What to stash this week, from VKL NYC or home

A woman models an oversized gray sweater.

Selena of Sweater Sisters is going to be at the Marriott Marquis for VKL NYC this weekend debuting a bunch of new products. Among them are new alpaca, alpaca blend and extra fine untreated Merino bases available both hand dyed by Selena in Wyoming and au naturale.

Selena also offers kits featuring yarns from other small businesses and patterns from indie designers. Pictured above is the Fluffy Bell Sweater by Tiam Safari in Fleece Artist Wisp, a blend of mohair, wool and nylon. And if you want to dye your own sweater quantity, Selena is also bringing dye kits with of Landscape Dyes of Australia (she’s one of only two licensed retailers in the U.S.

Skeins of blue, purple and yellow yarn.

Julia of Pandia’s Jewels debuted 2020 with preorders of a new colorway called Moonlight Maze. You have the option of ordering this color on a variety of bases from fingering to worsted through this Sunday, January 19.

Skeins of pink, purple, green and orange yarn in front of a painting with the same colors.

Lisa The Knitting Artist also has a new colorway. Beneath Wandering Thoughts is inspired by a bright pink and green painting of the same name, with pops of purple and yellow to help you dream of spring.

Skeins of brown variegated yarn.

Kate of McMullin Fiber Co. is celebrating 2020 with lots of new colorways. Monthly and three-month subscriptions to her La Societe D’Orsay club have also opened up. IU subscribers — that’s you! — enjoy a special 15% discount off everything in the shop with the coupon code IUNewYear.

Lambstrings Yarn has opened sign-ups for the Gothic Color of the Month Club.

2019 Year In Review: Indie Untangled KAL

1

A lilac sweater with a lacy yoke.

The 2019 Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show seems like it was ages ago, and also like it was just yesterday. For the second time, we organized a massive KAL with eight separate categories, which brought in more than 200 entries! I thought it was appropriate to share the randomly-selected winners as part of a Year In Review post. Hopefully some of these FOs will inspire your 2020 projects.

Pictured above is KnitCosette’s Love Note by tincanknits, which was one of the winners in the sweater category.

Shawl

Hat

Cowl

Poncho

Cables

Socks

Mitts/mittens/gloves

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday Yarn Sales 2019

A skein of black yarn and the words indie Weekend Deals.

This post includes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday deals from a whole bunch of Indie Untangled artisans. The list will be updated through the weekend.

A collage of a turquoise bag and yarn and the words SALE UP TO 20% OFF ALL IN STOCK ITEMS.

The Indie Untangled shop is stocked full of exclusive goodies from Twill & Print, The Blue Brick, Onyx Fiber Arts, Julie Asselin and others, and the more you buy, the more you save:

Use the code INDIEHOLIDAYS10 for 10% off your order of $25-$49
Use the code INDIEHOLIDAYS15 for 15% off your order of $50-$99
And use the code INDIEHOLIDAYS20 for 20% off your order of $100 or more

The sale runs through Monday at midnight Eastern time. Codes will not be applied retroactively, so please make sure your discount has gone through before placing your order.

Brown and orange single-ply yarn.

All in-stock yarn from Skeinny Dipping is on sale through Sunday with the code INDIE15.

Skeins of red yarn.

All yarn in the Murky Depths Dyeworks shop, including her popular and perfect-for-winter projects Neptune DK, is 20% off through midnight Sunday.

A silver u-shaped necklace with stockinette stitch markers.

Jen of Porterness Studio has tons of new shiny goodies up in her shop, including the new stitch marker necklace seen above. Use the code JewelsIU15 for 15% off through Monday.

A black drawstring bag with yellow cabs.

Spend $45 and get an automatic 20% off everything in the KnitSpinQuilt shop, plus free U.S. shipping and comparable international shipping discounts if you spend $55.

Silver and purple variegated yarn.

Everything in the Treasure Goddess Yarn shop is 20% off through Sunday and it all ships free in the U.S. In addition, there’s a super sale selection of OOAK skeins at 40% off.

A collection of colorful yarn.

All ready-to-ship yarn from Sew Happy Jane is on sale from 9 a.m. MST today through Monday at midnight. Fingering weight, Sport, DK and Worsted are all $22.40 per skein and Bulky is $19.60 per skein, no codes needed.

A selection of holiday yarn.

Most items in the McMullin Fiber Co. shop, including Kate’s holiday collection, are 30% off this weekend, plus you get a free enamel pin with every order over $25.

A cake of blue to red ombré yarn.

Save 20% on all sport weight yarns from Wolle’s Yarn Creations.

Tournament of yarns.

Karen of Round Table Yarns is hosting her annual Tournament of Yarns, which is a mystery bag sale. It will run from 9 a.m. tomorrow through the end of the day Monday, or when all bags have sold.

A bee and honeycomb on a silver shawl pin.

Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations is celebrating the unique aspects of our wonderful community with the Charmed collection. And you can take 20% off with code SHOPSMALL2019 through Monday.

Chalkboard with Thanksgiving sale.

Get 20% off This Craft Or That’s entire site through Wednesday.

Bright yarn with Cyber Sale.

Lisa The Knitting Artist is offering 20% off a purchase of at least $25 through Tuesday.

Use the code peaceloveknit to take 40% off any and all patterns in the Lyrical Knits shop through Tuesday.

Get 45% off all purchases over $50 from Nutmeg Fibers until December 2.

Summit Road Fibers is having a yarn sale this weekend with 30% off all yarn.

Holly berries with the words Secret Santa.

Want a Christmas gift from Spain? Jackson and David of El Robledal de la Santa have a Secret Santa kit, which includes a skein of fingering weight yarn in a surprise, unique colorway.

Icy blue fuzzy yarn.

Eden Cottage Yarns had an update with a new base, Coniston Fingering, a blend of extrafine Superwash Merino with Superkid Mohair spun as a single-ply yarn. 

Dark blue yarn with the words Blackbird Beatlemania Series.

Come together, right now: Robin of October House Fiber Arts’ newest series is a yarn-y tribute to the music of the Beatles! The first three song-inspired colorways are available now.

A pink colorwork yoke cardigan.

Mona’s newest cardigan pattern, Joining Bees and Things, is 25% through Monday through the Indie Design Gift-A-Long with the code giftalong2019.

Gray and pink colorwork headbands.

Joan of White Lies Designs’ Fair Isle kit comes with hand-painted yarn for two headbands. This week, get the “My Fair-Isle” eBook free with the purchase of the kit.

New Yorkers: Join Knitting Around NY for a knit-a-thon December 8.

What to stash this week: Yarny holidays

Hanukkah collage with orange, purple, pink and gray yarn.

The dyers collaborating with me on this Indie Untangled Eight Nights of Hanukkah Kit all have their own beautiful aesthetics: Spencer and Reggie of The Fiberists create vibrant semisolids, Julia of Pandia’s Jewels has a talent for subtle speckles and Raya of Blissful Knits is known for her colorful mini skeins. While their full skeins/mini sets for the kit will be a surprise, here is an example of their talents.

Preorders are open only through the end of the day today. I hope you celebrate with us!

Pink, green and blue yarn.

Sue of Invictus Yarns is also getting ready for the holidays (it’s not too early!) and has been adding to her collection of holiday colorways, restocked some that had sold out and have added gift cards to the shop.

A beige oversized cardigan

Issue 4 of the NF Magazine comes out today and is filled with fall warmth. It includes four knitting patterns and three cold-weather recipes.

A pink scarf that looks like leaves.

Andi Smith’s newest book for Cooperative Press, called Scarves Two Ways, will make you a scarf knitter again. The book, released at Rhinebeck, includes a dozen new scarf designs using a variety of techniques. The patterns are both charted and fully written out, hence there are two ways you can create them. The motifs from scarf to scarf also riff off each other. You can save $6.95 through the end of 2019 by using the code STARGAZER on Ravelry.

Post-Rhinebeck Untangling: Debra Gerhard of Spruce Lane Designs

Debra Gerhard of Spruce Lane Designs in gray sweater with a pink and red geometric yoke

Debra Gerhard models her Once Again sweater.

This is the 17th in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of the 2019 Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

Debra Gerhard of Spruce Lane Designs has a background as a designer, but not in fashion. For years she worked as an environmental engineer, addressing environmental impacts. These days, her design work involves taking hand-dyed yarn and turning them into colorful geometric sweaters and shawls with stripes, lace, cables and other textured stitches.

How did you decide to become a knitwear designer?

I was never one to follow a pattern exactly as written. I would usually use the pattern as a “guide” and then add my own shaping, motifs, edgings or other personal touches. A number of years ago after I left engineering to be home with my son, I started sample knitting for a few yarn companies which subsequently lead to technical editing of patterns. Around this same time, I took a few knitwear design classes at the Rhode Island School of Design.

I released my first design, Checks Mix Cowl, which was based on a swatch I had done for one of my classes. However, I didn’t release anything else for about two years after this initial design and instead spent my time doing more technical editing for a number of designers and yarn companies. I finally made the leap to mostly designing around 2017 and now I find myself struggling at times to turn out all the ideas I have in my head. I love the process, and I especially enjoy seeing knitters’ interpretations of my patterns and their use of color combinations and various yarn bases.

How has your background as an environmental engineer informed your work?

As an environmental engineer, I would be charged with designing and applying the best remedy for addressing environmental impacts. And just as each impacted site presented a unique set of issues, I find that the processes I used to identity these issues and form a solution are very similar to the processes I use in my designing. I have also found that my love of math is deeply ingrained in designing and grading. I love to see the numbers unfold, and I enjoy applying geometrical concepts to some of my shawl designs.

Tell me about what inspires your designs.

I take my inspiration from a variety of sources: an architectural detail, a colorful sunset, a spider web I may spy when out for a hike, bark on a tree, nature, found objects and many other sources. I have been known to tell my hubby to “pull over” so that I can take a picture of something that inspires me. I am drawn to color and patterns. I like to create colorful knits that fuel the imagination of each knitter and hopefully inspires them make my pattern their own.

When and how did you learn to knit?

My mom taught me how to knit when I was 10. My mom knits continental style, which suited me fine as I am left handed. I started with the garter stitch scarf and seamed hat as my first knitting items and continued with more hats and a few mittens. I didn’t knit much during junior high and high school, but in college I picked it up again and knitted the “boyfriend” sweater. I started to seriously knit in my late 20s after getting married, and I haven’t stopped since that time.

A pink speckled lace shawl.

Sunrise Over Bryce for Knitting Our National Parks.

What’s the first thing you do when you start designing a pattern?

After deciding on yarn, I will make a large swatch of the design/motif that I have in mind to see how the colors play together and to get gauge. Once I’ve gotten gauge, I will work up the numbers and write out a draft of the pattern, including any charts, if needed. I like to have the pattern completed as much as possible before I begin knitting so that I am in a sense, “testing” my own design and I have the ability to make edits as I knit.

What are your favorite colors and have they changed at all since you started designing?

My favorite colors are purples, reds and other rich, saturated colors, and that hasn’t changed much. I also like the playfulness of speckled yarn with the surprising pops of color. Additionally, I am just starting to explore the color and textural effects of working with two strands of yarn, specifically a mohair/silk base coupled with a Merino base.

Meet Grace, Espace Tricot’s newest addition

Lisa and Melissa of Espace Tricot

This is the 16th in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of the 2019 Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

Espace Tricot is a modern yarn shop located in Montreal, Canada, and owners Lisa Di Fruscia and Melissa Clulow recently began venturing beyond its carefully curated selection of yarns, notions, accessories, books and patterns, and established its own hand-dyed yarn line.

Their newest addition is Grace, a singly-ply Merino. Working with local hand-dyer Annie Paaren, Lisa and Melissa created a palette of 28 colors, designed to reflect the unique atmosphere both of Montreal and the store. The name Grace is inspired by both the luxury of the Merino/silk/Cashmere blend and Espace Tricot’s location in the neighborhood of Notre-Dâme-de-Grace.

Colorful skeins of yarn.

The color palette ranges from essential neutrals through moody hues and perfectly balanced brights. All the colors are inspired by Melissa and Lisa’s aesthetic as shop owners and knitters, and include the shades they have been drawn to knit with over the years. Annie combined their input with her own dyeing expertise to craft a cohesive and complex palette.

Grace is ideal for sweaters, such as Espace Tricot’s Gracious sweater, as well as “one-skein-wonder” patterns. You can also hold it with a mohair/silk blend for projects like the Bonjour/Hi cowl and Frankie sweater.

In naming the colors, Lisa and Melissa wanted to reflect Montreal’s geography, architecture and history, along with Quebec’s culture and identity:

The warmth of Opéra and Truffle recalls lazy strolls along Montreal’s quirky streets of brick terraces. Take a cosy walk on Mount Royal in fall with the bold autumnal colors of Érable and Sous-bois. Revel in the frolics of Cirque du Soleil with Cirque. Bask in the bright summer sun by the river with the dappled tones of Printemps and Nuage. Adventure out east to take in the beauty of the Gulf of St Lawrence with Tadoussac, Baleine, and Madeleine. Or dress up in your most low-key glamorous “I woke up like this” neutrals for a stylish lunch in the Old Port in Leonard and Chateau.

And of course, don’t miss a trip to Espace Tricot’s brick-and-mortar store, where the staff will greet you with a friendly “Bonjour/Hi!” in a nod to Montreal’s bilingual spirit. You might even bump into Les Filles – “the girls” Lisa and Melissa themselves.

You can also meet them virtually on their YouTube channel.

Post-Rhinebeck Untangling: ‘I Knit San Francisco’

The cover of I Knit San Francisco

This is the 15th in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of the 2019 Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

Designer Kathleen Dames and Alice O’Reilly of Backyard Fiberworks have taken us to New York and Paris through their Knit Like A Local series of bookazines from One More Row Press. Recently, they launched I Knit San Francisco, a fiber journey through the Bay Area, which is available to preorder. Here’s more about their latest trip.

How did you decide to include San Francisco for your latest book?

We started talking about San Francisco after attending Stitches West a couple of years ago. There is a vibrant knitting culture in Northern California, lots of great yarn shops, local designers and dyers, and, as we all know, the weather in San Francisco is such that having something woolly on hand is always a good idea. Plus, we both have connections to the area: Alice’s grandparents lived south of San Francisco (and her brother lives in the city now), while Kathleen worked for two different publishers, one in Sebastopol and the other in Pacific Grove, so she has spent working time in the area, in addition to more touristy visits.

Which designers do you have lined up for I Knit San Francisco?

We are thrilled to have Vilasinee Bunnag (founder of The Loome) in collaboration with Kathleen, Faina Goberstein, Juliana Lustenader, Audry Nicklin, Sonya Philip (100 Acts of Sewing), Yvonne Poon (Gamer Babe Knits), Sloane Rosenthal (co-founder of brand new Hudson + West yarn company with Meghan Babin), Heatherly Walker (the Yarn Yenta), Julie Weisenberger (founder of Cocoknits), and Kelly White, plus yarns from Bay Street Yarns, The Dye Project, Hudson + West Co., Little Skein in the Big Wool with help from Seismic Yarns, Love Fest Fibers, Sincere Sheep, Speckled Finch Studios, Twirl Yarn, and A Verb for Keeping Warm. Getting to know the designers and dyers is the best part of this job.

A yellow knit rug.

What are each of your favorite designs from the book?

We love them all (of course)! Seriously, every book we publish is a whole new wardrobe we want to knit.

So far Julie’s rug, Half-moon, made with Love Fest Fibers crazy cool and crazy big yarn, and Sloane’s Ferry Building pullover in WELD from brand new yarn company, Hudson + West Co. (Sloane’s bicoastal partnership with Meghan Babin, former editor of Interweave Knits) have been most popular on our Instagram feed.

Aside from designs, what will the book include?

We interview each designer, so you will learn a little about their design journey and, of course, their favorite local things, particularly places to go that you might not know about and restaurants to try. Then, we take you on our three-day Yarn Crawl from Santa Rosa up in Sonoma County all the way down through Napa County to the East Bay and San Francisco itself down through Santa Cruz to Pacific Grove on Monterey Bay. We definitely recommend taking more than three days, if you want to do the whole tour – we had to be ruthlessly efficient in our research trip due to time constraints, but our doing so means you can take your time and enjoy everything a little more thoroughly.

Woman models a gray sweater on a beach.

What surprising things did you learn about San Francisco while doing your research?

That walking around is no joke! Coming from the east and being used to walking everywhere (New York City and Washington, D.C., for us are walking and subway-riding cities), the hills of San Francisco are deceptive. What seems like a doable walk is an intense workout. We also were surprised/not surprised to notice the quality of the light. As intensely visual people, we were both struck by that West Coast golden light, and we think Alli did a great job of capturing it in our photos.

There has been an explosion of local “bookazines,” such as the By Hand serial and Nomadic Knits. How would you say One More Row Press is different?

We start with the question “Where shall we (as knitting people) go next?” Then we work hard to find local designers, some new and others more established, who design across many categories and for varying skill levels, and then we collaborate with them to find yarn partners that make each project sing.

Beyond the interviews and yarn crawls, we also seek out local photographers and models who bring the designs to life on location. We focus on curating a collection that is rooted in place with additional information that allows you to go to that place and make your own personal connections (or be an armchair travel knitter).

Woman models a white sweater with pom poms.

What other cities or places are next for your series?

That is the question we are asked AND that we ask everyone we meet! Our “To Visit” list includes: Chicago (where Kathleen grew up), Kyoto (or Tokyo), London, Detroit (people keep mentioning it, and there are a lot of yarn stores in the area, so we are totally intrigued), and Los Angeles. We have also talked about Italy, Cuba, Australia, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland, though we have been focused on individual cities thus far.

It’s a matter of finding the right people (designers, dyers, LYSes) and making the timing work for everyone (including us with our own jobs and families to manage). We are also in talks to do a crochet book with a handful of designers using their favorite buildings as inspiration for elegant, wearable crochet garments and accessories.

Post-Rhinebeck Untangling: Heather Love of Hellomello

A woman knitting while surrounded by yarn.

This is the 14th in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of the 2019 Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

Hellomello Handspun is a Brooklyn hipster indie yarn company: dyer Heather Love was using farm-fresh yarn before it was cool.

Heather starting out selling handspun, hence the name, and then fell down the rabbit hole of sourcing local wool, like the super springy and soft Cormo she offers on a range of hand-dyed colorways (designer Paula Pereira used it for Yullana, a sweater that’s part of a collection she launched this past weekend at Indie Untangled and the New York Sheep and Wool Festival).

Tell me about how you got started dyeing yarn.

I’ve always been a bit of a textile nerd, so by the time I made it to art school I was a pretty experienced seamstress and had a regular side hustle “restyling” vintage clothing and stitching for a few local designers. Because of this, I made an effort to spend most of my studio time exploring other artistic avenues, including glass and photography. With the exception of a few bookbinding classes, my only textile class was a year-long African Dye Resist intensive that I took for fun.

Really and truly, hand-spinning was what got me started down the rabbit hole though. I took a class 10 or 12 years ago and got hooked. Fleeces were purchased. There was a lot of experimentation with carding and dyeing. Pretty soon, I had “too much” handspun and started selling it. It’s funny how things circle back around sometimes.

Purple hand-dyed yarn.

How did you come to source local yarn blends and how challenging is it to do this?

At a certain point, I realized that I couldn’t keep up spinning everything by hand — most people seemed more interested in my dye work, anyway. The problem for me was that I really wasn’t inspired by the idea of using a standard Superwash wool. Like most hand-spinners, I crave the tactile spring and softness of lanolin-rich wools. So in 2010, I decided to try sending a few fleeces to the mill for processing and had a small batch of my own yarn made. What I got back changed everything.

There are a lot of challenges in manufacturing. Sourcing fleece is just the start. Everything about milling takes time, a long time, and a lot can go wrong along the way. Prices climb higher with every season, but, in the end, I know it’s a worthwhile endeavor and I love being able to create amazing yarns that no one else has. My runs are very limited but that’s what keeps it interesting. Every batch is a little different and, with hand dyeing, every skein is uniquely beautiful.

What inspires your colorways and your colorway names?

Brooklyn by way of Boston. The city is ever changing, sometimes exhausting, always inspiring: music, fashion, traffic and graffiti. There is always something new to photograph and explore. I am lucky to have lived in such vibrant cities and have met so many wonderful people along the way.

A hank of bright orange yarn.

Do you have a favorite color or colors, and have they changed since you became a dyer?

I don’t have a favorite, I need the whole box of crayons. For me, it is all about the interaction and influence of colors on one another. I love how a color changes based on what it is paired with. The more vibration, the better I like it.

Is there a color that you would love to dye, but that is challenging to create?

At the moment, I’m obsessed with super-saturated neons. I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with layering color and over dyeing these lately and there are a couple of surprises in the works for VKL in January.

A black cropped sweater with bobbles.

Paula Pereira’s Yullana sweater in Hellomello Cormo.

When and how did you learn to knit?

My grandmother taught me to knit and crochet when I was young. As a kid I spent a lot of time stitching intricate little acrylic outfits for my army of Barbies. I favored crochet for its quicker finish until I started knitting garments for myself in high school. These days, I can knit much more quickly than I crochet.

Do you enjoy any other crafts in addition to knitting?

Sewing is my other craft job. I wrote book called 30 Minute Sewing a few years back. I’ve also worked as an on-set tailor, stylist, costume designer and sewing instructor. I especially love the quiet pleasure of hand sewing techniques like embroidery, Sashiko and quilting.

What are some of your favorite FOs you or your customers have made with your yarn?

I was floored when my friend told me that Stephen West used my yarn in his Amazing Technicolor Dream Sweater and featured it in one of his sweater books — I had no idea.

Recently, there was also a really beautiful Soldotna by Pia Cooperman.

Melissa Fitzpatrick made a killer Tecumseh.

But, one of my all-time favorite neons is the Maria Sweater by Yamil Anglada. It’s like bottled sunshine.

What to stash this week at Indie or not

A woman models a mustard textured sweater.

One of my favorite parts of the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show is getting to see indie yarn in action with the beautiful samples on display. I’m particularly excited to see designer Paula Pereira’s capsule collection that’s debuting at the show. This collaboration between Paula and two indie dyers from my hometown of New York City — Debbie of Murky Depths Dyeworks and Heather of Hellomello Handspun — is a sophisticated and fun set of designs. It includes three sweaters, a triangular shawl knit with a textured fabric and a pair of socks with a geometric stitch motif.

A collage with a night sky and purple yarn.

If you’ll be at Indie Untangled today, you’ll also get to see Kate and Nancye of Dragonfly Fibers’ Petrified Forest colorway, inspired by Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, in person. It is available to preorder online until next Friday, October 25. As always, 10% of sales will be donated to the National Park Foundation.

Christmas packages

Is your mother a hamster? Does your father smell of elderberries? Or do you just need a shrubbery? Then you’ll want to preorder this Monty Python Advent Calendar from Fairy Tale Yarn Co.

Purple bags

Laura’s Hocus Pocus-inspired Bag of the Month collection shipped out early, so you can get the extras in time for Halloween. Pounce like a black cat today at 9 a.m. Pacific.

A taupe lace wrap.

Fall definitely requires a light layer of warmth, so check out this new lace wrap from White Lies Designs.

What to stash this week: finally fall

Yarn socks in an orange fall pattern.

In time for cooler whether, Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios is bringing back her original fall fabrics for preorder. The fabrics are knit and crochet themed, because we all know that fall is the best knitting time. Preorders go live today at 9 a.m. Pacific and end Monday at midnight.

Meg of Nutmeg Fibers now has expanded sizing for her Stella Crop Sweater.