Yarn

Done Roving

Before COVID, back when we traveled and visited yarn stores in person, I stumbled upon a lovely dyer twice while in Maine.  In one calendar year, I visited Maine twice, and both times, bought yarn from Done Roving.  Yes, I loved this yarn enough to buy it twice!  I’d never heard of Done Roving previously so it’s great fun to tell you about them today!   Done Roving is dyed by Paula in Maine – and she comes up with stunning colorways! Bases Done Roving is available on many bases, including… Stepping Out (Lace – 80/20) Frolicking Feet (Light Fingering – 100% Merino) Frolicking Feet Transitions (Gradient) (Light Fingering – 100% Merino) Fundy Footsee (Fingering – 80/20) Frolicking Feet DK (100% Merino) DK Gradient Transitions (100% Merino) Gussied Up (Worsted – 100% Merino) Elegant Ewe (Worsted – 60% Merino/40% Silk) Availability Done Roving is available in yarn stores and has a great online presence.   Ease of Shopping The Done Roving website is easy to use and navigate.  Paula offers many kits on the website, which is always helpful. Shipping Costs When you buy Done Roving from the dyer’s website, shipping is reasonable.  This yarn is also popping up in local yarn shops across the country so be sure to check with yours – or do a search online.  Conclusion Paula dyes gorgeous colorways and I can’t wait to see her yarn in person again, in a yarn store!  Be sure to follow Done Roving on social media to see what all Paula is dyeing! 

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Done Roving

Ancient Arts Yarn

About two years ago, I stumbled upon yarn from Ancient Arts in a lovely yarn shop in south Texas.  At the time, I had no idea that this yarn came all the way from Canada – Calgary, to be exact.  Caroline Sommerfeld is the Master Dyer behind so many of Ancient Arts’ fabulous colors.  And the best part: all of their fibers are ethically sourced and milled.   Bases Ancient Arts comes in several bases, including… Socknado – Fingering (80/20) Lascaux Fine – Fingering (75% Punta/25% Manx Loaghtan) Little Nettle Soft – Fingering (68% Merino/32% Other) Nettle Soft DK  (68% Merino/32% Other) Lascaux Worsted (75% Punta/25% Manx Loaghtan) Availability The Ancient Arts website is phenomenal and filled with options.  This yarn is also available in a lot of local yarn stores across the United States and Canada. Ease of Shopping It’s super easy to use the Ancient Arts website.  In fact, their website is amazing!   They offer a monthly color and a yearly color, which is really nice for 2021!  There are also a lot of kits to choose from, which I really appreciate.  Socknado is, by far, their most popular base and with good reason: it is extremely versatile. Shipping Costs Shipping is a bit pricey – around $10 – to the United States.  If that is too expensive, look for this amazing yarn in your LYS.    Conclusion Ancient Arts is a lovely dyer who offers fabulous colors.  Be sure to follow them on social media and check out their website for inspiration, pattern ideas, and retailers, near you. 

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Ancient Arts Yarn

Chrysalis Yarn

In case you noticed a lack of posts, last week was a black hole.  With the power out, the internet out, then the water being undrinkable…..it was the week that never existed yet never seemed to end.  Now, on the flip side, we’re having temperatures in the high 70s, as opposed to -2˚.  You just never know in Texas!  And speaking of Texas, I’m so thrilled to tell you about a Texas dyer today, based in Dallas: Chrysalis Yarn. Chrysalis Yarn is dyed by Melinda (aka Mindy) who has a beautiful eye for color!   Bases Mindy dyes Chrysalis Yarn on a variety of bases, including… Comstock Kidsilk – Lace (72% Kid mohair/28% silk) Margaret Muri Suri Silk – Lace/Light Fingering (74% Baby Suri Alpaca/26% silk) Edith Patch Sock – Fingering (80% SW Merino/10% Cashmere/10% Nylon) Anna Atkins Sock – Fingering (100% SW Merino) Maria Sibylla Merian – Fingering (100% Non Superwash Merino) Clara Hodges DK (50% SW Merino/50% silk) Mary Townsend DK (75% SW Merino/25% Nylon) Margaret Fontaine – Worsted (100% Non-Superwash Merino) Jane Coldone – Worsted (100% SW Merino) Availability Chrysalis Yarn has a great website where Melinda’s yarn is sold.  Be sure to follow Melinda on Instagram to see what she’s dyeing and adding to the shop. Ease of Shopping The online shop for Chrysalis Yarn is super easy to use and navigate.  Melinda also offers kits on the website for popular patterns.   Shipping Costs Shipping costs when you order from Melinda are very reasonable.  And shipping is super fast!   Conclusion  As you know, I love supporting independent dyers and local Texas dyers.  I first found Chrysalis yarn on social media but really enjoyed getting to know Melinda when she did a virtual trunk show for my LYS.  And let me assure you that her yarn is just as beautiful in person as on her site.  If you’re looking for some gorgeous yarn, check out Chrysalis!

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Chrysalis Yarn

Have Wool We Will Travel

Do you remember fiber festivals?  You know, those big, fun events where a lot of yarn dyers and stores come together in one place to sell every kind of fiber, yarn, and notion possible?!   Oh, I miss them so!  At the last East Texas Fiber Festival, I happened upon the booth of indie dyer Have Wool We Will Travel.  And I went instantly to the skein of yarn in this post.  I fell in love – hard and fast.   Have Wool is dyed by two ladies, here in North Texas.  I love supporting Texas dyers and can’t wait to tell you more about this fabulous dyer! Bases As the name already suggests, this yarn is geared toward people who love to travel!  The colorways are all equally inventive, as are the base names…. Surprise Upgrade Carry (Light Fingering – 75% Merino/20% Nylon/5% Stellina) Carry On (Fingering – 75/25) Checked Baggage (DK – 100% Merino) First Class Checked (DK – 80% Merino/10% Cashmere/10% Nylon) Concierge (Lace – 72% Mohair/28% Silk) Availability Now that fiber fests aren’t happening, you can find Have Wool We Will Travel exclusively at On the Lamb Yarn Shoppe in Grapevine, Texas – and they are also online! Ease of Shopping The online shop for On the Lamb is easy to use and the search feature (by vendor) is great!  They offer a wide selection of Have Wool We Will Travel yarn.   Shipping Costs Shipping from On the Lamb is reasonable.  Of course, I’d much rather shop in person or at a fiber festival (sigh!).  Conclusion  Have Wool We Will Travel is a great indie yarn dyer who has gorgeous colorways!  I highly encourage you to follow them on Instagram – and follow On the Lamb Yarn Shoppe for information on sales.

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Have Wool We Will Travel

TeenyButton

A few years ago, the DFW Fiber Fest seemed to grow exponentially in the course of a year.  New dyers – and dyers I’d only ever seen online – were finally vendors and I was like a kid in a candy store.  One of the dyers I was super excited to see there was Robyn of TeenyButton Studio.  Robyn is a very talented independent dyer who is from New Orleans.  She finds inspiration in her hometown and also in pop culture. Let me tell you more…. Bases TeenyButton Studio offers many yarn bases to choose from, including… Soft Sock (Fingering – 75/25) Tough Sock (Fingering – 80/20) Shimmer Sock (Fingering – 75% Wool/20% Nylon/5% Stellina) Lush Sock (Fingering – 80% Wool/10% Nylon/10% Cashmere) Twist Sock (Fingering – 100% SW Merino) Solo Fingering (100% Merino) Squish DK (100%  SW Merino) Comfy Aran (80% Wool/10% Nylon/10% Cashmere) Solo Bulky (100% SW Merino) Lofty Lace (72% Mohair/28% Silk) Availability There is always yarn available on the TeenyButton Studio website.  Robyn’s yarn is also popping up in more and more local yarn stores, including mine!  I love seeing such a great selection of indie dyers at my LYS!   There are also mystery yarn clubs you can take advantage of on the TeenyButton site! Ease of Shopping Shopping on the TeenyButton Studio site is super easy.  If you follow Robyn on social media, you’ll find out when she updates her shop! Shipping Costs If you buy directly from Robyn, she offers affordable shipping in the United States.   Conclusion Robyn dyes glorious colorways that I’m sure you’ll love!  And her themes are so much fun!  Harry Potter!  Bridgerton!  Schitt’s Creek!  There’s something for everyone! 

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TeenyButton Studio

Gynx socks

A new year means new knitting goals!!  2021 is surely going to be a bit different than 2020, which was my most productive knitting year ever.   So, I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to accomplish in 2021 and am excited to share those goals with you today. My Goals Without further ado… Finish my first-ever knitted Christmas ornament Knit another Stephen West shawl Finish my Habitation Throw Read more books about knitting (leftover goal from 2020) Design a knitting pattern Knit colorwork mittens/gloves Knit about 10 projects So…. There are some lofty goals in here – but there are also some that should be easily accomplished.   As I mentioned in my post last week, I started a Christmas ornament in December but didn’t finish it.  Time got away from me.  So I’d really like to finish that in 2021. I love my Slipstravaganza Shawl, which was my first-ever Stephen West pattern to knit.  Now, I want another huge Westknits shawl.  You can never have too many shawls, right?!  I have a few patterns picked out but I haven’t decided on one yet. My Habitation Throw has been my long-running 2020 project, which I started after finishing my Find Your Fade.  I’d like to finish that in the first quarter of 2021 and start on another big project.   I have books from Clara Parkes and others that I want to read.  I just have to put down my knitting needles long enough to pick up a book! For a while now, I’ve wanted to design my own patterns.  The problem is that to do this, I must sacrifice some of my other knitting.  There are so many patterns out there that I want to knit, but I really want to find time to design some of my own.  We’ll see. I’ve been drooling over colorwork mittens for a while so I really need to make some!  Now that I’ve made my first pair of mittens (more on those at a later date), I feel ready for colorwork mitts. Ten seemed a good number of projects to aim for this year.  It was my goal last year, before COVID changed everything.   So I’ll aspire to do the same this year, just so I’m not stressed out about my knitting. Conclusion Do you set knitting goals?  If so, what are they?  I find that having a few goals keeps me focused on trying new things and new techniques.   Whatever your preference, happy knitting!

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2021 Knitting Goals

Hedgerow Yarns

One of the dyers that consistently catches my attention from across the pond is Hedgerow Yarns.  This yarn is dyed by Jane who lives in Britain.  I was able to order from this dyer a few years ago and absolutely adore the yarn – and the new colorways that Jane constantly creates.  (She is particularly good at speckles, as you can see!  And you know I can’t resist speckles!) Let me tell you more about this splendid dyer…. Bases Hedgerow is adding more and more bases every day – most recently Jane is adding more luxurious fibers to her shop.  There seems to be a new one every time I go to the website!  Here are some popular bases…. SW Merino Nylon Sock (Fingering – 75/25) Merino/Nylon High Twist Sock (Fingering – 80/20) Twinkle Toes Sock (Fingering – 75% Merino/20% Nylon/5% Stellina) Merino Singles (Fingering – 100% Merino) BFL Silk (Fingering – 55% Wool/45% Silk) SW Merino/Nylon DK (75/25) DK Alpaca Silk and Cashmere (70% Alpaca/20% Silk/10% Cashmere) Fluff – Kidsilk Mohair Lace (72% Mohair/28% Silk) Availability Jane is pretty consistent in her shop updates.  And if you follow her on social media, she posts regular updates to keep you informed of shop news. Ease of Shopping The Hedgerow site is easy to use when there is yarn in stock.  When it’s not in stock, the website is a bit hard to maneuver. Shipping Costs Shipping is a bit pricey since Hedgerow is shipping from overseas.  Plus, there are currently shipping delays due to COVID lockdowns in the UK.  But once life is back to normal, Hedgerow can ship just as speedily as they used to. Conclusion I hope you will support this talented independent yarn dyer.  I’m always impressed with what Jane dyes and cannot wait to see what she’ll do next.  Follow her on Instagram to see all her beautiful yarn and to see what she’s up to! 

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Hedgerow Yarns

woolberry advent

I never knew I’d enjoy yarn Advent calendars as much as I have the past two years.   Last year, October House Fiber came up with a lovely selection of colors for the calendar and it’s making a gorgeous Habitation Throw.  This year, I chose to purchase a calendar from Woolberry.  It’s always fun seeing all the mini skeins together at the end of Advent so I’m delighted to show you these pictures today! The Calendar As I was opening these mini skeins, I thought there was a good mix of light and dark colors.  And, seeing them all together, I can see how good of a mix it really is.   I liked that the colors are so different from the October House calendar from last year.  Sure, there are pastels but there are also deep, saturated colors that I’m not always drawn to but really, really like.   I think this calendar creates a beautiful fade so I may have to do a shawl in a fade.  But, then again, I like how my Habitation Throw is coming out, by mixing the skeins instead of fading them.   Hm…… The Extras This Woolberry calendar consisted of 20 mini skeins, three free patterns, a wool wash, a stitch marker, a small embroidery kit, and a full skein of yarn to open on Christmas Day.  I must admit that I would have preferred getting 24 mini skeins instead of the little gifts.  But some of them were very nice surprises, especially the embroidery kit.  I’ve always wanted to try embroidery! Upon opening the full calendar, you got a coupon code to download one of two patterns right away. These patterns, from Tamy Gore,  were designed to let you use the Advent kit.  (I didn’t know there were two to choose from so I used the coupon code on the first one when I actually liked the second one more.  Sigh.)  Though I like both of these shawls, I don’t think I’ll knit them with the Advent calendar.   Thoughts I really enjoyed this Woolberry Advent calendar and all the little goodies that came with it along the way.   The yarn is so beautiful and the full skein is something I will definitely use, which is a definite perk.  Next year, I want a more speckledy Advent calendar.  So if you bought a calendar that was especially speckledy this year, let me know the dyer so I can look for a calendar next year.   As for using these minis, I’m still leaning toward a shawl and the frontrunner is still the Candy Cane Lane Advent Shawl.  If you bought a calendar, what are you going to knit with it? 

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Woolberry Advent Calendar

Qing Fibe

By now, you know how much I love hand-dyed yarn from independent dyers.  Since these dyers are usually a one-person shop, they produce limited quantities of yarn.  Therefore, it’s sometimes very hard to get a hold of these yarns, especially if they’re dyed in Europe.  Last year, I was finally able to get a skein of Qing Fiber, dyed by Layla Qing in London.  Layla is originally from Beijing, China and is best known for her colorful, speckled yarns. Let me tell you more… Bases Layla is dyeing on more and more bases, including… Sock (Light Fingering – 75/25) Merino Single (Fingering – 100% Merino) Melted Baby Suri (Fingering – 65% Suri/20% Merino/15% Silk) Supersoft Sock (Fingering – 80% Merino/10% Nylon/10% Cashmere) High Twist BFL (Fingering – 100% BFL) Kid Mohair Silk (Lace – 70% Mohair/30% Silk) Supersoft DK (80% Merino/10% Nylon/10% Cashmere) Big Merino DK (100% Merino) Availability Qing is being stocked by more and more local yarn stores in the United States.  You can also order directly from the Qing website.  Be sure to sign up for emails to get updates from Layla. Ease of Shopping The Qing website is super easy to use.  There are even kits available for popular patterns. Shipping Costs Shipping from the UK is obviously expensive so I recommend finding this yarn in your LYS.   Conclusion Layla dyes beautiful yarn.  I would love to buy more sometime.  If you’re looking for bright, happy yarn – and maybe some incredible speckles – look into Qing.  You will not be disappointed.   Be sure to follow Layla on Instagram to see what beautiful colors she’s currently dyeing up!

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Qing Fiber

woolberry advent

Spoilers ahead!  If you don’t want to see the first ten – actually eleven – days of the Woolberry Classic Advent Calendar for 2020, move on.  I’ve really enjoyed opening these lovely mini-skeins and want to share the first 11 days with you. I say 11 days because on day 10, there was no mini skein but a pattern code instead.  There was also a choice of a free shawl pattern to begin the Advent calendar – two designs from Tamy Gore.  So cool! The Calendar How lovely is this!! The second to last skein doesn’t photograph well; it’s a deep plum purple.  So pretty!  And the color names are very Christmas-y… Cup of Cheer Believe One Little Thing….A Ring Cuddly as a Cactus Eyes All Aglow Golden Days Better Not Pout Tree Tops Glisten True Love   *pattern*  This Time of Year Thoughts I love these colors; they are gorgeous!  And I love how many different colors are popping up.  I think these will make a great shawl – or a couple cowls.   Next year, I’ll have to go with a dyer who does more variegated yarn.  I love this Woolberry calendar but my heart is always yearning for variegated skeins and, while this calendar has some variegated colorways, I think I’ll try to find one that is more colorfully variegated next year.   Patterns So what am I going to do with this calendar?  I have a few thoughts: Tamy Gore’s Amani Shawl – which was a freebie with the calendar – is a lovely triangle shawl.  I think I’m learning that I prefer triangle or crescent-shaped shawls…and this one is stunning. Helen Stewart’s Hearten Cowl, which was a Knitvent pattern this year, beautifully showcases mini skeins.  My only hesitation with this is that I don’t have many opportunities to wear cowls. Crystal Tea Knits’ Candy Cane Shawl looks wonderful. It’s a triangle-shaped shawl designed to be knit with mini skeins.  And it’s so pretty! Conclusion I definitely like that the Woolberry calendar has so many bold colors.  Now I’ll just have to wait and see how they all play together and then choose a pattern. What are you going to knit with your calendar??  There are so many choices!!

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Woolberry Advent – First 10 Days