Beeswax Mitts

Who doesn’t love a quick knit?! We recently knit up these sweet Beeswax Mitts by Amy van de Laar in Juniper Moon Findley DK, using just one ball in Garnet!  The honeycomb effect in the stitch pattern is done with small cables and a knit/purl texture. Bonus, there is also a pattern for a matching hat and snood if you want a full set. The yarn has the perfect amount of stitch definition to really make a texture like this pop, and the wool/silk blend is warm and soft as well.

Bee_Mitts

You can check out/try on our sample in the shop the next time you are in. The pattern is available through Ravelry online or through the In-Store program.

If you are interested in learning how to knit cables, check out our upcoming classes!

Yarn Pairings for Pom Pom Issue 17 Summer 2016

Issue-17-Cover-ImageThere has been so much anticipation for this latest issue of Pom Pom here at Knit with attitude, especially after hosting the samples for Yarn Shop Day at the end of April. It’s finally here! The garments fit perfectly with our Summer Top KAL, and even better, we’ve just received loads of new summer yarns here in the shop that are just right for summer knitting. We have brand new linen and cotton/linen blends, as well as top ups and new colours in lots of other summery fibres.

altair

First up we have Altair by Joanne Scrace. This triangle shawl is a take on the granny square classic, but with a more modern twist. Worked from one corner to the next, it is easily adaptable for yardage depending on what you plan to use. We think the bright colours of Botany Lace would be a fun summer piece to pull on over summer dresses.

catchfly

Catchyfly, by Wencke Lucas is a great example of how to take a tweed yarn, something usually associated with winter, and bring it into the summer months. We think that Terra, which is wool and silk would add to that lux feel while having drape as well.

hollis

Lynn Brennan’s Hollis is an unusual piece in that it is knitted with clothesline cord! We don’t have any cotton that thick to recommend, but we have some beautiful leather and metal handles by Jul Design that would be the perfect finishing touch. Check them out the next time you are in our neighbourhood.

nouri

Nouri is Maya’s favourite! Carol Feller designed this oversized pullover sweater with a lace detail over one hip. The sleeves are done in one piece with the body for maximum drape and ease of construction. We just received 6 shades of Zooey from Juniper Moon Farm. Held double this would be a wonderful summer sweater.

olivette

Knitted dresses get a bad reputation, but Thea Colman dispels all of these worries with Olivette! It comes with instructions for both a dress/tunic and t-shirt lengths for everyone’s tastes. The front lace is placed asymmetrically and the longer length includes a surprisingly sturdy pocket. Vivacious DK has just the right amount of semi-solid colour to work well for this.

redbudisle

The Red Bud Isle tank by Courtney Cedarholm would be a fantastic quick summer knit. It has contrast stripes and an overlapping split back that would be comfortable to wear while still being modest. How to choose which shades of Shiny Happy Cotton to use!

tanneryfalls

Tannery Falls is the second crochet piece from the issue. Sara Delaney has designed wearable top with a loose gauge for maximum cool weather wear. Two colours of Meadow with it’s linen content would show off the yarn and pattern beautifully.

thornett

Thornett is an all around favourite here at the shop! Sara Thornett’s top is everything you want from a summer top, easy to knit and wear with some lace for visual interest and loads of opportunity to use a fun colour. Luckily Eco-baby has lots of those to choose from!

trailbreeze

Trailbreeze is one of the more unusual garments in the issue, with it’s generous handkerchief hem over each hip. Courtney Cedarholm has done a brilliant job at keeping the lines otherwise clean to keep it looking modern. We have a brand new Swedish linen in 12 colours, from subtle neutrals to modern brights, you are sure to find a Växbo Lin Lingarn for this top.

vaara_wide

Sachiko Burgin has designed the last tee, Vaara. This simple top has a deep raglan yoke and a textured ribbed hem. We think this is another great use for the cotton/linen drape of Zooey, held singly this time.

windlass_wide

Last but not least is Windlass, by Kiyomi Burgin has draws inspiration from traditional aran sweaters with it’s cables and neckline, but brought forward a few seasons with split hems and no sleeves. The textures here would work well with Noro Tokonatsu.

Don’t forget to enter in our Summer Top KAL on Ravelry! We have a few people started already, we would love to see what you are working on. We will draw from eligible winners for prizes on July 31st.

A Creative Journey

I’ve known Kaja for a few years now, one of the very first customers I had coming through my doors when setting up my shop and with time a dear friend, and I’ve had the pleasure of observing her approach to knitting. A process I find both fascinating and amusing.
You see, where most of us decide on what we want to make and then choose the yarn suitable, Kaja turns this the other way around and starts with the yarn. Watching her discover a new arrival on the shelves, holding it in her hand, stroking it, studying it, it is almost like I can hear her wording a question – ‘Hi, nice to meet you, I wonder what you would like to become?’ So I threw this idea at her, and asked her to share her creative journey with us on the blog. I am so happy she accepted the challenge, over to Kaja…

Context matters to me. When one day in late November 2014 Maya threw a skein of Rowan Fine Art Aran yarn at me and said ‘let it talk to you and then review it on my blog, please’, I immediately engaged with the yarn’s gorgeous reds. Maya offered that I could pick a different one of the eight shades the Rowan Fine Art Aran comes in, but I stuck to the red Azonto, because the yarn is ‘made in South Africa’. I have never been to South Africa, but the red hues of the yarn resonated with the images of Africa that I have seen and engaged my imagination.

Rowan Fine Art Aran - Azonto 552, Flamenco 549. Bachata 551 and Rumba 546

Rowan Fine Art Aran – Azonto 552, Flamenco 549. Bachata 551 and Rumba 546

Maya observed me cuddling the yarn in my hands with a twinkle in her eyes. She was clearly curious to see what I would do, as I regularly come to her shop, pick a yarn and then, over a couple of weeks, develop a project based on what the yarn ‘tells’ me. Usually, I make garments. It’s an experimental, slow and labour-intense process, full of error and fun! However, this time I hadn’t picked the yarn myself.

It is sometimes said that constraints nurture creativity. The most important constraint in this project was that the Rowan Fine Art Aran is made with kid mohair, super fine alpaca and mulberry silk. This makes for a lovely sheen, but I suspected that it would itch. I am extremely sensitive to all kinds of wool and have never been able to wear mohair on my skin. My whole family is like that and a lot of my friends too, so I usually go for merino, silk, cotton or linen. Making a hat or a scarf from the Azonto, which would have been the easiest choice and quite appropriate for the approaching winter season, was therefore not an option for me.

For a while I thought about making a shoulder bag, lined perhaps with a Knit with Attitude cotton bag for sturdiness. I played with the idea of using Tunisian crochet, thinking that this technique would produce a solid fabric. The two dimensional colour pattern of my Tunisian crochet sample looked indeed quite stunning, but I soon realized that it didn’t work for my intended purpose, because of the yarn’s high elasticity.

Testing the Tunisian Crochet

Testing the Tunisian Crochet

All the while I kept musing about Africa, about the women (I assumed) who had dyed and spun the yarn, and about the pigments that were used for the dye. In my mind I saw a group of women in an outdoor workspace, maybe seven or eight, of different ages, moving unhurriedly about as they were mixing powdered pigments with water in wooden or earthen jars. The scene was intensely illuminated by the African morning sun of my imagination and the powdered pigments of the Azonto shade stood out against a dark brown earth. This made me realise that the yarn was asking for a dark monochrome contrast! For a few days I considered leather as an option. I had never worked with leather, though, and couldn’t spare the time to learn to do that. With a sigh I eventually scrapped the whole idea of making a bag as being too complicated.

Thankfully, the muse kissed me a few days later, handing me the image of a tailored dark brown cardigan, exuberantly accentuated with the Rowan Fine Art Aran at the cuffs, the hem and the collar. The style reminded me of a seventies suede jacket with tasseled fur collar and cuffs.

So I went back to Maya and got four balls of Excelana 4 ply luxury wool in Persian Grey, a perfect colour match for the Azonto shade. The Excelana is made in Devon, from 70% Exmoor Blueface and 30% Bluefaced Leicester and makes a highly defined stitch.

British Excelana 4Ply and African dyed Fine Art Aran

British Excelana 4Ply and African dyed Fine Art Aran

I liked the idea of bringing Africa and the UK together in my project. It seemed to add a dimension of cultural exchange and now, a few days before Christmas, I was finally ready to go. Starting with the body in the Persian Grey Excelana, I used a 5.5 mm circular needle to produce a simple raglan shape, top down. For the Rowan Fine Art Aran accents I used a circular 6.5 mm needle and alternated single rib rows with knit rows to achieve the lush look I was after.

The wide collar - contrasts in structure and colour.

The wide collar – contrasts in structure and colour.

While both yarns were equally a joy to knit with, the rich hues of the Rowan Fine Art Aran put me almost into a trance as they generated unexpected ‘patches’ of pattern– a ‘hard-to-put-down’ yarn! On the last day of 2014 I finally put on the finished garment and stalled on the spot: the collar was unbearably itchy! But the cardigan is far too beautiful for this to be an issue: I always wear it with a top that covers my neck and I have developed the theory that once it has shed its fluff it will also stop itching. Its luxurious warmth is unmatched by any other garment in my closet and it fits me really well.

Finished

In the end I used almost two skeins of the Azonto and five of the Excelana – below is what I have left over, to give you an idea of what you can get out of a skein.

Out of curiosity I tried to find out more about the collaboration of Rowan with the South African wool makers, but surprisingly, the only place that mentioned the origin of the yarn as a product of the Cape Mohair Spinners, was Knit with Attitude’s website (!), and once again I feel proud to be Maya’s friend as she makes an effort to source and research ethically produced wool and to tell people about it.

A creative journey

A creative journey

Annette Bugansky

Designer and bespoke ceramicist Annette Bugansky has been developing her tactile range of porcelaine tableware, lighting and goftware since 2003. When making her collection of porcelain pieces she also creates unique textures using traditional craft making skills such as crochet and knitting. Annette’s collections are exhibited at major shows and galleries, she also won the prestigious Best New Product in the Home category at Pulse London 2013 for her incredible lamp designs. At Knit with attitude we’re extremely proud to include the works of Annette Bugansky to our range of products.

Porcelain Cups by Annette Bugansky

Porcelain Cups by Annette Bugansky

Drink from them, display flowers or float a candle in them. A totally versatile cup in five beautifully handcrafted designs that will fit any room in the home wether in a traditional or in a more contemporary setting. Perfect for your early morning coffee and as dusk appears pop in a candle to create a sensual and enchanting atmosphere.

Cable Porcelain Cup by Annette Bugansky

Cable Porcelain Cup by Annette Bugansky

Porcelain Lamp by Annette Bugansky

Porcelain Lamp by Annette Bugansky

Annette Bugansky’s handcrafted porcelain pedant light shades are designed to create a sensual and elegant atmosphere. When lit they emit a warm glow and spread a pool of light below. The lamp shades are delivered wired up, attach a plug and enjoy this beautiful statement piece for the home.

Porcelain Lamps by Annette Bugansky

Porcelain Lamps by Annette Bugansky

Welcome to my world

A few weeks ago we were privileged with a lovely visit from the very talented Leah Band (seriously, check out her website, this woman knows her stuff). As the look of our shop is finally coming together with all it’s bits, pieces and crazy ideas, we though it was the right time to have a proper photo shoot. We just received the pictures, and we’re so pleased with how our space came out, just the way we wanted it to. I hope you’ll enjoy the tour!

Leah Band in action

Leah Band in action

Our designated workshop area, which is available for hire to independent crafty teachers.

Our designated workshop area, which is available for hire to independent crafty teachers.

Our shelves are sorted by yarn weight, starting from super chunky at one end, moving to lace at the other end.

Our shelves are sorted by yarn weight, starting from super chunky at one end, moving to lace at the other end.

Those colours just have to put a smile on your face.

Those colours just have to put a smile on your face.

We share our space with Of Cabbages & Kings, a gift shop/art gallery.

We share our space with Of Cabbages & Kings, a gift shop/art gallery.

There you have it; Of Cabbages & Kings to your left, Knit with attitude to your right.

There you have it; Of Cabbages & Kings to your left, Knit with attitude to your right.

Our tribute to yarn bombers world wide, our very own crochet counter.

Our tribute to yarn bombers world wide, our very own crochet counter.

Counter Yarn Bomb

A while ago, or to be honest it must have been around last Christmas, I kept posting pictures like this on my facebook wall, boldly stating that no-one would be able to guess what we were planning to use these squares for. I didn’t think it would take me months and months to get to the revelation of it.

Counter Granny Squares

The crocheting of the granny squares didn’t take us long, but figuring out the best way to attach the cover to the counter, and getting perfectly fitted glass, did in deed take a small eternity. But here you have it, our yarn bombed counter. Those of you who been following me for a while know that yarn bombing has a special place in my heart, and this is our tribute to all those lovely and bold yarn bomb statements out there, although ours doesn’t carry a message with it except from being visually exciting and pretty. And yes, we are mighty pleased with the result and our selves.

Counter at Knit with attitude

We were aiming for a floating box effect and I think that we’re pretty much spot on. What do you think? The colours are rather stone-like, however it’s incredibly lightweight and soft to touch as it’s constructed from Ushya, which is a chunky merino wool. Also, as the wool is only temporarily fixed, we’re free to change the look as we wish, we’re already discussing the colour scheme for the spring, bold and bright is what can be expected.

Counter Corner

A big thanks to my lovely partner in crime and shop housemate Jess, Of Cabbages & Kings, who had to teach herself to crochet in no time as I refused to do it all, and last but not least Finch Munro for both the design and build of the project.

Floating Box