A massive resource with all the indie dyers and yarn artists in one alphabetical big list for easy access and research
Are you looking for the perfect yarn for your next project? A wonderful customized colorway with speckles perhaps? Do you want to support local small businesses instead of larger corporations or find the perfect gift for a knitter? Then you came to the right place. I put together a list of all the indie yarn dyers out there (I could find).
Knitting is a hobby that allows you to express your individual creativity. The yarn you pick to start a project is as fundamental a part of the process as the patter you choose and the tools you use. In the past 20 years, the internet gave independent dyers the unique opportunity to market their wares to a much broader audience. And this article is meant to celebrate these makers.
This list is NOT ranked and follows a simple alphabetical order (starting with Z for a change :P) and I explicitly want to stress that I am neither sponsored by any of them, nor did I test the quality of all their products. This is meant as a resource to do your own research and find the best possible yarn for your next project (or, let’s be honest, your evergrowing stash *smirk*)
I start with regular indie dyers who make use of chemical dyes, and there is a separate list with plant-based dyers at the bottom. That being said, I do encourage you to do your own research and think beyond boundaries and common prejudices. Big brands are not bad in itself (they were small at one time as well, and some of them still are straightforward awesome) and a lot of them produce excellent yarn for knitting beginners.
Just because somebody calls themselves “indie dyer”, doesn’t automatically mean the business is sustainable, inclusive, or more deserving of your support than the hardworking employees at a bigger brand, who rely on their jobs to support their families just as much (there are black sheep on either side).
I would also like to add, that most indie dyers are one-person businesses. So, kindly show some patience, when they don’t answer your e-mails within 2 hours and the shipping takes a day or two longer. You will be rewarded with individual quality and yarn with true personality.
Either way, let’s start with the list of the best indie dyers, eh?
Indie Dyers in Alphabetical order: The List
Note: I earn a small commission for purchases made through Etsy links in this article
I decided against commenting on the individual yarn dyers. Tastes differ, and I don’t want to spoil your first impression with my personal taste. And the same applies to pictures. As many of you know, Indie dyers tend to change their collections quickly (that’s part of the appeal, after all), so I don’t think I could fairly represent any of them here. Just check out the respective Instagram accounts.
Also, I made sure that all yarn artists were still active at the time of compiling this list. Due to many reasons, there may still not be active stocks at the time of your visit, as they are currently being replenished.
- Yellow June Fiber Company (Instagram) | Corinth, Mississippi, USA
- Wren & Ollie (Instagram) |St Agnes, Australia
- Wooly Mama Yarns (Instagram) | Manchester, United Kingdom
- Woola Oops (Instagram) | Auvergne, France
- Woolberry Fibers & Co (Instagram) | Denver, Colorado (?), USA
- Wild Atlantic Yarns (Instagram) | Donegal, Republic of Ireland
- Wishbone Yarn (Instagram) | South Africa
- Waratah Fibres (Instagram) | Launceston, Australia
- Vivid Wool (Instagram) | Álftanes near Reykjavík, Iceland
- Valkyrie Fibers (Instagram) |South Lake Tahoe, USA
- Tot Le Matin Yarns (Instagram) | Saint-Georges-Motel, France
- Thistle & Hart (Instagram) | Salem, Oregon, USA
- The Red Pansy (Instagram) | New Jersey, USA
- The Perfect Stitch Fiber Co. (Instagram) | No address available, but seems to be USA
- TheOutside Dyers (Instagram) | Pangbourne, Scotland, United Kingdom
- The Kinetic Knitter Yarns (Instagram) | Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
- The Lemonade Shop (Instagram) | no address provided
- The Blue Brickish (Instagram) | Burlington, Ontario, Canada
- The Fibre Fox (Instagram) | Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
- The Famers Daughter Fibers (Instagram) | Montana, USA
- The Copper Corgi Fiber Studio (Instagram) | Georgia, USA
- Tippy Tree Yarns (Instagram) | Windsor, Colorado, USA
- Teeny Button (Instagram) | New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
- Tausendschönwolle (Instagram) |Saarbrücken, Germany
- Suburban Stitcher (Instagram) | Texas, USA
- Stranded Dyeworks (Instagram) | East Cot of Scotland, United Kingdom
- Stitch Together Studio (Instagram) | no address, USA
- Sternstaub Wolle (Instagram) | Panzweiler, Germany
- Snerb Yarn & Fiber Studio (Instagram) | Southern Oklahoma, USA
- Spun Right Round (Instagram) | Rochester, New York, USA
- Speckled Finch Studio (Instagram) | Northern California, USA
- Skein Yarn (Instagram) | Coffs Harbour, Australia
- Shirsty Cat Design (Instagram) | no address provided, USA
- Serenity Fibers (Instagram) | Lewisville, Texas, USA
- Serendipitous Wool Co. (Instagram) | Texas, USA
- Screaming Colors (Instagram) |Neuburg, Germany
- Schwedenrot Yarns (Instagram) Polch, Germany
- Sassy Strings Yarn Studio (Instagram) | Airdrie, Canada
- SamelinDyeworks (Instagram) | Bad Mergentheim, Germany
- RoseHipIsland (Instagram)| Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
- Rose Hill yarns (Instagram) | Calmar, Alberta, Canada
- Rock The Wool (Instagram) | Euskirchen, Germany
- Ritual Dyes (Instagram) | Southeast Portland | USA
- Rita Mae Yarns (Instagram)| York, Pennsylvania, USA
- Ravensword Fibres (Instagram) | Nova Scotia, Canada
- Qing Fibre (Instagram) | London, United Kingdom
- Purl And Knit (Instagram) |Neuenrade, Germany
- Purple Lamb Fiber Arts (Instagram) | North Texas, USA
- PolkaDotCreek (Instagram) | Airdrie, Canada
- Pirate Purl Yarns (Instagram) | Newcastle, Australia
- Playful Day Yarns (Instagram, Etsy) | Petaluma, California, USA
- PlankandStella (Instagram) | Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
- Pixie Yarns (Instagram) | Winscombe, United Kingdom
- Paca La Alpaca (Instagram) | (near) Guadalajara, Spain
- Ovis et Cetera (Instagram) | Bunde, Germany
- OzifarmersMarket (Instagram) | Lake Entrance, Australia
- Old Rusted Chair (Instagram) |Nashville, Tennessee, USA
- Olann (Instagram) | Killygarry, Ireland, United Kingdom
- Neighborhood Fiber & Co (Instagram) | Baltimore, Maryland, USA
- MythicaFibers (Instagram)| Yokohama, Japan
- Mudpunch (Instagram) | No address available, but it’s Canada
- Mothy and the Squid (Instagram) | Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, United Kingdom
- Montana Crochet (Instagram) | near Helena, Montana, USA
- Miss Lamotte Yarns (Instagram)| Cape Town, South Africa
- MissBabs (Instagram) | Mountain City, Tennessee, USA
- Miroyarns (Instagram) |Maunu, New Zealand
- Midknit Cravings (Instagram) | Saskatchewan, Canada
- MAD Scientist Yarns (Instagram) |Shifnal, United Kingdom
- Maelstrom Fiber Arts (Instagram | Etsy)| Wentzville, Missouri, USA
- Machete Shoppe (Instagram) | Poconos, Pennsylvania, USA
- Louie & Lola yarns (Instagram) | Mount Roland, Tasmania, Australia
- Lolabean Yarn & Co (Instagram) | ?
- Long Dog Yarn (Instagram) | Baton Rouge, L.A, USA
- Loft TwentyTwo (Instagram doesn’t seem active anymore, tho) | Ripon, California
- Leading Men Fiber Arts (Instagram) | Central Illinois,
- Lavender Lune Yarn Co. (Instagram) | Northern Minnesota, USA
- Laine and Lotus (Instagram | Etsy) | Connecticut, USA
- Lady Dye Yarns (Instagram )| Massachusetts, USA
- Knittinggale Yarns (Instagram) |Wasthington State, USA
- Knittingbro Yarn (Instagram) | Frackville, Pennsylvania, USA
- Knit or Dye (Instagram) | Queensland, Australia
- Knitty and Color (Instagram | Etsy) | Acworth, Georgia, USA
- Knitcircus Yarns (Instagram) | Wisconsin, USA
- Kindred Red (Instagram) | Oakland, California, USA
- Junk Yarn (Instagram) | Northern Carolina, USA
- House of Alamode Fibergoods.com (Instagram) | no address provided
- Highfiberartz (Instagram)| Portland, Oregon, USA
- Heidiyarn Fiber (Instagram) | Herdecke, Germany
- Hedgehog Fibres (Instagram) |Cork, Republic of Ireland
- Hello Stella Fibres (Instagram) | Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
- Hawthornecottage | Ballarat, Australia
- Harbor Fibres (Instagram) | Maine, USA
- HalfBaked (Instagram) | Melbourne, Australia
- Haalu the ugly bunny (Instagram) | Geilenkirchen, Germany
- Happy Hank (Instagram) |Bendigo, Australia
- Greentea Yarns (Instagram) | Mornington Peninsula, Australia
- Graphic Dyeworks (Instagram) | Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
- Goosey Fibers (Instagram) | Massachusetts, USA
- Gingerfully Cozy (Instagram) | Edmonton, Canada
- Giddy Yarns (Instagram) | Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom
- Gathered Sheep yarns (Instagram) | North Essex United Kingdom
- Frost Yarns (Instagram) |Southern California, USA
- Forgotten Fiber (Instagram) | Georgia, USA
- Forbidden Fiber Co (Instagram), Tennessee, USA
- Fullyspun (Instagram) | no address, but apparently USA
- Fiber Seed (Instagram) | Southern Ohio, USA
- Fiber Lily (Instagram) | no address provided, but Australia
- Faserliebe (Instagram) | Norderstedt, Germany
- Expression Fiber Arts (Instagram) | Charlotte, North Caroline, USA
- Explorer knits and fibers.com (Instagram) | Illinois, USA
- Eden Cottage Yarns (Instagram) | Wetherby, United Kingdom
- Dragon Hoard Yarn (Instagram) | no address provided
- DoneRoving (Instagram) | Downeast Maine, USA
- Destination Yarn (Instagram) | Cleveland, Ohio, USA
- Desert Bloom Yarns (Instagram) | Clarkdale, Arizona, USA
- Cowgirlblues (Instagram) |Cape Town, South Africa
- Cornbread and Honey (Instagram) | Painesville, Ohio, USA
- ColagirlCollectiveAu (Instagram) | Adelaide, Australia
- Cloud Forest Yarns (Instagram) |Brisbane in Queensland, Australia
- C’Laines Boutique (Instagram) | Angers, France
- Cat Sandwich Fibers (Instagram) | no address provided, probably USA
- Casual Fashion Queen (Instagram) | Central Florida, USA
- Candy Skein (Instagram) | Astoria, Oregon, USA
- BuzzinYarns (Instagram) | Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
- Bumblebeeacresfarm (Instagram) | Northern Illinois, USA
- Broadwickfibers (Instagram, Etsy) | Denver, Colorado
- Blue Mule Fiber (Instagram) | Fayetville, Texas, USA
- Blue Moon Fiber Arts (Instagram) | Scappoose, Oregon, USA
- Blue Brick (Instagram) | Burlington, Ontario, Canada
- Blue Barn Fiber (Instagram) | Coeur d’Alene, Idaho | USA
- Biffsugar Yarns (Instagram) | Salisbury, United Kingdom
- Becozi (Instagram, Etsy) | State of Michigan, US
- Baahyarn (Instagram) | Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- BlackWattle Alpaca Yarn and Fibre (Instagram) | Murrumbateman, NSW, Australia
- Black Cat Yarn (Instagram) |Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada
- A Whimsical Wood Yarn & Co (Instagram) | USA?
- Artemis Yarns (Instagram) | near Toulouse, France
- Atomic Fiber Co (Instagram) | Orofino, Idaho, USA
- Andromeda Sock Yarn (Instagram) | Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
- Anotherround (Instagram) | Rockland (?), Maine, USA
- Ancient Arts Fibre (Instagram) |Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- AMO yarn (Instagram) | Greenock, Scotland, United Kingdom
- Air de lune (Instagram, Etsy) | Boston, Massachusetts, USA
- A Handmade Journey (Instagram) |Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
Note: Kindly comment this article if you would like to submit a further entry. It took forever and a day to research this list, but as this industry is changing so rapidly chances are very high I missed more than just a couple. Please understand that I won’t include yarn shops or indie dyers without an internationally accessible website or too high shipping costs for an English speaking audience.
- Wuscheltigger (Instagram) | only sells her wool through Ravelry, though.
- Westlake Knits (Instagram)| Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Woollentwine (Instagram) | Hamburg, Germany
- TheOccasionalPurl | Colwyn Bay, United Kingdom
- The Fibre Tree (Instagram) | St. Bury, United Kingdom
- Skeinheroine (Instagram, Blog)| Reading, United Kingdom
- Seocolors Yarnery (Facebook)|Washington Maine, USA
- RosemaryAndPinesFA (Instagram) | Limburgerhof, Germany
- Nutmeg Fiber Arts (Instagram) | East Nashville, Tennessee, USA
- Moe View Yarn (Instagram) | North Wales, United Kingdom
- LaineCouleurNature (Instagram) | Buziet, France
- HandmadebySabs | Kiel, Germany
- Bleu Poussiére (Instagram) | Eastern Townships of Canada
Are custom colorways / Indie dyers worth it?
If you clicked through any of the links above, then you probably are familiar with the fact that a 100-gram hank of the typical merino sock wool costs between 20 and 35ish USD. That’s a lot of money for one hank. Go to your local yarn shop (LYS), and you’ll find the same quality Lion Brand (etc.) yarn for a third of that price. So, of course, you might ask yourself if it’s worth it?
That is, entirely, a personal decision and one nobody can answer for you. But I can give you some pointers:
1. How much do indie yarn dyers make?
Most dyers have to buy the yarn bases from a wholesaler. Those typically sell in the range of 10 USD. And even if they produce their own yarn, they could always sell it for that price (if not more). That’s the base costs. Add the costs for the dyes/bleaches/hardware, packaging, and the labor, you might get the first inkling why these skeins are priced so high. And of course, the websites cost money, and so does the marketing. So, there’s a margin of 5ish to 10ish USD per sold skein in the best case.
Sounds, nice, eh? But obviously one person can only dye, wind, label, and ship so many colorways per month, so that’s the ceiling. Of course, they can find further employees, but that is even more expensive and cuts down the margin even further (that’s one of the reasons you often see partners helping out).
2. Individuality has a price
Go to a LYS and you will find tons of solid and semi-solid yarn options by the big brands. The dyes are so extremely consistent that you could buy two green Schachenmayr Regia 4-ply sock yarns a decade apart and not notice a difference (just in case you were wondering, yes, I actually did that!). But, they can’t offer you a beautiful speckled colorway. Few produce truly great self-striping yarn, and of course, none of them offer made-to-order colors. And that individuality has a price.
I love natural fibers and dyes. I love knitting with exotic yarns and prefer semi-solids. So, for me, indie dyers are only very rarely a choice. Other people simply cannot afford to spend 200USD on a sweater, even if they wanted. And that’s okay as well (in this case, spinning, and dying your own yarn can be a viable approach). You are paying for creativity and adding a very personal touch to your finished object. Indie dyers are also often much faster in reacting to trends. Neon colors are just one example where the big brands were much slower in providing consumers adequate choices.
3. You can find the perfect color for your project
I don’t know about you, but sometimes you see a pattern or have an idea for something you just HAVE to knit. And you instantly know which color you want it in. But then you go to your LYS and ask if they have a DK weight merino wool in a grey-ish pink and the answer is no. You don’t even want to know how often this has happened to me.
But for me, the reason why I knit is that I can knit whatever I want, in my size and my favorite color. If I wanted to be limited by size and color, I’d go to a regular department store and buy my sweaters there. That’s probably cheaper and faster in most cases. And this is another area where indie dyers excel. You can either browse the list to find your color or find one that will a hank or two according to your specifications.
4. Shop wisely
There are way over a hundred indie yarn dyers on my list, and there are probably a hundred more I didn’t find (yet) or didn’t deem worthy to enter the list (too small, weird shop, no international shipping, etc). Don’t think of them as one inherent mass where you can expect the same quality. Some of them have years of experience and others just started. Some know how to take photographs of their pictures (you know, with flower clippings and steaming coffee), others don’t. Some know how to create dyes that look beautiful when knitted, and others only create beautiful hanks. And the yarn bases don’t have the same quality either.
That’s why you absolutely need to shop wisely. A lot of dyers offer mini skeins. Use that to test the quality and stick to those you liked. Also, some dyers provide swatches for their colorways you can look at before you shop. And then, of course, there is shipping costs. If you buy a single skein here, and another single skein there, you will end up with tremendous amounts of shipping costs.
Oh..and talking about single skeins. I know, 30 USD for a skein is expensive. So 60 for two is even more money. But, consider resisting the temptation and don’t buy too many single skeins (except you are a sock knitter). There’s only so much you can knit with 100 grams of sock yarn. Too often, these beautiful colorways never get knit because there’s never the right project with it.
5. It’s about treating yourself
Knitting takes time. Some of us are a bit faster, and others prefer a slower pace, but you end up spending hours upon hours looking and feeling a yarn – before you even get to wear it. That’s one of the reasons why I choose the yarns and fibers I knit with so carefully. I don’t want to knit 40 hours with a horrible acrylic yarn from the 80ies that is prone to triboelectric charging and makes my fingers feel sweaty.
Now, obviously, some knitters operate on a tighter budget than others, and tastes differ as well. So, there is absolutely no need to buy from indie dyers and they are not inherently better. But, those yarns can be a nice way to treat yourself to something special you will thoroughly enjoy knitting with.
6. Indie dyers are not for knitters on a tight budget
I already touched on the subjects of quality and budget, but I want to stress one more point: If you can’t really afford that custom colorway, don’t buy it!
I had colorways that were this side of heaven, but I also had tangled messes with knots in between that bled like crazy, knitted up like a nightmare (even though the skein looked beautiful!), and that took forever and a day to ship.
Now, please don’t get the impression that this happens one out of two orders. Far from it. But it’s not unheard of either. And it would be quite the pity if you saved up to be finally able to afford it and then get disappointed proportionally. You are not paying for magic unicorn fluff (okay, I’m sure there is a colorway with that name, lol) but for quite a lot of hard labor and a lot of creativity.
I wrote this list in the hope to give people the perfect way to find the best yarn for their next project. These days, it’s often those dyers who are best at taking pictures and marketing themselves on social media who get the most attention. This list is meant as an equalizer.
In this spirit, I urge you to look behind the scenes. Some shops may appear a bit outdated, but that doesn’t mean the quality is worse. Some might not have the largest following on social media, but their colorways can be just as amazing. And sometimes, when one shop currently has no stocks, it pays off to look around to find something similar or even better. So, feel free to bookmark my little list and peruse it at leisure. I will make sure to update it regularly.
Note: Here’s a tutorial if you still don’t know how to roll a hank of yarn into a ball.