What to stash this week: Fall pairings

Kate and her crew at Dragonfly Fibers are gearing up for a busy fall, with New York Sheep and Wool, SAFF, STITCHES SoCal (they’ll be featured there on the Yarnover Truck there) and local trunk shows. They’ve also prepared some amazing kits for Andrea Mowry’s The Throwback and Catherine Clark’s Ixchel Pullover. And, they’re giving back: above is a new colorway, called Carolina, and 25% of their sales through December will go to the organization Global Giving, which is helping with Hurricane Florence relief, among many other projects.

Marian of Marianated Yarns has collaborated with Carolyn Bloom of of Bloom Handmade Studio on Marilyn’s Cowl and Hat, which are both knit holding multiple strands of different yarns: two strands of Marianated Yarns Ava Lace together with one strand of Aerie (mohair/silk lace) and one strand from an MCN gradient set. Marian has made kits available in several different colors and a KAL will be held in Carolyn’s Ravelry group starting October 8.

Marian has also collaborated with Katy Carroll of Katinka Designs in celebration of Knitmas. There are two Knitmas kits, one for a shawl and one for a poncho, available for preorder.

Designer Barbara Benson collaborated with The Fiber Seed on Every Witch Way, an innovative lace shawl that uses a single skein of yarn. A two-panel, top-down triangle version uses yarn with one of The Fiber Seed’s dye techniques, while the three-panel, 3/4 square version uses another.

Kate of McMullin Fiber Co. has opened signups for the Jane Eyre installment of the McMullin Fiber Co. Literature Society. Single dose packages will contain one skein of yarn and some extra goodies inspired by the novel, while double dose packages come with two skeins.

Woodsy and Wild’s new Sapling bag and Maple tote are perfect for winter accessory knitting and sweater knitting/fiber festival season! Both will be in Shannon’s shop this Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations has updated her shop with a collection of shawl pins perfect for keeping your latest hand knit in place on crisp fall evenings.

Winter is coming… so get your Sheep Squeezers. Nicole of One Sock Wonder Bags has limited quantities of Sheep Squeezers, which hold your yarn cakes in place, with a Game of Thrones-inspired design by Bulgarian artist Karamfila Siderova.

Heather Anderson’s Knitting in the City KAL kicks off October 1 and includes seven city-themed patterns: four shawls, two cowls and a pair of mittens. The latest pattern, Amsterdam Canals Cowl, is 25% off through Sunday.

My Mama Knits has a new set of Halloween colorways, including the newest addition to her Scottish Myths and Legends series, The Gorbals Vampire. Her Advent calendars have also started shipping out.

Canon Hand Dyes is now taking preorders for Outlander minis sets.

Samantha Guerin has released Eastern Glow, a crescent shawl that uses two skeins of fingering weight yarn.

Introducing Indie Untangled newcomer Humble Pie Design.

Pre-Rhinebeck Untangling: PostStitch

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

We knitters have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to sources for indie yarn. If you’re up for surprises, a subscription box is a great opportunity to try out a new dyer or small yarn company.

PostStitch is one of the ideal ways to discover new dyers, and Megan Graddy puts together some fantastic finds, including Indie Untangled dyers such as JunkYarn, Marianated Yarns and Circus Tonic Handmade.

How and when did PostStitch get started?

My mom had worked in knit shops for as long as I can remember and she always loved helping customers pick out new projects, even me who lived 500 miles away. Surprise projects from her were such a thrill to receive. Not only did I not have to drive an hour to my local yarn shop, but I didn’t have to agonize over what to buy once I got there. Plus, my mom was always sending me the latest and greatest yarn.

In 2014, we launched PostStitch to bring this yarny joy to other knitters. We want to expose knitters to yarns they may not have access to and encourage them to knit something they may not ordinarily knit, so that they can experience their craft in a new way.

How do you decide on which dyers to include in your subscription boxes?

We love discovering a new yarn or rediscovering an old favorite and sharing it with our members. There’s no set formula as to how we pick a yarn for one of our kits. We like to vary the weight, blend, and style of the fiber from month to month while choosing yarns that aren’t widely accessible or too commonplace. We follow trends on Instagram and Ravelry, and go to TNNA and other retail shows to find the yarn we feature. We also love when a dyer reaches out to us directly. We have found some of our favorite yarns that way.

Are the patterns designed exclusively for PostStitch, already published or a mix of both?

We don’t have a set formula when it comes to choosing a pattern. We like to keep our projects seasonal, small so they can be started and finished within the month, and complementary of the yarn we’re using. We also like to challenge our members to learn a new skill, while still keeping the project doable and fun for all skill levels.

We may fall in love with a pattern that is a few years old, discover one through a pattern distributor, use a pattern the dyer has written, or collaborate on a new design with a designer we have met at Vogue Knitting Live. We make it a point to use a mix of designers and feature patterns that are not super popular or free. It’s all about delivering something “new” to our subscribers.

Can you talk about any new dyers or designers you’re planning to work with?

Sure… as long as you don’t go dropping spoilers to our subscribers in our Ravelry group! While they might not necessarily be new dyers or designers (but possibly new to our subscribers), we’re anxious to connect our knitters with two fiber brands in particular – Emma’s Yarn, who we met at one of our Florida yarn shops, and Idaho-based Palouse Yarn Company, who we met at a Vogue Knitting Live event. We were also thrilled to meet a couple of designers on the floor at TNNA who will be designing new patterns for us – Ellen Thomas of The Chilly Dog and Jennifer Dassau of The Knitting Vortex.

Which subscription that you offer is the most popular?

We have three subscription types – KnitStitch (with Big, Middie and Lite customization options), SockStitch, and Notions Box. Our KnitStitch Big subscription is our original and most popular. It features a one- to two-skein accessory project with printed pattern, yarn, needles from ChiaoGoo, and notions. It’s everything you need to knit a project start to finish. But our newest subscription kit – the Notions Box – is quickly becoming a favorite. It’s perfect for those who have too many WIPs or an overwhelming stash. Our Notions Box delivers unique notions that we hope will inspire you to knit more efficiently (or have more fun) as you work through your WIPs.

When and how did you learn to knit?

My mom taught me how to knit in 2000 when I was a senior in high school. I had been a competitive swimmer for most of my life, but when an injury sidelined me, I had a lot of time to fill. My mom taught me the basics and I absorbed all I could from the women around the table at the shop she worked. It would have been nice to have YouTube tutorials available, but there is something special about in-person lessons and learning the different quirks and hacks of seasoned knitters.

Do you enjoy any other crafts in addition to knitting?

Currently, the only other “craft” in my life is cleaning up the crayons, paint, and paper scraps of my three girls (they’re 6, 4, and 1) who we call our interns, but have big plans to learn how to crochet and weave. One day!

Tell me about your most memorable FO.

This is like asking a parent to pick their favorite kid! We have knit so many memorable projects, but our most beloved will probably be Ysolda Teague’s Scroll Lace Shawl that we paired with Luna Grey Fiber Arts’ Zeta yarn. It was the project that we featured in our very first kit back in 2014 and to say we knit picked over every little detail would be an understatement. But, in the end, it was so well received and we wear that cozy, soft shawl with lots of pride.

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.