New Yarn: Kettle Yarn Co. – Ramble

The beautiful shades and consciously sourced British fibres are what makes Kettle Yarn so wonderful. Linda always amazes, with her interesting blends and eye for colour. Ramble is definitely up there, and typifies these strengths.

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Ramble is a small-batch British yarn. Spun from the finest graded fibres of British Shetland and Romney sheep. 100g of a fingering/4ply weight woolen spun yarn. Woolen spun, giving this yarn a plumpness to the twist, that is light, springy and also lofty. Drawing on a centuries-rich history of sheep rearing and wool production from the Shetland Isles and England’s smugglers paradise, Romney Marshes. The fibre is sourced directly from the farmers, spun and dyed in the UK and with with very little processing. Giving you a stunning heathered yarn, with a rustic feel in the hand, that blooms beautifully.

A perfect toothy yarn that will perform well over colour work projects, but also giving good definition on twisted stitches and cables. With a flexible gauge, that knit densely, will give you a warm and durable fingering/4ply weight. Knit loosely, will give you a more bouncy sport to DK weight, the wooden-spun yarn filling out the looser fabric.

If you are looking for some inspiration for this yarn, then look no further. We have put together a selection of patterns to get you inspired:

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Tender by Melody Hoffmann is a simple shawl that is all about the texture. It shows you Ramble’s strength in holding definition. Simple garter stitch, with some chevron panels, build up to create an eye catching subtle fabric. Knit in three skeins of Ramble, shown here in Hawthorn, the pattern is easily adjustable to go larger.

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Atlantic Avenue by Kirsten Kapur is a three colour triangle shawl, with a body of colour work and ending in a bold, statement colour band. Use the gorgeous shades of Ramble to mix and match your own. The example show is knit in Meadowsweet, Nightshade and Hawthorne.

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If you are thinking of sweaters, then what about East or West by Joji Locatelli, here knit in Ramble by Linda of Kettle Yarn Co. Shown here in colours Nightshade, Meadowsweet and Gorse, Ramble is a versatile yarn for all kinds of sweater projects.

If you are looking for a yarn and are passionate about British, then this is the yarn for you. Small scale, conscious and beautiful, what more do you need for your next project!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Homeward Bound Knit-a-long

As mentioned in the post below – we were completely overwhelmed and so so so happy about how well our Homeward Bound Shawl had been received – that we decided to prolong our celebrations with a knit-a-long happening over on our Instagrams! The Homeward Bound Shawl is available as a kit in three gorgeous colourways in our online store, or you can get it as a single pattern on Ravelry.

The KAL started May 5th – but doesn’t end until June 19th so there is plenty of time to join in on the fun, and this is what you have to do:

  • Post any progress pictures using the hashtag #homewardboundshawl, every picture is an entry to the prize draw – so the more the better.
  • Make sure you follow both Knit with attitude and Natalie Selles, and tag both of us on your posted picture.

That is it! On June 20th we will draw two winners from all the post entered between May 5th and June 19th. One of you will receive 4 skeins (a total of 200g) of the brand new CoopKnits Socks Yeah! DK in the colours of your choice, and the second prize is a pattern of free choice from Natalie Selles along with one of her super pretty draw string project bags.

As the knit-a-long has already begun we are really enjoying all the lovely Homeward Bound projects that are beginning to pop up over on Instagram – just have a look – we can’t wait to see more!

And … this is Maya’s progress so far, ready to tackle the stripes section.

Maya's Homeward Bound

Christmas List: Natalie

Today’s shop wishlist comes from Natalie, one of our behind the scenes and weekday staff members. As before her list crosses between both the shops in our storefront, Knit With Attitude and Of Cabbages & Kings. Natalie works behind the scenes for both shops during the week, and teaches the knitting classes.

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A sweaters worth of Lettlopi in Charcoal, oatmeal, white and pink! I have been dreaming of a cozy traditional Icelandic sweater to keep me warm in the winter months and I think this combo would give it a modern twist. The body would be in charcoal and the accents in the other three colours.

Ibiba necklace from Chalk. I love this simple necklace that still makes a statement. I find a lot of bib style necklaces hard to wear, but this one is just the right size.

Have You Herd? calendar from Mister Peebles. The illustrations in this are so amazing, I would love to look at it every month! It would be hard to choose a favourite month. Better yet it would be easy enough to frame them up at the end of the year to continue to enjoy them.

The Mindfulness in Knitting by Rachel Matthews has been super popular in the shop and I would love the chance to crack it open and read about how good knitting is for me.

Lingnum Fold pencil pot would be a great way to keep my pencils tidy, and stop my knitting needles from rolling all over the table when I’m not using them.

Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Zephyr to knit a shawl. I love this colourway! It’s a cream base with little speckles of neons, making it a wonderful pop of colour on these dreary grey winter days.

British and Irish Isles Place Maps from JollySmith. I only moved to England a few years ago, so these maps would be useful and help my local geography, a win-win!

 

Yarn of the Week: Bio Lana

Sweater weather, we do love you. I mean, summer is nice and all, but give a knitter sweater weather! To celebrate its return, our yarn of the week is Bio Lana, from the Italian company Mondial. It’s a 100% organic wool spun in Italy. We have it in a range of beautiful natural shades, as well as a few classic dyed colours such as blue, red, eggplant and green. The balls come in 50g, which combined with the colours makes them perfect for colourwork projects, but the stitch definition is also ideal for classic cabled sweaters. It is a slightly more rustic feel than a merino, but is still soft enough for most people to wear as a garment.

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We think that Bio Lana would make a good substitute for Shelter, opening up a range of options with the beautiful pattern offerings from Brooklyn Tweed. They sure do know their way around a cabled sweater! We love Bray by Jared Flood from BT Fall 13. Gorgeous cables with classic styling that make it a sweater you could live in.

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Mondial is one of the oldest yarn brands still operating in Europe, having opened their doors in 1946. Bio Lana is part of their new range of organically produced yarn that are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified.

Use the code BIOLANA15 online to get 15% off Bio Lana until Sunday September 25th, while supplies last. Mention the sale in-store to receive the same offer.

Yarn of the Week: Faerytale

The kids are back at school this week, so that must mean that sweater weather is here soon! And with sweater weather comes hats and scarves as well. It’s the knitter’s time of year. This week’s yarn of the month is Du Store Alpakka’s Faerytale, a 100% brushed alpaca. It has a tightly spun core for strength, but the brushed nature of the fibre means that it feels mostly made of fluff! It is used to its best advantage when knit on a larger needle, as the fluff fills in the space for a piece that is as lightweight as it is warm. As we look towards cooler months, this yarn is wonderful for accessories as well as oversized jumpers. Think 80s mohair jumpers, but for the modern day!

While looking on Ravelry to find patterns that call for Faerytale, we found the Swallow’s Dance Hat, by Marianne J. Bjerkman. It is a free pattern for a cabled hat. The loose gauge works perfectly with the yarn and the cables to create a slouchy look.

Swallow's Dance Hat, photo copyright to Marianne J. Bjerkman.

Swallow’s Dance Hat, photo copyright to Marianne J. Bjerkman.

Du Store Alpakka is a Norwegian company that is an original supporter of the Mirasol project. This project is supported by a number of yarn and fibre companies that source their yarn in Peru. A percentage of profits from the yarn companies goes back to the communities of the workers in Peru to provide educational support for their families in the form of a school. Currently they are working towards raising money to open a secondary school and eventually higher education. You can read more about Du Store Alpakka and the Mirasol project on our website.

Use the code FAERY15 online to get 15% off Du Store Alpakka Faerytale until Sunday September 11th, while supplies last. Mention the sale in-store to receive the same offer.

Yarn Pairings for London Craft Guide

London Craft Guide is a brand new guide to the knitting, sewing and haberdashery shops of London by the people who bring you the Great London Yarn Crawl every year. We are honoured to be included! To celebrate the launch of the book we will be hosting co-authors and organisers Allison Thistlewood and Rachel Brown for an afternoon talk on Saturday April 16th from 2-4pm. They will have all their samples from the new book and be on hand to chat about their events and the book. To top it all off, we will have 10% off all Knit With Attitude purchases for attendees on the day! Our shop isn’t very big, so if you are interested in attending, please RSVP with us to reserve a spot.

In advance of Allison and Rachel coming to the shop, we thought we would do a yarn pairing of the projects from the with yarns we have here at the shop.

First up we have Because Sock Yarn, by Kate Atherley. The name of the pattern really says it all, doesn’t it! What knitter hasn’t gone into a shop and seen a special skein of yarn and thought, it doesn’t really count, it’s only one skein of sock yarn! The flip side of course, is having a stash of single skeins that don’t all want to be turned into socks. Luckily Because Sock Yarn is here to fill that void! The pattern includes instructions for a small pair of fingerless mitts, and a co-ordinating shawlette. What better yarn for this than our brand new addition of Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock?

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The Candy Bag by Cecile Balladino is a project designed for being on the move. The bag is made of crocheted granny squares that are made individually (the perfect out and about project) which are then assembled into the bag shape before the handles are added. Then it makes a lovely bag that can be used to bring home the most recent stash purchases. A win-win! The squares could be done very easily in a rainbow of leftover scraps of 4ply, but would also be wonderful in a sock yarn like Manos Alegria.

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Knightsbridge by Anniken Allis is a beautiful shawl that takes just one 100g skein of laceweight yarn. Perfect for throwing on over a sundress, or wrapping up against a blustery day. The pattern looks both simple and repetitive enough to not be stressful, but visually interesting to keep your focus. We would knit it in Scrumptious Lace from Fyberspates.

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Hardly a collection is complete without a sock pattern, especially not a collection focusing on single skeins of yarn! The sock for this book is La Ville de l’Amour, by Fiona Hamilton-MacLaren. These feature a stitch pattern very similar to the Eiffel Tower (hence the name!) We would knit them up in one of the semi-solid colourways of Vivacious 4ply.

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Next up there is South Bank, a beautiful shawl by K.M. Bedigan that comes in either a full circle or half circle option. The full circle version is inspired by the London Eye! We would love to knit it up in Sulka Legato, the silk and alpaca combo would have wonderful drape and sheen for the design.

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A mandatory accessory for London is fingerless mitts. Perfect for changeable weather, and those not too cold temperatures in the winter. The colour combination for the Waterloo Mitts pictured was inspired by the Union Jack in red, white and blue, but there are endless palettes that you could use! We love pairing up colours from our stock of Blacker Swan for colourwork projects like this one.

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Last but not least we have the Zigging Hat and Cowl, designed by Renée Callaghan. This chunky weight set are perfect for keeping warm in the winter and have great texture. We love the modern neutrals of Bio-Lana to show off all that stitch definition. Zigging_hat_and_cowl-3_medium2

Getting to know: Fiona Alice

We are always on the look out for new knitting designers and books here at the shop. We were so excited when East London local Fiona Alice’s new book came out! Take Heart: A Transatlantic Knitting Adventure is published by Pom Pom Press out of Dalston, so this book is really made in our neighbourhood!

Hot off the press - the stunningly Take Heart - A Transatlantic Knitting Journey

Hot off the press – the stunningly Take Heart – A Transatlantic Knitting Journey

To create a proper celebration we are running a KAL (knit-a-long) to knit the Ketch Harbour Shawl from the book. You can pick up a kit with the yarn and the book on the website or in store with a whopping 15% discount (that is £66 for the yarn and the book compared to the regular price of £78. If you already have the book, don’t worry, you can join the KAL and get the yarn from us still with a discount. Just use the code KETCHKAL when making your purchase online or mention it to us if popping by the shop. Please note that the discount only applies for 3 skeins bought at the time as this is the amount needed to complete the Ketch Harbour Shawl. One lucky participant will win the value of their purchase back to spend on even more yarn!!!

Ketch Harbour - stunningly constructed - a new take on  the shawl

Ketch Harbour – stunningly constructed – a new take on a shawl

Read all about the Ketch Harbour Shawl KAL right here – Also check out this blog post for some yarn pairing ideas for all the patterns in the Take Heart collection.

We were able to grab Fiona over the holidays and ask her a few questions about her new book, and of course her knitting adventures!

How long have you been knitting?
I’ve been knitting since I was little. My mother, Wendy, taught me but it was just a hobby I picked up from time to time as I grew up. I’ve seriously been knitting for the last six years. After graduating university I had time again for my hobbies and began to work at LK Yarns, a little yarn shop in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Shortly after starting there my interest in knitting began to grow, along with my yarn stash.

What inspired you to get into writing patterns?
While working at LK Yarns I found I was continuously altering patterns as my knitting skills and conference grew. Eventually I stated knitting and selling my own accessories at various craft fairs and boutiques around Halifax. However, I was often approached by other knitters inquiring if I sold just the written pattern. It was because of their interest I decided to try my hand at it and that’s when I submitted my first design to Pom Pom Quarterly, Take Heart. 

Take Heart

This book is an exploration of costal areas, as well as your journey from Canada to England. Can you tell us a little more about the inspiration for the patterns, and especially Ketch Harbour?
Many of these patterns are ones I’ve always wanted to design and own myself. I played with simple textures and motifs that slowly grew into a reoccurring geometric theme.

Ketch Harbour originally began with a few classic textures I was inspired to combine such as  the lace and over all simple knit and purl texture. I also wanted to play around with the negative space of the piece and created interesting cutouts. Eventually the subtle whale tail motif grew out my sketches and I decided to keep it.

When naming the patterns afterwards I chose beaches and harbours. Ketch Harbour is a small finishing village in Nova Scotia often know for it’s stunning views of the ocean and whale sightings. 

Ketch Harbour

Ketch Harbour

How did you go about choosing yarns for the book?
From the beginning it was an intentional decision to only use yarns from Canadian and British companies. I still had a hard time narrowing down the selection so I picked a few I have always loved working with, such as Illimani, Handmaiden and Toft. Plus a few I was finally excited to try for the first time, like Viola and the Uncommon Thread.

Most of them are blends of fibres I personally love to work with so there’s lots of alpaca, llama and silk throughout the book. 

Do you have any plans for future designs?
Of course! I’m looking forward to head back into the yarn festival season. I’m excited to be able to promote the book at the Waltham Abbey Wool Show, Unravel and Edinburgh Yarn Festival this winter. Plus I’ve have a few ideas for some new accessories in my head for a while so I’m looking forward to getting back to my sketchbook to start getting these ideas down. 

Photo Credit: Fiona Alice

Photo Credit: Fiona Alice

Are you a process or product knitter?
I would have to say both. The process is a very important part to me. I often start with sketch and lots of swatching before I move on to the final piece. However, the time and effort I put into the evolution of the design is to achieve a desired final product I envisioned when starting. Often the piece can change through the swatching stage, but it is really satisfying when I can produce a wearable accessory from a initial sketch in my notebook. 

What are you currently knitting?
I’m actually going back through the book and knitting a few pieces from myself. I’ve almost completed my own Ketch Harbour shawl. I also have the Caswell Bay mitts and Martinique Beach on my needles too. After this is will on to new designs in the new year! 

Thanks Fiona!

Getting to Know: Woolly Wormhead

We are ridiculously excited to be welcoming knitting super hero Woolly Wormhead – hosting, not just one, but two brilliant workshops at Knit with attitude. Focusing on construction and techniques renown designer, independent publisher, traveller, textile artist and all around hat geek Woolly will guide us through knitting in the round and turning sideways. Both workshops will be on the Saturday, January 30th, so why not make a day out of it! We’ve created a blog reader’s special offer – when signing up for both workshops – enter code WOOLLY into your cart and receive £10 off! We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

And while we wait for the big day – we’ve asked Woolly to tell us a bit more about herself. Happy reading!

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Tucked by Woolly Wormhead

How long have you been knitting?
My Mum taught me when I was 3 years old, so this year marks 42 years of knitting! (that makes me feel rather old…..)


What inspired you to get into teaching?
I used to be an Art, Design & Textiles teacher for 11 to 19 yo, and so teaching knitting feels like a natural progression. I find pattern writing and teaching overlap – the same knowledge can be applied to both.
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Marina by Woolly Wormhead

You have written many books focused on Hats. What it it about heads that provides so much inspiration for you?
I consider Hats to be wearable sculptures – well engineered 3D forms. Prior to teaching I trained in Textiles Arts, specialising in conceptual and sculptural textiles. Prior to that I was an electronics engineer, and in my mind, designing Hats brings all of these elements together.

Is there a particular shape or stitch pattern that you are drawn to at the moment?
Short rows have always been a favourite, as has sideways construction. I’m enjoying tucks at the moment, combining them with short rows. And garter stitch – it’s simplicity lends itself very well to all types of construction and approaches!
Alveare Hat

Alveare by Woolly Wormhead

What is your design process? Do you start with a shape or a texture, or does it start with the yarn?
A bit of both – sometimes the yarn speaks, sometimes I see a stitch pattern and sometimes I see a structure or form somewhere that I’d like to try and recreate in knitted form.

Are you a process or product knitter?
Process, totally! Similarly I’m a process designer, although I do consider the product, too. But the process doesn’t end with the Hat – it extends into the photography and the wearing and the wearing, and taking the Hats to trunk shows to be tried and exhibited and so on. It’s all part of the process, I guess.
Bimitral Hat

Bimitral by Woolly Wormhead

What are you currently knitting?
I’ve a jumper and a dress on the needles for myself *somewhere* but it’s been so long since I had the time to knit for myself that I’m not even sure where to pick them up again. I do have a few Hats on my needles, though.

 

 

Yarn Pairings for Amirisu Issue 9

Amirisu is now in the house! We have long admired this gorgeous knitting publication from Japan. It comes in a small size similar to Pom Pom Quarterly, with beautiful photographs and knitting patterns from designers around the world. Luckily for all of us the magazine is fully bilingual, written side by side in Japanese and English. There’s no worry of having to translate things. Phew!

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The first issue we have received is titled ‘Winter Blues’, featuring 3 garment and 4 accessory patterns. The patterns all feature a certain amount of colour work, from full on fair isle to more simple colour blocking. There is also a review of crafty things to do in the city of Kyoto.

The first sweater is Skaftafell, designed by Beatrice Perron Dahlen. It is a modern take on a traditional Icelandic yoked sweater. It features a geometric motif for the colourwork that moves into a funnel neck for a twist on the classic. We think that it would be gorgeous done in Erika Knight Maxi Wool, which comes in a great range of colours. You could choose two neutrals and pair it with a bright for a contrast, or go for two brights and a neutral for something more modern. 

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Next up is Ash Alberg’s Reflect, a generously sized shawl knit in a thicker yarn, sure to keep you warm in the cold days. It is especially suited for those who like shawls but not lace. It has a slipped stitch texture for the body with a simple border of repeating colourwork in contrast colours. We think that the semi-solid colours of Vivacious DK would shine particularly well with the main stitch pattern.

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Two-colour brioche seems to be everywhere these days, and Tenchi from Olga Buraya-Kefelian is another great addition to the pack. It is an oversized snood knit in two contrasting colours. It looks super cozy and warm to tuck into your coat and stay bundled up. We would pick two colours of Hexa for an even warmer and more luxurious accessory.

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Jokull by Keiko Kikuno is our personal favourite here at the shop. It is inspired by the shifting colours icebergs in the ocean. The pattern is done with an ingenius method of slipped stitches over garter stitch, alternating four rows of each yarn. We are in love with the idea of knitting this up in a few shades of Scrumptious 4plyissue9_4

The second sweater is Dipped, by Justyna Lorkowska. The pattern is knit top down, with contigious set-in sleeves. It is otherwise plain, with the addition of a bit of stranded knitting for the cuffs. The effect is such that it looks like they have been dipped in a pot of paint! This would be perfect for a yarn like Blacker Swan, with many colours to choose from. issue9_10

If colourwork isn’t really your thing, then Akari from Tatiana Sarasa Frieling will be perfect. These simple fingerless mittens have an all-over bobble stitch texture and contrast colour cuffs, but could also be done easily all in one. The pattern includes an adult women’s and child’s size. The softness and warmth of Almerino DK is well suited to this pattern. issue9_17

Last but not least we have First Fair Isle, designed by yuko. This is top down pullover, knit in the round for easy knitting. It would be the perfect pattern to perfect your fair isle technique in a larger piece. We think that the multiple colours of Fenellawould be perfect to create just the right palette to suit every taste. issue9_13