Wren & Rita

Name: Ana Brito
Business name: Wren & Rita
Website(s): Wren & Rita Website, on 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 rolls, circular 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 appealing 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 year, but I love my earthy tones and colors.

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?
This year was big year for me! I found a wheel that I love and have been spinning away. I even purchased two fleeces!
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Great Lakes Hand Dyed

Name: Elizabeth Deremiah
Business name: Great Lakes Hand Dyed
Website(s): Great Lakes Hand Dyed Shop
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What kind of items do you make?
Kettle dyed, variegated, self striping and color shifting yarns.

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

What got you interested in your art of choice?
I love to knit and crochet. There was a point in my knitting and crocheting career that left me wanting more. I had read a few tutorials on dyeing yarn and decided to try it out on my own. I found it relaxing and another way to express myself as a creative individual. I love creating and sharing my yarns with others and hearing their glee when they receive squishy packages in the mail from me.
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What do you most enjoy about what you do?
Other than the actual process of dyeing, my favorite part of being a yarn dyer is interacting with customers who are excited about my yarns and seeing what they make with it. I’m very guilty of looking through project knit with my yarn on Ravelry and squealing with glee.

What most inspires you?
My everyday life is my biggest inspiration. My life is full of geekery like Harry Potter, video games like Elder Scrolls and Final Fantasy. Also, funny situations that sound like great colorways often make their way into my shop.
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What makes your creations unique?
I love experimenting with new processes of yarn dyeing. I’m always trying new techniques and seeing how knitters and crocheters like them. My shop is always full of new and interesting yarns.

Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
My current favorite is overdyeing yarns. I currently have a colorway that was inspired by new hair called Vibrato. It’s base is black, then overdyed sapphire blue and then overdyed purple. It is dyed on my favorite base which has merino, silk, nylon and metallic fibers.

What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
Something new and interesting to look for constantly. I hope to inspire people to check back in the shop every once in a while to see what I’m up to.
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Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
People at my day job are always asking me what I’m knitting or dyeing. I have provided education to a lot of “muggles” (non knitting folk) about properties of wool and the process of dyeing. So there are some well educated muggles out there!

What is your fiber arts superpower?
Turning a ruined skein of yarn into something incredible. I have said “oh shoot” so many times. Often, they’re my favorite skeins!

How is the fiber arts world different for you today than it was five years ago?
5 years ago, I was pretty young and still in high school. My fiber world was my mom’s crochet books and box store yarn. Now that I’ve seen and experience the wonderful people in the fiber arts world, I can’t imagine a life without it.
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One Sly Fox

Name: Sarah Teigler
Business name: One Sly Fox
Website(s): One Sly Fox Shop oneslyfox3
What kind of items do you make?
Hand spun yarns, stitch markers for knitting and crochet, keeper necklaces, and jewelry.

How long have you been in indie artist?
I started as a kid making worry dolls and eventually evolved to actually have a working business.

What got you interested in your art of choice?
I was just out of college and my usual media wasn’t accessible (ceramics) and someone recommended spinning. I taught myself on a drop spindle and loved it.  I also rediscovered my love of yarn that my grandmothers gave me.
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What do you most enjoy about what you do?
It’s portable, fun and a great way to be productive making something beautiful.

What most inspires you?
Nature, I love to sit outside under trees and just take it all in.

What makes your creations unique?
I try to find ideas and then bend them, make them a little odd, an little unexpected, but also entirely useful.
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Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
I love my stitch markers, I’m bit addicted to them. Not just using them, but making them. My studio space is littered with the things.

What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
Beautiful, useful, tools that make doing your craft, be it spinning, felting, knitting or crochet, easier and maybe a bit more fun.
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Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
Yes, I’m constantly wondering what it would take to make something similar to what I’ve seen in a store, how to adapt patterns to fit others, what yarn I could possibly make or what dyes to use. My brain is in a constant happy buzz with the idea flow.

What is your fiber arts superpower?
I can swatch to gauge the first time, every time!

How is the fiber arts world different for you today than it was five years ago?
I’m in it! ;)
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Kid Ewe Knot

Name: Laurie Graham/Heather Metzger
Business name: Kid Ewe Knot
Website(s): Kid Ewe Knot Website
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What kind of items do you make?
Hand dyed yarns and fibers

How long have you been in indie artist?
Forever! (But 6 months professionally)

What got you interested in your art of choice?
I LOVE color!
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What do you most enjoy about what you do?
The transformation from blank yarn and fiber to dyed fabulousness!

What most inspires you?
Everything, but a lot of my work is inspired by music.

What makes your creations unique?
Me! Every artist brings their own unique sensibilities to their work.

Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
Our new Squish base, and I love serendipity so the Potlucks are always my favorites.
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What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
A local connection. Right now I only offer my yarns locally.

Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
Everything’s connected.

What is your fiber arts superpower?
Making mittens. Seriously, I can knock out a pair in a day.

How is the fiber arts world different for you today than it was five years ago?
The availability of hand dyed yarns has exploded. And I’m a pro now!
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Dusty Tree Soap

Name: Rebecca Shepler
Business name: Dusty Tree Soap
Website(s): Dusty Tree Soap Website
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What kind of items do you make?
I make handcrafted cold processed vegan soap. All are Palm Oil free and contain no SLS, parabens, BHT, phthalates, or aluminum. I use great care in developing a personalized product to ensure you receive and enjoy a spectacular bar of soap.

How long have you been in indie artist?
I’ve been a knitter for about 16 years and have been making soap for the past few years.

What got you interested in your art of choice?
Dusty Tree Soap came about when I had kids and I was concerned about the soap I used on their bodies. I didn’t want to use nasty synthetic or weird chemicals on my babies’ brand new skin. It is our largest organ and we need to treat it well. I had a hard time finding pure simple handcrafted soaps without all of the scents. I wanted soap that would clean, be gentle to their skin and not smell like the perfume counter in a department store…..so I decided to make my own.

What do you most enjoy about what you do?
It really is just soap, but it is amazing what you can do to make each batch totally different and unique. I’ve tried to make duplicate batches and they always turn out a bit different. So I enjoy the simplicity of the formula and method, but love how you get to do different techniques, additives, or who knows what else to make each so different. I’m always experimenting with new things.

What most inspires you?
My kids and their endless questions of why and how things work. I’m fascinated by their curious minds.
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What makes your creations unique?
My soaps are all natural with no dyes or colors and I rarely use scents. I don’t use preservatives either. I add Rosemary Oleoresin, which contains antioxidants which are oil soluble compounds derived from rosemary. A natural preservative, it prevents rancidity. I love to experiment with different beneficial additives and have been on a food kick as of late…tomato, pumpkin, cucumber & bananas. All totally great for the skin!

Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
Usually it is the soap I’m currently using, but I really favor my Lanolin Soap. I use it to wash all of my woolens and it is super moisturizing in the shower. I also, love my shampoo bars.

What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
To make them extra squeaky clean with some honest to goodness soap!

Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
I have a hard time surprising people with gifts…they usually know they are about to unwrap either something hand knit or a bar of soap. If they are extra special they may even get both.

How is the fiber arts world different for you today than it was five years ago?
I’m so thrilled to see everyone’s creativity. Some write patterns, some dye wool, some teach classes, it is endless and so exciting to know that you can never stop because there is always something new you can do or learn.
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Lyrical Yarns

Name: Maggie Broderick
Business name: Lyrical Yarns
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What kind of items do you make?
I specialize in hand-painted wool yarns in various weights and varieties.  I’ve also written and published a book on knitting wool diaper covers (longies, soakers, etc) and have related patterns available on ravelry.com and knitpicks.com.
 
How long have you been in indie artist?
Since 2006
 
What got you interested in your art of choice?
I have loved fiber arts for as long as I can remember!   My grandmother kept bits of embroidery floss in old cigar boxes, and let me look at them when I was probably just learning to walk and talk.  She and my aunt taught me about knitting, crocheting, weaving, and sewing over many years.  During my 20s, I was an avid quilter, and then moved onto some serious knitting and crocheting in my 30s, after having my children.  Something about having children made me need to knit and crochet!
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What do you most enjoy about what you do?
I love teaching others to express themselves via fiber arts and creativity.  I also love simply making things by hand and the satisfaction that comes with that.
 
What most inspires you?
My family
 
What makes your creations unique?
I am fairly knowledgeable about wool, and have made learning about it my passion.
 
Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
My “Precious Earth Longies” pattern on Knitpicks.com is my current pride and joy.
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What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
Education and sharing the love of fiber arts together!
 
Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
Yes – I’m an educator in all that I do (parenting, teaching, and being a fiber artist).  It all goes together.
 
What is your fiber arts superpower?
Teaching others
 
How is the fiber arts world different for you today than it was five years ago?
Five years ago, I was almost entirely online with my business.  Nowadays, the fiber arts scene is wonderfully “in person,” and I love being immersed in it.
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Fiddlehead Fibers

Name: Jess Pflueger
Business name: Fiddlehead Fibers
Website(s): Fiddlehead Fibers Etsy Shop
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What kind of items do you make?
Washed wool locks/fleece

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?
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.
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Berry Patch Creations

Name: Karen Orchard
Business name: Berry Patch Creations
Website(s): Berry Patch Creations Shop, Website, on Facebook, on Pinterest
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What kind of items do you make?
Hand dyed wool and wool blend yarns.

How long have you been in indie artist?

For 10 years I have been sewing, knitting, and dyeing fabric and yarn. The yarn dyeing started about 8 years ago and I started really doing that almost exclusively two years ago.
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What got you interested in your art of choice?
I had started sewing in order to make cloth diapers, then started knitting to make diaper soakers. I began selling cloth diapers and later knit soakers. I was a part of a large WAHM community of artisans and crafters all centered around the hand made cloth diaper industry. Many of us are all still friends and keep in touch, even though most of us have moved on to other ventures outside of WAHM diapers. One of my greatest influences and mentors would have to be Morwenna of Mosaic Moon, we even share the same birthday. Marnie and Julie of The Cushie Tushie, shared much knowledge with me about dyeing yarn, as well.

What do you most enjoy about what you do?
Color! I just love color, closely followed by yarn. Most people are pretty happy when shopping for yarn, unlike shopping for insurance or getting a prescription filled.
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What most inspires you?
Photographs or palettes, mostly. I find a lot of inspiration from photographs or graphic art on Pinterest and Etsy. It could be anything, though. Sometimes even watching a movie with my kids will inspire a new colorway or an assortment of colorful items on a clearance rack.

Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
Tough to choose a favorite colorway. I just couldn’t. Lately, I have been thinking I really want to make something using Forest Stream. Who could pick one yarn base? You have to have variety.

What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
I do a lot of custom work, where people will ask for a custom colorway to be created. Being able to offer that is fun and satisfying.
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Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
Probably makes my husband crazy. I am probably nuts to keep at this and have a full time job and 3 kids. However, now that I rediscovered my creative side 10 years ago, letting go of it frightens me. The thought of not being able to create feels suffocating and horribly boring. Life would pretty dull without art.

What is your fiber arts superpower?
Custom palette creation motivates me. From what customers have reported back, I think I have delivered what they had in mind

How is the fiber arts world different for you today than it was five years ago?
It seems to be growing and growing. Many more knitters and crocheters now, than just 5 years ago.
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StarKnits

Name: Allena Williams
Business name: StarKnits
Website(s): StarKnits Shop, on Facebook
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What kind of items do you make?
I like to think of it as knitting, crocheting and spinning support. I make various project bags, fabric baskets, stitch markers and custom crochet hooks

How long have you been in indie artist?
I opened an etsy shop in ’06 but I finally got really serious about it in 2010-2011

What got you interested in your art of choice?
It started one Christmas season when I wanted to give my students a useful gift and not go broke. I went into my bead collection and made some fun, fancy and dangle stitch markers that I affectionately called Bling. (because every crafter should Bling up their work in progress) I gave my students these blings and they LOVED them. I was asked to consign a few to the local yarn store. Then in an attempt to keep my yarn off the floor I came up with the yarnlet bag. Those too, I was asked to consign at the store. Shortly after I started making a portable project bags because I like to have a project with me at all times. By then I was hooked and decided to list a few bags and bling on etsy.
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What do you most enjoy about what you do? 
I love color and fabric. When I walk into a fabric store I go a little crazy. I’ve always loved making things with my hands.

What most inspires you?
Things around me, bright colors, shapes, kids toys etc.
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What makes your creations unique?
I would say pockets, most of my bags have pockets. and most of them don’t have exposed seams either. I take my time with each and every bag.

Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
I can’t really pick any. I do really love the Dr Who fabric I have.

What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community? 
I think everyone needs a little color and fun in their life. So my bags are fun and colorful, some of them make me laugh and others catch your eye, there’s no need to carry your knitting/crocheting/spinning around in plastic bags.
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Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
Yes my house is over run with yarn, fabric, wool, spinning wheels and anything to do with all of those.

What is your fiber arts superpower?
I can’t reveal that to you then you’d know my secret identity!

How is the fiber arts world different for you today than it was five years ago?
I think the biggest change is Ravelry. Before that I would spend hours finding patterns or yarn now I can do a simple search and spend hours chatting in forums. LOL  Also I’ve learned to spin and weave in the past 5 years.
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Indie Knit and Spin 2013 – details

For basic info about the show, click here.

VENDORS
The vendor list on the right side of the blog is final and accurate!  Check them out.

PARKING
If you’ve never been to the show before, know that it is at a school in a residential area and that all parking is street parking. If you are worried about having to park a couple of blocks away, come later in the day when the show is less busy.

HANDICAP ACCESSIBILITY
This show is not handicap accessible. We are using the second floor of an old school and the community center has not been able to raise enough money to get an elevator yet.

GIVE-AWAY TAKE-AWAY TABLE
New this year to the show! A table 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.

SNACKS
There will be snack table this year, without the coffee and tea that we had last year.

DONATIONS
Both the snack table and the give-away take-away table with have a place for donations. All donations will go towards the elevator fund of the community center.

PLACES TO KNIT/SPIN
There are four empty booths this year that will be set up with chairs.  Feel free to make yourself comfortable, grab a snack and chat with other folks!