What to stash this week: Readying for Rhinebeck

Casapinka’s Crown Wools MKAL was such a hit that she’s launching another, non-mystery KAL! It starts September 10 and runs for six weeks — perfect for showing it off at Rhinebeck. She has compiled a list of dyers selling kits, so order yours before the KAL kicks off.

Amy of Canon Hand Dyes opened preorders for Deathday Party, and a complementary semisolid called The Deathly Hallows, to both Rhinebeck ticket holders AND those who are not attending the show. The colorways will be available to order on three different bases until September 25. Note the instructions carefully!

Brooke of Fully Spun just had a shop update that includes five new semisolid colorways designed to pair with her Fully Spun Original and Sock yarns — mill-spun with the look of handspun. Check them out online or in person at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival on September 29 and 30.

Melissa of Dye Is Cast Yarns is debuting some new fall and Halloween colorways today. She’ll also be introducing 50-gram half skeins and minis of her Squish Wish Sock yarn base.

Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios is teaming up with Forbidden Fiber Co. for an Outlander update today at 9 a.m. Pacific time. It includes project bags, accessories and, of course, yarn!

Pam’s latest shawl design, Soulshine, is inspired by stars shooting across the night sky. It’s worked in two colors of fingering weight yarn and includes bias shaping and short rows.

Lena’s Mermaid Scales Slouch Hat is a great showcase for that random skein of variegated, tonal or hand-dyed sportweight yarn.

Mona of bunnymuff is kicking off a shawl MKAL on October 8.

If you’re an indie dyer planning an Advent calendar, consider adding Sheep Squeezers from One Sock Wonder Bags.

What to stash this week: simple and whimsey

Stephanie of Asylum Fibers put together some yarn sets for Michele Costa of Stitch and Hustle’s Unicorn County (crochet) and Unicorn Kounty (knitting) shawl pattern. Grab one and take part in the Unicorn Along, which will culminate in a fun group photo at Rhinebeck.

Jennifer of Spirit Trail Fiberworks has travel knitting (or Knitflixing, or soccer game knitting) in mind with her latest design. Stream of Consciousness is comfort knitting at its finest, a scarf designed in garter stitch, with sections of textured stitches mixed in. It’s knit on the diagonal, so Jennifer says the only “hard” part is remembering to increase on one side and decrease on the other, every other row, with textured sections requiring slightly more attention.

Jennifer also has a new batch of subscriber inspiration colorways for August, based on a photo her newsletter subscriber, Melanie, sent her of a gorgeous Autumn-hued mandala. There are three tonal colors plus a speckle that pulls from the others. They are available to preorder only through the end of the day today!

Rebecca of Fuse Fiber Studio recently had a shop update with sweater quantities of her Fuse Luxury Fingering base. For this update, she focused on neutrals and colors that can be combined to make the perfect Rhinebeck sweater.

Suzanne of Groovy Hues is going goth for Halloween. Her You Can’t Take the Goth Outta the Girl colorway is available on a variety of bases and is the perfect colorway for the upcoming fall holiday — and the rest of the year.

Julia of Pandia’s Jewels is also ready for Halloween and just added lovely new fall and Halloween inspired colors to the shop. The slight chill in the air also means she’s brought back her tweed yarn bases. There are lots of new colors, tonals, OOAKs and a few favorites.

Michelle has a new collection of shawl pins crafted from bronze, with designs including Dragonflies and Frosted Oceans, with rich, warm colors to show off on your fall knits.

Pre-Rhinebeck Untangling: Carol Feller

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This is the sixth in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of the 2018 Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

I have long been a fan of Carol Feller‘s designs. Her Akoya and Carpino patterns have been favorited for a while, waiting for the perfect yarn.

When I heard the news that Carol would be making a trip from Ireland to Rhinebeck — and that she wanted to see Indie Untangled in particular! — I was thrilled. Here’s a chance to learn a little more about her, and how her background as a structural engineer informs her stunning designs.

How did you decide to become a knitwear designer?

I really sort of fell into knitwear design! When I left school I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do, swinging between art and science/maths. I started by doing a year in art college but I really missed working with numbers, so after the year I switched to engineering, specializing in structural engineering. I spent several years working in engineering and when my second son was born I set up an online natural parenting shop. After my fourth son was born I sold the business and intended to become a full-time mum. That plan didn’t work out too well for me, by the time he was 5 months old I was craving some mental stimulation. I discovered an online yarn shop that had just opened up in Ireland and I started to relearn how to knit. It came back to me very quickly and I was obsessed!

Within a year I had published my first pattern and from there my first book was only a few years later. For the first time in my life I had found the perfect blend of art and maths. It’s very hard to be a knitwear designer without enjoying both ends of the spectrum; you need to be able to imagine and create the knitwear and then have the ability to do the number crunching to manipulate all the different sizes and make sure they work.

How has your training as a textile artist and then as a structural engineer informed your designs?

Starting off as a structural engineer — or any type of engineer — makes you a very logical thinker. The design, whether it is a garment or a building, has to make sense. When knitting, every stitch sits one on top of another. If you need it to be bigger you have to increase and if you need it smaller, you need to decrease. This means that design has to follow a logic path, and makes sense. This ability to dissect a design’s construction gives me the tools to turn design on its head and create new construction techniques and directions.

Carol’s Ribosome sweater.

Tell me about what inspires your designs.

You many notice that I design a lot of cardigans. This is probably because I wear cardigans almost all the time! I think frequently designers like to design what they find useful on a personal level. After that it becomes about combining shapes, colours and stitch patterns in ways that make me happy. I often find that I have a picture of what I want to design, from there I combine sketching and swatching to see if I can make it work or how I need to change the initial idea so that it flows and makes knitting sense. I love autumn (fall) in shops; they are filled with new colours, knits and shapes. I spend a few mornings wandering in town getting a feel for the colours and trends of the season, zoning in on ones that mesh with my own aesthetic perspective.

You have created your own yarn line. How did that come about and what does that entail?

My yarn line happened accidentally, but it was a very happy accident! The yarn company, Fyberspates, distributes my patterns and self-published books and they had just started a yarn line with Rachel Coopey, Sock Yeah! I was saying how much fun that sounded and they suggested that I also start a yarn line with them. Between us we decided on the fiber blend; the two main criteria I had were that I wanted a sport weight yarn and I didn’t want a Superwash. After that I planned out the colours for the yarn (they are dyed by the mill) and got a yarn label designed. It was such a fun experience creating a yarn line and it somehow feels like it adds an extra dimension to my design work being able to work all the way from the yarn right through to the finished design.

Carol’s Coiled Magenta.

Is there a construction method you haven’t tried yet?

I don’t think so! There are a few construction techniques that I’ve use very rarely but I think I’ve given most a try. I’ve knit sweaters from the bottom up, top down and from side-to-side. I’ve tried raglan, set-in sleeves, circular yokes, drop shoulders and contiguous. I have designed sweaters in pieces and seamed them together but it’s not my favourite method. I’m definitely a fan of seamless in all its guises!

When and how did you learn to knit?

I actually have almost no memory of learning to knit. In primary school in Ireland when I was small everyone learned to both knit and sew. It has however changed now and is dependent on individual teachers and their personal preferences. My mother was able to knit but found it too slow, preferring to crochet or sew. Her mother however was a fantastic knitter, producing new sweaters for all her 5 children every September when they went back to school. As I learned to knit so young it feels like a very natural thing for me to be doing, very similar to writing or reading. It was when I picked up knitting however as an adult that I learned how to refine my knitting and read a pattern.

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

I swatch, swatch, swatch. It doesn’t matter what is in my head or what I draw on paper if the yarn doesn’t agree, it won’t work! So, I swatch, sketch and them measure. Once this is done I can start working on the numbers and write up the bones of the pattern. This way when I begin knitting the finished piece I can tweak and rewrite the pattern as I work to make sure it’s as accurate as possible.

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

My colours are usually on the rustic end of the scale; all shades of green, rusts, ochres and pumpkin plus the very useful grey. In the yarn line I had an advantage because of the fiber content of the yarn. With 20% yak it means that the base, undyed colour of the yarn is a light beige. This means that all the colours that are overdyed on it will have a muted, rustic feel. I started with all my favourite colours and then grouped them into neutrals and brights/contrasts so that there were lots of options to combine colours. I do find as a designer that I have to fight against my own colour biases especially with larger projects. When I do books I try to have a good range of colour representation if possible.

What to stash this week: Leaving Olympic National Park

Today is the last day to preorder Hazel Knits’ stunning Sol Duc Valley colorway for the Knitting Our National Parks Project. The yarn takes its name and inspiration from the Sol Duc rainforest at Olympic National Park. Here’s a new pic of it all knitted up!

Stephanie of Rock Solid Designs has added a new twist to the project bag and come up with a brilliant solution to the “yarn/zipper dilemma.” Her box bag, called the Kellie bag, uses sturdy plastic snaps instead of zippers, to help keep your yarn from running away, but avoiding snags. Best of all — the snaps also serve as built-in yarn guides, allowing you to separate multiple strands of yarn for colorwork projects or when you’re alternating skeins in a sweater.

Is there a slight chill in the air? That means it’s almost PSL (pumpkin spice latte) time! Sheila of Big Foot Fibers has just updated her shop with limited-edition, piping hot PSL mini skein sets.

It’s Porterness Studio’s birthday and Jen is celebrating with a sale! Get a generous 25% off through August 31 with the code IndieBday25. If you make a purchase over $40 you will get a free “There Will Be Cake” pin!

Like most of us, Sarah of QCC Yarn is also in an autumn state of mind. In addition to new fall colors, she also now has three new yarn bases available: Floofy Cat (80% Superwash Merino/20% nylon) and Forlorn Cat (80% Superwash British BFL/20% nylon), both of which are 2-ply fingering weight yarns, and Cat-Mandu, a 3-ply fingering weight yarn that’s a blend of 70% Superwash Merino, 20% yak and 10% nylon, with colors dyed on a natural grey base.

Karen of Round Table Yarns has teamed up with Tim Stephens of Periodic Knits to create a We Knit in Texas Cowl kit to raise money for the Unite for Bleeding Disorders Walk, which benefits the local Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the Texas Central Hemophilia Association. It’s available in your choice of red, white or blue yarn and $17 of your purchase will be donated to the Texas Central Hemophilia Association.

Stomp on over to the Slipped Stitch Studios website. A fun dinosaur update goes live today at 9 a.m. Pacific time. 

Eden Cottage’s next update goes live on Wednesday, August 29 and includes her Titus 4ply base, a luxurious blend of Superwash Merino and mulberry silk, perfect for shawls and sweaters alike.

Do you believe in fairies? Either way, you’ll be enchanted by Baad Mom Yarns’ new Woodland Fairy Collection of colorways, which includes Enchanted Forest, pictured above.

Wolle’s Yarn Creations’ newest yarn line is called TONALS, a unique creation that is part gradient, part ombre, part heather on a super soft 100% cotton fingering weight base. 

Mad Science Yarn has experimented with a special fall 2018 colorway.

What to stash this week: Knitting for fall

Kate of McMullin Fiber Co. has stocked her shop with plenty of hues that bring to mind fall leaves and apple cider donuts. Take 15% off your order with the code INDIE15.

Debbie of Murky Depths Dyeworks is also in a fall state of mind, and has recently released a bunch of autumn-inspired colors, including Picante, Gigli and Porcino, which pretty much look like the colors of Rhinebeck.

Heather’s Yarn Barn is now offering her yarns wholesale, so if you’re interested in seeing them in person, ask the owner of your LYS to look into stocking them.

Third Vault Yarns’ yarns of the month are inspired by the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology and available to preorder only until the 20th.

Mona of bunnymuff has just released two new patterns, the Blue Citrus pullover and Blue Citrus tammy. Knit both and be super coordinated!

Eden Cottage Yarns had a shop update yesterday filled with sock yarn, for the perfect warm weather knitting. Yarns include Brimham 4ply (85% Superwash Merino, 15% nylon) and Tempo 4ply (75% Superwash wool, 25% nylon).

Wendee of Hazel Knits’ stunning Sol Duc Valley colorway for the Knitting Our National Parks project, inspired by the mossy green in the Sol Duc rainforest at Olympic National Park, is available to preorder only through next Friday!

Check out the project bags with windows from MidMitten Designs.

What to stash this week: knitting goodies… and some yarn

“Give me all the project bags and accessories you have.” That’s what I, and a knitting Ron Swanson, would say about Slipped Stitch Studios’ special comedy TV-themed Bag of the Month. The Parks & Recreation, The Office and Gilmore Girls-themed items go on sale today at 9 a.m. Pacific and are available only through Tuesday, July 31.

I very often make the mistake of leaving my notions pouch at home. I’m sure my friends at knit night can attest to having leant me an emergency stitch marker or two (or more). So, I’m kind of in love with this new line of stitch marker necklaces from Jen of Porterness Studio. Not only are they beautiful — note the subtle stockinette stitch motif! — but they are incredibly functional. 

I’m kind of in love with Woodsy and Wild’s project bags, which are cleverly constructed with lovely natural fabrics. Her popular in-between Birch Bag, made with soft and sturdy linen/cotton canvas is available in some bright new colors. There are also smaller zippered wedges and sweater-sized drawstring bags in a variety of summery fabrics.

Kate of McMullin Fiber Co will be donating a portion of her sales for the next few months to the Aruna Project, which helps to free women in India from sexual slavery and empowers them through employment and therapy. Grab some of her gorgeous new colorways and contribute to a good cause.

If you prefer paper to a screen, but want patterns that are still nice and neat (and legible!) after you toss them into your project bag, then you need one, or a few, of the Pattern Pockets from Rock Solid Designs. The vinyl cover protects your patterns from creases and spills and can be positioned like a stand to view your instructions. And they’re available in a whole bunch of fun fabrics, including space themes!

Just in time for Christmas in July, MJ of Cat Sandwich Fibers is launching her first ever Advent Calendar. There are six-day, 12-day and 25-day options, which all include miniskeins and one full skein, plus some extra fun goodies.

The Cryptozoologist is having a shop update this Saturday at 7 p.m. BST and it’s going to be chock full of 100% British BFL/nylon sock yarn. Colorways include neutrals, brights and shawl sets for your favorite three-skein patterns.

Helen and Mary Beth of Toad Hollow have launched the fourth installment of the Toad Hollow Book Club. This month’s selection, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, has inspired the colorway Tsukiko’s Cloak and five 92-yard miniskeins, which are perfect for Joji Locatelli’s Gradient Band Cowl.

Jennifer of Knits4Comfort has moved from Etsy to her own website. To celebrate, she is providing 10% off through July 28th.

What to stash this week: ‘flash’ your stash

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.

What to stash this week: Officially summer knitting

Shanna of Lambstrings Yarn is having a shop update tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern with plenty sock kits. The kits come with one full skein and one mini skein of Tralala Sock (75/25 Superwash Merino/nylon) in contrasting colors for heel/toe/cuff contrast. There are plenty of bright summer shades for your light summer projects.

Christine of Treasure Goddess Yarn just released the Wine Yarn Collection, a limited number of hand-dyed yarn in colorways such as You had me at Merlot…, Feelin’ Fine with Blackberry Wine and Yes Way, Cabernet! The collection has two patterns to show off tonal colorways, including the Chateau Chapeau Wine Cork Hat, which uses slices of wine corks as beads! So, no need to complain that the bottle’s not a twist-off. There are also pirate sheep stemless wine glasses to enjoy with your knitting.

You have until midnight Eastern time tonight to preorder the Leaf Peepers shawl set and full skein of The Road Less Travelled from Canon Hand Dyes. The colorways were inspired by the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Maine and is perfect for your Indie Untangled shawl.

This yarn is part of the Indie Untangled Knitting Our National Parks project. Canon Hand Dyes is one of several dyers creating exclusive-to-IU colorways inspired by photos from the U.S Department of the Interior’s Instagram feed. 10% of sales this round will be donated to the National Wildlife Refuge Association.

Jennifer of Spirit Trail Fiberworks does a great collaboration with her newsletter subscribers in which she dyes colorways inspired by a photo sent by one of them. The June Subscriber Color Inspiration colorways are based on a photograph of a flower at the Ogden Botanical Garden in Utah. There’s one main colorway, called Botanical, a speckled blend of grays, browns, greens, yellow and oranges on a soft gray background, along with orange and green complementary skeins. 

Sheila of Big Foot Fibers sold out of her special Beekeeper Sets, but you can custom order yarn from her to make the buzzy BeeKeeper Cardigan by Olive Knits or Wool & Honey by Andrea Mowry.

Mona’s latest release, the Catch This Thief scarf…, is inspired by the cravat Cary Grant’s character wore in To Catch a Thief. This easy summer knit features a texture and dropped stitch motif and Mona’s sample has a sterling silver shawl ring from IU artisan Porteness Studio.

What to stash this week: knitting shop updates galore

Jen of Porterness Studio just had a shop update full of new shiny goodies, including a Radiating Eye shawl pin, shawl fork or button and sterling silver shawl rings that can be sewn or crocheted onto your summer shawls for a fancy embellishment. There are also awesome Yarn Life necklaces. Check all of it out AND get a 20% discount with the code IndieSummer20.

Trysten of Dragon Hoard Yarn is having a shop update today at 10 a.m. Mountain Time. Expect to see a bunch of new colorways.

Alicia of Knitspinquilt is celebrating summer with woodland creatures! Adorable hedgehog and owl print fabric have been sewn into medium and large drawstring project bags. As always, Alicia will donate 30% of the sale price to the Hispanic Federation for Puerto Rico disaster relief efforts.

If you’re a unicorn or cat fan, show off your obsession on your handknits with the latest shawl pin designs from Crafty Flutterby Creations.

It’s the final week to order your Knitting Our National Parks Leaf Peepers miniskein kits and The Road Less Traveled from Canon Hand Dyes, based on a photo of the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Maine. There’s a cap on orders because Amy is prepping for shows, so if you have your eye on this, the sooner the better. Orders close for good on June 22.

Canon Hand Dyes is one of several indie yarn companies creating exclusive-to-IU colorways inspired by photos on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Instagram feed. 10% of all sales this round will be donated to the National Wildlife Refuge Association.

There’s a batch of Automne à Rhinebeck in La Bien Aimée Merino DK in stock. These are the last skeins of this exclusive that Aimée will be dyeing for Indie Untangled, so order now! Just an FYI, I’ll be in Cleveland for TNNA this weekend, so all orders will ship out Tuesday. 

If you’re a really experienced knitter, you’ll appreciate Murky Depths Dyeowrks’ Jimi Hendrix-inspired yarns, Electric Ladyland and Purple Haze.

This one is for you cat or dog lovers. Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios has bags with cuddly kitties and cute puggles for sale starting at 9 a.m. Pacific time today.

Lola’s Alchemist’s Tote collaboration includes yarn and a special project bag from The Tudor Rose Crafts Studio and an extra from Front Pocket Studio.

Casapinka is launches her Crown Wools miniskein MKAL July 19.

Eden Cottage Yarns just had a shop update.

Pandia’s Jewels has Zombie Outbreak colors available to preorder through June 24.

What to stash this week: Knitting Our National Wildlife Refuges

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.

Lavender Lune Yarn Co. has moved to a new website.