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!
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Hello!
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.
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Naloa shawl by EastLondonKnit, image © EastLondonKnit

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

Pairing, pairing and more pairing…

So my mind has been whirring with choices for the Charm knit-a-long (KAL) and I am still undecided on what yarn(s) to knit mine in. I think it is just the issue of an ’embarrassment of riches’ and having way too many choices. ;-?

But as promised the other day, here are yet more yarn pairs to help you if you are having the same problem…

A strand of this warm golden caramel lace Westminster (Cardamom) held with the BFL/Alpaca light fingering would make for a subtly blended yellow . The fabric quality will be beautifully drapey and very warm. I’d finish the edging with the grey but you could try either.
Kettle_Yarn_Co_CaramelGrey

I have several different shades of yellow dyed up for the update this coming Saturday, and yellow/grey is one of my absolute favourite combos! How about a Kensington mustard yellow (Wells – will be posting this to the shop on Saturday Oct 19th) and an edging in a shimmering Islington grey (Blighty)? The Kensington in the body would be warm and full, while the silky edging would give it a nice finish:

Kettle_Yarn_Co_YellowGrey2

For all us green lovers holding a strand of spongy Falkland (left) with a strand of lighter Bloosmbury green in the crescent will create a lightly marled effect with a thicker, spongy and warm fabric. You could then edge with either the light green lace or the darker fingering.
Kettle_Yarn_Co_Greens

Then a super luxurious option I have been considering for my mother…a large size in Westminster Butternut with an Islington Blighty edging! Super drapey and luxurious to wrap around and around like a big, warm hug!
Kettle_Yarn_Co_OrangeGrey

I will leave it there for today but will try to get more pairs with the new batch of yarns ready to show you next week! If you missed my past posts on yarn pairing you can see more examples under the ‘yarn pairing’ category. Remember if there is something specific you are after, just email me through the blog and let me know.

Happy planning, all!

First Kettle knit-a-long!

For those of you who haven’t been following along on the Kettle Yarn Co. Ravelry group chatter we have decided to start a knit-a-long (KAL) to share some fun and help each other along while knitting up Juju Vail’s beautiful new shawl Charm!

Charm shawl - Juju Vail

A simple garter shawl with some lovely details this pattern is going to be great for some quick holiday gift knitting! This pattern will look great in a number of different weights with all that garter and there are two sizes which use either one skein or 2 of fingering weight, so more options for all of us.

Charm shawl - Juju Vail

I am toying with the idea of using Islington in light silver blue/grey ‘Vestige‘ for the crescent with the warmer, woolier natural Bloomsbury edging. Think this would be a subtly stunning classic with a traditional feel, the shine and drape of the Vestige contrasting with the fluffier crunch of the Bloomsbury lace edge.

Or a little bit more of a contrast Islington in a deeper grey ‘Blighty’ crescent with a fluffy lighter grey BFL/Alpaca lace edging perhaps… And thinking for both of these first two you could reverse the colours and get 2 small shawls (ie. One with dark crescent/light edge, and other with light crescent/dark edge)? One for you, and one to gift? Just the way I like it! OR you could stripe the two colours across the body of the shawl and use one for the edge…

Another similar pairing option  with a bit more zing, perhaps? Pair Bloomsbury ‘Coram’ green held together with Islington ‘Brunswick‘ teal— and then a Brunswick edging?

But then I think how beautiful and slightly more edgy/young/hip the shawl would be in a simple crisp, delicate lace like Bloomsbury in  screamingly bright blue ‘Montague‘.

Kettle_Yarn_Co_BLOOMSBURY_Montague

Then….THEN another part of me wants to knit up a simple, one colour, super fat, squishy Charm with some Wimbledon sport weight in ‘Darwin‘!

Kettle_Yarn_Co_SWMerino_CentreCourt2

Oh no. I am doing it again, aren’t I?? I have taken more shots of possible yarn pairs for this project and will post suggestions over the next few weeks, as this post is getting out of control! Can you tell how excited I am about this KAL?

We’ll be casting on November 1st, so pull out your Kettle Yarn Co. skeins and join us then! More chatter on the group pages

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!

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’!
Kettle_Yarn_Co_FALKLAND_Grachvogel

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.
Kettle_Yarn_Co_FALKLAND_PeanutBrittleDD
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!):
Kettle_Yarn_Co_Falkland_Darwin_Burberry

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…
KettleYarnCo_FALKLAND_Amelie_long

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
KettleYarnCo_FALKLAND_Amelie_long2

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…!

All loved up

This past weekend was an exciting one for us – the us being me personally and the company (not the royal us! heh).

If any of you follow the lovely Amy Herzog’s blog, you might have caught my guest appearance there on Friday, smirky face and all!

Kettle_Yarn_Co_BFLSilk_Relax

I took part in Fashion Fridays, a regular post on sweater fitting and decided to feature the length mod I made on my Relax. In the post Amy helps me figure out why the shorter length is better on my frame, and is just her genuinely lovely self!

(The smirky face was the best my partner could get from me, as I despise having my picture taken. As they weren’t hostile like the other shots, these were the winners!) ;-D

THEN the ladies at the Great London Yarn Crawl had a lovely little spotlight on Kettle Yarn Co. as a sponsor of the event. They wrote such lovely things I was truly touched.

AND THEN, completely out of the blue, lovely UK designer Katy at Triskele Designs blindsided me with this amazing post on her blog!

Feeling the love, ladies, and right back atcha!  x

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….!

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.
Kettle_Yarn_Co_Redhook
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
Kettle_Yarn_Co_Cerisara

…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,
Kettle_Yarn_Co_Coal_Cardigan

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?

Great London Yarn Crawl-ing and a little green

Quick reminder that this is the final week to get your tickets to the inaugural Great London Yarn Crawl! Registration closes on Saturday, 7 September at midnight! I will most likely be helping out on the Orange route so sign up and spend the day fondling yarn with us! There are some amazing goodie bags and door prizes being offered (some yarns from Kettle Yarn Co. among them!) and all net proceeds will benefit Refuge- for women and children against violence.

Catching up on WIPs – I started my Amélie some time ago, before our trip to the Lake District, and have really been enjoying it. See the project (ahem) having a glass of wine above Lake Windemere:

Kettle Yarn Co. FALKLAND

As usual, Gudrun’s pattern is clear and well written! I had a couple of moments of textual doubt as something clever was suggested, then realised that if I trust the pattern, Gudrun will get me there in style! (It is a bit sad that I have gotten to the point of mistrusting a designer’s words due to mistakes in other patterns I have worked with!)
Amelie in Kettle Yarn Co. FALKLAND

Being me (lazy) I waffled a little at first over whether or not to go with a straight  Long Tail cast-on or to actually follow Gudrun’s suggestion of alternating German Twisted and Long Tail. Thankfully I forced myself not to take a short cut and therefore learned 2 valuable things.

  1. I have been doing a German Twisted cast on instead of Long Tail for the last who knows how many months! I have no idea how long it has been. hah!
  2. German Twisted gives a purl bump, Long Tail gives you knit. How clever is that??

So the edging of your ribbing on this project matches. It is this kind of attention to detail that makes me love Gudrun’s patterns. Everything is so carefully considered and well thought through.

I dyed up some FALKLAND – merino/bamboo 4-ply for this in a deep, saturated emerald I’ve called ‘Darwin’ and am loving the richness of saturated colour.
Kettle Yarn Co. FALKLAND in Darwin

I don’t normally go for such pure brights in my own knits as I favour greyed tints, but it has been quite fun for a bit of a change. Below is a detail of the clever waist shaping:
Kettle Yarn Co. FALKLAND in Darwin

I’ve added some to the shop and will tell you more about this squishy blend when I feature the yarn in a later post.

I am hoping to get a few more yarns up on Etsy this weekend and will send out a message to the mailing list when they are up. Don’t forget to email me to sign up and get  15% off your first order…

*afternote: someone just told me that when they saw the colour they could smell the outdoors! How fabulous is that???