Indie Untangled Everywhere Untangling: Scratch Supply Co.

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The owners of a local yarn shop.

Travis, Jessica and Karen of Scratch Supply Co.

This is the first in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of Indie Untangled Everywhere, taking place from October 15-17, 2020.

Four years ago this month, Jessica Giordani and Karen Zook launched Scratch Supply Co., a craft store and inclusive home for makers in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Since then, they along with their partner Travis, have transformed the shop into a showcase for indie, women, POC/BIPOC, queer and otherwise underrepresented dyers and makers.

Scratch’s monthly Cast-On Club — I’ll be curating the October box! — celebrates the diversity of the fiber community with an exclusive colorway, and the shop features many indie brands that are familiar to Indie Untangled readers — Cat Sandwich Fibers, Fuzz Family, Julie Asselin — and some that may not be.

Since Petrina, Indie Untangled’s event producer, introduced me to the Scratch folks at Vogue Knitting Live NYC in January, I’ve enjoyed getting to know them and share in their enthusiasm for our amazing indie community (they’ll also be sponsoring the Bingo night that Petrina is hosting the Friday of Indie Untangled Everywhere, which means some great indie prizes!).

Tell me about the decision to open Scratch Supply Co. Did you ever think you’d own a yarn shop?

Not really! We didn’t even decide to open a yarn shop at first — we started as a multipurpose craft store with a handwork makerspace in the basement.

When we first opened the doors, we barely had any yarn at all. We had like two shelves with 40 skeins of yarn total and some hopeful shade card boxes — and we were SO proud of those two shelves. The best thing you could say about us was that we were scrappy. If you wanted to knit a sweater you could make something with stripes or wait for us to order a sweater’s quantity of one color. We were trying! Fortunately for us, our enthusiasm resonated with the knitting community, and they stuck with us through this awkward period while we found our footing, fine-tuned our offerings, and started stocking a full range of colorways in quantities large enough to make something bigger than a hat.

Over the last four years we’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to create a welcoming and inspiring space, and grow — with our amazing community of makers — into the LYS we were meant to be.

A bathtub full of yarn.

What you each of you do before you became yarn shop owners and how do you think it informs what you bring to the business?

The three of us met after Travis and Jessica moved to Connecticut after Travis left the Marine Corps. Jessica opened a small bakery and Travis and Karen met while they were enrolled in a PhD program in Comparative Literature.

We all have experience with research and working independently, and we’ve all been teachers in some capacity at some point. Jessica has previous experiencing running a retail shop, Karen has a background as a freelance writer, and Travis has government training in getting shit done.

We bring a lot of flexibility and a can-do, make-it-work spirit to Scratch. Since we all live together this is truly a family business. We’ve put our hearts into creating a space and a community that reflects who we are, and we like to make the members of our community part of that in any way we can. Our path from idea to execution is lightning-fast — our real area of expertise is in Doing The Thing. (Sometimes the thing is fixing your knitting, sometimes the thing is installing light fixtures, sometimes the thing is finding a way to keep our community connected during a pandemic.)

Why did you choose the dyers and brands that you carry?

First and foremost, we fill our shop with the yarns that we want to knit with! We have a carefully-curated selection that is constantly evolving. We are committed to supporting small makers and small mills, and providing our community access to with quality materials that they won’t find in just any LYS. We are enthusiastic about working with talented people in our industry whether they are established or just starting out. The fiber industry is diverse, and we believe that the dyers and makers that we work with should reflect that.

For us, there’s no value in filling our shop with yarn that you can get everywhere else. Our favorite thing is when people walk into the shop and announce “You have all the yarns that I follow on Instagram!”

The interior of a yarn shop.

Who are some of your favorite designers?

We love designers who are doing interesting things! It’s cold in New Hampshire so we’re sweater knitters at heart. We love Jessie Mae, Fatimah Hinds, Shay Johnson, Lavanya Patricella, Isabelle Kraemer, Maxim Cyr and Jacqueline Cieslak.

Crochet designers we’re following are Toni Lipsey, Vincent Williams, Twinkie Chan and Stephanie Erin.

Can you talk about any new products the shop is going to carry or special events in the works?

In September we just celebrated our fourth birthday, which is our biggest event of the year and kicks off a wildly-busy fall season!

We’ve been expanding our yarn selection since March to get ready for the long winter. We’ve recently brought in three bases by Julie Asselin, DK and bulky weight yarn from The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers, fresh Spincycle, lace mohair, worsted and fingering-weight yarn from SweetGeorgia Yarns, the Nightshades from Harrisville Designs and two new fingering-weight bases from Junkyarn.

One of the best things about Cast-on Club (our monthly subscription box) is that we always have something amazing on its way to us — every month a different dyer sends us something new and exclusive! Indie Untangled is curating our October box, and in November our featured dyer is Doug Lopez of Knittinbro.

A family in knitwear, with a dog, sits on a sofa.

The Scratch family, including Violet and Scarlet.

When and how did you learn to knit?

Karen learned as a child from her mom, and knit/unknit/reknit a rectangle from the same skein of red Red Heart until she left for college. She couldn’t tell the difference between the right side and the wrong side of her fabric, so she had a strip of masking tape wrapped around the bottom of one of the horrendous plastic straight needles to help her keep it straight. After college she started a post-bacc program with an endless workload. She was living in Philadelphia and there was an amazing LYS right around the corner, so she started obsessively knitting just to hold a finished object in her hands once in a while. (Fortunately by then YouTube had been invented, which gave her the opportunity to increase her skills!)

Jessica learned to knit when she moved to Minnesota for grad school. There was a woman in her program who would knit through seminars, and since she didn’t know anyone and it was very cold, this seemed like a great hobby to take up. She didn’t know that LYSs existed, so she picked up a Susan Bates pamphlet and some bouclé yarn and taught herself how to knit while watching Pulp Fiction on repeat. She had been knitting for three years before she could read a pattern and learned a lot of problem-fixing techniques through trial and error.

Travis doesn’t knit (we’re wearing him down!), but has a lot of opinions about color, fiber content and design.

A letter sign that reads ALLAREWELCOME and @SCRATCHSUPPLYCO in pink and white.

Tell me about each of your most memorable FOs.

The first sweater Karen ever knit for herself was bottom-up with seamed sleeves. She was very excited about knitting it and bought crazy-expensive alpaca yarn that wasn’t really suited to the pattern… it turned into such a fiasco that it’s currently stuffing a dog bed.

In 2011, Jessica promised her mom a sweater. She knit all but one sleeve, and that sweater lived in project bags until it was finally consigned to the bin in 2020. It just wasn’t meant to be… but don’t worry, mom will finally get her sweater this year.

Tell me the projects that are currently on your needles.

Jessica is knitting the Ghost Ranch hat using Dyed in the Wool in Payback and Street Light in Nightshades. It’s the squishy, Halloween-y hat of her dreams!

Karen is working on a gift knit that she’s going to try to keep a surprise so won’t spill the beans on that just yet. She just cast on a Pressed Flowers shawl by designer Amy Christoffers in Juicy DK from The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers.

What to stash this week: Join The Baby-Sitters Knitting Club

Gray yarn atop a book and a box of colorful mini skeins.

Amy of Canon Hand Dyes creates colors inspired by literature, so I was thrilled to learn she was also a fan of The Baby-Sitters Club, a series of books released throughout the ’80s and ’90s that was recently turned into a wonderful Netflix series.

Amy captured the spirit of each character — including entrepreneurial Kristy, shy but mature Mary Anne, artsy Claudia, sophisticated Stacey, hippie Dawn, bookish Mallory and graceful Jessi — in a colorful six-skein mini set and a coordinating neutral.

The yarn is available exclusively through Indie Untangled on Amy’s new Edith Sock, a luxuriously soft 17-micron Superwash Merino that would make the loveliest shawls, including Melanie Berg’s On the Spice Market or Ambah O’Brien’s Lamina Wrap. Preorders are open until October 4 and the yarn will ship at the end of November. 

A blue bag with white alpacas wearing red knitwear.

In anticipation of fall projects, Stephanie of Rock Solid Designs has restocked her super roomy Grace Bags, which can hold up to six skeins of worsted weight yarn. And, yes, it has pockets — four of them, as well as a clear vinyl pouch on the outside. The Grace comes in more than a dozen fun fabrics, including the adorable wildlife pattern pictured here. Take them on your fall travels, whether on a road trip or staying close to home. 

A black bat on a glow in the dark background.

Preorders are open for WeeOnes’ Halloween mystery stitch marker sets! You’ll receive 13 individually-wrapped, hand-sculpted, Halloween-themed stitch markers (including some costumed animals!).

A moss green and dappled pink shawl.

Mary Annarella’s’s latest design, Hope and Feathers, is named for an Emily Dickinson poem and includes some mindless knitting interspersed with simple slip-stitch colorwork. The pattern is 25% off on both Ravelry and Payhip with the code hope2020 through Sunday, or you can get the pattern for free when you sign up for the Lyrical Knits newsletter.

Red yarn with silver and gold stitch markers.

Bonnie of Yank Your Yarn has debuted four stitch marker gift sets, which include a variety of sizes, for sock knitters or those who love quick, chunky projects. Each set contains 25 markers: two sets of 10 markers in different sizes and five movable markers, in a handy storage box.

Stardust Fiber Studio has new bases, a KAL, an Advent Calendar and yarn clubs.

What to stash this week: Yarn with attitude

Skeins of pale pink yarn.

Heather of Sew Happy Jane has embraced the rustic wool trend with her new line of non-Superwash yarn. She’s dyed her new 100% Peruvian Highland Wool in 10 colorways — eight semisolids and two speckled/variegated — that coordinate beautifully, making it perfect for colorwork. At $18 per 246-yard skein, it’s also an inexpensive entree into the world of crunchy yarn. Heather is taking dyed-to-order preorders until May 25.

Dandelions blowing against a blurred green background.

Tomorrow, Stefania and Giulia of Lanivendole are launching orders for their next yarn club/collaboration. The Mind Wanderers Yarn Club is themed around where we go when we get lost in our thoughts while knitting. Each club bundle will include three skeins of their luxurious and local blend of Italian wool, Cashmere and alpaca and two accessories from Italian makers.

A set of gray to green mini skeins of yarn.

Debbie of Murky Depths Dyeworks is evoking the childhood nostalgia of the 64 Crayola box (the one with the sharpener on the back) with her new mini skein sets. Each set includes five 80-yard skeins of Deep Sock, perfect for colorwork hats, fingerless mitts or as sweater accents. Debbie is also offering 15% off, using code CXL15.

A green box bag with pictures of honey.

If your Startitis is flaring up, house your new WIPs in one of Rock Solid Designs’ new project bags! There are sweet honeybees and cheerful yellow poppies to get us in the mood for our socially-distanced spring, as well as reminders of the travels in our future.

Gray yarn with orange mini skeins.

Heather of Pumpkins and Wool has launched her new Sock Kits, featuring one 463-yard skein and one 92-yard mini in a super soft Superwash Merino/nylon blend.

Skeins of sage speckled yarn.

Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns’ next update, taking place on Monday at 1 p.m. UK time, will include a summer-ready restock of laceweight yarns, including Titus Lace (Merino/silk) and Askham Lace (baby alpaca/silk).

A woman models a gold crocheted sweater on the cover of Modern Lace Italian Crochet.

Karen Whooley’s new book, Modern Italian Lace Crochet, will be released on June 2 and you can preorder it now. The book includes 10 new crochet designs inspired by her Italian heritage.

What to stash this week: Colors from nature

Pale blue and green yarn.

Caroline of The Noble Thread has caught the natural dyeing bug and recently released her first collection of entirely naturally-dyed yarns. As she’s based in North Carolina, the collection is locally inspired by the colors of the coastal Southeast: pinky-peach azaleas (swoon) and sea-foam blues and greens. 

Fantastic Socks over a black and white skein of yarn.

Here’s where to find some fantastic socks: Sign-ups open March for AnnieDot Creative’s new yarn club, inspired by Newt Scamander (the fictional English wizard and author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them). The year-long club starts shipping in April.

Neon speckled yarn.

Aimee of Pancake and Lulu has been having regular mini shop updates. The most recent one included colorways called Funfetti, Dark Fairy and Raspberry Truffle.

A blue and green lacy shawl with a silver shawl pin.

Get 25% off individual patterns or the ebook for Michelle’s Go Anywhere collection, inspired by Reading Rainbow, with the code INDIELOVE.

What to stash this week: Sound travels

A snowy forest and green yarn.

I’m excited to debut the latest installment of Knitting Our National Parks from Once Upon a Corgi. Gabby was inspired by a photo of a snowstorm at Sequoia National Park taken by Ian Beckley. She calls her colorway Quiescence: the state of being temporarily quiet like the forest during and after a fresh snow storm.

Quiescence will be dyed on Marie Cutie, a 75/25 blend of Superwash Corriedale and nylon, and available to preorder on Indie Untangled until February 21. As always, 10% of sales will be donated to the National Park Foundation. Gabby is dyeing a limited number of skeins, so make sure to order early if you want to snag one!

Handspun look yarn with shades of purple.

Spots are open in Brooke of Fully Spun’s 2020 REMIX subscription club. For this club, Brooke takes an existing colorway of Fully Spun Sock Fingering, which is hand dyed and custom milled, and gives it a remix to make it look like new!

Purple yarn.

Giulia and Stefania of Lanivendole are having their first shop update of 2020 and have their web shop stocked with skeins of A Heavenly Blend. The appropriately-named base is made with Giulia’s own homegrown Cashmere, along with Aquilana wool and Italian alpaca. The update also includes two new colorways: Zafferano, a dark caramel, and Scirocco, a cold slate blue.

Purple, pink, green and yellow yarn.

Selena of Sweater Sisters has listed 17 colors of her Wayfarer fingering (80% extra fine Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% nylon) and nine colorways of Snow City Yarns SOCK (60% extra fine Merino, 20% baby alpaca, 20% nylon) in her shop.

Bags with Wonder Woman fabric.

Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios is celebrating her birthday with a collection of superheroes! The update goes live today at 9 a.m. PST.

Gray and teal tweedy yarn.

Julia of Pandia’s Jewels is having a shop update tomorrow at 10 a.m. EST with a variety of Outlander-inspired colors both new and revised, available on several different fingering bases and a few on DK. These are limited-edition colors, with only a few in stock.

Skeins of green yarn.

The next hand-dyed yarn update from Eden Cottage Yarns goes live tomorrow at 5 p.m. UK time. The update will include Bowland DK, Pendle Aran and the final installment of the Four Seasons Collection, a collaboration with Jayalakshmi of Apoorva Designs.

What to stash this week: Showing love

 An African American, plus-sized woman with curly hair and a petite Caucasian woman with a pixie cut model matching navy T-shirts.

This Valentines Day, let’s celebrate our fiber friends! ⁣

Many of us got into the fiber arts because of our love of pretty yarn and all the things we could make with it. But we stayed for the friendships. They’re the friends who don’t roll their eyes when you decide to drop $40 on yet another skein of hand-dyed — in fact, they’ll buy one too so you can save on shipping — and who will literally give you the shawl off their back when you’re going through a rough patch. ⁣

To celebrate our fiber friendships, I’m offering a B2G2 deal: buy two Fiber Friends Selfie T-shirts — one for you and one for a friend — and get two Fiber Friends Selfie enamel pins free! ⁣

Sizing runs from XS-4X. The promotion runs until February 14 or while supplies last.

Dyesigner Alliance promotion.

The first session of the DyeSigner Alliance brings together yarn in a custom colorway from Silbia Ro of Camellia Fiber Co., also of Nashville, and an original design from Colorado-based Dawn Henderson (Dawn.Landix on Ravelry and Instagram). There will also be a special gift from Nutmeg Fiber Arts. Sign-ups for Session 1 are open until February 7.

Sadly, Dawn recently lost her husband, Ahmad. If you’re not in a position to support her work via the DyeSigner Alliance, or would like to help further, the fiber community has come together to organize a GoFundMe campaign to assist Dawn and her family during this difficult time.⁣

Purple and pink yarn with the word love spelled in rope.

Aimee of Pancake and Lulu has been dyeing up some new colorways for Valentine’s Day, including Love Letter, a speckled pinks and fuchsia available on several bases.

An orange bag.

Sara of La Cave à Laine’s original Origami bags are back in her shop. These are incredibly light bags made of sturdy cotton that are completely washable. And there’s a special promotion for Indie Untangled readers: with each project bag you will receive a set of Sara’s skull stitch markers!

Gray yarn with pink, teal and yellow speckles.

Starting tomorrow, Heather of Sew Happy Jane is raising money for Down Syndrome International. $4 from the purchase of each skein of her Agate Beach colorway on any base will go to improving the lives of individuals with Down Syndrome.

Outlander Unclub promotion.

Sign-ups for Round 1 of the Inner Yarn Zen Outlander Unclub are now open! These packages include one skein of hand-painted Superwash fingering weight yarn and a commissioned crafted Padded Zipper bag using Outlander Tartan fabric from Linda’s Thimble.

Pins that say Frog Queen and  Yarnaholic.

Want to join the Purl Scouts? Augusta of AD Knits has designed a series of merit badges for knitters! Earn your Yarnaholic badge or your Frog Queen badge, plus check out some more new goodies in her shop.

Packages wrapped in pink and kraft tissue paper.

The first Crafty Flutterby 2020 Mystery Box is all about love. These kits include a charm bracelet, a Key To Happiness progress keeper set, and Flutterby stitch markers and end minders in exclusive colors.

What to stash this week: winter mystery

A white flower in snow for the Crystalline Snowdrop mystery knit along

If you’re in a casting on state of mind, and also want to enter to win some free yarn, join in on Mona Zillah’s Crystalline Snowdrop MKAL for February.

Crystalline Snowdrop is a semicircular shawl featuring a lace and mesh motif. It can be knit in two sizes with one or two skeins — the mystery samples use Lunaris, a sparkly Merino/Cashmere/Stellina yarn from Anzula Luxury Fibers. If you join the KAL and post your FO on Instagram or Ravelry, you can enter to win Anzula yarn!

Silbia Ro of Camellia Fiber Co. and designer Dawn Henderson.

Meg of Nutmeg Fibers is launching the DyeSigner Alliance, a tri-annual collaboration between her, a dyer and a designer. Session 1, which ships in April, features Nashville dyer Silbia Ro of Camellia Fiber Co. and Denver-based designer Dawn Henderson, who goes by dawn.landix on Ravelry and Instagram.

What to stash this week: Mount Rainier retreat and a post-Christmas sale

Indie Untangled Knitting Our National Parks Mount Rainier Reatreat

Since I kicked off the Knitting Our National Parks series in 2017, it seemed only natural to organize a retreat that incorporated a visit to one of the magnificent U.S. parks. I’m excited to let you know that registration is now open for Indie Untangled’s first retreat, which will be held from May 28-31 at Wellspring Spa, near Mount Rainier in Washington State.

A collage with winter flowers, cherry blossoms, a blue put over a campfire and the Manhattan Bridge.

You have until the end of 2019 to sign up for next year’s Indie Untangled Where We Knit Yarn Club and sample from among several talented indie dyers (including yours truly!) and four designers.

Purple yarn

Sue of Invictus Yarns is bidding farewell to 2019 with an automatic 20% discount on all in-stock items through December 31.

What to stash this week: yarn by the sea

White hands hold blue and gray colorwork knitting.

If you’re interested in getting a sample of one of my favorite discoveries from Barcelona Knits, Stefania and Giulia of Lanivendole are opening preorders today for a special yarn club called BY THE SEA. For this one-package club, they are dyeing 200 grams of a new blend of Italian Wool and alpaca in an exclusive colorway, and including two accessories, from Marianna of isewsoidontkillpeople and Alice & Eleonora of Last One Stones. 

The kits will be listed in the Lanivendole shop at 5 p.m. CEST (that’s 10 a.m. Eastern) and will be open until January 20, or until they’re sold, with shipping in early February.

A pink drawstring bag with Mister Rogers quotes and images.

We need a little Mister Rogers in our lives, now more than ever, so it’s fitting that Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios is ending the year with one of her most requested fabrics of 2019. This tribute to our favorite neighbor will go live in the Slipped Stitch Studios shop today at 9 a.m. Pacific Time and orders will ship today and Monday.

A dragonfly in amber in a silver shawl pin on a skein of gray yarn.

Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations is celebrating the new year with dragonfly shawl pins in new colors.

A Hanukka menorah with rainbow skeins of yarn.

The Indie Untangled Eight Nights of Hanukkah Kits have shipped, which means there are some extra goodies available! Shop the Indie Untangled Hanukkah shop before the first candle is lit on Sunday. Orders made today through Sunday will ship out on Monday and should arrive before the end of the holiday, depending on where you’re located. (If you purchased a kit, don’t click the link and spoil your surprise, though there are Spoiler Alert photos just in case!)

An otter with gray and brown yarn.

Today is the last day to preorder the otterly adorable Knitting Our National Parks colorway from Kim of The Woolen Rabbit.

Skeins of pink wool and mohair yarn.

Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns is having a special update planned for this Tuesday, with some Titus 4ply, a Merino and silk blend, Eldwick Lace mohair and silk and some Hayton DK MCN. This random assortment supports an upcoming pattern release that is expected to be quite popular.

First quarter signups are open for October House Fiber Arts’ 2020 Sock Club and the theme is “Souvenir de Paris.”

What to stash this week: The fifth element

Water with ripples and a reflection.

Christy of Les Belles Lainages loves seeing a person’s interpretation of color from a photo brought to life in fiber, and she is doing just that with her Elements yarn club. She’s using colorful photos of the four elements — air, earth, water and fire — as inspiration for a four-month club starting in January. Each month subscribers will receive two full skeins of extra fine Merino fingering, one that’s a variegated/speckled colorway and a coordinating tonal/solid, along with a fun gift.

Sign-ups are open until January 10 or until the club sells out.

A pattern wallet with cartoon sheep.

Set your alarms for today at 9 a.m. Pacific time, to snag products from a special re-release of Slipped Stitch Studio customer-favorite knitting and sheep-y fabrics!

A yellow crocheted shawl with the words Shawls on the side.

It’s time that you learned to crochet. And if you’re going to the Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat (formerly Madrona) in February, Karen is teaching six crochet classes!

An otter with gray and brown yarn.

Kim of The Woolen Rabbit’s otterly adorable Everybody Otter Knit colorway, inspired by an otter in the Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge, is available to preorder online until next Friday, December 20. As always, 10% of sales will be donated to the National Park Foundation.