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

Yarn Pairings for Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 25 – Summer 2018

New magazine days are always fun here at the shop, and we are absolutely in love with the latest issue from Pom Pom Quarterly. Summer 2018 is Issue 25 for them and it does not disappoint. Spring can be a bit of a tricky season for knitwear but here there is loads of inspiration. One reason this issue is so good is that they have picked one of the best hot weather themes, it’s all about stripes! There are 11 patterns, ranging from sweaters, t-shirts, wraps and even a practical bag. We have matched each pattern with a yarn available here in the shop to help inspire your knitting and summer projects. The yarns featured are all fantastic for summer projects, and highlights some of the non-wool and vegan yarns that we carry. 

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First up is Anni, by Gina Röckenwagner, a t-shirt that is simple in shape but not in style! It features both horizontal and vertical stripes using three colours, with one of the colours used for solid cuffs, hem and neckline. There is so much fun to be had with this pattern in terms of choosing colours, from bold contrasts to more subtle shades. With this in mind we would recommend the Nurturing Fibres Eco-Cotton, which we carry in 18 different colours.

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Next up is Bayadere, by Lori Versaci. This boxy, oversized sweater is a cozy best friend to reach for all year round! Knit up in a cotton/wool blend like Spud & Chloë Sweater it works brilliantly as a transitional garment between the seasons, as well as those unseasonably cold evenings that are inevitable in a British summer! It uses three colours in a mix of textural stripes.

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Deauville by Tina Tse is versatile boxy tank top. Worked in stripes that seem simple from afar, they also feature a subtle texture up close that stops it from being too stark. The recommended yarn is one we carry, Wool and the Gang’s Shiny Happy Cotton, its wide colour palette again means that there are loads of options for colour combinations.

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Herrera by Paula Pereira would make a fantastic beach cover up with it’s boxy super oversized casual look. Knit in a linen it is also easy care and will only get better with age and wear. We recommend the Växbo Lin Lingarn 12/2 which comes in a wide range of bright summery colours.

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Next up is Lia Moya’s Judoka, a striped bag with a fun construction. Knit in one long piece it is then seamed to create the over all shape, and two corners are knotted to create the handle. Using a few colours of stripes this would be a good stash buster to use up leftover bits and bobs, but we would also love to see it in the Nurturing Fibres Eco-Fusion, a blend of bamboo and cotton.

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Leiden one of our favourite patterns out of this issue, but we might be biased as it was designed by Natalie Selles, our resident knitting teacher here at the shop! It turns usual striped tops on its head by including chevron stripes that run both vertically and horizontally in a panel that is knit first. Stitches are then picked up and knit outwards from there, joining up with the back to knit the sides and sleeves. There are attached i-cord edgings for a polished finish on all the hems and cuffs. Because of the modular construction there is absolutely no seaming in this top! Overall this top works as a both formal and casual wardrobe addition that is sure to get plenty of use in any wardrobe. To add to the comfortable feel of the shirt, we would love to see it knit up in The Fibre Co.’s Luma, a summery lush blend of wool, cotton, linen and silk.

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Macklin by Susanne Sommer is a beautiful oversized wrap knit using short rows to create a bias for maximum drape. The brioche is two colour with hardly and contrast, and then 2 contrasting stripe colours for a total of four colours used all together. We think that Hedgehog Skinny Singles would work brilliantly for this project, with loads of colour options to choose from. The contrasting stripe colours use only a very small amount of yarn, so perfect for using up any leftovers you may have from other projects.

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Nasreen by Lana Jois is another pattern taking traditional garter stitch stripes and turning them slightly on their head for a biased effect. The tunic shape is easy to wear, featuring a rib at the top and bottom and a finished edge on the armhole worked in a single colour. A yarn such as Stollen Stitches Nua, a mix of merino, yak and linen, continues the drapey feel of the design.

Nasreen_by_Lana_Jois_Pom_Pom_Quarterly_Issue_25_Summer_2018_07_medium2Another top using the garter ridge stripes is Riley, by Amy Christoffers. It features a bottom panel knit side to side, from which the centre panel is knit vertically on both the front and the back, last of all the side panels are picked up and knit outwards towards the sleeves. This is another perfect occasion to use the Nurturing Fibres Eco-Cotton, with it’s range of colours and soft fabric.

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The last garment from this issue is Tarmac, by resident Pom Pom writer Anna Maltz. This swingy tank top is worked from top-down using a provisional cast on to work the front and back separately, before joining again at the underarms to work the rest of the body. The shape is created from yarn over increases in the body, and all the edges are finished with a striped applied i-cord edging. For something this lightweight we love the idea of knitting it up in The Fibre Co. Meadow, a luxurious blend of merino, llama, silk and linen.

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Last but not least is Vasarley, an oversized wrap from Julie Dubreux of Julie Knits in Paris. The rectangular wrap is worked from the centre of one of the short sides for a chevron/bias effect. It is worked in two colours using slipped stitches to create the overall striped look. For an extra drapey look Manos del Uruguay’s Serena would be perfect.

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This issue is proof that knitting doesn’t have to be confined to the winter months, there are so many options and ideas for summery, hot weather garments and accessories out there! Any pieces catching your eye? The issue is currently up for pre-order on the website and will be shipped out by May 25, 2018.

Yarn Pairings for Pom Pom Issue 20 Spring 2017

We’ve had another knockout issue arrive from Pom Pom Quarterly! The Spring 2017 issue is number 20, and is jam packed with sweaters and accessories to bring you through to the warmer months.

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The cover shawl is a beautiful and wearable Arrosa by Jennifer Weissman. It uses 2 skeins of Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock, which we have lots of in-stock at the moment. An extra lovely detail is to use a leftover bit of yarn in a contrast colour for the bind off to create a pop of colour.

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Astera by Grace Gouin is a practical take on a market shopping bag. Using Shiny Happy Cotton held double you would get a sturdy fabric that would hold it’s shape and whatever you threw into it as well. We also have beautiful handmade leather handles in the shop from Jul designs to complete your bag.

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Bombus is the first of the sweater designs in this issue. The cardigan, designed by Miriam Jarrs, seamlessly manages to combine a bomber jacket with a quilted bed jacket and come out the other side looking stylish! The top down design would work well in a yarn that holds its stitch definition well, like Fyberspates Vivacious DK.

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While Pom Pom is primarily a knitting magazine, they do usually include a crochet pattern as well. This issue has Hanabira, a top down cardigan by Eline Alcocer. The flower petal detail at the cuffs and hem leave endless options for personalization, and with one of our newest yarns, Blue Sky Fibers Baby Alpaca Sport, there’s lots of colour options!

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Izumi is our favourite sweater in the issue, though we may be biased as it was designed by our own Natalie Selles! This sweatshirt style pullover has a plain stocking stitch body and sleeves, with a gorgeous cabled and lace stitch pattern in the shoulder areas and cuffs. We would love to see it knit up in John Arbon Knit By Numbers, which with a buttery soft hand would only make this sweater even more lush!

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Melli is another wearable cardigan pattern from Camille Rosselle. This boxy jumper is oversized but cropped for more practicality. The subtle bee stitch texture breaks up the reverse stocking stitch would work well with both speckled yarns as shown in the sample, or in a solid as well. With speckled texture what other yarn could you recommend than Hedgehog Fibres Merino DK.

Odonata-Pom-Pom-Quaterly-Issue-20-Spring-2017The last pullover pattern of the issue is Odonata by Courtney Cedarholm. The tunic length adds a bit of drama to it, with a smocked effect cable on the front, and a plain stocking stitch back and sleeves, with a ribbed and rolled edge. The drape of wool and silk blend of the Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply would be perfect for this pattern.

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The hat pattern of this issue is designed by Anna Maltz. Signal features 6 colours of a 4ply yarn. We love the colour options of a yarn like CoopKnits Socks Yeah! which comes in 16 shades. You would be sure to be able to find a combination that was just right for you.

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The last cardigan is Tinea, designed by Rachel Brockman. The drop shoulder style lends itself well to the upper shoulder design on the back, and the option of doing the ribbing in a contrast colour adds a bit of fun! Findley DK from Juniper Moon has a crispness that would show off the stitch pattern, and drape for the open fronts design.

We can’t wait to see what you make from the issue, it’s always fun to see people’s knits and choices. The magazine is on sale in the store and online.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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!

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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.

 

 

Yarn Pairings for Making No.1 Flora

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How beautiful is our latest arrival? It’s of Making No.1 Flora, the first issue of a brand new magazine from Carrie Bostick Hoge of Madder Made. We could not be more excited here at the shop, and have been cooing and exclaiming over it all morning! This inaugural issue includes contributions from 21 different designers and makers across multiple craft disciplines, including knitting, crochet, sewing, cooking and embroidery.

As always we love to see the knitting patterns, and to pair them up with yarns we have in the shop.

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The first pattern is Branches and Buds, by the editor herself, Carrie Bostick Hoge. The pattern features a modern take on a classic colourwork yoked sweater in two high contrast colours. The little buds are added afterwards, the perfect use of leftover bits of yarn we all have. We would knit the main sweater up in Susan Crawford’s Excelana DK.

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Next up is the Flora Cardi and Cowl, also by Carrie Bostick Hoge. These two patterns use the same lace stitch, along the collar and fronts of the cardigan, and as an allover design for the cowl (or snood as we would say in the UK!). Worked up in different yarn weights it is an interesting way to see the same stitch pattern in different settings. The cardigan would have wonderful drape and be light as a feather in Fyberspates Scruptious Lace, while the snood would have more body with a heavier yarn such as Du Store Alpakka Fin.

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Susan B. Anderson has created a sweet pair of fairy dolls that tuck into little flower beds. A Flower Fairy would be a lovely toy for a wide range of ages. Blacker Swan comes in many colours to knit the flowers and leaves of your choice.

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Marigold is a seamless bottom up cardigan by Cecily Gowick MacDonald. With its shawl collar, 3/4 length sleeves and a lace panel up the back, it is an effortless addition to any summer wardrobe. We have 8 shades of the called for The Fibre Co. Meadow in stock to knit it in.

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Another cardigan is Silver Leaf, by Hannah Fettig. This sweater has full length sleeves, and a deep lace motif on the fronts and collar. This design is a good transitional garment from warm days to chilly evenings, and would fit perfectly in England’s potentially dreary days. Noro’s Tokonatsu is a cotton/silk/viscose blend that would create a perfect summer cardigan to cozy up in without overheating!

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Tulip Fields, by Dawn Catanzaro is a shawlette knit in garter stitch. With laceweight yarn and a deep diamond and zigzag border, an otherwise winter stitch becomes light and airy for summer evenings. We are dreaming of it knit up in Kettle Yarn Co. Beyul.

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The Violet Cap and Bonnet, by Melissa LaBarre is another example of a stitch pattern being used for slightly different pieces. The bonnet is sized for babies and children with a practical tie under the chin to stay on, while the cap is sized for adults. They would both be beautiful in Fyberspates Scruptious 4ply.

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Last but not least is the Wildflowers Cap by Mary Jane Mucklestone. If you have to wear a wooly cap in the summer, it might as well have flowers on it! We would choose two shades of Mondial Bio Lana for ours. And we might need it with the week that London is having at the moment!

There are many more craft projects in this issue to enjoy, we have just highlighted the knitting ones first. How to choose the next project!

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Yarn Pairings for Pom Pom Issue 17 Summer 2016

Issue-17-Cover-ImageThere has been so much anticipation for this latest issue of Pom Pom here at Knit with attitude, especially after hosting the samples for Yarn Shop Day at the end of April. It’s finally here! The garments fit perfectly with our Summer Top KAL, and even better, we’ve just received loads of new summer yarns here in the shop that are just right for summer knitting. We have brand new linen and cotton/linen blends, as well as top ups and new colours in lots of other summery fibres.

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First up we have Altair by Joanne Scrace. This triangle shawl is a take on the granny square classic, but with a more modern twist. Worked from one corner to the next, it is easily adaptable for yardage depending on what you plan to use. We think the bright colours of Botany Lace would be a fun summer piece to pull on over summer dresses.

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Catchyfly, by Wencke Lucas is a great example of how to take a tweed yarn, something usually associated with winter, and bring it into the summer months. We think that Terra, which is wool and silk would add to that lux feel while having drape as well.

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Lynn Brennan’s Hollis is an unusual piece in that it is knitted with clothesline cord! We don’t have any cotton that thick to recommend, but we have some beautiful leather and metal handles by Jul Design that would be the perfect finishing touch. Check them out the next time you are in our neighbourhood.

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Nouri is Maya’s favourite! Carol Feller designed this oversized pullover sweater with a lace detail over one hip. The sleeves are done in one piece with the body for maximum drape and ease of construction. We just received 6 shades of Zooey from Juniper Moon Farm. Held double this would be a wonderful summer sweater.

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Knitted dresses get a bad reputation, but Thea Colman dispels all of these worries with Olivette! It comes with instructions for both a dress/tunic and t-shirt lengths for everyone’s tastes. The front lace is placed asymmetrically and the longer length includes a surprisingly sturdy pocket. Vivacious DK has just the right amount of semi-solid colour to work well for this.

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The Red Bud Isle tank by Courtney Cedarholm would be a fantastic quick summer knit. It has contrast stripes and an overlapping split back that would be comfortable to wear while still being modest. How to choose which shades of Shiny Happy Cotton to use!

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Tannery Falls is the second crochet piece from the issue. Sara Delaney has designed wearable top with a loose gauge for maximum cool weather wear. Two colours of Meadow with it’s linen content would show off the yarn and pattern beautifully.

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Thornett is an all around favourite here at the shop! Sara Thornett’s top is everything you want from a summer top, easy to knit and wear with some lace for visual interest and loads of opportunity to use a fun colour. Luckily Eco-baby has lots of those to choose from!

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Trailbreeze is one of the more unusual garments in the issue, with it’s generous handkerchief hem over each hip. Courtney Cedarholm has done a brilliant job at keeping the lines otherwise clean to keep it looking modern. We have a brand new Swedish linen in 12 colours, from subtle neutrals to modern brights, you are sure to find a Växbo Lin Lingarn for this top.

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Sachiko Burgin has designed the last tee, Vaara. This simple top has a deep raglan yoke and a textured ribbed hem. We think this is another great use for the cotton/linen drape of Zooey, held singly this time.

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Last but not least is Windlass, by Kiyomi Burgin has draws inspiration from traditional aran sweaters with it’s cables and neckline, but brought forward a few seasons with split hems and no sleeves. The textures here would work well with Noro Tokonatsu.

Don’t forget to enter in our Summer Top KAL on Ravelry! We have a few people started already, we would love to see what you are working on. We will draw from eligible winners for prizes on July 31st.

Yarn Shop Day Winner!

We are very excited to announce the winner of our draw on Saturday for Yarn Shop Day. Congratulations to Gail! She won 4 balls of Blacker rare breeds yarn. They include a Pure Polwarth in cream, Manx wool with Mohair, in a natural tan, Pure Black Welsh Mountain wool in almost black, and a Gotland in dyed blue.

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Saturday was the kick off for our Summer Top KAL/CAL. It was fun to see the garments that people were planning for, we can’t wait to see them made up! Here in the shop we have cast on an infinity snood for a shop sample in The Fibre Co.’s Meadow. It’s an unusual blend of wool, baby llama, silk and linen. Despite the blend we think it would make a great summer top, and we can’t wait to show you the sample when it’s done, you’ll be able to give it a squish in person and see for yourself!

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If you are planning on participating in the KAL/CAL we are over on the Ravelry group talking about our makes, feel free to join in! There is also still a 10% on all yarns that contain cotton, linen, bamboo or silk in the online shop if you need to pick up some yarn. The promotion runs until Sunday at midnight!

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We would also like to announce the prizes for participants of the KAL/CAL! We will draw from finished garments posted in our FO thread by midnight on July 31st. First prize will be a gift certificate of £50 to spend online or in the shop. Second and Third prize will be goodie bags filled with yarn and patterns.

 

Summer Top KAL/CAL 2016

We are happy to announce that we are running our annual Summer Top KAL/CAL again! Just like last year we are encouraging everyone to knit or crochet a summer top. We’ve got lots of summer friendly yarns such as cotton, bamboo, linen and even wool to make something special to wear in the warmer months. Check out our blog series from last summer for more information about what makes each yarn blend perfect for summer wear. The KAL/CAL will run from April 30 – July 31. 

The rules are:

  1. Must be at least 50% KWA yarns, newly purchased or stashed.
  2. May include UFOs (perfect for those of you that may not have finished last summer!)
  3. Prizes will be chosen at random from tops posted in the FO thread on Ravelry by midnight on July 21, BST.

To help you get started we are offering a discount on Love Your Yarn Shop day, Saturday April 30. Just mention the KAL/CAL at the till at the time of purchase to receive 15% off a garments worth of yarn (200g minimum, enough for a size small top). We’ve added to our Pinterest board to help with your inspiration. 

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Asagi by Bristol Ivy from the Volume 10 issue of Amirisu.

For all of you that can’t make in in store but still want to join in on the KAL/CAL, we will be offering 10% off all yarns that contain cotton, linen, silk or bamboo in the online shop with the code SUMMERTOP. The promotion will run from Monday May 2 – Sunday May 8 at midnight British Summer Time. We can’t wait to see what you decide to make! 

Sceles by Anna Maltz.

Sceles by Anna Maltz.

For our YSD customers we will also have goodie bags available for the first 20 customers that spend over £30, and everyone is welcome to enter a draw to win 4 balls of rare breed yarns generously provided by Blacker Yarns. Just enter your name and email into the jar and we will draw a name at the end of the day. 

As a special treat we will also have a preview of the sample garments from the Summer Issue of Pom Pom Quarterly! The physical copies won’t even be ready from the printers yet, but we will take pre-orders on the day if you want to make sure you get your issue right away. This is a rare opportunity to see the garments in person before the issue is available. We have some advance information that the summer issue includes quite a few garments, so it may be just the inspiration that you need to pick your summer top, and with the discount it would be a perfect time to pick up your yarn as well.