Throwback Thursday –
Spitalfields Shawl

For this, the first of the Throwback Thursday posts we are casting our minds back to 2015 and the 5th anniversary of Knit With Attitude. The aptly named Spitalfields Shawl takes its name from Maya’s beginnings with Knit With Attitude. Maya started her shop as a stall at the Spitalfield’s Market with two boxes of yarn. The Spitalfield’s Shawl was launched at The Great London Yarn Crawl of 2015.

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This graphic two colour shawl made up of garter stitch stripes and simple lace was designed by Natalie Selles. She says of the design:

‘I wanted a shawl with strong graphic lines to represent the ethical stance that Maya has taken with the shop. The shawl is very easy as it is written in garter stitch. It is perfect for new knitters who want to expand their skills to some easy lace, or for experienced knitters looking for an easy knit.’

Choose two contrasting colours in a solid and a variegated and watch them play together. Knit from the top corner with increasing rows, relaxing blocks of garter stitch are interspersed with a simple yarn over lace. Then the garter stripes take another angle with simple short rows. This design would make a great shawl project for someone looking to get their head around simple lace and shorts rows and would be ideal for an enthusiastic beginner.

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Knit in DesignEtte a 4ply raw silk. Two of the solid Hokkaido and one of the variegated Shikoku. Designette is a company that is focused on sustainability with their yarn production, and ensures that their yarns are made in countries with strict and enforced labour laws. Raw silk differs from other silks in that it contains sericin, which is usually removed by boiling the silk in soapy water. This protein is produced by the silk worm when making its cocoon and gives the fibre a matte finish and almost papery feel. It is also is more nubbly with an interesting slightly uneven texture.

To celebrate this design we have put some kit colour suggestions together. Find some ideas below and click through to shop the kits or come up with your own variations of Hokkaido and Shikoku.

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Aquarium – Shikoku Tropical Fish x 1, Hokkaido Nezumi x 2. Watery blues and greens sit nicely against a neutral grey. A cool combination that will really highlight the variegated colours.

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City Lights – Shikoku Raspberry x 1, Hokkaido Black x 2. A striking combination using a strong black background colour. The variegated yarn will really pop out and give a punk vibe.

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Riverbed – Hokkaido Blue Bird x 1, Hokkaido Sepia x 2. All solids here, but I think the warm tones of the Sepia really compliments the Blue Bird. A really calming colour combination.

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Raspberry Jam – Shikoku Candy x 1, Hokkaido Salvia x 2. A very subtle combination but still bright and bold. This will really highlight the texture of the shawl.

If you now feel encouraged to start off your very own Spitalfields Shawl, you’ll get 10% off the kit when entering the code ‘spitalfieldsthrowback’ in your cart before checkout. The offer ends at midnight UK time tomorrow Friday September 27th .

What Maya Knits –
Moonshadow Tunic

Yay, I just finished something – and not just any something, but a gorgeous test knit I did for my lovely friend Julie Knits in Paris. If you’ve followed the blog for a while you’ll know that this is not the first of Julie’s designs that I’ve made, I do adore her sense of construction, and this is often what draws me into a project (rather than just the colour and stitches chosen). When I saw Julie’s teaser pictures I immediately noticed the shoulder detail, and I knew this was my summer project to be.

Moonshadow shoulder detail

As I worked through the pattern I truly enjoyed the raglan shaping and the lace section, but it also brought the opportunity to learn something new – German Short Rows. I’ve not come across this technique before and now I’m obsessing over it. As a technique it is much simpler to do than the ‘usual’ wrap and turn, and I think it works very well for the transition between stockinette and lace. In the Moonshadow design the German Short Rows are used to create a longer back shaping before you start on the lace at the bottom of the body.

Let’s talk about the yarn! The Moonshadow is knitted in Meadow by The Fibre Co. I’ve mentioned so many times before how Daphne of the Fibre Co. is a true magician coming to putting together the most amazing fibre blends, and Meadow is no exception. This yarn is a stunning blend of Merino and Baby Llama, that provide softness and bounce, Silk that gives sheen and drape, and Linen which offers a crisp hand and lovely stitch definition. It is a lace weight yarn, but for the Moonshadow you knit it on 5mm needles, still, due to the plumpness of this yarn you achieve a neat and even fabric, it is not ‘netty’ as you might would have assumed. The Meadow also has a very generous meterage – for my size small I used two hanks, with plenty of leftover – so it comes out quite cost effective.

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I wanted a slightly more fitted version so I did the size small, the pictures show my Moonshadow on a size medium dummy. Other than that I followed the pattern religiously, there is no waist shaping in the pattern, but it doesn’t need to be. If you prefer a bit of a waist line there is plenty of magic to happen when blocking, simply shape the garment as you desire when it is laying wet and flat on the blocking mats, the linen in the Meadow will keep the shape for you and it is so light weight it will not sag when wearing. I simply love this design, the lace and construction make it interesting, whereas all the stockinette is perfect for mindless TV knitting, I could tell you how many series I completed while knitting this one, but to be honest that would be slightly embarrassing. So for now, go check out this pattern, and Happy Knitting!

 

Exploring Plystre

It’s hard to avoid here at Knit With Attitude that the Plystre project bags are our ultimate favourites when it comes to carrying around our knitting. We have the project bag, crossbody bag, pouch and backpack. With this post I want to take a thorough look at each model and get up close to all the amazing design features built into these bags.

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Plystre is a Norwegian based knitting brand producing bags and accessories aimed at knitters. Founded in 2017 by Warunee, she set out to create well designed, fun and practical bags for knitters. Designed in Norway while working closely with their partners. The fabric is dyed in a family owned workshop in turkey, the leather is sourced from Italy and the bags are made by six talented craftswomen in Bulgaria.

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First up we have the classic Project Bag and Crossbody project bag. Both these models are made from the same core bag but give you the flexibility of having a shorter shoulder style strap or a longer strap to wear over your front. The Project Bag has a strap 23cm from shoulder to bag, where as the Crossbody has an adjustable strap measuring 45-55 cm from shoulder to bag.

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Both bags measure 26 x 36 x 13 cm and have a double 100% cotton canvas lining. A natural vegetable-tan leather strap and a cotton drawstring. This drawstring allows you to open the bag fully to an impressive diameter of 75cm, giving you full access to everything inside, making it the perfect project bag to sit on the floor and work from. You can even roll down the top giving you better access. Pull the drawstring tight and use it as a yarn bowl, with the crossbody you can even knit while you walk. How’s that for flexibility!

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Now lets look at those pockets. A roomy zip up pocket sits on the front measuring 25 x 14 x 4cm. This gives you easy access to regularly used items like your phone, keys or purse because of this the Project Bag and Crossbody bag make a great substitute for your day to day bag.

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If you are wondering about capacity this bag is full of 14 100g skeins of John Arbon Knit by Numbers DK! Now that is definitely room for a jumper project or two. Or plenty of room for your next visit to a yarn show.

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On the inside you have a large flat pocket perfect for your favourite knitting magazine and would easily hold the latest Pom pom or Laine Knit Notes. You then have three narrow pockets measuring 4.5 x 16.5cm. These are great for you needles, double points, crochet hooks or pens and pencils. Next to this we have a clever little pocket measuring 12.5 x 16.5cm. Perfect for notions or larger items and the genius of this pocket is it contains three eyelets. A great edition if you are working with multiple colours and looking for a little more organisation.

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Next up we have the Project Pouch. This sturdy pouch is made from the same quality 100% cotton canvas as the bags. A roomy 25 x 36 cm pouch is great for projects on the go. The pouch has all the charm of the bags but in a smaller scale. That is not to say it doesn’t have plenty of room for yarn, tools and notions. Let’s take a look inside.

Like the bag you have pockets galore for keeping yourself organised. On one side of the pouch you have four narrow 6 x 17cm pockets for your needles, double points, crochet hooks or pens and pencils. A mid sized 12.5 x 17cm pocket which makes a great space for the larger accessories or a mobile phone. On the other side you have two more of the narrow pockets along with a large 22 x 17cm pocket. This one is great for a small notebook or folded A4 sheets of printed pattern details.

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All this hangs from a 34cm vegetable-tan leather strap making it perfect for slipping over your wrist if you like knitting on the go. There is plenty of room for small projects as well as other bits and pieces. All securely kept inside by a sturdy full length zip.

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Just for fun and to gauge capacity I’ve managed to fit 9 100g skeins of John Arbon Knit by Numbers DK! Pretty roomy for a little pouch.

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For those who want to have their knitting wherever they go there is the Project Backpack. This backpack is specifically designed for knitters in mind. Not only do you get a generous sized back pack you also get pouch. How amazing is that.

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Made from the same quality 100% Cotton Canvas material as the other Plystre products and measuring: 38 x 33 x 12 cm. The straps are made from a sturdy adjustable leather and cotton making it comfortable to wear an easy to fit. A roomy outer pocket is perfect for easy access to regularly used items and is fastened with a strong zip. Also it’s practical to carry around when not on your back with handy handles on top.

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Once you are inside, pockets include a large padded laptop pocket at the back. Making this a backpack not only for knitting, but ideal as a day to day bag, great for going to work or school. Of course that is not the only pocket, it wouldn’t be a Plystre Project bag if every needle and notion hasn’t been thought about. Narrow needle pockets as well as the larger eyelet pocket help keep your organised.

If you are wondering about capacity then look no further then these videos from Plystre. This is the project bag of your dreams!

Watch this space because my next post will be about the ever so exciting needle cases! Knitters gonna get organised!

What to do with Mini Skeins!

Mini Skeins! So tempting, so cute and you can’t just have one. So what do you do with them all?

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I love minis and I seem to magpie towards them. So when we had the delivery of Black Elephant arrive bringing our total up to 32 colours, my mouth was watering! Minis are a great way of sampling a dyer’s style or building up a mini stash on a small budget. They are fun little souvenirs and fun to add into any project. Good for colour pops, stripes or great when marled together.

Each of Black Elephant’s Mini Skiens are 20g, 4ply Merino Single with 80 meters per skein. All hand dyed with Petra’s gorgeous talent for applying colour in such a depth and richness its got to be seen to be believed. Below I have put together some fun projects, ideal for your stash of minis or mini stash to be.

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Signal by Anna Maltz is a super cute, super fun looking colour work hat. It’s made for minis. Pick a palette of tonal solids or throw in some of your favourite speckles and go wild with this one. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face while you are wearing it and while you are knitting it.

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Leftie by Martina Behm. Not just for leftovers, those mini skeins would work perfectly here. choose a nice neutral main colour and let your little colour pops shine. This classic triangle shawl starts in one corner and gets larger and larger, beautiful details created by the simple leaf shapes at the end of each stripe.

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Epicenter by Josh Ryks-Robinsky. This one is just wild. Starting from the centre and working outworks in outrageous coloured zig zags. It certainly catches your eye. You need a solid main colour and 16 mini skiens, 16! You better start collecting.

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Hygge Hat by Petra Black. Petra of Black Elephant designed this hat herself and is ideal for graduating between mini skeins. Holding three strands together at once, you can get some interesting results with colour.

New Yarn: G-uld – No. 4

We have been smitten with G-uld ever since our amazing adventure on their dyeing workshop. Read more about our experience in my earlier blog post. Their naturally dyed yarns, in colours that defy imagination just have to be seen to be believed. We have been enjoying G-uld Alpaca for a while now but now we have a new member of the family. Meet No. 4.

no4-webThis gorgeous blend of 75% Falkland Merino and 25% Gotland wool gives the base a lovely heathered halo which lends itself beautifully to the overdyed colours. As usual the dyes are all natural and we have everything from madder, mugwort, heather and indigo in 18 shades including one undyed. The yarn is a light 4ply with 650m per 100g skien. Its perfect for knitting on its own for a light and airy feel or held double for a more robust weight. Whats great about No. 4 is that like the Alpaca each label tells you what was used to create the colour. Next time you are in store check them out. Subtle variations are created by layering different dyes. Like heather creating a yellow, layered with indigo gives and amazing green.

Here are some projects to get you excited:

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The Westwind Cowl by Louise Schelde Jensen is a perfect way to test drive this yarn. If you are looking for a project to see what qualities this yarn can have then look no further. Hold the yarn double or single depending on how dense you would like the fabric. A simple mesh pattern is repeated with garter ridges in between. Give yourself over to the colourful joys of this yarn.

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Sif by Stine Hess Rahbek is a beautifully simple jumper with elegant cable details running along the side and up the raglan seam. This would work perfectly with No. 4 held double.

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Rambling Rose Jacket by Susie Haumann. Would also work holding two strands of No 4. Giving crisp details to the design and allowing you to indulge in your favourite colour.

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Watch this space as G-uld will be launching a series of patterns that are designed especially for No 4. Like this jacket by Anne-Sopie Velling. We can’t wait!

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I’m totally in love with the colours and texture of this yarn so I’m planning in using it for my version of this years Stephen West mystery KAL – Starflake. I’m going for KAW1016 Madder and KWA1002 Mugwort/Indigo. I shall be holding them both double and really looking forward to taking it for a spin and thinking of the memories from our workshop. If you still need some inspiration for for Starflake check out the blog post I put together, or if you are curious how No. 4 is knitting up, I’m sure I will be posting my progress on my instagram.

Yarn Pairings for Laine Issue 9

It’s that time of year where the lovely team at Laine tempt us with a new season of gorgeous knits from some of the most talented designers working today. We are never disappointed with what Laine produce, from their stunning photography to interviews, articles and seasonal recipes.

This issue has 13 designs by Fiona Alice, Rachel Brockman, Olga Buraya-Kefelian, Aleks Byrd, Renée Callahan, Verena Cohrs, Elly Fales, Whitney Hayward, Marianne Munier, Lavanya Patricella, Lucía Ruiz de Aguirre, Susanne Sommer and Becky Sørensen. An interview with Lavanya Patricella. A story about Petra Mikaelsson from Fru Valborg. Kristine Vejar’s story from A Verb For Keeping Warm. A column by Jeanette Sloan along with a travel guide to Munich, featuring the best spots to stay, eat and shop.

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PINACEAE, by Rachel Brockman. A bold graphic cabled sweater. I like what Rachel has done with the cables here. Creating a statement pattern repeat rather than the traditional twists we normally see. Knitted flat with drop shoulders and a-line shaping, a guaranteed winter accessory. Knitted in The Fibre Co. Lore which we stock here at Knit with attitude. Seen here in the colour Courage, but why not try one of the other 9 colours.

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MISS APPLE’S LITTLE CARDI, by Lucía Ruiz de Aguirre. We see again that classic combo of a mohair lace held with a sturdier yarn. The softness of the fuzz is still proving irresistible. This cute simple cardigan is knit seamlessly in the round with a bit of steeking to open the front. Try this in in a combo of Hey Mama Wolf Schafwolle #03 and Fyberspates Cumulus and don’t be scared of the steeking!

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JOY by Renée Callahan. Clever construction and quirky details are a highlight of this cardigan. Worked from the front to the back and stitches picked up for the sleeves. No picking up for the trim, which gives you a simple but satisfying shape around the neck of this loose fitting easy to layer design. I think John Arbon Devonia DK would look lovely here.

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RISTTEE, by Aleks Byrd. This is just simply one of the most stunning designs and has it all! Fading, colour work, twisted stitches, the lot. The yoke is just dreamy. Chevron stitches combine with pockets of colour work giving you a quilted effect. Worked seamlessly from the bottom up, giving you plenty of opportunities to play with colour. Try this in Hillesvåg Sølje a good toothy yarn perfect for colour work and comes in an amazing range of colours.

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FLOREA, by Becky Sørensen. These simple but stylish mittens would be easy to knit but give an effective outcome. A minimal flower design sits against a background of reverse stocking stitch and the petals are worked over two rows. Try this in Hey Mama Wolf’s Sockyarn #04 to give you good definition to the stitches.

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WOODBINE, by Fiona Alice. A striking combination of bold lace panels and horizontal stocking stitch make an interesting garment. The panels are knit first then stitches picked up along the edge and knit out. Using larger 6mm needles it will be speedy to knit but as it calls for yarns held double (a mohair lace and aran yarn) it will be light an airy.  Try a combination of Àrd-Thìr and Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace.

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MÖKKI, by Verena Cohrs. An easy to knit cosy jumper that is not without its interesting details. Rib panels on either side and a divided front and back make this a simple design without being boring. Try this in Àrd-Thìr for some cosy warmth.

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PIANTA DI GRANO, by Lavanya Patricella. This simple but elegant scarf/wrap is a joyous combination of brioche increases and decreases with garter stitch. These stitches go together to create a wheat sheaf motif over this large two colour design. The moody tones of Black Elephant Merino Singles would make this the perfect autumnal accessory.

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LUMI by Marianne Munier. Doesn’t this look cosy! Generous ribbing and a big rolled neck, make this a great design to keep you warm. The interesting part of this design is the textural fading. We’ve seen a lot of colour fading in the knitting world, but I love how this has been applied to texture. Like a mirage, it fades from stocking stitch to purling more and more every row, until you flip completely to reverse stocking stitch. Try this in Hillesvåg Tinde, the overdyed grey base will give you a beautiful heathered look.

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SUMMER LONGING, by Susanne Sommer. A elegant but simple cardigan for layering away the chill. Low sleeves and oversized fit make it the perfect piece to wear over the top of any outfit. The pleasing chevron stitches create a minimal but striking design detail. Knit in a plant fibre blend try The Fibre Co. Luma for coolness as well as warmth.

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RAMSAY, by Whitney Hayward. A classic wardrobe stable is the iconic cabled pullover. This design is no exception. Worked flat in pieces and seamed together and knit in 5.5mm needles would be speedy as well. Knit in a soft chainette yarn it has to be Hexa. Knit a jumper you want to melt into.

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UPPLEGA, by Elly Fales. A cute pair of socks with a design motif that reminds me of rain or snow falling from a cloudy sky. Knitted socks are always a welcome winter accessory. Try in Coopknits Socks Yeah! with a great range of colours you will easily find the perfect contrasting tones to make the colour work pop.

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WINTER SUNS, by Olga Buraya-Kefelia. A lovely triangular shawl with the most pleasing hazy sun pattern repeat. I can imagine some really fun colour combinations with this design and it really evokes that iconic image of a setting sun hanging low in the sky. Knit this combining John Arbon Knit by Numbers DK and for the suns I think the warm tones of the new Twisted Fintch Tweedy BFL Donegal really lend themselves to the burning sun.

Time for a new Project – Inspiration for the Starflake MKAL

Stephen West is teasing us again! It’s that time of year for a Mystery Knit Along or MKAL for short. Stephen West has been delighting and bewildering knitters for years with these ever so exciting MKAL’s. This one is the 10th Anniversary MKAL and called Starflake so I’m hoping for something exciting. This time we are just looking at two colours, four 100g skeins in total and Stephen specifies a plied yarn in contrasting colours and yarns that have crisp definition. So as usual I’ve had a fun afternoon picking out colour combos for fantasy projects I would love to knit. Oh, if only I had the time! He also recommends solids, semi-solids and slightly speckled yarns, so the design details don’t get lost. The fun starts on 4th October so you have plenty of time to pick your favourite colours. But to help you along take a look at these!

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A good tip if you are looking at colours and wondering if you will get a strong contrast or a subtle one. Use your camera phone and switch the settings to mono or black and white. That way you will be able to differentiate more easily between darker and lighter colours rather than be bombarded by the colour itself.

I have picked from a selection of plied yarns like Garnsurr Søkke Merino, Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply, Hey Mama Wolf Sockyarn #04, Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock and Kettle Yarn Beyul. These sturdy yarns are wonderfully soft but crisp enough to hold great definition and I love mixing and matching them together.

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Cool Breeze – This combo conjures up a cool spring breeze blowing over the sea. Combining both Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Lekje and Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply in Sea Glass to create a nice contrast but also keeping the palette quite fresh.

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Lemon Curd – A really zesty combination in all Garnsurr Søkke Merino. We have here Seivin and Jønnstaur creating a real striking contrast. Bright, sunny and full of life.

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Blueberry Muffin – This combo looks so tasty, I love Hedgehog Fibres Silence colour as a base for other colours. The natural, subtly specked Hey Mama Wolf’s Sockyarn #04 looks perfect next to it. Colours here are Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in Silence and Hey Mama Wolf’s Sockyarn #04 in Carey

starflake-01 Raspberry Ripple – This combo gives a great contrast but also being quite complimentary. The solid rich pink playing against the pink speckles in the cream giving you a wonderful graphic palette. Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Ørtle and Jarbaer.

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Sea Shells – A subtle contrast is created with these two rich tones. I like the idea of using a silk blend yarn, as you will get a gentle shine from where it’s used. Using two rich colours that are completely different but equally as dark will cause the colours to vibrate against each other. Of course there are gentle nods between this combo, as the blue has slightly purply, pink notes. Hedgehog fibres Twist Sock in Method and Kettle Yarn Beyul in Electric Amaranth.
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Bonfire – This warming colour combination uses a rich dark grey as a base. I love a dark grey to play colours against. You end up with an almost neon light effect in the dark. Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply in Smokey Joe and Garnsurr Søkke Merino in Gryteflaks #21. The Smokey Joe has a slight warmth to it that unifies this combination.

I’m looking forward to seeing all the combinations people knit up and I can’t wait to start!