Aside from the list of more than 20 indie dyers and makers we’ve lined up for Indie Spotlight — our next virtual show taking place from May 14-16 — we’re making the Spotlight virtual lounge a destination where you can meet and hang out with your fellow crafters and special guests. We’re excited to announce that Gigi and Jasmin from the Knitmore Girls podcast will be joining us for a meetup during the show!
Your $7 ticket includes access to our Spotlight lounge, where the Knitmores will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday. In case you miss it, the session will be recorded and available only to registered attendees through the end of June.
Dana of Un Besito Fiber is dreaming of the days that she can throw some clothes in a backpack and taking off. Her Dreaming of Paris Snack Pack helps scratch that travel itch. The bakery box of a dozen 10-gram minis in 75/25 Superwash Merino/nylon fingering are inspired by the soft, dreamlike colors of a springtime in Paris image. And they’re all wound up into balls and ready to knit or crochet on your next adventure.
Liz of Yarns by the Bay is a dyer based in Melbourne, Australia, who creates fun, often bright colorways on Superwash Merino/nylon fingering and DK. If you happen to live Down Under, Liz offers free shipping within Australia.
Orders close this Monday, April 26, for the Summer Sock of the Season Club, a collaboration between Jilly & Kiddles Yarn and BritStitchery Design. Club installments include one full skein of an exclusive colorway, a club exclusive sock pattern and two surprise extras.
Megan of Megs & Co has finally found the luxury yarn of her dreams. Her Bluefaced Leicester Lux Fingering, or BFL Lux for short, is a blend of 70% Certified English Bluefaced Leicester Superwash wool, 20% silk, and 10% Cashmere. It’s ideal for sweaters and special garments.
Emily of Kitty With a Cupcake has published her first garment pattern! The Sucker Punch Shrug uses two colors of yarn to create a bold garment. Save $1 through April 28 to celebrate the release.
The April installment of the Teton Yarn Company’s full moon colorway series celebrates the Pink Moon, named after one of the first wildflowers to bloom after the snow melts. Featured on 100% Superwash Merino Mountain Sock, it goes live today at 6 p.m. MDT.
For our next virtual event, Petrina and I decided to go back to the roots of IU and provide a platform for newer and super-indie yarntrepreneurs.
We’ll be showcasing nearly two dozen small businesses at Indie Spotlight, which runs from May 14-16!
Spotlight vendors launched their businesses in 2019 or later or have fewer than 10k Instagram followers. Register now for access to virtual vendor booths that will feature video introductions and tours, photo galleries, and access to special products and discounts. You’ll also be able to meet dyers and makers during interactive shopping sessions (if you miss any, they will be recorded) and schedule one-on-one shopping appointments, where you can get help choosing colorways and deciding on patterns.
There will also be snacks…
I hope you can join us!
Today’s the last day to preorder Kraeo’s Setting Sun colorway for Knitting Our National Parks, inspired by sunset at the Patuxent Research Refuge in Maryland, a peaceful place just a 45-minute drive from both Baltimore and Washington, DC. It’s available on Little Sister Fingering, a Superwash Merino single-ply fingering, and Mama Bear DK, a luxurious blend of 45% baby alpaca, 45% 19.5 Micron Merino and 10% silk.
Jillian’s recent love obsession with plants inspired these adorable succulent stitch markers now available in the WeeOnes shop, along with glow-in-the-dark aliens with a tiny spaceship and a set of knitting cats.
Who wouldn’t want to head off to Sheep Camp?! Dyer Meghan of Native Fibers, an Indie Spotlight vendor, is collaborating with designer Jennifer Berg of Native Knitter on the Sheep Camp Sweater KAL, which launches April 23.
Natalie of Fiberdog Fibers created her Rainbow Stars minis from raw Romney fleece that she washed, picked, carded, dyed and spun herself! Each set includes seven 20g minis.
Sharon of Garage Dyeworks also dyed up a different take on the rainbow. Be Yourself is now available on her 100% Superwash Merino. called Auto DK.
Editor’s note: Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, known in Hebrew as Yom Hashoah. I asked Lea Stern, a knitter and longtime Indie Untangled follower, to write about her Green Sweater project to memorialize the Holocaust. You can purchase the pattern on Ravelry.
In 2003, I was invited by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to attend a preview of a new exhibit called The Hidden Children. As the name suggests, it was about those children who were hidden or removed from parts of Europe during World War II and the Holocaust. They were given up by parents who were desperate to preserve the lives of their children and too often, these were the only members of a family to survive. I attended this event with a friend and colleague of mine who had himself been a hidden child in Holland. There were many stories in this exhibit of fear and tragedy, but there were also stories of supreme sacrifice and bravery.
What caught my eye at the museum preview was a small green sweater knitted for a young girl by her paternal grandmother. The girl was Krystyna Chiger and she had lived in Lvov, Poland. Her family had a comfortable life there, with a large apartment and a busy and popular textile shop, across the street from another fabric and wool shop owned by her maternal grandparents. Krystyna was a bright and inquisitive child who, as she tells it, would do mischievous things. She would unravel the little green sweater that her grandmother was knitting for her when she set it down and went out. She would ultimately receive a scolding but she would persist in her tricks nonetheless.
When the war broke out, Lvov was occupied by the Russians under an agreement with the Germans. When the Germans reneged on this agreement and invaded this part of Poland, things went from bad to worse for the Chiger family and the Jewish community. They were forced to give up their home, business and nearly all their possessions and were moved into the Jewish ghetto. It was from a window there in their small living space that Krystyna saw her grandmother who had knitted her sweater being taken away on a cart to Janowska concentration camp where she perished.
After several years, on May 1943, the final liquidation of the ghetto began. All its inhabitants were to be transported to the Janowska camp and what would have been their certain death. Krystyna’s father, and several others, in anticipation of this event had already begun to prepare a place for them to hide in the sewers below Lvov. And so on that night, Krystyna, along with her mother, father and 3-year-old brother descended into the sewers. They were not able to take much with them, but Krystyna took her beloved little green sweater with her. What they all thought would be a short sojourn in the sewers turned out to be 14 months. While many who sought refuge there died, the Chigers, helped by three Catholic Polish sewer workers led by Leopold Socha, survived and — so did her sweater. After some time in Poland, she went to Israel where she became a dentist, married and had two sons. She is now Dr. Kristine Keren and she and her husband live on Long Island, New York.
While her sweater is nearly 75 years old and bears some stains and holes, it is remarkably well preserved considering its age and journey.
When I saw the sweater I felt that I had a duty to try to reengineer a pattern for it so its history would remain alive. After a bit of convincing, I was able to set up a time to come and directly examine the sweater with the museum exhibit curator, Suzy Snyder, and Cynthia Hughes, head of textiles. I determined gauge and took many measurements, notes, drawings and photos that would assist me in figuring out the stitch pattern. It was a simple knit and purl pattern and I spent many hours searching for it in every available stitch collection I knew of. I was unable to find a previously published form of the pattern in any collection. I thus assumed that it was something that Krystyna’s grandmother had made up or was a popular pattern commonly known but not written. Fortunately, I was able to reproduce it on my own after having been able to examine the sweater closely.
After many hours of test knitting swatches, I needed to choose a yarn for the project. I thought this would be quite easy as I know some very talented hand dyers. After some thought, I realized that while they may be able to more accurately reproduce the color as it is now, specifically hand-dyed yarn may be difficult for knitters to obtain.
Since the sweater was knitted around 1939-1940 in Poland, I knew from my studies of historical knitting that we would need a very basic wool. A luxury yarn would not have been readily available in wartime, nor would it have been used for a child’s sweater. Considering the horrific environmental conditions it had been subjected to, wool was the obvious choice.
I chose Quince & Co. Finch, a fingering-weight 100% wool that had great stitch definition and the largest palette of greens. The original sweater is faded and stained, but many of Quince & Co. greens were quite close. Additionally, if one wanted to knit this sweater in something other than green, their broad color palette was excellent.
Dr. Kristine Keren with the test-knitted sweaters.
Once the sweater pattern was created, I had two sets of test knitters. One used the first draft to evaluate the pattern for errors, understanding of directions and readability. The second set of knitters used the final pattern to make sure there were no errors before publication. I donated the copyright for the pattern to the Holocaust museum where it is currently for sale in the museum bookstore as a hard copy along with a display of Krystyna’s book, The Girl In the Green Sweater, and one of the test-knitted sweaters. Since the museum does not have an online store, they have allowed me to sell copies of the sweater on Ravelry. All proceeds from the sale of the pattern are donated to the museum.
In December of 2014 I traveled to New York to meet Dr. Keren and tell her the story of recreating her sweater. Her husband, Mr. Marion Keren, is a mechanical and civil engineer and enjoyed the process of “reverse engineering” a sweater! He is also a Holocaust survivor and they were very open and kind in inviting me into their home. I brought her a timeline of my whole journey. I showed her my notes, early photos, drafts and swatches. I presented her with a finished copy of the pattern and let her choose one of the test-knitted sweaters that reminded her most closely of her original. The curator had told me that it had been difficult for her to give up her sweater but she had graciously donated it to the museum. When she chose one of the copies, she held it up and said, “Now I have my sweater back!” It was a very emotional and fulfilling moment.
Lea displaying the ribbons her Green Sweater earned at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.
With this project largely completed, I have reflected on what this project has meant to me. This sweater represents triumph over prejudice and intolerance. It is a grandmother’s love for her granddaughter and the devotion the granddaughter felt in return. I am a physician and have been fortunate to have lived a wonderful life in the United States, mostly protected against the type of injustice that has too often pervaded the world. I had a brilliant mother raised in northern England who taught me many types of needlework, but particularly knitting. I am fortunate to have been able to use these skills to do this project.
My hope is that this small green sweater will be knit again and again. I hope the story of Krystyna Chiger, her family and the brave men who helped them will be told over and over and as such the sweater will be a small piece of living history. The green sweater should be a reminder to generation after generation of what happens when intolerance is allowed to fester unchecked and as young people wear it, we can open a discussion about what it represents and why it is so important to never forget. Suzy Snyder commented in a television interview she and I did about this project that the survivors won’t always be with us, but the things they’ve left with us will continue to tell their story. My hope is that small things like this sweater will somehow make a difference.
This week, designer Mary Annarella released a much more fashionable version of the mid-aughts Snuggie: Cozy McBlanket. This sweater is essentially a blanket with sleeves, but Mary has worked her magic with some cleverly placed short rows to help it curve around your shoulders and neck for a better fit. It calls for five colors of sportweight yarn, and I’m sure you can find some that are prettier than the fire-engine-red fleece I was sporting in Winter 2008.
We have a lot of fun new things planned for you at our upcoming virtual event, Indie Across the Pond! In addition to shopping for amazing yarn, you’ll also be able to:
• Have tea with Amy Florence of Stranded Dyeworks and the Stranded Podcast — she’ll be joining us Friday from the east coast of Scotland to kick off the show!
• Show off your smarts at virtual trivia!
• Enter our KAL/CAL and win prizes from Indie Untangled and some of our awesome sponsors: Garthenor Organic, La Cave à Laine and Yedraknits!
• Hang out and meet our fabulous vendors in a casual environment at Saturday and Sunday’s teas!
There are still spots available for our free bingo event on Saturday, March 20 at 3 p.m. EDT/8 p.m. CET, hosted by Indie Untangled event producer Petrina Hicks. This is a popular event, so register soon!
Jillian of WeeOnes has several brand new stitch marker sets including dinosaurs, arctic foxes and the latest installment of the surprise markers with a spring theme. And to celebrate Jillian reaching 10K sales on Etsy, get 15% off your order with the code YAY10K.
Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations has new additions to her menagerie of end minders, which help tame your loose ends, including playful pups, curious kittens and — special for March — Mindful Manatees.
Emerald of Stardust Fiber Studio has released part two of her Greek Gods collection. This collection contains nine main colorways, each based off a deity from Greek Mythology, and two special features. A matching stitch marker set is also available.
Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns just had an update of Pendle 4ply, a classic yarn that’s pure Superwash Merino. It’s available on 20 colorways, from deep and rich to the soft and pale. There’s also a spring sale going on.
Monica of Gothfarm Yarn has five types of roving in stock, including Cirrus, a pencil roving made from blended Jacob and Shetland sheep wool, and Coopworth, Navajo-Churro, Ultisol and 100% Jacob Sheep roving.
Bonnie of Yank Your Yarn has some Big Clippy progress keepers, which are oversized, movable single stitch markers featuring a 21-23mm lobster clasp for use on your chunkiest knitting and crochet projects.
Sharon of Garage Dyeworks has a new colorway called Mahalo.
Mary Annarella’s latest release is the perfect ear worm and perfect sweater. Ruby Tuesday is knit from the top-down with a strand of sock yarn and mohair laceweight held together to create an elegant lace design (and no finishing!). Get 30% off through Monday with the code hanganameonyou.
Speaking of songs, Kate of McMullin Fiber Co is celebrating V-day by opening preorders Sunday for her collection of Valentine’s colorways inspired by love ballads and breakup songs.
Join the third installment in the second season of Holly Dyeworks’ Great British Baking Show Yarn Club. Celebrate Pudding Week with a fingering-weight skein of Holly’s MCN yarn and a progress keeper from Little Bitty Delights.
I’ve sent these fun accessories on to their new homes, and after a post office snafu I have tons of extras in the shop! Celebrate Galentine’s Day by giving a little love to your BFFs — best fiber friends.
Debbie of Murky Depths Dyeworks has listed 20 colors of her super soft Triton MCN DK in her shop, from earthy, rich tones to ethereal pinks and grays.
Deb’s latest shawl design is called Arctic Ice, but it will keep you super warm! It’s also 25% off until February 28.
Peperomia is a new sweater design from Abbye and Selena of Wool & Pine that is inspired by walks through the beautiful deciduous forests of the Pacific Northwest, where they’re based. The colorwork motif starts at the hem and depicts the leaves that cover the forest trail, breaking apart before returning to the soil. You can preorder Peperomia and receive a digital ”Pattern Prep Pack,” which includes charted and written instructions for the colorwork motif so you can start swatching, and then get the pattern in your inbox when it goes live on February 25.
And then, there’s the yarn… Karen of Miss La Motte has created two color combinations: Celadonite and Blue Spruce, pictured in the stunning photo above, captured at Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park in British Columbia, and Spruceforest and Evening Sunglow, a bolder look. Both color combos are available to preorder on Indie Untangled through this Sunday.
Because I had so much fun chatting with Abbye and Selena in October, we’re going to get together again on Sunday, February 28 at noon Eastern, along with Karen, to celebrate the official release of Pepperomia! You can add the session to your shopping cart when purchasing your yarn or register separately here.
Janis and Christen of Queen City Yarn have created a new colorway, Madam Vice President, MVP, inspired by Kamala Harris. They recommend combining it with the rereleased Fair Fight and Stand, two of their charity colorways. $10 from each skein sold of the former colorway is donated to Fair Fight, an organization founded in 2018 by Stacey Abrams to address voter suppression in Georgia and Texas, and $10 from the each skein of Stand sold is donated to Heal Charlotte, a community engagement organization in North Carolina.
Giulia and Stefania of Lanivendole are starting off the new year with a sale. Select bases and colorways, such as A Chic Blend and The Twisty Chic, as well as some kits, are available at a discount starting today at 7 p.m. Central European Time.
Heather of Sew Happy Jane has picked out some color combos for the the quick and cheerful Chain Link Hat and Cowl pattern by Marin Melchior (she used the colors Dusk and Sunday Morning for her project).
Debbie of Murky Depths Dyeworks has updated her shop with a small reserve of Nautilus BFL Aran, a Bluefaced Leicester Superwash that is only spun twice a year and is perfect for winter knits.
Bonnie of Yank Your Yarn is channeling Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders with her new Chain Knitting Row Counter, which features square markers and which you can also wear as a totally tubular bracelet.
Last year, while I was knitting with yarn from Rebecca of the sadly-closed Fuse Fiber Studio, I couldn’t stop smelling it. I had to ask her what wool wash she used, and she revealed that she stored her yarn with these lavender and cedar sachets. I recently went online to replenish my supply and discovered that I could buy them for my shop!
The company adheres to Fair Trade policies to create their products, including these sachets, which are formulated with natural essential oils and packaged in handmade paper. Get at least one of each scent for each of your yarn storage containers!
Victoria and Co. of Eden Cottage Yarn are unveiling their newest Milburn colorway today in their newsletter and on social media. They’re also updating the shop today with Oakworth DK, a Superwash Polwarth yarn.
If you missed out on My Mama Knits’ 2020 Surviving the Storm Advent you can grab one of the re-dye sets, available as 24 skeins, or split into the stormy and rainbow halves of 12 mini skeins each.
Missy of This Craft Or That has a new Color of the Month Club! Each club-exclusive color is themed around holidays. Packages include a skein of yarn on a choice of two different bases, a small gift and pattern suggestions.
Lisa The Knitting Artist has updated her shop with series of three new colors inspired by her “Tidepool” paintings. There are also a limited number of skeins of her Landscape Near Ampurdan colorway from the Salvador Dali yarn club.
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.
Debbie of Murky Depths Dyeworks holding a year-end sale to show appreciation for everyone who has supported indie makers this year. Everything in her shop, included a recent update of her Sanctuary Worsted non-Superwash yarn, is 20% off through January 1, no coupon required.
Monica of Gothfarm Yarn has collaborated with Kevin Aspaas, a Diné weaver, on the Diné Motif Design, an adaptation of Junko Okamoto’s Rug sweater. The design uses rugged, hardwearing Navajo-Churro yarn and celebrates centuries-long relationship between the Navajo people, who call themselves the Diné, and Navajo-Churro sheep.
It’s certainly been an… interesting year. Surreal. Heartbreaking. Challenging. But one of the things that has helped us retain a feeling of normalcy and comfort is, of course, our knitting. It makes me feel especially warm and fuzzy to see the special colorways that I worked with dyers to create, from the Knitting Our National Parks yarns to event exclusives, turn into beloved FOs.
Here are some projects using special Indie Untangled colorways that were finished in 2020.
svm’s Ande Donut Hat by Pierrot (Gosyo Co., Ltd) with Onyx Fiber DK in Cider Donut Dipped In Coffee (Also pictured is the Zeen Top by Alisa Hartzel in Lavender Lune Yarn Co. Merino DK and the Hocus Pocus Cowl by Thea Eschliman Plies and Hellhounds)
Kismet of Lolo Body Care is passionate about giving back. Throughout the year, aside from soothing crafters’ skin with moisturizing body bars, lip balm and face lotion, the company also supports several non-profit organizations, including making a donation to One Tree Planted, which fights climate change by planting trees, every time a LoLo Eco-Bag is purchased. For this holiday season, Kismet has extended that promotion to every order.
In addition, 5% of all Lolo Body Care holiday sales will be donated to Habitat for Humanity, which supports and builds affordable housing.
I brought together super soft Cashmere yarn from fellow Brooklynites Rebecca Kevelson of Clinton Hill Cashmere and Geraldine Yang of The Wandering Flock for my Cashmenorah hat. I think this combination of bespoke yarn and unique hand-dyed would look beautiful in so many other mosaic hat patterns, so I’m offering the yarn as a bundle and including one discounted pattern of your choice. Check out my pattern suggestions here. I’m currently working on using these yarns together for a mosaic constellations hat, so if that intrigues you, snag the yarn while it’s still available!
Stephanie Earp has released a fun sweater design that’s perfect for mini skeins or playing with leftovers — or get a dyed-to-order kit from dyer Annie Paaren. The Bobble Buster sweater comes in both kids and adult sizes, and Stephanie is hosting a cast-on party over on Instagram in the New Year.
Rachel of Six and Seven Fiber’s wintry Grand Teton-inspired colorway is available to preorder on Indie Untangled through next Sunday, December 27 on three bases: Alfalfa, a luxurious 80/10/10 Superwash Merino/Cashmere/nylon heavy fingering-weight yarn, and Amaranth and Soybean, two rustic but soft non-Superwash Merino fingering and DK-weight yarns that would make excellent sweaters.
This set of Julie Asselin’s Nurtured yarn, a unique blend of Rambouillet, Targhee and Merino that Julie and Jean-François hand dye before it’s spun at Green Mountain Spinnery in Vermont, is definitely one of my favorites, with the aqua Picnic and deep plum Tisane that brings out the pinks in the special Leaf Pile colorway (third from the top).
This is one of three color combinations available in the Nurtured Mini Boxes from Indie Untangled. These sets come with six mini skeins so you can try out this rustic Aran-weight yarn and see the nuanced colors in real life. The boxes are available to preorder only through January 8.
After packaging and shipping out 100+ new year countdown boxes, and auctioning one off the benefit the American Nurses Foundation, Inc., I have several extra goodies that I decided to put together in mini mystery packs. You’ll receive four 20g, 87-92-yard, fingering-weight mini skeins dyed in coordinating jewel tones and one non-yarn goodie. (Please note that these packages are not individually wrapped and will ship on December 28.)
If you need a last minute stocking stuffer, Amanda of Doodle Dew Designs has some Christmas stitch markers left! This includes markers made with real candy canes and with fun holiday colors.