Yarn of the Week: Excelana 4ply and DK

This week’s yarn of the week comes to you a day late due to the bank holiday weekend, we hope you all had a lovely time in the sunshine if you had the day off! The weather has had a little freshness to it here in London, and it has us turning our minds to jumpers and cardigans for cooler days ahead. What better yarn to feature than Susan Crawford’s Excelana. It is available in a 4ply and DK weight in 50g balls, perfect for colourwork pieces.

Excelana

Susan designed this yarn with a colour palette in mind for her books A Stitch in Time vol. 1 and 2. The muted tones work perfectly together for the vintage style patterns requiring more than one colour. The blend is a 100% British Exmoor Blueface, and it is spun and dyed in Devon by John Arbon Textiles, making this a truly British yarn from start to finish. We are also excited for the possible uses of this yarn in Susan’s upcoming book, The Vintage Shetland Project.

IMG_0604_medium2

One of our favourite sweaters is Susan’s Bowland, which uses 6 colours of Excelana 4ply. The original shown was knit in Sweet Chestnut, Nile Green, Alabaster, Damson Wine, Land Army Green and Dark Mandarin, but the colour combinations are endless for more modern or traditional twists.

Use the code EXCEL15 online to get 15% off Excelana 4ply and/or DK until Sunday September 4th, while supplies last. Mention the sale in-store to receive the same offer.

 

 

Yarn of the Week: Lyonesse 4ply

This week’s yarn is Lyonesse 4ply from Blacker Yarns. Perfect for transitional seasons, it is a blend of Linen and Corriedale/Merino wool. This combination creates a subtle flecked fabric where the two fibres blend together. The yarn can have a very rustic appearance in the ball, but linen softens dramatically with knitting and washing, so don’t let that dissuade you from how fantastic this can feel worn right next to the skin. The linen also helps keep the finished garments from being too warm, making them perfect for the in-between months or cooler summer evenings.

Lyonesse Lapiz

The Drift Raglan Increase Shawl is a free pattern from Blacker, designed by Sonja Bargielowska to use Lyonesse. The simple lace panels with stocking stitch look meditative to knit, and so cozy to wear! You can get the pattern on Ravelry.

_smm80841_1

Blacker Yarns is the yarn business of The Natural Fibre Company, a mill based in Cornwall. As a mill they process yarns for small farms and other yarn businesses, while producing their own yarn as Blacker. Their mill is committed to using 100% British yarns and working with local farms to promote industry and growth, which has also meant championing rare sheep breeds and ethical farming practices. This translates into care for their production methods and reducing waste as much as possible in a responsible way.

Use the code LYON15 online to get 15% off Lyonesse 4ply until Sunday August 28th, while supplies last. Mention the sale in-store to receive the same offer.

Yarn of the Week: Tokonatsu

This week our highlight yarn is Tokonatsu by Noro. This DK weight yarn comes in a range of 8 muted jewel tones. It is a blend of cotton, silk and viscose, making it a wonderful yarn for summer and warmer weather garments. The yarn has a slubby blend, giving the finished fabric a slightly tweedy texture. This effect makes a wonderful canvas for stocking stitch, simple textures and stripes.

tokonatsu

For patterns, our favourite is Peridot, from the Noro Jewels collection booklet (available in-store only). The dolman sleeve design has a simple eyelet feature in a chevron for the front, which shows off the texture of the yarn beautifully.

Peridot_Tokonatsu_Noro

Noro has been making yarns in Japan under the guidance of its founder, Eisaku Noro, for over 40 years. All their fibre is sourced from certified organic farms which the company is actively involved in sourcing. They maintain strict standards to ensure a low environmental impact, from dye exhaust to machinery.

Use the code NORO15 online to get 15% off Tokonatsu until Sunday August 21st, while supplies last. Mention the sale in-store to receive the same offer.

Yarn Pairings for Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 18 Autumn 2016

We may still be experiencing summer temperatures, but it can be hard for a knitter to not cast their eye ahead to the next season, when it may only be a few weeks away! What better time to get a head start on cooler weather garments and accessories than long summer days? Here at the shop we have the shade cards laid out and we are picking lots of new colours and yarns for the coming seasons, we can’t wait for you to see it all!

In the mean time, Pom Pom Quarterly are as ever filling us with inspiration with the 11 designs in their latest Autumn issue. We have the issue available online and in the shop. It was shot in Hampstead Heath by Rachel Hayton. The issue focuses on naturally dyed yarns, and features articles by notable natural dyers such as Kristine Vejar,Caitlin ffrench and Emma Price.

PP_Cover_18_HR-rgb

We were all swooning over Asklöv by Nicolina Lindsten. This two colour hat has endless possibilities for customization with colours, and would be suitably unisex. The original was knit in a soft yellow and ivory white, but we can’t help but dream of more combinations. We are looking at Blacker Yarn’s Tamar for inspiration. Charcoal and pale blue? Berry pink and grey? Forest green and lime? Too many choices!

Asklov-by-Nicolina-Lindsten-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-18-Autumn-2016

Florence is a beautiful stole/wrap by the talented Bristol Ivy. It is knit modularly, with each section joined to the previous through picking up stitches or increases and decreases. It is sure to be an interesting knit! We would knit it in an ombre of the natural shades of Purl Alpaca Fine.

Florence-by-Bristol-Ivy-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-18-Autumn-2016

Iara is a beautiful scarf is by local to us designer Renée Callahan. It features a stunning stripe and slipped stitch design to create a graphic mosaic pattern. The lush colours of Scrumptious 4ply would shine in this scarf.

Iara-by-Renée-Callahan-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-18-Autumn-2016-1

Kaali is a pair of simple fingerless mittens by Fiona Alice. The main yarn is accented by small amounts of contrast colours in the cuffs. These are great stash busters, or a perfect excuse to match up unusual combinations. It would be the perfect use of Susan Crawford’s Fenella, which could be matched up with Excelana DK.

Kali-by-Fiona-Alice-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-18-Autumn-2016

Next up is Rocquaine by Christina Danaee, which has made its way onto a few of our to-knit lists! This is a modern take on a classic gansey style, with split hems and a textured yoke. We think it would be so dreamy to any day of the week! The only trouble would be picking a shade of John Arbon Knit By Numbers DK to knit it in!

Rocquaine-by-Christina-Danaee-Pom-Pom-QuaterlyIssue-18-Autumn-2016

Next up is Serafine by Camille Rosselle. This pullover is knit top down, with cables that extend to hide a Kangaroo pocket in the front! The design has appeal for knitters of all ages, and in an aran weight is sure to keep its wearer warm and cozy. Almerino Aran by Rooster Yarns would provide a snuggly fabric with a bit of drape that would match well with the design.

Serafine-by-Camille-Rosselle-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-18-Autumn-2016

Tannins is the last of the scarves for the issue. Designed by Sally Oakley, it features a broomstick lace pattern and a dramatic fringe. The crisp stitch pattern is perfectly suited to a yarn like Mondial’s Bio Lana.

Tannis-by-Sally-Oakley-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-18-Autumn-2016

Tevara is another luscious sweater, designed by Paula Periera. This sweater is all business in the front, with gentle twisted rib cuffs, collar and hem. The back is all party, featuring a large statement twisted rib design panel. We would love to see it in the equally lush Terra from The Fibre Co. Tevara-by-Paula-Pereira.-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-18-Autumn-2016-1Hanna Maciejewska’s Thessaly is the only cardigan of the issue. It features an open front with textured cable panels creating the bands and collar. The body of the sweater is knit in reversed stocking stitch. A yarn like Almerino DK from Rooster yarns would provide the crispness for the textured stitches, with plenty of drape for on open sweater. Thessaly-by-Hanna-Maciejewska-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-18-Autumn-2016

Turion by Linda Dubec rounds out the accessories. These otherwise simple mittens have a leaf pattern made with a series of cables and bobbles. Vivacious DK would make those bobbles pop against the reverse stocking stitch fabric. Turion-by-Linda-Dubec-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-18-Autumn-2016

Last but not least, we have Vellamo, the cover girl! Francesca Hughes has created a beautiful striped sweater with an overall zigzag stitch pattern made with increases and decreases and alternating bands of garter stitch and stocking stitch. We thing the lovely shades of The Fibre Co.’s Cumbria would sing in this design. Vellamo-by-Francesca-Hughes-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-18-Autumn-2016

That’s it for our recap of the Autumn 2016 issue of Pom Pom. We can’t wait to see your knits from this issue.

Yarn of the Week: Serena

We would like to reintroduce an old favourite of ours, Yarn of the Week! We will highlight one yarn from the shop every week, with an offer and inspiration for projects.

Our first yarn is Serena, from Manos del Uruguay. This yarn is a 4ply/fingering weight blend of alpaca and cotton. It makes for a lightweight yarn with plenty of drape and movement, perfect for summer tops as well as shawls and accessories. It is kettle dyed for subtle semi-solids and carefully chosen variegated colour combinations with a stonewash finish.

serena

For patterns, we love this sweet summer top, Melo by Miriam L. Felton, available on Ravelry. It uses Serena as the main yarn, and then a worsted single such as Terra for the stripes. What a great combo!

2013a-1_medium2

Melo by Miriam L. Felton. Image copyright Fairmount Fibers.

Manos del Uruguay is a registered Fair Trade yarn company from Uruguay, focusing on generating work for rural craftswomen. All of its yarns are manufactured according to Fair Trade regulations, generating fair and meaningful work for its employees.

Use the code SERENA15 online to get 15% off Serena until Sunday August 14th, while supplies last. Mention the sale in-store to receive the same offer.