This coming Saturday!

Indie Knit and Spin is coming right up!  You can find information here!  Here are a couple of things to remember:

We have classes this year
You can sign up at the show if there is still room, or email me cosymakes(at)gmail(dot)com. We have a nice variety of classes:  Toe up Socks and How to use Variegated Yarns, Support Spindle and Drop Spindle, a class on making your own preparations to spin, Stranded Knitting, and a Yoga and Yarn class.

Give away take away table
This table will be in the hallway again this year.  A table (or two) to get rid of the fiber arts stuff that you just have lying around collecting dust. And maybe to score something new that makes you happy. Books, patterns, needles, knitting, crochet or spinning supplies all welcome! You do not have to bring something to take something or take something if you bring something.

If you feel so inclined to volunteer – more info here.

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The Ross Farm

Name: Amy Ross Manko
Business name: The Ross Farm
Website(s): The Ross Farm Website
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What kind of items do you make?
We produce fleece, roving, locks, batting and yarn from our flock of Heritage and Rare Breed sheep that we raise on our PA Century Farm.

How long have you been in indie artist?
I’ve been an indie artist for as long as I can remember. I’ve been producing wool products for about a year.

What got you interested in your art of choice?
I was looking for a way to ‘work smarter. not harder’ with our wool flock and I wasn’t interested in raising animals specifically for meat, so fiber animals seemed like the perfect fit. We chose to work with Heritage and Rare Breeds because our farm has been in my family for over 100 years and is on the National Register of Historic Places so anything that wasn’t “old school” seemed like it would be less than authentic.
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What do you most enjoy about what you do?
Two things: Lambing season and shearing! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cute little lambies but the big payoff is when we shear and the fleece falls off the animals in silky, shiny locks. It’s like Christmas! You see, on the animals, it looks sort of scraggly and muddy and blah, but that’s just the outside. Inside the fleece is where the magic is. They may look like light brown marshmallows in the field but when you peel that back they may be shining silver or midnight black or warm dark chocolate on the inside. I just love that.

What most inspires you?
What inspires me most is my sheep. I know that sounds stupid, but I feel like my products have to do them justice. They worked a whole year to grow that fleece, and it’s my responsibility to make it SPECTACULAR. It’s different when you have a relationship with your product.
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What makes your creations unique?
What makes my creations unique is their simplicity. All of my yarn is 100% natural wool. “Un-fooled-around-with” as the commercial says. The color you see is the color it grew on my sheep. It never ceases to amaze me how many shades and tones you can get from these guys!

Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
My favorite item is Moonbear Snuggle, a bulky yarn I make from my registered Romney ram Moonbear. He’s such a dear, darling ram and his fleece is just soooo smooshy! (Please don’t tell the others… they are fabulous too!)

What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
I strive to offer the fiber community an alternative to the gorgeous hand-painted and hand-dyed BFL and Merino yarns that most folks use. Believe me, I love those too! But, if you dig natural stuff, I’ve got you covered!
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Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
Yep. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t heard my topic on the critically endangered Leicester Longwool sheep that we raise and the importance of preserving rare breeds for their beauty and versatility. I’m a shepherd. It’s who I am.

What is your fiber arts superpower?
My fiber arts super power is the ability to teach myself to make just about anything as a sample for our booth by watching a video on youtube. That, and predicting what the offspring are going to look like when I’m planning my cross-breeding of my sheep.

How is the fiber arts world different for you today than it was five years ago?
Five years ago I was a non-profit manager and I knew the fiber arts world existed, but I wasn’t involved. Now I’m a compulsive knitter and I’ve discovered spinning competitions, my new ‘sport’!
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SpaceCadet

Name: Stephanie Alford
Business name: SpaceCadet
Website(s): spacecadetyarn.com
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What got you interested in your art of choice?
I’ve been crazy in love with the fiber arts all my life — a knitter since I was 19, a spinner, a weaver — but it wasn’t until I tried dyeing that I felt like I’d really found the thing that was absolutely right for me. I love the exploration of dyeing — taking the same base colours and then mixing and layering them to create something new. Dyeing is such a wonderful adventure for me, every time!
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Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
In the past few months, I’ve really been experimenting with new techniques and ways of putting colour onto my yarn. And in the process, I’ve created a ton of out-of-this-world amazing colourways. Each one is one of a kind, never to be repeated, but I’m learning a lot and it’s changing my entire approach to dyeing. And, I’m bringing almost all of them to Indie Knit & Spin — I’m hoping everyone there is as crazy about them as I am!
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What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
I think I have to say, constant exploration and innovation. I get bored very easily and one thing I love about running my own business is that I never have to be bored. If what I’ve been doing isn’t interesting to me anymore, I can try something new. And what that means for the knitters, crocheters, and designers I work with is that there is always something exciting around the corner — my customers and the members of my Mini-Skeins Club get to see my experimentation happen right before their eyes, and I think it’s as fun for them as it is for me!
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Great Lakes Hand Dyed

Name: Elizabeth Deremiah
Business name: Great Lakes hand dyed
Website(s)
Shop, Great Lakes Hand Dyed Shop Blog, and on Ravelry here
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What kind of items do you make?
Hand dyed yarn and fiber

How long have you been in indie artist?
Since February 2012

What got you interested in your art of choice?
Dyeing yarn is an extension of my knitting and crocheting. It felt like the next logical step in my crafting journey.

What do you most enjoy about what you do?
Seeing the finished objects made from yarn and fiber. Watching the yarn and fiber go from a blank slate to a finished object is very satisfying for me.

What most inspires you?
Everyday events and the environments around me indoors and outdoors. Sometimes a funny scene in a show or a movie or a trip to the beach.
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What makes your creations unique?
All of my yarns and fibers are locally sourced from farms in the United States. I’m not afraid to use different dye techniques and experiment, which creates unique and exciting yarns and fibers.

Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
Currently the favorite product that I offer is the variegated self striping with 4 yards of variegated yarn and 4 yards of black.

What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
Options. Options are a huge benefit to the fiber arts community. There are tons of patterns, yarns, and fibers for fiber artists to choose from. I love when my customers email me and ask about possibilities. They are virtually endless.

Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
I recently have been a full time fiber artist. Being a dyer and business owner is one of the best jobs in the world. I have had the opportunity to meet incredible fiber artists and travel to places I would have never gone otherwise.

What is your fiber arts superpower?
Finding the perfect project for any yarn.

How is the fiber arts world different for you today than it was five years ago?
5 years ago, the only things I really spent time crafting were baby blankets made from box store yarns. I have discovered hand dyed yarns and taught myself to knit since then.
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Indie Knit and Spin/Cosy Knits (literally)

Name: Cosette Cornelius-Bates
Business: Cosy Knits (literally)
Website: Patterns

My booth will be a mixed bag this year. Half of the booth will be where you can sign up for IKS classes (the day of), ask questions, sign up to get our newsletter, and other IKS business stuffs.

The second half of the booth will be some kits of my patterns with my hand dyed yarn (these patterns)
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I will also be offering all of my patterns at a discount, just for this show. Here’s a sampling.
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And I will have autographed copies of my book for $5 each!

Wren and Rita

Name: Ana Brito
Business name: Wren & Rita
Website(s): http://wrenandrita.com, Facebook
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What kind of items do you make?
I sew just about anything, such as pouches to store all those miscellaneous knitting gadgets, needle organizers, small draw string project bags, tote bags, large project bags.

How long have you been in indie artist?
I’ve been an indie artist for many years but my business was created during the summer of 2009

What got you interested in your art of choice?
Yarn is my passion and I’m a knitter at heart but I just never had much interest in designing items since everyone else does it so well. I’ve been interested in sewing for many years but was always “scared” of the machine. One day, after moving to Pittsburgh in 2005, an idea for a circular needle organizer popped in my head and the rest is history.

What do you most enjoy about what you do?
Knowing that I’m creating items that are useful as well as appealign to the eye.

What most inspires you?
All my crafty friends.
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What makes your creations unique?
Face it, I haven’t invented the wheel but my items are well thought out and well made. I take great pride in creating pieces that you will use for many years.

Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
Typically, it depends on the time of the years, but I love my earthy tones and colors. Lately blues and greens and grays.

What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
Organization! Don’t you want to know where those size 7 needles are rather than buying another set?

Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
I’m much more aware of where I buy things. I believe in supporting local artists and local shops whenever possible.

What is your fiber arts superpower?
Project monogomy!

How is the fiber arts world different for you today than it was five years ago?
I continue to work on my spinning technique and have fallen in love with my turkish spindle. I purchased a new wheel last year as well as a blending board. I love blending natural undyed fibers.
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One Sly Fox

Name: Sarah Teigler
Business name: One Sly Fox
Website(s) oneslyfox.etsy.com, One Sly Fox on facebook
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What kind of items do you make?
Stitch markers, keeper necklaces, orifice/diz threaders, hand spun yarn

How long have you been in indie artist?
Officially since about 2001

What got you interested in your art of choice?
When I was about 3, my grandmother taught me to crochet and my nana to knit. Ever since I’ve just loved working with my hands and I always come back to it.

What do you most enjoy about what you do?
Keeping my hands busy is a must for me, but I love watching something take form as I work and having a tangible result. Not just for myself but something I can share with friends and family.
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What most inspires you?
Anything and everything, a song on the radio, a favorite book, a movie, sitting on my porch in the evening, any and all of it can make me want to grab my supplies and start crafting.

What makes your creations unique?
I try to combine function with aesthetics so that tools can be just as beautiful as what they’re being used to create.

Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
I’m an admitted stitch marker fiend, but I am absolutely in love with Butterfly Girl’s Riot batt. It’s a dream to spin and I always love how it comes out.
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What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
Tools that are not only practical but also pleasing to see and use. I set high standards for myself and if I don’t like something I refuse to share it with others.

Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
All of them. I have to craft, I have to knit, I have to have something in hand. My friends joke that if they want me to sit still long enough to talk they need to shove yarn in my hands. I just can’t not work with it!

What is your fiber arts superpower?
I can stitch to gauge first time, every time, no swatch needed! I’m told I’m also ridiculously fast.

How is the fiber arts world different for you today than it was five years ago?
Five years ago I was just starting to really come into the community as a vendor and I’m more in love with it now than ever! i get to tald to so many amazing people and share ideas and as crazy as it can make me I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
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Crochet by Faye

Name: Robyn Chachula
Business name: Crochet By Faye
Website(s): crochetbyfaye.com
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What kind of items do you make?
I design a full range of crochet patterns from sweaters to baby toys to afghans to jewelry. My designs are one step past beginner with a new twist you can learn from each pattern. All patterns come fully diagrammed with symbol crochet. We have crochet single patterns, books, DVDs and more for sale.
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How long have you been in indie artist?
I have been designing for 8 years. I started small designing for my own pattern line, branching out to other magazines when I was confident. The move to books and DVDs and the PBS show, Knit and Crochet Now, all happened naturally one fun step at a time.
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What got you interested in your art of choice?
I wanted patterns that interested me. Ones I was finding either did not fit my body shape or just did not spark my interest. Since I am a structural engineer by training, I thought if I could design a building, why not a sweater too? Crochet stitches can grow in any direction seamlessly and that just fascinated my engineer brain, and still does.
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What do you most enjoy about what you do?
I love finding a new-to-me technique then teaching it to as many other crocheters as possible.
What most inspires you?
My everyday world inspires me. Whether it’s the colorful clothes the other kindergarteners are wearing when I drop my daughter off at school or the pattern of the leaves while pushing my son in his stroller, my brain is constantly being inspired with colors and textures to try next.
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Quiltstyle

Name: Karen Womack
Business Name: Quiltstyle
Website: www.etsy.com/shop/quiltstyle
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What kind of items do you make?
Tote bags, knitting needle cases and other organizational items for knitters and crocheters. I also sell wool fabric and gift items.

How long have you been an indie artist?
About 10 years. I vended at craft fairs prior to opening my Etsy shop in 2009.

What got you interested in your art of choice?
Lack of bags available for knitters and crocheters. They weren’t pretty enough or the appropriate size for projects and yarn.
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What do you most enjoy about what you do?
Creating items that are beautiful and useful as well. I love to make, and purchase, handmade.

What makes your creations unique?
The texture of my fabric. Most of my bags are made from machine quilted fabrics and recycled art quilts. I am also a quilt maker and teacher, and have lots of sample pieces that are incorporated into my items.

Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
My favorite item is an African print bag that I made to hold small knitting projects. The colors are brown and teal. It’s very simple, but the fabric makes it striking.

How is the fiber arts world different for you today than it was five years ago?
The advent of surface design. Five years ago you didn’t see too many quilts incorporating yarn and felting. Fiber artists with basic sewing and quilting skills are now being accepted into quilt shows. I see knitted earrings in magazines. Indie artists are becoming more adventurous. The possibilities for creating a one of a kind item are endless.quilt2

Fiddlehead Fibers

Name: Jess Pflueger
Business name: Fiddlehead Fibers
Website(s) www.etsy.com/shop/FiddleheadFibers
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What kind of items do you make?
Washed wool locks/fleece, dyed fleece, batts

What got you interested in your art of choice?
I’ve been an avid knitter for a while…knitting led to spinning; and spinning eventually led to working with wool right off the sheep.

What do you most enjoy about what you do?
I really enjoy the opportunity to work with the wools from different breeds of sheep. Each fleece is a new adventure.
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What makes your creations unique?
Most of the wool I offer is in a “raw” (but washed) state – the lock structure is retained. So you can still get the experience of working with a specific breed’s wool in its raw form without having to get an entire fleece or having to do the dirty job of washing and sorting the fleece.

What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
The opportunity to use wool from different breeds of sheep in its “raw” state. There are so many different textures and natural colors available from breed-specific wool.fiddle3