Indie Untangled Obsessories: Project bags

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A plum waxed canvas drawstring bag with brown leather handles.

I don’t know about you, but my project bag stash is starting to rival my yarn stash.

OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But I definitely have more bags than I have WIPs at a given time (projects in my queue is another story. There are not enough bags in the world for those).

Each of my bags has a specific purpose and advantage, and so I thought I’d round up some of my latest project bag “obsessories,” plus a favorite from one of my friends.

For stowing in a large purse

A small zipper bag with a red and pink palm tree print.

My go-to travel packing includes a backpack with my water bottle and a knitting project or two. This Sapling bag from Shannon of New Hampshire-based Woodsy and Wild is roomy enough for a large shawl and can easily fit inside my 16-liter Fjallraven Kanken backpack, with plenty of room to spare.

For sweaters and travel

A large drawstring bag with a lilac, gray and gold print.

I’ve used this Edin bag from Anette of Netherlands-based Pink Hazel — which I snagged at this year’s Edinburgh Yarn Festival — as a purse when I want to tote my sweater WIPs around. Aside from the fashion-forward fabrics and leather straps, I love that it has a zippered pocket inside for storing valuables.

While I’m a huge fan of their everyday bags, Arounna of Toronto-based Bookhou has become known for her waxed canvas project bags, including their large drawstring Project Tote in the gorgeous plummy red above that I got for my birthday last year. It’s also a great size for sweaters.

For not just knitting

A navy tote with a Macbook inside.

I fell for this Twig & Horn canvas crossbody tote while at The Knotty Lamb in Oregon, but I have to admit I haven’t used it for knitting yet. It was the perfect bag for attending a conference for my day job, holding my laptop inside, plus my phone, digital recorder, business cards, notebook and pens in the four roomy outer pockets. And I definitely appreciate the zippered inner pocket for my wallet and keys. The zippered pocket also has holes for separating your yarn in colorwork projects but I haven’t used it for that purpose — yet.

For toting on your back

A salmon colored bag next to an aqua wing chair.

A yellow canvas backpack.

At The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers Montana Mountain Retreat last month, I finally caved and treated myself to a Knitter’s Backpack from Ritual Dyes. The salmon-hued canvas definitely swayed me. While I wouldn’t use it as a purse because of the lack of a zipper or a pocket (though Rachel’s Moon Pouch is nice for storing things you need easy access to) I like that the handles can be configured to use as a backpack or a tote and that it stands up perfectly straight to sit next to me and feed me my yarn. I take this along with another purse, like my beloved Bookhou mini bag.

My friend Thao of Nerd Bird Makery loves her backpack from Norway-based Plystre. It’s roomy, has comfortable leather straps lined with webbed fabric and comes in a variety of fun colors — if you can snag one.

What to stash this week: indie yarn remix

Teal yarn with Remix Fully Spun printed on the photo

Brooke of Fully Spun has opened sign-ups for her super cool REMIX subscription club! For this quarterly club, Brooke takes one of her Fully Spun Sock colorways — hand-dyed and then millspun yarn with the look of handspun — gives it a… remix, changing up the third ply for a whole new effect. Each month you will receive the colorway of the month, exclusive for the club duration, and a mini skein to match. 

A woman in glasses wears a purple v-neck cardigan.

Mary’s latest sweater is an homage to our favorite neuroscientist, Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory. Farrah Fowler is a top-down v-neck cardigan with raglan stockinette sleeves and a simple cable pattern on the front and back.

Green yarn

The Murky Depths Relationships Matters set is a deconstruction of Debbie’s popular It’s Complicated colorway. The colorways — It’s Complicated, Opposites Attract, Have We Met and No More Shall We Part — are available on Deep Sock, including as a kit with one full 100-gram skein of each color.

A collage of yarn

Dawn of Fairy Tale Knits has partnered up with Tabitha’s Heart Design on an all-new Doctor Who inspired KAL! The pattern is a shawl inspired by the pan-dimensional surfboard from Doctor Who, and Dawn has four different sets of companion colorways ready to go as kits.

A toy knight figure stands on wood.

Round Table Yarns’ newest yarn club, the Knight with Two Sword Yarn Club, is open for sign-ups. Yarn club sign-ups through June 24. The club is based on the Arthurian legend of the Knight with Two Swords and you’ll receive part of the story in each shipment.

A collage with a mountain reflected in water and blue, purple and gold variegated yarn.

You have until next Sunday, June 23, to order Dami’s Glacier National Parks-inspired colorway. Swiftcurrent is available on two luscious MCN bases, Swanky Sock and Swanky DK.

For those of you who don’t know, Knitting Our National Parks brings together several talented indie dyers to create exclusive-to-IU colorways inspired by photos of U.S. national parks. And it’s a yarn purchase you can feel extra good about, since 10% of all sales will be donated to the National Park Foundation.

Farm Girl Fibers opens preorders for her Favorite Things Advent calendars on Sunday.

Preorders for Lambstrings Yarn’s spooky October “Advent” calendars are open until June 22.

Nutmeg Fibers is holding an online indigo dyeing workshop.

What to make with Magpie Fibers Swiftcurrent

A collage of variegated yarn with complementary orange and purple.

One of the things I love about Magpie Fibers is that Dami has so many colors that work beautifully together. When I first saw her yarn in person at the very first Knot House Maryland Sheep & Wool Indie Pop-up back in 2015, I was struck by how cohesive her color palette was.

Swiftcurrent, Dami’s Glacier National Park-inspired colorway for the latest installment of Knitting Our National Parks, is no exception and I easily found at least two colorways that would look perfect with it: Mesa and Linger.

I decided to put together some pattern suggestions for those pairings. Some use two and some use all three. And a couple are designed by Dami herself!

Swanky Sock

A cream colored shawl with red loops

Loop by Casapinka (I made mine in Swanky Sock!)

A striped wrap

Something Gradient This Way Comes by Dami Hunter (can use both Swanky Sock or Swanky DK)

Friend by Debra Gerhard

Summer Camp by Laura Aylor

Salt Point by Dami Hunter

Zweig by Caitlin Hunter

Swanky DK

A multicolored triangular shawl

Milu by Tamy Gore

A woman models a purple speckled striped shawl

Mirla by Lynn Di Cristina

Hediye by Ysolda Teague

Rhinebeck Hat by Woolly Wormhead

Old Pine by Melissa Thomson

More suggestions will be added to my Ravelry bundle!

What to stash this week: A sweater a day

Ambler colored skeins of yarn.

Sheila of BigFootFibers is taking custom orders for the Olive Knits Four Day Sweater KAL. She is offering orders on BrilliantBritFoot Worsted (Superwash BFL) SuperSquishy Worsted (Superwash Merino) and the new, rustic SassyLassy Worsted (85% Superwash Merino/10% Donegal tweed).

A collection of skeins of pastel hand-dyed yarn.

Welcome Indie Untangled newcomer Beckie! This Canadian dyer named her yarn company Shirley Brian Yarn after her grandmother, a prolific knitter, and her late father. Beckie just had a shop update with 23 new colorways and old favorites on her Sailor Sock base.

A pink skein of yarn sushi enamel pin.

Thao of Nerd Bird Makery, who aims to create inclusive products reflecting the multicultural diversity found throughout the fiber community, has a line of enamel pins that are a playful celebration of Asian culinary traditions (and if I were you, I’d grab one or two of those Woolsabi enamel pins, seen above posed with a certain La Bien Aimée exclusive colorway, before they sell out).

A collage of magenta yarn with various variegated skeins.

If you’re looking for a lightweight yarn to knit with this summer, try Fluffy U Fiber Farm‘s wool, linen and silk blend. 

Steampunk fabric

Preorders for project bags and accessories in steampunk designs from Slipped Stitch Studios go live today at 9 a.m. Pacific time.

A zipper bag with a green and blue bird fabric with the text The Hillary.

Talk about a grab bag: Maker Heather of Beautiful Syster has a fun mystery club, for which members receive a bag in an exclusive fabric as well as a mini skein in a coordinating color from one of her favorite dyers.

A set of purple, pink and aqua variegated mini skeins.

Shanna of Lambstrings Yarn just had a huge shop update with more than 200 skeins, including plenty of Singles, Sock, DK, Bulky, Mohair Lace and mini skein sets. Plus, preorders for Caitlin Hunter’s Navelli Tee kit are still open.

Check out the new Kindred Spirits colorway from IU newcomer DiamondDyeworks.

What to stash this week, online or at your LYS

A collage of yarn trios from Dragonfly Fibers

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.

A woman models a fuzzy gray sweater with a branch motif at the hem.

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.

Pink mohair silk yarn paired with a beige yarn

Heather of Sew Happy Jane has a mohair/silk laceweight that she has dyed up in some spring-ready colors. 

A mini white sheep wrapped in teal yarn.

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.

A woman wearing striped knee socks lounges on a fence with sheep.

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.

A woman models a pink and gray striped shawl

Kelly’s latest shawl design, Round the Mountain, has a combination of fun stitch patterns, color changes and shapes.

A trio of teal and gray yarn

Time for a DK spring sale! All DK in the Big Foot Fibers shop is 20% off through April 30 using the code DkSale.

My favorite finds at EYF 2019: Beyond Merino

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A collection of yarn, pompoms and buttons surrounds a poster for the Edinburgh Yarn Festival.

If the last two years at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival (and fiber events in general) were all about the speckle, then 2019 was the year of embracing sheep-y goodness in all its many varieties. The vendors at EYF have long promoted British wool, but this year it seemed like there was so much fiber content beyond Superwash Merino, even among the indie dyers who tend to gravitate towards that tried and true base.

My finds at EYF 2019 bore out that trend — in fact, I’m proud to say that there is no Superwash Merino in my haul!

Here are some of my favorite finds from this year’s EYF.

A table displayed with colorful yarn from La Bien Aimee.

One of the first things I had to check out was La Bien Aimée’s new base, Mondim. This yarn is collaboration between Aimee and Rosa Pomar, the owner of Retrosaria Rosa Pomar in Lisbon, Portugal. Rosa has created yarn bases comprised of wool from Portuguese sheep and they take more than two dozen of Aimee’s colors beautifully.

Jars of pink-hued buttons.

There were already a few sweater samples knit up, including Andrea Mowry’s LYS (which stands for Little Yellow Sweater) and Isabell Kraemer’s Eula, with her sample using buttons from ultra-tempting EYF vendor Textile Garden.

A skein of light aqua yarn.

I was also excited to see London-based dyer Ocean of Ocean By the Sea, whose botanically-dyed yarn was available in a special pop-up in Ysolda’s space at the festival. There were so many tempting soothing colorways and bases, including this skein of Falkland wool in the appropriately-named Beachcomber colorway.

A pile of brown-gray yarn.

No EYF would be complete without yarn from one of Scotland’s many islands. Uist Wool is a mill that has been based in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland since 2013. I was particularly attracted to their Canach cottongrass blend, spun from Scottish Merino, a cross breed of Shetland and Saxon Merino sheep. The flecks of white in the dark gray yarn I ended up buying makes for a beautiful natural speckle.

A wall of colorful yarn.

A cream colored sweater with gray and gold colorwork.

Kettle Yarn Co.‘s colorful display of Northiam DK British Bluefaced Leicester, which is spun and dyed at a British mill, also caught my eye, as did her sample of Caitlin Hunter’s Tecumseh.

A display of yarn and patterns.

Martin’s Lab (who I’m excited to have as part of this year’s Indie Untangled yarn club) debuted a new base called Aubrey Sport, a blend of BFL and silk. It was used in the Homecoming Collection of mitts to sweaters by 10 designers.

A flared pink sweater with a cream colored yoke.

Speaking of patterns, a couple of my favorites from the show did actually use Merino: I loved Fiona Alice’s grown-up version of her Mabel baby cardigan. This sweater, called Mabel’s Sister, uses Viola DK and was available in kits at the stand for Loop London.

A pink shawl with a green stripe.

I also loved glimpsing Casapinka’s latest designs in the wild, including this new multicolored shawl, Botanique, in collaboration with Walk Collection.

2018 Year In Review: IU dyers and yarns

I get so much inspiration from the knitters who find wonderful things to make with hand-dyed yarn — especially when they get creative and combine yarns from different indie dyers in colorwork projects, or find the perfect pattern for that semisolid or speckled colorway. Here’s a compilation of my favorite projects using yarn from Indie Untangled artisans.

Above is perhaps my favorite project of the year, Vicki’s All Points South with Dark Harbour Yarn Starboard, Duck Duck Wool Silky Singleton and The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers Foxy Lady. I love how the four colorways from three different dyers look meant for each other (and I definitely looked to Vicki’s pullover shawl, as the designer Casapinka calls it, as inspiration when knitting my version with Duck Duck Wool.

Mary’s Heart of Glass with Duck Duck Wool 80/20 Merino Silk Fingering

Carol’s Tulle Shawl with Spun Right Round Superwash Sock 80/20

Lavanya’s Rue St. Antoine with Astral Bath Yarns Astral Sport

Amanda’s Beeline with Marianated Yarns Scrumptious HT

Karen’s Yin & Yang Loop with Middle Brook Fiberworks Vintage No. 3

Jenn’s Stripey Cowl with Canon Hand Dyes Charles Sock

Elizabeth’s Sunset Highway with Hue Loco Single Sock, Skeinny Dipping Merino Single and Voolenvine Yarns Nouveau

Kate’s Guthrie with Spincycle Yarns Dyed in the Wool and The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers Juicy DK — which won the 2018 Indie Untangled KAL

2018 Year In Review: IU exclusives

One of the best things about running Indie Untangled is getting to work with talented dyers to come up with exclusive colorways, whether it’s for the Rhinebeck Trunk Show, the Knitting Our National Parks project or the Where We Knit yarn club. And while I love collecting hand-dyed yarn as much as the next knitter, I truly enjoy seeing those colorways put to use in beautiful sweaters, shawls, cowls and more.

For the 2018 Indie Untangled Year In Review, I’ve compiled some of my favorite projects that use Indie Untangled exclusives.

Pictured above is Cecilia’s Sunset Highway with La Bien Aimée Merino Singles in Automne à Rhinebeck, Asylum Fibers Solitary in Rhinebeck’s All The Craze, Dark Harbour Yarn Port in Davy Jones Locker and La Bien Aimée Merino Singles in Yellow Brick Road

Aimee’s Rainshadow in La Bien Aimée Merino Singles Kingston and Hudson

Janet’s Local Yarn Shawl with The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers Foxy Lady in Kiowa

Kelly’s Glaciers and Wildflowers Pullover with Duck Duck Wool DK Limited in Glaciers and Wildflowers

Tawana’s The Doodler with La Bien Aimée Merino Singles in Automne à Rhinebeck and Asylum Fibers Solitary in Rhinebeck’s All The Craze and Sleepless

Deborah’s Do It Up with Gauge Dye Works SHAWL: MCN Fingering in Hudson Valley

Jerrill’s Birds and Ships with Little Fox Yarn Vixen in Birds and Ships

Amy’s Close To You with Asylum Fibers Solitary in Acadia Lights

Abigail’s Concentra Cowl with Backyard Fiberworks Terrain in North Cascades Night and Merino 2/6

Maggie’s Lemon Pie with La Bien Aimée Merino DK in Automne à Rhinebeck

See many more FO’s using yarn from Indie Untangled dyers here.

What to knit with fingering yarn and stranded mohair

I have to admit, I’m warming up to mohair. Because it makes me itchy, I never sought it out. But after Jennifer of Spirit Trail Fiberworks showed me the photos of her yarn for this month’s installment of Knitting Our National Parks — the speckled Winter Wizardry and complementary mohair called Wizard Sky — I knew I had to have it in my stash.

Now, after researching all the new patterns popping up that incorporate mohair, and seeing Jennifer’s beautiful swatch using the two yarns stranded together, I realized I just have to knit with it!

Here are some pattern suggestions for using the two yarns together, in everything from hats to sweaters.

Hats

Sparkling Cider by Voolenvine

Azurine Hat by Ambah O’Brien

Hyde Park by Dragon Hoard Designs

úlfur hat by ash alberg

Cowls/ponchos

Ballerina by Julie Knits In Paris

Azurine Cowl by Ambah O’Brien

Speckled Snow by Lucinda Iglesias

Shawls

Birds of a Feather by Andrea Mowry

Fallen Leaves by Justyna Lorkowska

Growing Lilies by Webster Street Knittery

Merino & Mohair Shawl by Sarah Punderson

Slice of Light by Susanne Sommer (with another color of fingering)

Sweaters – Pullovers

Chelsea Sweater by Nancy Ricci

No Frills Sweater by PetiteKnit

Ambient by eri

Sweaters – Cardigans

Scapa by Alma Bali

Elton by Joji Locatelli

See all the suggestions on Ravelry.

What to stash this week, while it’s still fall

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.