Lisa of White Birch Fiber Arts seems always ready for spring, with bright and cheerful self-striping colorways, and she recently restocked her website. There are plenty of her trademark rainbows, along with minis and gradient cakes.
Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations has launched her Celtic Spring collection of shawl pins that celebrate the rich heritage of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall. There are also limited edition end minder sets that pay tribute to St. Patrick’s Day.
Party with Woolfred, the lovable Slipped Stitch Studios mascot, today at 9 a.m. Pacific. Woolfred Yarn Socks will be joined by project bags and accessories in some brand new sheep and alpaca fabrics.
The latest Indie Untangled project, the Eight Nights of Hanukkah Kit, is gratifying to me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I get to celebrate my Jewish heritage and share that joyful feeling of opening a gift each night with my fellow yarn lovers.
The second reason I’m excited about it is that after taking a dyeing workshop with my friend Geraldine of the newly-launched yarn line The Wandering Flock, I’ve been inspired to add my own work to the kit. So, in addition to full skeins (or the mini set equivalent) from Blissful Knits, The Fiberists and Pandia’s Jewels, there will be a true IU exclusive in the package!
Preorders are limited and open only until next Friday, November 15.
Bunny Hugs are a clever invention from Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations. She created these animal-shaped “end minders” earlier this year to solve the problem of cast on-tails getting tangled. While some knitting friends suggested using bread tags, they didn’t always do the trick and weren’t exactly an attractive fiber accessory. So, after Michelle’s family got a 3D printer for Christmas last year, and she set about building her menagerie, starting with what she named the Suavest Sheep and then bunnies.
Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns recently debuted her new Brimham High Twist base. It has the same 85/15 blend of extrafine Superwash Merino and nylon as the Brimham 4ply, but with two strands twisted tightly together.
I was so excited to get to work with Catherine of Gauge Dye Works again on another special self-striping colorway. This is called Field and Pasture and is inspired by a fall colors on the horizon. It’s available on a Merino Worsted with generous yardage for those cozy winter scarves or baby sweaters.
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.
All Points South is one of my favorite knits and all-time-favorite FOs, so I was excited to see that Casapinka’s design for LYS Day, Magical Thinking, was a very similar style. It’s a fun knit with varied stitch patterns that keep things interesting, but never too complicated. And I love the fact that I can make another one of these in a similar style, but that I won’t be knitting it all over again. Bronwyn has just kicked off a Magical Thinking KAL in her Ravelry group, so grab those three yarns that just look perfect together and fall in love.
If The Force is strong in you this weekend, then set your alarm for 9 a.m. Pacific today. Slipped Stitch Studios has bags and accessories in four Star Wars-themed fabrics, limited edition Millennium Falcon stitch markers and rare Star Wars Pattern Wallets. These items are limited and ready to ship.
If you’re the plan-ahead type, then you can order your yarny Advent Calendar from Marianated Yarns now to ship in November. Kits include 24 mini skeins in a few different base options, tons of goodies and a custom-dyed full skein.
Aimee of Pancake and Lulu is all about the purples and pale pastels, plus spinners can check out new batts with sparkly Stellina.
You still have time to snag Mudpunch’s Tavern Fall, an autumnal palette featuring broad stripes of orange, gold, turquoise and burgundy. It’s available (until sold out) on 385 yards of 80/20 Superwash Merino/nylon 4-ply sock yarn. Also in Chantel’s shop is Black Razzleberry, featuring city blues and purple which gives a preview of the winter to come.
Debbie of Murky Depths Dyeworks is preparing for winter on the horizon with bold, saturated hues. Colorways like Turmeric, Sirocco and Lucia are inspired by her prized collection of silk saris and family photos.
Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations will be hosting her first ever Facebook Live sale tonight at 9 p.m. EST! This fun event will include shawl pin styling tips, stories from Michelle’s fall events and the chance to snag Rare Breed shawl pins that have only been available at her shows.
Brooke of Fully Spun has new seasonal colorways of her millspun that looks like handspun, along with new bulky and aran weight bases. Kits for Francoise Danoy’s Icescape and Phlegethon shawls are also back in the shop.
Laura is back from Stitches SoCal and has plenty of goodies for sale. The shop will be stocked with new, never-before-sold items today at 9 a.m. PST.
Attention dyers: Carrie is gearing up for another production run of SkeinMinders and SkeinTwisters and both are discounted through Sunday, November 11 with the coupon code SMDISC.
Robin of October House Fibers has opened preorders for her Christmas Sweets Sock Sets, and there are several color combinations available. Orders close on November 25 and will ship out the first week of December, giving you plenty of time for holiday knitting.
Shauna of Farm Girl Fibers just updated her shop with a variety of fall- and winter-inspired colors, including red, green, blue, brown and plum tonals. There are plenty of sweater quantities available on fingering Merino/nylon and worsted Merino.
In celebration of her two new pattern releases, A Foxy Frolic and Snowflake Man, Mona of bunnymuff is having an exclusive Indie Untangled promotion! Use the code SnowyFrolic in her Ravelry shop and receive an automatic $2 off each pattern through November 19.
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.
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.
Gradient Play, the latest shawl design from Deb of Spruce Lane Designs uses two gradient sets, so you don’t even have to decide between two. Or you can use those sets in your stash, or leftovers that definitely go together because you pick the same colors of yarn all the time.
IU newcomer Claudia Hand Painted Yarns is ready for warm weather with new spring colors on linen. Pictured above is Ishmael on Drama 100% linen yarn.
For this collaboration with Insomniac Designs, Slipped Stitch Studios is releasing a new line of bags with a fitting sentiment. These will only be on sale through Monday, so set your alarm.
Cat Sandwich Fibers just had a shop update with a ton of new colorways, some fade kits, mini skein sets and more.
Rose gold is the new… gold. Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations has added the trendy metal to her lineup of shawl pins.
In 2015, my friend Alisa launched KitSpinQuilt, selling her handmade project bags and stitch markers, many with a geeky bent, and donating 30% of the purchase price to charitable causes. Since Alisa is a grad student on a limited budget, she decided this was the best way to give back. This year, your purchases from KitSpinQuilt will benefit the Hispanic Federation‘s Puerto Rico disaster relief efforts, helping the 40% of the island that still lacks electricity.
You should have what she’s having. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Kate of McMullin Fiber Co. is collaborating with charm maker Little Bitty Delights on yarn and stitch marker sets that celebrate three famous couples. Pictured here is her tribute to Harry Burns and Sally Albright from When Harry Met Sally. The colorways are inspired by their outfits during a reunion in the Personal Growth section of NYC’s Shakespeare & Co. bookstore (notice where the strawberry ice cream is…). Click the pic to see the other inspirations.
Sign-ups for the Spirit Trail Fiberworks Cosmic Color Club are now open! Jennifer offers yarn and sweater clubs and all the colorways — a mix of tonal solids and subtle speckles — are completely exclusive to members. Jennifer also has two new six-skein gradient speckle kits ready to ship, the beautiful result of a dye mistake. They are dyed on her Birte base, her DK weight Superwash Merino, Cashmere, and silk blend. Pictured above is her favorite, Crystal Cave.
I got to glimpse the yarn from Undercover Otter at VKL last week and I’m thrilled to welcome dyer Petra to IU! She’s doing preorders of her 40-plus repeatable colorways on three fingering-weight bases, but only through this Sunday.
Amanda of Crabapple Yarns, another IU newcomer, just had a shop update with a bunch of new speckled and tonal colorways that are perfect for combining. She also has a new base called Keen Sock, a wonderfully soft blend of 75% Superwash Merino and 25% nylon.
This third new girl, Sarah of Knittyandcolor, reintroduced her blazingly bright Ain’t It Fun colorway, which is her antidote to winter and ode to the band Paramore. It’s available on three different sock bases.
Karen of Round Table Yarns will be releasing at least a dozen new legends of King Arthur-inspired self-striping colorways in the coming months. The first two, Courtly Love and The Underwater Bridge, are now available.
Jennifer of Porterness Studio has come out with new shawl pin designs. Her pieces have an Art Deco elegance to them, with a modern twist. It fits with her process, which uses the ancient lost wax casting process and modern technology of 3D printing. And she’s helping you treat yourself with a 20% off coupon code just for Indie Untangled readers.
Indie Untangled newcomer Ashley of Red Sock Blue Sock Yarn, based in Ontario, Canada, was inspired by her daughter’s love of Dr. Seuss when she named her yarn company five years ago. Her fun colors — tonal solids and vibrant variegated skeins would be great companions on your next knitting adventure.
Aside from dyeing yarn, Sheila of BigFootFibers also has a podcast on YouTube. She recently teamed up with several other indie dyers for something called the Avalanche of Indie Dyed Yarn. This past episode included yarn from Yarn Over New York, SilkWorm Studios and IU’s Baad Mom Yarns. Also check out her new online shop, which has some Valentine-themed self-striping sock yarns.
The February 2018 Geek Chic Issue of Knitting Magazine includes a feature on Lola and her geeky yarn enterprise, Third Vault Yarns. The article includes Third Vault Yarns’ And You’ll Drop Your Weapon colorway, a yarn inspired by Rey from Star Wars and available to purchase on Lola’s site.
The next three Bags of the Month from Slipped Stitch Studios are inspired by a trio of inspirational guys, including Fred Rogers, LeVar Burton and Bob Ross. The bags for everyone’s favorite neighbor go on sale today at 9 a.m. Pacific Time.
Lisa The Knitting Artist is starting the year with with two new colorways. Early Snow Flowers and Green Rain Tears are available on Lisa’s Sock and Worsted bases, and all purchases come with a card with the image of the painting that inspired the color.