What Maya Knits – Selja

So, prior to writing this blog post I checked and it turns out that last time I wrote a ‘What Maya Knits’ post was nearly a year ago – and that gives you an indication of how much knitting time there is in my life – not much! But sometimes you just notice the one, the one project you just have to abandon all other projects to make, the easy fix, instant gratification, exciting fibre, fun yarn, the key wardrobe jumper, the one you been looking for and never found … I can go on and on … and this last spring I found one of those. selja-maya-insta-3-kwa

Selja is a basic top down raglan jumper designed by Jonna Hietala, one of the master minds behind Laine Magazine, but published independently from the magazine on Ravelry. You can find the pattern right here! I just immediately fell in love with the simplicity of this design – it is exactly what was missing from my wardrobe – super simple but stylish enough to be thrown on top of everything and you will look good no matter what.

But what really tickled my fancy was that Selja is knit up using linen. Linen has been on my to-do list of fibres I’ve wanted to have a proper go at. Sure I’ve used linen blends or linen in combination with other yarn types before, but I really wanted to do something in pure linen. Given that we have the gorgeous Växbo Lingarn in such a mouthwatering wide colour range here at the shop, and that I’ve been lusting after this yarn for a long time, it seemed like this project’s yarn and design was just a match made in heaven!

A few years ago we did a series on different fibres here on the blog, so if you want to learn more about linen, it’s production and qualities have a read here. But for now, let me mention that Linen is a plant fibre which can be quite tough to work with but that softens as you knit with it and with use, which results in a lightweight, smooth fabric with a gorgeous drape, that only will look better and better with time. Dealing with quite a lot of ‘delicate’ fibres in the shop we often joke about the linen, and how it is one of those fibres that will look better the worse you treat it – so no need to be gentle … Also, as this was my summer project and we were ‘blessed’ with the heat wave above all heat waves this year, linen turned out to be a very comfortable knit for sweaty hands.
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When working with linen we do recommend to wind your hank into a ball by hand in stead of using a winder, the reason for this is that it will immediately help in breaking down the fibres and soften the yarn before knitting. Selja is a brilliant first time project if you haven’t worked with linen before. It is worked holding two strands together on a thick needle, 5.5mm, which gives a loose knit which is quite gentle on the hands. You will need three hanks of Växbo Lingarn to complete even the larger sizes, linen is such a lightweight fibre that you get a generous meterage per 100g which helps keeping the project within a lower budget.

Now if you start knitting, and the result does not resemble that of the picture – do not worry! Linen in a loose knit is very flexible and in the end it will stretch and form exactly the you way tell it to! Blocking is essential to achieve the final look, soak your linen jumper for longer than what you would normally do – I had mine in the bowl over night – and don’t be scared of using a bit of force when pinning it down to measurements. And there you have it – easy peasy linen knitting – and a new favourite jumper!selja-maya-insta-kwa

Marled Projects and more and how to stash dive with success!

We are all getting starstruck by all the marled and exciting patterns being released at the moment and a lot of you have been asking me for colour ideas and options for putting together great combos. Stephen West is at the forefront of marled designs at the moment. With patterns like the Marled Magic Sweater and the Marled Magic Cardigan. But a Marled effect can be added into any project. If you treat two strands of fingering/4ply held together as a worsted weight you are good to go and can apply a marl to any of your favourite worsted patterns.

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Marled Magic Cardigan by Stephen West

There are many ways of approaching a marled project. Do you start from scratch? Do you curate your stash and pull out colour themes? Do you chose one base colour to tie things together? Or do you throw everything you have at it? Well the possibilities are endless. What’s freeing about a marled project is that there really aren’t any rules. You can play with different fibres and to some degree different weights. You don’t have to stick to the same brand, but can go with your heart. Below I have put together some ideas and thoughts that you might find useful for your own marled projects.

Building a marled project from scratch

If you are looking to build up a selection of yarns and don’t have any stash lying around to throw into the mix, then this first section is for you.

I shall use the example of Stephen West’s latest Marled Magic Cardigan for this first marled section. This is how I would approach it, but everyone has their own take on things.  It is recommended you have between 750 – 1300g of yarn for this project with between 150 – 200g of each yarn to be used in the collar and cuffs. So here we go!

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Keeping it bright! You can almost approach a marled project like you would a faded project. But unlike a fade where you want one skein to blend into the next a marled project can be a little more extreme. With this one I have chosen the Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace – Plump and the Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Gryteflaks #18 held together for the collar and cuffs. I’ve then picked some favourite colours starting with Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Gryteflaks #19. I then let the skein decide where I go next. Plenty of speckles in these hand dyed’s give multiple avenues for combination. Which has led me to get quite nerdy about yarn!

Yarns pictured above, from left to right:

Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace – Plump, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Gryteflaks #18, Gryteflaks #19, Sneivin,  Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Raku, Sorbet, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Preinas, Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Gossip, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Gryteflaks #18, Hørningen,  Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Bubble, Deja Vu and then back to Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Gryteflaks #18.

With this combination I was trying to evoke a feeling of the original colours.

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In the image I have broken down a section and shown how the colours link up. I feel working in this way would give a good framework to build up a selection of yarns. You don’t have to knit them in any particular order, but there is a thought process in the choosing, that helps you wade through the endless variety out there. There is infinite array of colour and colour combinations, but looking into the colour make up of a skein of yarn can really help when trying to find the perfect combination.

Starting on the left I have Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Gryteflaks #18 with its reds to almost creamy, peachy orange. This colour is then picked out to link into Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Sorbet, which has a peachy base flecked with other colours. This technique is repeated by the end three, where pinks and greens unify them. But they also open up other colours, like blue and black. In this way you are building a selection of colours that focuses in on smaller details in the yarn as well as bigger ones. Allowing you to go on a journey of colour, that might lead to unexpected results.

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Keeping it mellow. In this combination I have really gone for a colour theme. You will end up with a more uniform marl, in a combination like this. Picking a colour family and playing around it is a fun way to work. It allows you the opportunity to work with your favourite colour, or not, if you want to push your boundaries. The more you look at a colour the more you will see how many colours lie within it’s boundaries, giving you a rich overall palette to play with.

If you are working in this way and sticking to a particular range of colours, I think it is important to choose plenty of light and darks. This way the combinations will remain interesting and not become to similar or dull. In the same way I think a few colour pops within a skein is a good idea. Like the yellow that appears in Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Æsjbikkje and the pinks and blues that appear in Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Hawk and Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Frevil / Shauparak. These pops will shine out in marled fabric, where a few zaps of contrast colour playing against a monochrome background.

Yarns pictured above, from left to right:

Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace – Cereal, Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply – Silver and Bronze, Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles – Scilence, Crystal, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Fonne / Bered, Æsjbikkje, Gryteflaks #10, Gryteflaks #10, Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply – Verdegris, Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Hawk, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Gryteflaks #19, Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Cereal, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Frevil / Shauparak

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And because I like doing it, here is the colour break down for a section of this one. You can see the combination of lights and darks with a few little colour pops like the yellow and pink. It may even need something white/cream or a very pale blue to lift it slightly.

Using stash yarns and curating a colour theme

We all have a bunch of half skeins and end of project balls of yarn hanging around and a marled project is perfect for using these up, no matter what quantity you have. Even if you feel your stash is a little random and won’t go together there will be that perfect skein that will unite them. One way of getting around this problem is curating your stash into colour themes and families. I have tried this with parts of my stash below and mixed in various Knit With Attitude yarns. Any caked yarn or yarn in a ball in the below pictures are ones I have pulled from my stash, around which I have placed complimentary yarns I think work well.

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First up we have this pinky purple number. I am still with the idea of creating the Marled Magic Cardigan pictured at the beginning of this post. This cardigan has a contrast, or at least a very defined collar, cuffs and hem. To stick with the theme I have gone with Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace – Iris and Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply – Heavenly. They draw on the purple theme but keep it light, this way I hope they offset the body colours and make them pop.

I have some orange and pink and pinky oranges in my stash I didn’t think they would necessarily work in this project, until I saw the Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Annsam skein, perfection! Marled at different points in the project this will bring a nice theme of pink and orange, throughout. The deep purples in the middle really spoke to some of the purples I had in my stash along with a few creams. The pinks range from neon to a more muted dusky pink, complimenting and working with the pinks I already have.

I would recommend not knitting them in the order that is show in the image but chopping and changing throughout the project. This way colour themes will appear and disappear throughout the knitting. As it is marled you will then avoid getting clumps of a dominating colour and end up with a more even project.

Colours I have used around my stash from left to right:

Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace – Iris, Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply – Heavenly, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Annsam, Krilla, Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Plump,  Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Jarbær, Hey Mama Wolf – Sockyarn #04 Minis – Madder, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Ortle / Mihifar.

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I feel this one doesn’t need a colour break down, even though I enjoy making them. It’s green, oh green! If you haven’t guessed it’s my favourite colour. So my stash is full of it. We all have a favourite colour so naturally our stash is going to be full of it. Why not embrace that and indulge in your colour love. I’ve fallen in love with this combination, it’s like a mossy forest floor, I am so tempted to knit it myself.

With this combination you will end up with a very subtle fabric. Each colour melding into one another. Some say it is safe to go with the same colour, I say it’s well informed. With these combination I would probably make sure I was always holding a solid with a speckled, that way the solid gets enlivened by the changing colours of the speckle. But here there is a good combination of light and dark and it shows you the real variety you can get in a colour.

Colours I have used around my stash from left to right:

Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace – Parklife, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Preinas, Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Cereal, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Løpp, Kettle Yarn Co Beyul – Shrub, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Gryteflaks #11, Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Parklife, Kettle Yarn Co Beyul – Jade

 

Using one colour to unite a random stash

Not all of our stash is coordinated and if you are desperate to use of every last scrap of those random ends of yarn then this method might be good for you.

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Choosing a colour that you think might tie a project together like this Coopknits Socks Yeah – Azurite in this one.  This way no matter how random your other pieces might be, there will always be one constant. Here I have pink, yellow, grey, green, purple! They may look random like this, but knit up the blue will catch the eye, bringing harmony to the project. With this selection you can further reinforce the theme by sticking to the same colour for collars and cuffs.

I’ve tried to illustrate this idea with the blue throughout, giving the marl a base colour which then brings unity to the other colours. It also means you can indulge in your favourite colour and let that be the colour that shines through the project.

I hope that you find some of these ideas of approaching a marled project useful. From building a collection of yarns from scratch, from curating your stash into colour themes or even uniting a random stash. Marled projects are a great way to use up leftovers but also great to let you branch out into other colours you might not necessarily use. These projects are about having fun, so get stuck in and throw everything you have got at it.

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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New Yarn: Ístex Bulkylopi

A firm favourite here at Knit with attitude is the Léttlopi, but this yarn has just got supersized! In the form of Bulkylopi, what a fun yarn to see you into the winter. Like the Léttlopi, its made form 100% sturdy Icelandic wool, and comes in a variety of natural shades. I can see this becoming a much loved yarn.

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A single ply chunky yarn, which is perfect for anything from colour work jumpers, to big cosy sofa blankets. Affordable but also durable. The inner fibres of this yarn are fine, soft and highly insulating. The outer fibres are long, glossy and water-repellent. Together, these two distinctive fibres create a wool that is, lightweight, water-repellent and breathable. The  wool is bought directly from the farmers in Iceland and then scoured in the town of Blönduós in north of the country. The wool is then taken to be spun in a mill in Mosfellsbaer nearby Reykjavik. This yarn is Icelandic through and through.

As with any new yarn we are excited to show you some possibilities to get the creativity flowing. Here are a couple patterns to get you started:

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Everyone needs more project bags right? The Lopi Tote by Heidi Gustad is a super cute large project bag for all those projects on the go. Knit in two skeins of Bulkyopi, this deep wide bottom bag can hold a lot. Finished off with leather bag handles from Jūl for the perfect elegant touch.

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Ever wanted to try an Icelandic yoked sweater but thought it might be to time consuming. Well thats what a chunky yarn is for. Knit on 9mm and 10mm needles this project will race along. Rosa by Védís Jónsdóttir is a simple yoked sweater worked in the round. A perfect one for the beginner.

I hope you have been inspired to knit with the Bulkyopi, browse the colours online or come in store and see it in person.

The Attitude Cowl by Julie Knits in Paris

Last weekend we had the awesome designer Julie Knits in Paris and the amazing Linda from the Kettle Yarn Co in the shop. It was great to have both an inspiring designer and yarn dyer together. What’s more is Julie was launching her splendid pattern ‘Attitude’, which is knit in Linda’s yarn: Kettle Yarn – Islington DK. We are in love with this pattern as it represents the good attitude of the knitting community and the little dancing people motif also showing us knitters like to paaaaaarty!

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Attitude is an extraordinary, large colour work cowl, knit in the round. With cute draw string ties, so you can wear it in many ways. Pulled down over your shoulders for some warmth under a jacket, or with the drawstrings pulled tight for extra cosy warmth around your neck.

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Knit in Kettle Yarn – Islington DK, a luminous blend of Blue Faced Leister and Silk, the yarn simply glows. Combined like this in a colour work project you end up with a garment that just sings. Featuring a motif of little dancing people with attitude!

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We are now fully stocked on Kettle Yarn – Islington DK in many colours, what will you choose? Below we have some suggestions to get yourself started, or come in store and have a play with combinations.

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The original one – Used in Julie’s original Attitude. The colours are from left to right: Kettle Yarn – Islington DK – Pom, Siren Call and Blighty.

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The pinky one – This combination is playing on Julie’s original colours but going along a pink route. The colours are from left to right: Kettle Yarn – Islington DK – Peony, Red Velvet and Icicle.

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The earthy one – This one is going a little more earthy, using autumnal colours. The colours are from left to right: Kettle Yarn – Islington DK – Ochre, Macbeth and Marigold.

Have fun with this project and combine colours that you love. If you would like to see the cowl in person, we have it here in the shop for a short while so you can try is on for yourself.

New Yarn: The Fibre Co. – Lore

We always get excited when a new yarn comes our way and Lore from The Fibre Co is no exception. This yarn has landed in our shop and perfectly timed for Autumn. It’s a gorgeous yarn for those cosy autumn evenings.

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Lore is a 100% lambswool from the English Romney sheep breed. A woollen spun DK weight yarn, processed in a mill in West Yorkshire. Warm and light but also hardwearing, a wonderful yarn perfect for garments and accessories, which blooms and softens more after soaking.

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Swatches Knitted by The Fibre Co’s Design Manager, Becky Baker. Exploring the qualities of Lore over a variety of techniques.

Lore is a good all round yarn and will give you superb results, with great definition and structure on cables and other stitches and across fair isle and colour work. What’s more is it comes in sixteen beautiful colours. Each colour name designed to be uplifting. Daphne Marinopoulos the founder of The Fibre Co. says of the colour names:

‘In naming the colours for Lore, I wanted to build on the story concept and use the fact that stories are emotive and colours have emotional associations. So you’ll find names like Gentle, Courage, Bold, Reliable, and Heaven.

For example, the colour yellow is usually associated with cheerfulness, joy, and being expressive, which meant that we just had to name the yellow in the line “Happiness”.’

Released alongside Lore, The Fibre Co has created a series of patterns called The Barrowdale Collection, named after the Barrowdale Valley in the Lake District. This is a great opportunity to see how the yarn knits up, across a variety of techniques and gives you an idea of its qualities and strengths. The Barrowdale Collection Patters are available in store through Ravelry Buy In-store.

brandelhowBrandelhow by Natasja Hornby knit in the Earthy colour. This graphic jumper of mock cables and broken rib shows off Lore’s ability to hold definition.

high3High Raise by Emma Wright knit in the Gentle and Comfort colours. Showing Lores colour work potential.

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Honister by “Amanita” Agata Mackiewicz in the Heaven colour. Lore is also perfect for those cosy layers.

As the weather starts to cool may of us are thinking of those cosy winter knits. I hope Lore will inspire you to create some wonderful knitwear and as The Fibre Co say, create some everyday adventures.

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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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Høsthjerte by Aud Bergo knit in Tinde.

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Ardra by Linda Marveng knit in Sølje

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.

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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

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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.

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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?

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.