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.

Book Review – Knit How From Pompom

We love the pompom quarterly magazine and editors Meghan Fernandes and Lydia Gluck have a great eye for a detail. But have you ever felt intimidated by some of the patterns you see, or stuck just knitting the same scarf over and over and wondering where to go next. Well this is the book for you. Knit How, Simple Knits, tools and tips is the perfect guide for the novice knitter.

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Taking you from the very beginning of knitting you will learn, casting on, the knit and purl stitch and casting off. You then learn through a series of projects, 10 in total, each taking you through a new skill. Starting with the simple, weaving in ends, swatching and blocking.

New stitches are introduced through other projects, like cowls with different stitch patterns. Hat’s cover knitting in the round, cables in a scarf project. Larger projects like jumpers are also included, as well as socks and a little bit of lace. Before you know it you will have the confidence to take on any project.

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Beautifully illustrated throughout with photographs and drawings, taking you step by step in a clear and simple way. You will be introduced to a variety of knitting terminology and charts. This will give you a knitting skill set that you can apply to any pattern you may come across and throughout the book.

Let’s take a look at some of the patterns inside, to whet your appetite at the knitting potential in your hands.

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Ce – Fingerless Mitts. A DK weight simple pair of fingerless mitts to test you newly learned skills. Worked flat and seemed, they are a classic way to keep your hands warm.

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The Mary, Bobby and Juju Cowl’s let you play with texture, learning different pattern repeats to create a different look over this simple accessory.

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The Alice scarf introduces you to cables in a manageably sized project.

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There are even these Chris and James jumpers. A perfect beginners jumper to hone your skills on sizing and shape.

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These Rachel socks are a great way of taking some knitters fears of knitting in the round by making these Simple DK weight bed socks.

So if there are any projects out there you wish you had the skills for, then this book could help you on your way. Also if you are new to knitting or want to inspire a friend to knit, then  this would be the perfect place to start. I predict it will become a go to guide on knitting for years to come.

 

 

Book Review – Strange Brew by Alexa Ludeman and Emily Wessel of Tin Can Knits.

Alexa Ludeman and Emily Wessel, the Canadian duo behind Tin Can Knits, have been working together since 2011. One living in Canada and one living in Scotland, they work together producing knitting patterns, from the very simple, to the challenging. All with their trademark clarity, making them easily accessible for anyone from novice to expert. With a great database of knitting techniques and tutorials they help demystify that tricky knitting jargon, giving you the skills to tackle any project.

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They have done it again with this great book: Strange Brew. Inspired by a family trip to Iceland they have gone all out colour work yokes. But this is more than a collection of patterns, it’ is a tool for you to create yoke sweaters in any combinations. Yarn weight, colour, pattern, they have calculated it all. Also, what Tin Can Knits does well is there are 25 sizes! Thats right, 25 sizes over 3 different gauges, there is something here for the whole family, from newborn to 4XL.

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The idea for Strange Brew was to give you the tools to produce any yoked sweater. The instructions are simple: Choose a Size, Choose a Yarn, Choose Top Down or Bottom Up, Choose a Motif and get knitting! You are taken through every stage of construction from yoke shaping, pattern placement, increases and decreases, swatching, steeking with all the numbers worked out. I can’t tell you how clever it is.

There are also patterns worked out for you, with projects that are good to go, exploring various patterns over different yarn weights. From hats, cowls and plenty of jumpers. Here is a selection of what you can find inside.

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Marshland is a fun jumper with an exaggerated yoke pattern. A jumper like this gives you endless possibilities to play with colour and pattern.

strangebrew04Fleet is a great project for the first timer in colour work. It also acts as the perfect swatch or a test run for colour ideas.
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This is the Compass Cowl. Another great one for a colour work novice who is intimidated by a larger project. Use this one to test Ideas or swatch for the Compass Sweater which is also in the book.

With such a great selection of patterns you need some great yarn ideas. We have a great range of yarns that have a wide range of colours, making them perfect for colour work. Here are a few examples to get you started:

Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk in Sølje, Tinde and Blåne for an earthy 4ply, Dk and Aran weight.

John Arbon Knit by Numbers for a soft Dk weight Merino in lots of dreamy shades.

Lopi Lettlopi for the classic Icelandic feel. With a great range of colours that love colour work.

I hope that has given you the colour work bug. I can’t recommend this book enough, it’s an exciting combination of all the colour work possibilities you have ever imagined.

 

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 Pairings for Laine Magazine Issue 6

We wait with bated breath when the new issue of Laine is announced. We are totally in love with this beautiful Nordic knitting magazine. With its stunning photography, inspirational articles and amazing patterns, Laine has become one of those magazines we just can’t wait to get our hands on. This Autumn/Winter Issue does not disappoint. As usual we have put together our recommendations for yarn pairings for NO# SIX – HERITAGE. Enjoy!

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First up is Afterparty by Astrid Troland. This seamless bottom up jumper, featuring a simple but interesting colour work yoke, is all about the pattern. Chose two contrasting colours to make the yoke pop. The Fibre Co. Cumbria would be a beautiful choice for this. A Wool, Merino and Mohair blend with a lovely range of colours. Luscious!

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Arbusto by Rosa Pomar is the next jumper. This fun and elegant sweater is worked inside out, giving you the purl texture on the right side. For added texture little bobbles give this pattern a touch of whimsy. Knitted in Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk – Tinde’s earthy colours would give this garment a real depth.

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Elfriede by Shannon Cook is a sideways asymmetrical triangle shawl that is knitted corner to corner starting with one cast-on stitch. Knit in the worsted weight The Fibre Co. – Cumbria. We have Cumbria in a 4ply weight so try holding this yarn doubled to get a thicker worsted weight.

laine_6_shannoncook_sk-3-2Hryggir by Hélène Magnússon is a beautiful pattern taking it’s name from mountain edges in Icelandic. A lacy yoke starts this project, then aggressively blocked. The body is worked and shaping is created by changing needle size. For this pattern it has to be Garthenor Number 1, it’s undyed natural tones, the perfect compliment.

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Poet by Sari Nordlund is a seamless top down sweater. A bold graphic lace pattern covers the front and the back. This calls for a yarn that has great stitch definition like Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk – Sølje.

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Selenite by Annie Rowden is a classic top down open cardigan. Lace work adds a nice detail to the raglan seam and is carried down the sides. With simple shaping it will provide a simple autumn layer for keeping out the cold. A yarn with an interesting but soft texture might work well here like The Fibre Co. – Luma.

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Sideways by Joji Locatelli is worked, you guessed it, sideways! Starting centre back one side is worked out towards the sleeve, then the back stitches are picked up and you work the other side. This gives you a fun collection of horizontal cables, that mirror each other. For a sumptuous an indulgent knit, use Fyberspates – Scrumptious Aran.

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Sode by Hiroko Payne is another gorgeous cabled cardigan. This technique heavy knit is one for the knitter who likes a challenge. Techniques used include top down contiguous knitting, cabled lifted directional increases, German short rows, and three-needle bind-off. A knit like this needs to be treated with respect and what better way then the wonderful The Fibre Co. – Terra.

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Tortoiseshell by Emily Wessel will become that shawl everyone needs for winter warmth. A simple triangular shape with a lace border. This piece is all about being cosy. A cosy knit needs a cosy yarn and the plumpness of Du Store Alpakka – Alpakka Tweed is the cosiest!

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Vav by Esther Romo a simple scarf with a lot of charm. Featuring a vertical herringbone stitch, to not only give you a lovely fabric, but to also keep you interested as you knit. Du Store Alpakka – Hexa is warm, bouncy and perfect for this.

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Vinr by Andrea Mowry are toe up socks featuring an interesting collection of cabled stitches. For great stitch definition in the cables, choose a sock yarn like Hey Mama Wolf – Sockyarn #04.

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Virginia by Jonna Hietala, is a perfect beginner knit, simple but elegant. A boxy sweater, knit in one piece and its reversible. An exciting yarn like Hedgehog Fibre – Merino Dk will shine through this simple pattern.

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I hope you find some inspiration from our pairings for this issue. Don’t forget to tag us into your projects if you went for any of our suggestions. The new issue of Laine is now available in store and online.

 

 

 

Yarn Pairings for Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 26 – Autumn 2018

We are very excited about the mysterious and mystical theme of this Autumn Issue of Pom Pom. Its centred around the Moon, so think otherworldly delights and starry night skies.  This issue is really going to spark your imagination and have you dreaming of outer space and craving long dark nights. The Moon Issue is not going to disappoint, as the weather begins to turn and most of us reach for our needles looking for that warm project, you will find plenty of inspiration here. Some amazing jumpers, hats, mittens and shawls will send you rushing to cast on.

If you are looking for some yarn inspiration then below you will find our yarn pairing suggestions for this issue.

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First up we dive straight into the depths of the moon with the the Moondust Hat and the Moondust Mittens by Melanie Berg. Knit in reversed stocking stitch that is picked out with a snaking twisted stitch that evokes the surface of the moon. It would look amazing in Vivacious 4ply, the twist of this yarn would give great definition to the twisted stitches. For an even more moonlike feel we would recommend the colours Pebble Beach, Dove Stone or Lundy Island.

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Next up is a brioche lovers dream, Luna by Anna Strandberg. A great brioche sweater that is worked top down, allowing you the opportunity to play with colour. Sleeves in a contrasting texture bring together the design, giving it a pleasing form and shape. This pattern calls for a sport weight merino and would look stunning in the Ninapetrina, Tynn Rosy Merino Gradient alternating the colours as you go. For a more subtle two colour version pick your favourite shade from John Arbon’s Knit by Numbers. 

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Artemis by Esther Romo is simple, elegant and striking, all at the same time. It’s wide neck and great use of light and dark, conjure flashes of moonlight on a dark day. Play with contrast with this one. The body is worked with two yarns held together, something fuzzy and something smooth. This gives you a wonderful shimmer, like the hazy moon at night. Choose a combination of Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace and Fyberspates Cumulus for the body. Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace in Gold with its silk blend would give you the perfect glow of light around your neck.

pom-pom-issue-26-01-kwaHecate by Maddie Harvey is the next bewitching pattern. The moon details on this pattern add an intriguingly clever touch. This one has fun with texture combing a wool with a mohair. The glow of light cleverly picked out by the halo of the yarn. A great combo would be Hillesvåg Sølje and Fyberspates Cumulus. The earthy warmness of the Sølje would provide the perfect backdrop for the night sky.

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Next up is Ceridwen by Fiona Alice. This is going to be the go to cosy autumn evening jumper. Its cabled softness is light and warm. Keeping you toasty as the weather begins to change. Made up of honeycomb cables that melt away to the edge, this project is worked in pieces from the bottom up. It calls for a lightweight aran and whats lighter than the oh so soft, oh so warm Du Store Alpakka Hexa.

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This super fun looking project mixes a marled effect with double knitting. Hypatia by Carissa Browning plays with our iconic view of the moon. This circular snood is worked in the round in a cashmere and merino blend. We have chosen two options that would make a great yarn choice. Fyberspates Vivacious Dk, is 100% merino and comes in a range of dreamy shades. Or for that touch of luxury the natural shades of the Afghan Cashmere Sport would make a superbly comfortable and wearable piece.

pom-pom-issue-26-23-kwaEveryone will need these mittens when it comes to cooler evenings and the Sina by Amy Philips are simple but striking. Using a marled effect to highlight moon details in the palm. A full moon is made by holding your hands together. A hardy yarn like Hillesvåg Tinde will give great structure and insulation.

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The stunning cover sweater of Ixchel by Catherine Clark is a head turner. An amazing array of exciting colour work means this is the project where you will never get bored. It’s simple top down construction allows you to really get stuck in to the pattern. Fyberstates Vivacious 4ply would be perfect for this, its undulating colours evoking the inky night sky.

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Sky Map by Emily Foden is one for fine tuning your embroidery skills. Allowing you to go wild creating your dream night sky. Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace is a great choice for this. The hand dyed colours creating a magical coloured backdrop on which to build your universe.

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The last of these night time creations is Moonbow by Jule Kebelman. Knit in pieces and sewn after blocking. It also includes a fun fridge, reminiscent of moonlight through trees. It is knit in Jule’s own yarn Hey Mama Wolf. In Hey Mama Wolf Schafwolle #03 for the body and Hey Mama Wolf Sockyarn #04 for the fringe. We will also be getting in special mini skeins Jule has dyed for the Moonbow’s fringe, in store only on the 1st September, especially for the Great London Yarn Crawl.

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If you are still in need for some inspiration, the Pom Pom Moon Issue Trunk Show will be in store from 28th August -10 September. So come check out the finished pieces in person.

Yarn Pairings for Bladet Garn Issue 5

We have some great magazines from all over the world here at knit with attitude. Like Laine from Finland, Making from America and Amirisu from Japan. But now we introduce something new: Bladet Garn from Norway. This is a special one, as it is their first English publication. Founded in 2016 to showcase independent Norwegian designers they set up a crowd funding campaign to release an English version and we are so glad they did! Full of patterns, articles, interviews and hints and tips, it has the perfect combination of learning and interest.

This issue has a ‘Circus Fun’ theme so expect some light hearted patterns.

bladet-garnFirst up is Bubu by Nadia Lavard. A super cosy jumpsuit perfect for those lazy days. Knitted top down in fun stripes you can adjust it easily to fit any shape. It would look great in Coopknits Socks Yeah! this yarn has a great array of colours so you can go wild with your stripes!

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Next up is Colours In The Circus Ring by Hege Russnes. A fun children’s sweater worked with slipped stitched to give you flashes of colour. Finished with colourful Latvian twists. When we think of colour we naturally think of John Arbon’s Knit by Numbers. This yarn, in its great selection of shades, means you can pick the perfect combo.

HegeRussnes_Farger_i_manesjen_DSC_2520Following on is a great go to sweater with a simple stitch pattern on the sleeves and a wide ribbed neck. This would be simple to knit, but also rewarding. For an added twist of fun, is the little crochet bow tie, which is an optional extra but a must for those with a sense of humour. This pattern calls for a for a light and airy yarn. A perfect choice would be Fyberspates Cumulus, it would feel like being hugged by a cloud.

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Next up we have a super fun children’s jumper. Jubilee by Tea Bekkevold. A textured pattern on the sleeves and a zig-zag body. Guaranteed to keep you interested as you knit and will please any young boy or girl. It would look great in Hillesvåg – Tinde a great yarn for colour work and a nice range of fun bright colours.

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Keeping with the circus theme is the Carousel sweater by Nina Figenschau. Worked from the bottom up its fun colour work hem and ring of bobbles makes this a cheery edition to any child’s wardrobe. It would look great in the Fibre co’s Luma, it has a fun range of cheery colours and a great feel in the hand.

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Next up is Pearl sisters by Karen Lauger. This clever pattern is inspired by the twinkling lights under the canvas of a circus tent. Two patterns with the same shape, but have slightly different finishes around the neck. Finished off with your favourite sparkly beads. It would be perfect in the earthy tones of Hillesvåg – Sølje. 

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Another fun jumper for the young cheeky clowns in your life is The Circus Kid’s Everyday Sweater by Wenche Roald. With a charming colourful yoke which gives you the chance to play with colour. It would be fun to knit in a Ninapatrina Lambs Wool Gradient Bundle.

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What does any self respecting clown need, well Circus Socks of course! These Circus Socks by Lill C. Schei and are inspired by the patterns on colourful, old fashioned drums. The pattern recommends a hand dyed sock wool and what better than Hey Mama Wolf’s Sockyarn #04. The natural colouring will give these socks a beautiful rustic carnival feel.

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Keeping with the circus tenet theme is this playful hat. A jolly circus tent complete with little popcorn stitch lights around the rim. A fun hat needs a fun yarn. The jolly colours of Spud & Chloë Sweater is perfect for bringing life to this pattern.

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Next up is this fun textured fitted skirt. The interesting front panel stitch structure will is a design feature that will make the simplest of yarns shine. This would also look great in a simple colour block of Spud & Chloë Sweater.

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These fun little children trousers are circus ready. With their quirky stripes and frills they make a jolly outfit. They would be super cosy in Blue Sky Fibres Baby Alpaca Sport with its lovely range of child friendly colours.

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I hope you enjoy this Norwegian publication as much as we do and are tempted to knit some of its fun patterns.

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.

What George Knits – Knitting with Nature

We have a lovely selection of natural dye products, books and yarn in store at Knit with Attitude and this has inspired some natural dying of my own.

I can’t recommend highly enough the two books we stock on natural dying. These make great go to resources on the magic of nature and the variety of colours at your fingertips. The two books we have are ‘The Modern Natural Dyer’ by Kristine Vejar and ‘Botanical Colour at your Fingertips’ by Rebecca Desnos. Not only are these books so stunningly beautiful, but they present themselves in a easy to follow way. Everyone should have a go!

My first attempt at dying was to dye yarn. I chose an un-dyed merino as my base, but any un-dyed yarn we have in store will work for you. Like the white Knit by Numbers KBN55 or the undyed Purl Alpaca Fine and Medium yarns. It does however help if the yarn is in a skein, as this allows the dye to move around the fibre more easily, resulting in a more even colour. Though turning a ball of yarn into a skein can be done by winding it around the back of a dining chair for example, then tying it in places so it doesn’t tangle, then sliding it off. Also to note as I found out later, different yarns can effect the colour, so I would try all sorts.

I dipped in and out of both books for my first attempt, choosing the scouring and mordanting techniques of Kristine Vejar, I prepared my yarn. With that done I flicked through the Rebecca Desnos book for plant inspiration. Botanical Colour at your Finger tips is more of a guide book, where as with the Modern Natural Dyer you learn through fun little projects. So
depending on the way you learn either could work for you.

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For my first dye I decided on using stinging nettles, hoping for a wonderful grassy green. So off I went, armed with some thick gardening gloves and a large plastic bag. I popped to my local woods, where they grow plentifully along the sides of the pathways. I will say as Rebecca Desnos points out, be mindful when foraging, collect weeds and invasive species
first and not in the same area, to not destroy the habitats of the wildlife that live there. Walking around the woods like a madman I collected my nettles and with my bag full and only being stung once, I headed home. With an old pan bought from a charity shop specially for the job, I boiled up my leaves. One thing I will say, boiling nettles does smell very appetising. The whole flat smelt very strongly of nettle tea.

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When strained of the plant matter, I was left with a pot of what looked like a pan of overly stewed brown watery tea. Not disheartened I carried on and in went my prepared yarn. The whole process is like alchemy or witchcraft and I left my yarn bubbling away in its nettle broth. When the allotted time was up I pulled it out and guess what it was green! All be it a very pale shade of green. But it was my green, my first naturally dyed yarn. Its a great feeling having created something that is unique to you and unique to your surroundings. Its from the earth, its nature.

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As you could well imagine I was excited to knit it up straight away. I chose the Arvia Shawl from Amirisu 13 which champions natural colour and has some interesting articles worth a read.

Intrigued by the dying process and how it might react to different fibres I tried another dye. This time oak galls, which I read historically were used to create inks. So the potential for a dark moody colour really got me excited.

0706Back to the woods I head and like a pig rooting around for truffles, I scour the forest floor for the deformed acorns that are caused by the gall wasp. These boiled up with an intriguing woody smell and the dye pot looked as dark as can be. All good so far. I sieved out the galls and popped in un-dyed merino, a new wool and some mohair and waited for the
results. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting a dark brown but got an olive green with subtlety different shades over the different fibres. The Modern Natural Dyer has a project where you make a shawl out of dyed different fibres and you learn through the process. A pattern for me to try in the future I think.

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My latest dying attempt and actually what hooked me into The Modern Natural Dyer book, wasn’t a project to dye yarn but to dye fabric. Kristine Vejar takes you through all the steps you need. I chose a natural piece of fabric and prepared it to her instructions. Then went rummaging around my garden for any brightly coloured flowers I could find, luckily I went a
bit overboard with the flower beds this year so there were plenty to choose from. If you don’t have a garden, try a brightly coloured bunch of flowers from the shop. Certain flowers work better than others but its worth a try. I may plant more dye heavy flowers next year as a result of this, like cosmos and marigolds.

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Boiling up my flowery bundle and then unravelling my finished fabric was pure joy. Some flowers took and some didn’t but the result was beautiful. Like a watercolour painting or an ink blot test. Definitely one to try again.

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If you fancy having a go at dying yourself we also have natural dying kits by Hey Mama Wolf. These have the materials you need to dye fabric or yarn with dried flowers and plants at home. If natural dying doesn’t appeal to you and you love the natural look of plant dyed fibres then try the Hey Mama Wolf sock yarn we stock. They are hand dyed with a dreamy
selection of natural materials. As a result they have a range of colours that are gentle and pleasing to the eye as the natural environment they came from.

Yarn Pairings for Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 23 – Winter 2017

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Who doesn’t love a winter issue of a knitting magazine? They are often the best of the year, with cozy sweaters and snuggly accessories. The Winter 2017 issue of Pom Pom Quarterly is one of their best this year, and that’s with a year that’s been fairly knock out! This issue was inspired by norther lights and neon colours in the dark. The whole issue is just gorgeous to look at, we’ve all picked out our favourites here in the shop and we’ve put together each pattern with our favourite yarns.

PomPom23-01First up is Bindrune, by Amy Chrisoffers. This oversized cardigan is knit in Léttlopi using one main colour and 2 contrast colours in the hem and cuffs. We have almost 40 glorious colours of Lopi in stock right now, so plenty to choose from!

PomPom23-02Next up we have Chrysocolla by Tatyana Scotce, a glorious jumper made with cables and bobbles and texture galore. It’s heavier gauge would be quick to knit up and makes it extra cozy as well! The Almerino Aran from Rooster would boost that up even more with its merino/alpaca blend.

PomPom23-03Cobaltoan by Lesley Anne Robinson is a cozy 2-colour brioche hat with a pom pom (of course!) and a side panel of stitches that create a geometric pattern. The speckles and solids of Hedgehog Merino DK would show off the pattern perfectly!

PomPom23-04The second hat of the issue is Dipyramid, a more traditional colouwork hat that has unisex appeal. It uses two 50g balls of one colour, and one 50g ball of a contrast. Blacker Swan DK has loads of perfect colour combinations to knit this up!

PomPom23-05The next technique to take the knitting world by storm is likely to be mosaic stitch, which is starting to crop up here and there more often. Ephemeris by Debra Gerhard is a shawl in 2 colours that uses this technique beautifully. The shawl uses 2 colours to create patterned stitches in garter stitch. We recommend Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock.

PomPom23-06Next up is Flourite by Andrea Mowry. Andrea uses her iconic fade technique to move between colours in this pair of reverse stocking stitch knee high socks. We think that the Qing Fibre High Twist would be a great starting point for these socks, though you only need a smaller amount of a few colours, so it’s a good way to use up leftovers as well.

PomPom23-07Orianna by Paula Periera is a pullover sweater that combines techniques, with cables on the sleeves and body, and a colourwork yoke. The pattern calls for Manos del Uruguay Clasica, which we also carry here in the shop.

PomPom23-08The next pullover design is by Astrid Troland. Called Selenite, it is again worked in multiple colours. This time there is one main colour, with 4 contrast colours worked in the stripes and in the cuffs and collar. We would choose Blacker Yarns Tamar for a similar feel yarn that has a beautiful range of colours.

PomPom23-09Stellate is the last accessory of the issue. Designed by Julie Dubreux of Julie Knits In Paris, it is a 2 colour shawl worked in garter stitch and brioche in a DK weight. We would knit it in Knit By Numbers DK from John Arbon for a really lush and warm shawl to take you through the cold months.

PomPom23-10Last but not least is the cover design, Tabular, by Maja Möller. This lightweight pullover is a perfect layering sweater that would work well year round. Knit in a heavy laceweight, it features a modularly knit garter stitch panel in the front of the sweater. This sweater would be beautiful knit up in Meadow from The Fibre. Co. A luxurious blend of merino, baby llama, silk and linen, it will be one you’ll reach for over and over.

What’s your favourite pattern from the issue? We all have a sweater or two we are itching to cast on for over here!