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!

 

Time for a new Project – Inspiration for Plumpy By Andrea Mowry

Sometimes those patterns come along and I think wow, I would love to give that a go. This pattern is no exception, I have seen it popping up over instagram recently, as the buzz starts to spread. It’s Plumpy by Andrea Mowry. We all know Andrea as the Queen of Fades, with popular patterns like So Faded and Find Your Fade. But she is also a master of texture, as seen in Wool & Honey and Birds of a Feather. But I think Plumpy plays to all of these strengths.

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Knit in Garter Stitch and Brioche, you already know its is going to give you oodles of possibility to play with colour. In a practical asymmetrical triangle shape, its the perfect wrap to keep your neck warm this winter. What I really like about it, is it’s DK! I think there is a massive trend for 4ply shawls which leaves our beautiful DK yarns a little neglected. But don’t worry they won’t be neglected for much longer!

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You can play with three or four colours in this shawl, so I have put a little inspirational colour palette together using: Hedgehog Fibre Merino DK and Fyberspates Vivacious DK. These hand dyed merino yarns play together beautifully, allowing you the opportunity to contrast speckles and solids in interesting ways. I love pairing these two yarns together and find myself doing it over Fyberspates and Hedgehogs 4ply bases as well.

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From left to right – Hedgehog Fibres Merino Dk in Seed, Cereal, Fools Gold / Fyberspates Vivacious DK in Sunshine.

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From left to right – Hedgehog Fibres Merino Dk in Monarch, Hawk, / Fyberspates Vivacious DK in Copper Tones, Peach Bellini.

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From left to right – Hedgehog Fibres Merino Dk in Genie, Beach Bunny, / Fyberspates Vivacious DK in Sea Glass, Deep Aqua.

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From left to right – Hedgehog Fibres Merino Dk in Heyday, Pistachio / Fyberspates Vivacious DK in Heavenly, Mixed Magentas.

I hope that this has got you craving a cosy DK shawl to wrap up in. There is something so plump and inviting about Merino Yarn in a DK weight, I just want to dive straight into this project!

Yarn Pairings for Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 27 – Winter 2018

This is a sumptuous and rich issue of Pom Pom. Think warmth, heavy cables and some opulent victorian styling. This issue is a collaboration with Norah Gaughan who is involved as guest editor. She worked with the idea of tough Victoriana. Not the traditional notion of the delicate lady surrounded by flowers, but a woman of strength and resilience, a warrior.

I’ve gone through the patterns in this issue and put together some yarn pairing suggestions, to get you inspired.

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First up we have Arbor Vitae by Joji Locatelli is a top down seamless sweater with a striking cabled yoke. Knit in an merino single this is calling for Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles. Choose one of the deep moody semi solid shades like Plump, Spell, Raven or Copper Penny. A fun touch you can add at the end are these little tassels.   PPQ27_WINTER18_ArborVitae_JojiLocatelli_0644_WEB_medium2

Next is Ataraxia by Linda Marveng is a dramatic cardigan, knit in pieces, then seamed. Richly textured and with a lot of detail. Knit in a silk blend it would look stunning in Kettle Yarn – Islington DK with its rich colour palette to choose from.

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Next is a jacket, the Christabel by Andrea Rangel. Knitted in a tight gauge this jacket will be structural and warm. Knitted tightly to give a dense fabric that holds it’s shape. A tough wooly yarn I think is required here, like Hey Mama Wolf – Schafwolle #03.

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Next the Galewood by Honor Adams. An intriguing pair of mittens worked in the round with an interesting braided detail running along the length. A fun yarn full of colour will make these really stand out. The range of brights and neutrals in Garnsurr – Søkke Merino will give you plenty to choose from.

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Nightingale by Norah Gaughan, is incredibly opulent sweater featuring dramatic cables, gathered sleeves and a picot neckline. Incredibly rich and inviting, it needs a yarn with good definition. Try Spud & Chloé Sweater.

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Nimue by Cirilia Rose is an oversized but flattering slouchy top, which is perfect for adding layers in the cold weather. A cable motif in the centre, which is framed by the interesting angle of the sleeves. Try this in the Fibre Co – Luma.

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Cables seem to characterise this issue and Nonesuch by Veronik Avery uses them in a a clever way. Running along the front and on the back they create a pleasing shape. Flattering and cosy.  Hillesvåg – Tinde with its array of rich colours and great definition would be perfect for this

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Osmunda by Boadicea Binnerts is a bold design, with an impactful bobble pattern on the lower arms. This jumper is all about the texture, contrasting stitches in the body create a playful shape. Knit in a chainette yarn Du Store Alpakka’s – Hexa is a flexible choice which will give you great drape and is oh so soft!

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Sojourner by Xandy Peters is a classic triangular shawl. Simple, but with a stylish use of stitch structure, it’s guaranteed to be a go to layer this winter. Choose two complimentary colours for a subtle look. Knit in a Yak / Silk blend, it has to be Ketle Yarn – Beyul with its rich array of colours it will lend itself perfectly to a sophisticated wrap.

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Willowwood by Caitlin Hunter reminds me of leaded glass windows. With drop shoulders and generous sleeves that also feature another trademark of this issue, bobbles! Again this is knit in a chainette so go Du Store Alpakka’s – Hexa, with a wide range of colours that will suit the pattern.

This issue is definitely worth a look, in it’s photography alone. Its stunning and opulent and the over the top designs will become pieces that last forever. I hope you are inspired to knit some.

 

 

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.