Yarn Pairings for Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 28 – Spring 2019

It’s really starting to feel like spring might not be that far away, here in London. The sun is shining and it feels unusually mild. What better way to celebrate this feeling, than delving into the latest spring issue of Pom Pom. Aptly themed for this time of year, this issue is ‘The Botanical Issue’. Designers were given the theme of flora, looking to nature and plant forms for their inspiration.

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So we have nine knitting and crochet patterns, plus articles and recipes. All exploring the botanical theme. I’ve put together some yarn pairings from the shelves of Knit With Attitude, so lets take a look at these natural wonders!

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Sweetfern by Liza Laird and Kate Madden is a cute slouchy brioche hat. Taking the characteristic use of two colours that brioche offers, while also bringing in stitch shaping for that natural leafy vibe. A trailing vine motif runs from the rib to the crown creating a bold and graphic design. Choose two contrasting colours of Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles for maximum effect.

Davallia-by-Isa-Catepillan-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-28Davallia by Isa Catepillán is an interesting cover up shawl-cum-jacket. This crocheted piece is full of drama. A large tasseled fringe hangs from an elegant lacey body. It reminds me of the dappled light through the trees. It would make a great layer for spring days and cool summer nights. Choose a light yarn with a plant fibre content like the linen blend of Stolen Stitches Nua.

Adiantum-by-Kelly-Ordemann-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-28Vines trace the shape of the yoke in Adiantum by Kelly Ordemann. A playful use of pattern, the plant motif radiates from the neck giving the appearance of a necklace of ferns. With clever shaping, it is also flattering to wear. A plant themed top like this calls to be knit in a plant dyed fibre. Choose Hey Mama Wolf’s Sockyarn #04 in its dreamy natural shades.

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Another crochet offering is Water Clover by Isa Catepillán. A stunningly elegant crochet top with lacey star details. A simple shape made all the better by the pattern repeat. Crocheted in a cotton, linen blend try The Fibre Co Luma which has a soft light papery feel which is perfect for wearing next to your skin. This top will definitely see you into the summer and beyond.

Aurea-by-Stella-Egidi-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-28This dramatic shawl is the Aurea by Stella Egidi. You cannot get a design that is more close to nature. Leaf and reed motifs sit side by side to create a pattern repeat that is reminiscent of a forest canopy or leafy woodland floor. Knit in a merino single try Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles or a bunch of Black Elephant Minis.

Vivarium-by-Amber-Platzer-Corcoran-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-28Vivarium by Amber Platzer Corcoran is a fun colour work jumper, with a selection of bold graphic plant motifs. Vivarium takes its name from terrarium structures used for holding plants and means ‘place of life’. This design allows a fun juxtaposition of colour through the botanical elements and with a relaxed drop shoulder fit, it will be the perfect cosy spring evening layer. Colour work projects scream out for Hillesvåg Tinde in a great range of colours you will find the perfect greens!

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Ginkgophyte by Emily Greene is worked flat and seamed, with sleeves worked in the round. With a bold central detail that is repeated on the back and accentuates the simple form. Short sleeves make this the perfect spring garment, for when the days get longer and the promise of summer is just around the corner. Choose the cool and super soft Kettle Yarn Beyul for this, a lovely light yarn perfect for wearing next to your skin.

Woodwardia-by-Lydia-Gluck-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-28Woodwardia by Lydia Gluck is a top down raglan jumper with a cosy rolled neck and with a lovely vine detail running along the raglan seams. We all know spring weather can be a little unpredictable so this cosy jumper will become a wardrobe staple. Try this in the soft Vivacious DK.

Filix-by-Judith-Brand-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-28Filix by Judith Brand are stylish crocheted fingerless gloves. A graphic abstracted fern chevron motif runs along the back of the hand. These fingerless gloves are the perfect size for keeping out the evening chill by extending over the wrist. This pattern calls for a silk, merino blend so try Scrumptious 4ply.

I hope these suggestions get you excited and ready to spring into spring. This is a very calm and gentle edition of Pom Pom with subtle details carrying the theme. A collection of interesting but also wearable pieces.

 

Yarn Pairings for Laine Magazine Issue 7

One of our favourites here at Knit With Attitude is Laine. With its sumptuous photography and simply gorgeous designs, it’s not only a book of patterns, but something you can pick up for inspiration again and again. With a host of great designers work between its covers, it will have you itching to start that new project. So what’s a new project without the yarn! In this yarn pairings post I have but together some yarn suggestions from the shelves here at Knit With Attitude. So read on and admire the patterns and start dreaming!

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Also for all of you placing your pre-orders before Laine 7‘s release on the 15th February you will get it for the old price of £20 on the 15th it will go up to £22.

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First up we have Apricite by Kiyomi Burgin. A gorgeously warm looking jumper, which is taking on the massive trend of holding a single strand of mohair lace with another yarn. Giving you the tender halo of a mohair with the strength and body of a base yarn. This jumper is worked flat in pieces from the bottom up. A relaxed drop shoulder shape, with a simple lace detail that runs along the front and back and is carried along the sleeves. Understated, but with a few details to keep the knitter interested. A fairly simple knitting project that would please anyone who is daunted by seamless construction. This pattern would look great in a combination of the heathered tones of the Fibre Co. Lore and the lovely floaty Hedgehog Fibres Kid Silk Lace. Plus you get the fun of combining two interesting fibres.

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Next up is Bohus by Carol Feller. This jumper is inspired by Bohus Knitting, a Swedish knitting cooperative active between 1939 and 1969. Designed to be one of those comfy slouchy jumpers you have to be forced out of on cold days. The coloured yoke features an interesting purl detail between colour transitions to create a mirage effect. This pattern calls for John Arbon’s Devonia DK, a rich Devon breed blend, which we have in every colour.

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When you think brioche there are two names that spring to mind, thats why Brioche Buddies by Nancy Marchant and Stephen West is so special. A collaboration by brioche royalty, this pattern features an entertaining mix of zig zagging brioche and garter stitch panels. With two size options, it will make the perfect wintery or spring layer. I would choose two contrasting tones of Vivacious 4ply and Hedgehog Fibre Twist Sock, the slight variegation in this yarn mixed with a contrast speckle would make this pattern come alive.

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Calla by Natasja Hornby is a stunning large triangle shawl. Sequences of broken rib alternate with charted lace and cable sections, this is a project for those who like to get their teeth sunk into heavily structured stitches. For a softness you’re neck deserves choose John Arbon’s Knit by Numbers. One of the softest merinos I have felt, although you may take you some time in choosing from all those colours!

laine05Davvi by Aleks Byrd takes its name from Northern Sámi language and means ‘north’. Inspired by the shapes seen in traditional Sámi clothing and woven belts. The chevron shapes echoing the shapes of trees in the forest and the peaks of mountains. Knit in three contrasting colours and featuring an intriguing combination of twisted stitches and colourwork to create a quilted effect. A perfect go to colour work yarn with great grip and definition is Hillesvåg Sølje with a great selection of colours to choose the right combo.

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I can see Eryza by Meiju K-P becoming that go to cardigan you can throw over anything. A warm hug perfect for layering up in a chilly office, or for going on a frosty country walk. This one also takes on the great joys of double stranding, to create a soft fuzzy cloud like texture. Try a solid Socks Yeah DK paired with the fluffy Fyberspates Cumulus in a complimentary or even contrasting colour.

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Kouhei by Whitney Hayward is a wide embracing cardigan. Simple but classic. An easy shape to knit and wear. Its worked from the bottom up, flat, until the underarm, where the fronts and back are separated and worked flat until the shoulder. Knit this one in a warm Hillesvåg Blåne.

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Laemmin by Renate Kamm, a simple waistcoat/vest that has an overall pleasing checkerboard texture and nice small cable details on the back. A generous neckline and clean shape, go together to make for understated elegance. Worked flat and trimmed with a neat i-cord edge, it would make a great layer under a jacket or over a shirt. Knit this one in the new Kate Davies Àrd-Thìr which would give great stitch definition.

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What a stunning colour work garment this is. Marit by Kristin Drysdale features an all over fair isle pattern in three colours. This cardigan lets you have a go at one of knittings scariest techniques, steeking! The centre opening and armholes all use steeking, which I might add is great fun and less scary than you imagine. I good toothy yarn that grips well is good for this project, get stuck into the wide colour palette of Hillesvåg Sølje.

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I love the simple boxy shape of Nerea by Lærke (Fiber Tales). It also has an interesting construction. Knit sideways, in two halves, beginning from the sleeve cuff moving on to the body and seamed down the front using Russian grafting. A technique that uses a crochet hook, which I think makes for a pleasing detail down the front. Effortlessly minimal and topped off with a feathery calliper cable along the sleeves. I would knit this in John Arbon’s Devonia DK.

laine11Who would say no to a luscious over sized scarf. Especially one so simple but so effective. Rambla by Alejandra Pont, knit in bands of alternating knits and purls makes it reversible and a great beginner project. When I think luscious, I always think of Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply, its silk and merino blend the perfect thing for wearing next to our skin.

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Talla by Dami Hunter is a two colour cowl project, making use of the mosaic technique. A fun way of building up a colour work project while only knitting one colour per row. This way minimising a twisty mess that can sometime result from some two colour projects. Try the soft Vivacious 4ply for its undulating colours and pick two with a nice contrast.

I hope you enjoy this issue and have fun choosing your yarns for this issue. It certainly feels like a wintery instalment, with an overriding colour theme of blues and greys set against the snowy landscape. I think that’s why there seems to be a lot of oversized projects here, one that you want to wrap up in and keep the cold out.

 

What George Knits – Kleur Shawl KAL

If anyone has been following me on instagram you may have noticed that I have started a Knit Along. I’ve had the Kleur Shawl by Anna Maltz on my to do list ever since I first saw it. I love the shape, the possibility of combining colours and how effective simple stitches can be in producing something beautiful. After I wrote a colour inspiration post a couple weeks back I was hooked.

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The Kleur Shawl comes in small and large sizes. Using a series of mini skeins for the rainbow wedge combined with a white, black and grey stripes for a contrast. Approximately 10/15g for the Spectrum Colour and approximately 60/70g for the main colours. It’s a perfect stash buster project as you can use up odd pieces for the rainbow spectrum, or go all out and pick out some favourite mini skeins. You don’t have to be tied down to the same fibre, I’m really enjoying playing with texture as well. Throwing together smooth merinos with hairy British wools for a fun juxtaposition.

The Kleur Shawl pattern can be bought from Anna Maltz’s Ravelry Store.

IMG_6463For my Kleur I was desperate to use the Black Elephant Mini Skeins. So Stash dived for my colour colours. I found a dark grey (the Fibre co – Cumbria) and light grey (Blacker – Tamar) along with an experimental hand dyed of my own which is the pale green (dyed with nettles). You can see my post about dying experiments here.

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The KAL has been going for a little while on instagram but things are getting more fun.  I’m going to make it a little competition. I love to see the progress of people knitting along and it’s always quite exciting to be knitting along with other people. Also Anna Maltz has kindly donated one of her patterns for the winner! How exciting is that!

So to be in for a chance to win and for me to keep track of entrants drop me an email at: george(at)knitwithattitude(dot)com saying you would like to enter. Then tag all your instagram posts as #KleurShawlKAL. When you have finished post you’re finished shawl with the hashtag #KleurShawlKAL. The deadline will be 20th of March (Just in time for the Edinburgh Yarn Fest!). I will draw the winner at random a person from who has signed up and posted their #KleurShawlKAL finished shawl post.

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Currently mine is coming along very well, I have finished the rainbow wedge and yarn over stripes. I’m in love with it. From the clever construction which feels like you are always knitting to a goal to the Black Elephant mini colours which are dreamy. This was destined to be a gift for a friend but I can see myself keeping it. I’m looking forward to how everyone else interprets this great pattern.

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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.

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

Time for a new project – Inspiration for Kleur by Anna Maltz

Happy New Year to all our friends, family, customers and blog readers. Is there ever a better time for a new project than now? Well I think Anna Maltz has the perfect one in her new design Kleur. Anna can usually be found between the covers of one of our favourite quarterly knitting magazines Pompom where she writes a column. She is also a talented designer and has released many patterns, including publishing two books: ‘Marlisle: A New Direction in Knitting‘, a clever combination of marled and Fair-Isle techniques and the adorable ‘Penguin: A Knit Collection‘ featuring penguin inspired patterns from head to toe. With a clever play with colour and entertaining constructions Anna’s patterns make for a rewarding knit. I can see Kleur becoming very popular.

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Kleur means colour in Dutch and this is all about the play between different colour combinations. This asymmetrical shawl is a clever mix of easy short rows and eyelets. It reminds me of experiments with a prism and light at school, or of course the famous Pink Floyd album cover, The Dark Side of the Moon.

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This shawl would be very easy for a beginner to pick up. Simple garter stitch short rows, with no wrapping, making a feature of the decorative eyelets. It would make for a rather soothing and pleasant first project of the year. The coloured wedges use just 10g to 15g of yarn so perfect for leftovers or little mini skeins.The shawl takes a dramatic angle from this first rainbow, increasing the stitch count but including a simple cast off edge that draws the whole thing eventually into a point. If you are thinking colour, choose a rainbow or ombre of colours for your wedge section, then a contrasty or monochrome feature for the stripes.

As always I like to give you a few inspiring colour selections from the shelves of Knit With Attitude. The fun in this project is the combination of different small quantities of yarn and when I think of small quantities I think of mini skeins! The two that bring to mind are the Black Elephant Merino Singles Mini and Susan Crawford Vintage Fenella. The Black Elephant mini’s being a hand dyed 4ply gives you the fun of speckles! Fenella a lighter 3ply British wool would give you more drape so check gauge when using this yarn, but they  have a pleasing vintage colour palette.

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For this combo I have chosen Fenella in Melancholy, Rannock, Jonquil, Limoncello, Phthalo, Forget-Me-Not, Dolly Blue. Sølje in Svart and Naturgrå. As well as Vilje. This classic combo makes uses the subtle rainbow of Fenella with two of Hillesvåg’s undyed yarns as well as a dark black for contrast.

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This warm combo would please any fan of hand dyed yarn. Combining Black Elephant Merino Singles Mini with Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles. With this combination I have kept to the ideas of Anna’s original colour but shaken it up a bit. An ombre of colour is complimented by three main tones. Here we have Black Elephant in Nostalgia, Pineapple Express, Cornfields, Illusion, Mudbound, Daryl and Charcoal. Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Kid you Not, Silence and Monarch.

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Keeping it British with this combination by using Fenella again but paired with Devonia 4ply. I love being able to use Devonia in this combo, the tones and blend of this yarn will add a real earthy quality. We haven’t had it long here at Knit With Attitude so it’s nice to fantasise about what it can be. Here we have Fenella Baked Cherry, Rhubarb, Constance Spry, Delicot, Wheaten and Roman Plaster. Devonia 4ply in Devonia Cream, Cinder Glow and Sandbar.

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With this I was going with the idea of a hand dyed rainbow. Using the contrast of Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply as a glowing Merino/Silk beam of light. Here we have  Black Elephant in Mystique, Tranquility, Arlandria, Golden Coast, Pineapple Express, Moulin Rouge and Knights of Cydonia. Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply in Natual, Charcoal and Glisten.

I hope these ideas spark some ideas for possibilities in kitting this wonderful shawl!

 

Interview with Petra Schwarczova from Black Elephant

We are really excited to bring a new range of hand dyed yarn to Knit With Attitude and these mini skeins from Black Elephant are no exception. Find the perfect little pops of colour to add to your projects, or looking for that one colour to bridge a gap in a fade. Then mini skeins are for you! Plus it allows you to sample a few different colours, like being in a sweet shop, you won’t be able to resit just one!

blackelephant01These little minis are 4ply weight, Superwash Merino Singles and dyed by Petra Schwarczova the brains behind Black Elephant. Hand Dyed in Sheffield, South Yorkshire
on 20g skeins we have introduced 20 colours. To get to know this great yarn and the dyer read our interview below.

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Petra Schwarczova – Photograph by Mariola Zoladz

What inspired you to start dyeing?

I came across hand dyed yarn when I went for the first time to a yarn show – Yarndale in Skipton. I fell in love instantly, so I bought a starter pack there and started experimenting at home just for fun.

How did the name Black Elephant come about?
Black Elephant is a combination of my surname Schwarcz – which means Black in German and elephant on the front page of the notebook I got from my mum for writing knitting patterns in. She also used to tell me off in my teenage years for walking like an elephant (loud) 🙂

How does your dyeing process start, do you choose a colour or go for more abstract ideas?

Sometimes I choose a colour to start with, but mostly I am experimenting and combining whatever colour combination catches my attention.

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Merino Singles Mini in Hummingbird

Where does your colour inspiration come from?

All sorts of things. Rock music, architecture, paintings, fashion, nature. I can watch a random film and find inspiration in a single shot. I didn’t use to pay much attention to colour combinations before I started dyeing yarn, but now I see it everywhere, all the time. I can’t turn myself off.

Do you have a favourite colour way?

My favourite colourway is always the latest one I have dyed. When I dye something too many times, it’s just becomes too ordinary. It’s like if I was having my favourite meal every single day. It would not be my favourite meal after a month for sure. 🙂

What appeals to you most fades or contrasts in knitting or yarn?

I like all sorts of colour combinations. It depends what kind of project it is. I love as much strong colour contrasts as subtle fading of more earthy, neutral colours.

How long have you been knitting?

Phew, hard to say, I think I was about 11 years old when my grandma taught me. It took me a long time to get better as I was and still am quite an impatient person, so there were needles flying around and lots of yarn cut off needles as I knitted so tight I couldn’t pull it off. 😀 I used to come back to knitting over years, usually just simple scarves as Christmas presents. But I got fully addicted in 2010 when I started making knitting videos for beginners in my native language as there was nothing to learn from in Slovak language on Youtube then so I thought it might be helpful for some Slovakians back home who do not speak any English. I hope I can get back to it once I have a little bit more time.

What are you currently knitting?

Currently nothing, as I have been in the studio non-stop dyeing lots of yarn. But, I have two WIP – Andrea Mowry’s Nurtured sweater and my own design of a hat from leftover yarns (I will be releasing free pattern on Ravelry for it), which I hope to finish over Christmas.

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photograph – instagram.com/blackelephant.uk

We hope you’ve enjoyed this little read as much as we enjoy finally having Black Elephant here at the shop! We are widening our selection to include 100g hanks in several fibre blends and weights come the new year – so keep your eyes peeled on our site!

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.