Plant Fibres! Knits for Summer

It is known that us knitters like to knit all year round, come rain or shine. But when the sun is shining what yarns do we reach for. Plant Fibres of course! Plant fibres offer us a cooler alternative and provide a vegan option for those who would prefer to not use, or have allergies to animal fibres. With a variety of textures and properties to choose from, plant fibres can give you drape, structure, sheen, softness and versatility. Plus they are easy to care for and can take more of a beating than some of our more delicate woollens. Great for those summer garments or children’s clothes.

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Here at Knit With Attitude we have various different plant fibres as well as plant fibre and wool blends. In this post I am going to focus on Växbo Lin Lingarn and Nuturing Fibres in Eco-Cotton, Eco-Fushion and Eco-Bamboo.

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First up is Växbo Lin Lingarn. Lingarn is a 100% natural pure linen yarn traditionally grown and spun in Sweden. Växbo Lin’s Lingarn is certified with the Swedish Good Environmental Choice label (Bra Miljöval) because of its durability and environmentally friendly processing.

The earliest trace of flax culture in the Swedish county Hälsingland is dated to circa 200 AD. Evidence from the Viking age indicates that women wore linen chemises under their woolen skirts. Flax has been grown for domestic use throughout Sweden. In medieval times there was a surplus of flax in Hälsingland and linen became an item of trade. In fact, linen rather than money was used to pay taxes and fines.

Heres a little bit about how linen fibre is made from one of our earlier Fibre Fridays posts. ‘Linen comes from a plant called flax. Unlike cotton, where the fibre comes from a pod that the plant produces, linen is made from the inner stalk. This type of fibre is called a bast fibre. Other bast fibres include nettle, hemp and rattan. The plant is grown to a height of about 4 feet. When it is ready, the plants are pulled up from the roots and left to decompose in a process called retting. This unbinds the unwanted outer bark from the inner bark that makes the fibre. The two types of bark are separated by big metal rollers in a process called scutching. The fibre lengths are combed to find the longest fibres which are then spun into thread or yarn.’

Linen is a tough fibre that may feel stiff an unyielding at first, but the more you work it the more it softens. It is recommended winding linen by hand, as this begins the softening process, which continues the more you work with it.

Linen is great for summer garments. It holds it’s shape well and is light and airy. Providing a cool and breathable layer. Here are a couple ideas to get you started:

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Mirabeau by Natalie Selles is an attractive striped summer top with a fetching lace panel. Idea for summer holidays and evenings dining al fresco. Light and cool, with fun Breton stripes, allowing you an opportunity to play with colour.

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Fiore di Lino by Regina Moessmer is a simple summer top with the added flair of lacey details around hem and cuffs. Worked seamlessly from the top down you can add more or less lace as you prefer.

Next up is Nurturing Fibres Eco-Cotton. This DK weight cotton with a good twist, good definition and a dreamy palette of hand dyed colours. Nurturing Fibres is an Eco-friendly yarn range, hand dyed near Cape Town by Carle Dehning and her team. Nurturing fibres strive to conserve as much energy and waste during their production process. They make use of borehole water that is heated by solar power for their dye baths. After dyeing, the PH levels in the dyebaths are neutralized and the water is used to irrigate an olive grove near the dye studio. Their whole production process, from receiving the spun yarn, is done by hand.

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Cotton is perfect for summer wear, accessories, children’s clothes, blankets and more. Here are a couple for inspiration:

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Razzle Summer Poncho by Noma Ndlovu is a gorgeous open lace work poncho. This would make a great light and airy layer over a t-shirt. Knit on larger needles in a simple two row lace repeat, it will be speedy as well as straightforward. Buttons on the sides are a nice edition for closing.

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Colour Block Shawl by Noma Ndlovu is a great way of indulging in a few colours. This easy to knit garter stitch shawl is knit using 5 colours. Create your perfect fade or just pick your favourites and let the beauty of this hand dyed yarn sing.

Last but not least we have Nurturing Fibres Eco-Bamboo and Eco-Fusion. I have grouped these two together because they are the same weight so are really interchangeable. Eco-Bamboo is a 100% Bamboo Fibre where the Eco-Fusion is a 50/50 blend of Bamboo and Cotton. The Eco-Bamboo and Eco-Fusion have the same principles of the other Nuturing Fibres yarns. Hand dyed, eco friendly and with an aim to conserve as much energy and waste during their production process..

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Bamboo has an amazing sheen, it almost glows as it catches the light. The Eco-Bamboo has a good twist which helps it hold its shape and this means it will sag less than usual bamboo. Eco-Fusion plays with the bamboo and cottons qualities, plying a matte yarn against a glossy one to give an interesting texture to your knit wear.

Here is some information on Bamboo production from our earlier Fibre Fridays post: ‘Bamboo especially has been heralded as the new natural wonder fibre due to it’s renewability as a plant, but it’s journey from farm to knitting needles is not without it’s pitfalls. There is no denying that the process of producing these yarns is a chemical one. The fibres are broken down with sodium hydroxide and carbon disulphide into a viscose cellulose solution, which is then pushed through spinnerets. The fibre then solidifies into the fibre that can then be spun into yarn. Luckily, with newer technology this system is quoted as being a 99% closed loop system, where the chemicals are recycled and re-used for each batch of fibre.’

Bamboo offers a really cool to the touch quality, silky with good drape. Perfect for knitting and crochet projects. Here I have found a couple of crochet ones which I find inspiring:

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Summer Rebel by Brenda Grobler is a go to summer top. Wide in the neck for a relaxed fit. The crochet stitch adding a cooling mesh fabric.

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Flower Stole by Yuli Nilssen is a gorgeous crochet wrap. Perfect for draping over your shoulders on those cooler summer nights. Featuring an attractive flower pattern repeat it has a graphic play with light and shadow.

I hope these summer suggestions have you dreaming of hot days and given you some food for thought when it comes to plant fibres.

 

Yarn Pairings for Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 28 – Spring 2019

It’s really starting to feel like spring might not be that far away, here in London. The sun is shining and it feels unusually mild. What better way to celebrate this feeling, than delving into the latest spring issue of Pom Pom. Aptly themed for this time of year, this issue is ‘The Botanical Issue’. Designers were given the theme of flora, looking to nature and plant forms for their inspiration.

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So we have nine knitting and crochet patterns, plus articles and recipes. All exploring the botanical theme. I’ve put together some yarn pairings from the shelves of Knit With Attitude, so lets take a look at these natural wonders!

Sweetfern-by-Liza-Laird-and-Kate-Madden-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-28

Sweetfern by Liza Laird and Kate Madden is a cute slouchy brioche hat. Taking the characteristic use of two colours that brioche offers, while also bringing in stitch shaping for that natural leafy vibe. A trailing vine motif runs from the rib to the crown creating a bold and graphic design. Choose two contrasting colours of Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles for maximum effect.

Davallia-by-Isa-Catepillan-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-28Davallia by Isa Catepillán is an interesting cover up shawl-cum-jacket. This crocheted piece is full of drama. A large tasseled fringe hangs from an elegant lacey body. It reminds me of the dappled light through the trees. It would make a great layer for spring days and cool summer nights. Choose a light yarn with a plant fibre content like the linen blend of Stolen Stitches Nua.

Adiantum-by-Kelly-Ordemann-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-28Vines trace the shape of the yoke in Adiantum by Kelly Ordemann. A playful use of pattern, the plant motif radiates from the neck giving the appearance of a necklace of ferns. With clever shaping, it is also flattering to wear. A plant themed top like this calls to be knit in a plant dyed fibre. Choose Hey Mama Wolf’s Sockyarn #04 in its dreamy natural shades.

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Another crochet offering is Water Clover by Isa Catepillán. A stunningly elegant crochet top with lacey star details. A simple shape made all the better by the pattern repeat. Crocheted in a cotton, linen blend try The Fibre Co Luma which has a soft light papery feel which is perfect for wearing next to your skin. This top will definitely see you into the summer and beyond.

Aurea-by-Stella-Egidi-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-28This dramatic shawl is the Aurea by Stella Egidi. You cannot get a design that is more close to nature. Leaf and reed motifs sit side by side to create a pattern repeat that is reminiscent of a forest canopy or leafy woodland floor. Knit in a merino single try Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles or a bunch of Black Elephant Minis.

Vivarium-by-Amber-Platzer-Corcoran-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-28Vivarium by Amber Platzer Corcoran is a fun colour work jumper, with a selection of bold graphic plant motifs. Vivarium takes its name from terrarium structures used for holding plants and means ‘place of life’. This design allows a fun juxtaposition of colour through the botanical elements and with a relaxed drop shoulder fit, it will be the perfect cosy spring evening layer. Colour work projects scream out for Hillesvåg Tinde in a great range of colours you will find the perfect greens!

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Ginkgophyte by Emily Greene is worked flat and seamed, with sleeves worked in the round. With a bold central detail that is repeated on the back and accentuates the simple form. Short sleeves make this the perfect spring garment, for when the days get longer and the promise of summer is just around the corner. Choose the cool and super soft Kettle Yarn Beyul for this, a lovely light yarn perfect for wearing next to your skin.

Woodwardia-by-Lydia-Gluck-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-28Woodwardia by Lydia Gluck is a top down raglan jumper with a cosy rolled neck and with a lovely vine detail running along the raglan seams. We all know spring weather can be a little unpredictable so this cosy jumper will become a wardrobe staple. Try this in the soft Vivacious DK.

Filix-by-Judith-Brand-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-28Filix by Judith Brand are stylish crocheted fingerless gloves. A graphic abstracted fern chevron motif runs along the back of the hand. These fingerless gloves are the perfect size for keeping out the evening chill by extending over the wrist. This pattern calls for a silk, merino blend so try Scrumptious 4ply.

I hope these suggestions get you excited and ready to spring into spring. This is a very calm and gentle edition of Pom Pom with subtle details carrying the theme. A collection of interesting but also wearable pieces.

 

What do you get the knitter that has everything…

This time of year we are struggling to find that perfect gift for our knitting friends and maybe even that cheeky Christmas present for ourselves. Yarn, Tools and accessories can sometimes be tricky. Knowing what a knitter has already, what yarn they like, their favourite colour can be a mine field. So what about a book? A book as gift, is a gift of possibilities. It is inspiration, it might push you to try something new, they look gorgeous and hey, its fun to read something that’s not on a screen!

Below I have curated some inspiring gift ideas for Christmas, with a book as a starting point. With each book I have tried to match fun yarns that compliment the knits inside and even a few accessories that might be useful.
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The first book kicking off the book gift guides is Stephen West’s – West Knits Best Knits – Shawls. There is nothing more bright and fun than these crazy shawls. With a great eye for colour and clever construction Stephen West’s Shawls are guaranteed to keep a knitter amused. I’ve paired this book with, of course Hedgehog Fibres. These unique bright speckled hand dyed yarns lend themselves perfectly to these patterns. Seen here are Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Heyday, Coral, Oracle and Poppy. Complimented by a little Ditty Bag for the knitter to tote around all those WIP’s. I also thought these Flower Power Scissors capture the fun and whimsy seen in Stephen’s Designs and make the perfect yarn end snipper.

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Here is The Doodler by Stephen West from the book. A popular design that has endless ways of using those favourite hand dyed 4ply skeins.

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The second book I’ve looked at is a new one here at Knit With Attitude and we are bowled over by it, see our blog post book review. It’s Strange Brew by Tin Can Knits. Perfect for the knitter that is nerdy about their knitting and likes to tackle bigger projects. Yoked sweaters call out to Léttlopi. A few balls of this yarn will get them well on there way to planning a colourful yoke of their own. Big projects need big project bags and the Plystre Cross Body Bag can easily take a jumpers worth. Also key accessories, matching Putford Scissors, Cocoknits Stitch Markers and the very useful Hey Mama Wolf’s Wool Soap.

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Almanac from the book, knit in Léttlopi, shows you how much fun you can have with colour.

susanThe Vintage Shetland Project needs no introduction. A great work from designer Susan Crawford. A collection of historically informed traditional Shetland knitting patterns, researched and designed by Susan herself. Keeping the tradition of Shetland knitting alive. This book is great just to flick through and absorb the wonderful photography and amazing knitwear. Nothing else needs pairing with this book apart from Susan’s own yarn Fenella. A palette of vintage inspired colours on a British wool, bliss!

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Rose from the book shows you the stunning quality of the patterns inside. Knit in Fenella it also shows how perfect this yarn is for colour work.

crochetOne for the crocheters, Everyday Wearables by Joanne Scrace is a collection of well designed and imaginative crochet patterns. If you are looking to inspire a new craft or know an avid crocheter this is a great book. We also carry a wide range of bamboo crochet hooks. Bamboo is kind to your hands and has a little more give then their metal cousins. This book contains a lot of patterns in Socks Yeah Dk. This great yarn has many uses, it’s not just for socks! I’ve included some Storklette Scissors in this combo. Why? Just look at how cut they are!

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The Brenn Hat from the book is Crocheted from Socks Yeah Dk and made from two or three skeins makes the perfect little gift if you are looking to add yarn into the mix.

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Knitting Outside the Box by Bristol Ivy is a stunning book. Beautiful in design and photography. It’s more than a book of patterns, Bristol Ivy takes you through her techniques. It’s informative as well as useful. I’ve matched in some Fyberspates Vivacious DK seen here in Deep Aqua, Denim and Deep Forest. The Cocoknits Rustic Yarn Snips make a nice earthy but useful pairing. Along with these shawl pins, every good shawl needs a shawl pin and these Jul Ewe and Ram Pins in white brass are a stylish sheep nod to the source of your knitwear.

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Canady from the book is knit in a Merino Dk. A perfect choice would be Fyberspates Vivacious DK and wrap yourself in its luscious softness.

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Lastly is Vogue Knitting – The Ultimate Knitting Book. What more can a knitter need. Experienced and novice knitters alike will benefit from this book. It contains all a knitter needs ton know about construction, shaping, stitch techniques, it literally is the bible of knitting. The ultimate knitting book needs an ultimate yarn. Kettle Yarn’s Hand Dyed Islington DK is a sumptuous blend of Blue Faced Leicester and Silk, in such dreamy tones. One of these skeins would definitely put a smile on someone’s face. A classy Petrol Plystre Crossbody Project Bag completes the look with a sophisticated pair of Silver Putford Scissors.

I hope this has given you some inspiration at a tricky time of year. No matter how big or how small, if you are looking for a knitting gift we hopefully have something for you. If you find yourself stuck with what to get, spend a little time with our books and you might find something.

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.

Help Us Keep Hackney Warm!

Dirty sleeping bags curled up on cardboard mats under railway bridges and in shop doorways, fear of abuse and always the cold: rough sleeping is a tough and unkind existence affecting increasing numbers of homeless people in Hackney.

It’s a problem that we think has a special resonance with us as knitters. We are after all in the business of warmth. We create warmth with our stitches in all sorts of ways, and so we’re thinking it’s time to look at how we can share the warmth with our neighbours on the streets.

East London Yarn Triangle

The East London Yarn Triangle is four-and-a-bit miles long, or 466 scarves long. Our aim is to spread the word amongst enough knitters so that we can make those scarves real this winter and share some warmth with rough sleepers to help in their nightly battle against the cold. Please join the three shops in the ELYT this winter in our attempt to knit those miles as scarves and provide some warmth!

We are now urgently collecting DK, Aran and Chunky wool to share with knitters who are up for contributing scarves to help wrap up Hackney’s rough sleepers this winter. The project kicked off at 12.00 noon at the Hackney Picture House on 9th October, a couple of hours before the screening of Yarn, the Movie.

All three shops in the East London Yarn Triangle: Knit with Attitude, Fabrications and Wild and Woolly will continue collecting finished scarves, and operating a yarn exchange for Scarf Knitters, throughout the season. Pop by the shop and see if we have any yarn ready to be knit up into scarves for you, or drop by any stash yarn for us to pass on to a knitter.

Are you in? Here’s the plan..

Scarves can be knitted from any yarn with whatever stitch pattern you like best – garter, rib or stocking stitch. We recommend casting on for a width of about 25 cm and knitting a 150 cm length. If you want help in calculating how many stitches to cast on with your wool, pop into any of our shops and we’ll work it out for you.
Once you’ve knitted your scarf, drop it off at anyone of the shops and we’ll make sure it gets passed on to a rough sleeper.
The Keep Hackney Warm Project is an initiative of the East London Yarn Triangle.

If you would like more information about the event please contact:
May Linn Bang 020 79983282, Barley Massey 020 72758043, Anna Feldman 020 89855231
email: [email protected]

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 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.

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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.

Interview with Beata Jezek of Hedgehog Fibres

We love getting new yarns in the shop, and having Hedgehog Fibre as a new brand is extra exciting! Their colourways are beautiful and speckled, from subtle neutrals to bright neons and everything in between. We currently have Twist Sock and Skinny Singles in the shop, but they are going quickly. Our first shipment sold out in two weeks!  We are going to do our best to keep this yarn in stock, but due to lead times of it being dyed in Ireland, we do expect some gaps of availability.

We were happily able to ask Beata Jezek some questions when Natalie visited their offices in Cork over the Christmas holidays. What a colourful office!

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How long have you been knitting?
About 8 years and I learned from YouTube tutorials.

What inspired you to get into dyeing yarn?
As soon as I got sucked into the knitting world I knew I wanted to create my own line of hand-dyed, soft, squishy yarns. I was always very visual and colour obsessive and I felt that none of the yarns on the market really offered what I was into at the time. I love creating new colours, changing things up and staying current. I think Hedgehog Fibres really reflects that as an extension of my personal style. 

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You have quite the operation going in Cork, Ireland, and it is exciting to hear that you are continuously growing as a company. What has been the most surprising thing about being a small business owner of a company like Hedgehog Fibres?How far you can get with the right product by word of mouth alone.

The colours of HF are stunning, and have unsurprisingly caught the eye of many knitters around the world, including designers such as Steven West. Do you see any particular trends in what knitters make with HF, or are they more universal?Our customer is not afraid of bold colours and interesting designs. Stephen West in particular is such an innovator and he has changed knitting so much in the past few years. I work quite closely with Stephen and I think together we are making knitting new and fresh again. We even have a few surprises up our sleeves!

How do you develop a new colour way? Do you start with a specific combination in mind, or is it happy accident?
Sometimes we come up with a great name and then create a colourway to match (like Teacup), sometimes I realise there’s something missing in the line and then get completely obsessed with a colour (I had to have lilac, so we have ‘Birthday Cake’) Some colourways were definitely happy accidents. Crybaby was such a good potluck that we added it to the line.

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Do you have a favourite colour way?
Yes! Always the newest ones 🙂 I’m really into speckles and brights with a good strong contrast like Graphite or Electric at the moment. 2016 will be a big year for pastels and mohair I think.

Are you a process or product knitter?
Product knitter all the way. I’m on a mission to knit faster and to knit all of the things.

What are you currently knitting?
I’m swatching for a new design of my own and I’m making a little brioche jumper for my doggie who likes to wear stuff.

Yarn Pairings for PomPom Quarterly Issue 16

spring16-coverIt’s that time again! We have the latest issue of Pom Pom Quarterly in the shop and online. It’s a gorgeous issue, with a focus on stitch patterns and texture. In order to show these off all of the pieces have been knit in light neutrals from light grey through cream to white. 

spring16-3The first up is Delineate. Designed by Olga Buraya-Kefelian, this tank top has a classic and modest front, with an open work stitch pattern in the back that is somewhere between a mesh and lace. This is a great wardrobe basic that can be worn with trousers, skirts and shorts in any range of situations, from weekend trips to the market or holidays in the sun. We would knit it in one of our many shades of Debbie Bliss Eco-baby  , an organic cotton that is perfect worn next to the skin. Even better, we have it in a number of brand new shades, from neutral to bright! 

spring16-11Equilibrium is the lone cardigan of the collection, by Gina Röckenwagner. It features an unusual construction with increases and decreases, and hangs open at the front. The original is knit in the fantastic Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend DK, which we have in variegated shades in the shop. If you are looking for a colour that is closer to the original we would suggest Fyberspates Scrumptious DK

spring16-8Imitation is one of two crochet patterns in this issue, here designed by Judith Brand. These little mitts are perfect to keep in your purse for those surprise chilly mornings and hardly take up any wool or time to make! We would recommend Excelana 4ply for these beauties. 

spring16-5Perpendicular by Sarah Brunenberg is a generously sized triangle shawl. This shawl is perfect for someone who doesn’t like a lot of fussy lace, as it features a single panel of chevron stitches with garter stitch wings. Sulka Legato is one of our favourite yarns for a project like this one. The silk/alpaca combo has drape for wrapping around but enough stitch definition to make the lace and garter stitch sing. 

spring16-9A second pattern from Gina Röckenwagner, Rhombille is a perfect pullover sweater. Like many of the other patterns in this issue, it combines simple garter stitch with a bold stitch pattern. We recommend Erika Knight Vintage Wool for a classic, heart sweater that will hold its shape and show off the main pattern well. 

spring16-7Right Angle is another pullover, this time from Georgia Farrell. This simple t-shirt has an allover triangle stitch pattern, a boat neck and ribbed edging details. We would knit it up in Blacker Swan DK for crisp stitch definition and lots of colours to choose from. 

spring16-6Riveret is the second crochet pattern, designed by Merrian Holland. It has a great modern take on classic granny square techniques and a breezy summer feel. Blacker Yarn’s Lyonesse DK is a fantastic summer yarn, with a 50% wool, 50% linen blend that will keep you covered but not overheated. 

spring16-4Next up we have Striated, a double length infinity snood by Nicki Merrall. This snood has a provisional cast on, is knit as a scarf and then the two ends are grafted together. This otherwise simple accessory is a great place to use a truly special yarn, like Kettle Yarn Co’s Baskerville. This special UK wool/silk blend is carefully indigo dyed in Hastings. 

spring16-2Last but not least we have Unfold, by Yuliya Tkacheva, which is the third crochet project in this issue. It features a unique chevron pattern and would make a perfect wardrobe basic for all seasons. We would love to see it in one of the natural shades of Purl Alpaca Fine

What’s your favourite pattern from this issue? Anything ready to jump onto your needles?