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!
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.

Naloa shawl by EastLondonKnit, image © EastLondonKnit

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

Kensington Purples

This week’s shop update Introduces a new fingering yarn base that I’ll be carrying semi-regularly…
  • 70% Superwash British Bluefaced Leicester
  • 20% Silk
  • 10% Cashmere
  • 437 yards (400 meters)/ 100 grams (3.53 ounces)

Shown above in my recently completed Marin shawl the yarn blend is slightly crisp, with a lovely drape and the added opulence and warmth from the softest cashmere. A nice plump fingering with a 3-ply construction, the yarn definition on this blend is divine! Details virtually pop – as you can see on the cable and ribbing above! You can see a detail shot of the cable on my project page.

I have really taken to this blend and have been knitting a Folded in it for the last week+ which is going quite quickly, thanks to the train ride to Yarndale I am already at the arms (will be knitting them top down to make the most of my 2 skein project):

Kettle Yarn Co. KENSINGTON Folded

As you can see, there is less drape with this yarn than the Islington I used in my Relax, as it has less silk. This makes for warmer garments for winter – especially with the added insulation trapped in the cashmere pluff!

The following description is from its new Ravelry page:

Uptown without the attitude, this lightweight blend is versatile and strong with added opulence and warmth from the softest cashmere – a luxurious choice for everyday items, next to skin wear and precious accessories.With its high percentage of 100% British SW Bluefaced Leicester this yarn is hardwearing, low pilling and long lasting. 20% silk adds subtle sheen and depth of colour, while 10% cashmere gives it a buttery halo and insulating warmth. Its 3 ply structure is ideal for lace and cables as details pop in this yarn with a crisp roundness. This superwash blend is perfect for heirloom baby items, as it can also be popped in a delicate machine wash. However it STILL spit splices – the best of both worlds!

Vigorously wear tested, this yarn holds an amazing ‘3 shaves’ on Kettle Yarn Co.’s Wear Grading Chart – which means it will only pill lightly the first few times worn and will shave completely clean with no damage to fibres.

Hand-washing or machine soaking and spinning is recommended.

Below are the two colourways added to the shop this weekend:

Brunswick – a rich, dark blue/purple with faint green accents

Campden – a warm grey/purple

*Remember to sign up to the Kettle Yarn Co. newsletter to get first dibs on newly posted yarns.

Thanks to everyone who has been sharing their projects and thoughts on the Kettle Yarn Co. Ravelry group and reviews on Etsy and the yarn info pages. These really help me out and it is also such good fun seeing the projects that are starting …and can’t wait to see the finished ones!

I’ve also really been enjoying the pattern suggestions and have added quite a number of new items to my ever-growing queue, as a result! Thanks ladies!

Join us if you haven’t already…!

Weekly update with some pairing fun!

This weeks shop update is LIVE! I moved back to a bit of cool blue/greens as that side of the colour wheel is still very close to my heart. I’ve also gotten some camel/silk lace up this week for those looking to do a little lace knitting (and maybe even starting on those special holiday gifts!).
From left to right in the banner above:
  1. Westminster lace in ‘Alban‘ – 50% Baby Camel • 50% Silk
  2. Westminster fingering in ‘Light Grovesnor‘ – 50% Baby Camel • 50% Silk
  3. Westminster fingering in ‘Florence‘ – 50% Baby Camel • 50% Silk
As some of you already know, a few months ago I made a Camomille by Helga Isager and have been wearing it to death. It is  the perfect light shawl – large enough to wrap several times around the neck on a cold morning, blissfully super warm from the gorgeous BFL/Alpaca light fingering, but at the same time light enough to fold up small and shove into a bag.


I have had a few requests for the yarn I used in the shawl and have finally had a chance to dye some up, so these will be going up on the shop this week as well.

I also had a long talk with myself (!) and will be releasing some of the hoarded blush BFL/Alpaca as I used in my version above and have dyed more of the camel/silk lace in charcoal grey, which I’ve named ‘Colebrooke‘. A beautifully dimensional grey, this colour has hints of purple and warm browns up close:

I thought it might be fun to show some possible pairings for subtle shawl striping. Below are some pink/grey pairings.
The right hand pair shows the Westminster ‘Colebrooke‘ & blush BFL/Alpaca, ‘Liminal‘,  pair I used in mine, the left is a reverse with ‘Napier‘ – pink/grey/purple- in Westminster lace and a semi solid grey in BFL/Alpaca.

As I was researching images for this post I also came across this stunning image, which at first I assumed was another Camomile…
….but it turns out that Christina’s gorgeous, Camomile-like version is of Elise Dupont’s Merlot crescent shawl pattern (available as a €5 download on Ravelry). Christina has simply striped her solid and variegated yarn above, as opposed to alternating holding the fingering yarn together with the lace, as on Camomile. Any of the yarn pairings I’ve shown here would work for this look.

Though if you prefer,  you could always knit it exactly as Elise designed it, which has beautiful blocks of variegated colour broken up by solid stripes and trim. So pretty!

More paring possibilities, below left, both Westminster – Lace in ‘Colebrooke‘ and fingering in ‘Florence‘ for a more silky/drapey version. On the right another one with ‘Florence‘, but this time with the amazing Bloomsbury silk lace in silver/grey ‘Dusty Miller‘.

Of course there are many more combos to be made from the yarns in the shop, but I’d best stop here as this has become an epic post! If you have any questions about yarn pairing don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

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.

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!


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:

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!


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!

Silky Camels

I promised to do some posts on the ‘staple’ yarn bases that I have chosen as regulars in the shop, so today’s is on my Rolls Royce blend – the exquisite WESTMINSTER – 50% Baby Camel/ 50% Silk.

I have somewhat tongue-in-cheek-ily named the regular bases after London boroughs that match their ‘personality’. This one is after the borough that houses Buckingham Palace as it is fit for royal offspring…ahem. ;-P

An even split of the softest baby camel and silk gives this blend the cool, heavy drape of silk with a rich, warm halo of camel – the best of both worlds. The lusciousness of this yarn is very hard to describe in words, but once you have felt it you’ll know – nothing else compares. It is simultaneously meltingly soft, weighty and amazing.

One of the most luxurious blends on the market, camel/silk also takes colour like no other yarn. Dye gains a glowing richness that just takes your breath away and I find myself getting lost in the painterly way the glazed dye ‘takes’ on this yarn. As a result these colourways are more variegated than my normal technique, but in closely toned colours to avoid jarring colour changes.

Though it appears delicate, this blend is actually a fantastic performer in my abrasion tests. The gold swatch below is AFTER repeated scrubbing, yanking, rubbing and other abuse and as you can see any light pilling has shaved off clean with no damage to the fibres beneath. You will hear me banging on about wear constantly as I feature my staple bases. Sourcing ethical, hardwearing blends was a must for me – I want your projects to last for decades AND look/feel good doing it! And of course we want to make sure our furry friends that supply us with the fibres are treated with love.

This is one of my most expensive bases, so I am only able to get it in small amounts at the moment. A couple of lucky ladies re-homed my first couple of skeins within days, so I painted up the last of my first shipment and added them to the shop yesterday. Click on the gallery below for close ups or head to the shop for multiple views.


Not to be a yarn enabler, but if you have never tried this blend, it might be an idea to splurge on a skein of this with your Purlside 15% discount and giving it a try. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Email me to sign up to the mailing list for the coupon code if you haven’t already.

I do have to send out a tiny apology to those who have ordered already as I have had to ship your yarn-babies without proper labels as my marketing materials have not yet arrived from the printers! Hopefully they will be here this week. If you have any questions at all, just email or tweet me @KettleYarnCo.

The shop has now been officially live for just over 5 days and I am so happy to say that orders are keeping me hopping! Thanks, once again, to all of you for your ongoing support and generosity. I am truly touched.