Throwback Thursday: Växbo Lin Lingarn

Linen is back! Not a moment too soon… One of our go to summer yarns is Växbo Lin’s Lingarn, so this little Throwback Thursday post is here to celebrate it again. We have recently restocked on 22 shades of this gorgeous and unusual fibre. So in case you missed it, here is why linen is so great.

WhatsApp Image 2019-06-06 at 15.16.11

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.

linen03-blog

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

What Throwback Thursday would be complete without a look at projects past. Do you remember Maya’s Selja she knit last year? Selja by Jonna Hietala is knit top down holding two strands together on 5.5mm needles. A super speedy knit for a quick summer project. Maya chose the Umbra colour. To read more about Selja read Maya’s – What Maya Knits Blog Post.

mirabeau-top

And a couple of summers back Natalie launched her design The Mirabeau Top! The Mirabeau 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.

linen02-blog

I also knit with linen earlier this year when I finished my Parachutey by Stephen West. It came very handy in the hot halls of the Edinburgh Yarn Festival where I wore it over a shirt and kept perfectly cool. I knit this one in Moss Green, Olive Green, Graphite and Lime.

So go grab your needles while the sun is still shining.

Yarn Pairings for Laine Issue 8

It’s Laine! Issue 8 – Kelo. Featuring the work of 11 designers: Justyna Lorkowska, Denise Bayron, Libby Jonson, Julie Dubreux, Leeni Hoimela, Astrid Troland, Sus Gepard, Éveline Cantin-Bergeron, Jenny Sauselein and Marjorie Martin. As always we are in awe of the magic Laine manages to conjure up, and this issue is no exception. Featuring jumpers, socks, cardigans, shawls, there is something for everyone. Of course it is not just knitting patterns, but contains articles, recipes and interviews which all together make Laine one of those publications we just have to have.

laine-magazine-issue-8-cover-kwa_1

Let’s take a look between the covers and drool and dream over this collection. As always I have put together my recommended yarn pairings from Knit With Attitude.

laine-honeydewHoneydew by Justyna Lorkowska is a stunningly cosy looking jumper. Knit holding two strands together, something fuzzy and something smooth. You know this one is going to be a joy to wear. An over-sized rolled neckband and overall relaxed look make for a comfortable garment. The body is given texture by an all over stitch repeat, which will add interest to the design, but also interest to the process. Knit this in something luxury, The Fibre Co. Cumbria would give great definition to textured stitches and I think the colours of that yarn are spot on for this. For the fuzz try Fyberspates Cumulus with an array of pleasing complimentary colours that would work well with the Cumbria.

laine-georgie

Georgie by Libby Jonson is a textural masterpiece. A stunning all over open lace repeat gives drama, but the slouchy fit is unpretentious, making this a great go-to jumper for throwing on. Make it the comfiest thing ever and knit it in  Blue Sky Fibres Alpaca Sport

laine-grace

Grace by Denise Bayron looks like the cosiest of classic sweaters. Elegant shaping with a simple cable motif running down the centre front. Worked seamlessly from the top down with raglan increases for the yoke and sleeves. Quick to knit, this will become a wardrobe staple. Knit this in an easy to knit cosy yarn like Hillesvåg Troll for that iconic cabled jumper vibe.

laine-pasvik

Pasvik by Julie Dubreux is an amazingly multi functional piece. Unbuttoned, it’s a simple wrap or a little blanket – and buttoned up, it becomes a shrug, overcoat or a poncho! A sinewy collection of purl stitches trace around the design, giving life and energy to the whole garment. Try Àrd-Thìr, the twist in this yarn gives it great structure and will lend itself to great definition of the pattern.

laine-heather

Heather by Ash Alberg – Look at the detail on this pair of socks! The perfect lacey treat to get stuck into. Worked from the toe up, so perfect for choosing a long or short style. A yarn that will give good definition and hold the pattern repeats like Hey Mama Wolf Sockyarn #04 would be perfect.

laine-uoma

Uoma by Leeni Hoimela is a dynamic jumper with a bold motif. A clever use of texture here creates a top that is fun to knit and fun to wear. Taking the graphic shape of a diagonal line and bringing a quirky design statement. ‘Uoma’ meaning a riverbed which is very apt for the strong crossed stitch lines, like the flow of water.  A simple seamless top down construction and knit in a merino silk blend. Try  Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply or if you are looking for some speckled action the Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles with its single ply and slightly silky feel would also work.

laine-flowerbuds

Flower Buds by Astrid Troland is a lovely relaxed short sleeved top. I like the rigid edge over the shoulders that leads to a simple boat neck. This is made elegant by an understated use of yarn overs. The most minimal of details are worked across the body, almost mirage-like with the mere hint of a cable. This gives an overall texture without being cluttered. Knit in two yarns held together, a lace weight alpaca and a 4ply lambswool. I couldn’t help but flip this and pair two of my favourites, the lace weight Garthenor No.1 and the 4ply G-uld Alpaca. How fun would that be to knit.

laine-waterlily

Waterlily by Sus Gepard is an intriguing cardigan with charming Kid Silk details. Decorative stitches use the character of a Kidsilk Lace to full advantage. Try the silk blend of Kettle Yarn Islington DK (at a slightly lighter gauge, a good idea to swatch) but the fibre blend and colour range lend themselves perfectly. Mix this with the Hedgehog Fibres KidSilk Lace.

laine-cimes

Cimes by Éveline Cantin-Bergeron is a textural dream. An all over pattern repeat creates a great fabric for this garment. A classic fit, relaxed, light and airy.  Knitted from the bottom up in the round with drop shoulders. A slightly variegated yarn like Fyberspates Vivacious DK is ideal. I would love to see this in the Deep Forest colour.

laine-rosebay

Rosebay by Jenny Sauselein is a work of art. This piece is definitely not boring. An array of textured stitches of miniature leaf and branched fern go together to create this sumptuous creation. A great one for challenging your cabling and lace skills. Something like Hillesvåg Sølje would give you great stitch definition.

laine-lakka

Lakka by Marjorie Martin is a classic cardigan but knit from side to side, in one piece. An added detail to all that stocking stitch is a cute bobble detail. This acts to soften the boxy shape and add a delicate detail. Try knitting this one in John Arbon Devonia DK for a heritage feel.

There are some great pieces in this issue. I love all the patterned textural repeats that can be found all over. Full wall to wall lace, cables and other interesting stitches, create a bunch of patterns that are engaging as well as look beautiful.

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

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

navelli01

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

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

navelli-01

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

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

navelli-05

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

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

navelli-04

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

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

navelli-03

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

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

navelli-02

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

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

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

Happy Knitting!

What Maya and George Knits! – Summer Light

You may have seen our designer feature on Julie Knits in Paris on the blog earlier. Looking at some fun colourful projects to see you into the summer and beyond. Well the trouble with writing these inspiration posts, is the inspiration seeps out and gets us excited. Then this happens….. We knit the same project! The wall of Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace was calling us and who could resist a one skein project. So here we go!

Summer Light is a lightweight summer tee. Knit in lighter than air Kidsilk Lace. Quick to knit on 5mm needles with some added Merino Single 4ply for the ribbing.

summer-light-02-kwa

‘I always complain about the lack of knitting time in my life – and how I never seem to able to finish something – but seriously… I did the Summer Light in less than a week!!! Such a fun project it literarily flew off the needles, and using less than one hank of Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace, this top does not look cheap, I mean the fibres are luxurious indeed, but cost wise I’m absolutely over the moon! I wanted a bright look similar to the original design and chose the colour Monarch, I found the perfect match for the ribbing using Black Elephant Minis in Lazy Days. Unlike George, I went for the cropped look, and like George I chose the smallest size. I didn’t get around to wash and block the top before we took the pictures, so I’m hoping it will grow a little when I get around to it – still it is very comfortable and can be worn as is. My only problem now is that I don’t have anything in my wardrobe to go with a cropped top, an empire waist summer dress is currently on the top of the wish list.’ – Maya

summer-light-03-kwa

‘I decided to knit Summer Light as I’ve always wanted to have a go at knitting with a single strand of Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace. I’ve done some double stranded marled projects but never really tried it this way. Plus a project that uses less than 50g of yarn, but still makes a garment, well what else can give you that! I wanted it as a layer over a shirt or t-shirt, as something extra to put on when the weather cools slightly. I have to say I really enjoyed knitting it. Super quick, with blissfully easy raglan increases and no second sleeve syndrome! I knit the smallest size and only adjustment I made was to knit it longer in the body, I didn’t quite fancy a crop top and wanted more of a t-shirt vibe. I love the end result. I used some yarn pulled from my stash to match against the Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace, I chose the colour Parklife.’ – George

summer-light-01-kwa

 

Yarn Pairings for Pom Pom 29

A summer issue of Pom Pom is always a joy. Reminding us that just because the weather is warming up, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be reaching for our needles and hooks. Nine designs fill this issue, inspired by ceramic tiles, terracotta, and sand. Think warmth; earthy and organic, also splashes of colour and pattern repeats. Some light and airy summer tops and essential wardrobe staples for the warmer months. There is even a gorgeous crochet bag! Perfect for trips to the beach.

pom-pom-issue-29-cover-kwaThis is a bumper issue, with more pages, more photographs and larger typeface. Featuring designs by Amy Christoffers, Sari Nordlund, Soraya Garciá, Isa Cateoillán, Clare Lakewood, Josée Paquine, Marjorie Martin, Rachael Reese and Stephanie Earp. An interview with Emi Ito, as well as other craft projects, project bag tutorial by artist Arrounna Khounnoraj of Bookhou. As well as a recipe from Rebecca Lawrence’s for Maple Bourbon Fudge. Phew!

pom-pom-issue-29-01-kwa

Argil by Clare Lakewood – Argil screams summer! Light airy and quite simply stunning. A perfect layer over a summer top, or worn just on its own for a trip the the seaside. A clever use of stripes add a dynamic edge and the tied off front an informal touch.  Worked flat beginning at the back, divided at the neck and rejoined at the front. These stop half way down the body. You then work the front in halves working towards the middle, seamed with a 3 needled cast off. Knit in a 4ply, in a wool silk blend, combined with a linen. I love the idea of these two textures. For the linen I would go for Växbo Lingarn and for the silk blend what about Kettle Yarn Beyul. Of course if you wanted to stick completely with plant fibres you could substitute the Beyul for Nuturing Fibres Eco-Lush. The blend of cotton and bamboo would echo the matte and glossy texture of the wool and silk.

pom-pom-issue-29-02-kwa

Earthen by Amy Christoffers – I’m getting Art Deco vibes from this cardigan. A simple but very effective all over fan pattern repeat, giving texture and structure. Lets face it the summer is not always sunny and a welcome cardigan is definitely one to have. I particularly like the way the fan pattern falls into the rib. The body is worked in one piece and the sleeves worked separately and later seamed. Worked in a cosy DK merino I would try Fyberspates Vivacious DK, is anyone else thinking the Blush colour-way for this?

pom-pom-issue-29-03-kwa

Faience by Soraya García – I really like the construction of this piece. It’s so simple but so effective. It’s worked completely flat. Starting at the back, you then divide for the neck and work the two fronts separately. You pick up for a rib around the neck and down the front, then seamlessly join the fronts with a 3 needle bind off. You pick up stitches either side and echo the ribbing, you then join the back and front with a crochet slip stitch up to the arm holes. Genius! A simple all over pattern repeat adds symmetry and style. Why not push the boat out with this one and knit it in From the Mountain Cashmere, you will never want to take it off.

pom-pom-issue-29-04-kwa

Minton by Isa Catepillán – You may remember Isa for being the crochet superstar from the last issue of Pompom, well she is back and worked her crochet magic once again. A stunner of a bag made up of 12 identical square motifs. A classy way of toting around your swimwear or for the elegant grocery shop. A good sturdy fibre is needed for this project so choose Växbo Lingarn .

pom-pom-issue-29-05-kwa

Ogee by Sari Nordlund – This sleeveless top is a texture lovers dream. Worked in one piece with an allover pattern. Travelling twisted stitches and scallop lace go together to make this simple shaped garment, a work of art. Cleverly reversible, with either a higher neckline worn at the back or front. Perfect for throwing on in a hurry. Knit in a cotton blend I would be tempted to knit this in Nuturing Fibres Eco-Lush or Eco-Fusion.

pom-pom-issue-29-06-kwa

Rievaulx by Josée Paquin – A lovely checkerboard of intarsia in a simply shaped tee. Worked completely flat, allowing you to get absorbed by the pattern. Sleeves are picked up around the arm hole and also worked flat with short row shaping. Finally the side seams are joined and ta-da! I would definitely go for Socks Yeah 4ply for this, with such a range of colours that work wonderfully together, you will be spoilt for choice.

pom-pom-issue-29-07-kwa

Rookwood by Rachael Reese – You may be knitting for summer but you still need shawls right?! A welcome layer to drape around the shoulders to shield from the sun, or give a little warmth if it gets cool. Simple panels of garter stitch are broken up with seafoam lace. A delightful lace stitch that plays with light in such a charming way. A nice sized triangular shape will carry you through to autumn as well. Knit in a no nylon sock yarn, well I would have to recommend Hey Mamma Wolf Sockyarn #04.

pom-pom-issue-29-08-kwa

Sanctuary by Stephanie Earp – The pattern repeat on this top is gorgeous and really runs with the theme. Little tile repeats radiate from the yoke of this top down worked in the round tee. The simple wide neck will make it a cool edition to your wardrobe but also stylish. Knit in a 4ply cotton blend, tey again either Nuturing Fibres Eco-Lush or Eco-Fusion.

pom-pom-issue-29-09-kwa

Tesserae by Marjorie Martin – A one piece circular yoked top, knitted in the from the top down. Using a mosaic pattern to great effect. Alternating 2 colours every other row, with a combination of slipped stitches. An attractive creature that finishes it off are the Latvian braids. I love the vibrant pattern of this one, a great opportunity to go wild with colour. Choose some nice contrasting colours and make the pattern vibrate. Knit in a wool silk blend Kettle Yarn Beyul might work well here, giving you a truly luxurious feel.

I really like this issue, I think it is a very strong theme to work with and there are some great summer wardrobe staples. Dream of the sun and get knitting!

Exploring Plant Dyes

It always amazes me what range of colours you can get from plants and plant material. Not only can they be subtle and delicate, they can be strong, punchy and vibrant. Plant dyes offer us a natural alternative to industrially used dyes. Often coming directly from the plant itself or from plant extracts. This can cut down on the harsher chemicals used in the process of industrial dying. Synthetic chemicals used in a majority of large scale commercial dyeing processes can pose hazards to the people working with them and the environment they may come into contact with. Plant dyes and the mordants used to treat the yarn in the smaller scale hand dying process, if handled properly, are often (depending on the material) less of a risk to the dyer and the environment. Plus plants offer us a renewable source of dyeing material and if farmed or gathered responsibly are much more sustainable and have less environmental impact.

plant06

At Knit With Attitude we stock a range of plant dyed yarns and I will take a little look at them below. I shall be focusing on Hey Mama Wolf and G-uld. Both Small scale producers, dyeing yarns with plant and natural dye stuffs. Both Hey Mama Wolf and G-uld focus on the craft skills involved, with a respect for the environment and the process of creating beautiful yarns. Both learning form nature and how the change of seasons brings different qualities to dyeing. Respecting old traditions, while also bringing them into the present.

plant07

G-uld labels showing the combination of materials used to generate different colours.

What I love about natural dyes is the combination of natural materials that go into creating a range of colours. This is shown most with G-uld and in some Hey Mama Wolf skeins. G-uld have labeled the combinations that go to creating each colour. Different amounts of each dyestuff creating different saturations of colour.

Let’s look at these yarns in more detail and check out some project inspiration.

Hey Mama Wolf

plant04

Hey Mama Wolf is the creation of Jule. Based in Germany, she dyes her yarns naturally and also most of the yarns themselves are, sourced and processed locally to her. She works from her home which is an old watermill in Prignitz. To read our interview with Jule, check out our earlier Blog Post.

plant11

First up we have Sockyarn #04. A sturdy 4ply sock yarn which is a blend of Merino, Corriedale and Ramie Fibre. Ramie is a plastic free alternative to nylon and is a member of the nettle family. Sockyarn #04 is soft but crisp, will give you good definition and great for textural stitches. Not just for socks, it would be great for any garment.

plant01

Here’s a groovy sock pattern that highlights this yarns crisp definition. The Practice Theory Socks by Roos Vlaskamp. Great for a quick one skein project.

plant10

Next up is Schafwolle #03. A 100 % Organic wool from small farms in North and East Germany. A blend of Merino and Black Face sheep processed and spun in Germany and the Czech Republic. A worsted weight yarn perfect for colour work or textured jumper projects. Will give great definition and hold pattern well.

plant02

Who could forget Moonbow by Jule herself. A great relaxed jumper from Pom Pom 26 – The Moon Issue. Perfect for showing off your favourite colour. Plus you even get the opportunity to use some Sockyarn #04.

plant08

Lastly but definitely not least from Hey Mama Wolf is the Ahimsa No.10. So much luxury in these 50g Skeins. Ahimsa is a 100% Organic Peace Silk. Ahimsa means non-violent in sanskrit and the production of this Indian yarn allows the silk moths to hatch from the cocoons. It’s lace weight with a slightly matte feel, but still the sheen you expect from silk. Perfect held double with another yarn or on its own for a wonderful heirloom piece.

plant03

Create something of beauty with this yarn, knit lacey! The stunning Fylleryd by Mia Rinde would be ideal. Lace pattern repeats will give you an elegant shawl you will treasure and can be knit in one or two skeins.

G-uld

50047064_420418765167808_7952529943310297144_n

G-uld are based in Bredsten, Denmark and dye and teach all things natural dyeing. G-uld is based on solid craftsmanship, with an understanding and respect for material, quality and nature. Their colouring and choice of products are rooted in old traditions, and with a great desire for where the past meets the present. To read more about them see out earlier Blog Post.

plant09

We stock their dreamy Alpaca yarn which we have in 20 dyed colours and 2 natural shades. Dyed on the white and grey bases with various combinations of natural dyes to give a great range of colour. This yarn has lovely drape and ideal

for anything from accessories to jumpers and cardigans.

plant05

What better way to explore these colours than with a dreamy fade project. The Dip Dye Kids Beanie by Camilla Vad uses three shades to create the most sumptuously soft and cosy little hat.

I hope this post has encouraged you to look at plant dyes and made you think. They are not just washed out and insipid, but fun, bright and inspiring!

Of course if you want to have a go at plant dying yourself we have the natural dying kits from Hey Mama Wolf. Including Yarn Dying kits and Eco Print Fabric kits.

hey-mama-wolf-dye-kit-birchleaves-wo1-02-kwa

Yarn Feature: The Fibre Co. – Meadow

The Fibre Co’s Yarn of the Month for May is Meadow. So what better way to shed some light on this gorgeous yarn, than a Yarn Feature. The Fibre Co are well know for creating interesting fibre blends and Meadow is no exception. A blend of 40% Merino Wool, 25% Baby Llama, 20% Silk, 15% Linen. The Merino and Baby Llama provide softness and bounce, the Silk sheen and drape, and the Linen a crisp hand and lovely stitch definition. Perfection!

meadow01

The Fibre Co began in 2003 in an old warehouse on the working waterfront of Portland, Maine, USA. Founded by Daphne Marinopoulos, they began with a small spinning mill, lots of raw natural fibre and a vision of creating yarns that she couldn’t find on the retail shelves. Now based in the UK the Fibre Co have become a global brand, working with a variety of producers and artisans.

meadow03

A detail of Fairy Mist by Knitted Bliss.

The Fibre Co describe Meadow as ‘Rustic Luxury’, inspired by the eco system of meadows. How they house local fauna and serve as a fertile growing ground for flora of many varieties. Meadows are usually filled with grasses and other non-woody plants so have a feeling of lightness, which lends itself perfectly to this beautiful lace weight yarn.

meadow02

The fibre blend creates and interesting texture and the dying process has given a compelling play of colour throughout the skien. It’s fibrous, but soft and will add a nice heathered texture to your projects. Earthy but sumptuous.

Spun into a 2 ply yarn that’s slightly heavier than a typical lace weight yarn. This blend of fibres creates a versatile yarn able to work on a wide range of projects and over a variety of needle sizes. Made and dyed in Peru, these 100g skeins have 498m / 545yds per skien, with a tension of: 32–36sts over 10cm / 4″ and a recommended needle size of between 2.25cm-3.25mm.

Lets take a look at a few patterns that give justice to this super yarn:

meadow07

Summer Meadow by Janina Kallio is a simple easy to knit shawl that will celebrate the yarn, while not complicating it with fussy details. Textured garter stitch is offset with eyelet rows on stocking stitch. The lightness of Meadow will make this the perfect elegant layer.

meadow06Planting Seeds by Helen Stewart is the project for those who can’t decide on one colour. Knit in three skiens of Meadow, bold and graphic but with a lightness from the yarn. Slipped stitches add interest here and create an interesting interplay with the other colours.

meadow05

Huia by Libby Jonson is a luxurious, light cardigan with pretty lace details. A go to layer, that is smart, while also being relaxed. No picking up for the bands, the edge detail is worked with the body.

meadow04

Fluted by Cecily Glowik MacDonald, is a simple cardigan that showcases this yarn. Worked seamlessly, top down and uncomplicated. The smallest of details are provided by the Art Deco-esque designs on the collar.

I hope this post has inspired you to take a look at this fabulous fibre blend and made you think about giving lace weight knitting a go.

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.

plant-fibres01

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.

plant-fibres02

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:

plant-fibres06

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.

plant-fibres05

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.

plant-fibres03

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

plant-fibres07

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.

plant-fibres08

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..

plant-fibres04

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:

plant-fibres09

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.

plant-fibres10

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.

 

New Yarn: G-uld Naturally Dyed Alpaca

We are beyond excited to be the first stockist of G-uld! G-uld is an independent yarn dyer in Denmark who dye exclusively with natural dyes. These stunning range of colours are concocted with pure artistry. Their ethos is based on good craftsmanship, with understanding and respect for the material, quality and nature. Their production and materials are rooted in old traditions and with a great desire for the past to meet the present.

0e17fee6547f496c762330555afabed74cfee078

G-uld was founded in 2013 by Anne Støvlbæk Kjær and Louise Schelde Jensen and the team now consists of Anne Støvlbæk Kjær, Louise Schelde Jensen and Daniel Ejler Christensen.

“First and foremost, we want to deliver delicious plant-colored yarn, beautifully designed and inspirational. Knitting joy, presence and good experiences that come from working with good craftsmanship and good materials. And an insight into historical dyeing of textiles and yarn.”

Their interest lies in bringing us back to hand skills. Where mass production and technology has made us lose touch. In the past the hand skills of the individual was often a necessity and way of life. These crafts often involved nature and the craftspeople and nature were at one. There was a knowledge in the year’s course, materials, and accessibility. But these crafts still live on and in a busy world it is important to remember them.

“For us, the good qualities of the materials and exciting history ensure that with the work of the hand they can create unique things, and perhaps through the process, achieve mental health. We believe that in the 21st century we need unique elements – and good craftsmanship that has taken time to make, is definitely worth waiting for”

53759602_403052907144859_1371816156406274843_n

Now for the yarn itself! A super soft, 100% Alpaca in a collection of 20 amazing naturally dyed shades and 2 undyed. G-uld Alpaca is a 4Ply weight yarn with a lovely twist, making sure you get a superb stitch definition. A luxurious yarn perfect for your new favourite jumper, cardigan, hat or shawl, the possibilities are endless. Each colour is labelled with the natural dye material used to develop that specific colour. Anything from Madder Root to Walnut and many in between.

guld-alpaca-kwa01

A new yarn needs new inspiration so here is a selection of great projects to get you started. In store we have, the Rambling Rose Jacket, Westwind Cowl and Sunflower Beanie.

709ee4f7fc8f29ecf9c79aa3c788b9a9037fbccd

Here is the Rambling Rose Jacket by Susie Haumann. A simple open jacket edged with a pretty cable detail. Seen here in strong deep purpley-red from the cochineal dyed KWA01. The alpaca would make this a wonderfully soft top with great drape, the perfect warming layer.

Cowl.1

The Westwind Cowl by Louise Schelde Jensen will highlight the texture of this yarn and give you great definition. A simple mesh pattern is repeated with garter ridges in between. Give yourself over to the colourful joys of this yarn and knit this pleasing warm cowl.

42ad48243f08654c3a602086dacfdb597cae4183

The Sunflower Beanie by Marie Mønster lets you play with two colours. A perfect two skein project and a great way to experiment with this yarn. It’s clever design creates a spiral of stitches reminiscent of the seeds lined up in the centre of a sunflower. Seen here in the Madder Root dyed KWA08 and the Undyed Grey.

You have to see this yarn to believe it, the amazing skill of the dyers and the ability to produce such an amazing range of colours with just natural materials is mind blowing. Whats more it’s on the most gorgeous base you could imagine.

Yarn Pairings for Interpretations Vol. 6

The popular design duo of Veera Välimäki and Joji Locatelli have come together again for another super edition of Interpretations, now in it’s 6th volume! The Interpretations series is the work of two friends, one from Finland and the other from Argentina. Each volume is based around 6 words, these 6 words give the inspiration for 12 designs. The words inspiring this issue are: Courage, Glee, Silence, Rapture, Connection and Scale. Each designer producing a design inspired by each word. This issue has a textural monochrome feel, with large shawls that have extensive pattern repeats and cosy tops with a relaxed and comfy fit. Working with the same starting point, the identity of each designer can really shine through, bringing a unique twist and personality to each piece.

Interpretations-Vol-6-coverThere is something available from head to toe in this issue, so below I have taken a look at the designs and put together some yarn pairings.

Courage:

Interpretations-Vol-6-05The Moonquake Cowl by Veera Välimäki is a graphic brioche cowl. Who doesn’t love brioche? Giving you dynamic vertical stripes and making such a wonderful squishy fabric, perfect for accessories like this. Mixing it up, the brioche rib flips and in doing so the dominant colour flips. Perfect for playing with those high contrast yarns. This pattern calls for a Hedgehog Fibres, try in contrasting tones of Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles for a looser gauge knit.

Interpretations-Vol-6-07The Resolute Wrap by Joji Locatelli is a massive all over lace, arrow shaped shawl. Chevrons of a bold graphic lace repeat are broken repeatedly by a few rows of garter stitch. This gives structure and direction to the shape, while also anchoring the eye and avoiding an over saturation of pattern. This would look beautiful in the slightly variegated tones of Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply.

Glee:

Interpretations-Vol-6-11

The Wintergate Beanie by Veera Välimäki is a compelling all over cabled design. Featuring large and small cables that intertwine. It is like a pocket sized cabled sweater with interesting shaping and intriguing pattern. Giving you the fun of a cabled project but without the marathon of a large garment. Knit in a sport weight, try Blue Sky Fibres Alpaca Sport, for a hug your head deserves.

Interpretations-Vol-6-04The Moonlight Socks by Joji Locatelli makes use of a strong graphic pattern repeat along the front. Complex without being too fussy, while also being interesting to knit. Knit in five different shades to create a faded design, with a great colour palette to choose from try picking a gradient from the selection of Coopknits Socks Yeah!

Silence:

Interpretations-Vol-6-03

The Hidden Sweater by Veera Välimäki is a delight in monochrome textural work. The yoke doesn’t employ two colours for effect, but is drained of colour. Leaving the essence of a yoke behind. That doesn’t mean it’s boring, but instead is striking. The texture of the stitches are allowed to bring their own colour. Toped off by it’s relaxed fit and rolled neck, it is also comfy. Try the luscious softness of The Fibre Co. Cumbria.

Interpretations-Vol-6-10

The Understated Sweater by Joji Locatelli is a classic example of Joji’s ability to make effortless and wearable pieces. The simple boxy low-cut top is the perfect layer over a shirt. It’s smart shape is highlighted by a modest rib detail along the shoulders. Try this in Fyberspates Vivacious DK.

Rapture:

Interpretations-Vol-6-09

The Smoke and Amber Wrap by Veera Välimäki has the perfect name. Ribbons of cable fill this shawl, but they also change direction along their length. This creates a texture that beguiles the eye, taking it on a journey and losing it, like being lost in fog or not quite making out something through a haze of smoke. I would be tempted to knit this in Kettle Yarn Islington DK, it’s sheen would catch the light and highlight the cables beautifully.

Interpretations-Vol-6-06

The Ravishing Vest by Joji Locatelli is a graceful long cardigan. It’s elegant shaping would make the perfect layer over summer dresses, when the temperature cools in the evening. The sophisticated shaping is given form by textural stitches that change style at the waist, playing with the silhouette of the body. Knit in a sport weight merino/silk blend try it in Scrumptious 4ply/Sport.

Connection:

Interpretations-Vol-6-12

The Frozen Fields Shawl by Veera Välimäki, like is namesake, has an air of the crisp frost that settles on the ground in the morning. Garter stitch ridges have a great effect here, becoming almost structural against the lace panel repeat. The lace itself separates, giving character and interest to the overall design. Knit in a subtle gradients of Ninapetrina Tynn Rosy Merino, a slightly heavier gauge but the colours are oh so perfect.

Interpretations-Vol-6-01

The Community Tunic by Joji Locatelli features a bold yoke with strong graphic shapes, moving away from the traditions of a complicated pattern repeat. Simple yet bold the yoke gives this top a strong modern feel, without being austere. Long in the body it would make the perfect layer over leggings, what’s even better is it has pockets. Stylish yet practical. Try Hey Mama Wolf’s Schafwolle #03 for a sturdy practical top.

Scale:

Interpretations-Vol-6-08

The Saltwater Coat by Veera Välimäki is a practical cardigan, making the perfect layer. Short oversized sleeves make this garment roomy while also stopping it being cumbersome. Knit in reversed stocking stitch, it makes use of the textural purl side and it also has a pair of good sized pockets. Knit the in this in the cosy Hillesvåg Blåne.

Interpretations-Vol-6-02The Evolve Shawl by Joji Locatelli is a texture lovers dream, while also having the joy of fading yarns in a harmonious way. A bold elongated triangle is made graphic by the triangle shaped stitch repeat, bringing subtle angles along its length. Between colours is an even bolder garter ridge striping which breaks the pattern repeats in a striking way. Knit like this in three distinct speckled monochrome colours, the end result is vivid and elegant. This design calls for the moody shades of Black Elephant Merino Singles.

This issue has a gentle feel, strong designs, but with a sensitivity. Colours are muted and understated and the pieces are wearable and practical. A lovely issue that I hope will inspire many creations.