Time for a new Project – Inspiration for Texture Time

The whirlwind of a designer Stephen West (Wesknits) is doing it again. It’s his Mystery Knit Along! We have been obsessing with Colour and Texture here recently. Hand dyed yarn and something fluffy. Is there anything better! Stephen’s new pattern is called ‘Texture Time’. As this is a mystery we have no idea what it will look like, we just have the yarn requirements. Four skeins of a 4ply/Fingerweight yarn and then something Fluffy like a Mohair or Brushed Alpaca. We couldn’t be more excited about this new Mystery KAL! Especially since we have had a big restock of Garnsurr and have plenty of our firm favourites Hedgehog Fibres as well. There is also plenty of fuzzy, fluffy yarns to mix in, the possibilities are endless.

If you are finding it hard to come up with a combination, then below we have put together some fun ideas combining yarns we think will work well. Hopefully these will inspire you to brave the Mystery Knit Along.

01-texture-time-knit-with-attitude-INSTA-SQUARE

Keep the Summer going with this bright yellow combo. Featuring from left to right: Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Sneivin, Frevil/Shauparak, Gryteflaks #19 and Fonne/Bered. Hedgehog Fibres Kid Silk Lace in UFO.

02-texture-time-knit-with-attitude-INSTA-SQUAREThis cool and sophisticated option combines blues and purples. From left to right: Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in Method. Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply in Heavenly. Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Marisup and Ulone. Du Store Alpakka Faerytale in Grey Blue 740.

03-texture-time-knit-with-attitude-INSTA-SQUAREThis hot combination is full of colour pops, one for the wild at heart. From left to right: Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Tesu, Gryteflaks #21 and Ansam. Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in Pinky Swear. Hedgehog Fibres Kid Silk Lace in Heyday.

04-texture-time-knit-with-attitude-INSTA-SQUARE

Dreaming of the deep blue sea, what about these? From left to right: Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in Deep End, Beach Bunny and Fly. Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Griug/Wakaca. Du Store Alpakka Faerytale in Turquoise 716.

05-texture-time-knit-with-attitude-INSTA-SQUAREMake your friends green with envy! From left to right: Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply in Sea Green. Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Gryteflaks #11. Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply in Sea Glass. Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Risgard. Fyberspates Cumulus in Bottle Green.

06-texture-time-knit-with-attitude-INSTA-SQUARE

This deeply devilish combo is rich and moody. From left to right: Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in Plump and Pheasant. Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Hørningen and Jarbær. Fyberspates Cumulus in Magenta.

I hope you have found these ideas inspiring. We always love putting colours together. So grab your needles and yarn and let’s see where Stephen West takes us.

 

Yarn Pairings for Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 26 – Autumn 2018

We are very excited about the mysterious and mystical theme of this Autumn Issue of Pom Pom. Its centred around the Moon, so think otherworldly delights and starry night skies.  This issue is really going to spark your imagination and have you dreaming of outer space and craving long dark nights. The Moon Issue is not going to disappoint, as the weather begins to turn and most of us reach for our needles looking for that warm project, you will find plenty of inspiration here. Some amazing jumpers, hats, mittens and shawls will send you rushing to cast on.

If you are looking for some yarn inspiration then below you will find our yarn pairing suggestions for this issue.

pom-pom-issue-26-cover-kwa

First up we dive straight into the depths of the moon with the the Moondust Hat and the Moondust Mittens by Melanie Berg. Knit in reversed stocking stitch that is picked out with a snaking twisted stitch that evokes the surface of the moon. It would look amazing in Vivacious 4ply, the twist of this yarn would give great definition to the twisted stitches. For an even more moonlike feel we would recommend the colours Pebble Beach, Dove Stone or Lundy Island.

pom-pom-issue-26-14-kwa

Next up is a brioche lovers dream, Luna by Anna Strandberg. A great brioche sweater that is worked top down, allowing you the opportunity to play with colour. Sleeves in a contrasting texture bring together the design, giving it a pleasing form and shape. This pattern calls for a sport weight merino and would look stunning in the Ninapetrina, Tynn Rosy Merino Gradient alternating the colours as you go. For a more subtle two colour version pick your favourite shade from John Arbon’s Knit by Numbers. 

pom-pom-issue-26-12-kwa

Artemis by Esther Romo is simple, elegant and striking, all at the same time. It’s wide neck and great use of light and dark, conjure flashes of moonlight on a dark day. Play with contrast with this one. The body is worked with two yarns held together, something fuzzy and something smooth. This gives you a wonderful shimmer, like the hazy moon at night. Choose a combination of Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace and Fyberspates Cumulus for the body. Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace in Gold with its silk blend would give you the perfect glow of light around your neck.

pom-pom-issue-26-01-kwaHecate by Maddie Harvey is the next bewitching pattern. The moon details on this pattern add an intriguingly clever touch. This one has fun with texture combing a wool with a mohair. The glow of light cleverly picked out by the halo of the yarn. A great combo would be Hillesvåg Sølje and Fyberspates Cumulus. The earthy warmness of the Sølje would provide the perfect backdrop for the night sky.

pom-pom-issue-26-22-kwa

Next up is Ceridwen by Fiona Alice. This is going to be the go to cosy autumn evening jumper. Its cabled softness is light and warm. Keeping you toasty as the weather begins to change. Made up of honeycomb cables that melt away to the edge, this project is worked in pieces from the bottom up. It calls for a lightweight aran and whats lighter than the oh so soft, oh so warm Du Store Alpakka Hexa.

pom-pom-issue-26-16-kwa

This super fun looking project mixes a marled effect with double knitting. Hypatia by Carissa Browning plays with our iconic view of the moon. This circular snood is worked in the round in a cashmere and merino blend. We have chosen two options that would make a great yarn choice. Fyberspates Vivacious Dk, is 100% merino and comes in a range of dreamy shades. Or for that touch of luxury the natural shades of the Afghan Cashmere Sport would make a superbly comfortable and wearable piece.

pom-pom-issue-26-23-kwaEveryone will need these mittens when it comes to cooler evenings and the Sina by Amy Philips are simple but striking. Using a marled effect to highlight moon details in the palm. A full moon is made by holding your hands together. A hardy yarn like Hillesvåg Tinde will give great structure and insulation.

pom-pom-issue-26-26-kwa

The stunning cover sweater of Ixchel by Catherine Clark is a head turner. An amazing array of exciting colour work means this is the project where you will never get bored. It’s simple top down construction allows you to really get stuck in to the pattern. Fyberstates Vivacious 4ply would be perfect for this, its undulating colours evoking the inky night sky.

pom-pom-issue-26-24-kwa

Sky Map by Emily Foden is one for fine tuning your embroidery skills. Allowing you to go wild creating your dream night sky. Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace is a great choice for this. The hand dyed colours creating a magical coloured backdrop on which to build your universe.

pom-pom-issue-26-28-kwa

The last of these night time creations is Moonbow by Jule Kebelman. Knit in pieces and sewn after blocking. It also includes a fun fridge, reminiscent of moonlight through trees. It is knit in Jule’s own yarn Hey Mama Wolf. In Hey Mama Wolf Schafwolle #03 for the body and Hey Mama Wolf Sockyarn #04 for the fringe. We will also be getting in special mini skeins Jule has dyed for the Moonbow’s fringe, in store only on the 1st September, especially for the Great London Yarn Crawl.

pom-pom-issue-26-13-kwa

If you are still in need for some inspiration, the Pom Pom Moon Issue Trunk Show will be in store from 28th August -10 September. So come check out the finished pieces in person.

Yarn Pairings for Bladet Garn Issue 5

We have some great magazines from all over the world here at knit with attitude. Like Laine from Finland, Making from America and Amirisu from Japan. But now we introduce something new: Bladet Garn from Norway. This is a special one, as it is their first English publication. Founded in 2016 to showcase independent Norwegian designers they set up a crowd funding campaign to release an English version and we are so glad they did! Full of patterns, articles, interviews and hints and tips, it has the perfect combination of learning and interest.

This issue has a ‘Circus Fun’ theme so expect some light hearted patterns.

bladet-garnFirst up is Bubu by Nadia Lavard. A super cosy jumpsuit perfect for those lazy days. Knitted top down in fun stripes you can adjust it easily to fit any shape. It would look great in Coopknits Socks Yeah! this yarn has a great array of colours so you can go wild with your stripes!

NadiaLavard_Bubu_DSC_2823_medium2

Next up is Colours In The Circus Ring by Hege Russnes. A fun children’s sweater worked with slipped stitched to give you flashes of colour. Finished with colourful Latvian twists. When we think of colour we naturally think of John Arbon’s Knit by Numbers. This yarn, in its great selection of shades, means you can pick the perfect combo.

HegeRussnes_Farger_i_manesjen_DSC_2520Following on is a great go to sweater with a simple stitch pattern on the sleeves and a wide ribbed neck. This would be simple to knit, but also rewarding. For an added twist of fun, is the little crochet bow tie, which is an optional extra but a must for those with a sense of humour. This pattern calls for a for a light and airy yarn. A perfect choice would be Fyberspates Cumulus, it would feel like being hugged by a cloud.

JanneSand_Genser_slyfe_DSC_2864

Next up we have a super fun children’s jumper. Jubilee by Tea Bekkevold. A textured pattern on the sleeves and a zig-zag body. Guaranteed to keep you interested as you knit and will please any young boy or girl. It would look great in Hillesvåg – Tinde a great yarn for colour work and a nice range of fun bright colours.

TeaBekkevold_Jubilee_DSC_2581

Keeping with the circus theme is the Carousel sweater by Nina Figenschau. Worked from the bottom up its fun colour work hem and ring of bobbles makes this a cheery edition to any child’s wardrobe. It would look great in the Fibre co’s Luma, it has a fun range of cheery colours and a great feel in the hand.

NinaF_Karusellgenser_DSC_2383

Next up is Pearl sisters by Karen Lauger. This clever pattern is inspired by the twinkling lights under the canvas of a circus tent. Two patterns with the same shape, but have slightly different finishes around the neck. Finished off with your favourite sparkly beads. It would be perfect in the earthy tones of Hillesvåg – Sølje. 

KarenLauger_Perlesster_DSC_2930

Another fun jumper for the young cheeky clowns in your life is The Circus Kid’s Everyday Sweater by Wenche Roald. With a charming colourful yoke which gives you the chance to play with colour. It would be fun to knit in a Ninapatrina Lambs Wool Gradient Bundle.

WencheRoald_SirkusbarnasHverdagsgenser_DSC_2713-2

What does any self respecting clown need, well Circus Socks of course! These Circus Socks by Lill C. Schei and are inspired by the patterns on colourful, old fashioned drums. The pattern recommends a hand dyed sock wool and what better than Hey Mama Wolf’s Sockyarn #04. The natural colouring will give these socks a beautiful rustic carnival feel.

LillCSkei_Sirkussokker_DSC_3055

Keeping with the circus tenet theme is this playful hat. A jolly circus tent complete with little popcorn stitch lights around the rim. A fun hat needs a fun yarn. The jolly colours of Spud & Chloë Sweater is perfect for bringing life to this pattern.

NinaF_Sirkusteltlue_DSC_2429

Next up is this fun textured fitted skirt. The interesting front panel stitch structure will is a design feature that will make the simplest of yarns shine. This would also look great in a simple colour block of Spud & Chloë Sweater.

Karenkland_Strukturskjrt_DSC_2784-2

These fun little children trousers are circus ready. With their quirky stripes and frills they make a jolly outfit. They would be super cosy in Blue Sky Fibres Baby Alpaca Sport with its lovely range of child friendly colours.

Basismnster_Stripetights_DSC_2640

I hope you enjoy this Norwegian publication as much as we do and are tempted to knit some of its fun patterns.

New Yarn: Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk, Norsk Pelsullgarn

If you like colour and the flexibility of a yarn over three weights, then we have something exciting here at Knit with attitude.

IMG_3921

Let us introduce Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk, one of Norway’s longest established wool producers, situated on the west coast of Norway, 35km north of Bergen. Founded in 1898 by Mikkel Myhr and family owned, being run by the same family for four generations. Now run today by his great-grandsons Øyvind and Arild and still operating where the mill was founded. Some of the machines that are being used are over 100 years old.

Maskin

They are part of the European Économusée network. A working museum platform where visitors are encouraged to visit and artisans can encourage the promotion and development of traditional crafts, involving local communities and creating new job opportunities.

The factory emphasizes transparency at all stages of the production of their wool, thus maintaining animal welfare and ethics. Their exclusive products are made out of Norwegian wool, and are handcrafted with love to bring further joy to knitters and wool enthusiasts all over the world. The production is of high quality and each product is handmade with passion and commitment.

At Knit with attitude now stock the Norsk Pelsullgarn range, Sølje, Tinde and Blåne, which is spun from fibre from the Norwegian pelssau breed. A norwegian peltwool fibre that is a cross breed between Gotland and the Norwegian heritage breed Spælsau. The wool is a natural grey colour with beautiful curl and shine. This grey fibre is then dyed to produce a great depth of rich colour with the grey running through it. The richness of the colour is this yarn’s great strength and it’s the perfect choice for colour work.

The three weights are: Sølje a 4ply, Tinde a DK and Blåne an Aran.

As the fibre is naturally grey we are also stocking the Norse Lamullgarn – Sol and Vilje. These are natural white Norweigian Lambswool in DK (Sol) and 4ply (Vilje) weights.

Here are some inspirational projects knit with Hillesvåg to wet your appetite.

dalur6_medium2Hulda Hákonardóttir’s Dalur Pullover Knit by Dianna Walla in Blåne.

Hsthjerte03_1__medium2

Høsthjerte by Aud Bergo knit in Tinde.

Blob_medium2

Ardra by Linda Marveng knit in Sølje

Why Knit with attitude

Hello Maya…

I refer to the email I received today.*

Knitting is for myself and many others a creative art and very therapeutic. However when knitting is used for political statements and activity it takes away from the magic and efficacy of this beautiful craft. I would urge you to think carefully about the statement that you and your group have created and ask yourself if your group intention falls within the true and virtuous spirit of the knitting tradition.

Kind regards XXXXX

*Knit with attitude’s July newsletter inviting to join in on the #eastlondonknitters #sayballstotrump project.

Dear XXXXX

Thank you for writing to me expressing your concerns about Knit with attitude’s recent political statements and activity. The large majority of responses we received on the #sayballstotrump project have been overwhelmingly positive, but a few negative ones have been abusive and rude statements on my social media feed, and unlike your email they are worthy of nothing but to be ignored. I do understand that you must be a passionate knitter and I really do appreciate your email as it does open up for dialogue, but maybe most importantly, by writing to me you served me an opportunity to reflect on and remind myself of the very values that constitutes Knit with attitude.

I wholeheartedly agree with you in that knitting is a beautiful creative art, however I also strongly disagree with you in what constitutes this wonderful craft’s magical and virtuous qualities in that I believe these to reach much further than what you describe. As an art knitting fulfills many purposes. We can all find serenity and inner peace by admiring a beautifully painted scenery, similarly as knitters we find joy in admiring beautifully knitted pieces where particularly difficult techniques have been used. But it is the though provoking mind altering paintings that open up to dialogue and force real change, and similarly, for myself and many knitters knitting is also a powerful tool of expression.

Knitting used for political action has long roots coming to the true and virtuous tradition of knitting. In the US as an example, from the American Revolution in the 1760s, throughout the abolition and women’s suffrage movements, to what we are seeing today with the #pussyhat project and #metoo campaign – knitting is a symbol of activism that dates back hundreds of years closely linked to issues concerning race, gender and class. There are lots and lots of resources online about the political history of knitting – from academic research papers, historical documents and more contemporary news articles – this is a topic you can really dive into if you feel intrigued to learn more about it – it is truly fascinating I promise you. Personally I feel both grateful and privileged to belong to a community with such a proud history in standing up against injustice and which communicates virtues as open mindedness, acceptance, equality and inclusivity.

The #eastlondonyarntriangle pic-knit on World Wide Knit in Public Day 2018

The #eastlondonyarntriangle pic-knit on World Wide Knit in Public Day 2018

And it exactly this it all boils down to – the knitting community! I wish we could, but Knit with attitude really can’t take credit for what you refer to as ‘your group’ and their statements and activity as the #eastlondonknitters #sayballstotrump protest, neither can the other two London yarn shops involved in the project. But all three of us are immensely proud and happy about helping to encourage and facilitate such activity and engagement brought forward by the very passionate knitters in our community – they are not one defined group belonging to anyone. We, the three shops forming East London Yarn Triangle, collaborated in arranging a pic-knit on World Wide Knit in Public Day, which had a wonderful turn out bringing all these knitters together engaging with each other. And this is where the true magic happened!

East London knitters with friends

East London knitters with friends. Photo credit ©Vicky Bamforth

President Trump’s visit had evoked a lot of emotion throughout London, also amongst those of us who attended the pic-knit, and together we came up with the idea about a hand knitted banner with witch we could make our voices heard against hatred, sexism and injustice joining the forthcoming Trump Visit Protest March. This initiative quickly spread on social media and soon the project reached far beyond East London. We received rectangles from all over the world, hand knitted in soft wool and decorated with humour underlining the powerful message all of these knitters were so eager to express. What was created was this beautifully constructed banner – an absolutely amazing piece of art! Through the #sayballstotrump project knitters from all over the world became an ‘East London Knitter’ claiming ownership of the statement made.

The #sayballstotrump banner

The #sayballstotrump banner. Photo credit ©Vicky Bamforth

I have to admit, for me personally, the day of the protest was emotional. I felt so empowered and inspired to be part of such a community project, everyone who joined the project were linked into the very weave of the fabric that posed the message, ‘joined together’ in solidarity with the statement we all made. Together with 250 000 others #eastlondonknitters gathered and marched thought the streets bearing our message on behalf of every single knitter and crafter that joined the project. It was a wonderfully festive, happy and diverse protest march!

The Trump Visit Protest March, London 2018. Photo credit ©Vicky Bamforth

The Trump Visit Protest March, London 2018. Photo credit ©Vicky Bamforth

For me knitting is political by its very nature, involving a huge variety of political issues. From making sure that techniques, historical records, traditional patterns and knowledge are being passed on and maintained through education in schools and public libraries, to recognising the therapeutic qualities of knitting and campaigning to have them academically researched or working to introduce knitting as a tool for motor skills recovery or mental health issues – and I’ve already mentioned the knitting community as a whole expressing values as open-mindedness and inclusivity which directly translates to anti-racism, anti-fascism, and anti-sexism – many many knitters express opinions about these issues every day through their act of knitting involving topics which are highly current and heavily debated world wide and that also involve educational, health care and gender policies on a very practical more local level.

Knitting in the context of history and activism is something I’ve been thinking carefully about throughout my adult life – and the want to express something I feel very passionate about through my love for knitting was what spurred me into setting up Knit with attitude nearly 9 years ago. I was incredibly inspired by the environmental campaigns that was happening at the time especially the ‘Knit a River’ project initiated by Gerard Allt and his London shop Iknit in conjunction with the charity WaterAid in 2006, fascinated by the attitudes expressed using knitting I really wanted to become part of this scene, hence the name Knit with attitude! Yes, it is a business, it is a yarn shop of which I am trying very hard to make a decent living, but as one says – a small business is always an extension of of the person behind it – and this is also the case with Knit with attitude. I did choose a difficult route for myself and my business as Knit with attitude is a yarn shop specialising in ethical, sustainable, and cruelty-free yarns, it is my intention and hope that to run a business with such a strong ethos will be able to prove sustainable at the same time as it takes a clear stand coming to consumption and materialism, the environment, animal care, modern slavery and fair trade.

The Knit a River project. Photo credit IKnit.

The Knit a River project. Photo credit ©IKnit.

I am so sorry that this turned out to be the longest email response, but after all in your email you are questioning my personal moral standard and this struck quite a few chords which I feel needed to be explained. Also, your email is well written in a polite and respectful manner and I do believe that you deserve a proper answer. But there is one more thing your email made me aware of, and which I would like to thank you for making me realise this as it is an issue which everyone at Knit with attitude needs to pay more attention to. Although our ethos is held so highly here in the shop, the fact that you as our customer are unaware of this might be the case of it being so obvious to us spending every day in the shop that we have fallen behind in communicating our political beliefs clearly to everyone. We like to think that Knit with attitude is a yarn shop open for all and inclusive of everyone no matter their gender, race, sexual orientation, political or religious beliefs – and it is heartbreaking to think that someone would feel unwelcome based on our activist engagement. I am also sorry if this comes as a complete surprise to you and leaves you disappointed – still there can be no doubt about this – Knit with attitude is a business that has strong political views.

As I want to make our stand very clear and as I see the need to communicate this more widely I have decided to publish your email (anonymously of course) and my response on the Knit with attitude blog so that more people can see where KWA is coming from and what we are all about. Again, I am grateful for the opportunity you gave me to do this and I do hope that we will see you again whether it is online or in store.

I wish you a truly wonderful day,
Maya

How to find a fade

There are so many beautiful projects out there at the moment that call for a fade. From the original Find Your Fade Shawl and So Faded by Andrea Mowry to Fading Point by Joji Locatelli, there are loads of options, ideas and inspriations. But what is a fade, and how do you choose your yarns?!

First off, what is a fade? A fade in the knitting sense is a set of at least 3 skeins of yarn, each in a different colour. The colours should compliment each other and move from one to each other. They can be all in the same colour family from light to dark, or they can move drastically between a few colours. The more yarns you use the more options you have to move between colours.

Find Your Fade by Andrea Mowry

Find Your Fade by Andrea Mowry

Choosing your colours is arguably the hardest part, but here are a few ideas to help get you started. First off seeing the colours together in person can help tremendously to see how they move from one to the next. Secondly, yarns with lots of speckles leave a lot of options to move between colours as you can match the speckles as well as the main colours of the yarns. Brands such as Hedgehog Fibres and Garnsurr are a great place to start for this. Thirdly, don’t be afraid to go crazy! Sometimes an unexpected colour in the middle of a fade can really make the difference to tie the whole colour scheme together.

It can be hard to find enough colours that work together in one brand, so don’t feel committed to one single one. Especially when it comes to shawls there is a lot of flexibility to combine different brands and even bases to get the colours that you like best. As most fade patterns work with bands of textured stitches, the difference in texture can compliment and even highlight the bands. Just make sure that the yarns are of similar enough thickness and that they match the method of care you want for the finished piece, ie if you want it to be machine washable don’t use one yarn that needs hand washing. Other than that the world is your oyster!

We have recently had some customers ask for our help in choosing a fade for their project as they aren’t able to come into the shop themselves. Feel free to give us a call if you find yourself in a similar position, we are happy to put together a few options and send over pictures to help you decide!

Below we have included a few pictures of fades that we have put together for customers to help give you some ideas. All of these fades use yarns from a few different companies, mostly Hedgehog Fibres, Garnsurr, Fyberspates and Socks Yeah!. The colours used in each one are listed below each photo.

red-fade

Top Down:  Citrine, Frevil, Fonne Bered, Gryteflaks #13, Gryteflaks #18, Almandine and Pheasant

Socks Yeah! Citrine, Garnsurr Sokke Merino Frevil, Fonne Bered, Gryteflaks #13 and Gryteflaks #18, Socks Yeah! Almandine, and Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock Pheasant

grey-fade

Top Down: Gryteflaks #10, Method, Heavenly, Frost, Pesto, Risgard and Lundy Island

Garnsurr Sokke Merino Gryteflaks #10 and Risgard, Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock Method and Pesto, Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply Heavenly and Lundy Island, and Qing Fibre High Twist BFL Frost.

dark-fade

Top Down: Tweed Imps, Spiced Plum, Gryteflaks #18, Monarch, Ortle Mihifar, Fonne Bered and Gryteflaks #10.

Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply Tweed Imps and Spiced Plum, Garnsurr Sokke Merino Gryteflaks #18, Ortle Mihifar, Fonne Bered and Gryteflaks #10, and Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock Monarch.

Which one is your favourite?

Yarn Pairings for Laine Magazine Issue 5

It’s new magazine season! Friday May 25th saw the release of both Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 25, and Laine Magazine Issue 5. We are truly spoilt for choice these days with new ideas and inspirations. You can read our blog post with yarn pairing for Pom Pom from the other day, and we’ve decided to do the same for the new issue of Laine as well.

laine-magazine-issue-5-cover-kwa

First up is Adrift, a beautiful crescent shaped shawl with alternating bands of texture, designed by Veera Välimäki. It looks like a perfect antidote for those wanting a break from the more wildly patterned shawls that have been popular for the last while, while still being interesting to knit and practical to wear. Since the main feature of this pattern is texture, a solid or semi-solid yarn is best in order to see the pattern. We think Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply with it’s wool/silk blend would tick all the right boxes for this.

laine_5_veeravalimaki_7_medium2Next up is Brennivin, designed by Thea Coleman. This drop shoulder sweater is knit from the bottom up for a seamless finish. It features a vertical lace pattern on the fronts and back, as well as a generous deep ribbed collar and practical pockets. A semi-solid yarn such as the Vivacious DK from Fyberspates would still show off the lace pattern while creating plenty of depth of colour in the stocking stitch sections.

laine_5_theacolman_4_medium2Another shawl in the issue is Elevate, designed by Susanne Sommer. This large rectangular wrap features a two colour brioche knit on the bias and attached i-cord borders for a lovely, tidy finish. As it uses two colours there are plenty of options to personalise your own version. With so many shades to choose from, John Arbon’s Knit By Numbers DK lets you go for either a high contrast or two more subtle shades.

laine_5_susannesommer_4_medium2

Kuru is another boxy sweater, this time designed by Laine’s Jonna Hietala. This is a design that really lets the yarn shine, with a top down seamless construction. We carry the yarn called for, the absolutely stunning Terra from The Fibre Co. The yarn is an alpaca, merino and silk blend, with subtle colour variation and nubs of silk. We can see this pattern becoming a wardrobe staple that you reach for over and over again without even thinking about it.

issue5_jonnahietala-8_medium2

Knit dresses are a less common garment, but Lotta by Marie Greene is a great one to consider. Depending on the finished fit desired it works well with more or less positive ease. The top has textured stitches on reverse stocking stitch, which then switches to regular stocking stitch for the body before transitioning to rib for the hem and cuffs. With a garment like this you will want a good amount of drape in the yarn to stop it from being too stiff. Nua, a wool, linen and yak blend from Carol Feller of Stolen Stitches will maintain the stitch definition while also being a yarn appropriate for warmer weather.

laine_5_mariegreene_6_medium2

Meerschaum are a sweet pair of lacey socks from Sachiko Burgin. Knit in a heavier sock yarn these would be super fun to knit, and cozy to pull on when the temperatures dip in the evenings, perhaps while curled up on the sofa in front of a fire? We think nothing could match better than knitting these up Hey Mama Wolf’s Sock #4, which is all dyed using organic natural dyes in Germany.

laine5_sachikoburgin-2_medium2

Another shawl from this issue is Midsummer Rose. This stunning oversized shawl uses a combination of lace and twisted stitches to create textures that flow from one to the next throughout the pattern. The stitch patterns fit together well, so it can be easily made bigger or smaller by adjusting the number of pattern repeats worked. A shawl this lush and gorgeous deserves a yarn of equal footing, so we would recommend Beyul by Kettle Yarn. This yarn is an absolutely luscious blend of merino, silk and yak which creates fantastic drape and stitch definition.

issue5_lenetosti-3_medium2

This issue is so strong with classic shapes for everyday wearing, and Nutkin by Clare Mountain is a fantastic addition to the list. Knit flat for structured seams and easy portability of pieces, it stops short of being too simple with a textured panel on the sides. We have a few sweater quantities of the recommended yarn, Islington DK by Kettle Yarn Co.

laine_5_claremountain_nutkin_medium2

Another classic shape with a twist is Scandinavian Spring, by Sus Gepard. This cardigan has a fairly basic shape, but is knit with a textured stitch and two yarns held together for a more interesting look. It calls for a laceweight mohair and a 4ply yarn to create a finished fabric that is light and airy without loosing too much structure. We recommend Kid Silk Lace from Hedgehog Fibres and the Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply.

laine_5_susgepard_6_medium2

Last but not least is Svelge. Designed by Berangere Cailliau, the sweater features comfortable dropped shoulders and an oversized fit. It is knit seamlessly from the bottom up, with sleeves picked up and knit down afterwards. It features a sweet lace detail in the v-neck that both adds some visual interest and keeps the sweater wearable. The v-neck is written in two different depths, depending on your taste. We think that Cumbria from The Fibre Co. is an equally classic yarn for such a classic sweater shape.

laine_5_berangere_1_medium2

That’s our round up for Laine Issue 5! We can’t wait to see what you might make from this issue, don’t forget to let us know if anything catches your eye as well. Issue 5 is on sale in person or online now.

Yarn Pairings for Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 25 – Summer 2018

New magazine days are always fun here at the shop, and we are absolutely in love with the latest issue from Pom Pom Quarterly. Summer 2018 is Issue 25 for them and it does not disappoint. Spring can be a bit of a tricky season for knitwear but here there is loads of inspiration. One reason this issue is so good is that they have picked one of the best hot weather themes, it’s all about stripes! There are 11 patterns, ranging from sweaters, t-shirts, wraps and even a practical bag. We have matched each pattern with a yarn available here in the shop to help inspire your knitting and summer projects. The yarns featured are all fantastic for summer projects, and highlights some of the non-wool and vegan yarns that we carry. 

pom-pom-issue-25-cover-kwa

First up is Anni, by Gina Röckenwagner, a t-shirt that is simple in shape but not in style! It features both horizontal and vertical stripes using three colours, with one of the colours used for solid cuffs, hem and neckline. There is so much fun to be had with this pattern in terms of choosing colours, from bold contrasts to more subtle shades. With this in mind we would recommend the Nurturing Fibres Eco-Cotton, which we carry in 18 different colours.

Anni_by_Gina_Rockenwagner_Pom_Pom_Quarterly_Issue_25_Summer_2018_01_medium2

Next up is Bayadere, by Lori Versaci. This boxy, oversized sweater is a cozy best friend to reach for all year round! Knit up in a cotton/wool blend like Spud & Chloë Sweater it works brilliantly as a transitional garment between the seasons, as well as those unseasonably cold evenings that are inevitable in a British summer! It uses three colours in a mix of textural stripes.

Bayadere_by_Lori_Versaci_Pom_Pom_Quarterly_Issue_25_Summer_2018_10_medium2

Deauville by Tina Tse is versatile boxy tank top. Worked in stripes that seem simple from afar, they also feature a subtle texture up close that stops it from being too stark. The recommended yarn is one we carry, Wool and the Gang’s Shiny Happy Cotton, its wide colour palette again means that there are loads of options for colour combinations.

Deauville_by_Tina_Tse_Pom_Pom_Quarterly_Issue_25_Summer_2018_07_medium2

Herrera by Paula Pereira would make a fantastic beach cover up with it’s boxy super oversized casual look. Knit in a linen it is also easy care and will only get better with age and wear. We recommend the Växbo Lin Lingarn 12/2 which comes in a wide range of bright summery colours.

Herrera_by_Paula_Pereira_Pom_Pom_Quarterly_Issue_25_Summer_2018_12_medium2

Next up is Lia Moya’s Judoka, a striped bag with a fun construction. Knit in one long piece it is then seamed to create the over all shape, and two corners are knotted to create the handle. Using a few colours of stripes this would be a good stash buster to use up leftover bits and bobs, but we would also love to see it in the Nurturing Fibres Eco-Fusion, a blend of bamboo and cotton.

Judoka_by_Lia_Moya_Pom_Pom_Quarterly_Issue_25_Summer_2018_11_medium2

Leiden one of our favourite patterns out of this issue, but we might be biased as it was designed by Natalie Selles, our resident knitting teacher here at the shop! It turns usual striped tops on its head by including chevron stripes that run both vertically and horizontally in a panel that is knit first. Stitches are then picked up and knit outwards from there, joining up with the back to knit the sides and sleeves. There are attached i-cord edgings for a polished finish on all the hems and cuffs. Because of the modular construction there is absolutely no seaming in this top! Overall this top works as a both formal and casual wardrobe addition that is sure to get plenty of use in any wardrobe. To add to the comfortable feel of the shirt, we would love to see it knit up in The Fibre Co.’s Luma, a summery lush blend of wool, cotton, linen and silk.

Leiden_by_Natalie_Selles_Pom_Pom_Quarterly_Issue_25_Summer_2018_02_medium2

Macklin by Susanne Sommer is a beautiful oversized wrap knit using short rows to create a bias for maximum drape. The brioche is two colour with hardly and contrast, and then 2 contrasting stripe colours for a total of four colours used all together. We think that Hedgehog Skinny Singles would work brilliantly for this project, with loads of colour options to choose from. The contrasting stripe colours use only a very small amount of yarn, so perfect for using up any leftovers you may have from other projects.

Macklin_by_Susanne_Sommer_Pom_Pom_Quarterly_Issue_25_Summer_2018_10_medium2

Nasreen by Lana Jois is another pattern taking traditional garter stitch stripes and turning them slightly on their head for a biased effect. The tunic shape is easy to wear, featuring a rib at the top and bottom and a finished edge on the armhole worked in a single colour. A yarn such as Stollen Stitches Nua, a mix of merino, yak and linen, continues the drapey feel of the design.

Nasreen_by_Lana_Jois_Pom_Pom_Quarterly_Issue_25_Summer_2018_07_medium2Another top using the garter ridge stripes is Riley, by Amy Christoffers. It features a bottom panel knit side to side, from which the centre panel is knit vertically on both the front and the back, last of all the side panels are picked up and knit outwards towards the sleeves. This is another perfect occasion to use the Nurturing Fibres Eco-Cotton, with it’s range of colours and soft fabric.

Riley_by_Amy_Christoffers_Pom_Pom_Quarterly_Issue_25_Summer_2018_11_medium2

The last garment from this issue is Tarmac, by resident Pom Pom writer Anna Maltz. This swingy tank top is worked from top-down using a provisional cast on to work the front and back separately, before joining again at the underarms to work the rest of the body. The shape is created from yarn over increases in the body, and all the edges are finished with a striped applied i-cord edging. For something this lightweight we love the idea of knitting it up in The Fibre Co. Meadow, a luxurious blend of merino, llama, silk and linen.

Tarmac_by_Anna_Maltz_Pom_Pom_Quarterly_Issue_25_Summer_2018_07_medium2

Last but not least is Vasarley, an oversized wrap from Julie Dubreux of Julie Knits in Paris. The rectangular wrap is worked from the centre of one of the short sides for a chevron/bias effect. It is worked in two colours using slipped stitches to create the overall striped look. For an extra drapey look Manos del Uruguay’s Serena would be perfect.

Vasarely_by_Julie_Dubreux_Pom_Pom_Quarterly_Issue_25_Summer_2018_15_medium2

This issue is proof that knitting doesn’t have to be confined to the winter months, there are so many options and ideas for summery, hot weather garments and accessories out there! Any pieces catching your eye? The issue is currently up for pre-order on the website and will be shipped out by May 25, 2018.

Pattern Launch – Wrap Me Up Cardigan

Wrap Me Up Cardigan

I have to admit that I am very excited to be launching the Wrap Me Up Cardigan pattern, it has been years since I had the time to develop and design a larger garment, not to mention finding the time to write, test and tech edit such a huge project. And let me tell you – the Wrap Me Up Cardigan is humongous!

Wrap Me Up Cardigan

Basically it is the cardigan I always wanted for myself – one to cuddle up in on the sofa on a chilled evening with my knitting at hand, still so stylish you want to be seen about town wearing it. The Wrap Me Up is oversized, still the texture of the super-squishy brioche and the weight of the softest Alpaca gives it a drape that will hug your shapes making it super comfy and flattering to wear, like a big blankety embrace!

Wrap Me Up Cardigan

The yarn used is Hexa by Du Store Alpakka. This is a yarn that lies extra close to my heart, not only because it is absolutely gorgeous and super-soft, but also because by using it you are supporting local communities in Peru through the Mirasol Project. Peru’s heritage and culture of textile artistry is rich and ancient. The Du Store Alpakka yarns are made from the animals tended by these communities for generations in the Peruvian highlands. A portion of every purchase goes directly to the funding of a boarding centre and school in the remote area of Munani in the region of Puno.

Wrap Me Up Cardigan

Hexa is super-soft and thick, still as airy and lightweight as feathers. Almost like witchcraft, hence it’s name, however it is modern technology that has made this combination of thickness and light weight possible. The yarn is constructed from a single strand of twisted fibres that are knit into an I-cord tube. The finished yarn is, in fact, a knitted tube.

Wrap Me Up Cardigan

We are making the Wrap Me Up Cardigan pattern available at some time tomorrow Friday January 19th, as yarn kits – basically when you buy the yarn needed for the cardigan you will receive a printed copy of the pattern for free. The pattern will also be released as a single pattern Thursday February 1st.

What George Knits – Speedy Knits for Speedy Gifts

socks01Now that the madness of Christmas is over, I can reflect on one of my favourite Gift Knits this year. Socks! Not 4ply ones (I wasn’t that well prepared) but wonderfully quick and fun Double Knit ones.

This year me and my boyfriend spent Christmas at our friends house. Being grateful guests and because it was the season of giving, they all got presents. I’m sure I can speak for many knitters that we reach for our needles and cast on when it comes to present giving. Not only do we get the enjoyment out of making the thing, it is nice to give someone something unique and hand crafted.

Socks have become something of a revelation to me, I have only ever knitted one other pair before these. I would highly recommend anyone who hasn’t knitted a sock to give it a go, they aren’t that scary. My recommendations would be to start with a DK/Worsted pattern. Its quick, the needles are larger, everything is done with that little bit more ease. They also make great warm boot socks, or just lounging about at home on the sofa with a cup of tea socks. For these ones I used a great free pattern called Rye by Tin Can Knits. Another pattern I haven’t tried but looks fun is Bob, designed by Rachel Coopy for the release of her DK sock yarn, its also free, so you have no excuse! But do ask us when you are next in store for pattern advice, we can help with pattern support or provide 1 to 1 lessons to help get you started.

Next the yarn! I know some people find it hard choosing yarn to knit for other people, but I like to imagine their personality and go from there. Hence I have here a bright kooky pair and a more sophisticated classy pair to match our friends characters.

In terms of DK weight yarns suitable for socks, we have a bunch at Knit with attitude. A sock needs a bit of strength and also ideally needs to be easy to wash. Two great yarns I used were: CoopKnits Socks Yeah! DK which is a tough Superwash Merino and Nylon blend and comes in 10 shades. These little 50g balls are perfect for adding fun touches to the heel, toe and cuff. Another good yarn is Fyberspates Vivacious DK a super soft 100g Superwash Merino. We have just expanded our colour range of this yarn to include some fun new shades. I must admit I am tempted to knit another pair for myself in one of the new greens.

socks03

This pair was knit with Fyberspates Vivacious DK in Sunshine for the main colour and the counter colour was Coop Knits Socks Yeah! DK in Anemoi.

socks02

This pair was knit all in Coop Knits Socks Yeah! DK, using Dionysus for the main colour and Tartarus for the counter colour.

So what are you waiting for, cast on a sock! They make fun gifts. They are easy to transport and make great travel projects, I knit most of mine on the commute! They have interesting construction and shaping. The main thing is they are a lot easier than you might expect.