What Natalie Knits – Maude Sweater

I have recently been casting a critical eye over my wardrobe, especially my handmade wardrobe and have been thinking a lot on how it can be improved. I have a good stash of hand knit sweaters, and they do the job of keeping me warm, so I can’t complain too much in that department. However, I have slowly lost some weight over the last couple years with some healthier eating and being more active, so all of my sweaters are too big. Part of this stems from having knit them all a bit roomy originally, but something that is a little too big then quickly becomes quite a lot too big. So I’ve been feeling swamped by my sweaters, and not at all stylish or fashionable.

Maude1Luckily as a knitter this is a splendid excuse to knit more! First up was Maude by Caarin Fleischmann, from an old issue of Pom Pom Quarterly. I found 6 balls of Wool and the Gang Sheepaca in my stash, and with a bit of gauge wrestling I cast on over the Christmas holidays. The yarn is listed as an aran, but it’s really a DK, so swatches are absolutely necessary with this yarn. The pieces came together relatively quickly for a DK weight yarn as the cabled fronts and backs were perfect for loads of travel we did around Ireland visiting family. The sleeves zipped along when we got back as the knit and purl texture was perfect for my purse. After seaming it up last week, I haven’t taken it off!

Maude4The Sheepaca was surprisingly lovely to work with. I’ve struggled with wearing alpaca next to my skin before, especially near my neck, but I’ve had no problem with this yarn. The 50/50 wool and alpaca blend is just delicious. The wool evens it out and gives it a lovely stitch definition for the cables, and the alpaca ups the warmth a bit which is perfect for working at the shop which can get a bit drafty if the temperatures really dip.
Maude2Even better is that it fits and I feel like it’s upped my wardrobe! I’ve worn it with jeans and skirts and over dresses, and over collared shirts which is perfect. In classic white it’s done really well with transitioning from everyday casual to something a bit fancier. I made 2 changes to the design that I knew would make it fit into my wardrobe even more than if I left it as is. First off I lengthened the sleeves to full length, and secondly I did a more traditional crew neck. To do the neck I started the scoop about an inch earlier than the pattern. Then I picked up stitches and knit about an inch of ribbing before casting off, unlike the pattern which has you knit longer and then fold it over and sew it down, which causes the neckline to stick out a bit. I think it looks lovely in the pattern, but I knew I was looking for something a bit more traditional for this sweater.
Maude3 I’ll admit I’m totally hooked to this sweaters-that-fit concept and I’m motivated to keep going! I’m thinking that a Muna sweater in chocolate brown might be up next, or maybe Rocquaine in natural pale grey Plötulopi?

Also thanks to Maya who took these pictures of me when we went to Edinburgh Yarn Fest a few weeks ago!

Diana Sweater and Fairy Mist Snood

We have been working on boosting up our samples here in the shop. These projects are a great opportunity to show off our favourite yarns and some of our favourite designers. All of the patterns we have used are available in the shop, either as a hard copy or through the Ravelry In-store program. This is a fantastic program that allows designers to sell through local yarn stores. When they are designated for the program and a pattern is sold in a shop, a portion of the sale goes to the designer, just like with any wholesale scheme, except that the customer still gets the pattern added to their Ravelry library, and we can print it out for you!  This is an amazing service for everyone involved, shop, designer and customer. We are really embracing this program as it allows us to ‘carry’ thousands more patterns in the shop without taking up valuable shelf space or funds. Instead we only pay for a pattern when it is sold. This means we can really help you find the perfect pattern, instead of making do with one that isn’t quite right from a more limited selection!

Our mannequin is currently in summer mode, wearing a Wool and the Gang Supremes Sweater, knit in the Ivory White Shiny Happy Cotton. We love this yarn, and this pattern has been a hit in the shop since we got it! It’s got a boxy shape that is breezy for the summer, and comes in three different stitch pattern options for fun customization.

Snood_Diana

Since this summer in London has been chilly so far, we have also added a lightweight cowl to keep the edge off! We used one skein of The Fibre Co.’s Meadow in Prairie to knit the Fairy Mist snood by Julie Crawford. This snood is a great pattern as it includes instructions to knit it in multiple weights of yarn, so you can really use any yarn you like. The only change we made was to make it a bit shorter to only use one skein.

We are happy to have this snood in the shop to show off this unusual yarn, and help everyone imagine it knit up. Meadow is a blend of Merino Wool, Baby Llama, Silk and Linen. It has a subtle drape with a slightly slubby texture from the silk and linen. The colours are slightly heathered as the different fibres take the dye in different ways, creating a final yarn with amazing depth that works well for both the lace and stocking stitch sections in the pattern.

Snood_pin

Lastly we topped the snood off with a sheep head shawl pin from Jul Designs. These white brass beauties are available as ewes or rams. They are a perfect intersection of beautiful and functional pieces. They are great worn as a brooch, shawl pin, or even a hair stick!

Take a peek at the samples in the shop the next time you are in to see these yarns and patterns in action!

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.

altair

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.

catchfly

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.

hollis

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.

nouri

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.

olivette

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.

redbudisle

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!

tanneryfalls

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.

thornett

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!

trailbreeze

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.

vaara_wide

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.

windlass_wide

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.

Profile: Wool and the Gang

I’m so excited to tell that we finally have most of the Wool and the Gang yarns (and some kits too) in stock! From the ‘classic’ super chunky Crazy Sexy Wool, to the most luscious newcomer in the family Sheepaca, a yarn as elegant as it’s name!
Recently I grabbed hold of one of the Gangstas Anna Martinou and asked her a few questions, I’m sure that after reading her brilliant stories, you’ll be just as much in love with these cool forward-thinking people and their yarns, as I am! I mean, just go have a look at those happy colours!!! And if you happen to be on Ravelry; we’re celebrating all the new WATG yarns and soon we’ll be kicking off the party with a proper Knit Along, so keep an eye on our group page!
Over to Anna…

WATG Office

What is the story behind Wool and the Gang?
The story of a DIY fashion brand powered by the maker movement. It starts with two young designers Jade and Aurelie who met while studying Textiles at London Central Saint Martins, originally being taught the skill of knitting by their grannies around the age of 14. By the age of 26 they were the co-founders and creative directors of Wool and the Gang – a global fashion brand that is disrupting the traditional fashion model by championing a more sustainable way to produce fashion. The idea was simple: Make knitting sexy and rock n’ roll. They have a Gang of over 1600 knitters around the world who help to design, produce and sell their collection. They have partnered with brands ranging from The British Fashion Council and Giles Deacon through to lifestyle brands Mini Cooper
and Veuve Clicquot.

WATG Jade and Aurelie

Why knitwear?
Because we find wool to be the most playful material. And we love playing!
We like the texture, the softness and all the endless possibilities that you have with wool.

Who is the Gang?
The Gang is our global network of Gangstas who knit on their own time and place and then sell via woolandthegang.com. Most of them are based in UK, but we’ve got people all over the world from Paris to Peru, Australia and US. Our makers are involved in every step of our process from design and production through to passing on knitting skills at our workshops. Anyone can be a Gangsta — simply purchase a Kit and learn to knit,
support a fellow Gangsta by buying their handmade pieces, or pass on your skills to others.

WATG Kit

What makes Wool and the Gang different from other yarn producers?
We research so so so much to find the best yarn in the world! Our Crazy Sexy Wool is 100% Peruvian wool – the softest that you can find and the chunkiest and easiest to knit with. We also work with fashion factories to repurpose their fashion waste into new yarns to reduce landfill like our Mixtape and Jersey Be Good Yarn. But above all – and that’s the plain truth – we’re different because we’re having a good fun with it! A heavenly colour palette, a funny sticker, a hidden alpaca on our website, a small pin for lucky customers
et al. We simply value the small things that matter and make our lives happier.

Knit With Attitude customers are environmentally and socially conscious knitters. How does Wool and the Gang share their values?
Oh well, wool (surprise!) is our favourite yarn. It’s natural, renewable and biodegradable. We work with fashion factories to repurpose their fashion waste into new yarns to reduce landfill. And we’re always on the lookout for new innovative materials that help to reduce environmental impact. But also, our whole operational system is based on sustainable processes – it’s hardly ever any leftovers or stock behind.

WATG Wild Wool

What’s new this Autumn?
Just to strengthen the above claim on making knitting fun we’ve just launched our Emoji beanies collection along with a series of personalised hats – the ‘Say My Name’ and ‘Count on Me’ beanies. Yes, why not say ILOVEU you with a hat this year?
On the rock n’roll side of things, this autumn expect more wildness from the Gang.
Our Wild Wool collection has already been launched with big chunky leopard knits and there’s still more to come. From traditional cable knits to textured oversized plush coats to the classic tartan print to the feminine touch of flower embroidery. Keep your eyes peeled!

Best Autumn tune and why?
Seasons from Future Islands. We all get a bit nostalgic when seasons change, no?
And we love the name of the band! xxx

WATG 5
Off to the party…!

#kwasummer Give Away

What’s your summer knitting project? I’m on my way back home to Norway for my summer holiday and just popped by the shop to make sure I have enough yarn for my summer knits. It seems like I’ve got sleeves issues these days, as this is what’s left to do on several of my projects, and now I hope to finish them while on holiday. Something I made sure to pick up from the shop is the Lantern Moon ‘Stitch Red’ Square Clip Knitting Bag, which is brilliant for travelling. It is spacious, which allows for several projects and yarn balls, and all bits and pieces are easily stored in practical pockets.

Square Clip Bag

I’m completely addicted to tote bags and seriously have no idea of how many different ones I’ve got already, but when spotting the Will Flirt for Gin tote at Of Cabbages & Kings I just fell so in love with it that I had to have it. Not only is it really cool, it is sturdy to, so that I can easily bring my project with me when we’re out and about.

Will Flirt for Gin

This is Larch by Amy Christoffers, which I’m doing on 3mm needles in Scrumptious 4 Ply – Jen’s Green. The large Stockinette Stitch sections have been a huge test for my patience, but as you can see the body is done and I’ve started the sleeves. I love love love this design and how it comes out in my chosen yarn, I really can’t wait to have it done and to wrap myself in it!

Larch

When travelling I try to bring varied projects to prevent me from getting bored, and since Larch is done with thin yarn and needles, I want to bring a quick knit too. This is my Make-it-up-as-I-go-Cardi. It is done on 5mm needles in the softest Pima cotton, Shiny Happy Cotton from Wool and the Gang, in Yellow Brick Road and Jog Grey. This is definitely my favourite project this summer. Look at that yellow! Every time I start a yellow round the brightness of this colour makes me so happy!

Make it up as I go Cardi

As I was taking these pictures to show you my summer knits I had this idea. I really want to see your projects, and where you are bringing them too. Lets share our summer knits with each other, and why not make an Instagram Give Away out of it as well! Follow my Instagram and use hashtag #kwasummer to show off your summer knits, when I return to London in two weeks time I’ll make a little gallery here on the blog for us all to admire. We’ll do a draw and three of you will receive a summery goody bag from Knit with attitude. Now go grab those smart phones and start snapping some pics, I can’t wait to see what you are up to this summer!

Oh what a party!

To celebrate the arrival of Wool and the Gang yarns, knitting kits and ready to wear at Knit with attitude, we decided to throw a party. AND what a great party it was! The Sansa & Khaleesi Jewellery Workshop was buzzing, and there were plenty of bubbly drinks for everyone (and snacks, after all we’re civilised people).

Pink WATG

WATG Workshop at Knit with attitude

I was asked ‘Who is she who knits with attitude?’ Not an easy question to answer, but I tried my best, and if you’d like to you can read the whole interview, and see some more pictures from the event over at the WATG blog.

Party at Knit with attitude

Party at Knit with attitude