Yarns in Waiting, late 2017

NOTE: Before I start yammering about yarn — make sure you make it to the end of this post for a special offer in honor of today being Fringe Supply Co.’s fifth anniversary!

Yarns in Waiting, late 2017

Had I not gone to Rhinebeck, I might have made it through the latter half of the year without acquiring any new yarn at all. But I’m not sorry these guys slipped into the house as a result—

TOP: On our last morning in the Hudson Valley, we had brunch in Kingston with a bunch of knitters, one of whom was Rachel Atkinson, a revered tech editor who started her small-batch yarn company, Daughter of a Shepherd, a couple years ago. I’d met her once before, and just briefly, but it was clear she’s one of those effortlessly warm and lovely people. That morning, she was dressed all in black, sitting at this weathered wood table, with a cup of milky latté in a white porcelain cup and saucer, knitting cables from the most perfect ball of undyed wool. Which was her woolen-spun Portland, aran-weight. Basically my ideal yarn. Rachel has beautiful hands and the whole scene was like a Vermeer painting. Had it not been unseemly, I’d have sat and stared unapologetically for the duration of breakfast, but I managed to restrain myself to only about half of it. When I got home, she very sweetly sent me two balls. They’d make for a cable beautiful hat, as she was demonstrating, but of course I’m fantasizing about a nice vintage fisherman cardigan. We’ll see.

BOTTOM LEFT: Among my housemates for the weekend were my good friends Kate and Courtney of Kelbourne Woolens. K&C are yarn savants, and I’m beyond thrilled that they’re launching their own! Starting (in a few weeks) with a luscious wool-mohair blend called Andorra. I’m totally fascinated by it as I’ve nothing like it in my stash, and the palette is also not quite like anything else out there. They sent me home with one skein of this beautiful spearmint green, and I can’t wait for its fate to reveal itself to me.

BOTTOM RIGHT: The third one is a sweater quantity (which I mentioned in my recap but need to document here in what has effectively become my yarn queue). While I was stationed in the Harrisville booth that Saturday morning, I was right next to their big basket of the special colorway they’d made up just for the show, and I couldn’t resist buying a sweater’s worth. It’s a dyed-in-the-wool, worsted-weight tweed, in classic Harrisville fashion. From a distance, it looks like a simple denim-y blue. But when you look close, it’s a fairly equal mix of blue, green and purple, with flecks of red. It’s fascinating. And its fate is also still a bit of a mystery.

NOT PICTURED: There was also one more gift skein in my suitcase, which was from Junegrass Batch Two. As you know, I bought a sweater quantity of the first batch last year, which I hadn’t done anything with yet at that time (but since have!), meaning I was not allowed to buy any of batch two. So my eyes lit up when Amber handed me a skein. More on what’s going on with my SQ of J1 later this week.



1. Today marks 5 years since I launched the tiny online pop-up that has grown into the bustling little business called Fringe Supply Co. Five years of reading each order and saying “Thank you, Kim.” “Thank you, Sarah.” “Thank you …” as if you were standing right across the counter. I’ll never stop being grateful for every single order.

2.  To celebrate, a gift from us to you: Starting from 12:01 PT this morning, the first 50 domestic orders of $50 or more* will include a free Fringe canvas tool pouch ($24 value). No code needed! If your order qualifies, the pouch will be added to your package. WHOA, that was fast! As of 7:20 PT, all 50 of the giveaways have already been claimed, so for the rest of the day, it’s 25% off the canvas tool pouch for everyone (worldwide)! Add the pouch to your cart and use code HAPPY5TH at checkout to receive the discount. Thank you SO MUCH, everyone — you guys blow me away!

3.  At long last, the Fringe notebook I’ve always wanted is finally available today! In two sizes and three colors; grid-ruled, brass coil bound, bookcloth covered, thick recycled paper. In a word, fabulous.

*Based on merchandise subtotal, before shipping. Not applicable to past orders or redeemable for cash. Due to customs considerations, offer available to US shipping addresses only.


PREVIOUSLY in Yarns in Waiting: Mid-2017

Yarns in Waiting, mid-2017

Yarns in Waiting, mid-2017

Unlike my assorted Yarns in Waiting from last April, nearly all of which have since factored into garments, my year-end lineup is still mostly sitting patiently on the shelf. But in the meantime, I’ve acquired a few more lovelies that are now hoping for a turn (clockwise from top):

– Rosa Pomar sent me this ball of her newest yarn, Mungo, which is milled in her native Portugal like her other yarns. In addition to being drop-dead gorgeous and exactly the shade of blackish-blue I’ve been on the hunt for, it’s recycled. 100% pre-consumer waste, wool and cotton (50/50), all fiber sourced in Portugal and Spain. And the fiber mix gives the color that inherent heathered look I love.

– The four balls of Gilliatt by De Rerum Natura were given to me by Aimee of La Bien Aimée when I was in Paris in April. This is French milled, French merino, and everyone’s always telling me I have to try it! (I love that the label says “Fabriqué en France dans le respect des moutons et des hommes.”) At least two of these colors are undyed but possibly all four, and these amount to a sweater’s worth if I can decide on a strategy!

Luma from Kelbourne Woolens/The Fibre Co is a reinvention of a former yarn that I always wanted to love, and I do love this iteration of it. It’s 50% merino, 25% organic cotton, plus linen and silk, spun and dyed at a well-respected mill in Peru, but that’s really all I know about it. Other than it’s a light, lovely DK-weight yarn. The natural is a really great non-yellowy natural.

– At the Squam Art Fair there was a table full of baskets of incredible farm yarns that I couldn’t choose between and also couldn’t walk away from — to the point that I broke my single skein rule. (The rule: No single skeins.) The vendor was New England Farm to Fiber, who rep a bunch of New England farm yarns at the Boston Public Market (and on their website), and the skein I walked away with is this gorgeous 80% Romedale/CVM and 20% alpaca blend from Crooked Fence Farm. I think it will make an exceptional pair of mitts.

– And I just acquired this skein of YOTH’s new Best Friend from my pal Meg at Haus of Yarn. This is YOTH’s collaboration with Francis Chester of Cestari, as it happens — it’s 75% cotton (grown by Cestari) and 25% wool (US-sourced), milled in VA by Cestari. Again, beautiful heathered color due to the fiber mix, and it’s also spun with a bit of a slubby texture. This “blueberry” skein is perfectly gorgeous — like your favorite old faded jeans. It’s light fingering (550 yards!), so whatever I do with it, it will be held double or triple, but I can’t wait to experiment with it and see if I need a sweater’s worth. Maybe next summer’s summer sweater project!


PREVIOUSLY: Yarns in Waiting, late 2016


Yarns in Waiting, late 2016

Yarns in Waiting, late 2016

One thing I didn’t explicitly point out in my little studio tour on Friday was the narrow shelf just above my WIP shelf in the big storage wall, which is where I keep the yarns I’m the most eager to have off the shelf and into my hot little hands. It’s generally a mix of upcoming sweater quantities and some assorted singles or pairs of skeins I’ve either found or been sent. At the moment, that shelf holds four sweater quantities (all discussed here) and a few other beauties I thought I’d show you today — which were actually sitting out on my worktable the day I took most of those photos. With all the same caveats and pleas as in my April Yarns in Waiting post, these are my current fixations/fascinations—

1. The unlabeled ivory skein at the far left is Tov from Woolfolk, which came up in my post about the stunning Tov collection. It’s 16 “cable spun” plies of the same Ultimate Merino of Woolfolk’s original yarns, this time at aran weight. I’ve never seen anything that looks quite like it.

2. We have a joke around my house that my husband’s favorite color is “smudge,” so when I opened the box of Cashmere Merino Bloom (75% extra-fine merino, 25% cashmere) from Purl Soho with this inside, we both knew it was destined to be something for him. This Charcoal Onyx colorway is intriguing — a tonal marl of soft black and dark charcoal. Heathered smudge, you might say.

3. Stone Wool, as I understand it, is a joint effort between Twig & Horn (aka Quince and Co) and Whitney Hayward, who has previously used Stone Wool as the brand for her handspun. This is mill-spun 100% American Cormo, worsted weight, that’s some mysterious combination of worsted- and woollen-spun methodologies. I don’t know if that means 1 ply is worsted spun and the other is woollen spun (?) or what, but I do know it’s delicious in the skein. I’m loving this Tobacco colorway, naturally, which is somewhere between camel and what I think of as tobacco. (The 4-pc pattern collection for this yarn is great, too.)

4. Washington Targhee is Tolt’s new collaboration with Abundant Earth Fiber Mill — a limited edition of 100% Targee fiber grown and milled in the state of Washington. I’m really crazy about this yarn; it’s super tidy looking in the skein and both soft and sturdy to the touch.

5. Those four were all sent to me by the makers in recent months, whereas the last one (of which I have two skeins) I bought at Porter Flea on Friday night from my friend Allison of TN Textile Mill. I was ogling the yardage of her latest fabrics and spotted these skeins on the counter, which are the yarn she’d used for the fabrics I was drooling on at that moment. It’s 100% merino, bulky weight, in a dark camel shade that’s exactly what I’ve been wanting for that turtleneck I’m craving, so I may wind up with a SQ of this one. The fabric it wove up into is incredible but I’m eager to see how the loosely spun yarn knits up and wears. (I’m not sure if she has any plans to list it for sale on her website.) (UPDATE: It’s now available online!)

Given how many of those April yarns in waiting wound up factoring into my queue, I think it’s safe to say you’ll be hearing more from me about these gems!


PREVIOUSLY: Yarns in waiting

Yarns in waiting

Yarns in waiting

Once upon a time (have I told you this story before?) I ran a community site about books and I was on the mailing list of every publishing company on the planet, whether I wanted to be or not. Every day books landed on my doorstep unsolicited — most of them wildly inappropriate for my site (kids books, self-help, pulp fiction …). People always think it sounds like a ridiculous thing to complain about — who doesn’t love free books! — but try getting hundreds of books out of your house on a weekly basis and tell me what a blessing it is. So I’m now incredibly cautious about people who seek to send me yarn. I really don’t want a lot of yarn in the house, generally speaking — especially single skeins — so am frequently in the awkward position of turning down offers of yarn, no matter how luscious it may be. Every once in a blue moon, though, I cave. And then there’s the fact that I have a lot of good acquaintances and close friends in the yarn business, and sometimes they send me yarn without my knowing anything about it. So things find their way in.

Lately my mail has been pret-ty amazing, and I thought I’d tell you about some of these beauties:

1) I don’t have any friends at luxury yarn company Jones & Vandermeer, but after I posted about trying to find the perfect camel-colored yarn for my upcoming Channel cardigan, I got a nice note from them asking if I wouldn’t like to swatch with their 100% camel-fiber yarn, Clever Camel. And obviously the answer was yes, I really would. Swatching will commence this weekend.

2) My friend Kristin Ford of Woolfolk sent me a hilarious email recently about some random colors of Far she had from the mill, wondering if she could share some of it with me. I asked her for a pic, and a few days later I got a box. My favorites are the few skeins of this blue-and-white marl. No idea what I might do with it (or if it will be going into production), but it will be heavily petted in the near term.

3) I mentioned before that my friends at Purl Soho sent me a box of their Linen Quill before I had a chance to complete my order. Knowing me as they do, they sent skeins of the black and the grey-natural marl, both so incredibly stunning. I’ve already wound two skeins of the black and started playing with it last night.

4) A dear friend in the biz sent me these two incredible skeins of aran-weight tweed yarn that I’m pretty sure I’m not allowed to talk about just yet. But ooh la la … coming this fall, I think.

So for me, this weekend is for swatching and seaming, seaming and swatching. And maybe drowning my tax sorrows in a nice glass of rosé. What are you up to?

IN SHOP NEWS: The spring/summer issue of Amirisu arrived this week, packed full of great little sweater patterns and three shawls. And you’ll also once again find all three shapes of brass hangers and both sizes of brass-and-steel scissors on the virtual shelves waiting for you. Among the Field Bags and all the other lovely things at Fringe Supply Co.!