Some of you might have caught vague references to my holiday a couple of weeks ago. My partner and I decided we deserved a real holiday so booked a much needed break for our anniversary in Paphos, Cyprus. As it is only about 4 hours away it seemed the perfect treat for a quick sunshine getaway!
My days were filled with beautiful sunshine and I spent most afternoons knitting with this glorious view:
Nothing beats brilliant shades of blue skies and sea in warm sunshine to shake off the winter blues! Though we fit in some unintentionally long mountain bike rides the first couple of days (!), the rest of the break was spent calmly laying about – something I haven’t had the chance to do in what feels like years! Naps in the afternoons …bliss. I really needed that after the crazy year I’ve had, and it felt good to force myself to stop for a few days.
I realised one day as I put on my Folded for a ride that I STILL hadn’t gotten any FO shots of it, so hopped off the bike and got contemplative in front of an enormous cactus!
I’ve been wearing this at least once week for the last four months since I finished it and love it’s simplicity. It is warm but not too warm and just perfect for a slightly chilly spring/summer day, but also breathes and is naturally anti-bacterial to keep you smelling fresh even after a bike ride (and not like a sailor in the sun. No offence to sailors, but they work hard. heh)! Did I mention LOVE?
The small only took 2 skeins of Kensington- BFL/silk/cashmere - and I knit the sleeves top down until I ran out of yarn. I literally had a meters length left when I bound off! Perfect.
I’ve sold out of most of this scrumptious blend at the moment but there are 5 skeins of Blighty so you could do a silver one… or use the last skein of Ansdell - light aqua/grey – alternated with the Blighty for a gorgeously subtle striped version! Just sayin. ;-D
It has just started lashing it down outside and I am coping by trying to picture myself back here:
As most of you have already seen, I’ve started a Waterlily knit-a-long on the Kettle Yarn Co. group page for all of us casting on. I thought it would be fun to share our progress and see all the different versions in one place, so please come over and say hello if you are starting yours soon!
Here is mine at the moment shown in the most ideal knitting location:
As I’ve been developing some new shades of ISLINGTON the last while, I thought I’d do a post on one of my new favs – Chambray:
A nice light denim blu,e the colour is perfect for those staple garments that you’ll wear forever:
Image: left J. Crew, right Chambray
The hue is the exact shade of a chambray shirt I had years ago that I love and wore until it was falling apart! It is destined to become something special for me and I am looking for just the right knit for it already.
Here are a few maybes for spring knitting that would make for amazing staples that I’d wear forever:
Anyone have some other suggestions? Please share!
Yesterday I added sweater quantities of both WALTHAM DK and Aran to the shop. I am going to start carrying more of this blend as this 100% British Bluefaced Leicester is gently rustic yarn which is slightly crisp but still soft enough for delicate skins. With no pokey guard hairs it is perfect for those of you who, like me, love the look and handle of honest, untreated wooly yarn but can’t bear the typically associated itch! ;-?
As you’ve all likely noticed, I have been heavily biased towards Bluefaced Leicester wool blends, and the reason is that the wool combines three highly prized qualities:
- a softness comparable to Merino that is soft enough for sensitive skin;
- a long staple fibre which makes yarn hard wearing and low pilling – VERY important in my books;
- a natural lustre which gives the yarn a gentle sheen, reflecting light to enhance stitchwork and colour.
WALTHAM is plied with a three plies, making it perfect for open details like yarnovers and cables, while sculptural stitches are further enhanced by the sheen and ply structure.
WALTHAM Aran - 100% British BFL in a smokey grey semi-solid ‘Peaky Blinder’
The Aran above would be perfect for something like Jared Flood’s gorgeous Channel Cardigan as you’d get the same wooly texture as BT yarn, but with a softer handle against the skin:
The WALTHAM DK
in sunny mustard ‘Maille’ is perfect for cheering up dreary, grey days. It would shine in a cabled design like Sophie
, below, by Jennifer Wood.
A yellow cardi would be the perfect little transitional item to lift spirits while we all wait impatiently for spring! (Get a move on spring!)
As you all may have gathered already I have been a little obsessed with Waterlily lately and spent ages agonising over which colour to pick for mine! I wanted to pick something other than the glowing Pom green to show a different version than the beautiful one in Pompom Quarterly.
I’d thought I’d share part of my decision making process with you if any of you are having the same dilemma! I have a bit of a habit of mocking up the garment in Photoshop and playing with the hue/saturation until something strikes me as ‘right’.
Here were my choices:
clockwise from top left: Chambray, Light Squirrelly, Vestige, Blighty, Old Smoke, Barkerville - click on image in gallery for detail views
I had to forcibly steer myself away from the greys and compromised by picking the lightest of the 3 – the featured image in Vestige – which has a shimmer of blue in it, as I think it will look great against olive skin in the summer!
Which one is your favourite?
I’ve started Waterlily and am making good progress…
I am using my ‘Vestige‘ colourway which is a light silver with subtle glints of grey/blue:
It is such a relief to be knitting with fingering weight again and my hands are thanking me!
Many of you will already know this, as I was a bit late getting my blog reading done with the madness around here lately, and so late to the party…!
As a response Winter Olympics, Bristol Ivy and some other designers are grouping together to support various gay, trans, and human rights organisations in response to the Russian governments ludicrous stance on anyone who is not hetero. All the designers on this list will be donating varying amounts of their pattern proceeds during the Olympics to various charities.
I have personally been doing a boycott of the Olympics since they started due to Russia’s homophobic bullsh*t, as I just can’t bear to support that kind of madness in any form, and when I saw this gesture had to join in…
50% of all sales from my Brioche Hat during the Olympic games will go to UK gay and bisexual rights charity Stonewall. Click on the link above right to purchase and add your own support to a worthy cause! Human rights are for everyone.
The time has come and Pompom Quarterly’s beautiful Issue 8 is now for sale!
I am particularly over excited this time as this issue features my ISLINGTON fingering on the front cover! The gorgeous lace top pictured below is Waterlily by the lovely Meghan Fernandes, Pompom co-founder. I am so thrilled to see the design knit up after only having heard about it!
The new hue – Pom – is a refreshing mint green, barely tipped over the edge of turquoise so still glinting slightly of blue in different lights!
I love that Meghan has managed to highlight how great of an all-around-performer ISLINGTON’s BFL/Silk blend is through her design, showing off its well-balanced 4-ply structure working equally well at more complex lace stitches as with simple stockinette.
The top takes only 2-3 skeins of yarn and looks to be a fairly quick knit. I cast on Friday and am already well into the body! It is a relief to be knitting fingering again after over a month with Aran weight!
Pom was added to the shop Sunday, along with a number of new colours in the ISLINGTON blend, and some more stock on existing colourways:
Clockwise from top left -
Vestige, Light Squirrelly (new colour), Blighty, Old Smoke, Light Median, Chambray (new colour), Gold Dust, Felix.
(*a big thank you to the talented Juju Vail, who has kindly allowed me to use the photographs from Pompom!)
I had a brainwave the other day and uploaded these gift certificates to the shop!
The perfect gift for people who love yarn, but without the added pressure of having to guess at what yarn weight, amount, colour, blend…well you get the drift! Give the gift of CHOICE! ;-)
Choose any of the available Gift Certificates in any combination or quantity and let your loved one choose their own gift to suit any project. I can mail the voucher to you or your giftee as a hard copy if there is time, or send the PDF file by email if you are cutting it close. Ideal for last minute gifts…like Valentine’s Day…!?
Order now and tuck the voucher into a box of chocolates for the most perfect gift EVER!
I had the pleasure over the weekend of hearing a glowing review of my TWIST BFL fingering by Louise over at KnitBritish! (Just a note – these skeins were formally TWIST Mini. I’ve removed the ‘mini’ as I discovered this was making people assume the yardage was much less than its generous 200 yards.)
When Louise purchased a skein of the ‘Soot’ colourway a few weeks ago, I had no idea she had plans to review the yarn on her website!
So I had a pleasant surprise Sunday when I got back to the computer after a dyeing session to see a bunch of Twitter mentions on the podcast. I couldn’t wait to hear what was said so I headed straight over to check it out.
She was recording on a blustery night and I was literally blown away at how pleased she was with her ‘Soot’ skein. She had the most eloquent descriptions of the yarn that I simply have to share an excerpt with you:
‘…it is sensuous and the colour variations are glowing. Is a dark grey…but there are these highlights of …liquid metal – mercury – just dazzling out. Its more than semi solid it’s burnished with… these lighter metallic tones. It was stunning to look at on the skein…[I] looked at how [the yarn] caught the light and realized a lot of the light was already in it…it wasn’t catching [the light] it was just shining… ‘
Louise has recently started podcasting on her KnitBritish and I thoroughly recommend listening. Her beautifully lilting accent along with the carefully considered reviews and lovely turns of phrase make the recording a true pleasure to listen to.
*note – the next shop update will be this Sunday at 5pm!
The Brioche Hat pattern is now professionally tech edited and I feel more confident about releasing it for sale!
I managed to rope in the ever willing(suffering) East London Knit – aka Renee (a talented designer in her own right – check out her new designs here – and a fantastic photographer to boot) – to help me get some shots of the hat on my actual head!
Most of the photos were unusable…not due to the photographer, but my own seemingly unlimited store of goofy looks! It was a long day in the rain, wind and then sun but she finally managed to catch me not being self-conscious in a few shots!
It feels pretty weird to be splashing photos of myself all over the internet after years of avoidance, but I am determined to suck it up…at least until I can find a willing model, that is!
I have 3 Aran yarns that give the gauge needed for this hat – BANFF Aran – BFL/Baby Alpaca, LOMOND Aran – Baby Alpaca/Merino/Bamboo, and WIMBLEDON Aran – SW Merino.
Just to contrast the two most similar, BANFF (left) and LOMOND (right), you can see how the BFL in the BANFF creates a higher shine and more compact stitches, while the LOMOND is fluffier due to the higher content of that soft Baby Alpaca :
I currently have all of the the Aran blends on the shop at the moment and have released the last two skeins of red from my Boreal jumper if anyone fancies a bright, happy version like my personal hat!