What to stash this week: because it’s not Rhinebeck yet

July’s Spirit Trail Fiberworks subscriber inspiration colorways are based on a photo sent to Jennifer by Amy (the podcaster behind Hudson Valley Knits) of bits of colored glass — I guess it’s river glass? — she’s found on her walks along the Hudson River. River Walk is a subtle speckle of the glass colors on a soft gray background, Bottle Glass is a light blue reminiscent of the little bit of blue in the photo, and Beach Treasure is a soft amethyst-pink. The three colorways are available on the Dyed-to-Order page of the Spirit Trail Fiberworks website until July 25.

Crafty Flutterby Creations’ Go Anywhere Club is inspired by Reading Rainbow (and there’s no yarn involved, so it’s totally Stash Guilt Free!). Each month’s shipment includes an exclusive shawl pin, a new knitting pattern with yarn suggestions and bonus goodies. Sign-ups close July 27.

It’s raining cats and dogs — again! — at Slipped Stitch Studios. This limited collection goes live today at 9 a.m. Pacific time.

Check out the Sheep Squeezer bags from One Sock Wonder and get free U.S. shipping.

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: 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.

Untangling SweaterFreak Knits

While I tend to discover most designers and patterns on Ravelry, I actually learned about Jenny of SweaterFreak Knits via Instagram. I was drawn to her modern, clean aesthetic and the use of subtle speckles in many of her shawls.

Despite her name, I approached her about pairing up with Nicole of Hue Loco to design a one-skein accessory pattern for the Indie Untangled Where We Knit yarn club. The result was Nicole’s Chelsea Park Cowl, a lovely shawl/cowl hybrid that looks so easy to throw on with a spring outfit. It is now available to purchase by non-club members.

Read on to learn more about Jenny’s career as a designer and about how the cowl got its name.

How did you decide to become a designer?

It happened organically. I have always preferred to knit things out of my head and after plenty of encouragement from Ravelry community, I started writing up the instructions to my ideas which became patterns.

Is there anything from your software developer side that transfers over to design?

Actually, it’s a great question and the answer is yes! Software development is all about planning and details which is very similar to knitwear design. The math behind grading requires quite a bit of focus and attention to detail. Similarly, writing the pattern is akin to writing code – both essentially are a list of instructions. You will find that many designers were involved in tech before they started designing because it really does employ the same part of the brain.

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

My very first project after a long hiatus was a sweater. Wanting specific sweaters really was the reason that I picked up the needles again. This was back in 2006 and in 2007 Ravelry made its debut. I chose SweaterFreak as my nick and of course I had no idea I will end designing knitwear! In 2011 when I released my first pattern, I considered changing the moniker but since so many people knew me already I decided to keep it.

Jenny’s latest pattern, White Light.


When and how did you learn to knit?

I learned how to knit in 1985 when I was 7 years old. My maternal grandmother, Rivkah, taught me and I liked it right away. She was an avid crafter and actually preferred to crochet but she taught me both. We also share total love for yarn! She had a sizable stash and I grew up with lots of fabric and yarn around me. Most of my family two generations back were dress makers so I feel that making clothes with my hands is really something I am meant to be doing.

Tell me about what inspires your designs.

It’s a bit of everything – sometimes I get a particular idea in my head, maybe from seeing it somewhere or just something I have wanted for awhile. I love browsing fashion magazines and see the clothing evolve. My personal favorite decade is the ‘60s which has lots of different elements – classic tailored pieces as well as boho-hippie style ones. I love both equally. Often times, the yarn itself starts everything in motion. For example, when you touch hearty unprocessed wool, you think fair isle.

The Vegas top.

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

The first step is to sketch it. This usually gives me a good idea of what garment or accessory is going to look like, what kind of shaping it will involve. Sometimes, I use colored pencils to sketch, if the design is colorful.

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

My absolutely favorite color is blue – all shades of it, except periwinkle. It hasn’t really changed. I also love various shades of grey, green and natural. Lately, I have really gotten into yellow and mustard colors – they just look so smashing with grey!

Jenny’s most popular pattern is her Everyday Shawl.

Where is your favorite place to knit?

Definitely outside, either in the park (closest to me is Chelsea Park!) or on the beach, or even my backyard! Somehow the combination of fresh air, warm wind and wool in my lap equals heaven. I could do this forever!

What to stash this week: A yarn of ice and fire

Brooke of Fully Spun — who dyes wool roving in a repeating pattern, then sends it off to a mill that creates yarn with a handspun look — recently collaborated with Francoise Danoy of Aroha Knits. She designed two patterns for the latest issue of her Fiber Muse quarterly magazine using two of Brooke’s colorways, Ice Dreamer and Fire Dreamer.

If coffeecoffeecoffee or teateatea is your crafting mantra, then head on over to the Slipped Stitch Studios shop. Laura has a selection of caffeinated project bags and accessories to perk you right up. 

Sheila of BigFootFibers has created new colorways for the spring, including Gloriana, pictured above, which is inspired by the BBC’s Victoria. It’s currently available on a Superwash BFL/nylon blend.

Sarah of Knittyandcolor has restocked her shop with Supernova, one of her super popular colorways. The speckled rainbow is available on three sock yarn bases as well as DK and worsted.

Deb’s latest design, Amid the Snow, is a two-color, corrugated-rib pattern with a few simple left-cross and right-cross cables thrown in for interest.

Untangling MK Nance

Designer MK Nance first popped on my radar (AKA the Indie Untangled Marketplace) at the end of 2014. Since she tends to design her accessory patterns with indie-dyed yarn, she was a perfect fit for the website and also for the Where We Knit Yarn Club, in which I pair together dyers and designers, who collaborate on an exclusive colorway and one-skein pattern.

For last year’s club, Nance bended the rules slightly and used two half skeins of Three Fates Yarn Terra Sock to create not one, but two patterns with a two-color cable design that has become her trademark. The Crystal Springs cowl and Jenkins hat are now available to purchase. I recently asked Nance to tell me a little bit more about her work and inspiration.

How did you decide to become a designer?

I just did! The first pattern I wrote was because I couldn’t find a pattern that I needed to make and friends’ friends asked me to make it for them so I wrote the pattern up and said I would teach them. Two dyers, Three Fates Yarn and The Periwinkle Sheep, both suggested I just do it.

What did you do before becoming a designer and how does it inform your design work?

The first thing I ever designed was a scarf was my sophomore year of high school, so I had not really done anything at that point. I studied anthropology and middle eastern studies in college. After that I lived in NYC, Cairo, and Portland, Oregon. Many names and motifs are inspired by where I have been or studied.

When and how did you learn to knit?

Mrs. Struk, my first and second grade teacher, kept me in during recess until I learned how to tie my shoes. That didn’t work so she took my mother aside and told her I needed better eye hand coordination, so knitting or crochet would be good to learn. As my mother can’t crochet she taught me how to knit. My shoes are never tied still (I can tie them now) but I have knitting in my purse, car and everywhere.

Tell me about what inspires your designs.

Honestly, if I knew I would have an easier time coming up with names.

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

If it will be self published, I’ll pull out the yarn and start painting stitches using my graphing program.

If it for a call for a third party publisher, I’ll pull up the mood board and paint stitches.

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

My favorite colors have not changed. I do use color differently, I once loved lace and variegated colorway but now I’ll use busier yarns with a solid with stranding or mosaic.

You recently published your first sweater design in Twist Collective. Do you plan to design more garments?

Absolutely! I am planning on releasing at least three more cardigans this year. I may also have a few pullover ideas bouncing around my head.

Where is your favorite place to knit?

I have two. Farina’s is a little bakery in Portland with great light, food, and the staff/owner are great people. Home is my other favorite place with my dog literally under foot.

What to stash this week: Love and color

In 2015, my friend Alisa launched KitSpinQuilt, selling her handmade project bags and stitch markers, many with a geeky bent, and donating 30% of the purchase price to charitable causes. Since Alisa is a grad student on a limited budget, she decided this was the best way to give back. This year, your purchases from KitSpinQuilt will benefit the Hispanic Federation‘s Puerto Rico disaster relief efforts, helping the 40% of the island that still lacks electricity.

You should have what she’s having. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Kate of McMullin Fiber Co. is collaborating with charm maker Little Bitty Delights on yarn and stitch marker sets that celebrate three famous couples. Pictured here is her tribute to Harry Burns and Sally Albright from When Harry Met Sally. The colorways are inspired by their outfits during a reunion in the Personal Growth section of NYC’s Shakespeare & Co. bookstore (notice where the strawberry ice cream is…). Click the pic to see the other inspirations.

Sign-ups for the Spirit Trail Fiberworks Cosmic Color Club are now open! Jennifer offers yarn and sweater clubs and all the colorways — a mix of tonal solids and subtle speckles — are completely exclusive to members. Jennifer also has two new six-skein gradient speckle kits ready to ship, the beautiful result of a dye mistake. They are dyed on her Birte base, her DK weight Superwash Merino, Cashmere, and silk blend. Pictured above is her favorite, Crystal Cave.

I got to glimpse the yarn from Undercover Otter at VKL last week and I’m thrilled to welcome dyer Petra to IU! She’s doing preorders of her 40-plus repeatable colorways on three fingering-weight bases, but only through this Sunday.

Amanda of Crabapple Yarns, another IU newcomer, just had a shop update with a bunch of new speckled and tonal colorways that are perfect for combining. She also has a new base called Keen Sock, a wonderfully soft blend of 75% Superwash Merino and 25% nylon.

This third new girl, Sarah of Knittyandcolor, reintroduced her blazingly bright Ain’t It Fun colorway, which is her antidote to winter and ode to the band Paramore. It’s available on three different sock bases.

Karen of Round Table Yarns will be releasing at least a dozen new legends of King Arthur-inspired self-striping colorways in the coming months. The first two, Courtly Love and The Underwater Bridge, are now available.

What to stash this week: yarn deadlines

In honor of the new year, I’m offering 20% off all in-stock items in the Post-Rhinebeck Pop-up with the code INDIENEWYEAR. This includes a few kits with Jill Draper’s exclusive Knitting Our National Parks colorways along with a code to download Kirsten Kapur’s stunning Joshua Tree Cowl (because most of us would love to be in the California desert right about now…). The discount runs ‪through January 15‬.

Today is the last day to guarantee your skeins of Aimée’s Automne à Rhinebeck on both Merino Singles (pictured above) and Merino DK! Aimée is sending me her shipment right after the new year, so preorder today to make sure your yarn is in one of the big boxes I’m expecting from Paris in a couple of weeks.

You have ‪until Sunday‬ to get four exclusive colorways from four indie dyers based on these picturesque locations, and patterns to go with them.

Next year, four indie dyer/designer teams — Hue Loco & SweaterFreak Knits, Pandia’s Jewels & C.C. Almon, Little Fox Yarn & Caitlin Hunter and Dark Harbour Yarn & Amy van de Laar — will collaborate on an exclusive colorway and accessory pattern inspired by the places they knit.

What to stash this week: yarn from A to Z

Need to get warm in a hurry? Jennifer of Spirit Trail Fiberworks has you covered, from Aurora to Zaftig. Zaftig is Jennifer’s new singly-ply super bulky base, made with 100% 20.5 fine Merino (non Superwash), which she dyed in a variety of speckled colorways. For those of you not on any kind of deadline, there’s also Aurora, a new 100% Superwash Merino single-ply fingering. Jennifer has dyed them on beautiful speckles, coordinating semisolids and on the six-skein Gray Scale kit that was super popular at Rhinebeck — and as of “press time” there’s only one available. 

If you love the Asylum Fibers OOAK chaos colors, you’ll go crazy for the Asylum Fibers Madness of the Month color club in 2018. For this non-subscription club, you sign up the month before and choose between a fingering weight yarn or another heavier base. The next month you get a surprise color! Sign-ups for the January club close Dec. 27 at 9 a.m. EST.

You have until midnight Eastern time tonight to preorder Sandra of Duck Duck Wool’s stunning Glaciers and Wildflowers colorway for the Indie Untangled Knitting Our National Parks project! 

Brianne and Maureen of I Would Dye 4U are having a shop update tomorrow at 10 a.m. and introducing new colors. Not only is Purple Rain a tribute to one of the greatest artists, but it’s on trend, as Pantone’s color of the year is Ultra Violet.

The Bijou Basin Ranch holiday sale runs through tomorrow. They’ll be including free project kits — the Slouchy Bliss Hat kit, Little Bear Poncho kit or Leonarda Shawl kit — with qualifying orders above $100. Plus, all U.S. orders ship free!

Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios has all of us Star Wars geeks covered with special bags that go on sale today at 9 a.m. Pacific time. Set your clocks, because these are sure to sell fast.

Next year, four indie dyer/designer teams — Hue Loco & SweaterFreak Knits, Pandia’s Jewels & C.C. Almon, Little Fox Yarn & Caitlin Hunter and Dark Harbour Yarn & Amy van de Laar — will collaborate on an exclusive colorway and accessory pattern inspired by the places they knit for the 2018 Indie Untangled Where We Knit Yarn Club. Sign-ups run through Dec. 31. If you’re looking for a yarny Christmas gift that doesn’t need to be shipped, this is perfect!

You have just one more week to preorder Aimée’s Indie Untangled exclusive Automne à Rhinebeck on Merino Singles and Merino DK!

What to stash this week: Literary spark

Attention bibliophiles: You need to join this yarn club. Kate of McMullin Fiber Co. is kicking of her year-long Literary Society next month with Pride and Prejudice and ending with Little Women (click the link to see the full reading list). This is a very flexible club with a mix of semisolids, variegated colorways and speckles inspired by the classics. You can choose one, three, six, nine or all 12 shipments, and you get a choice of light yarns or heavier weights. Pick your, or a friend’s, favorite book for the perfect gift!

Rebecca of Fuse Fiber Studio recently had her final shop update of 2017. While some of her popular colorways have already sold out, there are still a few you can snag, like Pearls, pictured above on her Merino Singles base. Also look out for her Golden Girls-inspired Lanai on Fuse Merino DK.

MJ of Cat Sandwich Fibers just had a shop update with a bunch of new OOAK colorways. She is also launching her 2018 Monthly Mystery Sock Club, a commitment-free club. There will be a mystery sock-along — with prizes! — to go along with it.

Save 15% on Himalayan Summit and 100% Yak Sport weight yarn from Bijou Basin Ranch this week only, no coupon code needed.

Along with her single skeins, Marian of Marianated Yarns offers a three-month yarn club subscription that is available in several bases and in either tonal or variegated “Marianades,” as she calls her colorways. Membership comes with some great perks: each shipment includes a goodie and a Marianette mini-skein in variegated if your subscription is tonal or vice versa. There’s also free shipping on the rest of your yarn orders during your subscription, plus 10% off the colors of the month. Club sign-ups are open until December 20, with the first shipment going out the first week of January. 

Here’s a view from above of the DK version of Sandra’s stunning Glaciers and Wildflowers colorway, inspired by the natural beauty of Glacier National Park in Montana. It’s available to preorder only through next Friday!

This is just one of the fabulous projects from this year’s Indie Untangled Where We Knit Yarn Club. Last February, the inimitable Anne Hanson teamed up with Kim of The Woolen Rabbit to create this stunning rose red colorway and a cowl/scarf design called Shared Rib. You can expect exciting collaborations like this if you sign up for the 2018 club.

Next year, four indie dyer/designer teams — Hue Loco & SweaterFreak Knits, Pandia’s Jewels & C.C. Almon, Little Fox Yarn & Caitlin Hunter and Dark Harbour Yarn & Amy van de Laar — will collaborate on an exclusive colorway and accessory pattern inspired by the places they knit. Sign-ups run through Dec. 31.

Wild Hair Studio has three new fiber and yarn clubs launching in 2018.