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.
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:
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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‘.
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‘!
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…
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 – ‘Colebrooke/ BFL/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!
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.
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!
From left to right in the banner above:
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:
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:
Next week… rich purples!
**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’!
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.
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!):
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…
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
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…!
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!
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
From left to right in the banner above:
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.
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.
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….!
What is it about autumn that screams CABLES??
…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,
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:
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!)
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.
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.
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:
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???