T-shirts & Bag Pre-order

Not everyone wants to stand in line just for the chance to get a YarnCon goodie bag. Good news; you can get your hands on this year’s tote bag by pre-order for $12! Work + Shelter made us these cute organic cotton totes, screened with a HUGE YarnCon logo and with a boxy bottom to help it stand up when it’s full; you know, like when you’re stuffing it with your YarnCon purchases.


(If you want goodies IN the bag, you’ll still have to score one of the first 50 places in line at opening on Saturday and Sunday for the variety of vendor coupons and treats included. No shortcuts there!)

For more information on Work + Shelter’s program to empower women and alleviate poverty with fair trade job training and personal support, check out their website.

We’re also making another limited run of YarnCon t-shirts, which you can order until Saturday, March 19 for pickup at YarnCon. Two styles, with sizes from XS-4XL. We’ll have limited stock at the event, so if you want a shirt, get your order in!



Vendor Spotlight: Posh Fibers, Hopkins Sewing Studio

Not one, but TWO vendors new to YarnCon to introduce to you today!

Posh Fibers makes its fiber show world premiere, with a line of alpaca and alpaca blends sourced and spun domestically. Penelope is an alpaca farmer herself, so really knows how to get the most out of this super-soft fiber!

Hopkins Sewing Studio is bringing project bags with panache. Emonieiesha knits and crochets as well as sews, so she makes bags that she would want to use to stay organized, as well as stylish.

Posh FibersPosh Fibers

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
Making the shift from alpaca farmer to dyer of fabulous alpaca yarn! All of my yarns are 100% sourced and spun in the US, and dyed in my Michigan home! Each yarn is a carefully thought out blend of alpaca and other natural fibers, like silk, bamboo, mohair, wool and nylon, spun into weights from lace to DK.

Any special or featured products you want to share?
This is our debut show! Free gift with every purchase of $50 or more: a project bag and links to patterns that have been tested with our yarns!



Hopkins Sewing StudioHopkins Sewing Studio

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?

Unique fabrics, and project bags that feature:

  • Snap Yarn Guides so you can remove your project (Snap Yarn Guides allow you to keep the project *inside* your bag)
  • Pocket for your iPad or pattern
  • Pocket for Pen or pencil
  • Attached snap pockets for your notions

Any special or featured products you want to share?
Here’s a look at my large project bag:

A Contest, YarnCon-Style!

Ready to dig out your best work, or whip up a little something new, and win prizes for it? In partnership with Great Northern, the upcoming release of knit patterns inspired by the evergreen Twin Peaks TV series, we invite you to enter a Damn Fine YarnContest.

DFYC-Final-logoBWe have five categories to enter, with outstanding judges in each category:

  • Best Twin Peaks prop, judged by Great Northern author Leah Coccari-Swift
  • Best Accessory, judged by Midwestern Knits author Allyson Dykhuizen
  • Best Toy, judged by Anna Hrachovec of Mochimochiland
  • Best Use of Handspun Yarn, judged by Vera Videnovich, spinning instructor and proprietor of Atelier Videnovich
  • Best Garment, judged by Yarnbox creative director Lisa Whiting

One winner will be declared in each category, with all five judges conferring on one Best in Show grand prize to rule supreme (and get a extra-special prize package).

Further entry details will be announced on the blog next week, but start thinking about what you want to enter or make, and get ready to strut your stuff!

(Clarification note, since you asked: the Great Northern book does focus on knit patterns, but all fiber arts are welcome to enter; knitted, crocheted, woven…we want to see ALL your awesome work!)

Check out more about the Great Northern project here. And remember: the Log Lady‘s log may not judge, but we will!


Vendor Spotlight: Lindsay Streem DIY, Spinning Chicken Studio

Whether or not you crochet, Lindsay Streem’s booth is definitely worth a stop. She’s loaded up with tools, supplies and patterns for the avid hook wielder, to be sure, though most of her supplies have craft-crossover appeal. She also creates lovely crocheted jewelry and accessories that anyone can enjoy, no assembly required!

Spinning Chicken Studio returns for a second year in the mini-booth section. All of Sonji’s yarns are spindle-spun (!!), and you can see the care taken in every detail. Each of her skeins is a self-contained work of art.

Lindsay Streem DesignsLindsay Streem DIY

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
I am a crochet designer based in Chicago, with over 25 years of experience. My crocheted jewelry has been featured in Family Circle, Easy Crochet, 1000 Jewelry Inspirations, Jewelry with a Hook, and most recently Interweave Crochet (Winter 2015). My patterns can be found on Ravelry, Craftsy and in my Etsy shop. I also create unique accessories using crochet and recycled felt that are sold online and in boutiques around the country.

Any special or featured products you want to share?
The majority of my DIY products are geared toward crocheters, like my roll-up hook pouches, but I also carry a big selection of buttons, purse handles and other tools for all fiber arts.


spinningchicken2Spinning Chicken Studio

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
All my yarn is spun and plied on spindles. I LOVE LOVE LOVE making yarn from start to finish…washing and dyeing fibers, combing or carding them (of course, once in a while I am seduced by someone else’s incredible dyed roving or art batt) and spinning it all on spindles. I tried wheel spinning; in fact, I have 3 in a closet because whenever my friend goes on a trip and sees a wheel she brings it back for me (how thoughtful is that?), but I truly enjoy making beautiful one-of-a-kind yarn the slow way, and I believe you will be glad that I do too!

Any special or featured products you want to share?
I went crazy for turquoise this year, so it’s in a lot of the yarns. I think my signature yarn is one of colorful bamboo shreds carded with natural alpaca and spun into a textural sport weight(ish) single.

Vendor Spotlight: Sophie’s Toes, Backyard Fibers

Sophie’s Toes and YarnCon go way back, and we remain HUGE fans of Emily’s color style and mad dyeing skillz. Their new Magic Balls make gorgeous multicolored scarves, cowls, and baby sweaters, without all those pesky ends to weave in.

Backyard Fibers, based right here in the city, debuts this year with a line of yarns that are 100% USA made, from sheep to skein. The company just launched last summer, so we’re really looking forward to seeing what they have to share!

Sophie's Toes Sock YarnSophie’s Toes

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
Hand dyed sock yarn and colorful kits, including Magic Balls, Ombre Gradient kits and mini skeins!

Any special or featured products you want to share?
Magic Balls…150 gms (that’s like 1.5 skeins of the merino sock yarn, 100% superwash merino fingering weight) in 15 colors, carefully selected to make a fun patchwork scarf, or whatever your imagination dreams up!


backyardBackyard Fibers

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
All of our yarn is made in the USA.

Any special or featured products you want to share?
SoSoft yarn bulky naturally colored merino, a limited edition:

 Hand-dyed fingering weight merino:


Vendor Spotlight: Daizie Knits, MayBea Crafted

Daizie Knits’ 3D-printed spindles were a sensation last year, and we’re happy to welcome them back — both DK and the spindles. Owner Jennifer (who also happily answers to “Daizie” when you see her around) specializes in extra-smooshy fibers and bright color combinations. Check out her podcast to see if she’ll tip her hand on what else she plans to bring along!

MayBea Crafted makes their YarnCon debut with a range of bags and fabrics that will make your head spin (one of her fabrics even glows in the dark)! Tanya cranks out bags and knitting patterns from her Michigan studio that we’re pretty psyched to introduce to all of you.

Daizie KnitsDaizie Knits

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
We specialize in hand dyed yarns and fibers. We offer yarns from lace weight to worsted with a mix of different fibers and blends. After partnering up with Madhatter Ideas, we also offer 3D printed Turkish spindles.

Any special or featured products you want to share?
3D printed spindles…

…and hand dyed yarns and fiber:


Dewy Sock in “Smell the Roses”


maybeaMayBea Crafted

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
As a new vendor, I’m most excited for the opportunity for everyone to see my work. I am beyond excited to spend the weekend with all of you; Make sure you stop in my booth and say hi!

Any special or featured products you want to share?
I’ll be debuting a collection of new knitting patterns, but my project bags will be new to many attendees too. My Poppins bags have been a local favorite, because of the quirky fabrics I select, and because they are so well made. A friend calls hers a Tardis bag because they are “bigger on the inside” and can hold a surprising amount of stuff.

Vendor Spotlight: Cooperative Press, Handmade Hollows

The YarnCon market is awash in yarn and fiber of all colors, weights, and content, but once you have materials in hand, what to DO with all of it? Independent publisher Cooperative Press has a few ideas for you. Returning for a third consecutive year, CP’s pattern books cover socks to shawls, drawing inspiration from pop culture and historical figures. Whether you’re looking for a pattern for a steampunk style top hat or a sweet children’s story starring a pair of yarn shop dogs, Shannon Okey and her traveling book fair have you covered.

Handmade Hollows debuted in the mini-booth area in 2015, and we’re thrilled to welcome Alice back this year into a full-size space of her own. Combining her love of fiber with her mad ceramics skills, her products range from bitty buttons to skeins of her own handspun. We can’t wait to see how she’ll fill her larger space this year!

Cooperative PressCooperative Press

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
We’re a fully independent publishing company dedicated to bringing the best knitting designers to you!

Any special or featured products you want to share?
Our most recent book Spilly Jane Knits Mittens is just right for chilly Chicago!

Handmade HollowsHandmade Hollows

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
While my first love is pottery, a few years ago I discovered the fiber world and found I could make and use ceramic tools for fiber arts. I also discovered how much I enjoy taking a fleece straight off a sheep, adding a bit here and there, and making it into shiny, colorful yarn.

Any special or featured products you want to share?
My new yarn bowls:

Also I’ll be bringing rolags this year:

Vendor Spotlight: KnitCircus Yarns, Betty Burian Kirk

It’s been a big year for KnitCircus Yarns, with the opening of their studio and store in Madison! We always look forward to seeing what’s new our resident gradient ninjas, and now that they have even more space to create, we’re betting on a lot of new lovelies in this year’s booth.

Betty Burian Kirk returns to YarnCon a second time with her collection of wearable art, unique hats, and ready-to-wear woven scarves. She’s also an expert in handspinning dog hair, so she’s sure to have samples to feel and try out.

Knitcircus YarnsKnitCircus Yarns

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
We offer hand-dyed luxury gradient yarns, including Gradient Striped Sock Sets. All made with love in Wisconsin.

Any special or featured products you want to share?
Gradient stripes; a dyeing technique you’ll only find at Knitcircus. Two exactly-matching cakes of yarn give you short-striping socks that change colors throughout the sock. Just sit back, relax and let the yarn do all the color changing for you!


bbkirk1Betty Burian Kirk

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
I make one of a kind sculpted hats out of my handmade felt as well as felted and handwoven scarves.

Any special or featured products you want to share?
Handspun dog hair yarn:


Felt and silk hats, each individually designed and created:


Vendor Spotlight: BunnyBadger Fibers, Oink Pigments

More vendors to introduce today! One will look familiar to those of you who’ve attended before, but one is all new. Read on to meet Renée of BunnyBadger Fibers, along with a first peek at Oink Pigments; both share a focus on USA-grown wool and a love of wild color!

In addition to vending, Renée of BunnyBadger will be teaching two awesome classes over YarnCon weekend: a corespinning workshop for grownups, and a needle-felted soap class just for kids! Registration for all classes is open, so go check ’em out.

BunnyBadger FibersBunnyBadger Fibers

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
Fierce and fluffy fibers that are locally produced. All wool fibers are sourced from US farms where the animals are humanely treated and other fibers are sourced through Fair Trade initiatives.

Any special or featured products you want to share?
BunnyBadger Fibers always has a great selection of handspun art yarns, plus all the supplies to make your own! Just take a look at last year’s YarnCon booth to get an idea of all the fun stuff they offer.


And a peek at one of Renée’s stunning handspun art yarns:


Oink PigmentsOink Pigments

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
Our bright and playful indie-dyed yarns are 100% USA MADE – even the sheep are Americans!

Any special or featured products you want to share?
We’ve got some new colors available on all our bases, but here they are on our most popular Oink Sock:

And another new color, Spring Fever:


Vendor Spotlight: Cloudlover, Heartland “Criations” Alpacas

YarnCon vendors come from as far away as Colorado and Massachusetts, but today we’re checking in with two vendors closer to home. Cloudlover is based right here in Chicago, and has brought her vibrant hand-painted fiber and yarn to YarnCon from the first. Heartland “Criations” raises alpacas in Rio — the western Illinois one, that is — and is rejoining us after a great YarnCon debut in 2015.

(That name is no misspelling, by the way— for you non-alpaca aficionados, a “cria” is a baby alpaca. But you all already knew that, didn’t you?)

Cloudlover Yarn & FiberCloudlover

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
I specialize in dyeing unique, eye-catching colorways that are inspired by art, nature, literature and fashion.

Any special or featured products you want to share?
Merino/Silk hand-painted sock yarn. This sock weight base is 50% merino wool and 50% silk. It’s incredibly soft and glossy and has an amazing drape.


Merino/Silk sock yarn in Séance

Blue-Faced Leicester wool top and roving: BFL wool is soft, lustrous and easy to spin – it’s a perfect fiber for beginners, too!


BFL Wool Top/Roving in Sugar Maple

Heartland CriationsHeartland “Criations” Alpacas

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
At Heartland “Criations” Alpacas, we have been raising Suri alpacas for 16 years. Not only do we raise and show the livestock, we also sell raw and finished alpaca products in a variety of locations. We process all of our own fiber, and we we also work with additional companies to bring you, our customer, the highest quality alpaca products possible. There is no lanolin in alpaca fiber, thus making it hypo-allergenic, and it is a very luxurious and durable natural fiber. It is known for being warmer than wool and possessing great moisture wicking properties.

Any special or featured products you want to share?
Mid-weight alpaca socks: ideal to wear with a tennis shoe, hiking boot, or work boot. They are 80% alpaca, are a crew height and have amazing cushion! This is my favorite sock, by far!!!


This 100% alpaca scarf looks fantastic and feels incredible against your skin! This is a scarf that you can dress up or dress down, and is available in a variety of color combinations.