Posts tagged ‘Knitting’

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If the word ‘knitting’ conjures up images of auntie Sally’s itchy acrylic yarn and plastic yellow needles, think again. Modern knitting is all about precious natural fibers, softly tactile textures and stylish designs. Here’s the definitive guide to the perfect Christmas present for the cool, creative knitters in your life.

©The Wool Company

©The Wool Company

1. The Wool Company luxury DK 100% cashmere yarn

This is the yarn equivalent of angel’s breath: 100% cashmere yarn, undyed and untreated, in a wonderful DK (double knitting) weight. Spun (mainly) in Italy for The Wool Company, a family-run business in Cornwall.
(£19.80 for 50 grams, plus postage, The Wool Company website).

©Kelly Connor

©Kelly Connor

2. Kelly Connor Designs knitting project bag

Forget about chintzy flowers. Kelly Connor, an artist based in Aberdeen, Scotland, makes quirky tote knitting bags with funky slogans, perfect to show off on public transport. I like big balls and I cannot lie (remember Sir Mix-A-Lot?) is my tongue-in-cheek favourite.
(£13.75 plus postage, Etsy)

©karoArt

©karoArt

4. KaroArt’s Yellow Stars Knitting Yarn Bowl

KaroArt’s stoneware clay knitting bowl matches the star at the top of the Christmas tree! Unglazed and beautifully textured on the outside, brightly yellow glazed on the inside, it has a comet-shaped slot for threading the yarn through and a star-shaped opening on the rim to support the knitting needles. Handmade in Dublin, Ireland.
(£30.16 plus postage, Etsy)

©Cotton&Cloud

©Cotton&Cloud

4. Cotton & Cloud’s Maku Wrap Cardi pattern

Looking for something as elegant as a kimono and as warm as an Aran jumper? Kyoko Nakayoshi is a London-based Japanese knitting designer who blends Japanese and Western aesthetics in innovative ways. Her textured and delicate knitting patterns are available on her website, Cotton & Cloud, as well as in books and magazines in the United Kingdom and the United States.
(£3.50, downloadable online, Cotton & Cloud website)

©SixSkeins

©SixSkeins

5. SixSkeins’ Sugar skull stitch markers

There are many stitch markers out there, but not as spooky and cute as these ones! Sugar skulls are votive figurines, traditionally used in Mexico to celebrate the Day of the Dead. This set of five stitch markers (the little hooks or rings used to mark specific stitches in a pattern) is handmade in England from small glass beads and lightweight paper beads. It fits all sizes of knitting needles up to 10mm (US 15).
(£5.00 plus postage, Etsy)

©Johan Ku

©Johan Ku

6. Mary Ward Centre Extreme Knitting Course

This is where I will be from next January and I am truly excited! Suitable for beginners, this course aims at exploring alternative materials and scales in knitting. You will get to use giant knitting needles, make knitting devices of your own and work with non-traditional materials including rope, wire and plastic.
In the photo: Johan Ku’s Emotional Sculpture, 2004.
(£87 for six three-hour classes at the Mary Ward Centre, London)

©Search Press Ltd

©Search Press Ltd

7. The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting by Elizabeth Lovick

If you have never tried lace knitting before, make this an aspirational buy… Shetland’s lace stitches, with names like ‘Crest of the Wave’, ‘Razor Shell’ and ‘Cat’s Paw’, have been used by the women of the Northern Isles for hundreds of years. This book by Elizabeth Lovick, the Scottish designer behind Northern Lace, introduces the ethereal beauty and intricacy of Shetland lace knitting with stitches, techniques, and projects for lighter-than-air shawls, scarves, hats and more.
(Search Press Ltd, £10.34 on Amazon)

©Hélène Magnússon

©Hélène Magnússon

8. Knitting trip to Iceland

Iceland is a wonderful place with a great knitting tradition (you can buy yarn at the supermarket!). These tours, a collaboration between Icelandic designer Hélène Magnússon and Icelandic Mountain Guides, mix knitting with the beautiful Icelandic nature. Participants explore the island hiking, trekking or by short walks and meet local knitters, spinners, dyers, designers and farmers.
(from 155.000 ISK, about £790.00, for a 4-day tour)

©Lantern Moon

©Lantern Moon

9. Lantern Moon Rosewood Needles

Every knitter deserves some truly scrumptious tools! Lantern Moon knitting needles are handmade in Vietnam by skilled craftspeople. Their distinctive design combines two fine woods to make the most beautiful and functional knitting needles available. Rosewood needles have ebony tops in the thinner sizes and palm wood tops in the thicker sizes. Available in the UK from Knit with Attitude and Loop.
(£15.00 plus postage from Knit with Attitude)

©Vogue Knitting

©Vogue Knitting

10. Vogue Knitting one year subscription

Although there are millions of patterns online, often available for free, sometimes it is just nice to cosy up with some good old glossy paper magazine. Vogue Knitting is a monthly knitting bible – as stylish as its fashion sister, minus the Devil Wears Prada chief editor.
(One year subscription, 5 issues: 27.97$ in the US; £58.02 in the UK)

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Looking for quirky present for a little boy or a little girl with attitude? Look no further!

Tattoo George is a large, huggable, lovable woolen fish made from a traditional Aran sweater. Perfect as a best friend, soft toy or pillow.

Dimensions: 53 x 24 cm, that is 21 x 9.5 inches.

The body is 100% pure new wool, the eyes and tattoo are made of felt and embroidered. The stuffing is polyester.

This is an original design, one of a kind, hand-knitted in London. My woolen fishes are inspired by George, a hand-knitted soft toy lovingly hand-made for my boyfriend when he was born. Here is more of my story.

Tattoo George is upcycled from a vintage, original Aran jumper. I carefully select the softest, cuddliest vintage Aran jumpers and create equally soft, cuddly items. All vintage Aran jumpers are dry-cleaned before being used.

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Photo by Jonathan Short-Invision for The Campaign for Wool-AP Images

Photo by Jonathan Short-Invision for The Campaign for Wool-AP Images

Model Daisy Lowe launched a live knitting session in an Oxford Street shop window on Monday to celebrate Wool Week, a series of events promoting wool as a natural, sustainable and eco-friendly material.

From Monday 14 to Sunday 20 October 2013, knitters will transform a plain white living room, set in a John Lewis Oxford Street shop window, into a hand-knitted woollen heaven, in an action know as yarn-bombing.

Free knitting classes and drop-in session will be run by knitting design gurus such as Erika Knight, MillaMia and Arne & Carlos in the John Lewis branches in London-Oxford Street and Edinburgh. Those who cannot get there are invited to organize their own knitting and crochet party, completed with sheep-shaped biscuits.

Wool Week is part of the Prince of Wales’ Campaign for Wool, which since October 2010 promotes British fleece and textile industry. Currently planning events in eight countries, including Australia, China and Norway, the Campaign has reportedly resulted in a threefold increase in the price farmers receive for their wool.

The Campaign also includes Wool School, a sweater design competition for fashion and textile students, and the OneWool initiative, focused on great interior wool products and their story.

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LM wall of wonders website 2 Loopy Mango is an Aladdin’s cave of beautiful and unusual clothes, linens, blankets, antiques and lifestyle items in the heart of Soho, Manhattan. Its greatest feature, though, and the reason to make it a destination of any visit to New York, is a red brick wall stacked floor-to-ceiling with the chunkiest merino wool.

Big Loop Yarn is a 100% merino yarn, sourced, dyed and spun in the United States, especially developed for chunky knits. One skein (40 oz, approx. 120 yards or 110 meters) knits up in just 2-3 hours with size 50 (25 mm) needles and will make a 28” x 40” (71 cm x 101 cm) blanket. It comes in a variety of natural and vibrant colors, including ivory, oatmeal, pink, red and grey.

Russian Anna and Korean Waejong started Loopy Mango to develop their own yarn and hand knit products. The idea of the Big Loop Yarn came from their knitting classes: Anna and Waejong wanted to offer absolute beginners satisfying designs that could be completed in the time of a knitting class. Because the Big Loop Yarn and needles are oversize, beginners could better see and understand the stitches’ movements.

According to the lovely Loopy Mango people, even advanced knitters will knit faster and make fewer mistakes on the Big Loop Yarn than on smaller yarn and needles. Free patters are available on the Loopy Mango website and you can watch several video tutorials on YouTube.

Before starting planning how to fit all of this wonderful wool into your suitcase (I went for a pink Eternity Cowl scarf kit) have a look also at the rest of the Loopy Mango shop: among others, they stock delightful Pagewood Farm feathers and puffs yarn. Loopy Mango deliver worldwide and have stockists in several countries.

 Here is how I did with Loopy Mango’s Big Loop yarn and 25 mm circular needles!

LM logoLoopy Mango
78 Grand St.

New York, NY 10013
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