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!
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!
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!
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?
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!
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!!
In honor of Advent, I have a very special dyer to tell you about today. The Cozy Knitter dyes amazing self-striping yarn. I first heard about this dyer because of her famous Advent 24 Stripe Skein of yarn last year and jumped on the chance to get it this year. Christina is a very talented dyer. She lives in Canada with her husband and five boys. And once you see her yarn, I know you will want to buy some! Bases Since Christina specializes in sock yarn, she has only a few bases on which she dyes… Bliss (Fingering – 80/20) Bashful (Fingering – 75/25) Glitz (Fingering – Merino/Stellina) Availability There is always something available on The Cozy Knitter website. I’ve been so tempted to buy so many of Christina’s self-striping colorways! They are so amazing! Sign up for emails to get news on shop updates! Ease of Shopping The Cozy Knitter website is super easy to use. There’s even a Yarn of the Month Club, if you’re interested in exclusive colorways. Shipping Costs Shipping from Canada is never cheap but at least the exchange rate is on our side! Advent Skeins Every year, since 2018, Christina has produced a surprise 24-stripe Advent skein – which is actually two skeins, one for each sock. The idea is that you knit a stripe a day during Advent. This year, I received my skein weeks before December and it was very difficult not to peek. (Full disclosure: I opened my package a few days early in order to knit the cuffs before December 1st.) I cannot wait to see how these socks turn out! The colors are so beautiful this year! Conclusion If you need some self-striping yarn, I highly recommend The Cozy Knitter’s yarn. And be sure to follow Christina on social media; she is always posting fun things!
Last year, when I ordered my very first Advent calendar, I was unsure how I would use it or if I would use it. Well, I used it – am in the process of using it, actually – and I loved it. (I’m knitting Helen Stewart’s Habitation Throw, in case you’re new here.) When thinking of this year, I was very nervous about choosing the right dyer to buy from and deciding on what to make. The Dyer In the summer, when independent yarn dyers started advertising their 2020 Advent calendars, I had a conundrum: go with a tried-and-true dyer or a new-to-me dyer? I really wanted to try a new dyer but what if I didn’t like their aesthetic? There was also the literal kit and price to think of. The prices of calendars seemed higher this year, perhaps due to the COVID impacts on the wool trade. I also definitely wanted a full skein at the end of the calendar but many dyers don’t offer this. And I wasn’t sold on a fade kit, though those are always very popular. Other than that, my preferences were not set in stone. In the end, I decided to go with Woolberry Fiber Co. I’ve bought some of their yarn and the socks I knit with it are lovely. They’ve been in business long enough to have a strong, identifiable aesthetic that I really like – soft, lightly speckled yarn. Woolberry offered several differently themed calendars; I think there were three to choose from. The Kit All that being said about preferences, the photo of the kit I selected from Woolberry does not look “soft.” Ha! This was the only clue as to what this kit will be like so we’ll see. Using The Calendar Since I’m making a throw with my October House Advent calendar, I want to do something else with the Woolberry. Helen Stewart is coming out with some lovely patterns with her Knitvent series this year. Perhaps I’ll make a cowl (or two) or a big shawl…. With my Slipstravaganza Shawl, I’m realizing how much I could potentially become addicted to big shawls. They have been great to wrap up in while working from home on chilly mornings. So perhaps I need more of them! Cowls are lovely but I’m not going anywhere to wear them these days….. What pattern I choose will most likely depend on what colors are in this calendar – bold or bright or muted…. We’ll have to see what I’m inclined to make after seeing them all together. Thankfully, many patterns exist for Advent calendars so I won’t have any issues finding one! Conclusion I can’t wait for Advent to begin. On a spiritual note, Advent is a time of solemnity and thoughtfulness. We definitely have a lot to contemplate this year – and to pray for. And Happy Thanksgiving! I’m wishing you many blessings this season and Thanksgiving! Be safe and healthy!
I love telling you about Texas dyers. And I love supporting our local dyers! Today’s dyer, Forest Fiber Arts, is a recent transplant to Texas. Niki and her family moved to Texas to escape the cold of Minnesota – and I’m pretty sure she succeeded in that! Niki started knitting when she was 12. Her beautiful yarn is inspired by nature and her goal is to dye colors that are very wearable. Let me tell you more… Bases Some of Forest Fiber’s most popular bases include… Merino Single Ply Sock (Fingering – 100% SW Wool) Merino/Nylon 4-Ply Sock (Fingering – 75/25) Merino/Nylon 2-Ply Sock (Fingering – 80/20) Merino DK (100% SW Wool) Merino Sport (100% SW Wool) Merino Worsted (100% SW Wool) Merino Bulky (100% SW Wool) Merino/Nylon Super Bulky (80/20) Kid Silk Mohair (Lace – 72% Kid Mohair/28% Silk) Availability Niki has tons of yarn available on her website but you can also find it in a select few Texas local yarn stores, including my LYS. Since retailers aren’t listed on the Forest Fibers website so be sure to check with your store. Ease of Shopping The Forest Fiber website is very easy to use and Niki gives you a discount if you buy 5 skeins of yarn or more. So get your sweater quantities directly through her! Shipping Costs When ordering directly from Forest Fibers, the shipping is very reasonable. USPS rates keep going up and up so when I see shipping for $6 or less, I’m generally very happy! Conclusion Forest Fiber Arts has some gorgeous colorways that would make breathtaking garments. I’m tempted by several of the peach/pink colorways (go figure). I can tell you that the White Birch colorway (pictured here) knits up wonderfully! The worsted weight base I knit with was also some of the softest yarn I’ve ever felt! I can’t wait to get more Forest Fiber yarn!!
Y’all know I love speckles. And color. And color with speckles. So when I saw this independent dyer and their speckles, I was floored. I ordered a skein. ThreadHead Knits is a husband/wife yarn dyeing team located in North Carolina. They have gorgeously speckled yarn – but also lovely solid skeins. You really need to see this yarn! Let me tell you more! Bases ThreadHead yarn is dyed on several bases, including… Cozy Sock (Fingering – 100% Wool) Daydreamer (Fingering – 75% BFL/25% Nylon) Squish Sock (Fingering – 80/20) Plump DK (100% Merino) Swish DK (100% SW Merino) Yak Silk DK (60% SW Merino/20% Silk/20% Yak) Squish Sport (100% SW Merino) Big Bulky (Bulky – 100% Wool) Superbulky (80/20) Availability You can buy ThreadHead yarn directly from the dyer. And be sure to browse what’s available and available for pre-order. My skein was a pre-order and yet it came super fast! ThreadHead is also available in a select number of local yarn stores. Ease of Shopping The website is super easy to use. Just be sure you look at what you need – ready to ship versus pre-order. Shipping Costs Shipping from the dyer is very reasonable. Conclusion ThreadHead is an exciting dyer to watch. Their online shop also has a number of poms for all your hat-making needs. Who doesn’t love a good pom!? I continue to see colorways dyed by ThreadHead that take my breath away. Of course, the speckles just make me swoon. But even if you’re not into speckles, I encourage you to browse the site of this indie dyer. I know you’ll find something to love!