Knit a Rainbow – Green

Here at Knit with attitude colour is one of the most debated topics. So instead of doing a fibre or brand feature, I thought I would do little colour ones instead. So this post bypasses projects and specific yarn weights and lets us just love colour. Hopefully if you have a favourite colour in mind, or just looking for that right shade, this will give you some inspiration. Did you know you can search our website by colour as well?

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Continuing with classic rainbow order we move on to green! This has to be my favourite, I love these greens. Green can be pulled in many directions, towards blue becoming teal, sea green or jade. Towards brown becoming more olive or moss. Even yellow plays with green making it more acidic, like lime. Green is the colour of nature, of forests and of leaves, to be green thumbed is to be good in the garden but you can also be green with envy, a term we have to thank Shakespeare for.

So here we have them, my pick of the greens. For more details of each brand look below. Or if you would like to search out your own green, follow this link to the green section of our website: GREEN.

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The Fibre Co. – Cumbria in Helvellyn – 4ply 100g – 60% Merino wool, 30% Brown Masham, 10% Mohair. Cumbria comes in a classic 4Ply weight, it is a sturdy still soft to the touch yarn, suitable for all 4Ply knitting projects.

Garnsurr – Pan in Preinas – DK 100g – 70% Buck Moahir, 30% Dallasheep. Garnsurr is a social integration project for refugee women. Enabling women through learning the language and the wonderful creative art of hand dyeing.

Fyberspates – Cumulus in 903 Bottle Green – Lace 25g – 74% Baby Suri Alpaca, 26% Mulberry Silk. Cumulus is a deliciously soft, heavy lace weight baby alpaca yarn with a wonderful halo.

Kettle Yarn – Islington DK in Ochre – DK 100g – 55% British Bluefaced Leicester Wool, 45% Silk. A lightweight BFL wool and silk blend, versatile and strong while maintaining buttery softness – a sophisticated choice for everyday items, luxurious next-to-skin wear and precious accessories.

Växbo Lin – Lingarn in Leaf Green – 4ply 100g – 100% Linen. This 100% natural pure linen yarn, traditionally grown and spun in Sweden, is certified with the Swedish Good Environmental Choice label (Bra Miljöval) because of its durability and environmentally friendly processing.

Coopknits – Socks Yeah! in 114 Peridot – 4ply 50g – 75% Merino 25% Nylon. A fabulous sock yarn with a gorgeous palette in a wide range of colours designed by Rachel Coopey. Socks Yeah! is hardwearing and can be machine washed at 30 degrees.

Hedgehog Fibres – Kidsilk Lace in Shamrock – Lace 50g – 70% Kid Moahir, 30% Silk. The Kidsilk Lace is a glowing pure silk core wrapped in soft fuzzy mohair halo, the ultimate lace yarn.

G-uld – alpaca in KWA20 – 4ply 50g – 100% Alpaca. Naturally dyed and oh so soft alpaca yarn from G-uld.

The Fibre Co. – Lore in Earthy – DK 100g – 100% Kent Lambswool. Lore is a 100% Lambswool, an honest woollen spun DK weight yarn that blooms into a beautiful knitted fabric after washing.

Susan Crawford – Fenella in Myrtle – 2ply 25g – 100% Pure British Wool. A 2 ply yarn that knits up to that elusive vintage ‘3 ply’ tension, grown, spun, dyed and finished in Britain.

John Arbon – Devonia DK in Ivy Leaf – DK 100g – 50% Exmoor Blueface, 30% Devon Bluefaced Leicester, 20% Devon Wensleydale. A gorgeous blend of 3 UK breeds, creating a soft to the hand and shiny yarn in 4Ply and DK.

Hey Mama Wolf – Schafwolle #03 in Buckthorn Green II – Worsted 100g – 100% Organic Wool. Schafwolle #03 is a natural dyed, worsted weight organic wool yarn from Hey Mama Wol

Nurturing Fibres – Eco-Fusion in Emerald – 4ply 50g – 50% Bamboo, 50% Cotton. Eco-Fusion is a 50/50 blend of bamboo and cotton yarn that can be used for everything from cardigans to blankets. The cotton and bamboo are locally grown and while not certified organic, they have been farmed with these principles.

Hillesvåg – Troll in Lys Olivengrønn – Aran 100g – 100% Norwegian Wool. Traditionally spun by the family owned mill Hillesvåg, in 100% Norwegian Wool, Troll is an Aran weight yarn in a wide colour palette.

Stolen Stitches – Nua in Mosquito Coast – Sport 50g – 60% Merino, 20% Yak, 20% Linen. Nua is a lightweight blend of merino, yak, and linen, in a gorgeous range of colours with a natural tweed effect.

Fyberspates – Scrumptious 4ply in Key Lime – 4ply/Sport 100g – 55% Superwash Merino, 45% Silk. This 4-ply merino and silk blend yarn is a must for your favourite projects, and with its tight twist and superb stitch definition it will show off techniques like cables and lace spectacularly.

 

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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What do you get the knitter that has everything… part 2 – that special skein.

Following on from my earlier blog post I have been thinking over what makes a good gift for a knitter. There are a lot of different choices for yarn so I have decided to focus on that special skein. These special skeins make the perfect knitters treat. They might not be something that a knitter would buy for themselves but they are always welcome presents.

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So here’s a little break down of some special skeins that would make a great gift, I have focused on our range of amazing hand dyed yarns from a selection of talented hand dyers,  just one or two of these would be enough to make something special.

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Miniskeins! I think have to be every knitters weakness. What better way to sample the delights of a hand dyer than with these little gorgeous bite size skeins. These mini’s from Black Elephant are 20g of a 4ply Superwash Merino Single. Try one or two to add little colour pops to projects or crocheting little granny squares to start a blanket. Try four or five for a little striped hat or fingerless gloves. You can also embrace the fading possibilities on a much smaller scale. Like this cute little combo I have picked out featuring: Cornfields, Pineapple Express, Nostalgia, Mudbound and Daryl.

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What about socks! Here are some special skeins that would give the sock knitter endless joy. Sock Yarn is not only for socks either and can be used for any project. Here we have the popular Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in Beach Bunny. This sturdy 4ply sock yarn of Bluefaced Leicester and Nylon is strong and gives good stitch definition. The Garnsurr Søkke Merino is a a hand dyed Merino Nylon blend, super soft and luxurious. Garnsurr is a Norwegian company that not only produces gorgeous yarn but also employs refugee women. They are giving a skill and are helped to settle and learn Norwegian. This is a great yarn to give as a gift as it introduces people to the great work that Garnsurr do. For more information on Garnsurr check out our interview with Ann Helen, Garnsurr’s founder. Looking for a hand dye that has an interesting dyeing background then try Hey Mama Wolf’s Sockyarn #04. These skeins are dyed completely with natural dye by the talented Jule. She uses a mixture of plant based dye stuffs that will have you amazed at the range of colours. For a pair of socks just one of these 100g skeins will have you sorted.

specialskein-02Want to amaze someone with a spectacular special skein that they are unlikely to find in many places try the Pan by Garnsurr. The great people at Garnsurr have applied their dyeing magic to this DK weight blend of Buck Mohair and Dalasheep. This is one for the knitter that gets geeky about their breeds. This slightly coarser hand dye takes the colour amazingly and they are all deep and rich. One of these would be perfect for a hat or a pair of gloves, or even a little snood. (I just released a design using this yarn, and you can find my Pan Snood on my Ravelry page).

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Looking for a two skein combo try Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles. HHF’s vibrant dyes are bound to get the knitter in your life excited! With a huge selection of semi-solids, speckled and poppy shades, finding a colour combo is easy peasy making you the most popular gift buyer this year!

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Another firm favourite for the knitters that prefer a heavier knit – or just need top get that last minute knitted gift sorted. With one of these Hedgehog Fibres Merino DKs you can whip up a hat or a pair of wrist warmers in no time! And again – we have plenty of colours to choose from.

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This one is for all the experimental knitters that love a good fibre combo. There is such a craze in the knitting world these days combining a single soft strand of fluffy yarn with a sturdier one, no surprise really, because this creates the most stunning and wearable of textures. As we see one designer after the other releasing gorgeous projects using HHF Kidsilk Lace in this way, you can’t go wrong gifting a hank or two to someone who really deserves it!

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Finally, we have to talk about Linda! Did you know that Kettle Yarn Co. is the handdyer that has been with Knit with attitude the longest? Not only is Linda our dear friend, she makes some amazing colours on equally amazing yarns! For discerning makers looking for the most precious materials, all yarns are extensively wear tested and only the highest quality, scrumptiously soft but rugged blends make the grade for the Kettle Yarn Co yarns. Pictured above is Islington DK – a high twist BFL and silk blend, and below is Beyul 4Ply that combines the best of 3 fibres – the gentle halo of high quality Yak down, a subtle shimmer from silk, and the bouncy goodness of the softest superwash Merino.

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The ideas I’ve gathered here are some of our most striking hand dyes which would be on every knitter’s wish list, however our shop is filled with woolly gems and special skeins from all over the world for you to fall in love with. Why not grab a cuppa and go for a proper browse through – there is still time before Christmas and you do deserve a colourful and inspirational break!

Yarn Feature: Garthenor Number 1

We have had this yarn for a little while at Knit With Attitude and it’s really nice to revisit it and give it it’s time in the limelight.

If you are looking for organic and British, Garthenor is for you. Starting in the 1990’s Garthernor produced wool from their own flock, as they grew they have expanded into buying fleece directly from farmers around the UK. Their mission is to promote and provide a variety of sustainable, organic & British wool products in an ecologically responsible way. Through this they aim to help secure the future of British organic agriculture and the British textile industry.

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Garthenor Number 1 is an undyed, wooden spun, single ply, lace weight yarn. It’s has the biggest range of shades of any undyed yarn we carry. Eleven in total! All eleven colours are produced by blending just eight different colours of fleece, giving a yarn with a wonderfully heathered depth. This yarn is perfect for garments as well as accessories like shawls and hats.

It’s always nice to have a little look at some patterns. Here is a selection below to get you thinking about your next project:

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Amory by Isabell Kraemer is a uncomplicated, seamless top down jumper. With its simple neckline and lace bottom, it’s elegant but wearable. The lightness of the yarn making it the perfect jumper for adding layers.

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Vederlicht by Cello Knits. These cosy leg warmers, or arm warmers, are perfect for adding that extra layer for winter. Whats better is they only take one 50g skein.

P1260315Mahy by Karie Westermann. A classic triangle shawl with bold lace panels. Garter stitch rows making perfect use of Garthenor’s earthy qualities.

I hope this post gets you excited about knitting with lace. It’s earthy texture and colour will lend a warm tone to anything knit in it. Giving you a light but rustic fabric.

Interview with Jule from
Hey Mama Wolf

In our effort to create a full range of ethical and environmentally sourced yarns, we have spent a long time searching for a company making yarn dyed with plants, or naturally dyed yarn. This is an inherently niche idea, so while there are people out there naturally dying yarn, it was difficult to find someone dying that could also handle the larger scales required to supply orders from yarn shops. We were so excited to meet Jule who came to visit the shop while she was in London attending Pomfest this summer and discover her yarn company, Hey Mama Wolf. Not only does Jule dye all of her yarns naturally, the yarns themselves are also sourced and processed locally to her in Germany, greatly reducing the carbon footprint of the yarn. We have started off with the Sockyarn #04 and kits to do your own natural dying at home.

With all this to consider, we were excited to ask Jule a few questions about Hey Mama Wolf and learn about what goes on behind the scenes.

jule hmwHow long have you been knitting?
When I was about 10 years old we visited my great aunt Agnes and she told me that I needed to learn how to knit. Without further ado she just taught me. I don’t think I had a choice but I enjoyed it very much. First things I knitted were teeny tiny things for my Barbies – scarfs, hats and even mittens. Aunt Agnes was also the one who taught me mending and gave me my first sewing machine.

kupfer mordantWhat inspired you to get into dying and specifically natural dying?
Again I will start with my aunts and my grandma. Aunt Agnes was a garden architect, my grandma has a huge garden and another aunt is a herbalist. My mother often took me for long walks in the woods and the botanical gardens. They all planted the love for plants in me. I was always especially interested in healing plants. I became a textile and surface designer, and when I graduated from art school, I was a freelance knitwear designer. After having our first daughter I started looking for sustainable local yarns. I love natural wool colours very much but what would knitting be without colourful yarns? Two very good friends of mine asked me why don’t I do plant dyeing. I love to explore and I love plants. So these friends were absolutely right. I find great joy in dyeing with plants.

farbkarte birkeWhere and how do you source the dyes that you work with? Can you tell us more about the plant origins?
I started with using only hand gathered plants from walks in Berlin and Brandenburg, leftovers from friends (flowers, onion skins, avocado pits…) and what I got from the local organic market – turmeric, carrot greens, whatever wasn’t suitable for selling anymore. But I knew that I wouldn’t get far with that if HMW wanted to grow. Right now I’m using plant dye extracts that are made by a company nearby in Magdeburg. I was so thrilled when I found out that there is actually a company in Germany who does that. They come as an easy to use powder. The difference between these and chemical dyes is that they are still a natural product and are much more influenced by other parameters – water, weather, mordants, the yarn itself. Every dyer will get different results.

Some colours I prefer to dye with plant matter itself. I try to buy them organically and preferably local grown. I still get stuff from the local market and of course I’m still exploring the colours that surround me, my local dye plants. We live in an old water mill surrounded by nature, so when a tree falls down in a storm I gather the bark and leaves. When tansy and St. John’s Wort are flowering in abundance I will go and gather. Right now I’m very interested in using mushrooms as a dye material. It is a whole different story to plants though, I’ll have to get acquainted to the fungi world.

johannis etsyDo you have a favourite plant to dye with? 
Oh yes, many. The first that comes to my mind is birch bark. It smells so good when you cook it and most of the time it makes the most beautiful dusty pinks or golden browns. Then fresh St. John’s Wort flowers. You can dye at least four different colours with it, bright green, golden yellow, orange and maroon. I also find many oak galls on my walks and I love the greys that I can achieve with them.

birkenrinde topfThe fibre for your yarns are all sourced locally to you in northern Germany, can you tell us more about where they come from and how they are made?
Yes, the wool comes from small organic farms in northern and eastern Germany. The farms sometimes only have some sheep to mow the lawn, while others have as many as 200- 300 sheep to produce cheese and meat. I don’t know many of the farmers personally. The wool mill gathers the wool. They sort and scour it (just with plant based soap) and it is then spun. The natural brown wool is from the Frisian milk sheep of my neighbour Anna. She has about 150 sheep and makes the best cheese. Anna is a very inspiring person. She makes everything from the wool of her sheep. Carpets, woven fabric, mattresses and pillows, wall hangings and of course she spins and knits. It is lovely to stand next to her watching the sheep. She can tell a story of every single one of them.

faerberknoeterichHow do you develop a new colour way? Do you start with a specific combination in mind, or is it a happy accident? 
In the beginning there was exploring and many happy accidents. Now I can predict the outcome much better. Still natural dyes are always surprising. Some weeks ago I dyed a colour that I often dye, a best seller, a golden yellow with St. John’s Wort. I made two batches at the same time, doing everything absolutely exact according to my recipe. One batch was golden yellow, and one was green. A beautiful green and I would love to dye it again, but I don’t have a clue what went wrong. I can’t even blame the stars, because I made them at the same time. As a textile designer I work pretty much according to the books when developing a shade card. I make a mood board, then think about which plant can give me which colour.

muehle herbst 1What’s currently on your needles?
Too much. I have the Whinfell sweater of Jenn Steingass from Woods on my needles with my own hand dyed and hand spun yarns. There are mittens for our children with my Rauwerk wool. I’m working on a striped pullover with my #02 yarn. A pair of socks with the Mistletoe pattern by Verena Cohrs. A vest from my #03 yarn. But my favourite project these days is not knitting related. We’re currently renovating our old house and I’m trying to make plant pigments to use in my own wall paint.

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 Pairings for Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 18 Autumn 2016

We may still be experiencing summer temperatures, but it can be hard for a knitter to not cast their eye ahead to the next season, when it may only be a few weeks away! What better time to get a head start on cooler weather garments and accessories than long summer days? Here at the shop we have the shade cards laid out and we are picking lots of new colours and yarns for the coming seasons, we can’t wait for you to see it all!

In the mean time, Pom Pom Quarterly are as ever filling us with inspiration with the 11 designs in their latest Autumn issue. We have the issue available online and in the shop. It was shot in Hampstead Heath by Rachel Hayton. The issue focuses on naturally dyed yarns, and features articles by notable natural dyers such as Kristine Vejar,Caitlin ffrench and Emma Price.

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We were all swooning over Asklöv by Nicolina Lindsten. This two colour hat has endless possibilities for customization with colours, and would be suitably unisex. The original was knit in a soft yellow and ivory white, but we can’t help but dream of more combinations. We are looking at Blacker Yarn’s Tamar for inspiration. Charcoal and pale blue? Berry pink and grey? Forest green and lime? Too many choices!

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Florence is a beautiful stole/wrap by the talented Bristol Ivy. It is knit modularly, with each section joined to the previous through picking up stitches or increases and decreases. It is sure to be an interesting knit! We would knit it in an ombre of the natural shades of Purl Alpaca Fine.

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Iara is a beautiful scarf is by local to us designer Renée Callahan. It features a stunning stripe and slipped stitch design to create a graphic mosaic pattern. The lush colours of Scrumptious 4ply would shine in this scarf.

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Kaali is a pair of simple fingerless mittens by Fiona Alice. The main yarn is accented by small amounts of contrast colours in the cuffs. These are great stash busters, or a perfect excuse to match up unusual combinations. It would be the perfect use of Susan Crawford’s Fenella, which could be matched up with Excelana DK.

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Next up is Rocquaine by Christina Danaee, which has made its way onto a few of our to-knit lists! This is a modern take on a classic gansey style, with split hems and a textured yoke. We think it would be so dreamy to any day of the week! The only trouble would be picking a shade of John Arbon Knit By Numbers DK to knit it in!

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Next up is Serafine by Camille Rosselle. This pullover is knit top down, with cables that extend to hide a Kangaroo pocket in the front! The design has appeal for knitters of all ages, and in an aran weight is sure to keep its wearer warm and cozy. Almerino Aran by Rooster Yarns would provide a snuggly fabric with a bit of drape that would match well with the design.

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Tannins is the last of the scarves for the issue. Designed by Sally Oakley, it features a broomstick lace pattern and a dramatic fringe. The crisp stitch pattern is perfectly suited to a yarn like Mondial’s Bio Lana.

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Tevara is another luscious sweater, designed by Paula Periera. This sweater is all business in the front, with gentle twisted rib cuffs, collar and hem. The back is all party, featuring a large statement twisted rib design panel. We would love to see it in the equally lush Terra from The Fibre Co. Tevara-by-Paula-Pereira.-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-18-Autumn-2016-1Hanna Maciejewska’s Thessaly is the only cardigan of the issue. It features an open front with textured cable panels creating the bands and collar. The body of the sweater is knit in reversed stocking stitch. A yarn like Almerino DK from Rooster yarns would provide the crispness for the textured stitches, with plenty of drape for on open sweater. Thessaly-by-Hanna-Maciejewska-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-18-Autumn-2016

Turion by Linda Dubec rounds out the accessories. These otherwise simple mittens have a leaf pattern made with a series of cables and bobbles. Vivacious DK would make those bobbles pop against the reverse stocking stitch fabric. Turion-by-Linda-Dubec-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-18-Autumn-2016

Last but not least, we have Vellamo, the cover girl! Francesca Hughes has created a beautiful striped sweater with an overall zigzag stitch pattern made with increases and decreases and alternating bands of garter stitch and stocking stitch. We thing the lovely shades of The Fibre Co.’s Cumbria would sing in this design. Vellamo-by-Francesca-Hughes-Pom-Pom-Quarterly-Issue-18-Autumn-2016

That’s it for our recap of the Autumn 2016 issue of Pom Pom. We can’t wait to see your knits from this issue.

Yarn Pairings for Amirisu Volume 10

Amirsu have knocked it out of the park with another fantastic issue. Spring/Summer can be a traditionally difficult season for a knitting magazine, but there is no concern for that here! There are three beautiful tops, two sweaters and two shawls. Each of the pieces are wearable and practical, but with little details that really make them stand out. The theme for the issue is Spring Vintage, and all the garments are named after flowers. There is also a craft city guide of Nashville. We have Volume 10 available in store and online.

This issue also comes out in perfect timing for this year’s spring top KAL. We had such a good time last year, we couldn’t help but do it again this year. Stay tuned for more information!

First up is Asagi, a v-neck t-shirt designed by Bristol Ivy. The raglan sleeves feature a leaf lace motif that adds a bit of visual interest but would still be quite simple to knit. We love the idea of knitting it up in one of our sock yarns, such as Vivacious 4ply. The simplicity of the design would really let a hand dyed yarn shine.KOD-15819_medium2

Next up we have Botan, by Helen Stewart. This triangle shawl is based on garter stitch and has little bobbles in the stripes. This is a great way to show off a special yarn such as Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles. The stripes could easily be done with a leftover ball or another contrast skein.KOD-15869_medium2

Camellia by Joji Locatelli is the first of the sweaters. It is a relatively simple pullover with minimal shaping. The central stripe panel is knit side to side in garter stitch, and it has matching garter stitch bands for the hem and cuffs in a solid colour. We would knit it in Susan Crawford’s Excelana 4ply.KOD-16065_medium2

Nadeshiko, designed by Leila Raabe is a beautiful and beginner lace friendly shawl. It begins with a crescent of stocking stitch and purl ridges before moving into the lace border. A yarn like The Fibre Co.’s Meadow would really let the lace pattern shine.KOD-16006_medium2

The next top is Sango, by Melissa LaBarre. This simple top has a zigzag border, and a sweet button detail at the shoulder. We would knit it up in one of the many beautiful colours of Debbie Bliss Eco-Baby.KOD-16086_2_medium2

Sumire is the last of the shawls, this one by Nadia Crétin-Léchenne. It features a main colour for the body, and a small amount of yarn for the contrast border. This is a great pattern for both semi solid and solid hand dyed yarns. We have been dreaming of the fantastic colour combinations available with the Fyberspates Scrumptious 4plyKOD-16199_2_medium2

Last but not least is Wisteria by Amy Christoffers. This cardigcan features an allover lace pattern that makes it perfect for summer months. Knit up in Kettle Yarn Co. Islington DK it would be warm with a delicious shine! KOD-15947_medium2

Summer Knitting with Jess

It’s starting to look like it will be another cracking summer season here in London, and that means it’s time to take a holiday. We’ve organized an interview with the staff of the shop to see how they plan their vacation projects and what they may be bringing along. We will feature one of our staff members each week. 

What sort of holiday are you going on? Are you going to be on the beach, staying local, flying, train? Does this influence your project planning?

This summer I’m on a lazy beach/pool holiday to Turkey. I like to take a project that’s relatively straight forward as I find there are usually too many distractions for anything too complicated and as I always only ever take hand luggage it has to be something small. But I wouldn’t want to be knitting a big old wooly jumper or blanket in the heat anyway, so that’s fine!

What are you working on?

I’m currently working on a two colour fisherman’s rib cotton top for my 3 year old niece. I’ve shown her a sample and she says she likes the colours. Phew!Jess_jumper_debbie_bliss_knit_with_attitude

Fisherman’s Rib Sweater from Debbie Bliss Eco Baby Prints in Carnival and Mariner

What’s your ideal holiday knitting scene?

Sitting on the balcony in the early evening sipping on a gin and tonic or a glass of white wine looking across a beautiful view. Here’s the view from the veranda we had in Turkey. Perfect!Jess_holiday_turkey_knit_with_attitudeDo you think that you’ll come back with a finished FO (finished object) or a WIP (work in progress)?

Almost certainly not. I’ll probably also come back with several unfinished books!

Fibre Feature Fridays: Cotton

One of the hardest things about choosing a new project is deciding which yarn to use. We have lots of yarns in the shop that are great for summer and lightweight knits. Our Summer Top KAL is in full swing, so over the next few weeks we will feature different fibres that we carry and highlight what makes them good for summer knits to help you decide on what to use. Some will be familiar to you, some may be a surprise!

Our first fibre feature is cotton. Cotton is pretty well known for being a summer fabric. It is a plant fibre that is cool, soft and easy to clean. It has none of the ‘prickle’ factor that animal fibres can have, so it works equally well for those with skin sensitivities and for hot weather.

Unfortunately, cotton has a bit of a contentious place in the global fibre industry at the moment. Due to the high quantity of water and pesticides needed to make cotton grow on an industrial level, commercial cotton can have disastrous results for the environment. This is why we do everything we can to carry yarns that come from companies that ensure their cotton comes from ethical and environmentally friendly sources.

Debbie Bliss Eco Baby in solid colours

Debbie Bliss Eco Baby in solid colours

Eco Baby is hands down the most environmentally friendly cotton in the shop. Not only is it organically grown, it is also dyed with non-toxic dyes in recycled water to minimize the impact on the communities that produce the yarn. Debbie Bliss has ensured that the yarns are produced in a way that benefits the producers in other ways as well, the labour is fair trade as well. Eco Baby comes in a range of solid pastels, as well as variegated. Perfect to mix and match. Debbie Bliss’s Eco Baby and Eco Baby Print – a 100% certified organic and fair trade cotton.

Debbie Bliss Eco Baby Prints

Debbie Bliss Eco Baby Prints

We love our Manos yarns, and Serena is no exception. Manos del Uruguay is a non-profit social organization and a member of the World Fair Trade Organization. Since 1968, Manos has provided jobs for craftswomen living in Uruguay rural areas. The Manos mission is to eradicate poverty through sustainable economic growth and by enabling craftspeople to improve the quality of their craft products. Serena is a cotton and alpaca (yes! alpaca!) blend. The alpaca makes the yarn incredibly light, while the cotton makes it more appropriate for warm temperatures. We have 6 super sweet and summery colours in stock that range from pastel blue to bright pop orange. Manos Serena – 60% Baby Alpaca/40% Cotton.

serena_glacier2318

Manos del Uruguay Serena

Mirasol is another company that works directly with the communities that produce it, this time in the Munani region of Puno in Peru. A percentage of each yarn sale goes directly to help fund a remote school. We have a range of 12 brights and neutrals that are perfect for any sunny day. Mirasol Pima Kuri – 100% ethically produced Pima Cotton

Mirasol Yarn Collection Pima Kuri

Mirasol Yarn Collection Pima Kuri

What can’t you say about Noro?! This well established company from Japan ticks all the boxes. They are environmentally friendly, from the fibres to the dying, and boy to they know colour! Noro is personally involved with inspecting all aspects of production, from visiting the animal farms to checking the machinery used and keeping restrictions on the dye processes to maintain products that are as eco-friendly as possible. Between the unusual fibre combinations to the trademark long colour repeats, Noro is always recognizable on the shelf. We have Noro Kibou – 54% Cotton, 34% Wool, 12% Silk and Noro Tokonatsu – 40% Cotton 30% Silk 30% Viscose, in stock.

Noro Kibou

Noro Kibou

Noro Tokonatsu

Noro Tokonatsu

Colour can be a bit tricky with cotton, which is one reason we are happy to work with Wool and the Gang. We also know that their yarns are all ethically produced in partnership with small producers in Peru. Their Shiny Happy Cotton is produced with no use of pesticides and comes in over 20 shades! It’s hard to pick just one.  WATG Shiny Happy Cotton – 100% Cotton

Wool and the Gang Shiny Happy Cotton

Wool and the Gang Shiny Happy Cotton