Time for a New Project – Colour! – Inspiration from Julie Knits in Paris

As spring is looking like it has finally sprung and the sun is shining, we are starting to dream of those summer projects. Something with a burst of colour to drag us out of winter. When I think of colour I instantly think of Julie Dubreux of Julie Knits in Paris. Her energy and enthusiasm is infectious and her joie de vivre unparalleled. Who wouldn’t want some of that in their life! Well lets conjure up some of this magic from the shelves at Knit with attitude and get inspired. I have pulled out some tempting patterns that will take you through spring and into the summer months. I have gone for some of her exciting jumper patterns, with a variety of techniques, that all employ colour on a grand scale. I have also put together some yarn suggestions to get you started.

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First up is Gaudi, this is one for adding a bit of colour-work sparkle to your wardrobe. A layer for early spring perhaps? When the days flip from being mild to unpredictably cold and grey, you need this jumper. Inspired by the colourful architecture of Antonio Gaudí. The mosaic covered Park Güell or the stained glass windows in La Sagrada Família all shine through. Have fun with colour in this project. Imagine the yoke like a multicoloured mosaic piece and pick a yarn that has a lot of colour, to create the look of small tiles jostled together. Also a nice contrast will give you the feeling of light, as if it’s streaming through a stained glass window.

Knit seamlessly from the top down in a 4ply. Here is some inspiration to get you started:

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The main colour provided by the deep Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in Wish set against the bright and varied Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Kjeta. This pairing will make the Garnsurr pop and there is enough variety over the skein to give you that stained glass / mosaic look.

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This Garnsurr pairing goes for a more striking contrast. Everyone loves grellow right? The subtle speckles across all the skeins will give an even overall texture. The yellow will pop against the grey creating a really luminescent yoke. Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Grytleflaks #10 and Sneivin.

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A more muted combination here but with the essence of light and dark. The Garnsurr Søkke Merino Tomreipes as the contrast colour has the essence of sun bleached tiles, with the mere hint of a muted speckle. Against this earthy purple of the Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Krilla it is quite striking.

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The dark purple and green colours of this Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Tesu are perfect for a garden inspired mosaic, with hints of moss and lichen growing. Such a rich colour needs something bright to offset it like this Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in Crystal.

summer-colour-pattern-02Taking us into spring is this light, short sleeved masterwork of brioche. It’s the Pörkenäs, perfect for a spring layer, or an extra on a cool summer evening. Julie says she has designed this top for brioche beginners and the repeating motifs employ the simplest of increases and decreases. Worked in the round and top down, it is seamless and reversible. Ooh the joys of brioche, two garments in one! Brioche is such a squishy plump fabric that you know this one is going to be flattering, knit with negative ease for a comfortable fit.

This one is knit in a selection of 4ply merino singles. Choose complimentary ones, or go wild with some contrasts. Speckles mixed with solids would also give great effect to the brioche stitch, as well as yarns with three distinct tones, to bring depth to the finished piece.  Hedgehog fibres Skinny Singles and Black Elephant Merino Singles are a perfect choice. We will be getting all the new colours from Hedgehog Fibre in Skinny Singles which are up for pre-order on our website if you are after something different!

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A Hedgehog Fibre Skinny Singles combination in Method, Pistachio and Beach Bunny. I tried to keep the essence of Julie’s original with this combination. Having a dark blue offset with a light, then with nods of purple. A fresh watery combination.

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This rich red combination uses Black Elephant Merino Singles and Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Monarch and Plump. I thought the two dark reds needed a lightness to bounce off. Monarch works perfectly here I think, keeping it in a similar family but adding a paler peachy note. The speckles also sit nicely along side the more solid plump to great effect.

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Speckles across the board! Black Elephant Merino Singles in Knights of Cydonia and Arlandria and Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Hawk. Hawk is just one of those wild ones I love and some how I think it works as anchor here. Muted beiges lending themselves to the greens, while pinks and blues nod to the purples. This combo would be so exciting to knit and to wear.

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Warmth and heart with this combination. Here are some of my favourites. Black Elephant Merino Singles in Lazy Days and Little Miss Sunshine and Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Seed. These colours play so nicely together, certainly one to be wearing on the run up to summer. Seed will add a great contrast making the brioche stitches pop.

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When summer hits and you still want that piece of go to knit wear in your wardrobe, then this is for you. Summer Light is a lightweight summer tee. Knit in lighter than air Kidsilk Lace. I absolutely love this one and think it would look great over a shirt for a pop of colour. Quick to knit on 5mm needles its definitely one you can have finished in time for summer. The pattern is given a bit of weight by a merino single ribbing but this piece will be oh so light. Ok we’ll not quite lighter than air but just a 50g skein of mohairs worth.

Grab a skein of mohair and a merino single for the ribbing and you will be set.

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Peachy! This combination has Peach Belini’s written all over it. This tropical delight is perfect for an afternoon of sipping your favourite cocktails. Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace in Monarch and a couple of Black Elephant Mini’s in Pineapple Express, perfection.

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This is a combination I would go for, I’m always a sucker for green. The earthy to bright tones of Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace in Parklife sit wonderfully next to Black Elephant Mini’s in Arlandria. Garden party anyone?

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If you are going to go bright, go bright! Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace in Pinky Swear has got to be one of the brightest. I’m imaging this one gracefully over a white top, as the neon pink of the Kidsilk fizzes in the sunlight. Offset that with the richness of Black Elephant Mini’s in Moulin Rouge. For that cherry red on top of the cake.

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A little poolside number for those summer holidays. Create a graceful breezy top in Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace in Bubble with Black Elephant Mini’s in Tranquility. One for the lovers of blue, but there is still plenty going on in the Bubble to keep you interested.

So as the weather warms up there is no excuse not to be knitting, there is a fun and exciting colourful project for you for any weather!

New Yarn: G-uld Naturally Dyed Alpaca

We are beyond excited to be the first stockist of G-uld! G-uld is an independent yarn dyer in Denmark who dye exclusively with natural dyes. These stunning range of colours are concocted with pure artistry. Their ethos is based on good craftsmanship, with understanding and respect for the material, quality and nature. Their production and materials are rooted in old traditions and with a great desire for the past to meet the present.

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G-uld was founded in 2013 by Anne Støvlbæk Kjær and Louise Schelde Jensen and the team now consists of Anne Støvlbæk Kjær, Louise Schelde Jensen and Daniel Ejler Christensen.

“First and foremost, we want to deliver delicious plant-colored yarn, beautifully designed and inspirational. Knitting joy, presence and good experiences that come from working with good craftsmanship and good materials. And an insight into historical dyeing of textiles and yarn.”

Their interest lies in bringing us back to hand skills. Where mass production and technology has made us lose touch. In the past the hand skills of the individual was often a necessity and way of life. These crafts often involved nature and the craftspeople and nature were at one. There was a knowledge in the year’s course, materials, and accessibility. But these crafts still live on and in a busy world it is important to remember them.

“For us, the good qualities of the materials and exciting history ensure that with the work of the hand they can create unique things, and perhaps through the process, achieve mental health. We believe that in the 21st century we need unique elements – and good craftsmanship that has taken time to make, is definitely worth waiting for”

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Now for the yarn itself! A super soft, 100% Alpaca in a collection of 20 amazing naturally dyed shades and 2 undyed. G-uld Alpaca is a 4Ply weight yarn with a lovely twist, making sure you get a superb stitch definition. A luxurious yarn perfect for your new favourite jumper, cardigan, hat or shawl, the possibilities are endless. Each colour is labelled with the natural dye material used to develop that specific colour. Anything from Madder Root to Walnut and many in between.

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A new yarn needs new inspiration so here is a selection of great projects to get you started. In store we have, the Rambling Rose Jacket, Westwind Cowl and Sunflower Beanie.

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Here is the Rambling Rose Jacket by Susie Haumann. A simple open jacket edged with a pretty cable detail. Seen here in strong deep purpley-red from the cochineal dyed KWA01. The alpaca would make this a wonderfully soft top with great drape, the perfect warming layer.

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The Westwind Cowl by Louise Schelde Jensen will highlight the texture of this yarn and give you great definition. A simple mesh pattern is repeated with garter ridges in between. Give yourself over to the colourful joys of this yarn and knit this pleasing warm cowl.

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The Sunflower Beanie by Marie Mønster lets you play with two colours. A perfect two skein project and a great way to experiment with this yarn. It’s clever design creates a spiral of stitches reminiscent of the seeds lined up in the centre of a sunflower. Seen here in the Madder Root dyed KWA08 and the Undyed Grey.

You have to see this yarn to believe it, the amazing skill of the dyers and the ability to produce such an amazing range of colours with just natural materials is mind blowing. Whats more it’s on the most gorgeous base you could imagine.

Yarn Pairings for Interpretations Vol. 6

The popular design duo of Veera Välimäki and Joji Locatelli have come together again for another super edition of Interpretations, now in it’s 6th volume! The Interpretations series is the work of two friends, one from Finland and the other from Argentina. Each volume is based around 6 words, these 6 words give the inspiration for 12 designs. The words inspiring this issue are: Courage, Glee, Silence, Rapture, Connection and Scale. Each designer producing a design inspired by each word. This issue has a textural monochrome feel, with large shawls that have extensive pattern repeats and cosy tops with a relaxed and comfy fit. Working with the same starting point, the identity of each designer can really shine through, bringing a unique twist and personality to each piece.

Interpretations-Vol-6-coverThere is something available from head to toe in this issue, so below I have taken a look at the designs and put together some yarn pairings.

Courage:

Interpretations-Vol-6-05The Moonquake Cowl by Veera Välimäki is a graphic brioche cowl. Who doesn’t love brioche? Giving you dynamic vertical stripes and making such a wonderful squishy fabric, perfect for accessories like this. Mixing it up, the brioche rib flips and in doing so the dominant colour flips. Perfect for playing with those high contrast yarns. This pattern calls for a Hedgehog Fibres, try in contrasting tones of Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles for a looser gauge knit.

Interpretations-Vol-6-07The Resolute Wrap by Joji Locatelli is a massive all over lace, arrow shaped shawl. Chevrons of a bold graphic lace repeat are broken repeatedly by a few rows of garter stitch. This gives structure and direction to the shape, while also anchoring the eye and avoiding an over saturation of pattern. This would look beautiful in the slightly variegated tones of Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply.

Glee:

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The Wintergate Beanie by Veera Välimäki is a compelling all over cabled design. Featuring large and small cables that intertwine. It is like a pocket sized cabled sweater with interesting shaping and intriguing pattern. Giving you the fun of a cabled project but without the marathon of a large garment. Knit in a sport weight, try Blue Sky Fibres Alpaca Sport, for a hug your head deserves.

Interpretations-Vol-6-04The Moonlight Socks by Joji Locatelli makes use of a strong graphic pattern repeat along the front. Complex without being too fussy, while also being interesting to knit. Knit in five different shades to create a faded design, with a great colour palette to choose from try picking a gradient from the selection of Coopknits Socks Yeah!

Silence:

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The Hidden Sweater by Veera Välimäki is a delight in monochrome textural work. The yoke doesn’t employ two colours for effect, but is drained of colour. Leaving the essence of a yoke behind. That doesn’t mean it’s boring, but instead is striking. The texture of the stitches are allowed to bring their own colour. Toped off by it’s relaxed fit and rolled neck, it is also comfy. Try the luscious softness of The Fibre Co. Cumbria.

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The Understated Sweater by Joji Locatelli is a classic example of Joji’s ability to make effortless and wearable pieces. The simple boxy low-cut top is the perfect layer over a shirt. It’s smart shape is highlighted by a modest rib detail along the shoulders. Try this in Fyberspates Vivacious DK.

Rapture:

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The Smoke and Amber Wrap by Veera Välimäki has the perfect name. Ribbons of cable fill this shawl, but they also change direction along their length. This creates a texture that beguiles the eye, taking it on a journey and losing it, like being lost in fog or not quite making out something through a haze of smoke. I would be tempted to knit this in Kettle Yarn Islington DK, it’s sheen would catch the light and highlight the cables beautifully.

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The Ravishing Vest by Joji Locatelli is a graceful long cardigan. It’s elegant shaping would make the perfect layer over summer dresses, when the temperature cools in the evening. The sophisticated shaping is given form by textural stitches that change style at the waist, playing with the silhouette of the body. Knit in a sport weight merino/silk blend try it in Scrumptious 4ply/Sport.

Connection:

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The Frozen Fields Shawl by Veera Välimäki, like is namesake, has an air of the crisp frost that settles on the ground in the morning. Garter stitch ridges have a great effect here, becoming almost structural against the lace panel repeat. The lace itself separates, giving character and interest to the overall design. Knit in a subtle gradients of Ninapetrina Tynn Rosy Merino, a slightly heavier gauge but the colours are oh so perfect.

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The Community Tunic by Joji Locatelli features a bold yoke with strong graphic shapes, moving away from the traditions of a complicated pattern repeat. Simple yet bold the yoke gives this top a strong modern feel, without being austere. Long in the body it would make the perfect layer over leggings, what’s even better is it has pockets. Stylish yet practical. Try Hey Mama Wolf’s Schafwolle #03 for a sturdy practical top.

Scale:

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The Saltwater Coat by Veera Välimäki is a practical cardigan, making the perfect layer. Short oversized sleeves make this garment roomy while also stopping it being cumbersome. Knit in reversed stocking stitch, it makes use of the textural purl side and it also has a pair of good sized pockets. Knit the in this in the cosy Hillesvåg Blåne.

Interpretations-Vol-6-02The Evolve Shawl by Joji Locatelli is a texture lovers dream, while also having the joy of fading yarns in a harmonious way. A bold elongated triangle is made graphic by the triangle shaped stitch repeat, bringing subtle angles along its length. Between colours is an even bolder garter ridge striping which breaks the pattern repeats in a striking way. Knit like this in three distinct speckled monochrome colours, the end result is vivid and elegant. This design calls for the moody shades of Black Elephant Merino Singles.

This issue has a gentle feel, strong designs, but with a sensitivity. Colours are muted and understated and the pieces are wearable and practical. A lovely issue that I hope will inspire many creations.

Pattern Launch – The Delkash Dress

It is with great excitement, mixed in with a large dollop of nervousness, that I present to you my new design the Delkash Dress which we are launching at Edinburgh Yarn Festival next week.

-strikkinger-'s Delkash Dress

-strikkinger-‘s Delkash Dress

The Delkash Dress is a discretely fitted short dress with ¾ length sleeves worked in Stockinette Brioche. The inspiration for this design came to me as we were exhibiting at EYF 2018. A dear friend of mine and Brioche knitter extraordinaire, Siobhan, who so kindly came with us to help at our stand was wearing her gorgeous Brioche Askews Me Dress (a Stephen West design) while we were there, and she left not only me but basically the whole festival stunned – that dress is just so gorgeous!!! We had such a nice time at the festival, there was just so many delicious knits everywhere you looked, a feast for the eye, and we realised that planning your wardrobe is quite an essential part of preparing for a festival like this – and so we started dreaming up future projects to make in time for EYF 2019. (Natalie, Siobhan and I tried really hard to convince George that a knitted kilt had to happen, somehow this is yet to manifest itself…). With a complete dress envy – there was no question – I had to make a dress of my own.

Enel's Delkash Dress

Enel’s Delkash Dress

On our stand we had three of Garnsurr’s Søkke Merino greens hanging next to each other, I just could not get my eyes of them, together they just created the most amazing fade from a subtle earthy one to a fantastic acidy neon one, I just kept lusting after them – still they were a bit too crazy for me to be able to wear them unless I toned them down with a more neutral colour and I was drawn to the subtle shades of Fyberspates’ Vivacious 4ply. Now – this is what I absolutely love with Brioche – the possibilities for combining colours successfully are just endless. Also a few years ago I discovered the Stockinette Brioche and I found it to be just a brilliant stitch, I started off using it for a pair of leg warmers that didn’t turn out quite right colour-wise and was quickly deemed for frogging, but ever since I’ve been wanting to use it in a design – I just had to come up with the right one. Like the more known ribbed Brioche Knitting, the Stockinette Brioche is an exciting way to work Brioche stitches – the main difference is that it creates a smoother fabric with slightly less drape and more hold than Brioche Rib Knitting – perfect for a knitted dress – as soon as the idea about a dress hit me I knew I wanted to do it in Stockinette Brioche.

cm8032's Delkash Dress

cm8032’s Delkash Dress

Now the thing with Brioche knitting in general is that you always use smaller needles than what your yarn weight indicates, this is due to the size of the stitches produced, so even though you use smaller needles the gauge equals the one indicated for your yarn weight. So your project will grow according to yarn weight and not according to needle size, just saying in case any of you are already intimidated by the thought of such a needle size. If someone told me, say 10 years ago, that I would be knitting a dress on 3mm needles I would have laughed out loud – but here I was, starting off my project using tiny needles, that’s what happens when you fall in love with an idea.

Osloknitter's Delkash Dress

Osloknitter’s Delkash Dress

October last year I was ready to show the dress off to the world for the first time, and decided to wear it at the London yarn festival Yarnporium. It became obvious to me that the dress was a hit, and the decision to make it into a published pattern was made, so as soon as the festival was over I made a call out for test knitting, and seriously have my test knitters done a truly amazing job!!! One thing though – I am tiny, yes I know – and the one comment from when wearing the dress at the festival that really got to me was “Well you can wear it for sure, with such a tiny body, but I could never wear a fitted dress like that”. I did not design a dress for petite women, I designed a dress with the intention of making anyone that wore it feel gorgeous! Throughout the test knitting process this was an ongoing discussion – how do we make sure the quality of the instructions are just as accommodating for the larger sizes as it is for the small ones. What we found is that standardised sizing guide lines assumes that a larger size equals a taller person – which often is not the case. In the pattern we’ve made sure you can adjust the size to fit your height as well as your bust/waist size. The result is a pattern graded for 8 sizes ranging from bust size 78cm to 114.5cm.

Copperlili's Delkash Dress

Copperlili’s Delkash Dress

Bringing the Delkash Dress to Edinburgh Yarn Festival to be launched there seems like the apt thing to do, it feels like bringing it home – back to the origin of the ideas and emotions behind it. There is no denying that the Delkash Dress (named by the wonderful women of Garnsurr, meaning attractive!) is to this date my most ambitious project and it feels rather scary letting it out in the world, but I’m also very proud of the result we have achieved – and so without further ado I present to you The Delkash Dress! All details are up on its Ravelry page – it is available to buy from us at our stand at Edinburgh Yarn Festival – and will become available on Ravelry March 25th. Please check out the instagram hashtags #delkashdress and #kwatestknittersteam to see more amazing versions of the dress from my test knitters!

MayaB's Delkash Dress

MayaB’s Delkash Dress

Yarn Pairings for Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 28 – Spring 2019

It’s really starting to feel like spring might not be that far away, here in London. The sun is shining and it feels unusually mild. What better way to celebrate this feeling, than delving into the latest spring issue of Pom Pom. Aptly themed for this time of year, this issue is ‘The Botanical Issue’. Designers were given the theme of flora, looking to nature and plant forms for their inspiration.

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So we have nine knitting and crochet patterns, plus articles and recipes. All exploring the botanical theme. I’ve put together some yarn pairings from the shelves of Knit With Attitude, so lets take a look at these natural wonders!

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Sweetfern by Liza Laird and Kate Madden is a cute slouchy brioche hat. Taking the characteristic use of two colours that brioche offers, while also bringing in stitch shaping for that natural leafy vibe. A trailing vine motif runs from the rib to the crown creating a bold and graphic design. Choose two contrasting colours of Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles for maximum effect.

Davallia-by-Isa-Catepillan-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-28Davallia by Isa Catepillán is an interesting cover up shawl-cum-jacket. This crocheted piece is full of drama. A large tasseled fringe hangs from an elegant lacey body. It reminds me of the dappled light through the trees. It would make a great layer for spring days and cool summer nights. Choose a light yarn with a plant fibre content like the linen blend of Stolen Stitches Nua.

Adiantum-by-Kelly-Ordemann-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-28Vines trace the shape of the yoke in Adiantum by Kelly Ordemann. A playful use of pattern, the plant motif radiates from the neck giving the appearance of a necklace of ferns. With clever shaping, it is also flattering to wear. A plant themed top like this calls to be knit in a plant dyed fibre. Choose Hey Mama Wolf’s Sockyarn #04 in its dreamy natural shades.

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Another crochet offering is Water Clover by Isa Catepillán. A stunningly elegant crochet top with lacey star details. A simple shape made all the better by the pattern repeat. Crocheted in a cotton, linen blend try The Fibre Co Luma which has a soft light papery feel which is perfect for wearing next to your skin. This top will definitely see you into the summer and beyond.

Aurea-by-Stella-Egidi-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-28This dramatic shawl is the Aurea by Stella Egidi. You cannot get a design that is more close to nature. Leaf and reed motifs sit side by side to create a pattern repeat that is reminiscent of a forest canopy or leafy woodland floor. Knit in a merino single try Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles or a bunch of Black Elephant Minis.

Vivarium-by-Amber-Platzer-Corcoran-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-28Vivarium by Amber Platzer Corcoran is a fun colour work jumper, with a selection of bold graphic plant motifs. Vivarium takes its name from terrarium structures used for holding plants and means ‘place of life’. This design allows a fun juxtaposition of colour through the botanical elements and with a relaxed drop shoulder fit, it will be the perfect cosy spring evening layer. Colour work projects scream out for Hillesvåg Tinde in a great range of colours you will find the perfect greens!

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Ginkgophyte by Emily Greene is worked flat and seamed, with sleeves worked in the round. With a bold central detail that is repeated on the back and accentuates the simple form. Short sleeves make this the perfect spring garment, for when the days get longer and the promise of summer is just around the corner. Choose the cool and super soft Kettle Yarn Beyul for this, a lovely light yarn perfect for wearing next to your skin.

Woodwardia-by-Lydia-Gluck-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-28Woodwardia by Lydia Gluck is a top down raglan jumper with a cosy rolled neck and with a lovely vine detail running along the raglan seams. We all know spring weather can be a little unpredictable so this cosy jumper will become a wardrobe staple. Try this in the soft Vivacious DK.

Filix-by-Judith-Brand-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-28Filix by Judith Brand are stylish crocheted fingerless gloves. A graphic abstracted fern chevron motif runs along the back of the hand. These fingerless gloves are the perfect size for keeping out the evening chill by extending over the wrist. This pattern calls for a silk, merino blend so try Scrumptious 4ply.

I hope these suggestions get you excited and ready to spring into spring. This is a very calm and gentle edition of Pom Pom with subtle details carrying the theme. A collection of interesting but also wearable pieces.

 

New Yarn: Àrd-Thìr by Kate Davies Designs

It’s a pleasure to introduce Àrd-Thìr a new Aran weight yarn by Kate Davies in collaboration with one of our favourite yarn producers Fyberspates. It will not disappoint, such an amazing colour range and feels wonderful.

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Àrd-Thìr means Highlands in Scottish Gaelic and you couldn’t get a better name than that. A combination of 60% Peruvian Highland Wool and 40% Superfine Alpaca, it is produced in the Peruvian Highlands. But it’s colour inspiration comes from the Scottish Highlands. To be more specific the Scottish winter landscape. In 10 shades, Kate Davies says of her colour choice:

‘Our winter landscape is often thought to be drained of colour, but if you look carefully, you’ll discover a mix of many interesting shades: from the deepening russet tones of bracken-covered hillsides to the luminous hues of lichen hanging from bare branches; from the glancing orange glow of sunlight across high rocky peaks to the extraordinarily rich colour of a sealoch under a leaden Februrary sky. Each of the ten shades I’ve designed is a subtle, muted marl; each possesses its own depth and tonal variety; some can be combined into intriguing gradients, and all work together harmoniously as a range.’

This approach to the colours adds a richness and complexity, which would not only be fun to knit, but also produce beautiful knitwear.

Àrd-Thìr is worsted spun aran weight yarn. The combination of fibres make it well rounded, soft and squishy. It feels amazing next to the skin and would be perfect for many garments and accessories. I’m thinking oversized snuggly cabled jumpers or warm textured scarves. It would knit up to make something warm and cosy and would be perfect for textures, cables and colourwork. In 50g (65m/75yd) skeins it is the perfect yarn for when a little bit of a contrast colour or a colour work motif is needed. The possibilities are endless. There is something comforting about having a nice aran weight project on your needles in winter. Quick to knit and satisfying, it makes a change from all those 4ply projects!

Kate Davies has released two patterns for this yarn, so you can drool over them and take some inspiration. One hat and one pullover. This gives you a chance to see how the yarn knits up and maybe start planning that next project.

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The Weel Riggit Pullover is an all over colour work jumper, featuring a simple repeating pattern making the full use of the complimentary tones in Àrd-Thìr. Riggit in Scots and Shetland dialect means “rigged out” or “dressed”. To be “weel riggit” is to be well dressed. What better name can there be for this handsome jumper.

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The Weel Riggit Hat lets you sample the colour combinations of the jumper but in this smaller project. Using 4 skeins in 4 different shades to produce the perfect winter accessory. A fun project for having a play with your favourite colours.

I hope the rich tones in this yarn will help you chase away the winter blues and get knitting something cosy and warm.

Trio Shawl KAL – Colour Inspiration

You may have seen Maya’s post introducing the Trio Shawl and the first Knit With Attitude KAL of the year. If that hasn’t got you racing to your needles then maybe these colour inspirations will.

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This shawl is great for the beginner and experienced knitter alike. The simple knitting is made for indulging in your favourite fibres and colours. Combining three, the formula is simple: 2 parts MC, 1 part CC1 and 1 part CC2. You are also not restricted to a certain yarn weight or having to make a shawl using all the same bases or fibres. With this shawl you can yield to all those skeins you have been dreaming of and not really found the project for. Heavier weights will give you a larger shawl and light weights will give you a smaller one and why not combine them together for a texture adventure. Maya is combining a 4ply, a light 4ply and a heavy DK with her’s. It’s a good idea to knit a little swatch with your chosen yarns and adjust the needle size to get the quality of fabric you like.

Below I have put together some suggestions using DK and 4ply weights. Merino, Norwegian Pelssau, Romney and Shetland, Buck Mohair and Dalla Sheep yarns. Hand dyed and Undyed. No restrictions here!

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This combo uses Hillesvåg Vilje as the MC, incorporating the earthy Kettle Yarn Ramble in Gorse and Black Elephant Minis in Tranquility for the contrasts.

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Here I have opted for a darker MC to allow the bright yellow and white shades pop out. Hillesvåg Sølje in Beige for the MC and Garnsurr Pan in Sneivin and Black Elephant Minis in Nostalgia.

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This combo is about a punchy bright contrast, drawing out the pinks of the speckled minis. Hillesvåg Vilje as the MC with Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Coral and Black Elephant Minis in Lazy Days.

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The combination offers a more moody contrast with the white but still having a few colour pops from the hand dyed. Hillesvåg Vilje for the MC and Sølje in Rød and Garnsurr Pan in Tarik Roshan for the contrasts.

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I love a pink and green combo and these muted tones have a vintage quality. Hillesvåg Vilje and Kettle Yarn Ramble in Hawthorne and Black Elephant Minis in Arlandria.

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I flipped the MC on it’s head with this one. Using a black instead a white will make your contrasts pop, like neon lights against the night sky. The MC here is Sølje in Svart with Garnsurr Pan in Gryteflaks #3 and Black Elephant Minis in Blame Fawkes for the CC’s.

I hope these combo’s give you some inspiration and I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

 

Time for a new project – Inspiration for Kleur by Anna Maltz

Happy New Year to all our friends, family, customers and blog readers. Is there ever a better time for a new project than now? Well I think Anna Maltz has the perfect one in her new design Kleur. Anna can usually be found between the covers of one of our favourite quarterly knitting magazines Pompom where she writes a column. She is also a talented designer and has released many patterns, including publishing two books: ‘Marlisle: A New Direction in Knitting‘, a clever combination of marled and Fair-Isle techniques and the adorable ‘Penguin: A Knit Collection‘ featuring penguin inspired patterns from head to toe. With a clever play with colour and entertaining constructions Anna’s patterns make for a rewarding knit. I can see Kleur becoming very popular.

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Kleur means colour in Dutch and this is all about the play between different colour combinations. This asymmetrical shawl is a clever mix of easy short rows and eyelets. It reminds me of experiments with a prism and light at school, or of course the famous Pink Floyd album cover, The Dark Side of the Moon.

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This shawl would be very easy for a beginner to pick up. Simple garter stitch short rows, with no wrapping, making a feature of the decorative eyelets. It would make for a rather soothing and pleasant first project of the year. The coloured wedges use just 10g to 15g of yarn so perfect for leftovers or little mini skeins.The shawl takes a dramatic angle from this first rainbow, increasing the stitch count but including a simple cast off edge that draws the whole thing eventually into a point. If you are thinking colour, choose a rainbow or ombre of colours for your wedge section, then a contrasty or monochrome feature for the stripes.

As always I like to give you a few inspiring colour selections from the shelves of Knit With Attitude. The fun in this project is the combination of different small quantities of yarn and when I think of small quantities I think of mini skeins! The two that bring to mind are the Black Elephant Merino Singles Mini and Susan Crawford Vintage Fenella. The Black Elephant mini’s being a hand dyed 4ply gives you the fun of speckles! Fenella a lighter 3ply British wool would give you more drape so check gauge when using this yarn, but they  have a pleasing vintage colour palette.

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For this combo I have chosen Fenella in Melancholy, Rannock, Jonquil, Limoncello, Phthalo, Forget-Me-Not, Dolly Blue. Sølje in Svart and Naturgrå. As well as Vilje. This classic combo makes uses the subtle rainbow of Fenella with two of Hillesvåg’s undyed yarns as well as a dark black for contrast.

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This warm combo would please any fan of hand dyed yarn. Combining Black Elephant Merino Singles Mini with Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles. With this combination I have kept to the ideas of Anna’s original colour but shaken it up a bit. An ombre of colour is complimented by three main tones. Here we have Black Elephant in Nostalgia, Pineapple Express, Cornfields, Illusion, Mudbound, Daryl and Charcoal. Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Kid you Not, Silence and Monarch.

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Keeping it British with this combination by using Fenella again but paired with Devonia 4ply. I love being able to use Devonia in this combo, the tones and blend of this yarn will add a real earthy quality. We haven’t had it long here at Knit With Attitude so it’s nice to fantasise about what it can be. Here we have Fenella Baked Cherry, Rhubarb, Constance Spry, Delicot, Wheaten and Roman Plaster. Devonia 4ply in Devonia Cream, Cinder Glow and Sandbar.

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With this I was going with the idea of a hand dyed rainbow. Using the contrast of Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply as a glowing Merino/Silk beam of light. Here we have  Black Elephant in Mystique, Tranquility, Arlandria, Golden Coast, Pineapple Express, Moulin Rouge and Knights of Cydonia. Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply in Natual, Charcoal and Glisten.

I hope these ideas spark some ideas for possibilities in kitting this wonderful shawl!

 

Interview with Petra Schwarczova from Black Elephant

We are really excited to bring a new range of hand dyed yarn to Knit With Attitude and these mini skeins from Black Elephant are no exception. Find the perfect little pops of colour to add to your projects, or looking for that one colour to bridge a gap in a fade. Then mini skeins are for you! Plus it allows you to sample a few different colours, like being in a sweet shop, you won’t be able to resit just one!

blackelephant01These little minis are 4ply weight, Superwash Merino Singles and dyed by Petra Schwarczova the brains behind Black Elephant. Hand Dyed in Sheffield, South Yorkshire
on 20g skeins we have introduced 20 colours. To get to know this great yarn and the dyer read our interview below.

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Petra Schwarczova – Photograph by Mariola Zoladz

What inspired you to start dyeing?

I came across hand dyed yarn when I went for the first time to a yarn show – Yarndale in Skipton. I fell in love instantly, so I bought a starter pack there and started experimenting at home just for fun.

How did the name Black Elephant come about?
Black Elephant is a combination of my surname Schwarcz – which means Black in German and elephant on the front page of the notebook I got from my mum for writing knitting patterns in. She also used to tell me off in my teenage years for walking like an elephant (loud) 🙂

How does your dyeing process start, do you choose a colour or go for more abstract ideas?

Sometimes I choose a colour to start with, but mostly I am experimenting and combining whatever colour combination catches my attention.

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Merino Singles Mini in Hummingbird

Where does your colour inspiration come from?

All sorts of things. Rock music, architecture, paintings, fashion, nature. I can watch a random film and find inspiration in a single shot. I didn’t use to pay much attention to colour combinations before I started dyeing yarn, but now I see it everywhere, all the time. I can’t turn myself off.

Do you have a favourite colour way?

My favourite colourway is always the latest one I have dyed. When I dye something too many times, it’s just becomes too ordinary. It’s like if I was having my favourite meal every single day. It would not be my favourite meal after a month for sure. 🙂

What appeals to you most fades or contrasts in knitting or yarn?

I like all sorts of colour combinations. It depends what kind of project it is. I love as much strong colour contrasts as subtle fading of more earthy, neutral colours.

How long have you been knitting?

Phew, hard to say, I think I was about 11 years old when my grandma taught me. It took me a long time to get better as I was and still am quite an impatient person, so there were needles flying around and lots of yarn cut off needles as I knitted so tight I couldn’t pull it off. 😀 I used to come back to knitting over years, usually just simple scarves as Christmas presents. But I got fully addicted in 2010 when I started making knitting videos for beginners in my native language as there was nothing to learn from in Slovak language on Youtube then so I thought it might be helpful for some Slovakians back home who do not speak any English. I hope I can get back to it once I have a little bit more time.

What are you currently knitting?

Currently nothing, as I have been in the studio non-stop dyeing lots of yarn. But, I have two WIP – Andrea Mowry’s Nurtured sweater and my own design of a hat from leftover yarns (I will be releasing free pattern on Ravelry for it), which I hope to finish over Christmas.

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photograph – instagram.com/blackelephant.uk

We hope you’ve enjoyed this little read as much as we enjoy finally having Black Elephant here at the shop! We are widening our selection to include 100g hanks in several fibre blends and weights come the new year – so keep your eyes peeled on our site!

What do you get the knitter that has everything… part 2 – that special skein.

Following on from my earlier blog post I have been thinking over what makes a good gift for a knitter. There are a lot of different choices for yarn so I have decided to focus on that special skein. These special skeins make the perfect knitters treat. They might not be something that a knitter would buy for themselves but they are always welcome presents.

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So here’s a little break down of some special skeins that would make a great gift, I have focused on our range of amazing hand dyed yarns from a selection of talented hand dyers,  just one or two of these would be enough to make something special.

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Miniskeins! I think have to be every knitters weakness. What better way to sample the delights of a hand dyer than with these little gorgeous bite size skeins. These mini’s from Black Elephant are 20g of a 4ply Superwash Merino Single. Try one or two to add little colour pops to projects or crocheting little granny squares to start a blanket. Try four or five for a little striped hat or fingerless gloves. You can also embrace the fading possibilities on a much smaller scale. Like this cute little combo I have picked out featuring: Cornfields, Pineapple Express, Nostalgia, Mudbound and Daryl.

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What about socks! Here are some special skeins that would give the sock knitter endless joy. Sock Yarn is not only for socks either and can be used for any project. Here we have the popular Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in Beach Bunny. This sturdy 4ply sock yarn of Bluefaced Leicester and Nylon is strong and gives good stitch definition. The Garnsurr Søkke Merino is a a hand dyed Merino Nylon blend, super soft and luxurious. Garnsurr is a Norwegian company that not only produces gorgeous yarn but also employs refugee women. They are giving a skill and are helped to settle and learn Norwegian. This is a great yarn to give as a gift as it introduces people to the great work that Garnsurr do. For more information on Garnsurr check out our interview with Ann Helen, Garnsurr’s founder. Looking for a hand dye that has an interesting dyeing background then try Hey Mama Wolf’s Sockyarn #04. These skeins are dyed completely with natural dye by the talented Jule. She uses a mixture of plant based dye stuffs that will have you amazed at the range of colours. For a pair of socks just one of these 100g skeins will have you sorted.

specialskein-02Want to amaze someone with a spectacular special skein that they are unlikely to find in many places try the Pan by Garnsurr. The great people at Garnsurr have applied their dyeing magic to this DK weight blend of Buck Mohair and Dalasheep. This is one for the knitter that gets geeky about their breeds. This slightly coarser hand dye takes the colour amazingly and they are all deep and rich. One of these would be perfect for a hat or a pair of gloves, or even a little snood. (I just released a design using this yarn, and you can find my Pan Snood on my Ravelry page).

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Looking for a two skein combo try Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles. HHF’s vibrant dyes are bound to get the knitter in your life excited! With a huge selection of semi-solids, speckled and poppy shades, finding a colour combo is easy peasy making you the most popular gift buyer this year!

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Another firm favourite for the knitters that prefer a heavier knit – or just need top get that last minute knitted gift sorted. With one of these Hedgehog Fibres Merino DKs you can whip up a hat or a pair of wrist warmers in no time! And again – we have plenty of colours to choose from.

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This one is for all the experimental knitters that love a good fibre combo. There is such a craze in the knitting world these days combining a single soft strand of fluffy yarn with a sturdier one, no surprise really, because this creates the most stunning and wearable of textures. As we see one designer after the other releasing gorgeous projects using HHF Kidsilk Lace in this way, you can’t go wrong gifting a hank or two to someone who really deserves it!

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Finally, we have to talk about Linda! Did you know that Kettle Yarn Co. is the handdyer that has been with Knit with attitude the longest? Not only is Linda our dear friend, she makes some amazing colours on equally amazing yarns! For discerning makers looking for the most precious materials, all yarns are extensively wear tested and only the highest quality, scrumptiously soft but rugged blends make the grade for the Kettle Yarn Co yarns. Pictured above is Islington DK – a high twist BFL and silk blend, and below is Beyul 4Ply that combines the best of 3 fibres – the gentle halo of high quality Yak down, a subtle shimmer from silk, and the bouncy goodness of the softest superwash Merino.

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The ideas I’ve gathered here are some of our most striking hand dyes which would be on every knitter’s wish list, however our shop is filled with woolly gems and special skeins from all over the world for you to fall in love with. Why not grab a cuppa and go for a proper browse through – there is still time before Christmas and you do deserve a colourful and inspirational break!