Time for a New Project – Inspiration for Navelli by Caitlin Hunter

When a project comes along and is, light and summery, involves colour work, knit in merino singles, stylish and looks like a fun project to knit. I’m totally there. The new Navelli by Caitlin Hunter has me hooked. What with the burst of fun new Skinny Singles here at Knit With Attitude, literally a whole wall of them! What better time to start this project.

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Navelli is named for an ancient town in Italy, known as the land of crocuses and saffron. A relaxed lightweight summer sweater, knit in the round from the bottom up. With the most amazing panel of colour work at the bottom. Boxy shaping with a wide boat neck, it is a great edition to the summer wardrobe.

We have a lot of merino singles in right now, so it’s the perfect time to start. Here I have put some colour suggestions together to get your creativity flowing.

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This combo has a touch of the seaside about it, the waves washing up against the shore. Good contrast is given for the colour work section to really make it stand out.

From left to right we have Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Silence, Black Elephant Merino Singles in Golden Coast and Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Cedar.

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A warmer version here with a touch of neon. I think you can be brave when it comes to colour work projects. Adding a little flash of something bright and daring as one of the colours, can really lift it and make it stand out.

From left to right we have Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Seed, Kid You Not and Cedar.

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This has to be my favourite combo. I’m loving the mustardy green colour against the pinks. Bits of green are picked out in the palest colour, giving a little connection but not being too similar.

From left to right we have Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Bloom, Rosewood and Kelp.

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I chose the palest of speckles for the main colour in this one, it will really make the colour work pattern pop out. Quite an elegant combo I think

From left to right we have Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Dune, Purr and Typewriter.

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Another fiery combination but this time with a pale speckle as the main colour. Orange is the overriding theme that unites all the colours. Though I think there is enough contrast so the pattern won’t get lost.

From left to right we have Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Monarch, Copper Penny and Black Elephant Merino Singles in Nostalgia.

So here are a few ideas to get you started, but I know that is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many colours to choose from. I think the key with colour work projects is to get a good amount of tonal contrast between the colours you choose, even if they are the same or different. That way the pattern will be the most defined and interesting.

Happy Knitting!

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

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!