There’s definitely nothing quite like showing off your latest FO, either at a fiber festival or online (and I’ve definitely spent this year trying to perfect the art of the knitwear selfie!). I really enjoyed seeing what people have finished in 2020 with yarn from Indie Untangled dyers.
Here’s a roundup of ones that caught my eye and that were also submitted by Indie Untangled followers.
As much as I’ve embraced the digital world, there is definitely still part of me that needs physical books in my life. I know it’s cliché, but flipping through the pages, taking in printed photographs and taking pride in a colorful stack of spines on your bookshelf or nightstand… It’s actually kind of similar to having a yarn stash. I probably won’t knit every single pattern in every book I own, but I appreciate knowing that they’re there, to take me on a journey when I might need it most.
I’ve come across many books over the past few years, and while I don’t think I can do them all justice with a “proper” book review, I thought it would be helpful to provide a guide to some of the ones that have found a special place on my IKEA Kallax. And if you happen to find the perfect holiday gift, even better! (This posts contains affiliate links, meaning a small percentage of your purchase may benefit Indie Untangled.)
I may be biased about this book because I’m offering it in the Indie Untangled shop, but the reason I decided to carry this book is why I’d recommend it. I’ve admired the designs of Abbye and Selena, the team that makes up Wool & Pine, since I first saw the Sorrel sweater pop up on my Instagram feed. Aside from being a bound collection of the pair’s patterns and gorgeous photographs, the book provides access to video tutorials with instructions and tips for each design. I know I’m going to be referring to the Sorrel videos after I start my sweater.
The book is also bound in a way that it stays open to the page you need very easily. I certainly love the look of matte or hardcover books with thick spines, however, I find that if I want to knit from them I need to photocopy the pages or download the PDF (this book also comes with access to the PDF patterns if you prefer to knit from one).
I wasn’t familiar with Loretta Napoleoni until earlier this year, when her assistant contacted me about this new book. Napoleoni is a journalist who has covered the financing of terrorism — her first book, Terror Inc: Tracing the Money Behind Global Terrorism, is a bestseller that has been translated into 12 languages. The topic of knitting is decidedly softer, but Loretta tackles it with a well-researched expertise, weaving together the history of our craft with her personal experiences.
The book does include 10 patterns at the end, including a version of the Pussy Hat called the Pussy Power Hat. While the patterns seem a bit like an afterthought, and I think Loretta’s writing is strong enough to stand on its own, it is nice that they have connections to passages in the book, and the simple illustrations are quite lovely.
I was already a fan of Hannah Thiessen’s first book, Slow Knitting, which was everything I could ever want in a knitting book: stories about the creators of artisanal yarns that I’ve been fortunate to work with, including Anne Hanson, Jill Draper, Julie Asselin and mYak, and beautiful patterns to tie these stories together. Seasonal Slow Knitting is just what it sounds like, breaking up our mindful craft into seasons.
Whereas Slow Knitting brought together patterns from a variety of designers, Hannah designed all 10 patterns in this book, which was released in October, so the collection feels much more cohesive and is a beautiful showcase for the rustic yarns.
No knitter’s bookshelf is complete without the work of “yarn whisperer” Clara Parkes. In this book, released last fall, Clara recounts her Great White Bale project, in which she crowdsourced the transformation of a 676-pound bale of fleece into skeins that found their way into the hands of knitters. As you may know if you read my newsletter, I’m a sucker for a road trip, especially one that includes yarn, and Clara is an expert guide, taking us along with her to Catskills Merino in New York to the Saco River Dyehouse in Maine and many places in between, all in the pursuit of yarn.
I knew that I needed this book on my shelf ever since I heard that it was being published by Pom Pom Press. Emily Foden of Viola was one of the first indie dyers that I fell for as a new yarn collector and the 12 patterns in this book show them off beautifully. I haven’t knit any of them yet, however I scored two skeins of her Shadow DK (a blend of Polwarth, Wensleydale and Zwartbles) in a shop update over the summer and realized it’s the perfect match for her Skyhill hat.
The book is filled with beautifully styled and composed shots of knitwear against the snowy backdrop of Emily’s home in Ontario, Canada, though for me it is definitely meant for admiring and not knitting from. Fortunately, the book comes with a code to download a PDF version via Ravelry.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that the goal of Indie Untangled is to bring together and support indie dyers and makers. I’m so excited and honored to bring that passion to an amazing collaboration between 31+ dyers, makers and designers!
This box, called A Twisted Year’s End, will be filled with at least 31 items, including 20g, 80-90-yard, fingering-weight mini skeins dyed in a jewel tone color palette and other yarn-y treats by a stellar lineup of indies, along with a few patterns to tie it all together. Count down to the end of this crazy year with the ultimate December calendar!
Mary Annarella of Lyrical Knits is building on the comfort of quarantine baking for her latest mystery knit-a-long. Stark Baking Mad: Great British Baking Shawl 2 is another homage to The Great British Baking Show. Mary says that, “Like the show, the MKAL will rise to the occasion with a bit of camp, a recipe with each clue, and an occasional pun.”
Debbie of Murky Depths Dyeworks and Alisa of KnitSpinQuilt have done it again! Their third collaboration is the limited edition Stained Glass Window Kit. The bag has a rainbow stained glass print, which reminds Alisa of the medieval cathedrals she visits on her dissertation research trips to Europe, while the yarn is dyed to reflect the fabric. Preorders are open now in both their Etsy shops.
Dawn of Fairy Tale Yarn Co, another Twisted Year’s End participant, has some holiday goodies as well. Her Hanukkah and Christmas sets are Star Trek themed and come with 10 50g hanks of yarn and four extras, each packaged for your chosen holiday and available in fingering weight and DK weight.
If you miss the fall leaves and doughnuts of Rhinebeck, get your fix with Jillian of WeeOnes’ special stitch markers.
For her last Sweater Quantity Discount shipment of 2020, Kate of McMullin Fiber Co is offering two colorways at close to wholesale pricing. Ink is a rich navy blue and Sunflower is a sunny golden yellow. Act fast, because these installments sell out quickly!
Scarlet of Huckleberry Knits is helping us with the transition to fall through her stunning Knitting Our National Parks colorway. It’s called Going to the Sun after its inspiration photo of Lake McDonald, along Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, taken by Colorado-based photographer Mallory Wilson. This colorway will be dyed on Scarlet’s Willow sock base, 80% Superwash Blue-Faced Leicester and 20% nylon, with 420 yards per skein, and available to preorder on Indie Untangled through Sunday, October 18.
Sara of La Cave à Laine is introducing Happy Knitting Boxes: four different boxes with a selection of handcrafted fiber accessories made in France or Europe, including hand-dyed or hand-printed project bags, stitch markers, wool soap and knitting patterns.
Sarah of Superfine Yarn has been playing around with one-of-a-kind dye batches. If you fall in love with any of her experiments, be sure to use code FALL10 to get 10% off and free shipping.
Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns had a shop update yesterday with Keld Fingering, a new-to-ECY blend of Superwash extrafine Merino with linen.
Marny’s Reversible Trellis Cowl is just what it sounds like, a fun accessory that can be made in any two colorways.
Caroline of The Noble Thread was inspired by the architecture of this vibrant London neighborhood for her latest sweater design. Called Notting Hill, this short-sleeved, tee captures the geometry of the row houses with simple slip stitches. The sample is knit in a natural, undyed alpaca, Merino and silk blend, with a naturally-dyed contrast color in a non-superwash Merino held with a strand of mohair silk. There’s plenty of freedom to explore and customize the length of the sweater, which doesn’t require shaping, and the size inclusive pattern offers a finished bust circumference from 34” to 70”. To celebrate its release, Notting Hill will be free until today at 11:59 p.m. PDT and there are kits on Caroline’s website.
Stefania and Giulia of Lanivendole are taking lemons and debuting yarn with a literal new twist. Their new base, Twisty Chic — a batch of A Chic Blend spun with the wrong parameters by the mill — has a bit more twist, but that just means it has much better stitch definition and color saturation. The update goes live today at 8 p.m. CEST.
7th Floor Yarn is collaborating with Michele Costa of 144 Stitches on East Bound, a new multicolored shawl that uses their DK Yak/Silk/Merino — and comes in both a knit and crochet version. Use the code INDIE for free shipping.
Emily’s new sock pattern, Happy Haunts, is inspired by the classically creepy decor of one of our favorite haunted mansions.
Augusta of ADKnits has new wildflower-themed items, including progress keepers with charms featuring dried flowers cast in resin.
The next Eden Cottage Yarns update on Tuesday features plenty of sock yarn, including Tempo 4ply for Vikki Bird’s Seed Head sock pattern, which is raising money for The Flower Power Fund.
Back in March, I decided back to launch the Indie Untangled Super Special KAL so we’d have some fun knitting incentives. Not that we really need prizes, let alone a pandemic, to inspire our crafting mojo, but it is nice to have deadlines.
Over three months, there were 70 total entries, including 16 in the sock category and 15 in the sweater category (but only one in the new bralette category, which surprised me!). Last week, I selected 15 winners in eight categories via random number generator. Here are the winning FOs (please note that the links go to Ravelry).
Heather of Sew Happy Jane has embraced the rustic wool trend with her new line of non-Superwash yarn. She’s dyed her new 100% Peruvian Highland Wool in 10 colorways — eight semisolids and two speckled/variegated — that coordinate beautifully, making it perfect for colorwork. At $18 per 246-yard skein, it’s also an inexpensive entree into the world of crunchy yarn. Heather is taking dyed-to-order preorders until May 25.
Tomorrow, Stefania and Giulia of Lanivendole are launching orders for their next yarn club/collaboration. The Mind Wanderers Yarn Club is themed around where we go when we get lost in our thoughts while knitting. Each club bundle will include three skeins of their luxurious and local blend of Italian wool, Cashmere and alpaca and two accessories from Italian makers.
Debbie of Murky Depths Dyeworks is evoking the childhood nostalgia of the 64 Crayola box (the one with the sharpener on the back) with her new mini skein sets. Each set includes five 80-yard skeins of Deep Sock, perfect for colorwork hats, fingerless mitts or as sweater accents. Debbie is also offering 15% off, using code CXL15.
If your Startitis is flaring up, house your new WIPs in one of Rock Solid Designs’ new project bags! There are sweet honeybees and cheerful yellow poppies to get us in the mood for our socially-distanced spring, as well as reminders of the travels in our future.
Heather of Pumpkins and Wool has launched her new Sock Kits, featuring one 463-yard skein and one 92-yard mini in a super soft Superwash Merino/nylon blend.
Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns’ next update, taking place on Monday at 1 p.m. UK time, will include a summer-ready restock of laceweight yarns, including Titus Lace (Merino/silk) and Askham Lace (baby alpaca/silk).
Karen Whooley’s new book, Modern Italian Lace Crochet, will be released on June 2 and you can preorder it now. The book includes 10 new crochet designs inspired by her Italian heritage.
It’s not very hard to find indie dyers who carry semisolid, variegated and (the ubiquitous) speckled yarn. Self-striping skeins, on the other hand, aren’t as common, with only a few companies specializing in it. Stacie Dawson of Must Stash Yarn is one of those indies who is synonymous with stripes. Here’s how she decided to go down that path.
Tell me about how you got started dyeing yarn.
I have my friend Claire to thank for that. She hosted a “Dye Your Own Skein” party using Kool-Aid and I was hooked.
I have always been creative so, over the years, I tried lots of different ways of expressing my creativity… with music, acting, decoration, stenciling/embossing/calligraphy, cross stitch, sewing, painting and the fiber arts of crochet, knitting, spinning and weaving. It was the fiber arts that spoke loudest to me and so learning yet another way of manipulating fiber was a natural progression for me. Like knitting, I obsessively gobbled up every dyeing resource I hold lay my hands/eyes on! Took classes with professional hand dyers, bought books, did workshops and practiced, practiced, practiced.
Why did you decide to focus on self-striping yarn?
Self striping was the second thing that I dyed, ever. If you have ever met me then you may have heard me joke that I am like the “Hair Club for Men” owner… I am not just the president, I am also a client. I just love knitting with self-striping sock yarn so much and when I first started dyeing, there were not a lot of options in the market; I felt like there was a niche that I could help to fill.
Originally, I didn’t want to be known as a one trick pony and so I dyed tonals as much as self striping. After about two years of always running behind, I realized that I needed to focus in order to realize my goals. Now we produce self striping on only four bases, limited tonals and so can have a steady stream of skeins available in the shop each week.
What did you do before you started Must Stash and how does it inform your business?
I was a medical office administrator. I handled their books, hiring, staff management, training, supplies ordering, new equipment acquisition/maintenance, billing, etc. If it had something to do with running the business, I handled it! Yes, running a business, even one as different from being an indie as a medical office, was extremely beneficial to starting my own business. I was already familiar with setting up and reconciling books, paying taxes and being fiscally responsible and in this gig, I get to play with yarn almost everyday!
What inspires your colorways and your colorway names?
Inspiration comes from all around me! If you are familiar with Must Stash, then you have probably noticed that we have quite a few pop culture-inspired colorways. The names are usually drawn directly from the inspiration… we aren’t subtle. Some names pop into my head while designing/dyeing and some from my family, like Martian Rainbow, was suggested by my husband.
Do you have a favorite color or colors, and have they changed since you became a dyer?
If I had to pick just one, it would be grey. I am a sucker for neutrals like brown and grey and don’t even get me started about that place where gold and silver meet… absolutely divine. I wouldn’t say my color preferences have changed a great deal since becoming a dyer but I would say that my palette has expanded substantially. For example, I wasn’t much for pastels or for garishly loud colors, either, but now, I have an appreciation for almost everything from sunglasses bright down to barely there… there is beauty in color, period.
Is there a color that you would love to dye, but that is challenging to create?
The perfect amber. A liquid gold that has life and vitality and practically flows as you knit it. Other than a certain color, I would love to create a true self striping that does not repeat for an entire sock… that would be an amazing thing!
When and how did you learn to knit?
My mom taught me to knit when I was 9. She was an avid crafter and enjoyed creating beautiful and practical things. That winter she was knitting matching dress for us to wear for Easter. I was so intrigued by it that I begged her to teach me the mechanics of the stitches. I knit a rectangle about three inches wide and 10 inches long and it was a struggle for every inch!
I soon gave it up and put my supplies away and there they stayed for several years. However, every now and again, I would get a longing and so the bag of supplies would come out of the closet and we would sit down to learn again and after knitting a rectangle it would go back into the bag and back into the closet. This cycle repeated until 2010 when I pulled that bag out again, used YouTube tutorials and never stopped knitting.
Do you enjoy any other crafts in addition to knitting?
Not really. I have enjoyed crocheting, spinning, cross stitch and weaving but none of them has captivated me like knitting.
What are some of your favorite FOs you or your customers have made with your yarn?
I have a Tailwind that I knit with one of my Affirmation color ways and a natural skein that I find myself using a lot when the weather cools down and I would love to knit a Color Affection with two solids and a self striping but I need to decide on the colors.
You cannot imagine how much I enjoy seeing what my customers make with Must Stash! Of course, there are lots and lots of socks that are so well knit that they inspire me to make myself another pair but it’s the shawls and sweaters that really make me drool. Recently an IGer showed off her Strange Brew color work sweater she is knitting with one of my rainbow self striping in the yoke… so beautiful and fantastic.
The crew behind the Rosé and Rambouillet kit was waiting to unveil these gorgeous photos of Tamy Gore’s Dusky Rose shawl from Cat Reading. Kits with the Rambouillet yarn from The Dye Project, a digital copy of Tamy’s shawl pattern and a rose gold and glitter sheep pin from Nerd Bird Makery are available to preorder on Indie Untangled only through today!
Heather Jane of Sew Happy Jane has a knack for combining colors and this week she is featuring the Walking On A Dream sock pattern from Kalurah Hudson of While They Play Designs. There is a fresh batch of sock sets perfect for knitting this, or any pattern that uses contrast, all ready to go in her shop.
Dawn of Fairy Tale Knits is embracing that throwback with the “Christmas In July” version of her yarn Advent-style calendar. The set includes a full-sized, 463-yard skein skein Dawn’s 75/25 Superwash Merino/nylon Pegasus base and 24 92-yard speckled Pegasus mini skeins, all individually wrapped and inspired by a different cartoon character or show. They include the aforementioned Alvin & the Chipmunks and Muppet Babies, and a mix of other classics like Bugs Bunny, Sylvester & Tweety, the Jetsons, Care Bears, Smurfs and Rugrats.
Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios is shipping out her Steampunk-inspired bag and accessories preorders and so the extras will be live in her shop and ready to ship today at 9 a.m. Pacific time.
Happy birthday, America! Indie Untangled is celebrating this nation’s natural beauty with a Flash Sale! Get 15% off Knitting Our National Parks tote bags and Glacier National Park-inspired yarn from Duck Duck Wool through midnight EDT tonight with the code AMERICATHEBEAUTIFUL.
The next Eden Cottage Yarns update takes place today at 7 p.m. UK time and feature Titus Lace, a Superwash Merino/silk yarn that’s perfect for summer weather. It also includes the second release of the Four Seasons Collection, a collaboration with designer Jaya Lakshmi.
Augusta of adKnits has new gift tags infused with a little fiber-related snark, as well as new notecards, including those with her popular knitted mountains illustration. Plus, she’s also released the first two sets of her new line of stitch markers.
Kick off summer with the Rosé and Rambouillet Kit, exclusively from Indie Untangled. Each kit includes a generous 470-yard skein of 100% Rambouillet wool from The Bare Ranch in Surprise Valley, California, dyed by Sarah of The Dye Project in the Rosé On Rambouillet colorway, a PDF of Tamy Gore’s Dusky Rose shawl (you’ll get it three months before it’s released to the general public!) and the utterly adorable Rosé and Rambouillet glitter enamel pin from Nerd Bird Makery. Preorders are open only until July 5.
Speaking of domestic wool, Heather of Sew Happy Jane has an update featuring her domestically-produced All American Sock base in collaboration with a new design called Wandering Lost socks from Lindsey Fowler of Lost and Fawned. They’re shown above in the Sly Fox colorway. Order the yarn today for a 10% discount!
Sara of La Cave à Laine has debuted new yarn baskets, spacious drawstring bags with double handles and three compartments to hold your next project.
Hazel Knits’ colors of the month — Breeze, Voyage and Castle — are designed to accompany you on your summertime adventures. These colors will be on sale for the month of June.
Get to know IU newcomer Seathra of Stravaigin Yarn Co., who named her botanical botanical dye studio after an old Scottish word that loosely translates to “having a wee wander aimlessly without intent or a set destination.”
Mona is launching a new MKAL on August 1 inspired by the coloring of pigeons. The pattern will be a crescent-shaped shawl with feathery lace and optional bead details. It was designed specifically for gradient yarn and uses one 150g cake of another IU vendor, Wolle’s Yarn Creations.
Check out IU newcomer Colorshow Creative, who is inspired by colors and textures of fabric and yarn.
Geraldine of Knitting Around NY is holding a dye workshop on Sunday in Brooklyn.