Have you voted?

I was pleasantly surprised early this week when I saw the shortlist for Dani’s Unwind Brighton design competition and realised that not one, but TWO of the fantastic entries use Kettle Yarn Co. yarns! Wheee! How amazing.

In the shortlist for the competition are Rachel Brown’s adorable, squishy-looking Brighton Dome socks:Kettle_Yarn_Co_Brighton_Dome3

These beauties are knit in TWIST fingering, a beautiful bouncy yarn in  100% British superwash BFL. This yarn is a great all around blend as it is super soft and perfect for warm shawls, tops, gloves, etc., but also perfect for socks as the Bluefaced Leicester fibre is long-staple so hardwearing with lots of natural tensile strength and abrasion resistance.

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Rachel blogged on her design earlier in the week so you can see more details on the design process there along with closeups of the yarn. Now I just need to get someone to knit these for me! ;-D

I have solid colourways of this yarn in this weeks update, and am planning on getting more of this polka dot colourway dyed up for Unwind so watch for it in the shop!

I just noticed that currently first in the running is Helen Stewart’s Pebble Beach Shawlette, knit in my hand painted WESTMINSTER, the softest, slinkiest baby camel/silk!

Kettle_Yarn_Co_Pebble Beach Shawlette2

Helen blogs as Curious Handmade and you can listen to her talk about how much she loved my yarn on her recent podcast!

Using only a single skein of this luxury yarn the shawl drapes like liquid gold over the throat! I am currently carrying this blend in light fingering which gives you even MORE bang for your buck at at  533 m • 583 yds per 100g skeins for a slightly lighter but larger shawl!

Kettle_Yarn_Co_Pebble Beach Shawlette

I’ve used 2 golds in the Gold Rush colourway so that the colour shimmers across the shawl even when not moving!

Kettle_Yarn_Co_Pebble Beach ShawletteD

You can vote for your favourite now. The winning design will be published with the show programme so you can get it for free!

(do it, do it, do it!)

Noordzee – a warm breeze by the sea

Starting off the week with a new pattern announcement!

The product of another collaboration with talented London designer Rachel Brown, the Noordzee shawl was written to use only one precious skein of my luxurious, handpainted WESTMINSTER baby camel/silk for a sumptuous quick knit.

Noordzee_Rachel_Brown

Delightfully simple, the shawl has a delicate beaded lace edging and changing short row intervals which give it a bit of interest along the border… and a somewhat unexpected shape!

Norzdee_Rachel_Brown

While short rows first draw the border up in a curve towards the shoulders, the shawl then swings outwards and down, flaring into a gentle wing-like span. What a beautiful detail!

Also gorgeous is how the span of stockinette creates the perfect canvas to showcase WESTMINSTER’s subtle, handpainted colour changes. The different hues shimmer across the body of the shawl like sunlight on waves, perfectly echoing the shawl’s Dutch name which means ‘North Sea’. (to get slightly poetic about the whole thing) ;-D

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watery colourway ‘Florence‘ shown

The piece can be blocked wide and worn as a traditional shawl or steamed gently for a smaller throat-warming scarf, as shown modelled by the North Sea itself above!

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This shawl is the perfect one-skein project for beginners or just plain satisfying lazy day knitting, blending blissfully mindless stockinette with intriguing lace to create a sensually liquid neckwarmer for spring and summer.

Additionally, Rachel is kindly offering a special 15% discount with any Kettle Yarn Co. fingering weight skein until the 15th June, so get your discount now!

Think I’ll be taking this one out to the garden for a bit of sunshine knitting and book reading, myself… As soon as the sun comes back out, that is. ;-?

 

Gentle median

I have been thinking a lot about how to best use the variegated colourways I am adding to the shop and have another pattern suggestion today with Islington – BFL/Silk – in new colourway ‘Light Median‘:

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I queued this sweater ages ago and think the graceful simplicity of it would let the gentle variations in the yarn shine:

Kettle_Yarn_Co_ISLINGTON_BostickHodge

Think this top would also be particularly stunning in the Westminster – Baby Camel/Silk – variegated hues for an ultra luxurious option. Just imagine it in colourway ‘Jeeves‘! Wouldn’t that be stunning?

Twist-ing away

Plenty more colours of the bouncy TWIST – 100% British BFL fingering on the shop this week. I went a little crazy the other day creating colour groupings with some of the new colours:

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They’d be perfect for a quick colourwork project like these beautiful wristwarmers by Martha Keep – Morning Thistle:

And if anyone has been needing some ombre for any projects I currently have this lovely range of black to white available with a little bit of slate blue:
Kettle_Yarn_Co_TWIST_ombre
If I had a little more time I’d finally get an Aranami Shawl back on the needles as this springy blend would be perfect for the little scallops!
 Maybe I will cast on anyway, and work on it in between other projects. I have been wanting one of these forever and finally have the right colour range!
 

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:
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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.

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!

CAMBRIDGE, baby!

As promised, I debut-ed a new base last weekend in the shop, then promptly forgot to post about it on the blog! Silly me.  So be-latedly here we go…

CAMBRIDGE

70% baby Alpaca
20% Silk
10% Cashmere
Lace 2ply — 100 grams (3.53 ounces) = 875 yards (800 meters)
Kettle_Yarn_Co_CAMBRIDGE_FelixDD

It doesn’t get any softer than this…the softest, loftiest baby alpaca, blended with luminous silk and topped off with a cashmere halo cloud. Sheer perfection.

Three colourways are up in the shop this week – ‘Felix‘ purple,  ‘Liminal‘ blush pink and a golden butter yellow one of a kind (OOAK).

This is a deliciously soft and light blend that is also incredibly warm and will make stunning shawls for holiday gifting! This blend feels meltingly like butter in your hands and has a lovely, extremely warm drape from all that cushy baby Alpaca and added Cashmere. The silk adds subtle shine and a bit more drape.

You can add a strand of this to another yarn for some added drape, furry halo, warmth and just plain luxury, or use it alone for exceptional lace knitting.

The sun is out and shining this morning so I took some glowing photos in the light. Here is a teaser for next week’s update if you are still looking for the right skein(s) for the Charm KAL, starting in November:
Kettle_Yarn_Co_assorted4

The fabulous FO parade!

Finished objects in Kettle Yarn Co. yarn are starting to pop up, which is very exciting! I have been oohing and ahhing for the last couple of weeks at how gorgeous the projects have been and decided I HAD to share them with you!

So courtesy of the lovely Cecilia  and Catherine  (thank you!), here are a couple…

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A luminously golden Song of the Sea by Louise Zass-Bangham in Westminster ‘Regent’ by Cecilia

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Cheeringly striped Happy Street by Veera Välimäki in ISLINGTON – Blighty, Vestige and Highbury by Catherine

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And a slinky, heavy She’s a Waterfall by Dani Sunshine also by Catherine (a speedy knitter!!) in a glowing Chelsea Merino/Silk DK.

Gorgeous work, ladies!

The endless joys of yarn pairing

I think most of you know how truly and thoroughly a yarn nerd I am already, so the title of the post should come as no surprise? 😉

Last Monday I showed a few examples of possible yarn pairs for blindingly simple but stunning subtle-y striped shawls like Camomille and Merlot. I got a bit carried away with the process and decided at the last minute that I’d better split the post as my yarn-nerd-ness was getting out of hand!

I’d paired up 2 more, classic grey combos to show you – ‘ColebrookeBFL/Alpaca‘ and then ‘Colebrooke/Dusty Miller‘ – and then realised how different these two shawls would be due to the properties of the yarns being paired and got really excited!
Kettle_Yarn_Co_greys

While the two above look incredibly similar in the skein, the two pairings would create substantially different moods in a shawl!

The BFL/Alpaca combo is more lofty on the right will knit up significantly warmer and ‘fuller’ than the Bloomsbury BFL/Silk, with a sumptuous Alpaca bloom and sponge. It is so warm – even knit as an open lace – that I often find myself overheated with this blend in the mild autumn chill!

In the pairing with Bloomsbury (right) the 80% BFL makes stitches hold a bit more crisply open and the extra silk adds to Westminter’s already substantial drape giving a slightly more dressy (formal/evening wear) feel to the shawl. Both could be worn to dress up last winter’s coat OR over a party dress for a holiday event, but the subtle difference lets you tailor for personality.

You would never think it just looking at the skeins, which look quite similar at first glance, would you?

I first discovered the joys of yarn pairing when knitting Helga Isager’s Nightingale Vest.
bloom

It was amazing how even adding a single thin strand of lace to otherwise rather unpleasant feeling sock yarn transformed the fabric into something much greater than its parts (knitting gestalt)!

Yarn pairing is amazing and opens up a world of possibility in stash busting. Add a strand of another yarn and you can create amazing colour effects like heathering and ombre – like in Antonia Shankland’s Kinetic cowl below which starts with 2 strands of the same colour, moves to two strands of 2 different colours for a gradient, then back to 2 strands of the new colour:

Or even change the drape and handle of a yarn and counteract a less desirable trait by blending to better suit your pattern – create more drape, LESS drape and more structure, or add a fuzzy soft halo for an feminine ‘sweater-girl’ twist.

Fun AND useful!

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!