Time for a New Project – Inspiration for Navelli by Caitlin Hunter

When a project comes along and is, light and summery, involves colour work, knit in merino singles, stylish and looks like a fun project to knit. I’m totally there. The new Navelli by Caitlin Hunter has me hooked. What with the burst of fun new Skinny Singles here at Knit With Attitude, literally a whole wall of them! What better time to start this project.

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Navelli is named for an ancient town in Italy, known as the land of crocuses and saffron. A relaxed lightweight summer sweater, knit in the round from the bottom up. With the most amazing panel of colour work at the bottom. Boxy shaping with a wide boat neck, it is a great edition to the summer wardrobe.

We have a lot of merino singles in right now, so it’s the perfect time to start. Here I have put some colour suggestions together to get your creativity flowing.

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This combo has a touch of the seaside about it, the waves washing up against the shore. Good contrast is given for the colour work section to really make it stand out.

From left to right we have Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Silence, Black Elephant Merino Singles in Golden Coast and Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Cedar.

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A warmer version here with a touch of neon. I think you can be brave when it comes to colour work projects. Adding a little flash of something bright and daring as one of the colours, can really lift it and make it stand out.

From left to right we have Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Seed, Kid You Not and Cedar.

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This has to be my favourite combo. I’m loving the mustardy green colour against the pinks. Bits of green are picked out in the palest colour, giving a little connection but not being too similar.

From left to right we have Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Bloom, Rosewood and Kelp.

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I chose the palest of speckles for the main colour in this one, it will really make the colour work pattern pop out. Quite an elegant combo I think

From left to right we have Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Dune, Purr and Typewriter.

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Another fiery combination but this time with a pale speckle as the main colour. Orange is the overriding theme that unites all the colours. Though I think there is enough contrast so the pattern won’t get lost.

From left to right we have Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Monarch, Copper Penny and Black Elephant Merino Singles in Nostalgia.

So here are a few ideas to get you started, but I know that is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many colours to choose from. I think the key with colour work projects is to get a good amount of tonal contrast between the colours you choose, even if they are the same or different. That way the pattern will be the most defined and interesting.

Happy Knitting!

New Yarn: Nurturing Fibres – Eco-Lush

There has been a lot of love for plant fibres lately here at Knit With Attitude. I think we are getting excited about summer and dreaming of all those outdoor knitting days. Also what is more exciting than introducing a new yarn! So here we go…. Nurturing Fibres Eco-Lush. A unique bamboo and cotton yarn from Nurturing Fibres.

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Nurturing Fibres is an Eco-friendly yarn range, hand dyed near Cape Town by Carle Dehning and her team. Nurturing fibres strive to conserve as much energy and waste during their production process. They make use of borehole water that is heated by solar power for their dye baths. After dyeing, the PH levels in the dyebaths are neutralized and the water is used to irrigate an olive grove near the dye studio. Their whole production process, from receiving the spun yarn, is done by hand.

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Eco-Lush is a 4ply 40% Bamboo and 60% Cotton yarn plied together with a cotton strand and a bamboo one. The quality of these two fibres bring something unique to the yarn. The cotton is matte in texture and provides a slightly muted base for the dye. The bamboo on the other hand is glossy, with sheen and takes the dye in a much brighter and more vibrant way. The bamboo adds a bright flash to this yarn that catches the light in a pleasing way. This yarn has good body and weight, will drape well, be cool and perfect for summer items.

Lets take a look at some projects that would look great knit up in Eco-Lush, by focusing on simple summer tees:
eco-lush091Edie by Isabell Kraemer is a simple t-shirt worked from the top down with raglan increases. Interest is given by textural stripes. This top will look stunning in the blend of Eco-Lush. The simplicity of it highlighting the yarns qualities.

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Waterlily by Meghan Fernandes. This charming top is not only pretty but also cool. A lacey leaf panel around the neck, which extends to the top of the capped sleeves. Worked from the bottom up in one piece, for the perfect seamless knitting. There is even a Latvian braid that marks the transition into the lace pattern.

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Linum Tee by Bristol Ivy. The very graphic shape of this top enhances its lightness. Made for a drapey yarn and perfect for Eco-Lush. An angular fisherman’s rib panel, top’s off the design and gives a bit of flair.

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Walk Along by AnkeStrick is an intriguing two colour design which creates the illusion of two tops in one. Perfect if you can’t decide on just one colour! The top is worked seamlessly from top down with a wide raglan shape that carries down the body. A flattering and practical piece.

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Folded by Veera Välimäki. With a wide round neck for non stifling summer comfort, this top is stylish and cool. Pleats at the centre front add a nice design detail, but also help highlight and give interest to the shape.

So here we have some inspiring designs for summer tees and the perfect projects for the new Eco-Lush.

Exploring Plant Dyes

It always amazes me what range of colours you can get from plants and plant material. Not only can they be subtle and delicate, they can be strong, punchy and vibrant. Plant dyes offer us a natural alternative to industrially used dyes. Often coming directly from the plant itself or from plant extracts. This can cut down on the harsher chemicals used in the process of industrial dying. Synthetic chemicals used in a majority of large scale commercial dyeing processes can pose hazards to the people working with them and the environment they may come into contact with. Plant dyes and the mordants used to treat the yarn in the smaller scale hand dying process, if handled properly, are often (depending on the material) less of a risk to the dyer and the environment. Plus plants offer us a renewable source of dyeing material and if farmed or gathered responsibly are much more sustainable and have less environmental impact.

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At Knit With Attitude we stock a range of plant dyed yarns and I will take a little look at them below. I shall be focusing on Hey Mama Wolf and G-uld. Both Small scale producers, dyeing yarns with plant and natural dye stuffs. Both Hey Mama Wolf and G-uld focus on the craft skills involved, with a respect for the environment and the process of creating beautiful yarns. Both learning form nature and how the change of seasons brings different qualities to dyeing. Respecting old traditions, while also bringing them into the present.

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G-uld labels showing the combination of materials used to generate different colours.

What I love about natural dyes is the combination of natural materials that go into creating a range of colours. This is shown most with G-uld and in some Hey Mama Wolf skeins. G-uld have labeled the combinations that go to creating each colour. Different amounts of each dyestuff creating different saturations of colour.

Let’s look at these yarns in more detail and check out some project inspiration.

Hey Mama Wolf

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Hey Mama Wolf is the creation of Jule. Based in Germany, she dyes her yarns naturally and also most of the yarns themselves are, sourced and processed locally to her. She works from her home which is an old watermill in Prignitz. To read our interview with Jule, check out our earlier Blog Post.

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First up we have Sockyarn #04. A sturdy 4ply sock yarn which is a blend of Merino, Corriedale and Ramie Fibre. Ramie is a plastic free alternative to nylon and is a member of the nettle family. Sockyarn #04 is soft but crisp, will give you good definition and great for textural stitches. Not just for socks, it would be great for any garment.

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Here’s a groovy sock pattern that highlights this yarns crisp definition. The Practice Theory Socks by Roos Vlaskamp. Great for a quick one skein project.

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Next up is Schafwolle #03. A 100 % Organic wool from small farms in North and East Germany. A blend of Merino and Black Face sheep processed and spun in Germany and the Czech Republic. A worsted weight yarn perfect for colour work or textured jumper projects. Will give great definition and hold pattern well.

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Who could forget Moonbow by Jule herself. A great relaxed jumper from Pom Pom 26 – The Moon Issue. Perfect for showing off your favourite colour. Plus you even get the opportunity to use some Sockyarn #04.

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Lastly but definitely not least from Hey Mama Wolf is the Ahimsa No.10. So much luxury in these 50g Skeins. Ahimsa is a 100% Organic Peace Silk. Ahimsa means non-violent in sanskrit and the production of this Indian yarn allows the silk moths to hatch from the cocoons. It’s lace weight with a slightly matte feel, but still the sheen you expect from silk. Perfect held double with another yarn or on its own for a wonderful heirloom piece.

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Create something of beauty with this yarn, knit lacey! The stunning Fylleryd by Mia Rinde would be ideal. Lace pattern repeats will give you an elegant shawl you will treasure and can be knit in one or two skeins.

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G-uld are based in Bredsten, Denmark and dye and teach all things natural dyeing. G-uld is based on solid craftsmanship, with an understanding and respect for material, quality and nature. Their colouring and choice of products are rooted in old traditions, and with a great desire for where the past meets the present. To read more about them see out earlier Blog Post.

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We stock their dreamy Alpaca yarn which we have in 20 dyed colours and 2 natural shades. Dyed on the white and grey bases with various combinations of natural dyes to give a great range of colour. This yarn has lovely drape and ideal

for anything from accessories to jumpers and cardigans.

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What better way to explore these colours than with a dreamy fade project. The Dip Dye Kids Beanie by Camilla Vad uses three shades to create the most sumptuously soft and cosy little hat.

I hope this post has encouraged you to look at plant dyes and made you think. They are not just washed out and insipid, but fun, bright and inspiring!

Of course if you want to have a go at plant dying yourself we have the natural dying kits from Hey Mama Wolf. Including Yarn Dying kits and Eco Print Fabric kits.

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Plant Fibres! Knits for Summer

It is known that us knitters like to knit all year round, come rain or shine. But when the sun is shining what yarns do we reach for. Plant Fibres of course! Plant fibres offer us a cooler alternative and provide a vegan option for those who would prefer to not use, or have allergies to animal fibres. With a variety of textures and properties to choose from, plant fibres can give you drape, structure, sheen, softness and versatility. Plus they are easy to care for and can take more of a beating than some of our more delicate woollens. Great for those summer garments or children’s clothes.

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Here at Knit With Attitude we have various different plant fibres as well as plant fibre and wool blends. In this post I am going to focus on Växbo Lin Lingarn and Nuturing Fibres in Eco-Cotton, Eco-Fushion and Eco-Bamboo.

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First up is Växbo Lin Lingarn. Lingarn is a 100% natural pure linen yarn traditionally grown and spun in Sweden. Växbo Lin’s Lingarn is certified with the Swedish Good Environmental Choice label (Bra Miljöval) because of its durability and environmentally friendly processing.

The earliest trace of flax culture in the Swedish county Hälsingland is dated to circa 200 AD. Evidence from the Viking age indicates that women wore linen chemises under their woolen skirts. Flax has been grown for domestic use throughout Sweden. In medieval times there was a surplus of flax in Hälsingland and linen became an item of trade. In fact, linen rather than money was used to pay taxes and fines.

Heres a little bit about how linen fibre is made from one of our earlier Fibre Fridays posts. ‘Linen comes from a plant called flax. Unlike cotton, where the fibre comes from a pod that the plant produces, linen is made from the inner stalk. This type of fibre is called a bast fibre. Other bast fibres include nettle, hemp and rattan. The plant is grown to a height of about 4 feet. When it is ready, the plants are pulled up from the roots and left to decompose in a process called retting. This unbinds the unwanted outer bark from the inner bark that makes the fibre. The two types of bark are separated by big metal rollers in a process called scutching. The fibre lengths are combed to find the longest fibres which are then spun into thread or yarn.’

Linen is a tough fibre that may feel stiff an unyielding at first, but the more you work it the more it softens. It is recommended winding linen by hand, as this begins the softening process, which continues the more you work with it.

Linen is great for summer garments. It holds it’s shape well and is light and airy. Providing a cool and breathable layer. Here are a couple ideas to get you started:

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Mirabeau by Natalie Selles is an attractive striped summer top with a fetching lace panel. Idea for summer holidays and evenings dining al fresco. Light and cool, with fun Breton stripes, allowing you an opportunity to play with colour.

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Fiore di Lino by Regina Moessmer is a simple summer top with the added flair of lacey details around hem and cuffs. Worked seamlessly from the top down you can add more or less lace as you prefer.

Next up is Nurturing Fibres Eco-Cotton. This DK weight cotton with a good twist, good definition and a dreamy palette of hand dyed colours. Nurturing Fibres is an Eco-friendly yarn range, hand dyed near Cape Town by Carle Dehning and her team. Nurturing fibres strive to conserve as much energy and waste during their production process. They make use of borehole water that is heated by solar power for their dye baths. After dyeing, the PH levels in the dyebaths are neutralized and the water is used to irrigate an olive grove near the dye studio. Their whole production process, from receiving the spun yarn, is done by hand.

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Cotton is perfect for summer wear, accessories, children’s clothes, blankets and more. Here are a couple for inspiration:

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Razzle Summer Poncho by Noma Ndlovu is a gorgeous open lace work poncho. This would make a great light and airy layer over a t-shirt. Knit on larger needles in a simple two row lace repeat, it will be speedy as well as straightforward. Buttons on the sides are a nice edition for closing.

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Colour Block Shawl by Noma Ndlovu is a great way of indulging in a few colours. This easy to knit garter stitch shawl is knit using 5 colours. Create your perfect fade or just pick your favourites and let the beauty of this hand dyed yarn sing.

Last but not least we have Nurturing Fibres Eco-Bamboo and Eco-Fusion. I have grouped these two together because they are the same weight so are really interchangeable. Eco-Bamboo is a 100% Bamboo Fibre where the Eco-Fusion is a 50/50 blend of Bamboo and Cotton. The Eco-Bamboo and Eco-Fusion have the same principles of the other Nuturing Fibres yarns. Hand dyed, eco friendly and with an aim to conserve as much energy and waste during their production process..

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Bamboo has an amazing sheen, it almost glows as it catches the light. The Eco-Bamboo has a good twist which helps it hold its shape and this means it will sag less than usual bamboo. Eco-Fusion plays with the bamboo and cottons qualities, plying a matte yarn against a glossy one to give an interesting texture to your knit wear.

Here is some information on Bamboo production from our earlier Fibre Fridays post: ‘Bamboo especially has been heralded as the new natural wonder fibre due to it’s renewability as a plant, but it’s journey from farm to knitting needles is not without it’s pitfalls. There is no denying that the process of producing these yarns is a chemical one. The fibres are broken down with sodium hydroxide and carbon disulphide into a viscose cellulose solution, which is then pushed through spinnerets. The fibre then solidifies into the fibre that can then be spun into yarn. Luckily, with newer technology this system is quoted as being a 99% closed loop system, where the chemicals are recycled and re-used for each batch of fibre.’

Bamboo offers a really cool to the touch quality, silky with good drape. Perfect for knitting and crochet projects. Here I have found a couple of crochet ones which I find inspiring:

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Summer Rebel by Brenda Grobler is a go to summer top. Wide in the neck for a relaxed fit. The crochet stitch adding a cooling mesh fabric.

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Flower Stole by Yuli Nilssen is a gorgeous crochet wrap. Perfect for draping over your shoulders on those cooler summer nights. Featuring an attractive flower pattern repeat it has a graphic play with light and shadow.

I hope these summer suggestions have you dreaming of hot days and given you some food for thought when it comes to plant fibres.

 

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.

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.