Monday, 31 March 2014


There are some things that drop into your mail box and make you say 'YES' the minute you read them. News of Knitsonik's kickstarter was most definitely one of them. 

Knitsonik is the creation of Felicity Ford, an artist and academic who is best known for her explorations of recorded sound. Her projects often use field-recordings and interviews to explore the meaning of objects and social contexts. KNITSONIK is a division of Felicity's work in which she uses sound in order to explore the social, historic and geographic aspects of woolen textiles and clothing. Previous pieces included hand knitting a soundscape and her love of fairisle has made her a regular favourite at Shetland Wool Week.  

(c) Knitsonik


So what is Felicity hoping to create if she secures the funding from Kickstarter?


The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook will celebrate the textures of everyday life through stranded colourwork, using such inspirations as biscuit tins; a crumbling deco factory; sloe gin; and a 1930s manual on the wonders of electricity as sources for ideas. It will contain sumptuous photos of giant swatches and at least 12 sets of related charts, each based on plants, places, or things. The book will also include a useful tutorial on productive swatching and adapting colourwork charts to fit your knitting patterns; writings on translating familiar places, things, and plants into stranded colourwork; and an appendix of black and white knitting charts for those who like the charts but would prefer to try them out in different colours from those recommended. Key ideas:

- it's about learning from the amazing stranded colour-work handknits of Estonia and Shetland, and applying aspects of these textile traditions to make up your own personal knitting traditions

- it's about discovering and playing with colours and shading

- it's about SHETLAND WOOL! And the Jamieson & Smith palette

- it's about the wonderful challenge of translating the 3-D world into the medium of stranded knitting

- it's about developing knitting processes which deepen your connection with your world through practices of knitting

- the SONIK side of the project applies similar strategies to the practice of field recording; so the iTunes album which will come out after the book is published will celebrate the idea of deepening your connection with your world through the practice of listening

- it's about knitting and listening your way to a closer connection with the textures, colours, surfaces and patterns of your everyday life. 


(c) KnitSonik


There will be a featured interview of Felicity on the blog tomorrow as part of her blog tour campaign to help give you even more insight into the Kickstarter campaign and persude you to help her make this book a reality. For now, please do go and watch the inspirational video that she has put together as part of her Kickstarter campaign. 

Friday, 28 March 2014

Norweigan Knitting Retreat

Sometimes, people come together in the knitting community and magical things happen. The news we're about to share is a prime example. A Knitting Retreat.... in a beautiful Norweigan setting.... learning to dye yarn with Jeni. Sound amazing? Let us give you the details. 


(c) Hvalo Knitting Retreats

Jeni will be one of the talented tutors who will be featured in this Summer's line up of knitting retreats. Fred and Annabel, the owners of the beautiful farm where all the knitting action will happen, have set up a series of retreats that will feature good food, peaceful settings and good knitting action. 


Wanna go
(c) Hvalo Knitting Retreats

Hvalø is situated in the Archipelago in the outer part of the Oslo Fjord, which has recently been made into a National Park. On the farm you will meet Fred and Annabel who have lived here for over 20 years with their 3 children as the only permanent residents of the island. Once at the island, walk the woodland paths, enjoy the landscape that has been formed by centuries of farming, or visit the highest point on the island with its Bronze Age burial mound and look out to Færder and Fuglehuk lighthouses. On a clear day, you can even glimpse Sweden. Swim from the smooth granite shoreline, or from one of the island's beaches, borrow a kayak and explore the national park, sit in the shade of one of the farm's many ash trees, read a book, admire the view or knit. The calm serenity of the island and the friendly, relaxed atmosphere on the farm will make your stay unforgettable.


(c) Hvalo Knitting Retreats

Delicious food is an important part of Annabel and Fred's concept, and where possible they use local and organic produce. These retreats are set up for 8-10 visitors, and you will have the unique opportunity to get individual help and inspiration from your tutor. 

(c) Hvalo Knitting Retreats

So what is Jeni providing? An introduction to dyeing where you will learn the basics of dyeing, and get the chance to dye a range of different yarns including lace, 4ply and some heavier weight options. Those who've taken workshops with Jeni before have spoken warmly of her friendly and informal style that is perfectly suited to this relaxed setting. With her guidance, you can learn the way different fibres behave in the dyepots from Alpaca to Merino and more. 


Interested? You can now reserve your place by sending an email to Annabel via the Hvalo website NOW.


See you in the Summer?

Friday, 21 March 2014

Scrumptious Collection Volume 2 Revisit

With the first day of Spring this week and the change in the weather, we've noticed a growing change towards light weight yarns and knits. It seemed a good time to revisit Volume 2 which features some knitwear that is perfect for warmer weather. 

Firstly there are 2 stunning shawls with great drape thanks to the silk content of Scrumptious Yarns. Both are large enough to wrap round the shoulders while the weather warms a little but once it gets warmer, the silk will keep things cool enough to take you right through to Autumn. 

Dollis by Anniken Allis

The Dollis Shawl is a pretty two-colour shawl has a calming garter stitch centre with contrasting lace edging and beads that add weight and pop out from the lace pattern. The lace pattern is given in both written and charted instructions. 

Effra by Anniken Allis

Then there's Effra, also by Anniken which is worked up in Scrumptious Lace. This is a large shawl with graphic motifs that aren't too tricky to follow. The shawl is worked from the top down and starts like a half-hexagon shawl with three equal triangles. After a few rows, the increases for the middle triangle stops. This creates some shoulder shaping which allows the shawl to sit really nicely on the shoulders and gives you more width than a standard triangular shawl but it's not as wide (nor the last few rows as long) as a standard half-hexagon shawl. 

Lea back
Lea Cardigan by Lily Kate France

There's also some really verstaile garments like the Lea Cardigan. Knit in 4ply, this short-sleeved cardigan has a deep V-neck that can be worn to the front or the back. Sized from 32-50 inch bust this requires between 2-4 skeins of Scrumptious 4ply to make. 

Lea front
Lea Cardigan by Lily Kate France

Then there's Kyoko Nakayoshi's elegant Osney Shrug knit in Scrumptious 4ply. This seamless shrug uses short-row shaping to create the flattering curves around the edges. Sized for 32-34to 48-50 inches at the bust, this takes between 2-4 skeins to make and has an easy lace pattern to follow. 

Osney Shrug by Kyoko Nakayoshi

As well as these knits, there's also some good projects that won't make you overheat when working on them like berets and cushions. It's not that warm yet but with all these trips to the park (and pub gardens, ahem) we've been leaning away from garments and throws and towards smaller portable projects instead. 


To get your copy of Scrumptious Collection Volume 2, visit the online store today or ask at your local LYS. 

Monday, 10 March 2014

Handarbeit 2014

With all this Spring weather and some decidedly milder days, it's felt like fresh starts and new beginnings are on everyone's mind at the moment. What a perfect time to take the latest pattern Collection (Scrumptious Volume 3), and our new yarn Cumulus, to the biggest European trade show, Handarbeit!

The event takes place in Cologne on 21st to 23rd March 2014 and we will be joining over 345 other exhibitors from 40 different countries at this wonderful event. The event specialises in all handcrafts including knitting, crochet and sewing and has an international following so we are really excited to be showcasing our products there again this year. 


You will be able to find Fyberspates at booth E060 where we will be exhibiting our full Scrumptious range, including the pattern collections, Vivacious and Gleem, Cumulus and more. Be sure to come and say hello and check out all the lovely products that we have on offer.