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indie yarn

Knitley Road: Paving the Pathway to Heaven with Wool Love

This is what I’m doing today.

Also on the list: paying bills, several loads of laundry, too many loads of dishes, oodles of cooking, minor amounts of cleaning, also sadly minor amounts of parenting, modest consumption of cookies, and major consumption of wine (is it 4:00 yet????). (Aw, the perils of the modern housewife.)

But this is the best.

I’ve been staring at this yarn for a few weeks now. And, let me tell you, it’s been staring right back.

It has eyes! Very soulful indeed.

It’s a rustic wool fingering from my indie dyer partner Knitley Road, hailing from Edmonton, Canada. I guess I’ve had a thing with Edmonton lately. …Never been but the yarn dyers up that way are FANTASTIC. Seriously.

To be honest, I can’t decide: cowl or shawl???

These are the hard choices in life.

No wonder I’m so stressed.

I do know this: there will be a swatch before I sleep.

I hope.

This yarn just screams SPRING to me. This was also how I felt about the fresh, bright blossoms on our apricot and nectarine trees until it started SNOWING on them this morning. Spring is always such a tease!  It is literally snowing on my hyacinths and budding lilacs and hydrangeas. It pains me so.

I dashed into the grocery store last night (under the cloak of sweat pants and my hood up) to grab nothing other than double brownie fudge ice cream (gasp! hey, a mom’s got to survive!!!) and almost drowned in Easter candy despite the hard fact that this now sugar-laden holiday is more than a month away. Even the Easter bunny would have been shocked.

I’ve been pondering whether or not to knit Reed another Easter stuffie, but then I reread my torrid saga from last year and remembered HEK NO. The PTSD is insurmountable.

Lucky for me, swatching up this spring sparkle will soothe my nerves.

Year of the Indie Yarn Dyer

We all must lift each other up.

‘Cause no one else is going to do it.

If economic statistics hold true, there isn’t a single person who will read this post who is wealthy in any sort of real sense. In fact, most of you are broke, in debt, and possibly a paycheck away from not being able to pay rent. Or the mortgage. You buy your groceries with a credit card. Sometimes.

Or all the time.

A handful of you are lucky. You’re in the middle. Life is okay. Maybe you’re even retired or actually making ends meet comfortably.

Here’s the deal.

It’s a dog eat dog world out there. And it isn’t getting any better. In fact, the math is straightforward on this issue.

It’s getting worse.

Every day, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

And that probably isn’t going to change anytime soon. You’ll be spending the next decade of your life trying to decide what to pay first: the electricity bill or the yarn bill.

(I say go with the yarn bill…)

Since I am the dictator (Duchess sounds better, actually…) of this very small corner of the world/Internet, I’ve self-declared 2017 the Year of the Indie Dyer.

Across this country, and probably across many others, there are women and families who have turned their kitchens, garages, yards, and who-know-what-else into yarn dying studios.

Because they like yarn.

And color.

They have passion. Talent.

They’ve started fledgling businesses.

To make money.

Because they NEED money. As do we all.

Some of these shops have taken off. It’s working. They are actually selling yarn.

Most of them are fledgling, obscure, and lost in the morass of Etsy and Instagram, waiting to be discovered. Growing slowly, but likely too slowly to pay any bills in the meantime.

We MUST lift each other up. Knitters, let’s support these yarn dyers!

Am I still going to buy yarn from brand labels in my favorite yarn shops and online?

Yes.

They’re great businesses, many of them promoting amazing ethics and choices I support in this ever-globalizing economy.

However…

I am also putting intention behind supporting indie dyers. The very meager bit of economic fuel I inject into the nation’s yarn economy probably won’t make much of a difference.

But all of us together?

Well, together, we’ll make a slightly bigger difference.

So far, I’ve been buying all of my sock yarn from Etsy shops (says the knitter who just cast off a pair of Knit Picks Hawthorne socks earlier today…). I’ve literally gone on Etsy, searched for “sock yarn,” scrolled around a bit and picked a random shop.

Is it hard not to feel the yarn and squish it?

Yes.

Do I hate paying for shipping?

Absolutely.

Was my first skein of yarn soft enough?

Truthfully, no.

It’s been a little hit and miss with the quality, I’ll be honest. And I wish the Etsy shops I’ve browsed have been more upfront about what they are using for a base. It is front China or domestic sheep? Are they buying white yarn from Knit Picks and dying it, or is there something more going on? I do not know.

But I wish I did.

In the end, you know what? They’re socks! My feet are going to be okay.

I’ve also made a point to collaborate with indie yarn dyers** as I develop new patterns this year. I’ve made good connections with several talented dyers so far, and I can’t wait to introduce you to them soon.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you! Have you discovered a great indie dye shop online that you LOVE? Soft yarn, good colors, and great folks? Please share in the comments!

Year of the Indie Yarn Dyer. We all must lift each other up!

I just stumbled upon this skein of 100% merino fingering* from the Iria Yarn Company. It’s their Great Pumpkin colorway. Who doesn’t need orange socks? I mean, seriously!

Gotta jet, knitters. Etsy browsing is calling my name!

*If you are an indie dyer and would like to collaborate on a project or other such adventure, please be in touch!

**Sock knitters, what’s the scoop on nylon in sock yarn? Do you like it or not? I thought the yarn I was buying wasn’t soft enough because it was a nylon blend…But then I bought a skein of Knit Picks Stroll, which also is a nylon blend and is SOFT. So now I am just confused on nylon and its potential impact on that buttery yarn feeling that I seek.

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