy fiction, and tea. Her bases are named after women she admires, including American abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth.

A black woman in a blue and purple cardigan smiles in front of a wall of colorful yarn.

Brooke Addams of Fully Spun creates hand-dyed marled yarns with the look of handspun. Her latest collection is in honor of Pride month and includes a broad representation of the LGBTQ+ community through yarn. It was great to get to know Brooke better during the Indie Untangled Virtual Knit Night last night!

Red, black and gray yarn.

Diane Ivey of Lady Dye Yarns dyes vibrant street art-inspired skeins and has brought together diverse business owners for her yarn clubs.

A peach pin over peach colored speckled yarn.

Adella Colvin of Lolabean Yarn Co. named her popular indie yarn company for her daughter because, as a woman of color, she wanted to show Lola that “we can achieve success regardless of the circumstances.”

A navy, gold and cream oblong triangle shawl.

Tamy Gore of Narrow Path Designs makes hand-dyed yarn come alive with her elegant shawls and accessories, which feature lace and texture.

Rainbow die stitch markers.

Marsha Auguste of One Geek To Craft Them All handcrafts fun stitch markers, jewelry and project bags based on various geekery and pop culture.

Five colorful skeins of variegated yarn.

Lola Johnson of UK-based Third Vault Yarns themes her brightly-colored yarn around sci-fi, fantasy and comic fandoms like Firefly, The Sandman and Discworld.

What to stash this week: wash your hands and knit on

Tins of body butter with orange and aqua accents.

Due to more hand washing than usual, many of us are probably also dealing with extremely dried-out skin, which is not exactly conducive to working with yarn. If you’re looking for a way to quench your parched skin, Kismet of LoLo Body Care has you covered. Based in Vancouver, Washington, this familiar brand on the fiber festival circuit makes the LoLo Body Bar, a quick-absorbing moisturizer that lasts through multiple hand washings, as well as handcrafted, colorful soap with sayings that will lift your spirits long after your umpteenth verse of Happy Birthday.

Pale pink speckled yarn.

If you missed out, Heather of Sew Happy Jane has restocked her shop with yarn bundles for the PRIMA shawl by Shellie Anderson, which sold out quickly last weekend. There’s also a KAL starting April 20.

A paper bag with a purple and white geometric pattern.

Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations decided to theme this month’s mystery box around everyone’s favorite umbrella-carrying heroine. The box is customizable, and you can choose from notions only, shawl pin and notions, or shawl cuff and notions.

Pale purple fluffy yarn.

Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarn is welcoming a new base to her yarn family. Lowther Lace is a luxurious blend of baby suri alpaca and mulberry silk that will be introduced in a shop update on Sunday at 5 p.m. UK time.

What to stash this week: the new spring yarn lines

A woman models pink to blue faded socks.

Beckie of Shirley Brien Yarn is having a shop update Sunday at noon EDT, when she’ll introduce a few new sock lines, including these super cool Deconstructed Fade Sock Sets, as well as hugely discounted kits for her Sailing Sweater.

A lacy shawl in pale pink.

Heather of Sew Happy Jane collaborated with designer Shellie Anderson on her new PRIMA shawl pattern, inspired by the Sassy Ballerina and Ballerina colorways. The pattern debuts today on Ravelry and Heather has yarn bundles for it available in her shop.

Skeins of teal Merino and boucle yarn.

Debbie of Murky Depths Dyeworks is running a 15% off sale store-wide if you use code CXL15 at checkout. She’s also using her time at home on a personal “New Item of The Day” challenge, so keep your eye out for new creations!

An aqua drawstring bag with cartoon sloths.

Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios is offering a little snark and some swear words to help get you through this crazy time, with artist Cynthia Frenette’s best snarky and swear-y fabrics. This preorder goes live today at 9 a.m. PDT and closes on Monday at midnight.

A woman holds a gray and purple lacy shawl.

Selenaof Sweater Sisters just released a new shawl pattern called Saratoga Springs. It uses two colors of WayfaringYarns Shangri-La, a blend of 75% Ultrafine Superwash Merino and 25% Mulberry Silk.

What to stash this week: Love knot for your knits

A purple shawl cuff with a silver Celtic knot.

Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations has put her own spin on the shawl cuff trend. Michelle crafts them with colorful cork, which is both vegan and environmentally friendly, hand stitching Celtic knit charms onto each piece, which are secured with metal snaps. You can see the cuffs, along with Michelle’s assortment of accessories, in her booth at Stitches West next weekend (I’ll be there too!).

A snowy forest and green yarn.

Quiescence is Gabby of Once Upon a Corgi’s interpretation of Sequoia National Park after a snowstorm. This anything-but-quiet colorway is available to preorder through next Friday, with 10% of sales donated to the National Park Foundation.

A bag with birds and red and blue yarn.

Kate of McMullin Fiber Co is having a special Valentine’s Day shop update today at 11 a.m. Eastern time. It will include a special Lovebird collaboration with gingeroots bags, and two packages inspired by Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre available to preorder.

Gold stockinette stitch earrings.

Jen of Porterness Studio has restocked after VKL NYC, with tons of new jewels, including 14K Gold Stockinette Stitch Motif Minis and Short Row earrings.

A blue bag with white alpaca wearing red scarves.

Stephanie of Rock Solid Designs has debuted her new Grace bag. These spacious bags have a more classic style for use as an everyday tote.

A lacy aqua shawl on a dress form.

Marian of Marianated Yarns is debuting several new designs at Stitches West, collaborating with designers including Katy Carroll, Deb Gerhard, Romi Hill and Louis Boria of Brooklyn Boy Knits.

A bag with conversation hearts fabric holding purple yarn.

Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios has once again collaborated with artist Cynthia Frenette for a special V-day update that will drop today at 9 a.m. Pacific.

Plum and pink solid and speckled skeins of yarn.

Julia of Pandia’s Jewels will have several kits for Wool & Pine’s Sorrel Sweater available for preorder starting tomorrow at 10 a.m. Eastern through Friday, February 21 until 8 p.m. Eastern.

Blue and white fuzzy yarn.

Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns will have an update on Saturday at 3 p.m. UK time with plenty of Coniston Fingering, a single-ply yarn with extra fine Merino and luxurious superkid mohair.

2019 Year In Review: Indie Untangled KAL

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A lilac sweater with a lacy yoke.

The 2019 Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show seems like it was ages ago, and also like it was just yesterday. For the second time, we organized a massive KAL with eight separate categories, which brought in more than 200 entries! I thought it was appropriate to share the randomly-selected winners as part of a Year In Review post. Hopefully some of these FOs will inspire your 2020 projects.

Pictured above is KnitCosette’s Love Note by tincanknits, which was one of the winners in the sweater category.

Shawl

Hat

Cowl

Poncho

Cables

Socks

Mitts/mittens/gloves

What to stash this week: Places you can knit

A collage with winter flowers, cherry blossoms, a blue put over a campfire and the Manhattan Bridge.

I’m thrilled to open sign-ups today for Where We Knit 2020. This quarterly club, which will begin shipping in February, brings together four dyer/designer dream teams: Wobble Gobble Yarn and Veera Välimäki, bleu poussière and Paula Pereira, Earl Grey Fiber Co. and Vanessa Smith, and Indie Untangled X The Wandering Flock and Geraldine Yang.

Each pair will collaborate on an exclusive colorway and an accompanying accessory design inspired by their favorite spots to whip out their WIPs. Their inspiration photos are shown in the image above, clockwise from top left.

Aside from the yarn and pattern, each shipment will include a surprise gift from a third artisan. You have the option of a one-time payment for a discounted price or payment each quarter. Spots are limited and sign-ups run through Dec. 31, 2019, or when the subscriber cap is reached.

I hope you join us on this journey next year to get a small sampling of all the indie goodness out there!

Fuchsia and purple yarn.

Meet and get to know IU newcomer Christy of Les Belles Lainages and her bright, bold colorways with pops of earth tones, and snag one of her sock kits.

A blue to teal and green gradient cake with tweed flecks.

Elisabeth of Wolle’s Yarn Creations has fingering weight cotton/silk yarns with a tweedy look.

A woman models a thick, white, lacy shawl.

Julia of Pandia’s Jewels has created some kits for her Winter’s Moon shawl with her Delight DK base in four colors (she will also take custom orders).

Untangling Tamy Gore of Narrow Path Designs

Tamy Gore of Narrow Path Designs

Tamy Gore of Narrow Path Designs

Earlier this year, I had the honor of collaborating with Tamy Gore of Narrow Path Designs — along with Sarah of The Dye Project and Thao of Nerd Bird Makery — on the Rosé and Rambouillet kit.

Tamy published her first design, the Out of Winter shawl, on Ravelry in May 2016, and it shows off her skill at combining speckled and semisolid colorways of hand-dyed yarn. She also creates lovely garments with just semisolids. Her Dusky Rose shawl, which is now available individually as well as with the kit (of which there are only a few left), is one of those stunning shawl designs, and uniquely combines garter, brioche, short rows and slipped stitches in an elegant garment.

How did you decide to become a knitwear designer?

I really just decided to try my hand at it. I had modified a few cowls before but never really designed anything on my own, and so I figured I take the plunge and I haven’t stopped since.

How did you come up with Narrow Path Designs and why do you use it as your business name?

The name was actually chosen by my husband and it stems from Jesus’ words in the Bible in regards to entering by the narrow gate, meaning that He is the only way to salvation and so calling all people to come to Him. I love and am thankful for that and so I kept the name and added Designs to it.

A woman models a pink shawl.

Tami’s Dusky Rose shawl for the Rosé and Rambouillet collaboration.

When and how did you learn to knit?

I was taught in 2013 by my goddaughter and her siblings. I smile each time I think of those days and the many mistakes I made and how extremely patient these children were with me. 🙂 It took a while for me to understand (especially purling!), but I finally got it.

Do you do any crafts other than knitting?

Not at this moment, but I would like to start using my sewing machine. I got a vintage machine from a sweet friend, but haven’t really buckled down to use it yet.

Tell me about what inspires your designs.

Nature. Birds and other animals, plants and changing seasons. I love playing with different colors, and yet there are a few colors that always seem to end up in most of my designs.

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

I draw. Sometimes that means I’m drawing on a napkin if we’re out for dinner, or I have my handy notepad and pencil with me. 🙂 The design starts to form in my mind and then I start playing around with it on paper. I usually change the design as I’m knitting it and rarely ever stick to the original idea.

A multicolored triangular shawl

Tamy’s Milu shawl.

Do you think you’ll ever design sweaters or will you stick to accessories?

It’s definitely in the plan, but we’ll see what happens. 🙂

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

My favorite colors are yellow, rusty orange and shades of pink and peaches. They haven’t really changed since I first started and I would be surprised if they did, but you never know. 🙂

Post-Rhinebeck Untangling: Debra Gerhard of Spruce Lane Designs

Debra Gerhard of Spruce Lane Designs in gray sweater with a pink and red geometric yoke

Debra Gerhard models her Once Again sweater.

This is the 17th in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of the 2019 Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

Debra Gerhard of Spruce Lane Designs has a background as a designer, but not in fashion. For years she worked as an environmental engineer, addressing environmental impacts. These days, her design work involves taking hand-dyed yarn and turning them into colorful geometric sweaters and shawls with stripes, lace, cables and other textured stitches.

How did you decide to become a knitwear designer?

I was never one to follow a pattern exactly as written. I would usually use the pattern as a “guide” and then add my own shaping, motifs, edgings or other personal touches. A number of years ago after I left engineering to be home with my son, I started sample knitting for a few yarn companies which subsequently lead to technical editing of patterns. Around this same time, I took a few knitwear design classes at the Rhode Island School of Design.

I released my first design, Checks Mix Cowl, which was based on a swatch I had done for one of my classes. However, I didn’t release anything else for about two years after this initial design and instead spent my time doing more technical editing for a number of designers and yarn companies. I finally made the leap to mostly designing around 2017 and now I find myself struggling at times to turn out all the ideas I have in my head. I love the process, and I especially enjoy seeing knitters’ interpretations of my patterns and their use of color combinations and various yarn bases.

How has your background as an environmental engineer informed your work?

As an environmental engineer, I would be charged with designing and applying the best remedy for addressing environmental impacts. And just as each impacted site presented a unique set of issues, I find that the processes I used to identity these issues and form a solution are very similar to the processes I use in my designing. I have also found that my love of math is deeply ingrained in designing and grading. I love to see the numbers unfold, and I enjoy applying geometrical concepts to some of my shawl designs.

Tell me about what inspires your designs.

I take my inspiration from a variety of sources: an architectural detail, a colorful sunset, a spider web I may spy when out for a hike, bark on a tree, nature, found objects and many other sources. I have been known to tell my hubby to “pull over” so that I can take a picture of something that inspires me. I am drawn to color and patterns. I like to create colorful knits that fuel the imagination of each knitter and hopefully inspires them make my pattern their own.

When and how did you learn to knit?

My mom taught me how to knit when I was 10. My mom knits continental style, which suited me fine as I am left handed. I started with the garter stitch scarf and seamed hat as my first knitting items and continued with more hats and a few mittens. I didn’t knit much during junior high and high school, but in college I picked it up again and knitted the “boyfriend” sweater. I started to seriously knit in my late 20s after getting married, and I haven’t stopped since that time.

A pink speckled lace shawl.

Sunrise Over Bryce for Knitting Our National Parks.

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

After deciding on yarn, I will make a large swatch of the design/motif that I have in mind to see how the colors play together and to get gauge. Once I’ve gotten gauge, I will work up the numbers and write out a draft of the pattern, including any charts, if needed. I like to have the pattern completed as much as possible before I begin knitting so that I am in a sense, “testing” my own design and I have the ability to make edits as I knit.

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

My favorite colors are purples, reds and other rich, saturated colors, and that hasn’t changed much. I also like the playfulness of speckled yarn with the surprising pops of color. Additionally, I am just starting to explore the color and textural effects of working with two strands of yarn, specifically a mohair/silk base coupled with a Merino base.