Yarn

ThreadHead Knits

ThreadHead Knits

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!

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Emma’s Yarn

Emma's Yarn

Today’s incredible independent yarn dyer started dyeing yarn at the age of 15.  Fifteen!  When I saw my first skein of this yarn – the lovey coral/pink pictured here – I was floored.  That was my color!  So imagine my surprise when I learned that this dyer was such a young entrepreneur!   Since beginning her business, Emma has been joined by her sister, Aspen.  Together, they have grown their yarn business into a career.  They reside in Florida and ship Emma’s yarn around the country – and to the U.K. Bases There are several bases to choose from with Emma’s Yarn, including… Practically Perfect Sock (Fingering – 80/20) Super Silky (Fingering – 80% Merino/20% Silk) Hella Hank (Fingering – MCN) Beautifully Basic (Fingering – 100% Merino) Simply Spectacular DK (75/25) Bodacious Bulky (100% Merino) Marvelous Mohair (Lace – 72% Mohair/28% Silk) Availability I’m seeing Emma’s yarn pop up in more and more yarn stores. For a complete list of stockists, go here.  Emma’s Yarn cannot be bought directly from the dyer.   Ease of Shopping Since you have to go through a yarn store to buy this yarn, it can sometimes be tricky to find a store with a good website – if you don’t have a LYS stockist in your area.  And now with COVID, it’s a bit more challenging when you can’t always get out to your LYS. Shipping Costs Shipping depends on from whom you order this yarn.  A lot of local yarn stores are still offering some shipping discounts due to COVID. Conclusion I’m so happy I found this dyer.  And now, this skein will be immortalized for me in the Westknits Slipstravaganza of 2020!  This beautiful coral color will be my bright pop of color in this shawl and I cannot wait to see it knitted up!   If you can find this yarn, definitely check it out.  There are so many “crazy beautiful” colorways to choose from!

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Less Traveled Yarn

Less Traveled Yarn

I’ve been drooling over about five colorways from Less Traveled Yarn for years.  This is a special dyer.  And I love their story!  Sarah traveled a lot for work and started knitting more and more in airports and on planes.  Soon, she wasn’t finding the yarn she wanted in her home state of Arizona, so she started dyeing her own.  Now, she has a full-time job dyeing yarn!  How great is that?!   I received two skeins of this yarn from my first FibreShare partner – and they’re lovely.  Let me tell you more about this yarn. Bases This yarn features some of the most brilliant colorways I’ve seen.  And they come on many bases, including, but not limited to…. 757 (Fingering – 75/25) Tweed Me Sock (Fingering – 85/15 Other) Dreamliner (Fingering – 70% BFL/20% Silk/10% Cashmere) Sparkle Sock (Fingering – 75/20/5) Concorde Singles (Fingering – 100% Merino) MCN (Fingering – 80/10/10) DK (75/25) SW Worsted (100% Merino) Mohair (Lace – 72% Mohair/28% Bombyx) Baby Suri (Lace – 74% Suri/26% Silk) Availability Less Traveled Yarn is popping up in more and more local yarn stores.  I’ve been amazed to see it in different stores, which is so cool for Sarah.  You can also find tons of yarn on the Less Traveled website.   OOAK (one of a kind) colorways are called Day Trips.  So cool! Ease of Shopping The Less Traveled website is super easy to use.  You can even sign up for a monthly club! Shipping Costs Shipping costs from the Less Traveled website are reasonable.  But be sure to check for a stockist near you.  Sarah is now stocking international yarn stores! Conclusion Be sure to follow Sarah on social media to see all the gorgeous yarn she dyes up!  Some of her colorways are truly irresistible.

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Anzula Luxury Fibers

anzula fibers

I’d been hearing about Anzula yarn for a long time before I was finally able to purchase some.  And, once bought, it did not disappoint.  Anzula specializes in fibers that are unique, beautiful, and, yes, luxurious.  When browsing their yarn, you see fibers you’ve never heard of before!  Anzula was created by Sabrina in Fresno, California.  Let me tell you more about this independent dyer…. Bases The bases offered by Anzula are bountiful and one of a kind.  Here are some… Silken (Fingering – 50% Superwash Merino/50% Tussah Silk) Serenity (Fingering – 100% Cashmere) Cricket (DK – 80% Superwash  Merino/10% Cashmere/10% Nylon) Croquet (DK – 50% Superwash Merino/50% Tussah Silk) Ava (Sport – 80% Superwash  Merino/10% Cashmere/10% Nylon) Breeze (Lace – 65% Silk/35% Linen) Cloud (Lace – 80% Superwash  Merino/10% Cashmere/10% Nylon) Burly ( Super Bulky – 80% Superwash  Merino/10% Cashmere/10% Nylon) Buxom (Super Bulky – 80% Superwash/20% Nylon) Availability You cannot buy Anzula on the company website; you must go through a retailer. Thankfully, this yarn is popping up in more and more local yarn stores.  My LYS has it, as do others in my state.  Check the Anzula website for a list of stores near you and for a list of their amazing color ways.  How do you choose? Ease of Shopping Everything is more difficult with COVID, but if your LYS has Anzula, it should be easy to get with curbside pickup or delivery.   Conclusion Definitely check out Anzula for your next project. Their fibers are so very interesting and the colors are beautiful!  Indeed, they have 140 color ways to choose from!  Anzula has grown from one dyer, Sabrina, to a team of five.  It’s so fun to watch these independent dyers grow and thrive in the fiber arts community. Be sure to look for Anzula in your LYS. And follow them on social media!  There is so much color inspiration to see from their gorgeous dyeing! 

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The Magpie Fiber Society

Magpie Fiber Society

I’ve never joined a yarn subscription or yarn club.  As I’ve said before, I like knowing what yarn – and what color – I’m buying.  But when I got an email from Magpie Fibers about their Fiber Society, I got to thinking.  Since there are no fiber fests to go to – thank you, COVID – maybe I could try something new instead with the money I was saving by not going to fiber fests.  That makes perfect sense, right? The Society There are different options for joining the society.  You can join bi-monthly and renew every other month.  Or you can join for 6 months or 12 months, prepaying in advance.  Every other month, during that time, you get to choose the contents of your box from two colors.  Sometimes they’re variegated colors, sometimes speckled, sometimes both.  Also during that time, you get 10% off additional purchases and the ability to buy exclusive Society colorways.  For your first shipment with the Society, you get an exclusive pin, a notepad, and a pen.   I chose to prepay for 6 months – I figured that was what most closely resembled what I would spend at a fiber fest.  I would, therefore, get 3 ordering periods and 6 skeins of yarn.  That sounded perfect for me, given my stash.   The Yarn When I ordered, in August, there were two colors to choose from – a variegated and speckled skein – on Magpie’s Swanky Fingering base.  This base is glorious with 10% cashmere – it’s the star of the Magpie yarn lineup, in my opinion.  And it was great for me; I love fingering weight yarn.  One of the reasons I wanted to join the Society was to beef up my stash with different weights of yarn (other than fingering) and lightly variegated skeins (instead of brightly variegated and speckled, which is what I gravitate toward).  This variegated is nicely muted. My First Box I couldn’t wait for my first box to arrive – and it just did!  It was nicely packaged (you don’t pay shipping for your 2 skeins of society yarn, but you do pay shipping on any additional choices, which is kind of frustrating) and all my first timer goodies were enclosed. The yarn is gorgeous and feels amazing.  I may have to knit a sweater out of this base.  In addition to my Society box, I bought one speckled skein of a previous Society colorway, in greys and blues/yellows/reds.  It wasn’t something I’d usually gravitate toward, making it a good purchase since I often knit for others who don’t share my same favorite color palette. I’ll be sure to share with you my future Society boxes!!

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RIP: Herbstblatt Regina

herbstblatt regina

There are so many independent yarn dyers who have gone out of business.   This week, I’m telling you about a personal favorite, Herbstblatt Regina, which translates from the German to “Autumn Queen.”  This dyer closed down a few years ago and I’m lucky to have gotten a few skeins before that.   Regina’s yarn is gorgeous – the speckles stole my heart!  This was one of the first places I ever saw a yarn Advent Calendar for sale….  And how I wish I’d gotten one of hers! Let me tell you more… Bases Herbstblatt Regina focused mainly on fingering weight yarn.  Here are some of the bases you can find on Ravelry now…. Hazel Sock  (Fingering – 80/20) Oak Sock (Fingering – 75/20) Witch Hazel (Fingering – 100% Merino) Larch Singles (Fingering – 100% Merino) BFL Tweed (Fingering – 85% BFL/15% Nylon) Maple (DK – 100% Merino) Hazel Soft Sock 6-ply (DK – 80/20) Yarn Dyeing Regina’s speckles are just gorgeous.  This was one of the first speckled yarns I fell in love with.  And I still love these skeins – so much so that I’m afraid to knit with them! I must say that the two bases that I have – Oak and Hazel Sock – are woolier than other sock yarns.  This means they will make great, warm, durable socks.  So I really need to get to knitting socks! The names of her colorways are a delightful mix of English and German.  I had some German in graduate school but I have no idea what most of the colorways translate to in English.  I guess that’s why we now have Google! Conclusion I remember seeing pictures of the Herbstblatt Regina Advent Calendars and they were gorgeous.  Regina truly had a talent for dyeing yarn.  It’s so sad these talented dyers go out of business. But dyeing yarn is hard work – as is running a business.  I hope Regina is doing well and, in the meantime, look for her yarn on Ravelry.

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Madelinetosh

It’s delightfully amazing that I live in the same town that produced Madelinetosh Yarn.  This dyer, which started selling yarn on Etsy in 2006 has grown into one of the premier yarn brands in the United States.  It’s the staple brand that you go to for sweater quantities of yarn.  But despite growing to become a staff of 40 – and being welcomed into the Jimmy Beans family of companies – this dyer still produces unique hand dyed skeins of yarn that will take your breath away.   Laura Zander is the founder of Madelinetosh, affectionately known as Mad Tosh.   Bases The skilled ladies of Mad Tosh dye yarn on a variety of bases, making it the perfect choice for almost any project.  A sample of bases includes…. Euro Sock (Fingering – 100% Superwash Merino) Tosh Mo Light (Fingering – 80% Superwash Merino/ 20% Kid Mohair) Twist Light (Fingering – 75/25) Farm Twist (DK – 100% Superwash Merino) Pashmina (Sport – 75% Merino/15% Silk/ 10% Cashmere) DK Twist (100% Superwash Merino) Silk Merino (DK – 50% Merino/ 50% Silk) ASAP (Super Bulky – 100% Superwash Merino) Prairie (Lace – 100% Superwash Merino) Availability The best places to find Madelinetosh are the company website or Jimmy Beans Wool, one of my favorite yarn shops that has a great online presence.  But Mad Tosh is found in local yarn stores (including mine!)  around the country.  It’s popularity has soared in the last five years. Ease of Shopping Currently, some bases are not available on the Mad Tosh website, most likely due to delays and shortages associated with the pandemic.  But the website is super easy to use, as is Jimmy Beans.   Shipping Costs Jimmy Beans Wool has free shipping through the end of August.  And shipping is reasonable on the Mad Tosh website.  If you find what you like on a LYS website, many are offering shipping discounts these days, due to pandemic shop closures. Conclusion Though Madelinetosh has become super popular, I still love their colors and the variety of bases they offer.  Be sure to check out this dyer when you need yarn for your next project. 

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RIP: Gynx Yarns

Gynx Yarns

I hate talking about independent dyers who are no longer dyeing.  It makes me so, so sad.  These dyers poured so much love into their businesses and had to close for a variety of reasons, one of which is sometimes just getting burned out.  I’m going to tell you about a few of them from time to time because many of us still have their yarns in our stashes.  And one of these is Gynx Yarns. Gynx Yarns was a mainstay at DFW Fiber Fest for many years.  This yarn is one of the reasons I fell in love with sock yarn: it was so vibrant and colorful.  This wonderful yarn was dyed by Laura, in Dallas, Texas, who found inspiration from video games, pop culture, and animé.   Bases Gynx Yarns was dyed on a number of popular bases, including… BFL Sock (Fingering – 100% Wool) Single Merino (Fingering – 100% Merino) Gynx Sock (Fingering – 100% Merino) Power Sock (Fingering – 75/25) Strong Sock (Fingering – 80/20) Glitz Sock (Fingering – 75/20/5) Merino DK (100% Merino) Strong Sport (80/20) Yarn Dyeing Gynx offered lovely variegated and self-striping skeins of yarn.  Truly, the booth at DFW Fiber Fest was always so beautifully colorful!  I bought two skeins over the years and both of those times, I wasn’t even knitting socks yet!  But I loved the colors and knew I would use the yarn, someday.   Laura was a great asset to the knitting community.  She offered many dyeing videos and tutorials online.  Indeed, many indie dyers today learned how to dye from her videos.   Conclusion Some skeins of Gynx Yarns can be found on Ravelry through people willing to trade or sell their stashed Gynx.  If you have some in your stash, I definitely recommend knitting with it.  The colors are so delightful! I’ll show you some socks I finally knit with my Gynx Yarn later this week!  

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Spincycle Yarns

Spincycle Yarns

One of the most popular – and hard to get –  yarns in the last few years has been Spincycle Yarns.  This yarn jumped onto the knitting scene when Andrea Mowry used their Dyed in the Wool base for a few projects.  Suddenly, everyone wanted this yarn.      It is very unique and it actually took me a while to like it.  Now that I do, I really enjoy seeing what color combinations people choose to knit using this yarn. Spincycle is dyed in Washington state and is owned by Kate Burge and Rachel Price. They began a partnership in 2004 and, by 2017, owned a mill together.  Thus, Spincycle was born.   Bases Every base from Spincycle is unique and different.  Dyed in the Wool is the most popular, followed by Dream State.  But there’s something to love about each and every one.  Here are a few of them… Metamorphic (DK – 50% recycled Wool/50% Merino) Versus (DK – 100% Wool) Wilder (Sport – 100% Wool) Dyed in the Wool (Sport – 100% SW Wool) Dream State (Aran – 100% SW Wool) Knit Fast, Die Young (Jumbo – 100% Wool) Availability Spincycle has an online shop and this offers the best chance to get the colorways you want.  But you can also find this yarn in many local yarn stores.  I was amazed to find it in my LYS.   Ease of Shopping The website is super easy to use and browse.  The only frustrating part is seeing how much is sold out. Shipping Costs When you order from the Spincycle website, shipping is a bit expensive.  Combined with the expense of the yarn itself – quite high compared to others – it may be best to find this yarn at you LYS or a fiber festival. Conclusion Spincycle is an extremely unique yarn and it may not appeal to everyone.  Since it’s more expensive, you really have to love it to buy it.  I received a skein from a FibreShare partner; I had not thought seriously about buying it.  However, I do love Andrea Mowry’s Nightshift, which uses Dyed in the Wool, so I may have to buy the few more skeins required for that pattern.   It’s best to see this yarn in person to truly appreciate the colors.   So lovely!

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Hand Maiden Fine Yarn

Hand Maiden Fine Yarn

Last fall (which feels like a lifetime ago), on our cruise to Canada, we had two stops in Nova Scotia.  I was ecstatic to get to a few yarn shops on our days in port.  And while in one of those, I picked up some yarn from a wonderful Candaian dyer, Hand Maiden Fine Yarn.  I’d heard of this dyer before but this was the first time I got to see it in person.  And it did not disappoint! Let me tell you more about it… Bases Hand Maiden is dyed in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  This yarn came about when Jana Dempsey spun it off from Fleece Artist (the two companies are still related and operate out of the same place).  Jana grew up around yarn as the family business was Fleece Artist.  Hand Maiden focuses on silky fibers while Fleece Artist is more about the wooly yarn.  There are many, many  bases to choose from that are very unique blends of fiber.  Here are a few… Cashmere and Silk (Fingering – 65% Cashmere/35% silk) Sea Silk (Fingering – 70% Silk/30% Sea Cell) Silk Twist (Fingering – 65% Wool/35% Silk) Halo (DK – Merino/Mohair) Lady Godiva (DK – 50% Wool/50% Silk) Alpaca Merino (Sport – 70% Merino/30% alpaca) Casbah (Sport – 80% Merino/10% Nylon/10% Cashmere) Swiss Mountain Woolie (Worsted – 70% Merino/30% Silk) Swiss Mountain Bamboo (Worsted – 51% Silk/49% Rayon from Bamboo) Marrakesh (Lace – 70% Silk/30% camel) Availability You can find Hand Maiden yarn in a variety of stores worldwide.  It is most popular in Canada, of course, but there are many physical and online stores that offer this yarn in the United States, Australia, and the UK. Ease of Shopping The Hand Maiden website does not offer a huge selection of yarn to buy.  It’s best to go through an online retailer. Shipping Costs It’s obviously best to find a retailer in your country of residence, since international shipping is so expensive.  And shipping delays may be more prevalent if you order international now, due to COVID-19.   Conclusion However you can find this yarn, it’s worth the price.  The different fibers make each skein so luxurious.  I promise this yarn will not disappoint! 

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