Beeswax Mitts

Who doesn’t love a quick knit?! We recently knit up these sweet Beeswax Mitts by Amy van de Laar in Juniper Moon Findley DK, using just one ball in Garnet!  The honeycomb effect in the stitch pattern is done with small cables and a knit/purl texture. Bonus, there is also a pattern for a matching hat and snood if you want a full set. The yarn has the perfect amount of stitch definition to really make a texture like this pop, and the wool/silk blend is warm and soft as well.

Bee_Mitts

You can check out/try on our sample in the shop the next time you are in. The pattern is available through Ravelry online or through the In-Store program.

If you are interested in learning how to knit cables, check out our upcoming classes!

Getting to Know: Woolly Wormhead

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

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

Tucked Hat

Tucked by Woolly Wormhead

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


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

Marina by Woolly Wormhead

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

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

Alveare by Woolly Wormhead

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

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

Bimitral by Woolly Wormhead

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

 

 

Getting to Know: Clare Devine

One of our guest teachers is Clare Devine, who is teaching ‘Two at a Time Anything’ on Saturday November 14th from 12-3pm here at the shop. Clare is about to swap windy UK for sunny Australia, and will be moving overseas at the end of the year. We are so glad she found time in her schedule to do a workshop with us – and what a cool workshop this is! Do you live in fear of encountering second sock / mitt / sleeve syndrome? Why not learn to knit two at a time. This technique is perfect for socks but works equally well with mittens and sleeves.

Working on Clare’s Crumpet Mitt pattern you will in this class learn how to cast on and knit two circular items at once on a long circular needle and how to create a pair of mittens with afterthought thumbs. There is more information about the class on the website, and you can call the shop to book your spot.

We thought we would do a little interview with Clare to find out more about her inspirations as a knitter and as a teacher.

Crumpet_1

How long have you been knitting?
I started knitting when I was travelling in Australia during 2010. The story goes that I wanted to buy a hand knitted hat in this cute little shop but my budget conscious husband suggested it might not be the best use of my limited dollars. He was probably right – although at the time my stubborn streak stepped in and I decided I was going to knit my own hat, and I did. The rest, as they say, is history.

My grandmother was a very talented knitter but we lived at opposite ends of the globe (she was in the UK and I grew up in South Africa) so while there was a little bit of childhood knitting I only really caught the knitting bug later on in life.

What inspired you to get into teaching?
I love teaching. While we were in Australia I taught English as an additional language and in South Africa I qualified as a high school English and History teacher. Education is such a huge part of my life. When we moved to Scotland I wanted something that would fit alongside caring for my little girl – teaching knitting part time seemed like a natural progression. I love nothing more than helping people learn new skills and watching them enjoy their knitting more.

You grew up in South Africa, then lived in Australia, then Scotland and now England. Do you feel like there are differences in the knitting culture in these different places?
In all honesty there isn’t a huge knitting culture in South Africa. It is pretty warm most of the year and while people do knit there is not the same range of knitwear wearing opportunities as there are in the colder northern climes. My grandma used to send us cosy Aran jumpers but we never really got to wear them. The knitting community in South Africa is certainly growing though and there are many interesting indy dyers and designers emerging.

My experience of the knitting community in Australia is limited but I cannot wait to start finding a new fibre community there next year once we have settled (we are moving in early 2016).

One thing I will miss about the UK knitting scene is the wide range of fibres and yarns available. Coming from South Africa I was truly spoiled for choice here.

Through designing patterns you have worked with a wide variety of companies. Can you tell us about how collaboration is important to you and your business?
Collaboration is key for me – I love working with other people. It is always so inspiring forming bonds with other creative folk. Often this work can be quite isolating as being a freelancer I tend to work from home alone a lot. Working with other like-minded fibre lovers keeps me sane and provides a constant source of inspiration and motivation.

We are seeing more and more online shops dominating the market. You have collaborated quite a lot with Ginger Twist Studio in Edinburgh. What role do you think bricks ’n mortars shops play with modern knitters?
There is nothing like having a local yarn shop. When we arrived in Edinburgh the first thing I did was look for a local yarn shop – finding Ginger Twist Studio quite literally changed my life! The community that grows from a great local yarn store can’t be compared to online. That said, online communities are so important too. The community I have found online has shaped and formed my life over the last few years. I have met so many inspiring, knowledgeable and kind people connected to the fibre community through online channels – many who are now ‘real life’ friends. As with all things it is about balance. That said ….. long live the local yarn store!!!

Are you a process or product knitter?
I think it depends what I am knitting and when. The process of designing is what I love most. Finding a way to make the yarn shine or to incorporate a stitch pattern that doesn’t just slot in are part and parcel of that process. I also love construction, especially sock construction and that is all about the process. Then there are times when I want something quick and easy because I have fallen in love with a skein and want to wear it, or more likely have decided I am freezing and need some new knitwear.

Back to school with our classes

There’s new notebooks in the shops, and all the kids are wearing too-big uniforms, that means it’s time for back to school! If you’re itching to learn something new, but aren’t part of the school age set, why not a knitting class?

We’ve got a full range of knitting and crochet classes available, from never knit before before beginners to our renown master classes with some very exciting teachers. We’ll be announcing the master classes over the next few weeks, so stay tuned for those! In the mean time you can get started or brush up on skills.

First up we have the basics. Our learn to knit classes span two weeks, for 2 hours from 6:30-8:30 each evening. The next one is Thursdays October 22 and 29, and another session on Tuesdays November 3 and 10. This class is perfect for absolute beginners who have never picked up a needle before, or if it’s been a long time and you’d like a refresher. you will learn to cast on, the knit stitch, casting off, and some finishing techniques.

If you’ve got a handle on the basics but are looking to expand your knitting skills we have a few great options that will help you level up. The first one is Tech knitting – how to read knitting patterns. What’s a k2tog and how do you ktbl? This class will take the mystery out of all those abbreviations and help make sense of what it all means. The next class is on Saturday October 17, from 1-2:30pm.

The next levelling up class that is great for knitters of all levels is Sewing Up and Finishing. This class covers many techniques to give your finished knits a really polished and professional look. Feel free to bring any projects that need finishing along to the class and the instructor will take a look at it and advice on the best methods. The date for this class is Tuesday October 27, from 6:30-9:30pm.

ws_minisock_hr

We’ve also got two sock knitting classes if you are looking to take on the ultimate knitting accessories. One is a mini sock, which means you’ll have all the skills needed to tackle a full sized sock on your own. The date for this class is Wednesday October 21, from 7-9pm.

If you want to turn socks on their head, why not try knitting them from the toe up? This clever method means that you’ll never have to worry about running out of yarn, you can knit them until you run out! It’s also a great way to learn a few more unusual knitting techniques that are handy for a variety of other projects as well. This class runs for two weeks on Thursdays November 5th and 12th, from 7-9pm.

If knitting isn’t catching your fancy, we also have learn to crochet classes. Our next class is this Saturday September 26, from 10:30-1pm. You’ll learn all everything to make one of the most common crochet pieces, the granny square! This is a great building block for future crochet projects and skills.

If you have a little crochet experience and are looking for a next project, why not learn to make a stuffed toy? The Edward’s Menagerie book is a great collection of animals that are sure to appeal to children and adults. Even better, they are great skill builders. This class includes the book, so you don’t have to choose to make just one! This class is on October 10, from 3-5pm.

EM_FINALCOVER2.indd

Of course, if you’ve got a specific technique in mind, or have gotten stuck on a project we are always available for a one on one private lesson as well. Just let us know and we will arrange an instructor for a time that works for you!

Check out our class page for more information on each class and booking information. Don’t worry if you can’t make a time, we’ll be adding lots more in the coming weeks as well. We hope to see you soon!

 

It’s All About Socks!

We’re going slightly sock crazy over at Knit with attitude these days! Admittedly there has been a lot of focus on summer tops here on the blog with the Summer Top KAL happening, but really, what knitting project is more suitable for summer than socks? Small, light-weight and so portable you could even bring it to the beach (if you happen to be near one). I personally love a sock project as my public transport knitting, as it is almost impossible to bump into anyone while enjoying some quality time on the bus or tube.

Dawlish - CoopKnits Socks

Dawlish – CoopKnits Socks

Laverne - CoopKnits Socks Volume 2

Laverne – CoopKnits Socks Volume 2

If you happen to be one of those who still think of old ladies when thinking socks you really have to readjust your conceptions, sock knitting is super-cool and allows you to dive into a whole new pool of stitch combinations and techniques. We’re talking three dimensional constructs here!

Rachel Coopey

Rachel Coopey

One designer that has been receiving a lot of attention lately is Rachel Coopey, and let me assure you the buzz is well deserved. Her edgy designs grew quite a fanbase with her first printed collection Coop Knits Socks, and with the recent Coop Knits Volume 2 Rachel confirmed her position as the Queen of Socks – the applause does not seem to be dying out anytime soon.

CoopKnits Socks Volume 2

CoopKnits Socks Volume 2

In both of the CoopKnits Socks collections well-written instructions are accompanied by Jesse Wild’s beautiful photographs which really brings each individual design to the front.
Rachel’s creative designs often incorporate a variety of skills, including cabling, grafting, lace and twisted stitches, providing a great opportunity to try out new techniques. 
Each design is beautifully balanced and well thought out, giving both experienced and novice knitters the chance to create wonderful, wearable socks that are enormously enjoyable to knit. Not only that, but every print book contains a code to enable you to download the eBook free of charge.

Brighton - CoopKnits Socks

Brighton – CoopKnits Socks

Wilbert - CoopKnits Socks Volume 2

Wilbert – CoopKnits Socks Volume 2

At Knit with attitude we just can’t decide on which of these we will cast on for first, however, we all agree on which yarn to use. Remember the lush newcomer mentioned in the last blog post, Fyberspates Vivacious 4Ply? Quite a few of Rachel’s designs feature this tightly spun Merino yarn, hard wearing and washable, ensuring a long life for your favourite socks.

Fyberspates Vivacious 4Ply

Fyberspates Vivacious 4Ply

If you have already dipped your toe in the world of sock knitting but want to take your skills to the next level, perhaps you would like to turn things on their head and learn to knit socks from the toe up? We have a very exciting course coming up later this month – Toe Up Sock Knitting with Jane Lithgow.

Jane Lithgow

Jane Lithgow

Jane was taught to knit by her grandmother at the age of four and over the years has had a go at pretty much everything knitting related from punk inspired mohair sweaters in her youth to blankets and bootees for her niece and nephew when they were babies. However, her particular passion is for socks, a self confessed sock knitting geek, with lots of samples and sock related stories to show and share! Above all, Jane is an experienced, enthusiastic and patient knitting teacher who loves to pass on her skills and love of the craft.

Artesano Definition Sock Yarn

There are a few spaces left for grabs, so it is still possible to get in touch to secure your spot. The Toe Up Sock Course is on Sundays 19th and 26th of April, the fee is £60 which includes the Artesano Definition Sock Yarn and a set of double pointed needles, everything you need to complete your first pair of Toe Up Socks – one of many I guess, as sock knitting is highly addictive!

Milfoil - CoopKnits Socks

Milfoil – CoopKnits Socks

What about learning something new?

After hibernating trough the winter and the last cold spells, where all you want to do in cuddle up at home preferably under a nice cosy blanket, it is refreshing to finally feel that the energy level is rising. As the days grow longer and brighter I definitely feel more energetic. It is easier to find that initiative to get active, get across that front door threshold, and my old friend; Ms I-Want-To-Try-Something-I-Haven’t-Done-Before is finally revisiting.

If you’re anything like me, why not exploit this newfound energy to learn something new? Make your own Granny Square blanket, or dip your toe into some proper sock knitting! By the way, did I mention that Knit with attitude’s Spring Schedule is LIVE? Now, what’s listed in the schedule is far from all that’s happening this spring, oh no, you’re up for some proper treats! We’ll add more events as we go along – and yes, there will be a few of those intriguing and inspiring master classes I know some of you love so much! So keep checking in to keep updated, and don’t forget; next knit night is coming up February 19th!

Top Down Socks

Workshops and events at
Knit with attitude – LIVE

I’m so pleased to let you know that this Autumn’s Event Schedule is finally LIVE!
Whether you want to learn a new skill, would like to develop your techniques, or you are looking for inspiration, we’ve got something for everybody.

To see the full schedule visit our Workshops and Events page.
Knit with attitude offers a wide range of events and workshops this season, and there is more to come, so don’t forget to revisit the schedule.

Learn to make Granny Squares at Knit with attitude

Learn to make Granny Squares at Knit with attitude

I just have to share with you one of the absolute highlights this season!
Knit with attitude invites you to celebrate Wool Week 2014 with us, and come to our Masterclass with Erika Knight – Saturday October 11th.

The Campaign for Wool is a global endeavour initiated in order to raise awareness amongst consumers about the unique, natural and sustainable benefits offered by wool. Every year The Campaign for Wool stages Wool Week, a week long festival celebrating wool in all its guises. Wool Week 2014, Knit with attitude joins the party and we are delighted to host an open Masterclass; a talk by prominent supporter of The Campaign for Wool, renowned designer Erika Knight.

“I am proud to be associated with the Campaign for Wool a countrywide initiative convened by HRH Prince of Wales, promoting the natural, sustainable origin of wool, and as such I am passionate to be bringing manufacturing back to Britain and keeping sheep a feature of our landscape.”

Erika Knight; designer, author, consultant to the fashion and yarn industry, and lecturer at the V&A Museum in London as well as other Leading Art Institutions and Universities. Her own ‘Erika Knight’ yarn collection is the culmination of Erika’s career as a knitwear and craft designer with an unwaveringly-held belief in the importance of treading lightly on the earth and celebrating and supporting traditional British skills.

Erika Knight at Knit with attitude

Erika Knight at Knit with attitude

Behind her passion for the handmade lies Erika’s trend forecasting skills, and her ethos of minimalism and eco-design, which has created her unique interpretation on Craft. She is highly influential and a sought after lecturer and workshop developer. Earlier this year she collaborated with Knit for Peace on their knitting holiday The Colour Experience; travelling with the organisation to India, visiting the the local charitable projects supported by Knit for Peace and hosting workshops on colour experimentation.

We have asked Erika to share her experiences, her passion and her views on knitting and it’s place ‘in the world’ with all of us. After the talk, feel free to mingle and chat, have a look at the gorgeous Erika Knight yarns and books we have in stock, and you might even persuade Erika to sign a book for you. Please note that the talk is a festive and free event, however because of limited seating we need you to book your spot for us to hold it for you.