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!

What do you get the knitter that has everything…

This time of year we are struggling to find that perfect gift for our knitting friends and maybe even that cheeky Christmas present for ourselves. Yarn, Tools and accessories can sometimes be tricky. Knowing what a knitter has already, what yarn they like, their favourite colour can be a mine field. So what about a book? A book as gift, is a gift of possibilities. It is inspiration, it might push you to try something new, they look gorgeous and hey, its fun to read something that’s not on a screen!

Below I have curated some inspiring gift ideas for Christmas, with a book as a starting point. With each book I have tried to match fun yarns that compliment the knits inside and even a few accessories that might be useful.
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The first book kicking off the book gift guides is Stephen West’s – West Knits Best Knits – Shawls. There is nothing more bright and fun than these crazy shawls. With a great eye for colour and clever construction Stephen West’s Shawls are guaranteed to keep a knitter amused. I’ve paired this book with, of course Hedgehog Fibres. These unique bright speckled hand dyed yarns lend themselves perfectly to these patterns. Seen here are Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Heyday, Coral, Oracle and Poppy. Complimented by a little Ditty Bag for the knitter to tote around all those WIP’s. I also thought these Flower Power Scissors capture the fun and whimsy seen in Stephen’s Designs and make the perfect yarn end snipper.

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Here is The Doodler by Stephen West from the book. A popular design that has endless ways of using those favourite hand dyed 4ply skeins.

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The second book I’ve looked at is a new one here at Knit With Attitude and we are bowled over by it, see our blog post book review. It’s Strange Brew by Tin Can Knits. Perfect for the knitter that is nerdy about their knitting and likes to tackle bigger projects. Yoked sweaters call out to Léttlopi. A few balls of this yarn will get them well on there way to planning a colourful yoke of their own. Big projects need big project bags and the Plystre Cross Body Bag can easily take a jumpers worth. Also key accessories, matching Putford Scissors, Cocoknits Stitch Markers and the very useful Hey Mama Wolf’s Wool Soap.

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Almanac from the book, knit in Léttlopi, shows you how much fun you can have with colour.

susanThe Vintage Shetland Project needs no introduction. A great work from designer Susan Crawford. A collection of historically informed traditional Shetland knitting patterns, researched and designed by Susan herself. Keeping the tradition of Shetland knitting alive. This book is great just to flick through and absorb the wonderful photography and amazing knitwear. Nothing else needs pairing with this book apart from Susan’s own yarn Fenella. A palette of vintage inspired colours on a British wool, bliss!

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Rose from the book shows you the stunning quality of the patterns inside. Knit in Fenella it also shows how perfect this yarn is for colour work.

crochetOne for the crocheters, Everyday Wearables by Joanne Scrace is a collection of well designed and imaginative crochet patterns. If you are looking to inspire a new craft or know an avid crocheter this is a great book. We also carry a wide range of bamboo crochet hooks. Bamboo is kind to your hands and has a little more give then their metal cousins. This book contains a lot of patterns in Socks Yeah Dk. This great yarn has many uses, it’s not just for socks! I’ve included some Storklette Scissors in this combo. Why? Just look at how cut they are!

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The Brenn Hat from the book is Crocheted from Socks Yeah Dk and made from two or three skeins makes the perfect little gift if you are looking to add yarn into the mix.

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Knitting Outside the Box by Bristol Ivy is a stunning book. Beautiful in design and photography. It’s more than a book of patterns, Bristol Ivy takes you through her techniques. It’s informative as well as useful. I’ve matched in some Fyberspates Vivacious DK seen here in Deep Aqua, Denim and Deep Forest. The Cocoknits Rustic Yarn Snips make a nice earthy but useful pairing. Along with these shawl pins, every good shawl needs a shawl pin and these Jul Ewe and Ram Pins in white brass are a stylish sheep nod to the source of your knitwear.

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Canady from the book is knit in a Merino Dk. A perfect choice would be Fyberspates Vivacious DK and wrap yourself in its luscious softness.

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Lastly is Vogue Knitting – The Ultimate Knitting Book. What more can a knitter need. Experienced and novice knitters alike will benefit from this book. It contains all a knitter needs ton know about construction, shaping, stitch techniques, it literally is the bible of knitting. The ultimate knitting book needs an ultimate yarn. Kettle Yarn’s Hand Dyed Islington DK is a sumptuous blend of Blue Faced Leicester and Silk, in such dreamy tones. One of these skeins would definitely put a smile on someone’s face. A classy Petrol Plystre Crossbody Project Bag completes the look with a sophisticated pair of Silver Putford Scissors.

I hope this has given you some inspiration at a tricky time of year. No matter how big or how small, if you are looking for a knitting gift we hopefully have something for you. If you find yourself stuck with what to get, spend a little time with our books and you might find something.

New Yarn: John Arbon Textiles – Devonia DK and 4ply

We all know and love what John Arbon produce, so we are really excited to now be stocking Devonia. In DK and in 4ply! If you haven’t seen Devonia before then you are in for a treat and if you are in to your breed specific yarns this one is for you. Plus we have all 14 dreamy shades over both weights.

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John Arbon Textiles are a Devon based traditional woollen mill. Using machinery, some of which, is over 100 years old. They develop and make their yarns and tops at their specialist processing and spinning Mill called Fibre Harvest. For a little look into their mill, here is a short day in the life of John Arbon Textiles:

One of their latest offerings is Devonia. A 3-ply, Worsted Spun yarn in a DK and 4ply Weight, with 100% Devon grown fibre. Rightfully named, Devonia is Devon through and through. A blend of three local breeds – 50% Exmoor Blueface, 30% Devon Bluefaced Leicester and 20% Devon Wensleydale. These three breeds of sheep bring their own characteristics to the yarn.

The Exmoor Blueface is the local sheep to John Arbon, it gives a springing nature to the fibre. Softness and lustre is given by the Bluefaced Leicester and the wonderful fineness of fibre and sheen is provided by the Wensleydale. John Arbon have worked some magic here and brought all these fibres together in such harmony, giving a yarn that is soft, with sheen but also with body and interesting in the hand.

Not only is the yarn itself stunning but so is the colour. Each colour is made up of up to five blended pre-dyed fibre tops, creating a rich and beautifully deep mottled collection. The colour range was inspired by the work of French tapestry artist Jean Lurcat and his trademark use of jewel like tones offers up a sumptuous and decadent palette.

As always there has to be some exciting pattern inspirations, so here are some to get you started:

DevoniaCream003Devonia Cream by Francesca Hughes – With cabled details and a simple slouchy fit, it’s the perfect cosy jumper for autumn. Knit in John Arbon Textiles DK – Devonia Cream.

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Homeward Bound by Alice Sleight – These fingerless gloves show the yarns ability to hold a good cable. This pattern is knit in John Arbon Textiles DK – Dark Skies.

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Devon Mariner by Helena Timms – A perfect hat for walking along the Devonshire coast. Nice and warm knit up in John Arbon Textiles DK – Amber Blaze.

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Doppio Colosseum by Fay Dashper-Hughes. This is one for the crocheters out there. An elegant shawl crocheted in two skeins of John Arbon Devonia 4ply – Pollen Gold.

 

 

Yarn Pairings for Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 27 – Winter 2018

This is a sumptuous and rich issue of Pom Pom. Think warmth, heavy cables and some opulent victorian styling. This issue is a collaboration with Norah Gaughan who is involved as guest editor. She worked with the idea of tough Victoriana. Not the traditional notion of the delicate lady surrounded by flowers, but a woman of strength and resilience, a warrior.

I’ve gone through the patterns in this issue and put together some yarn pairing suggestions, to get you inspired.

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First up we have Arbor Vitae by Joji Locatelli is a top down seamless sweater with a striking cabled yoke. Knit in an merino single this is calling for Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles. Choose one of the deep moody semi solid shades like Plump, Spell, Raven or Copper Penny. A fun touch you can add at the end are these little tassels.   PPQ27_WINTER18_ArborVitae_JojiLocatelli_0644_WEB_medium2

Next is Ataraxia by Linda Marveng is a dramatic cardigan, knit in pieces, then seamed. Richly textured and with a lot of detail. Knit in a silk blend it would look stunning in Kettle Yarn – Islington DK with its rich colour palette to choose from.

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Next is a jacket, the Christabel by Andrea Rangel. Knitted in a tight gauge this jacket will be structural and warm. Knitted tightly to give a dense fabric that holds it’s shape. A tough wooly yarn I think is required here, like Hey Mama Wolf – Schafwolle #03.

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Next the Galewood by Honor Adams. An intriguing pair of mittens worked in the round with an interesting braided detail running along the length. A fun yarn full of colour will make these really stand out. The range of brights and neutrals in Garnsurr – Søkke Merino will give you plenty to choose from.

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Nightingale by Norah Gaughan, is incredibly opulent sweater featuring dramatic cables, gathered sleeves and a picot neckline. Incredibly rich and inviting, it needs a yarn with good definition. Try Spud & Chloé Sweater.

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Nimue by Cirilia Rose is an oversized but flattering slouchy top, which is perfect for adding layers in the cold weather. A cable motif in the centre, which is framed by the interesting angle of the sleeves. Try this in the Fibre Co – Luma.

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Cables seem to characterise this issue and Nonesuch by Veronik Avery uses them in a a clever way. Running along the front and on the back they create a pleasing shape. Flattering and cosy.  Hillesvåg – Tinde with its array of rich colours and great definition would be perfect for this

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Osmunda by Boadicea Binnerts is a bold design, with an impactful bobble pattern on the lower arms. This jumper is all about the texture, contrasting stitches in the body create a playful shape. Knit in a chainette yarn Du Store Alpakka’s – Hexa is a flexible choice which will give you great drape and is oh so soft!

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Sojourner by Xandy Peters is a classic triangular shawl. Simple, but with a stylish use of stitch structure, it’s guaranteed to be a go to layer this winter. Choose two complimentary colours for a subtle look. Knit in a Yak / Silk blend, it has to be Ketle Yarn – Beyul with its rich array of colours it will lend itself perfectly to a sophisticated wrap.

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Willowwood by Caitlin Hunter reminds me of leaded glass windows. With drop shoulders and generous sleeves that also feature another trademark of this issue, bobbles! Again this is knit in a chainette so go Du Store Alpakka’s – Hexa, with a wide range of colours that will suit the pattern.

This issue is definitely worth a look, in it’s photography alone. Its stunning and opulent and the over the top designs will become pieces that last forever. I hope you are inspired to knit some.

 

 

Yarn Feature: Garthenor Number 1

We have had this yarn for a little while at Knit With Attitude and it’s really nice to revisit it and give it it’s time in the limelight.

If you are looking for organic and British, Garthenor is for you. Starting in the 1990’s Garthernor produced wool from their own flock, as they grew they have expanded into buying fleece directly from farmers around the UK. Their mission is to promote and provide a variety of sustainable, organic & British wool products in an ecologically responsible way. Through this they aim to help secure the future of British organic agriculture and the British textile industry.

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Garthenor Number 1 is an undyed, wooden spun, single ply, lace weight yarn. It’s has the biggest range of shades of any undyed yarn we carry. Eleven in total! All eleven colours are produced by blending just eight different colours of fleece, giving a yarn with a wonderfully heathered depth. This yarn is perfect for garments as well as accessories like shawls and hats.

It’s always nice to have a little look at some patterns. Here is a selection below to get you thinking about your next project:

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Amory by Isabell Kraemer is a uncomplicated, seamless top down jumper. With its simple neckline and lace bottom, it’s elegant but wearable. The lightness of the yarn making it the perfect jumper for adding layers.

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Vederlicht by Cello Knits. These cosy leg warmers, or arm warmers, are perfect for adding that extra layer for winter. Whats better is they only take one 50g skein.

P1260315Mahy by Karie Westermann. A classic triangle shawl with bold lace panels. Garter stitch rows making perfect use of Garthenor’s earthy qualities.

I hope this post gets you excited about knitting with lace. It’s earthy texture and colour will lend a warm tone to anything knit in it. Giving you a light but rustic fabric.

New Yarn: Kettle Yarn Co. – Ramble

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New Yarn: The Fibre Co. – Lore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to find a fade

There are so many beautiful projects out there at the moment that call for a fade. From the original Find Your Fade Shawl and So Faded by Andrea Mowry to Fading Point by Joji Locatelli, there are loads of options, ideas and inspriations. But what is a fade, and how do you choose your yarns?!

First off, what is a fade? A fade in the knitting sense is a set of at least 3 skeins of yarn, each in a different colour. The colours should compliment each other and move from one to each other. They can be all in the same colour family from light to dark, or they can move drastically between a few colours. The more yarns you use the more options you have to move between colours.

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Find Your Fade by Andrea Mowry

Choosing your colours is arguably the hardest part, but here are a few ideas to help get you started. First off seeing the colours together in person can help tremendously to see how they move from one to the next. Secondly, yarns with lots of speckles leave a lot of options to move between colours as you can match the speckles as well as the main colours of the yarns. Brands such as Hedgehog Fibres and Garnsurr are a great place to start for this. Thirdly, don’t be afraid to go crazy! Sometimes an unexpected colour in the middle of a fade can really make the difference to tie the whole colour scheme together.

It can be hard to find enough colours that work together in one brand, so don’t feel committed to one single one. Especially when it comes to shawls there is a lot of flexibility to combine different brands and even bases to get the colours that you like best. As most fade patterns work with bands of textured stitches, the difference in texture can compliment and even highlight the bands. Just make sure that the yarns are of similar enough thickness and that they match the method of care you want for the finished piece, ie if you want it to be machine washable don’t use one yarn that needs hand washing. Other than that the world is your oyster!

We have recently had some customers ask for our help in choosing a fade for their project as they aren’t able to come into the shop themselves. Feel free to give us a call if you find yourself in a similar position, we are happy to put together a few options and send over pictures to help you decide!

Below we have included a few pictures of fades that we have put together for customers to help give you some ideas. All of these fades use yarns from a few different companies, mostly Hedgehog Fibres, Garnsurr, Fyberspates and Socks Yeah!. The colours used in each one are listed below each photo.

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Top Down:  Citrine, Frevil, Fonne Bered, Gryteflaks #13, Gryteflaks #18, Almandine and Pheasant

Socks Yeah! Citrine, Garnsurr Sokke Merino Frevil, Fonne Bered, Gryteflaks #13 and Gryteflaks #18, Socks Yeah! Almandine, and Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock Pheasant

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Top Down: Gryteflaks #10, Method, Heavenly, Frost, Pesto, Risgard and Lundy Island

Garnsurr Sokke Merino Gryteflaks #10 and Risgard, Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock Method and Pesto, Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply Heavenly and Lundy Island, and Qing Fibre High Twist BFL Frost.

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Top Down: Tweed Imps, Spiced Plum, Gryteflaks #18, Monarch, Ortle Mihifar, Fonne Bered and Gryteflaks #10.

Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply Tweed Imps and Spiced Plum, Garnsurr Sokke Merino Gryteflaks #18, Ortle Mihifar, Fonne Bered and Gryteflaks #10, and Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock Monarch.

Which one is your favourite?

Yarn Pairings for Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 25 – Summer 2018

New magazine days are always fun here at the shop, and we are absolutely in love with the latest issue from Pom Pom Quarterly. Summer 2018 is Issue 25 for them and it does not disappoint. Spring can be a bit of a tricky season for knitwear but here there is loads of inspiration. One reason this issue is so good is that they have picked one of the best hot weather themes, it’s all about stripes! There are 11 patterns, ranging from sweaters, t-shirts, wraps and even a practical bag. We have matched each pattern with a yarn available here in the shop to help inspire your knitting and summer projects. The yarns featured are all fantastic for summer projects, and highlights some of the non-wool and vegan yarns that we carry. 

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First up is Anni, by Gina Röckenwagner, a t-shirt that is simple in shape but not in style! It features both horizontal and vertical stripes using three colours, with one of the colours used for solid cuffs, hem and neckline. There is so much fun to be had with this pattern in terms of choosing colours, from bold contrasts to more subtle shades. With this in mind we would recommend the Nurturing Fibres Eco-Cotton, which we carry in 18 different colours.

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Next up is Bayadere, by Lori Versaci. This boxy, oversized sweater is a cozy best friend to reach for all year round! Knit up in a cotton/wool blend like Spud & Chloë Sweater it works brilliantly as a transitional garment between the seasons, as well as those unseasonably cold evenings that are inevitable in a British summer! It uses three colours in a mix of textural stripes.

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Deauville by Tina Tse is versatile boxy tank top. Worked in stripes that seem simple from afar, they also feature a subtle texture up close that stops it from being too stark. The recommended yarn is one we carry, Wool and the Gang’s Shiny Happy Cotton, its wide colour palette again means that there are loads of options for colour combinations.

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Herrera by Paula Pereira would make a fantastic beach cover up with it’s boxy super oversized casual look. Knit in a linen it is also easy care and will only get better with age and wear. We recommend the Växbo Lin Lingarn 12/2 which comes in a wide range of bright summery colours.

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Next up is Lia Moya’s Judoka, a striped bag with a fun construction. Knit in one long piece it is then seamed to create the over all shape, and two corners are knotted to create the handle. Using a few colours of stripes this would be a good stash buster to use up leftover bits and bobs, but we would also love to see it in the Nurturing Fibres Eco-Fusion, a blend of bamboo and cotton.

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Leiden one of our favourite patterns out of this issue, but we might be biased as it was designed by Natalie Selles, our resident knitting teacher here at the shop! It turns usual striped tops on its head by including chevron stripes that run both vertically and horizontally in a panel that is knit first. Stitches are then picked up and knit outwards from there, joining up with the back to knit the sides and sleeves. There are attached i-cord edgings for a polished finish on all the hems and cuffs. Because of the modular construction there is absolutely no seaming in this top! Overall this top works as a both formal and casual wardrobe addition that is sure to get plenty of use in any wardrobe. To add to the comfortable feel of the shirt, we would love to see it knit up in The Fibre Co.’s Luma, a summery lush blend of wool, cotton, linen and silk.

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Macklin by Susanne Sommer is a beautiful oversized wrap knit using short rows to create a bias for maximum drape. The brioche is two colour with hardly and contrast, and then 2 contrasting stripe colours for a total of four colours used all together. We think that Hedgehog Skinny Singles would work brilliantly for this project, with loads of colour options to choose from. The contrasting stripe colours use only a very small amount of yarn, so perfect for using up any leftovers you may have from other projects.

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Nasreen by Lana Jois is another pattern taking traditional garter stitch stripes and turning them slightly on their head for a biased effect. The tunic shape is easy to wear, featuring a rib at the top and bottom and a finished edge on the armhole worked in a single colour. A yarn such as Stollen Stitches Nua, a mix of merino, yak and linen, continues the drapey feel of the design.

Nasreen_by_Lana_Jois_Pom_Pom_Quarterly_Issue_25_Summer_2018_07_medium2Another top using the garter ridge stripes is Riley, by Amy Christoffers. It features a bottom panel knit side to side, from which the centre panel is knit vertically on both the front and the back, last of all the side panels are picked up and knit outwards towards the sleeves. This is another perfect occasion to use the Nurturing Fibres Eco-Cotton, with it’s range of colours and soft fabric.

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The last garment from this issue is Tarmac, by resident Pom Pom writer Anna Maltz. This swingy tank top is worked from top-down using a provisional cast on to work the front and back separately, before joining again at the underarms to work the rest of the body. The shape is created from yarn over increases in the body, and all the edges are finished with a striped applied i-cord edging. For something this lightweight we love the idea of knitting it up in The Fibre Co. Meadow, a luxurious blend of merino, llama, silk and linen.

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Last but not least is Vasarley, an oversized wrap from Julie Dubreux of Julie Knits in Paris. The rectangular wrap is worked from the centre of one of the short sides for a chevron/bias effect. It is worked in two colours using slipped stitches to create the overall striped look. For an extra drapey look Manos del Uruguay’s Serena would be perfect.

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This issue is proof that knitting doesn’t have to be confined to the winter months, there are so many options and ideas for summery, hot weather garments and accessories out there! Any pieces catching your eye? The issue is currently up for pre-order on the website and will be shipped out by May 25, 2018.

Interview with Jule from
Hey Mama Wolf

In our effort to create a full range of ethical and environmentally sourced yarns, we have spent a long time searching for a company making yarn dyed with plants, or naturally dyed yarn. This is an inherently niche idea, so while there are people out there naturally dying yarn, it was difficult to find someone dying that could also handle the larger scales required to supply orders from yarn shops. We were so excited to meet Jule who came to visit the shop while she was in London attending Pomfest this summer and discover her yarn company, Hey Mama Wolf. Not only does Jule dye all of her yarns naturally, the yarns themselves are also sourced and processed locally to her in Germany, greatly reducing the carbon footprint of the yarn. We have started off with the Sockyarn #04 and kits to do your own natural dying at home.

With all this to consider, we were excited to ask Jule a few questions about Hey Mama Wolf and learn about what goes on behind the scenes.

jule hmwHow long have you been knitting?
When I was about 10 years old we visited my great aunt Agnes and she told me that I needed to learn how to knit. Without further ado she just taught me. I don’t think I had a choice but I enjoyed it very much. First things I knitted were teeny tiny things for my Barbies – scarfs, hats and even mittens. Aunt Agnes was also the one who taught me mending and gave me my first sewing machine.

kupfer mordantWhat inspired you to get into dying and specifically natural dying?
Again I will start with my aunts and my grandma. Aunt Agnes was a garden architect, my grandma has a huge garden and another aunt is a herbalist. My mother often took me for long walks in the woods and the botanical gardens. They all planted the love for plants in me. I was always especially interested in healing plants. I became a textile and surface designer, and when I graduated from art school, I was a freelance knitwear designer. After having our first daughter I started looking for sustainable local yarns. I love natural wool colours very much but what would knitting be without colourful yarns? Two very good friends of mine asked me why don’t I do plant dyeing. I love to explore and I love plants. So these friends were absolutely right. I find great joy in dyeing with plants.

farbkarte birkeWhere and how do you source the dyes that you work with? Can you tell us more about the plant origins?
I started with using only hand gathered plants from walks in Berlin and Brandenburg, leftovers from friends (flowers, onion skins, avocado pits…) and what I got from the local organic market – turmeric, carrot greens, whatever wasn’t suitable for selling anymore. But I knew that I wouldn’t get far with that if HMW wanted to grow. Right now I’m using plant dye extracts that are made by a company nearby in Magdeburg. I was so thrilled when I found out that there is actually a company in Germany who does that. They come as an easy to use powder. The difference between these and chemical dyes is that they are still a natural product and are much more influenced by other parameters – water, weather, mordants, the yarn itself. Every dyer will get different results.

Some colours I prefer to dye with plant matter itself. I try to buy them organically and preferably local grown. I still get stuff from the local market and of course I’m still exploring the colours that surround me, my local dye plants. We live in an old water mill surrounded by nature, so when a tree falls down in a storm I gather the bark and leaves. When tansy and St. John’s Wort are flowering in abundance I will go and gather. Right now I’m very interested in using mushrooms as a dye material. It is a whole different story to plants though, I’ll have to get acquainted to the fungi world.

johannis etsyDo you have a favourite plant to dye with? 
Oh yes, many. The first that comes to my mind is birch bark. It smells so good when you cook it and most of the time it makes the most beautiful dusty pinks or golden browns. Then fresh St. John’s Wort flowers. You can dye at least four different colours with it, bright green, golden yellow, orange and maroon. I also find many oak galls on my walks and I love the greys that I can achieve with them.

birkenrinde topfThe fibre for your yarns are all sourced locally to you in northern Germany, can you tell us more about where they come from and how they are made?
Yes, the wool comes from small organic farms in northern and eastern Germany. The farms sometimes only have some sheep to mow the lawn, while others have as many as 200- 300 sheep to produce cheese and meat. I don’t know many of the farmers personally. The wool mill gathers the wool. They sort and scour it (just with plant based soap) and it is then spun. The natural brown wool is from the Frisian milk sheep of my neighbour Anna. She has about 150 sheep and makes the best cheese. Anna is a very inspiring person. She makes everything from the wool of her sheep. Carpets, woven fabric, mattresses and pillows, wall hangings and of course she spins and knits. It is lovely to stand next to her watching the sheep. She can tell a story of every single one of them.

faerberknoeterichHow do you develop a new colour way? Do you start with a specific combination in mind, or is it a happy accident? 
In the beginning there was exploring and many happy accidents. Now I can predict the outcome much better. Still natural dyes are always surprising. Some weeks ago I dyed a colour that I often dye, a best seller, a golden yellow with St. John’s Wort. I made two batches at the same time, doing everything absolutely exact according to my recipe. One batch was golden yellow, and one was green. A beautiful green and I would love to dye it again, but I don’t have a clue what went wrong. I can’t even blame the stars, because I made them at the same time. As a textile designer I work pretty much according to the books when developing a shade card. I make a mood board, then think about which plant can give me which colour.

muehle herbst 1What’s currently on your needles?
Too much. I have the Whinfell sweater of Jenn Steingass from Woods on my needles with my own hand dyed and hand spun yarns. There are mittens for our children with my Rauwerk wool. I’m working on a striped pullover with my #02 yarn. A pair of socks with the Mistletoe pattern by Verena Cohrs. A vest from my #03 yarn. But my favourite project these days is not knitting related. We’re currently renovating our old house and I’m trying to make plant pigments to use in my own wall paint.