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
http://www.emilyparson.etsy.com

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
http://backyardfibers.com/

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:

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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
http://www.daizieknits.com/

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:

dewysock

Dewy Sock in “Smell the Roses”

 


maybeaMayBea Crafted
http://www.maybeacrafted.com

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
www.cooperativepress.com

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
http://handmadehollows.com/

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
www.knitcircus.com

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!

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bbkirk1Betty Burian Kirk
www.bbkirk.com

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:

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Felt and silk hats, each individually designed and created:

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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
http://bunnybadgerfibers.com/

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.

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

bunnybadger2


Oink PigmentsOink Pigments
http://www.oinkpigments.com/

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
http://www.cloudlover.com

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.

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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!

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BFL Wool Top/Roving in Sugar Maple


Heartland CriationsHeartland “Criations” Alpacas
http://www.hcalpacas.com

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!!!

heartland1

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.

heartland2

 

Vendor Spotlight: Leading Men Fiber Arts, Jelby, Woolpierogi

Welcome to the latest installation of “Meet the Vendors!” This time around, we’re checking in with Leading Men Fiber Arts, returning for their third straight year, and the dynamic duo of Jelby and Woolpierogi, whose whimsical accessory and fiber creations complement each other beautifully.


Leading Men Fiber ArtsLeading Men Fiber Arts
http://leadingmenfiberarts.bigcartel.com/

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
Partners Steve and Andy are center stage in the world of color. They specialize in hand dyed yarns and fibers.

Any special or featured products you want to share?
New this year, we will have gradient sets:

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as well as our Improv Sock Blanks:

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JelbyJelby
http://jelby.etsy.com

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
I love coming up with new ideas and designs every year!

Any special or featured products you want to share?
New improved version of Stitch Stoppers will be available, along with new themed stitch marker kits. The kits will include a felted/embroidered tin, snagfree markers and a special charm marker.

jelby


woolpierogiWoolpierogi
http://woolpierogi.etsy.com

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
In addition to fiber, I have a passion for both color and texture. It is wonderful to find a way to combine all of my passions into the perfect batt or rolag. I love taking a concept like a pencil or a lightsaber or a birthday cake and representing them in wool.

Any special or featured products you want to share?
I’m very excited about my new Twinkle Kits. A batt is combined with a string of LED lights that you can use to core spin. The result is a super cool wool covered decoration that is perfect to decorate any crafty home or space.

woolpierogi1

woolpierogi2

Vendor Spotlight: San Juan Alpacas, Hearthside Fibers, Kitchen Counter Crafter

We’ve been working through all the vendor applications, and are just about done notifying everyone who’s applied. If you applied and haven’t heard, we promise you will very soon! (It was a long list.) Before we start mixing in the newbies, let’s meet a few more of our veteran vendors, shall we?

We missed Kim of San Juan Alpacas last year, and are thrilled to have her back in 2016! She’s always got tons of luscious alpaca goods, including finished pieces with no assembly required. Hearthside Fibers is a mainstay on our vendor floor; but Lael and Larry always bring something new and fun! Jennie of Kitchen Counter Crafter joined us for the first time in 2015, and we’re excited to see what new bags and accessories she’s cooking up for us this year. Pictures, please!


San Juan AlpacasSan Juan Alpacas
http://www.sanjuanalpacas.com/

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
My grandmother taught me to knit at age 6. I’ve been knitting ever since! I started San Juan Alpacas in 2001. Now, I have 7 alpacas and enjoy selling all sorts of soft, lovely alpaca goods: yarn, hand knits, knitting kits, blankets and socks.

Any special or featured products you want to share?
Hand-knits and kits:

sanjuancape

Alpaca blankets! Selection and design changes year-round; some items use fiber from our alpaca co-op in Telluride, others are made by artisans in Peru, where they know their alpaca.

sanjuanblanket


Hearthside FibersHearthside Fibers
http://www.hearthsidefibers.com/

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
Since we were there last year, several designers have used our yarns to design gorgeous patterns. Stop by our booth to check them out!

Any special or featured products you want to share?
Lael has started designing. Currently, we have kits for both a slouch hat and an infinity scarf, designed “in house” using our BaaBoo fingering weight yarn. Available in four color palettes.

hearthsideinfinity

“New Directions” Infinity Scarf Kit – Aqua/yellow version


Kitchen Counter CrafterKitchen Counter Crafter
http://www.kitchencountercrafter.com

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
I create fun and functional fabric accessories for the fiber lover.

Any special or featured products you want to share?
I’m debuting a zippered pouch, circular needle organizer and interchangeable needle holder to the product line in 2016!

KCCcortado.png

Inside peek at Cortado, my new circular needle organizer. This has 8 pockets for needles with small vinyl pockets to identify needle size.

 

Vendor Spotlight: Knitter’s Journey and Essential Fibers

Happy Monday! Time for another preview of the vendors we’re lining up for April.

Bev at Knitter’s Journey is well-known for her awesome knit-with-wire kits — beads and stones give them tons of extra sparkle — but she’s got plenty of other goodies in store, too. Essential Fiber joined us for the first time last year, but Michelle is coming back (all the way from Virginia!) with her vast semisolid color range. Check out a few of the things they’ve got on tap for April.


Knitter's JourneyKnitters’ Journey
http://knittersjourney.com/

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
We have handcrafted shawl pins!

 

Any special or featured products you want to share?
Exclusive artisan-made enameled shawl pins:

knittersjourneypin

Great selection and great prices on Blue Heron Rayon Metallic:

kjblueheron


Essential Fiber

Essential Fiber
https://www.essentialfiber.com/

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
We offer over 375 colors on any of our over 3 dozen yarn and fiber bases. You choose the combo so you know you’ll have exactly what you want.

Any special or featured products you want to share?
Gradient Sets are offered in many of our bases. You get to pick the colors of these too! If you don’t need a whole set, you can also order single mini skeins in any color you want.

essentialfibergrad

essentialfibsamp

Essential Fiber fiber sampler pack


More vendor previews coming on Thursday!

Vendor Spotlight: cjkoho Designs and Yarn Geek Fibers

We’ve been poring over the vendor applications, and oh boy, you guys are in for a treat. We’re really having to make some tough choices this year!

In the meantime, let’s start meeting the vendors already lined up for April. We asked some returning vendors to share featured products along with what they MOST want you to know about them, so let the drooling commence! We’re starting off with the first two vendors that signed up to come back, both longtime friends of YarnCon, and two dyers who know a LOT about color: Carla of cjkoho Designs, and Sarah of Yarn Geek Fibers.


cjkoho Designscjkoho Designs
http://www.cjkoho.etsy.com/

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
For me, dyeing is alchemy. I am constantly surprised by what I can do with a little water and some powder. There’s no such thing as an ugly color!

Any special or featured products you want to share?
My Two-Hearted yarn is a single sock skein and the colors are meant to be mixed and matched.

cjkoho Designs: Two-Hearted in Tanya


yarngeeklogo16

Yarn Geek Fibers
http://yarngeekfibers.com/

What would you MOST like YarnCon shoppers to know about you?
I love to demonstrate new skills and and answer questions, so please ask me!

Any special or featured products you want to share?
Rocketeer 5-Packs: Superwash wool with a delightful touch of Cashmere and bit of nylon for longevity. Each skein contains approximately 120 yards for a total of 600 yards per 5-Pack.

Yarn Geek Fibers: Rocketeer 5-Pack in Leaf on the Wind

Yarn Geek Fibers: Rocketeer 5-Pack in Leaf on the Wind

 

Blue Faced Leicester Wool Spinning Fiber: 70% Blue Faced Leicester wool combed top and 30% Firestar sparkle.

Yarn Geek Fibers: Blue Faced Leicester Wool Spinning Fiber in Peacocks Can Fly

Yarn Geek Fibers: Blue Faced Leicester Wool Spinning Fiber in Peacocks Can Fly


Some kickoff, eh? The blog’s about to get a LOT more colorful as we continue our sneak peeks right up until YarnCon. What will you be shopping for? Leave us a comment and let us know!