Shop update with new colourways!

I managed to squeeze in quite a few photos this weekend and am posting a number of the yarns for Friday on the shop…just for the week until the morning of Dec 6th, and then they are off to PARTY! So if you see anything you like, grab them before they go…

I’ve dyed a number of new colourways in the glorious Westminster baby camel/silk:
Kettle_Yarn_Co_Westminster

I’ve also dyed a gazillion little Twist superwash BFL mini skeins and took a quick photo of a handful for the shop:

Kettle_Yarn_Co_TWIST_Mini

I am trying a new method of listing – variations – and am hoping it goes smoothly as it doesn’t let you give an indication of how much in each colour is available!  Fingers crossed.

I also decided to try this method for the hat kit and have listed the colours I posted previously this way as well to make it easier for people to order until Friday.

LASTLY …there are also more Islington and Kensington greys going up and a few surprise colours! Phew.

Shop update is today Sunday December 1st at 5pm GMT – check your local time.

Warm things on the way…

I have been working hard to get a quick knit kit together for our next KAL – a super simple, and QUICK, Brioche Hat!! Shown with pom or without below, the pattern is unisex and can be made as a beanie or slouch hat for those last people on your xmas list. Note: This pattern is free for a limited time with any purchase of Kettle Yarn Co. Aran yarn!

Brioche image 

The pattern is nearly ready for release and I hope to have some ready to hand out with yarn purchases at the Pompom party on Dec 6th!  It is a really quick knit and should knit up in a few hours…the prototype in size medium took 2 nights and this is while working out kinks, so should be much faster for you!

The kits will include a mini skein of fingering for the pompom in a contrasting colour and one of 3 Kettle Yarn Co Aran yarns – or you can just go for the solo skein for the non-pom option:

Lomond Aran – a buttery soft fluffy blend with  a gorgeous halo (pictured in the prototype photos on this page)
60% Baby Alpaca
30% Merino
10% Bamboo

Banff Aran – a slightly more wooly/sturdy blend, which still has a bit of downy Alpaca halo
55% British Bluefaced Leicester/ 45% Baby Alpaca

Or for those of you needing superwash hats:

Wimbledon Aran – a smoother, more compact blend of soft warmth
100% Superwash Merino

Kettle_Yarn_Co_Brioche_Hat_sm

I’ve started a Brioche Hat KAL thread on the Kettle Ravelry group page, so if you are interested in taking part and want your yarn asap for gift knitting, leave a message and we’ll get you sorted out with a kit!

Barely fair isle?

I finally sucked back my trepidation and started the xmas jumper the other day but am having some serious doubts as to whether I should continue!

Maybe some of the more experienced Fair Isle knitters among you could weigh in? This is the current wobbly state of my stranding technique (worked inside out!):

image

Which I was thinking wasn’t TOO bad, as I assumed it would block out, but then to be sure I tried blocking one sleeve (was working 2 at a time which probably wasn’t doing me any favours!). This is what I am still left with on the worst, if inner part of the arm sleeve:

image

What do you think? Will this even out eventually, or should I just throw in the towel? Maybe I am just not advanced enough for this and should switch these bits to a colour pattern with less long floats like a simple double lice stitch or something?

Help! Am despairing. :-{

Should I continue on, or frog?

Quick warmth

A few more quick, warm knits to stave off the chill!

The fun and very free Lonely Tree Shawl by Sylvia Bo Bilvia would look fantastic in a mere two skeins of BFL/Alpaca

…or one skein of this nutty BFL DK   is the perfect hue for a cute little cabled, unisex beanie like Knotted Pine by Alicia Plummer

…and last but definitely not least to cheer up dreary winter days, Aureus by Michele Wang from the beautiful winter Pom Pom Quarterly, would look stunning in Waltham DK in Havant yellow:

So many gorgeous patterns, so little time!

Quick holiday knits

It is the time of year when knitting thoughts turn to thick, cosy yarn and quick holiday knitting! I have been trying to get in more thicker weight yarns as a result and am slowly adding them to the shop in the next few weeks.

I have been looking at Tin Can Knits‘ fantastic The Simple Collection over the last while, as I met one of the dynamic duo, Emily, a few weeks back. The free collection has some lovely, simple garter patterns – perfect for quick knitting and getting all those holiday projects off the needles!

Rye socks in DK would make a perfect warming gift for someone on my list…

….maybe in bright mustard Waltham DK in ‘Havant’, which is nearly the same hue as the yellow ones above, or a more subdued neutral like ‘Nutkin’ in SW BFL DK, right, for the more conservative giftee:
Kettle_Yarn_Co_WALTHAM_Havant

In the aran/worsted department there are so many perfect patterns right now that it is hard to choose! I recently got another Tin Can Knits design, Barley, off the needles in the softest, thickest, squishiest BFL/Alpaca for holiday gifting and it is the simplest/quickest pattern – merely a few hours and I polished off a child’s hat! A softly saturated and slightly greyed shade up in the shop this weekend, shown to the left.

I recently swatched brioche stitch in BFL/Alpaca Aran and the combo is a match made in heaven!

Blushy-grey ‘Violaceous’ (below left) BFL/Alpaca would be luxuriously fuzzy and hug-able in the beautiful Brioche Scarf by Purl Soho:

Kettle_Yarn_Co_Aran

I was quite surprised at how easy the stitch actually is – just YOs and k2togs, which are just made to seem complicated with strange abbreviations. Very easy to get into a rhythm with. I love the feel and look much I now desperately want to find the time to make myself their stunning Brioche Vest!

And if I had another 5 hours to the day, or another set of arms…look at this newly released Aran weight beauty by Amy Christoffers! Wouldn’t it be gorgeous in the BFL/ALpaca, too??

I just can’t figure out what I need to give up to make more time…sleep or even less housework…? ;-P

Nov 1st = knit along!

Today is the big launch day for the first Kettle Yarn Co. KAL of the beautiful Charm shawl by Juju Vail!

[photo: Juju Vail]

My lovely moderators and I have got some tutorial-type, in-depth instructions to help everyone start on the group pages and will be on hand to offer any help needed if you have a question.

There are more lovely fingering, sport and heavier yarns being added to the shop this weekend that will work for this pattern…a handful of brights:

[Westminster fingering]

A slew of pseudo neutrals:

[clockwise starting with the big image – a new hand-painted Westminster fingering  – ‘Median’, 100% British SW Bluefaced Leicester DK OOAK, and Islington fingering – ‘Nutkin]

And some heavier weights for warmth:

[Above, BFL/Alpaca Aran – OOAK grey/rose, more Wimbledon sport – ‘Tournament’ grey, and Kensington fingering- ‘Denbigh’.] 

..it’s never to late to start!

Xmas jumper count down

Xmas jumper count down

I have been thinking more and more about holiday knitting over the past month and realising that when you are knitting gifts it is a real balance between starting early enough and fitting in time to get things knit up for yourself!

Those of you that have been following along for a while know how much I’d love to be able to knit a full colourwork jumper, but that my skills have been sorely lacking. I have been slowly working through projects to try and get comfortable enough with the process to go large scale…

colouwork

However, I had a bit of a freak out a few weeks ago when I realised that if I didn’t start my xmas jumper NOW It would be another year I’d missed the boat. In a panic I downloaded a pattern I have been wanting to knit for ages now, the beautiful, snowflake-y Boreal by Kate Davies

Boreal_Kate_Davies

…and dyed up some fat aran yarn:

Kettle_Yarn_Co_AranMix

I thought some of you might get a kick out of these ‘monster skeins’ of aran! They are just 2 hanks skeined together as I got tired of skeining a gazillion hanks the other day, so I twisted these together, as they are for us and not the shop! The blue/purple SW Merino on the far left is for my partner’s jumper (which I really need to get started on as well), and the grey/red BFL/Alpaca are for my xmas Boreal. The red never seems to photograph well with this camera but it is a lightly variegated pink red/yellow red that I think will add some interest to the top bit…if I manage to knit it!

Fingers crossed.

Fred Perry knitting patterns #fail

There has been a huge buzz this week on the supposedly ‘free’ knitting patterns British retailer Fred Perry released as part of an advertising campaign. Turns out the patterns are so poorly written and edited that they are almost a spoof on knitting patterns. (Not sure if this is intentional and they are supposed to be funny? Let’s just say the knitting community has not been amused and they have gotten some pretty negative press from the manoeuvre!)

My response is this…don’t waste time banging your head against the wall trying to figure out the gauge, yarn weight, sheep breed (sheep breed!!), etc. Just pick another pattern from the hundreds of amazing patterns already out there that are WELL WRITTEN!

For example:

Fred Perry yellow cardi

Fred Perry’s cardi could looks sneakily similar to Sirdar’s V Neck Cardigan, if better styled:

And for their cabled beanie…

Fred Perry cabled beanie

…how about a free pattern from Máire O’SullivanHipster Sister? Just start some of the cables higher up and make it a shorter hat without turned over brim and fab pom?

And I just happen to have some Aran weight in the shop at the moment that would work for both – BFL/Alpaca in a grey/lavender – with more skeins going up in the shop next week which work well together(right):

Just sayin’. 😉

*update Fred Perry have removed the patterns from their website. If you are looking for some entertaining reading check out the comments on Kate Davies’ blog…they are cracking me up!

M-orange please

This week’s shop update features more zesty oranges to ring in October – traditionally a very orange month!
Kettle_Yarn_Co_Banner

From left to right in the banner above:

  1. Westminster lace in ‘Cardamom’ – 50% Baby Camel • 50% Silk
  2. Westminster fingering in ‘Butternut’ – 50% Baby Camel • 50% Silk
  3. Bloomsbury lace in a one of a kind colour – 80% BFL • 20% Silk

I have chosen more one skein patterns for my yarn parings this week!

I met the lovely and talented Emily Wessel, one half of Canadian design duo Tincanknits last weekend, so the first pairing is with one of her lovely patterns and my new Westminster lace:
Kettle_Yarn_Co_WESTMINSTER_Sunflower

WESTMINSTER Lace in ‘Cardamom’ —  Sunflower Shawl by tincanknits

Then at the risk of flying the maple leaf, the next shawl pairing is by another Canuck, Juju Vail, and her partner in crime from beyond the border, Susan Cropper:

Kettle_Yarn_Co_Bloomsbury_Prairie
BLOOMSBURY — Prairie by Juju Vail and Susan CropperAnd I’ve dyed up a couple more of the ‘Butternut’ colourway, which would look stunning in this shimmering shawl with its contrast of garter and stockinette patterning:
Kettle_Yarn_Co_WESTMINSTER_ Irulan
WESTMINSTER fingering in ‘Butternut’ — Irulan by Barbara BensonI’ve also re-stocked ‘Blighty‘ in the Islington blend and there are now sweater quantities available, once again.
BFL/Silk Superwash Fingering -ISLINGTON...'Blighty' - Kettle Yarn Co.

Next week… rich purples!

Weekly shop update: caramels and ginger

The shop update is LIVE! Remember to sign up to the newsletter by clicking on the box to the top right of the blog to get advance previews and first dibs on the yarns…and of course a discount off your first order!
Kettle_Yarn_Co_CaramelBanner
Autumn seems to have truly arrived in London and the temperature has plummeted. In desperate need for warmth I went a little golden caramel crazy last weekend – they were so yummy and comforting I just got carried away and stuck with variations of the hue!

From left to right in the banner above:

  1. Islington fingering in ‘Gold Dust‘  – 55% Superwash *British Bluefaced Leicester • 45% Silk
  2. Falkland fingering in ‘Peanut Brittle‘ – 80% Superwash British Falkland Merino • 20% Bamboo
  3. Westminster fingering in ‘Butternut‘ – 50% Baby Camel • 50% Silk
  4. Aran in ‘Ginger‘ – 60% Baby Alpaca • 30% Merino • 10% Bamboo

Let’s start with the Aran in a colourway I named ‘Ginger’ as it is that perfect natural redhead shade I’ve always wanted! Perfect for a nice thick autumn cowl or squidgy hat. Nearly the same blend as The Fibre Company’s famed Canopy Fingering, this aran has a 10% more superfine Alpaca and 10% less Bamboo for a slightly warmer aran that still has bamboo’s amazing moisture wicking properties to keep your head dry and toasty all winter.

Ginger is perfect for a softer-on-the-skin and lighter hued version Jared Flood’s Bray Cap from the new Brooklyn Tweed Fall 13. With nice fat cables and at only 160 yards for the pattern, you’ll even have 23yd of your skein of Ginger left if you want to make it a bit larger and more slouchy, which would be my plan!
Kettle_Yarn_Co_Bray_Cap

Moving up in hue with a bit more yellow is colourway Butternut in the Westminster blend in rich variegated shades of rust, golds and straw.

Kettle_Yarn_Co_LoriX5
The talented Lori, from the amazingly sunny Californian blog lori times five  suggested Kat Coyle‘s Flying Home  shawl, below, for this yarn on Kettle’s new Ravelry group page the other day. Her beautiful version (blocked without the super-frilly pointed peaks in the pattern photo) makes it much more appealing to me in Lori’s gorgeous photo above… and would truly be the perfect pattern to show off the yarn!
Kettle_Yarn_Co_Hartford
Moving further along the colour wheel and bit more yellow again, this time with Peanut Brittle in the spongy Falkland blend fingering, above.  This yarn is  perfect for a lighter, more neutral and somewhat dressier in feel version of Julie Hoover’s newly released Hartford. The small amount of bamboo just adds the tiniest bit of shine and drape to the 80% British Falkland merino – a wool known for its insulating loft and pillow-y handle.
Kettle_Yarn_Co_Annabel
And last, but certainly not least is Isington in a pure, glowing colourway called Gold Dust. This would be divine as  a slightly lighter and yet more dressy version of Laura’s amazing Annabel Pullover by Carrie Bostick Hoge, pictured above in Switzerland. What a beautiful project, Laura! I could see this looking sophisticated enough for evening wear with its glowing sheen and those pearlised garter bumps! Perfect.
Kettle_Yarn_Co_ISLINGTON_BlightyDD

Just a reminder that the Purlside special 15% discount is only on for another couple of weeks, so if you are not seeing a colour you like, or something has run out, let me know and I will dye it up for you on a custom order.

I have gotten some amazing new bases last week and have updated some of the popular colourways, like Blighty, above, in the Islington blend used in my Relax. There are now sweater quantities currently available, once again. There are also a few NEW amazing bases which will be rolling out as I get them dyed, possibly next week

Remember, people on the newletter get advance notice, so sign up NOW for a first crack at brand new yarns! 😉

**update** The Blighty has sold out again, but I am hoping to get a bit more dyed up throughout the week so keep checking back. Also, Butternut is gone….!