What to knit with Kiowa by The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers

Since Candice of The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers sent me the photo of Kiowa, her Yellowstone-inspired colorway for Knitting Our National Parks, I’ve been agonizing over what to make with my skeins when I get them. I think I love planning what to knit almost as much as knitting — it’s like planning a vacation, picking just the right hotels and tours to take.

I’ve compiled a short list of options based on my Ravelry research:

What to make with a single skein

Silverwing by Amy van de Laar

Goldwing by Ambah O’Brien

What to make with multiple skeins

Tegna by Caitlin Hunter

What to stash this week: Sunset over Yellowstone

The latest Knitting Our National Parks colorway from Candice of The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers is inspired by a sunset over Yellowstone captured by park ranger and photographer Jacob W. Frank. Candice named the glowing pinks and earthy greens, dyed on a Merino/silk fingering, Kiowa to pay tribute to the Native Americans who inhabited the land years before it became a place where visitors flocked to see Old Faithful erupt. The colorway will be available to preorder through April 20, with the yarn shipping at the end of May.

Hey, SoCal knitters: Jen of Porterness Studio is having a trunk show at Gather DTLA on April 20 and 21 during the LA Yarn crawl. If you’re not in the area, click here to get a discount code for her lovely shawl pins, buttons and jewelry.

Want a little April in Paris? Kate of McMullin Fiber Co. has added fun snips to the shop, including a pair shaped like the Eiffel Tower. You’ll get one free when you purchase a skein of Dusty Rose and a skein of Tres Bien, which are both inspired by imaginary strolls along the Seine.

ShelliCan just had a shop update and introduced a ton of new designs, including the adorable Get Kracken, which is available on enamel pins, T-shirts and keychains.

Rebecca of Fuse Fiber Studio also updated her shop recently, and it includes a bunch of fingering-weight yarn in complementary colors that would be perfect for your next Fade.

Knittyandcolor’s Acid Rainbow colorway is back in stock and available on her Acoustic Sock, Hardcore Sock, Glam Rock Sparkle Sock, Dubstep DK and Indie Rock Worsted. Also catch her at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in May!

Shanna of Lambstrings Yarn has kits for Andrea Mowry’s Rose cardigan on her new SW Merino 3-ply sport. The four-skein kits are available in three different color combinations to produce a fade that starts light on the back and ends dark at the sleeves.

What to stash this week: vacation skeins

Last weekend, I attended the Mohonk Mountain House Knitting Weeking, and organizer Paula of White Barn Farm was nice enough to invite me to be a vendor at the retreat marketplace. I contacted Christine of Skeinny Dipping and asked her to create a Mohonk-inspired colorway. The remaining skeins of this limited-edition colorway — similar to Christine’s beautifully rustic Hearth Tweed, but with some pops of color — are now available in the Indie Untangled pop-up shop

Mohonk-y Tonk is joined in the shop by the return of Duck Duck Wool’s Glaciers & Wildflowers. There are also a very limited number of yarn ball zipper bags from the talented Vicki of That Clever Clementine. 

Suzanne of Groovy Hues Fibers is bringing back Passion Fruit Creme Brulee, a much-loved colorway that only 10 people currently have. If you’re hungry for this colorway, be aware that Suzanne is limiting preorders to 20 skeins on eight different bases. 

One of the Spirit Trail Fiberworks newsletter subscribers sent a photo of a rainbow she spotted while on a ferry in Alaska. Jennifer has turned it into four different colorways: two speckled rainbows and two complementary semisolids. They are only available to order through today!

If you’re looking for some brighter colors from Skeinny Dipping, or something to complement Mohonk-y Tonk — Creature Feature and Don’t Tell Me To Smile will work well — Christine just had a shop update.

What to stash this week: updates and an open studio

Jennifer of Spirit Trail Fiberworks recently had a shop update with her Luna non-shrink wool as well as Birte, her Superwash Merino/Cashmere/silk DK. There are plenty of semisolids and speckles, as well as “lucky pot” one-of-a-kind colors like the one pictured above. Jennifer has also put some bases and colors that she’s retiring on sale.

Brooke of Fully Spun, who dyes wool roving and has it mill spun into “handspun,” just had a shop update that includes three new colors and three colors she just had to bring back.

Pam Sluter’s Stepstone combines a sideways band, woolly sportweight yarn, elongated slip stitches and two fun buttons. The band is knit flat and stitches are picked up for the body and crown, while the button flap is worked last. It’s perfect for “spring” on the East Coast.

If you’re planning to go to Stitches United this weekend, or are in the Hartford area, Rebecca of Fuse Fiber Studio is having another open studio with Gabby of Once Upon a Corgi. The one I attended last month was super fun and I highly recommend going for the yarn and the hanging out.

Indie Untangled goes to Edin Yarn Fest

I’m writing this post from a hotel north of the Edinburgh airport, where I was sent after my flight home to New York was canceled in anticipation of the nor’easter. While I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll get back in time to attend the Mohonk Mountain House Knitting Weekend, where I will be vending in the marketplace, the travel hiccups haven’t yet wiped away the happy feelings from attending such a wonderful knitting event and the joy I got from being around so many friends and fiber people, including many who traveled from around the world — our apartment had representation from Norway, Greece and Israel!

The Edinburgh Yarn Festival, which took place from March 15-17, is probably best described as a combination of the New York Sheep & Wool Festival and the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show. There was a mix of bright speckled skeins from indie dyers such as La Bien Aimée, Uschitita and Martin’s Lab, and more rustic, local blends spun from British sheep (Blacker Yarns, Uist, TOFT, Daughter of a Shepherd and John Arbon, to name just a few of the indie companies). Some dyers — Kettle Yarn Co., Eden Cottage Yarns, Old Maiden Aunt — combined the two and dyed fiber beyond the usual Superwash Merino and Cashmere.

The local feel came through in the events surrounding the extensive marketplace, including a giant crocheted highland cow and the Friday night ceilidh, where some of the vendors, instructors and attendees came together for traditional Scottish dancing (Stephen West’s dancing background was evident).

Here are just some of the pictures I snapped. You can check out more on Instagram.

The Eden Cottage booth.

A sample at Blacker Yarns.

Ysolda Teague’s Stockbridge.

A highland “coo.”

What to stash this week if you’re not in Scotland

The result of designer Casapinka’s recent VKL NYC shopping spree at the Fuse Fiber Studio booth is Your Slip Is Showing, a gorgeous shawl that makes a bold statement using a simple slipped stitch technique. It calls for four colors of fingering weight yarn — you can use speckles, variegated colors, semisolids, fade sets or gradients, and Rebecca from Fuse even has a kit with the colors Bronwyn used. 

Marian of Marianated Yarns has added a laceweight kid mohair/silk blend to her dyeing repertoire. Aerie comes in 460 yards and is comprised of 70% kid mohair and 30% silky goodness. This light and fluffy yarn is great doubled up, knit with another yarn or knit all by itself.

Have you checked out FiberCrafty yet? If you haven’t heard, it’s an online marketplace just for yarn and fiber, as well as stitch markers, project bags and more. It’s like a fiber festival, but every day.

Studio Mirand’s latest design, Kadigan, is a sweater that can be adaptable to fit you perfectly without any math. Because sometimes you just wanna knit.

What to stash this week: A winter’s yarn ball

Scarlet of Huckleberry Knits posted to the Indie Untangled Marketplace about her latest shop update. Her glowing tonal and variegated colorways, which she dyes on bases such as Blue Faced Leicester and Merino Cashmere silk, as well as on spinning fiber, include a batch of Hamilton-inspired colorways.

Bring even more elegance to your hand knits with some new shawl pin designs from Jennifer of Porterness Studio.

Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios has brought back her coveted pattern and chart wallets starting this week. These accessories are the perfect way to tote around your papers with all the notes and highlights without them getting crumbled at the bottom of your project bag.

Terri at Whole Knit ‘n Caboodle has been getting ready for spring with new spring-y self-striping sock yarn. If you’re in or near the Hudson Valley, check out her yarns at the Chancellor’s Sheep and Wool Showcase in Clermont, N.Y., on April 21.

Brianne and Maureen of I Would Dye 4U are updating their shop today at 10 a.m. Eastern time with both new ‘80s music-inspired colors and favorites, including some one hit wonders.

Untangling Casapinka

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I have to admit that when I first learned of the designer Casapinka, I was kind of intimidated by the idea of approaching her about posting on Indie Untangled. I had discovered her Loop shawl at the first Maryland Sheep & Wool indie pop-up at The Knot House and thought she was so talented with her innovative use of variegated yarns. I was also in awe of her colorwork skills with the Fall Is a Color hat that she designed for the 2015 Rhinebeck Trunk Show. When I learned she has worked as an ER doctor, I was convinced she was one of those people that is just so amazing at everything that you should probably hate them.

However, after getting to know Bronwyn (her real name), I was thrilled to find she is one of the most down to earth and hilarious knitters I’ve ever met. Her patterns simultaneously wow me with their brilliant use of color and crack me up with hilarious names like Welcome Back Garter, Mick Jagged and Your Slip Is Showing. I recently asked her to tell me a little bit more about her process and give me a small peek behind the speckled curtain:

You’ve worked as an emergency medicine doctor. How did you decide to become a designer?

Designing found me rather than my deciding to become a designer. I was very ill with Lyme Disease and I couldn’t stand lying around doing “nothing.” At least knitting made me feel productive… and then I found indie-dyed yarns. And I got addicted. You see where this is going!

How did you come up with Casapina and why do you use it as your designer name?

I chose the name Casapinka in 2007 when my husband and I bought a house that needed some work. Design blogs were just getting started and I would post about painting my dining room hot pink, wallpapering my dishwasher, that sort of thing. So the “Casa” part refers to the house and the “Pinka” was just chosen at whim… and then when I segued into knitwear design I just kept the name because it fit me.

When and how did you learn to knit?

As an exchange student in high school, I lived in New Zealand, land of three million people and 70 million sheep. I was stranded one week in the rain during spring vacation at a friend’s house on Lake Taupo. It poured for days and her sister knit most of a sweater during this time. It looked so boring and lame to be knitting, but as the week went on, we’d watched a bunch of movies and had nothing to show for it — and she had this amazing sweater. I actually thought those tiny needles and the slowness of knitting meant actually making a sweater was impossible, but as a metaphor for anything difficult, knitting consistently builds on itself. I was completely hooked and learned how to knit intarsia immediately so I could “draw” with my yarn.

Tell me about what inspires your designs.

Color! I adore rich color, hand-dyed yarn, and how different stitches work to show off the colors in the yarn. It usually begins with a color combination that catches my eye or a stitch pattern, a photograph, or some combination of the three. Seeing how indie dyers combine their colors is also inspiring and I never tire of looking at their Instagram posts.

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

It all begins with the yarn. If I know I want to knit something in particular (for example, I’m working on a swing coat right now) I don’t do anything until I find the right yarn. Sometimes, the yarn isn’t available in enough yards. Sometimes, it’s discontinued or in another country, or looks different in person compared to online. I adore when a local yarn store has a yarn for me because it’s the best of all worlds.

If a dyer has contacted me to do a design, I have to get the yarn first. Sometimes I’ll do a private Pinterest board with the dyer to get an idea of a particular inspiration that they would like, but usually I get free reign. If I try too much to make it into something specific I fall flat on my face. And finally, I’m sometimes asked to submit a proposal or draw a design that I have in mind. My drawings are laughable and do not reflect what goes on in my head. I can’t seem to make my vision go through my hand onto paper — just onto knitting needles.

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

Despite the moniker “Casapinka” I adore aqua. All shades of aqua! I also love pink but not all colors of pink. A gorgeous blue-red cannot be beat. Magenta (is that considered pink?) and recently certain greens are on my radar. It has absolutely changed and constantly changes, especially with the invention of speckled yarns. Suddenly, I can have a tiny bit of a certain color and it grows on me until I’m in love, like some of the gold/yellows… Oh, and did I mention coral? That’s a new obsession!

You’ve published a few sweater designs, but is there a reason you stick to shawls and accessories?

This is entirely by accident. I’ve made and designed a lot of sweaters but didn’t publish them because I don’t enjoy grading of sizes — and only learned about the all-important technical editor a few years ago. I’m fairly addicted to shawl knitting but I also have plans for more sweaters. The portability of accessories is also handy, as I have ended up knitting during swim meets, robotics practices, and Rubik’s Cube competitions. I actually have a tunic, a sweater, and a coat coming out in conjunction with Edinburgh Yarn Festival.

Where is your favorite place to knit?

I love, love, love knitting in airports. I’m a plane/airport geek and can sit there for hours staring out at the runway, coffee by my side, phone turned off. I’m one of the rare humans who welcomes an airport delay (if I have my knitting, of course).

What to stash this week: Good night, Acadia

You have until midnight Eastern time tonight to preorder Stephanie’s radiant Acadia Lights colorway (pictured here in both Solitary fingering and Golden Goose DK) for the Indie Untangled Knitting Our National Parks project!

If you don’t already know about the project, Stephanie is one of several dyers creating exclusive-to-IU colorways inspired by photos of U.S. national parks. Acadia Lights recreates a rare scene of the Northern Lights over Acadia National Park in Stephanie’s native Maine. 10% of all sales will be donated to the National Park Foundation.

Julia of Pandia’s Jewels is celebrating one of the best literary couples of all time with colorways inspired by the Pemberley Estate — where Elizabeth Bennet’s and Mr. Darcy’s love story began. The seven Regency 5th edition colors, part of a series of yarns inspired by Jane Austen, all work together to create a lovely seven-color fade. They’re available to preorder through next Sunday, March 4.

Untangling: Katrina Updike of Fluffy U Fiber Farm

You don’t have to take a trip to the UK to find wool from British Breed sheep. You simply have to visit — or visit the website of — Fluffy U Fiber Farm in Dover, Pennsylvania.

Shepardess Katrina Updike has been raising British and rare breed sheep, including Blue-Faced Leicester, Gotland, Leicester Longwool and Teeswater, for the past 18 years, and she hand dyes all of their yarns for knitters and roving for hand spinners. I asked Katrina to tell me a little bit more about the farm.

Tell me how your farm got started.

I actually started out with two Blue-Faced Leicester ewes in the backyard in an old tractor shed. Eventually we built a small pole barn. My husband travelled a lot so each time he went away I would add another sheep or goat or two. Eventually we were able to purchase part of my husband’s grandparents’ farm and the rest, as they say, is history.

How did you decide to raise British breed and rare breed sheep?

I raised a bunch of different sheep breeds over the years. But, I’ve always had Blue-Faced Leicester sheep since the beginning. So it was just natural to start adding other British/rare breed sheep to the flock.

Where does the name Fluffy U come from.

I actually was going to call our farm the Updike Funny Farm but wasn’t sure anyone but me would find the humor in the name. But, I finally settled on Fluffy U Fiber Farm because our sheep are big and fluffy and U for our last name. Being able to bring the farm and farming back into the family the name seem appropriate.

How has the business changed over the last 18 years?

The business has progressively changed in order to keep up with the times. At first it was just roving and some basic yarn. But, as we have grown we have added more yarn and roving blends, books and notions, project kits and classes at the farm as well as doing fiber shows for the past six years. It has been a challenge for us as we sell and use very little commercial product in our line of yarn. But, there is no greater satisfaction for me than being able to tell someone which sheep or goat their yarn came from.

Do you knit yourself and, if so how did you learn?

My grandmother taught me to crochet as a child, but I didn’t start knitting until I was 19. A wonderful woman named Kay Thompson taught me. I’ve been knitting ever since then.

How did you get started spinning?

I took a class at the Mannings with Tom Knisley. Tom is a great teacher with a lot of patience for all of us who haven’t a clue how to make the wheel work correctly. So, since that class I have probably been spinning about 10 years.

What are some of your favorite projects made with Fluffy U Fiber yarn?

A cardigan made with our BFL using a daisy stitch in all white, our Conewago Shawl and Cassius Shawl that I have made using our natural blend yarn and also coopworth tencel blend yarn. Right now I’m really enjoying knitting fingerless mitts using my handspun yarn from the sheep.

What are some the best things you’ve learned running Fluffy U?

Knitting is universal you can always find a way to communicate. Everything is an experiment what might work for one show may not work for another. Be true to yourself and your dream. You can’t please everyone. There are more nice, crazy fiber people than not.