Trio Shawl KAL – Colour Inspiration

You may have seen Maya’s post introducing the Trio Shawl and the first Knit With Attitude KAL of the year. If that hasn’t got you racing to your needles then maybe these colour inspirations will.

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This shawl is great for the beginner and experienced knitter alike. The simple knitting is made for indulging in your favourite fibres and colours. Combining three, the formula is simple: 2 parts MC, 1 part CC1 and 1 part CC2. You are also not restricted to a certain yarn weight or having to make a shawl using all the same bases or fibres. With this shawl you can yield to all those skeins you have been dreaming of and not really found the project for. Heavier weights will give you a larger shawl and light weights will give you a smaller one and why not combine them together for a texture adventure. Maya is combining a 4ply, a light 4ply and a heavy DK with her’s. It’s a good idea to knit a little swatch with your chosen yarns and adjust the needle size to get the quality of fabric you like.

Below I have put together some suggestions using DK and 4ply weights. Merino, Norwegian Pelssau, Romney and Shetland, Buck Mohair and Dalla Sheep yarns. Hand dyed and Undyed. No restrictions here!

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This combo uses Hillesvåg Vilje as the MC, incorporating the earthy Kettle Yarn Ramble in Gorse and Black Elephant Minis in Tranquility for the contrasts.

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Here I have opted for a darker MC to allow the bright yellow and white shades pop out. Hillesvåg Sølje in Beige for the MC and Garnsurr Pan in Sneivin and Black Elephant Minis in Nostalgia.

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This combo is about a punchy bright contrast, drawing out the pinks of the speckled minis. Hillesvåg Vilje as the MC with Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Coral and Black Elephant Minis in Lazy Days.

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The combination offers a more moody contrast with the white but still having a few colour pops from the hand dyed. Hillesvåg Vilje for the MC and Sølje in Rød and Garnsurr Pan in Tarik Roshan for the contrasts.

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I love a pink and green combo and these muted tones have a vintage quality. Hillesvåg Vilje and Kettle Yarn Ramble in Hawthorne and Black Elephant Minis in Arlandria.

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I flipped the MC on it’s head with this one. Using a black instead a white will make your contrasts pop, like neon lights against the night sky. The MC here is Sølje in Svart with Garnsurr Pan in Gryteflaks #3 and Black Elephant Minis in Blame Fawkes for the CC’s.

I hope these combo’s give you some inspiration and I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

 

Trio Shawl KAL

So many of you noticed my Instagram post on Strikkelisa’s new design the Trio Shawl this weekend, and several of you commented on wanting to cast on with me. As usual (most of the time) your wish is our command so here goes, the first KWA KAL this year is the #trioshawlKAL

Trio Shawl by Strikkelisa

An ideal beginner’s shawl project and a stunning quick fix for the more experienced knitter, the Trio Shawl offers an interesting construction and an opportunity to play with colours! I always wear my shawls with the point at front and I particularly like the way this construction really show off the design when worn like this. You can use any yarn weight for this design and properly let loose your inner colour combo geek – you need three colours divided on 4 equal parts of yarn – 2 parts MC, 1 part CC1 and 1 part CC2. For my version I’ve decided to go for Hillesvåg Vilje as my MM, Garnsurr Pan in Kjeta as my CC2 and Black Elephant Minis in Cornfields as my CC1.

The pattern is available in Strikkelisa’s Ravelry store, in Norwegian and English.

Maya's Trio Shawl

So here’s how we roll:
Sign Up is via e-mail to make it easier for us to keep track of you all, drop us a note and don’t forget to mention your instagram name to maya(at)knitwithattitude(dot)com.

Cast On by Sunday January 13th
Cast Off by February 20th (in time for the Unravel Festival so you can wear it and show off if you’re going)

We are keeping image posting to our Ravelry #trioshawlKAL group and Instagram for this KAL so post your progress pictures and FO’s using the hashtags #trioshawlKAL and #knitwithattitude so that we can find them. Winners will be drawn at random from posted FOs Monday February 25th. (We’ll use the ravelry project pages and instagram posts as entries).

So enough with the blah blah and let me know what I can win, you say. Do we have some proper goodies waiting for you! Strikkelisa has generously gifted 3 free patterns of choice to our winner and here at Knit with attitude we will follow this up with an accompanying yarn pack in colours of your choice! Yes that’s right – it is a whole new project + two patterns in one go! Also, if you choose to get the yarn for your Trio Shawl from Knit with attitude you will be entered into a draw where you can win the value of your purchase refunded and to top it up even more you’ll also get 3 patterns free of choice from Strikkelisa.

Right so that’s the deeds so far, I hope you feel inspired and ready to cast on with me!
(BTW for more inspiration check out the insta hashtag #triosjal to have a look at all the gorgeous versions made while the pattern was tested.)

Over to George for some colour and yarn combo suggestions …

Trio Shawl by Strikkelisa

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.

 

 

What Maya Knits – Selja

So, prior to writing this blog post I checked and it turns out that last time I wrote a ‘What Maya Knits’ post was nearly a year ago – and that gives you an indication of how much knitting time there is in my life – not much! But sometimes you just notice the one, the one project you just have to abandon all other projects to make, the easy fix, instant gratification, exciting fibre, fun yarn, the key wardrobe jumper, the one you been looking for and never found … I can go on and on … and this last spring I found one of those. selja-maya-insta-3-kwa

Selja is a basic top down raglan jumper designed by Jonna Hietala, one of the master minds behind Laine Magazine, but published independently from the magazine on Ravelry. You can find the pattern right here! I just immediately fell in love with the simplicity of this design – it is exactly what was missing from my wardrobe – super simple but stylish enough to be thrown on top of everything and you will look good no matter what.

But what really tickled my fancy was that Selja is knit up using linen. Linen has been on my to-do list of fibres I’ve wanted to have a proper go at. Sure I’ve used linen blends or linen in combination with other yarn types before, but I really wanted to do something in pure linen. Given that we have the gorgeous Växbo Lingarn in such a mouthwatering wide colour range here at the shop, and that I’ve been lusting after this yarn for a long time, it seemed like this project’s yarn and design was just a match made in heaven!

A few years ago we did a series on different fibres here on the blog, so if you want to learn more about linen, it’s production and qualities have a read here. But for now, let me mention that Linen is a plant fibre which can be quite tough to work with but that softens as you knit with it and with use, which results in a lightweight, smooth fabric with a gorgeous drape, that only will look better and better with time. Dealing with quite a lot of ‘delicate’ fibres in the shop we often joke about the linen, and how it is one of those fibres that will look better the worse you treat it – so no need to be gentle … Also, as this was my summer project and we were ‘blessed’ with the heat wave above all heat waves this year, linen turned out to be a very comfortable knit for sweaty hands.
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When working with linen we do recommend to wind your hank into a ball by hand in stead of using a winder, the reason for this is that it will immediately help in breaking down the fibres and soften the yarn before knitting. Selja is a brilliant first time project if you haven’t worked with linen before. It is worked holding two strands together on a thick needle, 5.5mm, which gives a loose knit which is quite gentle on the hands. You will need three hanks of Växbo Lingarn to complete even the larger sizes, linen is such a lightweight fibre that you get a generous meterage per 100g which helps keeping the project within a lower budget.

Now if you start knitting, and the result does not resemble that of the picture – do not worry! Linen in a loose knit is very flexible and in the end it will stretch and form exactly the you way tell it to! Blocking is essential to achieve the final look, soak your linen jumper for longer than what you would normally do – I had mine in the bowl over night – and don’t be scared of using a bit of force when pinning it down to measurements. And there you have it – easy peasy linen knitting – and a new favourite jumper!selja-maya-insta-kwa

Marled Projects and more and how to stash dive with success!

We are all getting starstruck by all the marled and exciting patterns being released at the moment and a lot of you have been asking me for colour ideas and options for putting together great combos. Stephen West is at the forefront of marled designs at the moment. With patterns like the Marled Magic Sweater and the Marled Magic Cardigan. But a Marled effect can be added into any project. If you treat two strands of fingering/4ply held together as a worsted weight you are good to go and can apply a marl to any of your favourite worsted patterns.

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Marled Magic Cardigan by Stephen West

There are many ways of approaching a marled project. Do you start from scratch? Do you curate your stash and pull out colour themes? Do you chose one base colour to tie things together? Or do you throw everything you have at it? Well the possibilities are endless. What’s freeing about a marled project is that there really aren’t any rules. You can play with different fibres and to some degree different weights. You don’t have to stick to the same brand, but can go with your heart. Below I have put together some ideas and thoughts that you might find useful for your own marled projects.

Building a marled project from scratch

If you are looking to build up a selection of yarns and don’t have any stash lying around to throw into the mix, then this first section is for you.

I shall use the example of Stephen West’s latest Marled Magic Cardigan for this first marled section. This is how I would approach it, but everyone has their own take on things.  It is recommended you have between 750 – 1300g of yarn for this project with between 150 – 200g of each yarn to be used in the collar and cuffs. So here we go!

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Keeping it bright! You can almost approach a marled project like you would a faded project. But unlike a fade where you want one skein to blend into the next a marled project can be a little more extreme. With this one I have chosen the Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace – Plump and the Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Gryteflaks #18 held together for the collar and cuffs. I’ve then picked some favourite colours starting with Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Gryteflaks #19. I then let the skein decide where I go next. Plenty of speckles in these hand dyed’s give multiple avenues for combination. Which has led me to get quite nerdy about yarn!

Yarns pictured above, from left to right:

Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace – Plump, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Gryteflaks #18, Gryteflaks #19, Sneivin,  Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Raku, Sorbet, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Preinas, Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Gossip, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Gryteflaks #18, Hørningen,  Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Bubble, Deja Vu and then back to Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Gryteflaks #18.

With this combination I was trying to evoke a feeling of the original colours.

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In the image I have broken down a section and shown how the colours link up. I feel working in this way would give a good framework to build up a selection of yarns. You don’t have to knit them in any particular order, but there is a thought process in the choosing, that helps you wade through the endless variety out there. There is infinite array of colour and colour combinations, but looking into the colour make up of a skein of yarn can really help when trying to find the perfect combination.

Starting on the left I have Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Gryteflaks #18 with its reds to almost creamy, peachy orange. This colour is then picked out to link into Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Sorbet, which has a peachy base flecked with other colours. This technique is repeated by the end three, where pinks and greens unify them. But they also open up other colours, like blue and black. In this way you are building a selection of colours that focuses in on smaller details in the yarn as well as bigger ones. Allowing you to go on a journey of colour, that might lead to unexpected results.

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Keeping it mellow. In this combination I have really gone for a colour theme. You will end up with a more uniform marl, in a combination like this. Picking a colour family and playing around it is a fun way to work. It allows you the opportunity to work with your favourite colour, or not, if you want to push your boundaries. The more you look at a colour the more you will see how many colours lie within it’s boundaries, giving you a rich overall palette to play with.

If you are working in this way and sticking to a particular range of colours, I think it is important to choose plenty of light and darks. This way the combinations will remain interesting and not become to similar or dull. In the same way I think a few colour pops within a skein is a good idea. Like the yellow that appears in Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Æsjbikkje and the pinks and blues that appear in Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Hawk and Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Frevil / Shauparak. These pops will shine out in marled fabric, where a few zaps of contrast colour playing against a monochrome background.

Yarns pictured above, from left to right:

Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace – Cereal, Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply – Silver and Bronze, Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles – Scilence, Crystal, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Fonne / Bered, Æsjbikkje, Gryteflaks #10, Gryteflaks #10, Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply – Verdegris, Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Hawk, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Gryteflaks #19, Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Cereal, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Frevil / Shauparak

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And because I like doing it, here is the colour break down for a section of this one. You can see the combination of lights and darks with a few little colour pops like the yellow and pink. It may even need something white/cream or a very pale blue to lift it slightly.

Using stash yarns and curating a colour theme

We all have a bunch of half skeins and end of project balls of yarn hanging around and a marled project is perfect for using these up, no matter what quantity you have. Even if you feel your stash is a little random and won’t go together there will be that perfect skein that will unite them. One way of getting around this problem is curating your stash into colour themes and families. I have tried this with parts of my stash below and mixed in various Knit With Attitude yarns. Any caked yarn or yarn in a ball in the below pictures are ones I have pulled from my stash, around which I have placed complimentary yarns I think work well.

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First up we have this pinky purple number. I am still with the idea of creating the Marled Magic Cardigan pictured at the beginning of this post. This cardigan has a contrast, or at least a very defined collar, cuffs and hem. To stick with the theme I have gone with Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace – Iris and Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply – Heavenly. They draw on the purple theme but keep it light, this way I hope they offset the body colours and make them pop.

I have some orange and pink and pinky oranges in my stash I didn’t think they would necessarily work in this project, until I saw the Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Annsam skein, perfection! Marled at different points in the project this will bring a nice theme of pink and orange, throughout. The deep purples in the middle really spoke to some of the purples I had in my stash along with a few creams. The pinks range from neon to a more muted dusky pink, complimenting and working with the pinks I already have.

I would recommend not knitting them in the order that is show in the image but chopping and changing throughout the project. This way colour themes will appear and disappear throughout the knitting. As it is marled you will then avoid getting clumps of a dominating colour and end up with a more even project.

Colours I have used around my stash from left to right:

Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace – Iris, Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply – Heavenly, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Annsam, Krilla, Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Plump,  Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Jarbær, Hey Mama Wolf – Sockyarn #04 Minis – Madder, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Ortle / Mihifar.

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I feel this one doesn’t need a colour break down, even though I enjoy making them. It’s green, oh green! If you haven’t guessed it’s my favourite colour. So my stash is full of it. We all have a favourite colour so naturally our stash is going to be full of it. Why not embrace that and indulge in your colour love. I’ve fallen in love with this combination, it’s like a mossy forest floor, I am so tempted to knit it myself.

With this combination you will end up with a very subtle fabric. Each colour melding into one another. Some say it is safe to go with the same colour, I say it’s well informed. With these combination I would probably make sure I was always holding a solid with a speckled, that way the solid gets enlivened by the changing colours of the speckle. But here there is a good combination of light and dark and it shows you the real variety you can get in a colour.

Colours I have used around my stash from left to right:

Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace – Parklife, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Preinas, Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Cereal, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Løpp, Kettle Yarn Co Beyul – Shrub, Garnsurr Søkke Merino – Gryteflaks #11, Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock – Parklife, Kettle Yarn Co Beyul – Jade

 

Using one colour to unite a random stash

Not all of our stash is coordinated and if you are desperate to use of every last scrap of those random ends of yarn then this method might be good for you.

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Choosing a colour that you think might tie a project together like this Coopknits Socks Yeah – Azurite in this one.  This way no matter how random your other pieces might be, there will always be one constant. Here I have pink, yellow, grey, green, purple! They may look random like this, but knit up the blue will catch the eye, bringing harmony to the project. With this selection you can further reinforce the theme by sticking to the same colour for collars and cuffs.

I’ve tried to illustrate this idea with the blue throughout, giving the marl a base colour which then brings unity to the other colours. It also means you can indulge in your favourite colour and let that be the colour that shines through the project.

I hope that you find some of these ideas of approaching a marled project useful. From building a collection of yarns from scratch, from curating your stash into colour themes or even uniting a random stash. Marled projects are a great way to use up leftovers but also great to let you branch out into other colours you might not necessarily use. These projects are about having fun, so get stuck in and throw everything you have got at it.

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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The Attitude Cowl by Julie Knits in Paris

Last weekend we had the awesome designer Julie Knits in Paris and the amazing Linda from the Kettle Yarn Co in the shop. It was great to have both an inspiring designer and yarn dyer together. What’s more is Julie was launching her splendid pattern ‘Attitude’, which is knit in Linda’s yarn: Kettle Yarn – Islington DK. We are in love with this pattern as it represents the good attitude of the knitting community and the little dancing people motif also showing us knitters like to paaaaaarty!

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Attitude is an extraordinary, large colour work cowl, knit in the round. With cute draw string ties, so you can wear it in many ways. Pulled down over your shoulders for some warmth under a jacket, or with the drawstrings pulled tight for extra cosy warmth around your neck.

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Knit in Kettle Yarn – Islington DK, a luminous blend of Blue Faced Leister and Silk, the yarn simply glows. Combined like this in a colour work project you end up with a garment that just sings. Featuring a motif of little dancing people with attitude!

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We are now fully stocked on Kettle Yarn – Islington DK in many colours, what will you choose? Below we have some suggestions to get yourself started, or come in store and have a play with combinations.

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The original one – Used in Julie’s original Attitude. The colours are from left to right: Kettle Yarn – Islington DK – Pom, Siren Call and Blighty.

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The pinky one – This combination is playing on Julie’s original colours but going along a pink route. The colours are from left to right: Kettle Yarn – Islington DK – Peony, Red Velvet and Icicle.

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The earthy one – This one is going a little more earthy, using autumnal colours. The colours are from left to right: Kettle Yarn – Islington DK – Ochre, Macbeth and Marigold.

Have fun with this project and combine colours that you love. If you would like to see the cowl in person, we have it here in the shop for a short while so you can try is on for yourself.