Thursday knitted eye candy

Sharing a bit of eye candy today.

After seeing the amazing image of an owl hat the other day I needed to track down the source and discovered Brasilian knitwear designer Helen Rödel. Look at these masks!

There aren’t many english pages on her but here are my fav images of some of her work.

Of course I’ve picked the most theatrical and costume-like of her designs as they are so much fun!

Too beautiful and I believe these exquisite photos are shot by Guilherme Thofehrn.  Enjoy!

Slip stitches and ticket news

A beautiful sunny day today and trying to get all the work bits done so I can get out and enjoy some of it before the clouds and winds return!

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I’ve been working on my City Cape and have gotten up to the arm slits already! Halfway? Can’t wait. It’s been pretty blustery out here the last while and this is going to be perfect for mooching around in.

Just a heads up – some of you might have noticed that I’ve discontinued the 10% newsletter sign up discount. As this system wasn’t automated it was taking me huge amounts of admin time I just don’t have anymore. To make up for it, though, I will be doing more exclusive offers on the newsletter for all of you lovelies, so please stay tuned.

golden ticket

Those of you on the newsletter will have seen the winner announcement last week for the Yarn-y Golden Ticket draw. The lucky winner was Marilyn Amick from Indianapolis and the yarn should be with her any day now to keep her warm! Congrats again Marilyn.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the draw, I hadn’t realised how fun this would be! ;-)

 

Shop update this Friday!

It feels like it has been much too long, but I am finally doing an official shop update this Friday at 5pm GMT.

Here is a preview of what will be posted:

clockwise from left: Wimbledon Sport in new colourway ‘After Eight’, Islington fingering in L’heure Bleue and Old Smoke, more Wimbledon Sport in an ooak colourway, a new Heath fingering hue called Dungaree Marl, and finally more Islington fingering in Blighty grey.

The update is this Friday October 17th at 5pm GMT-  check your local time

Lomond City Cape

I have been working on something semi-secret…well several secret-ish things, but here is one I can now reveal! I will be releasing the new Kettle Yarn Co. website any day now! It will be the new home of the blog with yarn detail pages and have my proper shop and, and … EVERYTHING. So excited. ;-)

The launch should happen very soon, so stay tuned as am planning  a bit of brouhaha for the big event.

As a result of needing to write web copy on top of dyeing for wholesale orders this week, I am struggling a bit on my early week blog post and am going to cop out by sharing what I just cast on!

Here it is… City Cape by drool-worthy Purl Soho. This one had me jumping for the needles and my secret hoard of LOMOND Aran as soon as I saw it. (Ok. It wasn’t really a secret hoard. I pirated the shop for the yarn. Sue me.)

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image via Purl Soho

This is such a beautiful little cape and with waffle-y slip stitches as well. How could I say no?

One thing that I always find myself wishing with the gorgeous Purl Bee patterns, is that they show the garments on a real person. Yes, they look absolutely beautiful on the vintage mannequin for their photos, but it is still not the same as seeing something ON a person, you know? This always makes me balk at casting until I see the garment on people in Rav project pages. I wager this is an issue for others as well, as the lag time on people starting these stunning designs in Ravelry is always a bit longer than expected for such stunning free patterns!

However, I was lucky enough to catch this image on their Twitter feed the other day, and it sealed the deal. Exactly what I need right now for puttering around a chilly house!

image via Purl Soho Twitter feed

I have cast on with what will unfortunately be the last of LOMOND. I found out the other day that my supplier won’t be stocking it this winter, which made me very sad. It also made the hoarder in me jump for those skeins of Silver Leaf I had in the shop!

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This cape will take 6 skeins for the smaller size and slightly over 6 for the large so there is enough of the Silver Leaf left for the smaller in the shop (there. I don’t feel quite so greedy now). The large should take 6.3 skeins, so maybe the turtleneck could be done in a different hue. Winter white would be lovely with this icy hue and as I scooped the very last bag of LOMOND my supplier had at the mill I should have more of that by tomorrow.  If anyone is interested in a specific shade (from my usuals) do let me know and I will add it to my dye schedule!

I also have 6 skeins left in Squirrelly taupe which would look stunning in this cape!

Now I just wish I could either knit all day or knit faster so I can wear it right away…

Scallops and sparkles

The Naloa KAL wrapped up this weekend and sending out a prize to Fiona – aka knittingfiona –  for her beautiful version of the shawl this week. Fiona used BEYUL in the yurticeberg combination for a slightly more subtle contrast between colours for her shawl and it looks stunning:

Kettle_Yarn_Co_BEYUL

Not only did she whip it up in a mere 7 days (!), but she added a gorgeous little detail – beads!

Naloa in BEYUL 'iceberg' and 'yurt'

Naloa in BEYUL ‘iceberg’ and ‘yurt’

Thanks Fiona, for the inspiration and motivation for me to finally try beading! It was so much simpler and quicker than I’d expected.

I have to say, I went a tiny bit overboard with the beads as it was my first try using them and the sparkles went to my head! I actually had to snap some beads off to make it more subtle the other day. Here is a detail of the beading before. There are 2 less rows of beads now. Oops. What can I say? I like the sparklies! ;-B

Kettle_Yarn_Co_Naloa_detail

I have to say that for a lace novice like myself Naloa is a huge confidence booster as I didn’t have to frog ONCE (ginormous thanks on that front, Renee!). The lace was SUPER intuitive and simple and even a scatterbrain like me had no problems with it.

Kettle_Yarn_Co_Naloa

I decided I wanted a neutral version of the shawl so broke out the CAMBRIDGE fingering I’d been testing. It is a naturally heathered version using light grey and white baby Alpaca and Cashmere, finished off with a soupçon of glimmering silk. Truly stunning. I’ve added it to the shop and will be dyeing up some colourways as soon as I’ve worked out my dyeing area in our new house.

Kettle_Yarn_Co_Naloa_detail2

You can see the delicate, frothy halo from the baby Alpaca and Cashmere clearly on the photo above. Click for a larger version and to get closer to the goodness.

Kettle_Yarn_Co_Naloa1 copy

This is now my new glamour shawl and am SO proud of it! A huge thank you to EastLondonKnit for designing this simple, effortless, beauty of a pattern.

 

Red Sky to ginger afro

As warm-layer-makers (see what I did there? Bypassing the knit/crochet divide?) our favourite time of year has truly arrived! Leaves are changing as temperatures drop. As I type, the seaside winds are blasting past the house with a ghoulish sound that made me dive for a jumper, and I am reminded that my favourite day of the year – Halloween – fast approaches!

As a child, this day loomed large in Northern Canada as it was a time of riotous colour as trees turned bright hues of yellow and orange. Fall days were filled with various fun activities leading up to the night where us children dressed in costume and were unleashed on the night.

image from Embrace Disruption Blog /by Natasha Radlovic

In Britain, where All Hallow’s Eve has only recently started to be observed again due to the commercial opportunity, the day is regarded as a child’s event, full of candy and joke-y witches and ghost costumes. It is hard to describe to people here what the thrill truly is. It doesn’t actually have that much to do with the candy. It has everything to do with dressing up, becoming someone else for an evening, the dark and the thrill of being outdoors on an evening where anything could happen.

For me, growing up  in near wilderness, this night of trick or treating held a dark, wild thrill, more true to the old Samhain and All Hallow’s traditions that had nothing to do with cozy children’s parties. Back in the day in our neighbourhood it was ok for kids over 7 to go out un-accompanied by adults, usually in a group with older siblings, so it was one of the only times of the year we could be out after dark.

As my friends and I wandered through the woods in the dark, rushing down unlit dirt tracks that served as driveways for little known neighbours, we scared each other with tales of wolves with glowing red eyes and other things that go bump in the night.

(ok. Truth be told, that might have been ME scaring my friends and MYSELF with the tale of the wolf. If any of you are reading this…sorry, sorry. I know I’ve apologised for this before.). ;-D

Actually, we didn’t even need ghoul stories as there were plenty of bear sightings in our area and could quite easily just freak ourselves out with the idea of a bear watching us from the woods! Ahhh. Nature.

In anticipation of the big day at the end of the month, marking the turn into winter proper, I have finally uploaded my new autumnal WIMBLEDON Sport colourway, Red Sky, to the shop. A warm rusty red, this colour is perfect camouflage for all the ambling in the woods I plan to do in the next month or so. ;-)

I thought I’d go through the other yarns on the shop and make a medley of other suitable hues for the season that gently get us ramped up to the big orange/black day of All Hallows Eve.


clockwise from top:  BEYUL fingering – Sacred Saffron, WESTMINSTER fingering – Colebrook, HEATH fingering – Banksia Marl, BEYUL fingering – Yurt, TWIST Jumbo fingering – Squirrel Cheeks, TWIST Jumbo fingering – Hematite, HEATH fingering – Nutmeg Marl, ISLINGTON fingering – Smokin’ Peach

I even got a crazy idea in my head that I could KNIT something for a costume this year. Especially after seeing this:

Crochet Owl Hat from wearable art creator Helen Rodel

I mean…seriously? How amazing would that be???

Though something tells me that an adult size version of this would be endless fun!

sweetpeatoad > Lion (Roarrrrr) (personal pattern only)

Bundle up and stay warm, lovelies!

 

Japanese fabric madness. A monster is born.

I seem to be following a Japanese theme this week. Twice now I’ve mentioned this Kokka Echino Decoro – Stag fabric in Mustard purchased at  Village Haberdashery in West London. It rocks my world and I can’t stop thinking about it and what it must become:

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I have been looking at the fabric and Colette Myrtle pattern I bought for it and decided the dress wasn’t quite retro enough for what I was seeing in my mind’s eye with the fabric, but also wanted to keep it as simple as possible, as my sewing track record thus far has been a bit…variable!

I started trolling images of projects and trying to find a more suitable beginner pattern and then saw this post over at Miss Make and was SOLD. Not only was the skirt super simple, but it having a top and skirt separate would make them more versatile and let me get twice as much wear out of this FABULOUS fabric! Worn together with a belt it will look like a dress. Perfect.

Regretfully and somewhat guiltily have to admit that this is not the only pattern I purchased from Sewbox. Ahem.

As I couldn’t decide if the Belcarra was the EXACTLY right top, but I really like the pleats on the shouler, I so got it and the Colette Sencha Blouse after seeing the high neck version on the ever-cute Tilly and the Buttons… just in case. As one does.

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Oh. And I did I mention I bought a real, up to date sewing machine too? eeep. There is a whole story behind that as well, as neighbours down the street stole the first one City Link delivered to them when I wasn’t home! But John Lewis sent a new one and all is good (though not sure they ever got the other one back!).

And of course once I started it all went downhill as I HAD to check out my favourite Etsy fabric shop Miss Matatabi. More Japanese goods, but fabric this time.

Naturally I found this cotton/hemp fabric that I HAD to have ON SALE. I love the hand sketched quality of the bears. And, let’s face it, people, GRIZZLY BEARS!! Too good. Makes me think of home. ;-)

It was hard to choose between the yellow and the bright turquoise version,

But…yellow it had to be, even though my wardrobe is starting to look like Big Bird’s. So then, naturally, I on to find a pattern for the medium weight fabric. Back to Tilly’s blog and saw this skirt. Done. But …then… it arrived and I realised it would make the most amazing vintage sundress. The fabric has this woody quality to it that feels so retro. Can’t you just imagine? Even my partner, who can be a bit conservative, admitted it would be a stunning dress!

Here is me mocking it up with a belt:

Kettle Yarn Co bear fabric

So I may have bought the remaining 2m at Miss Matatabi. Maybe. A little.

I feel like I am haemorrhaging money I really don’t have at the moment, but the compulsion was too strong. (Does anyone else ever do this? Start spending more money than practical and then completely LOSE IT? I haven’t done this in a long time, but made up for it with this spree.)

Fingers crossed my sewing mojo improves quickly after this shopping spree! ;-?

Japanese if you please

I recently purchased (or had purchased for me, for my birthday! ) this amazing Japanese stitch dictionary from Amazon Japan:

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I’d wanted it for quite some time and it is the most perfect gift ever. With a little research I discovered it is a fraction of the price to buy it online directly from Japan, even with the shipping, and then to make matters even more thrilling, I now get regular emails from Japanese Amazon with knitting book suggestions!

Check out these new tempting beauties I’ve just seen:

Apparently there is a a new Isager book coming out soon featuring some interesting entrelac projects!

And taking it back to the home country:

This one once again makes me bemoan that I’d can’t make heads or tails of the  Japanese sewing book and patterns I already have:

I could spend hours just going through the ‘people who bought this product also bought‘ suggestions and through the ‘look inside’ pages!

Look at what is inside the new Fall No.163 DAMA issue!

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Azayakana! (brilliant!) ;-D

Second Annual Great London Yarn Crawl!

It has taken me a few days to digest the wonderousness of it all but I couldn’t let the week pass without a bit of reminiscing on last Saturdays Great London Yarn Crawl 2014. What an utterly amazing day with all proceeds going to even more amazing charity Refuge.

I was supposed to be leading Team Suffolk with fellow shepherd Tom, aka tokyotombola and it all kicked off at Mrs. Moon in Twickenham. However, EastLondonKnit and I missed our train and were therefore a 1/2 hour later than I’d planned so I missed the coffee shop meet up and showed up just in time for the first shop. I am a shameful shepherd. Luckily I had the best team EVER, though, and they forgave me! (thanks ladies) ;-?

KettleYarnCo_Great_London_Yarn_Crawl

Looks like the yarn angels are shining down on these beauties!

from left: Kate (YAK), Dani (Lioness Arts),  Ce (The Uncommon Thread) a blurry Rachel (Porpoise Knits) Kate (A Playful Day) and the side of Dieuwke’s head (Demu) at Mrs. Moon

There was a bit of journey back into the city, so naturally we all got our knitting out on the train:

KettleYarnCo_Great_London_Yarn_Crawl_5

Then we were off in I Knit London...

I Knit London

I Knit London

…and then up west out west to The Village Haberdashery where my will power completely broke down in the face of their pretty fabric section. I HAD to have this elk fabric. HAD TO.

Echino Decoro – Stag fabric in Mustard imace via Village Haberdashery

We were then meant to go to Nest in East London. We really wanted to make the run out but we were all quite worn out at this point, so made a group decision that a glass of wine was in order. (So sorry Nest!)

In hindsight this is the best thing we could have done. It was so nice to sit down and have a proper, civilised chat and rest with everyone and have enough energy for the party in the eve as well! What a lovely group we had. So lucky.

Tokyotombola and Knittingtastic meet at long last -

Tokyotombola and Knittingtastic meet at long last, both wearing yellow like long lost twins! — and yellow accessories on the train by YAK and A Playful Day

We realised at one point that yellow was the unofficial colour of the crawl as so many of us were wearing it! (iloveyellow)

The day culminated at the amazing Parcel Yard Pub where the fab PomPom Quarterly ladies once again worked their party magic. Nice work you two! The food was delicious, the wine even more so, and the company an utter blast! I haven’t laughed that much in ages.

There were an incredible amount of door prizes to be given away and I even won this fun necklace by Max’s World! Thanks Max! I never win anything and it is my second year in a row winning a door prize! WOW.

PomPom after party

PomPom after party with Tom, Rachel and Rikke in the foreground

A huge thank you to Allison and Rachel who spent long hours organising every detail of the crawl to make it such a huge success. And to all the shops that took part -you ROCK!

(And another huge thank you to Team Suffolk. We RULE no matter which team won the prizes.)  ;)

Autumn knitting help?

I am still finishing up my Boardwalk and Naloa, but can’t help but look to the next project as autumn knitting is in full swing. It is just that time of year!

I think I must be suffering a bit of decision fatigue as am having to make a lot of choices for the new house and just can’t decide which project should come next. A little help anyone?

Here are my choices:
The crew neck striped Japan Sleeves or the cardigan Old Romance by Joji Locatelli. I love both of these patterns and think my perfect garment might be a blend of the two – a crew neck cardigan with the lace sleeves in BEYUL. Possibly striped with yurt and a dark charcoal or navy.

Linnae Pullover in some bouncy WIMBLEDON or the joyously cabled Oranmore by Bristol Ivy in WALTHAM Aran. Both are a draw for different reasons. I have been wanting to do another colourwork jumper for autumn, but am also wanting a thickly cabled something to block out the sharp sea wind now that I am by the seaside.

I’ve been telling myself that I really need a new cardigan but then keep getting distracted by all the pretty things I am seeing! So as a compromise there is the lovely convertible Aurys by Svetlana Volkova that can be worn as a top OR a cardi – sort of killing 2 birds with one stone, but with quite a bit of open YO’s that might be a bit too cool for the coming months, even in DK.

Think this would be perfect in WALTHAM DK, though, and go really well with the amazing Japanese fabric I picked up at The Village Haberdashery with this Colette pattern on the yarn crawl Saturday (more on that later).

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But I still can’t quite decide.

What do you think, and what are you casting on for autumn?