Yarn

Explorer Knits

Last year, when we went to Colorado and I got to visit a new yarn store, I saw yarn dyed by Explorer Knits and Fibers for the first time.  This lovely yarn is dyed by Ali who lives in Colorado.  She loves nature and the National Park system, as you can tell from her yarn bases, and is clearly inspired by all the beauty surrounding her in Colorado.  She even donates an amount from every item sold to the National Park Foundation. Let me tell you more about Ali’s yarn… Bases Explorer Knits has beautiful yarn on many bases, including… Suri Alpaca (Lace – 74% Baby Suri/26% Mulberry Silk) Denali Sock (Fingering – 80/20) Cashmere Caverns Sock (Fingering – 80% Merino/10% Nylon/10% Cashmere) Rockies Sock (100% Merino) Tetons Sock (Light Fingering – 75/25) Rockies DK (100% Merino) Carlsbad Worsted (100% Merino) Availability There is rarely yarn on the Explorer Knits website unless you catch an update – so be sure to follow Ali on social media.  You’re more likely to find Ali’s yarn at one of the many shops that stock Explorer yarns. Ease of Shopping Ali’s website is super easy to use and contains information on how the yarn is sourced and dyed.  There are also many colorways listed on the site. Shipping Since I’ve never lucked into a shop update, I can’t speak to the shipping rates for the Explorer Knits website. Conclusion I only have one skein of Ali’s yarn but I will definitely look to buy more in the future.  Her yarn is gorgeous and so, so soft.  And it’s so nice to know that a portion of your purchase benefits the National Parks! 

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Explorer Knits and Fibers

Artemis Yarns

I’d been watching Artemis Yarns on Instagram for a long time before I ordered.  And I love what Natasha does with colors – and speckles!  Her yarns are just delightful!  And I love how she connects them all to mythology, which was one of my early loves on my path to becoming obsessed with history.  Natasha lives in the south of France and I cannot wait to tell you more about her yarn.   Bases Artemis Yarns is dyed on many bases, including… Artemis Silky Suri (74% Baby Suri Alpaca/26% Mulberry Silk) Artemis Kidsilk Mohair Lace (72% Kid Mohair/28% Silk) Artemis Sock 4ply Fingering (75/25) Artemis Single Fingering (100% Superwash Merino) Artemis High Twist Fingering (80/20) Artemis DK (100% Superwash Merino) Artemis Sport (100% Superwash Merino) Artemis Aran (100% Superwash Merino) Availability There is always something in Natasha’s shop.  Be sure to follow her on social media to find out when she has a shop update.  And Natasha always offers interestingly themed sets for Advent, along with tons of kits!  And how I love her fade kits! Ease of Shopping The Artemis Yarns website is super easy to use and navigate. Shipping If you’re in the United States, international shipping is expensive.  But occasionally it’s worth it and I’d say Artemis Yarns is worth it! Conclusion Natasha dyes beautifully vibrant and speckled yarns, which just captivate me.  I’m so glad I splurged on a kit from Artemis for my Shawlography!  It’s gorgeous!  I’m sure you won’t be disappointed in anything you get from her!

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Artemis Yarns

Blue Mule

A few years ago, at the last DFW Fiber Festival that happened in person (sob!), I picked up a skein of yarn from a new-to-me dyer, Blue Mule Fiber.  This dyer had a decidedly Texas-themed booth and I quickly learned that they’re based in Fayette county, Texas, which is in south Texas.  The dyers are a mother/daughter team who also have a passion for wine….  What a great combination!   Let me tell you more… Bases Blue Mule is dyed on a variety of bases, including… Wisp (Lace – 70% Ultra Fine Kid Mohair/30% Mulberry Silk) Glam (Fingering – 75% SW Merino/20% Nylon/5% Stellina) Fine (Fingering – 85% Extra Fine SW Merino/15% Nylon) Donegal (Fingering – 85% Superwash Merino/15% Nylon Nep) DibE’ (Worsted – 100% 19.5 Micron Extra Fine SW Merino) Availability Blue Mule is sold at several yarn stores across the country – and at local fiber festivals (if they ever happen again).  They sure know how to display Texas pride at festivals! Ease of Shopping Right now, there’s nothing for sale on the Blue Mule website, but that seems to be temporary. Events Every year, Blue Mule hosts a festival of their own in south Texas.  They invite dyers and makers to sell their goods…and I hear there’s plenty of wine available, too.  I really want to get to one of these festivals sometime!! Conclusion I’m so glad I found this talented, Texas dyer.   I hope you will look for them as you explore different dyers!  

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Blue Mule Fiber

Ducky Darlings Yarn

Not long ago, by watching a podcast from This Nanny Knits, I learned of a British dyer called Ducky Darlings Yarn.  While I can’t usually justify buying yarn from overseas dyers, I made an exception for this one.  Hayley dyes lovely colorways which I immediately adored.   She also creates Sister Sets of two 50g skeins of yarn that compliment each other, which are meant for socks. (These are like the Share-A-Pair sets from Mandi’s Making, which I’ve mentioned.)   Hayley is so talented and I’m excited to tell you all about her yarn! Bases Hayley doesn’t have a ton of bases, but what she has is great.  These are… Mohar/Silk (Lace – 72% Mohair/28% silk) Superwash Merino Nylon (Fingering – 75/25) Superwash Merino Nylon DK (75/25) Superwash Merino/Yak/Nylon (Fingering – 70% Merino/20% Yak/10% Nylon) Availability There’s always something on the Ducky Darlings website to drool over.  I stalked the site for quite some time before I settled on several Sister Sets I couldn’t live without!   Hayley also sells sock tubes if you want to finish some socks in record time!  And if you’re still in need of an Advent calendar, Hayley still shows some available on her site (and yes, I was tempted!). Ease of Shopping The Ducky Darlings website is easy to use.  I always like knowing when something is sold out on the main page, as opposed to clicking on colorways, and this site is great for that. Shipping Costs Shipping to the United States is not cheap, but it was as expected.  Be sure to subscribe to receive Hayley’s email because she does offer free international shipping occasionally.  And that’s a great deal! Conclusion I’m always so thrilled to find a new-to-me dyer and Hayley is an extremely talented dyer.  I can’t wait to see what colorways she dyes up next!  I only wish I could visit a yarn festival in the UK to see all her products in person!!

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Ducky Darlings Yarn

EuphoriaKnits

Remember fiber festivals?  Well, way back in 2019, when we last had them, I went to my second East Texas Fiber Festival and found some lovely Texas dyers who were new to me.  One of those was EuphoriaKnits.  I picked up a skein of sock yarn and fell instantly in love.  Janessa dyes lovely colors and her 85/15 base is something I wish I could roll around in.   Let me tell you more…. Bases Janessa dyes EuphoriKnits on a variety of bases including… Excitement (Lace – 70% Kid Mohair/30% Mulberry silk) Elation Lace (100% British Superwash Bluefaced Leicester) Frenzy (Fingering – 85/15) Rapture (Fingering – 80% Superwash Merino/10% Cashmere/10% Nylon) Bliss (Fingering – 100% Superwash Baby Alpaca) Exhilaration (Fingering – 100% SW New Zealand Polwarth) Spirit (Fingering – Singly ply 100% Superwash Merino) DK Frenzy (85/15) DK Rapture (80% Superwash Merino/10% Cashmere/10% Nylon) Worsted Glee (100% Superwash Merino) Chunky Glee (100% Superwash Merino) Availability There is always yarn on Janessa’s site and, according to her social media posts, she’s revamping her colorways and website.  I can’t wait to see her new colorways! Ease of Shopping The EuphoriaKnits site is easy to use.  I love it when you can filter by base and easily see what has sold out.   Shipping Costs Janessa charges standard rates for shipping.   Conclusion I cannot rave about the EuphoriaKnits Frenzy base enough. It is delectable and Janessa’s colors are so amazing!  I especially love how the skein I bought is micro-striping.  It’s incredible and I wish I could buy it in every color of the rainbow!   Be sure to watch Janessa’s Instagram posts to see what she’s dyeing!

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EuphoriaKnits

Big Sky Yarn

While in Montana in June, I was super excited to finally get my hands on some Big Sky Yarn Company yarn!  I went to one local yarn store specifically for this yarn – and it did not disappoint.  After spending way too much money on yarn at other yarn stores, I had to choose just one skein of Big Sky and that was a very tough decision!! Big Sky Yarn is dyed by Cassie and, after seeing copious amounts of her yarn, I can tell you she is a very talented dyer! Bases Big Sky comes in many bases, including… Mohair (Lace – 72% Mohair/28% Silk) Star Sock (Fingering – 75/25) Sunny Sock (Fingering – 100% Merino) Super Sport (100% Merino) Squish DK (100% Merino) Hazy Sky Squish DK (100% Merino) Merino Worsted (100% Merino) Availability Cassie has an Etsy shop in which there is plenty of yarn to purchase.  Big Sky is also stocked in yarn stores across the country so be sure to ask yours if they have this lovely yarn in stock! Ease of Shopping The Etsy shop for Big Sky is super easy to use.  There’s even an Advent calendar that’s still available – and that looks amazing! Shipping Costs When ordering from Cassie’s Etsy shop, shipping is cheap, compared to many other stores.   Conclusion Be sure to follow Cassie on Instagram to see what she’s dyeing. And favorite her on Etsy because she is always stocking the shop full of goodies!  I can’t wait to see what she dyes up next!

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Big Sky Yarn Co.

Brediculous Yarn

Earlier this summer, while traveling to Georgia, I got to visit a local yarn store.  It was so nice to be in a yarn store again!  And I found a new-to-me dyer that had colorways that were just stunning.  I had to get  skein.  Though I found Brediculous Yarn in Georgia, this dyer is actually located in the Baltimore area and is dyed by Brea.  And she is such a talented dyer! Bases Brediculous comes on many base options, including… Mohair Lace (72% Mohair/28% Silk) Addy Socks (Fingering – 75/25) Stardust Sparkle (Fingering – 75% Merino/20% Nylon/5% Stellina) Aiden Socks (Fingering – 100% Merino) Britt BFL (Fingering – 75% Bluefaced Leicester/25% Nylon) Joxer DK (100% Merino) Aubs Worsted (100% Merino) Cozy Bulky (100% Merino) Availability Brea has a lot of Bediculous Yarn in her Etsy shop.  There is a ton of yarn to choose from in so many beautiful colors!  And be sure to check out your LYS to see if they have Brediculous in stock!     Ease of Shopping Etsy is super easy to use and Brea keeps social media updated on what colorways are coming to the shop. Shipping Costs Most skeins seem to have a shipping rate of $5, which isn’t too bad, considering how much shipping costs right now.   Conclusion Be sure to follow Brediculous Yarn on social media.  Brea regularly has trunk shows and believe me – you want to see this yarn in person! 

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Brediculous Yarn

Polka Dot Sheep Yarn

Last month, I visited Montana and some of the fabulous yarn stores around the Flathead Lake area.  One such yarn store was Polka Dot Sheep in Whitefish.  I was so looking forward to going to this store because the owner, Aimee, dyes her own yarn under the Polka Dot Sheep brand. And this yarn did not disappoint!   Bases The Polka Dot Sheep store is filled with yarn on many bases, including… Altitude (Lace – 75% Mohair/25% Silk) Iron Horse (Fingering – 75% Merino/25% Silk) Tenderfoot 80/20 (Fingering) Stumptown DK (100% Merino) The Yaak (DK – 60% Merino/20% Yak/20% Silk) Whitefish Worsted (100% Merino) Big Sky Bulky (100% Merino) Availability The best selection of Polka Dot Sheep yarn is in the yarn shop in Whitefish.  But Aimee always has yarn for sale online.  And she’s been selling some handspun  yarn, which is amazing! Ease of Shopping I have also ordered from the Polka Dot Sheep yarn website and it was super easy to use.  The website is very easy and user friendly. Shipping Costs Right now, Aimee is offering free shipping to the United States on her website.  I took advantage of this to buy some yarn I saw in the shop but talked myself out of…and eventually regretted that decision! Conclusion Aimee is a very talented dyer and I can’t wait to buy more Polka Dot Sheep yarn in the future.   The colorways are gorgeous and I’m sure you’ll find something to love.

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Polka Dot Sheep Yarn

Chasing Rabbits Fiber

As you know by now, I love finding independent yarn dyers in my home state of Texas.  And today I have another one to share with you: Chasing Rabbits Fiber Co.  I first happened upon a skein of this yarn years ago in my LYS and was blown away by the vibrant colors.  I soon learned that Dawn Barker, the dyer behind Chasing Rabbits, definitely has an eye for color!  At the Hill Country Weavers Retreat (virtual) this year, I was able to take some classes from Dawn and she is a lovely person and a fantastic teacher!  Let me tell you more about her yarn… Bases Chasing Rabbits is dyed on several bases, including… Gossamer (Lace – 70% Mohair/30% Silk) Fern (Fingering – 85/15) Solo (Fingering – 100% Merino) Remy (Fingering – 100% BFL) Merino Lux DK (100% Merino) Availability Dawn is adding more and more stockists for her yarn!  Check to see if one is near you.  If not, there is always a great selection of yarn on the Chasing Rabbits website.   Ease of Shopping The Chasing Rabbits website is easy to use and Dawn’s photography of her yarn is excellent.   Shipping Costs When shopping from the Chasing Rabbits website, shipping is reasonable. Conclusion Dawn is a very talented dyer.  I have bought her yarn and received some in my Hill Country Weavers Retreat swag bag.  It is all very lovely.  Be sure to follow her on social media to see what glorious colorways she is dyeing up.   Also, Dawn is designs lovely patterns to so be sure to look at those on Ravelry! 

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Chasing Rabbits Fiber

Olann

After seeing Olann yarn once or twice, I really took notice of this yarn, hand-dyed in Ireland, when Helen Stewart used it for a pair of socks in her Handmade Sock Society.  I looked online for colorways and fell in love.  What an amazing dyer!  I bought way too much Olann that day.   Let me tell you more… Bases Olann is dyed on many bases, including… Kidsilk (Lace – 72% Mohair/28% Silk) Sock Light (Light Fingering – 80/20) Lunasa Sock (Fingering – 50% Baby Alpaca/25% Linen/25% Silk) Donegal Sock (Fingering – 80% Merino/20% Other) Singles Sock (Fingering – 100% Merino) MCN Sock (Fingering – 80/10/10) Merino DK (100% Merino) Donegal DK (85% Merino/15% Other) Availability Olann is available at many local yarn stores, in many countries, including the United States.  It may be available at your LYS!  If not, check out the dyer’s own website!   Ease of Shopping The Olann website is lovely and easy to use.  The colorways are well represented and and you can sort by a variety of factors.   Shipping Costs Shipping from Ireland is, indeed, a bit expensive, but not terribly so – around $8-10.   I would be willing to pay that for this yarn! Conclusion After knitting with this yarn (FO to come soon!), I can tell you that is very lovely!  The colorways are unlike anything I’ve seen – variegated with amazing speckles.  I’m glad I bought way too much because I know I can use this yarn for a variety of projects.  It is very special, and well worth the price of shipping!

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Olann