Beachward Bound!

As most of you already know, as I have been mentioning incessantly, I will be at Unwind Brighton this coming weekend. SO EXCITED.

I have been trying to get a last minute top finished in L’heure Bleue – Bristol Ivy’s beautiful Kit Camisole. I am very, very nearly there! I am adding an i-cord edging so it is taking a bit longer to finish. The colour is so perfect. I just can’t wait!

Kettle_Yarn_Co_Kit_Camisole_Lheure_Bleue

[Kit Camisole hem – ISLINGTON fingering ‘L’heure Bleue’]

As I will be away this weekend and am not sure which stock I will be bringing back, the shop will also be closed from Friday June 11 to Monday June 12.

Hope to see many of you there for loads of fun!!

Stones and Stripes revisited. Darkly.

Do you ever make something and then wish you’d chosen a different colour? I’ve decided this could, possibly, be one of the coolest things about having a studio filled with yarn dye…endless overdyeing options!

I’ve blogged previously on the gloriousness of the Stones and Stripes shawl, which was knit up in Islington ‘Light Squirrelly‘ – a shimmering light taupe. Here is another picture of it, a before-and-after of unblocked to blocked:

Kettle_Yarn_Co_ISLINGTON

I have been wearing this around quite happily for more than a month and getting many compliments, but when it comes right down to it had to admit it just wasn’t great for my olive skin tone. The light hue was just washing me out!

In a fit of impulse I decided I would pop the shawl into a bath of my charcoal ‘Old Smoke‘ colourway. I have been desperately craving something in this colour but have had NO time to knit myself something…so time for a quick fix!

Kettle_Yarn_Co_ISLINGTON_Old_Smoke

I am so glad I did and can barely keep myself from wearing it before Unwind Brighton in July. The only thing that is keeping me from it is the thought of blocking it all again in 2 weeks for the show! Hands off for now…right?

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.

Shibori

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.

Kettle Yarn Co in America!

I’ve been meaning to blog on this for ages, but things have been so frantic chez Kettle I have mainly been running around like a (large, noisy) chicken with its head cut off!

For those of you in the States, I currently have some yarn in the country for you to fondle, hug and adopt! If you are in LA you will surely drop in to the fabulous Gather DTLA and when you do, look for the ISLINGTON skeins Evi has in stock:

image via Gather DTLA

In downtown Los Angeles, this is a must visit location as the shop is in LA’s famous Historic Core and the shop is located on the Mezzanine floor of the amazing The Last Bookstore! It is a vibrant cozy nook with a regularly humming Sunday Social every Sunday from 4 – 8pm:

If you are not in LA, but on that side of the pond, you can also shop online:

Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 08.55.17

There aren’t that many skeins in shop as I was only able to send over so many, so get them while they’re in stock! 😉

Enter to win!

Big news…talented design duo Tin Can Knits are holding a spring contest! Enter now before June 1st and and you can win 2 skeins of Kettle Yarn Co. and many other beautiful ‘gourmet’ yarns. (love how they used that term to describe yarn.) 😉

Kettle_Yarn_Co_Tincanknits

Photo courtesy Tin Can Knits

Emily and Alexa a raffling off the two skeins of ISLINGTON ‘Vestige’ shown above…the same colourway and amount used in my recent Waterlily!

Kettle_Yarn_Co_ISLINGTON_Waterlilysml

Emily has suggested their lovely Thistle shawl/wrap as  possible project for these skeins…

HUK-thistle-07_medium

…though I think ISLINGTON’s BFL/Silk blend would also work beautifully for the following Tin Can Knit patterns:

I’ve had Bonny and Botany in my queue for ages, and this has just reminded me that I need to get started on them for summer!

Check out their website for even more options and to see what other glorious goodies you can win!

 

Waterlily unveiled

I haven’t had any time at all as I prepare for Wonderwool next weekend to take an official shot of my finished Waterlily, but had a friend take a quick phone pick at the shop the other day so you all could see it is done in time for the show!

Kettle_Yarn_Co_ISLINGTON_Waterlily1

Waterlily by Meghan Fernandes in ISLINGTON Vestige
Kettle_Yarn_Co_ISLINGTON_Waterlily2

It is truly beautiful, if I do say so myself. I actually sighed with joy as I slid it on the first time…it feels divine! ;-D

I am previewing a few new Islington autumn colourways at the show next week if any of you are planning to attend. Hoping you can let me know what you think.

See you there!

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.
Kettle_Yarn_Co_ISLINGTON_Folded
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.

Kettle_Yarn_Co_ISLINGTON_Florin

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?

A little Parisian tea, anyone?

I have another amazing announcement this week…

Kettle_Yarn_Co_Oisivethe

If you are in Paris you can now buy ISLINGTON in France at the beautiful L’OisiveThé, Salon de Thé in the 13eme arrondissement!

Kettle_Yarn_Co_ISLINGTON

clockwise from top – TWIST in Cheeky, ISLINGTON  in Vestige and Soot… image credit: Debbie Chase

Visit Aimée’s beautiful shop for a cuppa and some yarn browsing on the historic Rive Gauche.

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 16.59.34

Do you need a better excuse for a day trip to my favourite city?

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:

Kettle_Yarn_Co_ISLINGTON_stones_and_stripes_1

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.

Praying to the Holy Lace Gods

Kettle_Yarn_Co_ISLINGTON_Vestige5

Things were looking so positive for finishing my Waterlily  this weekend. I’d already frogged a number of times on the lace and decided to frog back the entire back panel to get to a mistake I’d made early on when I was learning the lace chart…but the trauma was over and I was in home stretch. I was determined that I would get everything left done and dusted on Sunday and could start my next project.

Or so I thought until I steam blocked the front and back panels in order to graft the shoulders and saw this:

Kettle_Yarn_Co_ISLINGTON_Waterlily_neck3

WTF? Holy Lace Gods, why have you let me down again? What have I done to deserve this??? Well, apparently I missed a row on one side and somehow also managed to mess up the decreases on the left neck! Arrrgh!

Top shows what it SHOULD look like, and bottom is my madness:

Kettle_Yarn_Co_ISLINGTON_Waterlily_neck2 copy

So I frogged. Again. I don’t know what it is with me and lace sometimes. It feels as though I have a complete inability to follow charts at times… and the attention span of a gnat. Sigh.

(sorry gnats – you might even be doing better than me on this front!)