Treats and Meets

There will be a room set aside at this Indie Knit and Spin for sitting and chatting, sipping Zeke’s coffee and treats and checking out the following awesome fiber arts organizations:

The Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh
Steel City Fiber Collective
South Hills Knitting Guild
The Weaver’s Guild

Make sure to stop in and check them all out!

Shirsty Cat Designs

Name: Kelly Straub
Business: Shirsty Cat Designs
Website: www.shirstycat.com
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We all love the colors of our yarns. We love the vibrant reds and the deep blues. We love the greens we otherwise only see in growing things in the early summer when the sun is up but not too hot. We love the pretty shade of brown that happens where just the right shade of purple blends with that perfect tone of amber. At the shows I vend at, I stand there and watch as people see my yarns and I hear “Oohh, look at the colors!” and the first thing everyone does is reach out and touch them. They squeeze the skeins of yarn and braids of roving and run the silk hankies against their skin. Felters ask if roving is super wash or not with hope in their voices and knitters look for specifically sock yarn for that little bit of nylon. We love the colors, but we also love our fibers. It was that love of fiber that once left me with a bruise on my butt and a new appreciation for each and every yard of lace weight Merino.

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When I first took up knitting I started as many did with acrylics. I soon found wool fibers and never looked back. I loved the feel of the wool in my hands and the way it worked on the needles. I learned about other fibers like camel and alpaca. The more I learned the more I wanted to learn. Eventually my passion for fiber led me to spinning and the thrill of actually making my own yarn. The day came when I wanted to learn more about the bats and roving I had, so I got ahold of a fleece and learned how to clean and card it by hand. Needless to say a drum carder is on my wish list. Then one day I wanted to learn more about that fleece I got, so when the chance to learn shearing came up I found myself sitting on a sheep when she decided to go for a walk in the middle of her hair cut. I love fiber.

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So the next time you find yourselves in a yarn shop and think to yourself “Oohh, the colors” and you reach your hand out to feel them remember; none of those sunset pinks or clear sky blues or emerald greens would be there without all those wonderful fibers spun out to hold them. So Hooray for Fiber! And Hooray to all you wonderful Fiber Junkies like me who appreciate them! Hopefully most of you are a little saner than me and don’t end up riding a sheep!

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Roving Acres Farm

Name: Beth Karr
Business: Roving Acres Farm
Website: rovingacres.com

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Roving Acres Farm was founded in 2010, and was a lifelong dream of Beth Karr. Luckily her husband, Chris, and daughter, Sarah, were fully behind the idea! Located in beautiful Ashtabula County, Ohio, the farm has been rehabbed to be a fiber farm after many years of neglect. We love the idea of raising the animals and deciding what to do with the fiber. It’s been a dream come true.

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We love all of the yarn and other fiber products we have for sale, so it is very hard to choose our favorite. However, for pure softness and loveliness to work with, we would have to say our Cormo yarns are the best. The bulky version is a joy – super soft and works up super fast. Can’t beat that! Our best selling yarn is our Alpaca Blend Sock yarn, and the most popular colorway is “Sea Glass”.

Besides fabulous customer service, we strive to offer our customers a farm connection. We give customers information about the sheep/goats/rabbits their fiber comes from, and in many cases we have the name of the animal it came from right on the tag.

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We believe our “super power” is our hand dyeing. All of our dyed items are dyed by Beth who loves to experiment with color combinations and dye techniques. And she does custom dye orders as well.

iKNITiatives

Name: Karen Bachman
Business: iKNITiatives
Website: etsy.com/shop/iknitiatives and iknitiatives.com

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What got you interested in your art of choice?
I became interested in hand-dying yarns/fibers in 2013 after having attended the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Show. I had purchased my first spinning wheel that day and that is when I knew that I wanted to create my own hand-dyed colors and hand-spun yarns and take my existing hand-knit business to the next level.

Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
My favorite items have to be my ombre gradient sock yarns and my ombre gradient spinning fibers (punis).

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What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
What I strive to offer the fiber arts community is excellence in customer service and one of a kind colorways that will enable my customers to create unique pieces. That is why you will find that I offer only select repeatable colorways and you’ll find that even those are unique in their own way.

What is your fiber arts superpower?
My fiber arts superpower is my attention to color and detail. I’m always looking for the next beautiful color or color combination to create. I incorporate a lot of depth and multi-faceted layers of color into my yarns and fibers.

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Joanna’s Boutique

Name: Joanna Romaniuk
Business: Joanna’s Boutique
Website: etsy.com/shop/JoannasBoutique

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I was growing up in Poland where I learned to knit. I came to US 28 years ago, worked, raised my two daughters and now I’m retired. I love working with colors and I learned to dye. As I was not fully satisfied with results of dyeing yarns I learned how to dye fibers and spin yarns from them. And I discovered, that I love to play with colors! Dyeing and spinning what I dyed allows me to play with all kind of colors. Colors i would never wear, colors which would not work for me, even colors I don’t particularly like.

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Since I can’t wear all knit, I can’t knit all I spin and I can’t spin all fibers I dyed sharing fun with others by selling what I produced become natural next step. And it new opened whole new world to explore. What I love the most: to hear: it’s so pretty. I love it!

HipStrings

Name: Jill & Nik Duarte
Business: HipStrings
Website: hipstrings.etsy.com

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What got you interested in your art of choice?
We both got interested in the fiber arts as a way of carrying on a family legacy – as the years go by we just get dragged deeper into the rabbit hole. Our new adventure in 2015 was weaving, and we added two floor looms to the family.

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Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
I’m especially fond of our new custom blends – especially the Lapiz lazuli blend.

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What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
We love to use our backgrounds as a scientist and engineer to bring a new take on fiber arts tools and supplies.

What is your fiber arts superpower?
Ambidextrous spinning.

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Fiddlehead Fibers

Name: Jess Pflueger
Business: Fiddlehead Fibers
Website: etsy.com/shop/FiddleheadFibers

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What got you interested in your art of choice?
Initially, I was interested in knitting as a means of making items that fit–long enough scarves and sweaters. Then finding that I could work from raw materials (fleece straight off the sheep) to make knit items drove me to where I am today…washing, dyeing, spinning, knitting and a wee bit of weaving.

Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
Not really. I haven’t met a wool yet that I didn’t like!

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What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
The chance to discover all the different kinds of wool that are out there

What is your fiber arts superpower?
A continuing curiosity to know more than I know about fiber arts than I know today

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Artisan Buttons

Name: Emily Eckel
Business: Artisan Buttons
Website: etsy.com/shop/ArtisanButtons

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What got you interested in your art of choice?
I grew up in a home with two creative parents and there were always arts and
craft projects happening in our home. Over the years I’ve continued to
explore different crafts and I’ve enjoyed them all. I started making buttons
about ten years ago when I came across a book about how to make buttons.
People started asking me to make buttons for them and that is how I got
started in this business.

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Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
Right now I really enjoy the wood buttons I’m making. They have beautiful
and subtle grain patterns. It’s really fun to make them and try out different
designs. The triangular three hole buttons are unique and make great
statement buttons.

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What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
I strive to offer the fiber arts community a hand crafted alternative to the
typical buttons found in the big box stores. I’ve learned to listen to my
customers and make them products that meet their needs. At the last IK&S
several people mentioned that they like large wood buttons for their projects.
I’ve responded to that by making a variety of wood buttons.

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What is your fiber arts superpower?
The camaraderie of engaging with kindred spirits who love creative
occupations really energizes me.

Amelia and Wiggles

Name: Karen Cuffaro and Rebecca DeSensi
Business: Amelia and Wiggles
Website: http://www.AmeliaAndWiggles.com

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What got you interested in your art of choice?
We were inspired to hand-dye yarn by working with beautiful yarn in our own crochet and knit creations. Once we started playing with yarn and dye, a whole new outlet for creative expression opened up for us, part science and part serendipity.

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Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
We both agree on tonal yarns always! Lately Karen has been inspired by her walks with Wiggles through North Park, and has created some beautifully bold colorways using greens and browns with pops of flower-inspired colors. Rebecca has been experimenting with layering multiple colors for an overall blended effect with surprising peeks of vibrant color.

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What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
Working with just two elements, yarn and dye, would seem to have a limited outcome, but each artist brings their own experiences, likes and dislikes, and techniques to the hand-dyeing process, resulting in different expressed visions. We offer our yarny color vision in small batches, but big color!

Fibernymph Dye Works

Name: Lisa Beamer
Business: Fibernymph Dye Works
Website: fibernymphdyeworks.bigcartel.com
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What got you interested in your art of choice?
As an avid knitter and spinner, it seemed natural to take my craft one step further and dye the kinds of yarn and fiber I enjoyed using in my own crafting. I’m in my sixth year now of dyeing, and it never gets old! I love what I do and am so happy to share it with others.
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Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
My favorite items are usually whenever I come up with something new, be it a new product or a new colorway. I just want to play with it and create it in every configuration possible.
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What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
I always strive to offer a high quality product and excellent customer service. Within that, developing new and innovative items for my customers is always a priority.
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What is your fiber arts superpower?
Color. Putting together new color combinations, often ones you might not think would go together but they end up playing well. Also, drawing inspiration for my colorways from unique places in my world.
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