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.
In honor of LYS Day tomorrow, April 27, the Dragonfly team has created kits for Casapinka’s new pullover shawl (not a poncho!) called Magical Thinking. The yarn is the squishy Superwash Merino Dragon Sock and you can see the sample that North Carolina LYS Friends & Fiberworks worked up here in that last color combo — Silver Fox, Kelpie, Sixteen Candles— which is exclusive to their shop. You can get a list of the dozen shops that are carrying the kit here. Dragonfly will have the first three combos, along with their festival exclusive Carroll Creek Park colorway at Maryland Sheep & Wool.
Speaking of mohair, Mary Annarella’s latest sweater design, Branches In Bloom, calls for holding a strand of mohair-silk lace weight with a strand of single-ply fingering.
Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations has debuted the newest must-have notion, the Suavest Sheep! 3D printed by Michelle using biodegradable polylactic acid, these cuties can be used to tidy your cast-on end, hold yarn joined in the middle of your project, act as a handy color swatch to carry with you, or make for an adorable display of your favorite yarns.
Sweater Sisters’ newest team member, Dana Gervais, has released a new knee high sock pattern called Mojo. They feature 16 Bimini sparkle minis and Selena is offering the kits in two color sets. They are on sale through next Friday, May 3, only.
Kelly’s latest shawl design, Round the Mountain, has a combination of fun stitch patterns, color changes and shapes.
Time for a DK spring sale! All DK in the Big Foot Fibers shop is 20% off through April 30 using the code DkSale.
Knitting and caffeine seem to go together like, well, yarn and needles. C.C. Almon of Javapurl Designs takes that to the next level with her designs, many of them coffee related, or with a geeky twist. There’s also a bit of Gilmore Girls thrown in (again, coffee) as she often collaborates on collections with her daughter, Dami.
C.C. also often works with dyer Julia of Pandia’s Jewels, and for this year’s Where We Knit yarn club, she created two items: her Brackett’s Landing socks and cowl are now available to purchase.
When and how did you learn to knit and how did you decide to become a designer?
I’ve always been crafty having grown up with a great-grandmother who did needlework, a grandmother who painted and sewed and a momma who did lots of crafts including cross stitch. I dabbled in lots of crafts over the years, but had always wanted to learn to knit. Why? I’m not sure. I didn’t know anyone who knit. It was just always calling to me.
So I finally answered the call in 2005 when I purchase a Learn to Knit kit from a big box store. I was instantly in love! The first few years, I knit mostly blankets and hats.
Things exploded in 2012 when I took a sock knitting class. In 2013, I released my first big pattern (Rescue Me, Chin Boy, & Show Me the Stars – a Doctor Who-inspired Socks) after I was gifted a gorgeous skein of yarn that I knew needed to be a certain pattern, but I couldn’t locate one, so I made it up.
Since then, I’ve designed 60 patterns (mainly socks, but also shawls, cowls, and a few miscellaneous things).
What did you do before becoming a designer and how does it inform your design work?
My final job before I became disabled was as a hospital chaplain. My primary unit was the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). I desperately miss working with those wee babes and their families. As a way to continue to bless them, I designed my Top Down Preemie Hat pattern (free on Ravelry) with seven sizes from 24 weeks to full-term. Since 2014, I have knit one preemie hat each week which I then donate to a local hospital.
How did you decide to team up with your daughter, Dami, and how do you work together on your designs?
My Dami (she’s 19 years old and a freshman in college) is a prolific knitter. For a couple of years, she helped me by knitting the samples for my designs. In 2016, she had an idea for a pair of socks inspired by the TV show Elementary. Once she designed those, she continued with eight further patterns and she is now working on a collection of patterns inspired by one of her favourite musicals, Hadestown. We haven’t both collaborated on singular designs, but rather design our own things that then come together in a collection or book.
Our pattern design inspirations range from geeky things like Doctor Who and Elementary, to TV shows such as Gilmore Girls and Outlander, to coffee, to colourways that demanded to be something, to locations such as the city of Edinburgh, and more.
What’s the first thing you do when you start designing a pattern?
I need to connect to the specific thing that inspires me (whether it’s a TV show or a colourway or a location or a coffee drink) first and then the design flows out of that.
What are your favorite colors and have they changed at all since you started designing?
PINK!!!!!!!!!! Always PINK!!!!!! (Although I have surprised some people recently by sharing that my second favourite colour is orange, not bright orange, but rather that autumnal burnt orange.) I love PINK so much that we designed an entire book inspired by the colour (Tickled PINK ~ two designers, four indie dyers, eight PINK-tastic patterns).
In a coffeeshop with a cuppa coffee (what kind varies by the season, pumpkin spice lattes are my absolute favourite) with either a good friend to chat with or a good book to read or an intriguing podcast to listen to.
I’m thrilled to open sign-ups today for the 2019 Where We Knit Yarn Club. This quarterly club, which will begin shipping in February, brings together four dyer/designer dream teams: Life In the Long Grass and Cassondra Rizzardi of Rizzaknits, Martin’s Lab and Justyna Lorkowska of Lete’s Knits, Asylum Fibers and Woolly Wormhead and Fuse Fiber Studio and Mina Philipp of Knitting Expat Designs.
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; both cozying up with a tasty beverage and travel knitting are represented. (I also got a little peek at the cocktail-inspired colorway that Caroline of LITLG has been working on for the first installment, and can honestly say you do not want to miss getting your hands on it!)
Speaking of awesome yarn clubs, here’s one not to be missed. Diane is collaborating with Louis of Brooklyn Boy Knits, Amanda of Brown Gyrls Knit, Thao of Nerd Bird Makery and Coffee by Kee — all amazing men and women of color who have been dedicated to promoting diversity in craft — for a Winter Solstice Yarn Club. You’ll receive a skein of worsted weight yarn dyed by Diane, an exclusive knitting pattern by Louis, stitch markers by Amanda, an enamel pin by Thao and a choice of coffee or tea, plus a surprise item. Sign-ups close this Wednesday, November 21.
A beloved fabric from Slipped Stitch Studios’ past is back, with a new spin. The Ghastlies have returned, and this time they have yarn! Bags and accessories in these two fabrics, along with yarns from Skeino, vintage embroidery scissors and stitch kits, are available starting today at 9 a.m. Pacific time.
Every day is Small Business Saturday at FiberCrafty! The fiber marketplace is having a full weeklong frenzy, with plenty of shops offering coupon codes, free shipping and other goodies.
Stephanie of Rock Solid Designs did an awesome collaboration with Jenna of Fiberrarium for Knitter’s Day Out in Harrisburg and there are a few of these Sloth sets still available. They include a medium project bag and a skein of Fiberrarium Conservatory Sock (a 90/10 Merino/nylon blend).
‘Tis the season for Julia of Pandia’s Jewels to create another seasonal sock kit based on C.C. Almon’s Peppermint Mocha Sock pattern. Each kit includes a skein of Julia’s Snug base in the Peppermint Mocha colorway, a Ravelry pattern download code and this cute hand-stamped progress keeper.
Victoria has released two new patterns for her lovely yarns. Above is the Laverton shawl, which brings together three Eden Cottage yarns to create a beautiful, wearable piece. There’s also the Gatekeeper cowl, a simple, quick-to-knit cowl designed to make the most of a single skein of Pendle Aran.
No need to be afraid of these three ghostly colorways from Holly and Ivy, inspired by A Christmas Carol. Ghost of Christmas Past is a golden yellow that captures the warm glow of a candle, Ghost of Christmas Present is the rich pine green of the second spirit’s velvet robes and Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is a dark blood red.
Shanna of Lambstrings Yarn also has some holiday colorways, and they are far from traditional. Her two holiday sock sets are mystery packages inspired by either Krampus or Saint Nick. Each set will contain a full skein of Tralala Sock and two mini skeins in contrasting heel/toe/cuff colorways. Preorders close next Friday.
For the latest installment of Knitting Our National Parks, Amy of Portland, Oregon-based Canon Hand Dyes takes us not to a national park, but to the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Maine. Tucked away in the northeastern part of the state, right near the Canadian border and just over 100 miles from Acadia, it is an important feeding and nesting habitat for a number of bird species. After corresponding with refuge manager Keith Ramos, who took the above photo, I’ve decided to donate 10% of sales this round to the National Wildlife Refuge Association and also make a contribution to the Friends of the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge.
Amy is dyeing up a fall-inspired shawl set made up of six 133-yard skeins of her Charles Sock base (80% Superwash Merino/20% nylon). The set, called Leaf Peepers, can be paired with a full 400-yard skein of The Road Less Travelled and would make an amazing On the Spice Market shawl. It is available to preorder on Indie Untangled through Friday, June 22.
If you’re a kindred spirit, then you may walk a ridge pole for McMullin Fiber Co.’s Anne of Green Gables collection. The six colors — Island Welcome, Amethyst Confessions ,Puffed Sleeves, October Mist, Carrots! and Gilbert Blythe — are available on the Squishy (SW Merino/nylon) sock base and Sublime Worsted (100% SW Merino single-ply) base.
Brooke of Fully Spun has two new colorways in her Sock Sport base, which is 400 yards of hand-dyed millspun with the look of handspun. This one is called I-95, which you may see a lot of on your next East Coast road trip.
Socks are the go-to project of summer. Terri of Whole Knit ‘n Caboodle has self-striping sock yarn in single stripes, three-row stripes and five-row stripes, including this Rainbow Stripe colorway. These are only available online!
Karen of Round Table Yarns is doing a little pre-yarn club adventure, separate from her Knight of the Lion club, with a no surprise colorway inspired by the tale of Sir Calogrenant.
Gabby of Once Upon a Corgi has teamed up with Becky of Soprano Knits and Hannah of Corner of Craft on a summer sock kit. It includes a fully skein and a mini on her Superwash Corriedale/nylon, a hand-beaded umbrella progress keeper from Hannah and Becky’s After the Rain sock pattern.
QCC Yarn has a new base. Sad Cat is a 75/25 blend of Superwash Bluefaced Leicester and nylon, perfect for your next shawl or cardigan (or socks, since there’s the nylon). Orchidelirium, pictured above, is one of 10 new repeatable colorways available on the base.
Bronwyn of Casapinka has come up with an ingenious way to help you support your LYS for Local Yarn Store Day, which is next Saturday, April 21. If you buy yarn for her Local Yarn Shawl pattern that day from any of the participating LYSs, you will be given the pattern for free!
If you’re looking for a new shawl pin — and some advice on how to show off your shawls — check out Crafty Flutterby Creations’ website. She not only crafts lightweight pieces, but her Product Tips include some styling lessons.
Tulips from a friend inspired Terri of Whole Knit ’n Caboodle’s latest striped sock yarn. It’s available for preorder in limited quantities only on her website.
Rocket’s Cardigan, the second installment in Mary Annarella’s brilliant Cardigans of the Galaxy series, is inspired a genetically modified raccoon and an unlikely superhero.
A few patterns can cover you in Marianated Yarns from head to toe! Above is the Millcreek Canyon Hat by Katinka Designs being releaed in mid-April.
The Knitspinquilt April update is all about the sea creatures. It includes sea turtle stitch markers and manatee bags. As always, 30% of the purchase price will be donated charity, which this year is the Hispanic Federation’s ongoing Puerto Rico disaster relief efforts.
I love nostalgia, especially when it’s knitting related.
I’m continuing my tradition of an Indie Untangled Year in Review, featuring several talented knitters who finished projects in 2017 using yarn from Indie Untangled dyers. There are so many beautiful shawls, socks and sweaters — oh, the sweaters! — to show off.
Above is my On the Spice Market using Backyard Fiberworks’ Sock in Stormcloud and the Dove in a Plum Tree miniskein set (photo taken by the wonderful Nancy of Knitty City). It was one of my favorite FOs of the year.
I hope these projects provide some inspiration for your 2018 knitting.