Yarn of the Week: Bio Lana

Sweater weather, we do love you. I mean, summer is nice and all, but give a knitter sweater weather! To celebrate its return, our yarn of the week is Bio Lana, from the Italian company Mondial. It’s a 100% organic wool spun in Italy. We have it in a range of beautiful natural shades, as well as a few classic dyed colours such as blue, red, eggplant and green. The balls come in 50g, which combined with the colours makes them perfect for colourwork projects, but the stitch definition is also ideal for classic cabled sweaters. It is a slightly more rustic feel than a merino, but is still soft enough for most people to wear as a garment.

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We think that Bio Lana would make a good substitute for Shelter, opening up a range of options with the beautiful pattern offerings from Brooklyn Tweed. They sure do know their way around a cabled sweater! We love Bray by Jared Flood from BT Fall 13. Gorgeous cables with classic styling that make it a sweater you could live in.

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Mondial is one of the oldest yarn brands still operating in Europe, having opened their doors in 1946. Bio Lana is part of their new range of organically produced yarn that are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified.

Use the code BIOLANA15 online to get 15% off Bio Lana until Sunday September 25th, while supplies last. Mention the sale in-store to receive the same offer.

Yarn of the Week: Hokkaido and Shikoku

We have just had the Great London Yarn Crawl through our doors on the weekend, and what a success! It is always one of the most fun days of the year, and really feels like it kicks off the London knitting season. Last year we released the Spitalfields Shawl for the crawl, so this year we are celebrating its first birthday! To help the celebrations we are making the Hokkaido and Shikoku used for the shawl as our Yarn of the Week.

The yarns are by the Danish company Designette and are in fact the same base, however the Hokkaido is solid and the Shikoku is variegated. It is a 4ply raw silk with a nubbly texture that looks best in simple textures such as garter stitch and stocking stitch. The raw silk can be used for anything where drape is a consideration, and perfect for things such as shawls and summer tops.

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Spitalfields uses 2 balls of the solid Hokkaido and 1 ball of the variegated Shikoku, but that could be reversed as well to have the main sections of the shawl variegated instead of solid. Spitalfields Shawl

Designette is a company that is focused on sustainability with their yarn production, and ensures that their yarns in countries with strict and enforced labour laws.

Use the code DESIGN15 online to get 15% off Designette yarns and the Spitalfields kit until Sunday September 18th, while supplies last. Mention the sale in-store to receive the same offer.

George’s Zooey Baby Sweater

I find working here at Knit With Attitude a terrible temptation. Not only is all the yarn stunning, Maya has a wonderful eye and great ethic when choosing the yarns she stocks. So when we started stocking Zooey by Juniper Moon, I just had to give it a go, and to add even more temptation we have just expanded the colour range to a total of nine different colours!

With what seems like summer coming to its peak these past weeks, I think there are still some good excuses to knit some summery garments as the heat mellows into autumn.

Zooey is the perfect yarn for those who like the idea of working with linen but find it too stiff. The yarn is a 60% cotton and 40% linen blend. Which gives you all the joys of both fibres. The cotton softening the linen and the linen strengthening the cotton. This creates a beautifully textured yarn, which has points of slightly thicker and thiner strands which would look gorgeous simply knit in stocking stitch. But as all my friends seem to be either expecting or giving birth right now I stuck with a simple baby cardigan from an old pattern I dug out of my stash. Zooey gets two thumbs up for being washable, so perfect for baby items and those who are worried with woollen aftercare. On the plus side, the more you wash the softer it will become, so on a woollen cycle in the machine at 30° it will reward you again and again.

This cardigan knit up super quick, as baby clothes do, but also because it’s in double knit. All the colours have great nautical names and I went for ‘Rigging’ a kind of coral pink colour. This pattern gives you an idea of the stitch definition and general texture you can achieve. With a slight scalloped and lace detail made by making stitches and decreasing in purl you can see that the detail is not lost, as the yarn has the strength to hold the pattern. I bet it would cable very well. Also there are panels of flat stocking stitch, mainly on the sleeve, which due to the nature of the yarn have a beautiful rustic chic feel which would also give adult garments a lovely finish.

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So the baby in question is not quite with us yet, she is due in September and I can’t wait to see her. Even more I can’t wait to see her in the cardigan, after all we knit things to be worn and see life brought to them. So if you are looking for a lovely DK yarn with a great colour range and a wonderful texture then choose Zooey.

Yarn of the Week: Faerytale

The kids are back at school this week, so that must mean that sweater weather is here soon! And with sweater weather comes hats and scarves as well. It’s the knitter’s time of year. This week’s yarn of the month is Du Store Alpakka’s Faerytale, a 100% brushed alpaca. It has a tightly spun core for strength, but the brushed nature of the fibre means that it feels mostly made of fluff! It is used to its best advantage when knit on a larger needle, as the fluff fills in the space for a piece that is as lightweight as it is warm. As we look towards cooler months, this yarn is wonderful for accessories as well as oversized jumpers. Think 80s mohair jumpers, but for the modern day!

While looking on Ravelry to find patterns that call for Faerytale, we found the Swallow’s Dance Hat, by Marianne J. Bjerkman. It is a free pattern for a cabled hat. The loose gauge works perfectly with the yarn and the cables to create a slouchy look.

Swallow's Dance Hat, photo copyright to Marianne J. Bjerkman.

Swallow’s Dance Hat, photo copyright to Marianne J. Bjerkman.

Du Store Alpakka is a Norwegian company that is an original supporter of the Mirasol project. This project is supported by a number of yarn and fibre companies that source their yarn in Peru. A percentage of profits from the yarn companies goes back to the communities of the workers in Peru to provide educational support for their families in the form of a school. Currently they are working towards raising money to open a secondary school and eventually higher education. You can read more about Du Store Alpakka and the Mirasol project on our website.

Use the code FAERY15 online to get 15% off Du Store Alpakka Faerytale until Sunday September 11th, while supplies last. Mention the sale in-store to receive the same offer.