M-orange please

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

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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:
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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!

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Onwards to Falkland!

**Just a note that this is the last weekend for the special Purlside special 15% discount. If you are not seeing a colour you like, or something has run out, email me and I can always dye it up for you on a custom order!

I have been paying a lot more attention to fashion runways than I have for decades lately. I don’t plan on following fashion colours religiously in the dye pot, but it is fun to see what is out at the moment and use it for inspiration. Here are some runway pairings I made with Falkland – 80% Merino/20% Bamboo – another fully tested and hard wearing (but deliciously soft) blend!

Caramel yellow – a variation on mustard what I like to call the ‘new neutral’!
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Maria Grachvogel — FALKLAND, Peanut Brittle

Well known for its remarkable spongy loft, British Falklands merino is dense and highly insulating while still light enough for wraps and shawls, with a downy, powdery handle perfect for the most sensitive skins.
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Peanut Brittle

A mere 20% bamboo adds strength, a soft organic lustre to the dye quality and a gentle drape for beautiful garments or accessories.The resulting fabric is hardwearing, low pilling and butter soft for next to skin wear. Bamboo’s additional natural anti-bacterial and moisture wicking properties make this the perfect fibre blend for both summer and winter knitting, keeping you cool in the summer and warm in winter by removing moisture next to the skin!

On blocking the stitches plump up and create the fullest, most even fabric…this is one of my favourite blends, resulting in immensely wearable garments with the added benefit of being superwash – so ideal for baby garments.

Emerald accents with camel (I am loving the trend of bright accents with classic camel tones.  Darwin green would made an amazing bright shawl/scarf to wear with a camel coat!):
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Burberry — FALKLAND 80% Merino/20% Bamboo – Darwin

And very much OFF catwalk and on a much more day to day level ….also in ‘Darwin’ green…
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Me! In my newly finished Amelie. I truly ❤ this one…and another pleasure to knit by Gudrun. I know I have said this before, but credit where credit’s due – her patterns are such a joy to knit!

I made the sleeves longer as we are already freezing here in London, and even managed to get the decreases for my sway back right this time. I shortened the stitches across the back and made a few more decreases than the front. Perfect!

(Though my partner insists on taking the back photos top-down and making me look like a Linebacker!!! Eeesh) ;-P
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I wore this out last weekend and didn’t realise I’d forgotten to cut the yarn I’d woven in on the ties…but no one mentioned it and I was around a bunch of knitters, so just hoping no one noticed.

The Falkland yarn is SO cozy and warm. I even had to fend off a fellow Yarn Crawler who couldn’t stop petting me as she loved the feel of the yarn! I’d say that’s a ringing endorsement for how it feels! hah.

(You know who you are, groper.)  ;-B

I am off to Yorkshire this weekend, so shipping will be a little delayed and will resume Tuesday.

Happy knitting, all, and if you see me at Yarndale, please come say hello…!

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!
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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!
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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.

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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!
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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.
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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.
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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….!

Twisted goodness

What is it about autumn that screams CABLES??

I’ve had a thing for little, warm knit vests-things since knitting Nightingale in spring. There is something so lovely about being able to throw on something sleeveless to add a cozy bit of extra warmth on a chilly day. I’ve been thinking about knitting Jared Flood’s Redhook, which I have had in my queue for months now and would be the perfect project for my squishy/hardwearing Wimbledon – 100% SW Merino sport, but something has been holding me back.
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Then yesterday I was reading Karen (aka the ‘Sweaty Knitter’ and designer of Yarn Pro)’s great blog and she posted a link  to Bonne Marie Burns’ Elisbeth Cardi which I hadn’t seen before and made me go – hmmmmm! I think what has been missing is… CABLES!
ELISBETH CARDI
Does anyone else find that they start to crave cables around autumn? Every year around this time I start to want a textured, cozy something that looks like it was knitted for a fisherman…but in much softer yarn for my delicate sensibilities (ahem)! ;-P
I started thinking I would add some cables to Redhook, as I already have the pattern, but then I saw  Cerisara by Bonne Marie Burns
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…and my hoarding brain turned back to Wimbledon in the Tournament colourway!

How cute is that? And the cables used on this look very similar to the ones I used on my Toasty Friday, which were simple twisted stitches…*drool*.

And of course the Brooklyn Tweed Fall 13 collection has just gone live this week and I couldn’t help but see this cabled beauty,
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Coal Cardigan by Veronik Avery…and I JUST HAPPENED to have ordered another kilo of this scrumptiously squishy BFL/Alpaca Aran this week! Gulp.  A thick, soft, squishy superwarm cardi that wraps high around the neck…in maybe a semi-solid rusty brown…?
So many cables, so little time!  What’s a girl to do?
What cabled goods have you queued recently? Can I see?

Featuring: Islington

My second staple yarn feature is on my Islington blend, named after the famed London borough. Home of the historic Sadler’s Wells Theatre – housed on the same site since since 1683 – and Arsenal Football Club, the London borough of Islington is contrast at its best and this 55% British Bluefaced Leicester wool and 45% silk blend matches, with a sumptuous high-end feel which is simultaneously workhorse tough.
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Like all of our 100% British BFL blends, it is made from the softest supersorted wool, ensuring that the fibre is picked through at twice the rate of normal wools, and then examined again before being combed and sent for processing at the spinning mill. This guarantees the softest fibre is used for our blends, delicate enough for the most sensitive skins, with no skin irritating pokey bits!

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The wool and silk have been evenly spun into a well-balanced, unsplitty 4 ply perfect for lace details, and knits up into an even, light fabric with a bit of drape. 55% BFL keeps the silk from misbehaving and stops any sag or droop, while its long staple fibre makes it tough and extremely low pilling.

In my crazy intense abrasion testing it rated at the top of the blends I tested – mere light pilling under extreme friction, which shaved clean forever after 2 goes.

Note: One of my musts for the regular yarn blends I am carrying is that the yarn can pill a tiny bit but the yarn MUST look brand new underneath with no matting or damage to fibres, and this one passes with flying colours – an absolute winner. Anything made with this yarn will be an heirloom!

I had an unexpected but most lovely surprise today when my first Canadian customer – the lovely Catherine at katesmudges on Rav – sent me these amazing pictures. She has started Happy Street with the three colours she bought – Blighty, Vestige, and Highbury!  What a great combo. How gorgeous is this:
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I nearly ran to the studio and pulled the yarns out, then and there, to start one of my own! PERFECT.

And then…THEN…I saw this and nearly keeled over with joy!

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She has wound all the yarns on beautiful antique wooden bobbins. *swoon*

Wow. How truly glorious…and how lovely of her to let me share them with all of you! Thank you again, Catherine!

There are still a few skeins left of the shades above as they virtually flew off the shelfs the last couple of weeks, but I will be getting more up shortly, with some warmer colours going up at the end of the week as well. If I run out before you get the colours you need, just email me directly for a custom order and I will dye up what you need.

Click on the new blue 10% off button at the top right of the blog to subscribe for the mailing list and you’ll be the first to hear when new yarns are posted and get in for more promo offers, giveaways, etc. Don’t forget that Purlside readers get 15% until the end of September so mention you saw this on the blog in your email!

You can also follow me on Twitter and subscribe to the shop’s Etsy RSS feed, which will show you the second I list a new item, just click on the hyperlink for the url or paste the shop url in your reader!

Kettle Yarn Co. -the shop is ALIVE!

Well, it has been a crazy couple of weeks getting everything ready to launch, but we are finally live!

You can find the official shop on Etsy:
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I’d actually made the shop live last weekend, hoping to get all my current bases dyed and up before letting everyone know, but amazingly made a few sales over the week! What an enormous relief on the one hand and also a panic on the other as my cards aren’t back from the printer yet and I haven’t quite sorted out my packaging..and…and…

But SALES!! Yippeee!

It is time to let go and let my baby out into the world while I continue to add stock. The journey to my own personal yarn empire has begun! ;-P

I’ll be doing some posts on the amazing bases I have chosen as my ‘regulars’ over the next few weeks so you can get an in depth feel for what they are like.

Once again, I am so grateful and humbled by the generosity and support out there in the knitting community and as a little thank you I am offering 10% off your first purchase for signing up to the mailing list …but as an extra thanks to all of you who have given advice, feedback and just plain commented on my blatherings along the way – Purlside readers get an extra 5%!, just click on the discount image at the top right of the blog and select the option for the blog for 15% off until the end of Sept!

Thank  you!