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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New Yarn: Ístex Bulkylopi

A firm favourite here at Knit with attitude is the Léttlopi, but this yarn has just got supersized! In the form of Bulkylopi, what a fun yarn to see you into the winter. Like the Léttlopi, its made form 100% sturdy Icelandic wool, and comes in a variety of natural shades. I can see this becoming a much loved yarn.

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A single ply chunky yarn, which is perfect for anything from colour work jumpers, to big cosy sofa blankets. Affordable but also durable. The inner fibres of this yarn are fine, soft and highly insulating. The outer fibres are long, glossy and water-repellent. Together, these two distinctive fibres create a wool that is, lightweight, water-repellent and breathable. The  wool is bought directly from the farmers in Iceland and then scoured in the town of Blönduós in north of the country. The wool is then taken to be spun in a mill in Mosfellsbaer nearby Reykjavik. This yarn is Icelandic through and through.

As with any new yarn we are excited to show you some possibilities to get the creativity flowing. Here are a couple patterns to get you started:

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Everyone needs more project bags right? The Lopi Tote by Heidi Gustad is a super cute large project bag for all those projects on the go. Knit in two skeins of Bulkyopi, this deep wide bottom bag can hold a lot. Finished off with leather bag handles from Jūl for the perfect elegant touch.

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Ever wanted to try an Icelandic yoked sweater but thought it might be to time consuming. Well thats what a chunky yarn is for. Knit on 9mm and 10mm needles this project will race along. Rosa by Védís Jónsdóttir is a simple yoked sweater worked in the round. A perfect one for the beginner.

I hope you have been inspired to knit with the Bulkyopi, browse the colours online or come in store and see it in person.

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.

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.

 

 

 

New Yarn: The Fibre Co. – Lore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time for a new Project – Inspiration for Texture Time

The whirlwind of a designer Stephen West (Wesknits) is doing it again. It’s his Mystery Knit Along! We have been obsessing with Colour and Texture here recently. Hand dyed yarn and something fluffy. Is there anything better! Stephen’s new pattern is called ‘Texture Time’. As this is a mystery we have no idea what it will look like, we just have the yarn requirements. Four skeins of a 4ply/Fingerweight yarn and then something Fluffy like a Mohair or Brushed Alpaca. We couldn’t be more excited about this new Mystery KAL! Especially since we have had a big restock of Garnsurr and have plenty of our firm favourites Hedgehog Fibres as well. There is also plenty of fuzzy, fluffy yarns to mix in, the possibilities are endless.

If you are finding it hard to come up with a combination, then below we have put together some fun ideas combining yarns we think will work well. Hopefully these will inspire you to brave the Mystery Knit Along.

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Keep the Summer going with this bright yellow combo. Featuring from left to right: Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Sneivin, Frevil/Shauparak, Gryteflaks #19 and Fonne/Bered. Hedgehog Fibres Kid Silk Lace in UFO.

02-texture-time-knit-with-attitude-INSTA-SQUAREThis cool and sophisticated option combines blues and purples. From left to right: Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in Method. Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply in Heavenly. Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Marisup and Ulone. Du Store Alpakka Faerytale in Grey Blue 740.

03-texture-time-knit-with-attitude-INSTA-SQUAREThis hot combination is full of colour pops, one for the wild at heart. From left to right: Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Tesu, Gryteflaks #21 and Ansam. Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in Pinky Swear. Hedgehog Fibres Kid Silk Lace in Heyday.

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Dreaming of the deep blue sea, what about these? From left to right: Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in Deep End, Beach Bunny and Fly. Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Griug/Wakaca. Du Store Alpakka Faerytale in Turquoise 716.

05-texture-time-knit-with-attitude-INSTA-SQUAREMake your friends green with envy! From left to right: Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply in Sea Green. Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Gryteflaks #11. Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply in Sea Glass. Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Risgard. Fyberspates Cumulus in Bottle Green.

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This deeply devilish combo is rich and moody. From left to right: Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in Plump and Pheasant. Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Hørningen and Jarbær. Fyberspates Cumulus in Magenta.

I hope you have found these ideas inspiring. We always love putting colours together. So grab your needles and yarn and let’s see where Stephen West takes us.

 

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.

Why Knit with attitude

Hello Maya…

I refer to the email I received today.*

Knitting is for myself and many others a creative art and very therapeutic. However when knitting is used for political statements and activity it takes away from the magic and efficacy of this beautiful craft. I would urge you to think carefully about the statement that you and your group have created and ask yourself if your group intention falls within the true and virtuous spirit of the knitting tradition.

Kind regards XXXXX

*Knit with attitude’s July newsletter inviting to join in on the #eastlondonknitters #sayballstotrump project.

Dear XXXXX

Thank you for writing to me expressing your concerns about Knit with attitude’s recent political statements and activity. The large majority of responses we received on the #sayballstotrump project have been overwhelmingly positive, but a few negative ones have been abusive and rude statements on my social media feed, and unlike your email they are worthy of nothing but to be ignored. I do understand that you must be a passionate knitter and I really do appreciate your email as it does open up for dialogue, but maybe most importantly, by writing to me you served me an opportunity to reflect on and remind myself of the very values that constitutes Knit with attitude.

I wholeheartedly agree with you in that knitting is a beautiful creative art, however I also strongly disagree with you in what constitutes this wonderful craft’s magical and virtuous qualities in that I believe these to reach much further than what you describe. As an art knitting fulfills many purposes. We can all find serenity and inner peace by admiring a beautifully painted scenery, similarly as knitters we find joy in admiring beautifully knitted pieces where particularly difficult techniques have been used. But it is the though provoking mind altering paintings that open up to dialogue and force real change, and similarly, for myself and many knitters knitting is also a powerful tool of expression.

Knitting used for political action has long roots coming to the true and virtuous tradition of knitting. In the US as an example, from the American Revolution in the 1760s, throughout the abolition and women’s suffrage movements, to what we are seeing today with the #pussyhat project and #metoo campaign – knitting is a symbol of activism that dates back hundreds of years closely linked to issues concerning race, gender and class. There are lots and lots of resources online about the political history of knitting – from academic research papers, historical documents and more contemporary news articles – this is a topic you can really dive into if you feel intrigued to learn more about it – it is truly fascinating I promise you. Personally I feel both grateful and privileged to belong to a community with such a proud history in standing up against injustice and which communicates virtues as open mindedness, acceptance, equality and inclusivity.

The #eastlondonyarntriangle pic-knit on World Wide Knit in Public Day 2018

The #eastlondonyarntriangle pic-knit on World Wide Knit in Public Day 2018

And it exactly this it all boils down to – the knitting community! I wish we could, but Knit with attitude really can’t take credit for what you refer to as ‘your group’ and their statements and activity as the #eastlondonknitters #sayballstotrump protest, neither can the other two London yarn shops involved in the project. But all three of us are immensely proud and happy about helping to encourage and facilitate such activity and engagement brought forward by the very passionate knitters in our community – they are not one defined group belonging to anyone. We, the three shops forming East London Yarn Triangle, collaborated in arranging a pic-knit on World Wide Knit in Public Day, which had a wonderful turn out bringing all these knitters together engaging with each other. And this is where the true magic happened!

East London knitters with friends

East London knitters with friends. Photo credit ©Vicky Bamforth

President Trump’s visit had evoked a lot of emotion throughout London, also amongst those of us who attended the pic-knit, and together we came up with the idea about a hand knitted banner with witch we could make our voices heard against hatred, sexism and injustice joining the forthcoming Trump Visit Protest March. This initiative quickly spread on social media and soon the project reached far beyond East London. We received rectangles from all over the world, hand knitted in soft wool and decorated with humour underlining the powerful message all of these knitters were so eager to express. What was created was this beautifully constructed banner – an absolutely amazing piece of art! Through the #sayballstotrump project knitters from all over the world became an ‘East London Knitter’ claiming ownership of the statement made.

The #sayballstotrump banner

The #sayballstotrump banner. Photo credit ©Vicky Bamforth

I have to admit, for me personally, the day of the protest was emotional. I felt so empowered and inspired to be part of such a community project, everyone who joined the project were linked into the very weave of the fabric that posed the message, ‘joined together’ in solidarity with the statement we all made. Together with 250 000 others #eastlondonknitters gathered and marched thought the streets bearing our message on behalf of every single knitter and crafter that joined the project. It was a wonderfully festive, happy and diverse protest march!

The Trump Visit Protest March, London 2018. Photo credit ©Vicky Bamforth

The Trump Visit Protest March, London 2018. Photo credit ©Vicky Bamforth

For me knitting is political by its very nature, involving a huge variety of political issues. From making sure that techniques, historical records, traditional patterns and knowledge are being passed on and maintained through education in schools and public libraries, to recognising the therapeutic qualities of knitting and campaigning to have them academically researched or working to introduce knitting as a tool for motor skills recovery or mental health issues – and I’ve already mentioned the knitting community as a whole expressing values as open-mindedness and inclusivity which directly translates to anti-racism, anti-fascism, and anti-sexism – many many knitters express opinions about these issues every day through their act of knitting involving topics which are highly current and heavily debated world wide and that also involve educational, health care and gender policies on a very practical more local level.

Knitting in the context of history and activism is something I’ve been thinking carefully about throughout my adult life – and the want to express something I feel very passionate about through my love for knitting was what spurred me into setting up Knit with attitude nearly 9 years ago. I was incredibly inspired by the environmental campaigns that was happening at the time especially the ‘Knit a River’ project initiated by Gerard Allt and his London shop Iknit in conjunction with the charity WaterAid in 2006, fascinated by the attitudes expressed using knitting I really wanted to become part of this scene, hence the name Knit with attitude! Yes, it is a business, it is a yarn shop of which I am trying very hard to make a decent living, but as one says – a small business is always an extension of of the person behind it – and this is also the case with Knit with attitude. I did choose a difficult route for myself and my business as Knit with attitude is a yarn shop specialising in ethical, sustainable, and cruelty-free yarns, it is my intention and hope that to run a business with such a strong ethos will be able to prove sustainable at the same time as it takes a clear stand coming to consumption and materialism, the environment, animal care, modern slavery and fair trade.

The Knit a River project. Photo credit IKnit.

The Knit a River project. Photo credit ©IKnit.

I am so sorry that this turned out to be the longest email response, but after all in your email you are questioning my personal moral standard and this struck quite a few chords which I feel needed to be explained. Also, your email is well written in a polite and respectful manner and I do believe that you deserve a proper answer. But there is one more thing your email made me aware of, and which I would like to thank you for making me realise this as it is an issue which everyone at Knit with attitude needs to pay more attention to. Although our ethos is held so highly here in the shop, the fact that you as our customer are unaware of this might be the case of it being so obvious to us spending every day in the shop that we have fallen behind in communicating our political beliefs clearly to everyone. We like to think that Knit with attitude is a yarn shop open for all and inclusive of everyone no matter their gender, race, sexual orientation, political or religious beliefs – and it is heartbreaking to think that someone would feel unwelcome based on our activist engagement. I am also sorry if this comes as a complete surprise to you and leaves you disappointed – still there can be no doubt about this – Knit with attitude is a business that has strong political views.

As I want to make our stand very clear and as I see the need to communicate this more widely I have decided to publish your email (anonymously of course) and my response on the Knit with attitude blog so that more people can see where KWA is coming from and what we are all about. Again, I am grateful for the opportunity you gave me to do this and I do hope that we will see you again whether it is online or in store.

I wish you a truly wonderful day,
Maya