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!

What Maya Knits – Larch Cardigan

Lets talk about WIP (work in progress) projects, those that eventually turn into UFOs (unfinished object), those that seem to take on a resentful personality of their own and just refuse to be completed. The worst ones are the ones that you’ve even managed to remove from your basket or project box, packed up and hidden away hopefully to never be seen again – but they will still be lurking at the back of your mind – and mocking you: You thought you were such a great knitter, but you will never ever be able to complete me – I will haunt you to the day you diiiiieeee! This blog post is about one of those.

I did the cast-on for my Larch in February 2013 (this was before I had my Instagram set up, and I had to check my Ravelry to see when I actually started the project). If you have a look at my Ravelry profile you’ll notice that this is actually the last project I listed there – that tells you how much this project has been haunting me over the years – so much that I’ve ended up ignoring my Ravelry projects just so I didn’t have to see it pop-up every time I visited the page. Why not just frog the whole thing, you might say. The reason I started this project to begin with is that I fell completely in love with the design when I first saw it, and I was equally in love with the yarn I chose to use. The Fyberspates Scrumptious 4Ply is my go-to yarn for so many project and the colour Jen’s Green is still my all time favourite green. The thing is, I never fell out of love with neither the design or the yarn – through the whole process I really wanted this specific cardigan in this specific colour. Then ‘life’ happened – and I never seemed able to finish my Larch.

I’ve had a look at my Instagram to try to trace the progress of my Larch, in March-14 I’m bragging about having finished the body, and that there are only sleeves and edging left to do, however I don’t seem to be casting on for that first sleeve until June-14 – and completing it in January-15…

Then it seems like I am sloooowly but steadily knitting on my cardigan, completing the sleeves, and as this post shows – I’ve started on the shawl collar in July-15. See this! I’ve started the shawl collar, and this is exactly where I left it and how far I’ve gotten when I picked it up again last Christmas (that’s one and a half year later) determined to finish this project. (I am now slightly embarrassed and cringing on my chair writing this blog post).

And that determination was what saved my Larch in the end. I dug out my project from that dark hidden corner at the back of the closet because it was mocking me, right, but I only had the shawl collar left to do. Now at this time I’d completely lost where I was in the pattern – I’ve actually lost the pattern – and had to look it up in my Ravelry library again. Not only that, but I had no idea what size it was I was making… I thought I’d figured it out – ripped out the collar and started again – just to find out I was completely wrong. Nothing less than three times did I rip it out and start over again until I finally got it right. – If I’d only finished it sooner…

Right, so all the knitting was finally done – just the seaming left to do, and I have to admit it took me another couple of weeks to build the courage to tackle this. Coming to tension – we always advice our customers in the shop that this is a very individual thing – and that it can differ from day to day according to your mood, your energy level, (how many glasses of wine you’ve had), and so on – and boy had my tension changed over the years… The body, the sleeves, armholes, edging – my tension was all over the place and nothing seems to fit together – but I made it work somehow. And that’s it – my Larch is finished. It has a whole range of beauty marks and weird stitches, and quite a few wonky seams – but it is finished at last – and I will LOVE (and use) it ’till the day I die!

Finished Larch

What Maya Knits – Askews Me Shawl

Every single yarn shop owner that I’ve ever met had their own passion for knitting as the main reason for starting their business adventure – and then they, like me, were struck by the bitter sweet realisation that although you spend every day surrounded by the most beautiful woolly temptations there never is any time left for you to knit! What happens then, is that your knitting time becomes very precious to you and you become very picky – and so it is only the projects that you love the most of all the amazing projects that are out there – those that you simply can’t live without – that are the ones that will finally find their way onto your needles.

If you follow our instagram (knitwithattitude) or any of the marvellous people that work here in the shop – Natalie (leeleetea) and George (georgeacullen) – you would have noticed  that we’ve had a Brioche craze happening between us. No surprise maybe – it seems like the whole knitting world is struck by this alluring technique these days – and I’m no exception.

The last year we’ve had some amazing publications delivered to the shop, by Nancy Marchant (Leafy Brioche) and Stephen West (Westknits Bestknits – Number 1 Shawls), to mention a few. And it was while flickering through the ‘Bestknits’ I fell in love – I fell hard – just look at this!

Askews Me Shawl

So this Christmas I actually managed to knit – and finish – something, my very own Askews Me Shawl!!! For my version I chose to use the Hedgehog Fibres Merino DK in Genie as my light colour, and John Arbon’s Knit by Numbers in 02 as my dark colour, I found that they were the perfect match – my shawl is so squishy, soft and comfy I would practically sleep in it.

Maya's Askews Me Right Side

Now, if you’d seen all those gorgeous projects popping up across the knitting community’s social medias and have thought you might want to try the Brioche yourself but at the same time felt intimidated by approaching this technique – let me encourage you to give it a go! I highly recommend Stephen’s patterns – they are so well written. All though I’ve dabbled in Brioche before (more on that in a blog post to come), when doing the Askews Me, I found myself encountering a few new techniques that I haven’t tried before – like the Two-colour cast on – but his instructions are so detailed and easy to follow it went like a breeze. Come on – give it a go!

I'm attempting Stephen's pose - but not half as gracious as the man himself...

I’m attempting Stephen’s pose – but not half as graciously as the man himself…

 

Get ready for the East London Yarn Triangle

Rumours travel like fire in dry grass – but oh are we overwhelmed by the response we had for this little idea of ours – brought to you just in time for the World Wide Knit in Public Day!

East London Yarn Triangle

In celebration of 2016 World Wide Knit in Public Day, Saturday June 16th, Knit with attitude has joined forces with Wild and Woolly and Fabrications to bring you the most fun you’ve ever had on a Saturday with a pair of needles, a ball of wool and your knitting buddies..

What’s a yarn triangle and where do I get the pattern to knit it?
Mate, one question at a time…
The East London Yarn Triangle stretches from Fabrications in the south to Knit with Attitude in the north, to Wild and Woolly in the east – 3 extraordinary yarn stores – and all in walking or bussing distance of each other (isn’t Hackney brilliant?!).

So if it’s a map, how am I going to knit it?
Rock up and register your team at any of the shops (Fabrications, Knit with Attitude or Wild and Woolly) to join in on the final prize draw. You’ll get a special ELYT map which you need to follow with your knitting or crochet, making sure that you stop to snap yourselves proudly knitting in public as you go. Your map will have a list of key knit-stops which include some of our favourite hidden and not-so hidden haunts in Hackney. If you’d like a head start – download the map to your phone or print it out – you can start snapping those pictures straight away.

What’s a Knit-stop?
It’s a place where you stop and knit, and take a picture to post on instagram with the hashtag #eastlondonyarntriangle. Just take out your knitting right there and knit! It might feel a little odd at first, but we think you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly, and soon enough you’ll be running into lots of other knitters doing the same thing.

What happens when I reach one of the shops?
If you can show the shop-keeper 3 instagram posts with the hashtag #eastlondonyarntriangle, you’ll get tidy 10% off anything you buy that day. We’ll also have plenty of other treats to help any hungry and thirsty knitters get all the way around the triangle.

Oh em gee! I want to knit the triangle now! Why do I have to wait until 18th June?
Easy tiger! 18th June is World Wide Knit in Public Day – it’s the world’s largest knitting event, so we need to all be on it together. Luckily the East London Yarn Triangle is staying right where it is though, so you’ll be able to use your ELYT map to visit us all again whenever you like.

Where can I find out more?
On the East London Yarn Triangle website! You can download your map, and find all details on the treasure hunt knit stops and what prizes that are up for grabs!

World Wide Knit in Public Day

 

February

A few glimpses of what’s been happening at Knit with attitude while we’re waiting for spring.

We're working on a new bright coloured window display.

We’re working on a new bright coloured window display.

This little one was mighty pleased with his new robot hat.

This little one was mighty pleased with his new robot hat.

We've swapped the granny squares for a new fresh counter look.

We’ve swapped the granny squares for a new fresh counter look.

Gorgeous Kaja came by to show off her latest creation.

Gorgeous Kaja came by to show off her latest creation.

#kwasummer We have winners!

I’m completely overwhelmed by the response, look at all these brilliant summer knits! And there’s even more, just do a search using #kwasummer to see all the wonderful contributions to our photo sharing summer fun.


Finally finish and ready for a little princess#easterandsummerknit#present#madebyme#notperfect#kwasummer

Summerknit, for the wellies. 

<a href=Garter stripe baby blanket in Solstice from the Classic Elite Yarns Verde Collection. 70/30 cotton wool blend... so nice to knit! #landbyarnco #classiceliteyarns #garterstitch #babyblanket #iloveyarn #instayarn #iloveknitting #knitting #kwasummer #knitstagram #knittingaddict #knittersofinstagram #yarn #yarnporn #yarnaddict #wip

#textures #1 #kwasummer

Rolig formiddag!

Great Divide is finished! All I have left is to block. #nofilter #greatdivideshawlkal #greatdivideshawlkalfinished #bluemoonfiberarts #sockyarn #socksthatrock #psychobarbie #manosdeluruguay #alegria #manosdeluruguayalegria #colibri #landbyarnco #iloveyarn #instayarn #iloveknitting #knitting #kwasummer #knitstagram #knittingaddict #knittersofinstagram #yarn #yarnporn #yarnaddict

#kwasummer #crochet #flowersinthesnow #solstrikke pattern at solgrim.blogspot.co.uk

It's beginning to look like a sweater

<a href=Knitting through my long list of lectures to catch up on..#studying #whydidiskipsomany #kwasummer #herringbonestitch

Strikking pĂĄ stranda!

'beach-side' #kwasummer #knitwithattitute #knitting #sand #yarnaddict

And the winners are: jamisohomummy, elisabethstanghotvedt, misscara
Please send me an email with your details to maya(at)knitwithattitude(dot)com and the goody bag will be on it’s way shortly!

My Mini Yarn Crawl

…..London, England 9 787 426 people…..
…..Trondheim, Norway 181 513 people….

When moving to London for the first time more than 8 years ago I was so surprised to find that there were less yarn shops in this enormous city than there were in my Norwegian home town. This has changed somewhat over the years, a few new shops have opened in both cities, and a few have disappeared. Earlier this summer, getting ready for our yearly summer holiday back home it occurred to me that I haven’t been yarn shopping in Trondheim for ages. Inspired by the Great London Yarn Crawl, which is happening later this September here in London, I decided to ‘re-discover’ my home town and venture out on a mini yarn crawl of my own.

I wanted to visit some of my old favourites and I heard about a new shop as well, so I created a route including four shops in central Trondheim. The walking distance between them from the first shop to the last is about 15 min.

These were on my list:

Jens Hoff Garn og idé
Trondheim Torg (shopping centre)
Kongensgt 11
, 7013 Trondheim
http://jenshoff.no

Strikke-Bua
Prinsensgate 45, 7011 Trondheim
http://www.strikke-bua.net

Garnhuset
Fjordgata 62-64, 7010 Trondheim
(no website I’m afraid)

Nøstebarn
Fjordgata 28, 7010 Trondheim
http://nostebarn.no

I found this little fella relaxing on the counter at Nøstebarn, how cute is he?

I found this little fella relaxing on the counter at Nøstebarn, how cute is he?

Jens Hoff is a chain of shops, five in total, in and around Trondheim. Their range of yarns is amazing, they’ve got absolutely everything! I’ve visited the one located in the shopping centre Trondheim Torg, and even though I’ve been there before I was struck by how much they have, I’m sure you could fit everything that all of us yarn shops in London have into this one shop.

Is it even possible to fit more on these shelves?

Is it even possible to fit more on these shelves?

Everywhere you turn there is inspiration!

Everywhere you turn there is inspiration!

Strikke-Bua is the new kid on the block! Run by two sisters, it is a more contemporary yarn shop comparing it to ‘the old ones’. Not as overwhelming as Jens Hoff, it is easy to get the overview of what they stock and they are quick to offer you some good advice. I particularly like that when asking how much I would need of something to complete this or that project they could show me finished garments made by themselves to compare the different yarns, nothing beats the advice given by an experienced knitter.

Luxury yarns at Strikke-Bua.

Luxury yarns at Strikke-Bua.

Garnhuset was the third on my list, and unfortunately a visit that left me a bit sad. You see, this used to be my favourite. This shop is huge, and it used to be an emporium of everything knitting. In addition to the yarn, they used to carry amazing hand made creams and lotions for tired hands and other natural cosmetics, hand crafted interiors like huge baskets and chests for your projects and yarns, crafty gifts like jewellery and such, books, all sort of needles and buttons, and best of it all it was an independent shop that was actually making it! Now, I might have the wrong impression being in the middle of the summer, but it all looked a bit empty, yes, even a few shelves that were completely empty. So if you happen to be in Trondheim, please visit this shop and give them your support, remember that this is the only way we can keep our independents, by actually shopping there!

What else does a city need, a proper yarn shop and a tattoo parlour, next to each other.

What else does a city need, a proper yarn shop and a tattoo parlour, next to each other.

Wish I could fit a barn wagon into my shop!

Wish I could fit a barn wagon into my shop!

The final shop I visited brought back warm memories about being a new mum (ages ago). This is the company that revived cloth nappies and the use/benefits of natural fibres for baby skin in Norway. Starting out as a tiny family run business Nøstebarn has now grown to a chain of shops as well, located in several of Norway’s cities. I remember how I as a new mum had their lovely products brought to me via mail order, how I wrote emails asking for this and that, and how I always received wonderful personal responses. It was such a joy to visit their Trondheim branch and see all their amazing products beautifully displayed.

Everything in this shop is natural...

Everything in this shop is natural…

...even the stuff you use to care for your fibres after they've been turned into lovely garments.

…even the stuff you use to care for your fibres after they’ve been turned into lovely garments.

And yes, did I say shopping? I certainly did, have a look at what I brought home with me:

Pure Wool and Wool/Silk from  Nøstebarn. Raw Silk from Strikke-Bua.

Pure Wool and Wool/Silk from Nøstebarn. Raw Silk from Strikke-Bua.

Finally I got my hands on yarn from Norwqegian brand Pickles, it's been on my wish list forever! I bought this at Strikke-Bua.

Finally I got my hands on yarn from Norwegian brand Pickles, it’s been on my wish list forever! I bought this at Strikke-Bua.

It’s my first day back at work typing this up, and along with my mini yarn crawl pictures I’ve flickered through pictures from the rest of our holiday. I’m sitting here with a smile on my face, thinking that this was a good one, I’m back invigorated, relaxed, and ready for the ever so busy autumn. I didn’t get around to do as much knitting as I hoped, but it really doesn’t matter, I still had a wonderful time. How about you, how’s your summer knitting coming along? Did you share your project with us on Instagram? If not there’s still a chance to get your name in the hat. Share your summer knits using #kwasummer to win summery goody bags from Knit with attitude, but be quick, I’m drawing the winners in two days, Wednesday August 27th.

#kwasummer Give Away

What’s your summer knitting project? I’m on my way back home to Norway for my summer holiday and just popped by the shop to make sure I have enough yarn for my summer knits. It seems like I’ve got sleeves issues these days, as this is what’s left to do on several of my projects, and now I hope to finish them while on holiday. Something I made sure to pick up from the shop is the Lantern Moon ‘Stitch Red’ Square Clip Knitting Bag, which is brilliant for travelling. It is spacious, which allows for several projects and yarn balls, and all bits and pieces are easily stored in practical pockets.

Square Clip Bag

I’m completely addicted to tote bags and seriously have no idea of how many different ones I’ve got already, but when spotting the Will Flirt for Gin tote at Of Cabbages & Kings I just fell so in love with it that I had to have it. Not only is it really cool, it is sturdy to, so that I can easily bring my project with me when we’re out and about.

Will Flirt for Gin

This is Larch by Amy Christoffers, which I’m doing on 3mm needles in Scrumptious 4 Ply – Jen’s Green. The large Stockinette Stitch sections have been a huge test for my patience, but as you can see the body is done and I’ve started the sleeves. I love love love this design and how it comes out in my chosen yarn, I really can’t wait to have it done and to wrap myself in it!

Larch

When travelling I try to bring varied projects to prevent me from getting bored, and since Larch is done with thin yarn and needles, I want to bring a quick knit too. This is my Make-it-up-as-I-go-Cardi. It is done on 5mm needles in the softest Pima cotton, Shiny Happy Cotton from Wool and the Gang, in Yellow Brick Road and Jog Grey. This is definitely my favourite project this summer. Look at that yellow! Every time I start a yellow round the brightness of this colour makes me so happy!

Make it up as I go Cardi

As I was taking these pictures to show you my summer knits I had this idea. I really want to see your projects, and where you are bringing them too. Lets share our summer knits with each other, and why not make an Instagram Give Away out of it as well! Follow my Instagram and use hashtag #kwasummer to show off your summer knits, when I return to London in two weeks time I’ll make a little gallery here on the blog for us all to admire. We’ll do a draw and three of you will receive a summery goody bag from Knit with attitude. Now go grab those smart phones and start snapping some pics, I can’t wait to see what you are up to this summer!

How to build a yarn shop…eh…2

If you have followed my woolly adventures for a while you know that moving into new premises last year was a mile stone which meant (and still does mean) a lot to me! Imagine that, new bright and large premises on the high street! You also know that when we were finished building the shop I swore to never put myself through something like that ever again (at least not for a very very long time).

Maybe this is why I didn’t see it coming, honestly it came as a complete surprise to me: the realisation that we needed even more space, we were running out of shelves. So what else was there to do but to dig into the closet to find brushes and tools, paints and fillers, and most importantly call the carpenter. Let me tell you, our May turned out to be quite busy… I tried to make some sort of a project diary over at Knit with attitude’s Instagram, but now that it’s all been done I’ll share the highlights with you here on the blog. Enjoy! (for random glimpses of our everyday life in the shop, please follow Knit with attitude on Instagram.)

Our beautifully wall papered back room wall got damaged due to a leak, and had to be re-done.

Our beautifully wall papered back room wall got damaged due to a leak, and had to be redone as well.

Closing the shop for a few days, packing away the yarns to protect them from dust and odours.

Closing the shop for a few days, packing away the yarns to protect them from dust and odours.

Space cleared and old shelves coming down.

Space cleared and old shelves coming down.

Choosing the perfect colour! (Which is great fun)

Choosing the perfect colour! (Which is great fun)

I'm telling you: No shop fittings from Ikea in this shop!

I’m telling you: No shop fittings from Ikea in this shop!

Watching the paint dry. Very exciting, we're nervous to see if everything will come together as we planned it to.

Watching the paint dry. Very exciting, we’re nervous to see if everything will come together as we planned it to.

Turned out that we in deed picked the perfect colour!

Turned out that we picked the perfect colour in deed!

The fun begins right here, what goes where...

The fun begins right here, what goes where…

Getting there, a few bits and pieces that need to be changed and swapped around.

Getting there, a few bits and pieces that need to be changed and swapped around.

And there you have it: our new space done and ready for you to enjoy!

And there you have it: our new space done and ready for you to enjoy!

And the best part is: more space gives room for more yarn!

Spring Flower Crochet Pattern

Spring is definitely in the air, and over at Knit with attitude we’ve been busy crocheting flowers for our Easter window display. I’m not quite sure what it is, but certain universal motifs like flowers, hearts and stars put a smile on most people’s faces. Surrounded by colourful flowers, we’ve sure had a few happy days at work. Those of you who follow my Instagram probably noticed, as I flooded my stream with pictures like these.

Easter Crochet Flowers

Crochet flowers are such versatile motifs, you can practically use them for anything whether you sew them up as a blanket, a scarf, a summer top or just use them as they are on their own as embellishments. Or, you can do what we did, make an egg!

Paper Mache Egg in the making

Egg in the window

By the way, the picture above of the finished egg is by Sanna King, who probably did half of these flowers helping me getting the egg ready for Easter, her Instagram is definitely worth a follow.

For the egg we made flowers in three different sizes using Debbie Bliss Eco Baby. Please note that these patterns use UK English terms, I’ve made a UK/US/Norwegian conversion chart you can use as reference.

Flowers

Small flowers in two colours

Rnd 1: Make magic ring, 8 dc in ring, join with sl st in first dc.
Rnd 2: ch 1, *dc in next stitch, ch 6, dc in same stitch, dc in next dc* repeat from* to * 3 times, omitting last 1 dc into next stitch, join with a sl st into the first ch.
Rnd 3: *Work 10 htr into first ch loop, dc in next dc* repeat from * to * join with a sl st to end. Cut yarn and fasten off.
Rnd 4: Attach contrast colour yarn to any dc between two petals. *Work 5 dc up one side of the petal, ch 1, work 5 dc down the other side of the petal, work 1 dc covering previous dcs between petals inserting the hook at bottom of dc from rnd 2* repeat from * to * 3 times. Join with a sl st to end. Cut yarn and fasten off.

Medium flowers in three colours

In first colour, Ch 6, sl st into 1st ch to form a ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 1, work 12 dc into ring, join with a sl st into 1st dc. Cut yarn and fasten off.
Rnd 2: Join a new colour into any dc, ch 1, work 1 dc into the same stitch, *work 1 dc into the next stitch, ch 8, 1 dc into the same stitch, work 1 dc into the next stitch, ch 1, 1 dc into the next stitch* repeat from * to * 3 times, omitting last 1 dc into the next stitch and join with a sl st into the first ch.
Rnd 3: *Work 16 tr into the ch loop, sl st into the 1-ch space of the previous round* repeat from * to * 3 times, join with a sl st to end. Cut yarn and fasten off.
Rnd 4: Attach third colour yarn to any dc between two petals.
*Work 8 dc up one side of the petal, ch 2, work 8 dc down the other side of the petal, work 1 dc into ch 1 space of round two* repeat from * to * 3 times, join with a sl st to end. Cut yarn and fasten off.

Flowers

The large flowers we made are the Hawaiian Flowers by Sarah London. Please visit her lovely blog, and if you fancy some Easter crochet she just released the cutest bunny pattern ever!

Happy Easter!

Window Egg