The "Indigo To-Go" Bag

I admit it--I am a total bag lady. I have a bag in my closet that is just holding other bags. Actually, I have more than one bag in my closet that is just holding other bags. This may indicate that I have a problem, but I like to think of it as being prepared for any packing situation.

Some bags I use daily, and the little pouch in my purse that carries my lipstick(s), hand cream and emergency eye pencil (which doubles nicely as a pencil for writing on paper when you've changed purses and forgotten to make sure you have a pen, ask me how I know) is one of those. For several years I have used a hand knitted, simple stockinette bag, my most recent one being made of an orphan skein of Regia sock yarn. About a month ago, I looked at that bag and literally thought, "WHY is this not made out of hand-dyed indigo??"

Enter the "Indigo To-Go" Bag.

I designed and knit it and sold it as a kit. All of that is good, but the important thing here is that I LOVE using it! Having a bit of indigo with me all the time makes me happy. Plus, the medallion design makes me think of Art Deco (which makes me happy) and the zipper color I chose is green (which also, you guessed it, makes me happy). People, if we can't knit things that make us happy, why on earth do we bother?

As of this post I do have a limited number of kits (hand-dyed indigo yarn + pattern + zipper + hand-dyed indigo fabric) left in my Etsy shop, ready to ship within mere days of your order. If we sell out, I will make more kits, which will take a couple of weeks to ship out, but will also be fabulous. The pattern, however, is available instantly due to the wonders of modern technology. You can purchase it on Ravelry, Etsy or Craftsy, or if you're local, I'll print you one and put it in a sheet protector at no extra charge (this holds true of the other patterns I have for sale as well--just never thought to mention it before!).

Knitted up, this bag makes a great gift idea, for those of you who are looking for a quick gift to knit for the holidays. You'll need less than 100 yards of worsted weight yarn (I like blue), size 5 needles, a cable needle, a yarn needle, a zipper, a bit of fabric for the lining, and about a day's worth of time. There's also a handy tutorial here about adding the zipper and lining.

The pattern includes instructions for making both the center medallion and the column of cables designs.

Knit something happy today, y'all.

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Amazing SAFF Weekend: Part 1

The first day, before opening. Vendors scurrying to make it all perfect before the doors open on SAFF 2014!

The first day, before opening. Vendors scurrying to make it all perfect before the doors open on SAFF 2014!

This is the definition of frustration: realizing that you only got pics of about half the cool people you met at the fiber festival. It was all so full-blown and fantastic, that I got caught up in the moments and forgot to pull out the camera as much as I would have liked.  On the one hand, this stinks because there are some really great people that I would love to have been able to show you and now I can't. On the other hand, thank goodness I DID get caught up in the moments, because, hello??? SAFF!!!! It was great and since one day last year led to two blog posts, you should be prepared for more this year. After all, I was there for 3 days and part of one evening. And that's a lot of SAFF, I'm telling ya.

Because of the long weekend of intense work and dusty mountain air, today I'm feeling slightly less spry than average (translation: I'm exhausted and pretty much just want to lie on the sofa and stream British detective shows on Netflix. All day.)  So I'm going to give you a quick summary of my Amazing SAFF Weekend, move my laundry to the dryer, pour myself some more iced tea and find the TV remote.

In short: It was pretty fabulous! Going for one day as a shopper was fun, but having the privilege to be a vendor was over-the-top. I loved getting to know some of the other vendors, plus having a location for folks to find me was super convenient. I met new people, saw old friends, and believe it or not, ran into the mom of my daughter's best friend from dance class, circa 2003! It made for a very special trip.

The night before opening day: the setup!

The night before opening day: the setup!

I also managed to sell some kits and patterns and I won't lie: that felt pretty good.  A lot of hard work went into preparing it all and it humbles me to know that people were willing to add those kits and patterns to their Special SAFF Purchases of Awesomeness. I sincerely hope they enjoy knitting their projects up as much as I did putting it together for them.

Thank you so much, kind knitters and indigo enthusiasts, for your vote of confidence in me. The only thing that kept me from hugging ALL of you was the vague semblance of professional cool that I was trying to maintain.

Stay tuned for much more about my SAFF 2014 adventures. I have much to tell and more to show but right now I hear the sofa calling my name...

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SAFF Bound, Indigo To-Go

Here at KnitOasis Central, we've been hard at work preparing some lovely knitting indigo kits for sale at SAFF, The Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair.

Every year, farmers, yarn merchants, spinners, dyers, and assorted crafts people and small business owners gather to teach, learn, compete, share, mingle and more at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher, NC. Last year I made it for one day and was so impressed with the atmosphere of creativity and camaraderie. There was so much to see and do and buy.

My friend Pat Lorenz at Bird Mountain Creations invited me to be part of her booth this year (#72 in the McGough Arena) and I'm planning on having a fantastic time for the following reasons:

  • Pat is a hoot and a half. When you meet her, you'll see what I mean. I will also be surrounded by her amazing creations. Art for daysssss.....
  • I will get to see lots of lovely folks that I only ever see at events like this.
  • I'll have the chance to show off some indigo, talk about indigo, and hopefully, sell some indigo kits!
This amazing fabric will be lining for hand-knit bag kits. I love it all so much, it's kinda hard to part with any of them!

This amazing fabric will be lining for hand-knit bag kits. I love it all so much, it's kinda hard to part with any of them!

Are you going to be at SAFF this year? If so, please come see me! No trip to any event is ever complete for me without seeing folks I know and making new friends. Heck, that also applies to going to the grocery store! Please stop by and say hello. If we've yet to meet in person, all the better. I can't wait to see you all!

I'll have two kits available: The Charleston Indigo Scarf kit (includes pattern and 500 yards of 100% cotton yarn, hand-dyed with natural indigo) and the Indigo To-Go Accessory Bag kit (includes pattern, zipper and 100% cotton yarn and fabric, both hand-dyed with natural indigo). The bag is a brand new pattern and will be available for the first time at SAFF!

100% cotton, 100% natural indigo, 100% special.

100% cotton, 100% natural indigo, 100% special.

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A Beautiful Day for Beautiful Blue


Somewhere along the way I lost track of how many indigo workshops I've conducted at the Charleston Museum. Today I counted and the one we just held on Saturday, October 4 was number six! I feel in some ways as though I've never NOT been conducting indigo workshops, and at the same time, as though I'll never learn all there is to know about this magical blue dyestuff.

The weather on Saturday was one of those pristine autumn days that make you fall in love with Charleston all over again. It was cool and dry with a light breeze that kept any of our famous Lowcountry mosquitoes away, so we set up just outside the Museum's courtyard breezeway and began prepping the vats for dyeing.


Many of our attendees this time had dyed before or were involved with yarn or fabric on a regular basis. It always pleases me to find a varied group of students with different motivations and perspectives. Everyone who comes to one of my workshops (or knitting classes!) brings so much for me to learn as well. I love my job!

Jan Heister, Curator of Textiles at the Museum showed off items from the collection and gave an entertaining look at the history of indigo in both South Carolina and beyond.


Then it was time to dye! This time we focused on fabric--a canvas bag and a cotton scarf were our playthings and we got some gorgeous results. Each student was encouraged to bring an item from home as well and my favorite was a purple sweatshirt that overdyed to a magnificent blue.


Yes, it was a beautiful day and, as usual, I can't wait to do it all again!

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