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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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‘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

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‘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

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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!

How to find a fade

There are so many beautiful projects out there at the moment that call for a fade. From the original Find Your Fade Shawl and So Faded by Andrea Mowry to Fading Point by Joji Locatelli, there are loads of options, ideas and inspriations. But what is a fade, and how do you choose your yarns?!

First off, what is a fade? A fade in the knitting sense is a set of at least 3 skeins of yarn, each in a different colour. The colours should compliment each other and move from one to each other. They can be all in the same colour family from light to dark, or they can move drastically between a few colours. The more yarns you use the more options you have to move between colours.

Find Your Fade by Andrea Mowry

Find Your Fade by Andrea Mowry

Choosing your colours is arguably the hardest part, but here are a few ideas to help get you started. First off seeing the colours together in person can help tremendously to see how they move from one to the next. Secondly, yarns with lots of speckles leave a lot of options to move between colours as you can match the speckles as well as the main colours of the yarns. Brands such as Hedgehog Fibres and Garnsurr are a great place to start for this. Thirdly, don’t be afraid to go crazy! Sometimes an unexpected colour in the middle of a fade can really make the difference to tie the whole colour scheme together.

It can be hard to find enough colours that work together in one brand, so don’t feel committed to one single one. Especially when it comes to shawls there is a lot of flexibility to combine different brands and even bases to get the colours that you like best. As most fade patterns work with bands of textured stitches, the difference in texture can compliment and even highlight the bands. Just make sure that the yarns are of similar enough thickness and that they match the method of care you want for the finished piece, ie if you want it to be machine washable don’t use one yarn that needs hand washing. Other than that the world is your oyster!

We have recently had some customers ask for our help in choosing a fade for their project as they aren’t able to come into the shop themselves. Feel free to give us a call if you find yourself in a similar position, we are happy to put together a few options and send over pictures to help you decide!

Below we have included a few pictures of fades that we have put together for customers to help give you some ideas. All of these fades use yarns from a few different companies, mostly Hedgehog Fibres, Garnsurr, Fyberspates and Socks Yeah!. The colours used in each one are listed below each photo.

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Top Down:  Citrine, Frevil, Fonne Bered, Gryteflaks #13, Gryteflaks #18, Almandine and Pheasant

Socks Yeah! Citrine, Garnsurr Sokke Merino Frevil, Fonne Bered, Gryteflaks #13 and Gryteflaks #18, Socks Yeah! Almandine, and Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock Pheasant

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Top Down: Gryteflaks #10, Method, Heavenly, Frost, Pesto, Risgard and Lundy Island

Garnsurr Sokke Merino Gryteflaks #10 and Risgard, Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock Method and Pesto, Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply Heavenly and Lundy Island, and Qing Fibre High Twist BFL Frost.

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Top Down: Tweed Imps, Spiced Plum, Gryteflaks #18, Monarch, Ortle Mihifar, Fonne Bered and Gryteflaks #10.

Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply Tweed Imps and Spiced Plum, Garnsurr Sokke Merino Gryteflaks #18, Ortle Mihifar, Fonne Bered and Gryteflaks #10, and Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock Monarch.

Which one is your favourite?

Book Review: WestKnits BestKnits Number 1 – Shawls

wkbk_cover_1024x1024Tis the season for knitting, and also for new book releases! We’ve got the first of what we hope will be an ongoing series from Stephen West, WestKnits BestKnits. It is subtitled Number 1 – Shawls, so hopefully there will be further titles in the future!

29011089976_345886507f_zThe book features 13 of Stephen’s most popular patterns. This book won’t make as much sense if you’ve been collecting them as they have been coming out, but a great investment if you have been eyeballing a few patterns. It also comes with a digital download code so you can have just the pattern you are working on with you instead of carrying the book around.

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Each pattern has been photographed and shown in multiple colour combinations in Stephen’s now iconic graphic style. The variations shown really highlight the variety of options available to knitters to personalize their finished pieces.

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For those of you looking to start your own WestKnits pieces, we just received our biggest yet shipment of Hedgehog Fibres! Loads of restocked colours, and plenty of new ones as well. 29011082476_9979d2dfc9_z

 

Interview with Beata Jezek of Hedgehog Fibres

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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