Naloa shawl inspiration from EastLondonKnit

The ELK, herself, EastLondonKnit, has been kind enough to offer to help me out for the next few weeks as I am swamped with some personal stuff! Here she is for her first post, discussing her inspiration for Naloa! Thanks Renee!
When Linda told me she had a new, exotic yarn base made of silk and yak and that she was working on a palette for this new yarn inspired by Tibetan traditions, I was so excited!  The richness of tone and hue were visually intoxicating and I was only too happy to design something to compliment the beautiful combo of yarn and colour.


After much debate, we decided the undyed Yurt and the gorgeous Turquoise Tarn were destined to be a new shawl.


Now I have never been to the Himalayas, so I have no idea how accurate Google’s depiction of the beauty of the place is, but it looks stunning.
 Tarn inpiration 1
tarn inspiration 2
I love the naturally bright blue green of the tarn against the stark, rocky mountain landscape, and took the water as my inspiration.


The summer-time weather dictated something lovely and lacy.  For this shawl, I wanted the ‘work’ to be right-side only— in other words, every WS row would be simple purling; I wanted the rivulets that radiated from the centre all the way to edges to create a distinct and easy-to-follow structure, and I wanted some variation on simple stripes. I began to swatch…
 EastLondonKnit Naloa Swatches
…and sketch….
 naloa inspriration (39 of 39)
 East London Knit Naloa sketches 2
And it wasn’t long before it came together. In the end, I think I managed a shawl that is enjoyable but not complicated to knit, which shows off a gorgeous yarn.

Naloa shawl by EastLondonKnit, image © EastLondonKnit

Happy knitting!
You can find Renee on her website or blog and follow her on Twitter or Instagram.!

The Knitter reviews Islington…

Got a bit of a thrill last week as I got to see a review of ISLINGTON in the latest issue of UK knitting magazine, The Knitter – Issue 74!

© The Knitter

It is quite humbling to see the calibre of the other yarns on the same page and I am truly relieved that the author seemed to like my baby as much as I do.  😉

Here is the review:

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 16.56.14

review on p. 57 of Issue 74 © The Knitter

The issue has some beautiful summer patterns and this one caught my eye immediately…can anyone figure out why…  (shhhh Jo and Gail!)

Auriel by Jennie Atkinson © The Knitter

…apparently chevrons never get old for me! My eye always seems to pick them out and get drawn to beautiful patterns with a bit of chev.  ;-B

This design would even look stunning a little bit heavier in ISLINGTON, new BEYUL or even HEATH for a woolier version come September. Wouldn’t that be gorgeous? The seed stitch chevrons would pop even more and it would be the best layering piece come winter! Mmmm.

Click on the top image above to go to the pattern on Ravelry or the magazine image above to by a hard copy or subscribe to The Knitter.

Here is another funny thing – I was setting up this blog post and it wasn’t until I went to copy the link for this pattern that I realised I met the lovely designer, Jennie Atkinson, at Fibre East! What a wonderfully small world.


Shibori forever

I’ve always been a big fan of tie-dye like techniques and spent some time in my twenties playing with Batik processes. The randomness of these process can create such beauty and never more so than in the art of Japanese Shibori technique, which is a huge trend this summer.


image via Poppytalk on Etsy blog

From Honestly WTF …  “Shibori is a Japanese term for methods of dyeing cloth by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, and compressing.  In Japan, the earliest known example of cloth dyed with the shibori technique dates back to the 8th century where indigo was the main dye used.”

image via Honestly WTF  shows Shibori master Motohiko Katano

These processes and resulting indigo fabrics have been the inspiration for my most recent ISLINGTON colourway, L’heure Bleue – or ‘the blue hour’, a painter’s name for twilight as the fading light creates a crisp blueness to images. A tricky colour to photograph this one actually has to be taken in sunlight to properly show the depth of navy and deep indigo blues!

Kettle_Yarn_Co_ISLINGTON_LheureBleueD copy

Kettle Yarn Co. ISLINGTON – 55% SW British Bluefaced Leicester / 45% Silk

At its most accomplished the process of Shibori is anything BUT random. The craftspeople who made these fabrics developed the most exacting processes to get extremely complicated patterns. If you are interested in seeing how they intricately fold the fabrics, watch this lovely old video on the labour intensive traditional process. It is a bit slow by today’s standards, but fascinating.

Colour explosion – literally

This is too amazing not to share today! I just saw this over on my new favourite blog – Poppytalk. It is a new advert created by Sony. Get this. They spent two weeks picking brilliantly flower petals, put them in a volcano and made this happen…

I would have loved to have been in the pitching session for this project! hah!

How inspiring.

New season = new knits

Now that some of you have had a chance to experience ISLINGTON‘s gloriousness in the flesh, here are a few more newly released design suggestions for upcoming warm weather knit planning. These both call for sport weight yarns but could easily be done in fingering for the same or similar gauge.
This tank is well oversized starting at 371/4″ for its smallest size! Using fingering would be an easy way to get it a titch smaller (something I am planning!) without too much fuss.


A huge shawl, I would personally use the same needle size and have a slightly airier wrap for summer!
What are you casting on for summer?

Fountains of yarn

Just saw this the other day and wanted to share…

Image credit: Angela Wright

If you are in the London area at all until April 19th, make sure you swing by Southwark Cathedral near London Bridge to check out this massive yarn waterfall installation by Angela Wright.

You can read more about the piece in this interview on the Campaign for Wool website. Pretty fab, no?

A little Loop-y!

Some of you have already seen this big announcement, but now that it has officially gone live I wanted to let you all know that the lovely Loop in London is now carrying some of my ISLINGTON range…and in the borough of Islington itself! How perfect is that? 😉 loop

The shop is a treasure trove of yarn and other amazing goodies and a mere block away from Angel tube station, so quite easy to reach. You can check out a little interview I did with the amazing Sophie for their blog and see some more images of the yarns, along with some shots of a lovely new sample knit up for the shop in Light Squirrelly:


This gorgeous wrap is Stones and Stripes by Nancy Bush for Brooklyn Tweed, and the sample is STUNNING. If you are in the area drop by the shop to fondle it…it is amazing (it isn’t completely immodest to say so, as I neither designed the shawl nor knit it!). Kettle_Yarn_Co_ISLINGTON_Light_Squirrelly_stones_ sml Using less than 2 skeins, this is a pretty quick knit. As soon as I saw it I decided I really needed one…the easy Estonian nupps are just perfect in ISLINGTON and look like a row of ribbon shimmering up the wrap. To paraphrase Ms. KnitBritish (Louise) from a review she did on TWIST on her podcast a while back, this shawl truly looks like liquid metal in the flesh. So glamourous and such a perfect transitional piece to take you from spring into summer as it can be wound around the neck as a thick scarf or draped over the shoulders like a wrap. Kettle_Yarn_Co_ISLINGTON_stones_and_stripessm Squish it now at Loop…! Note: I’ve just discovered that all the Light Squirrelly has already sold out at Loop, but you can get it in my Etsy shop for the time being until it is restocked in store.

Show me your poms!

A little something to brighten up your Monday morning…

I don’t have a lot of time to troll my beloved blogosphere lately so was WAY chuffed (little British-ism there for you non-Brits!) to get this link sent to me by the lovely Dirtymartini104 from the Mr Printables blog… a tutorial on how to make fabulous pom pom FRUIT.

You could use TWIST skeins for these as I have many colours of these smaller skeins needed in stock… If you don’t see a colour you need just email me as I have more in the studio that I haven’t had time to list just yet.

(Thanks again Alison!)

Denim – never gets tired.

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!