Archive for March, 2012

Ripple Effect

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

When the streetlights come on and the moon casts its glow on this side of the pond, somewhere along the sun-drenched Spanish coastline, Katia’s yarn development team is diligently working away, continuing to stay one hop, skip and a jump ahead in the industry.  Ondas and Triana started the proverbial ruffle ball rolling, two incredibly enigmatic yarns that caused an astonishing ripple effect worldwide.  Building on the success of these yarns, Katia introduces the next innovator to their Spring/Summer collection- Azahar

Categorized as a self-ruffling yarn, Azahar differs slightly, fine cotton threads are woven in a zigzag fashion through two lateral bands creating an airy open effect.  Four neutral shades are available in shops now, white, silver/white, cream, and beige/white.

Azahar col no. 53

Add your own ripple effect to knitwear and follow the link here to watch the instructional video on knitting/embellishing with Azahar as shown below in these sensational designs from Katia-

Katia Book 70

Flat-out fabulous!  This cover shot is an eye-catching shrug, that looks incredibly intricate in stitch detail, but don’t be bamboozled.  One skein of Azahar in col #53, is simply cut into long strips and laid side-by-side to join with a crochet hook and a chain stitch.

Katia Azahar and Brisa

Vertical Lines!  Another stunner from the latest Katia Elegance Collection, a lightweight tunic knit in Brisa, with a lovely scalloped border crocheted as the P.S.  Create a long lean look with one skein of Azahar in col #50, gently gathered and sewn on top in perpendicular fashion.

Katia Azahar and Isis

 On The Horizon!  Azahar col #50 adorns this breezy summer top, knitted in softly textured Isis.  Knitted strips are stitched on as the finishing details.   

Katia Book 61

Swing Sensation!  A swirly girly style for ages four to twelve in Book no 61.  Knit in Katia Mississippi 3, with subtle stripes of grey and white, and trimmed in rippling layers of Azahar col #50.   

Katia Azahar and Mississippi 3

Flower Power!  A frilly skirt from Katia Book no. 61. for ages four to twelve.   Azahar col #52 makes a gradual transition from a knitted edge into rows of crochet using Mississippi 3.  The final touch is a flower created from Azahar, with just a quick gathering and a few stitches to keep it firmly in place.

Katia Azahar

Accessorize With Azahar!  One skein of Azahar col #52 will knit up effortlessly into this gorgeous rumpled scarf, a great way to add texture and contrast to all your linen and cotton outfits.

Knitter’s Pride Spring Update

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

If you are pondering a fresh overhaul of your knitting tools, look no further than Knitter’s Pride Spring Collection.  Exclusive to Diamond Yarn in Canada, Knitter’s Pride took the cast-on community by storm last year, introducing a product line so intuitively in sync with what we wanted, it was as if the company brass might also be seasoned knitters.  This India-based company made its foray into the wholesale market by manufacturing  paintbrushes which as we know require a smooth handle for a comfortable grip, durable wood construction, as well as a snag-free transition to a metal covering.  Isn’t this just the ideal recipe for knitting tools??

Interchangeable circular sets are the bee’s knees, currently rising in popularity faster than straights and double pointed sets.  They come in a well-organized compact case with a variety of cord lengths to switch easily from one project to the next, and that makes a whole lot of sense when it comes to a budget.   The most often asked-for features in circulars are sharper points to make a swift swoop of inserting the needle into the stitch that much easier, tangle-free cords that relax when in use, and a smooth join from the shaft of the needle to the cord in order to eliminate the dreaded ‘stitch jam’.

NEW for Spring, have a peek at these convenient travel-size interchangeable sets from Knitter’s Pride which come in fabric cases with a clear vinyl cover and some of the comments from fellow knitters-

Nova Special IC Set

The Pitch:  Slick and shiny! For the diligent knitter, who wants to pick up the pace and knit at a supersonic speed, the NOVA line is made from hollowed brass piping, with superior nickel plating.   This set contains seven pairs with four inch tips complete with two cords measuring out to a full sixteen inches.  In 3.50 mm to 6.00 mm sizes.

The Buzz:  “I prefer metal vs. wood in my circular needles, I know I must be old school, but for my projects it suits me best, and I have tried this brand already a few times.  I really like the points and the changeover from the needle to the cord is smooth and doesn’t catch on my yarn.”    Rena E.   

Dreamz Special IC Set

The Pitch:  Soft and natural!  The DREAMZ line is a candy-coloured assortment of birch needles ideally suited for knitters who work at a quieter pace and prefer a warmer touch.  Birch is almost twice as strong as bamboo and very close to teak in denseness.  This set consists of seven four inch tips sized from 3.50 mm to 6.00 mm and two cords stretching out to a sixteen inch length.

The Buzz:  “At first I was skeptical…….. oh not another type of circular needle, but I was impressed, these have the best points on the market and the colour-coded system is very helpful for poor eyesight like mine.”   Josie H.

Cubics Special IC Set

The Pitch:  Innovative and ergonomic!  Solid rosewood construction in a cuboid design, makes the CUBICS line comfortable to grip and generates a more even tension.  This set incorporates five pairs of four inch tips sized from 4.00 mm to 6.00 mm with two cords measuring out to a full sixteen inches.

The Buzz:   “My mom has arthritic hands and my LYS owner suggested I give her a pair of the Cubic straight needles to try.  I did……… at Christmas, and she loves them!!  The difference she says it has made to her knitting is pretty amazing.”  Sandy M.

Cubics Deluxe IC Set

The Pitch:  CUBICS offers the same superb design in a deluxe set which includes seven pairs of four inch points sized from 4.00 mm to 8.0o mm and four cords in the most popular lengths from twenty-four to forty inches.
The Buzz: “Love the Cubics needles because your hands don’t get tired from gripping like with the regular needles and they are just wonderful to work with.”  Ginny S.

Comby IC Sampler Set

The Pitch:  Test drive to your heart’s content!  For the indecisive knitter who prefers to sample each style before making a full commitment.  In this COMBY pack, one pair of DREAMZ, CUBICS and NOVA are added in sizes 4.00 mm to 5.00 mm along with two cord lengths to cover small or large projects.
The Buzz:   “Choosing between the different styles of circular needles is difficult, I like the metal ones for shawls, and the wooden ones for heavier knitting, and the square Cubics for knitting socks.”  Natacia W.
We will keep you posted on future Knitter’s Pride updates here.

Crochet As Art

Friday, March 16th, 2012

The delicate little wallflower that has stood in the shadows of its big sister for far too long is making a surprising reappearance this Spring.  Crochet is adding a fresh and airy vibe to the world of design, as doily-like dresses and lacy tunics sashay down the runways, and home decor is revived with the homespun craftiness of bohemian styling not seen since the seventies.  This retro trend has such a strong influence, keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook page as Debbie Bliss introduces her first ever Simply Crochet collection later this month, while Vogue Knitting dusts off a few hooks with an early May release of their first all-crochet magazine in almost twenty years.

Crochet differs from knitting, in that only one stitch is active at one time, it grows incredibly quick and can easily be manipulated into a circular design or a variety of sculptural organic shapes.  Unusual textures and raised stitches are easy to create with crochet whereas regular knitting has a smooth flat appearance.

Taking it to the next level, crochet has also evolved into an art form-

 

Deborah Valoma, a textile artist from California created her stunning art exhibit, Twelve Tears, by utilizing river rocks and crocheting web-like casings in cotton.

The Crochet Chair is the brainchild of Dutch furniture designer, Marcel Wanders, branded as the ‘Lady Gaga’ of the design world by the New York Times.  In his innovative furniture collection, individual crocheted motifs are sewn together, dipped in resin, then formed over a mold until dry.

 

Copenhagen is known for its ‘green’ status as one of the world’s leading bicycle cities, and colourful crocheted fender skirts stand out like rainbows against the concrete pavement.  The above example looks a little more artistic than roadworthy, pictured on a vintage two-wheeler, but there are websites where commissioned pieces can be ordered in your choice of colours.

 

This mega size doily is actually a four foot wide rug created from heavy cotton rope, available as a special order from Ladies and Gentlemen, a craft business on Etsy.com.

Queen Anne’s Lace is a gallery installation by Brooklyn-based textile artisan, Kristen Wicklund who works entirely with clay and fibre.  Each of these exquisite handmade doilies is dipped in liquid porcelain and gently formed into sculptural shapes.

Katia Ombres Take The Cake

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Say farewell to the sombre shades of winter and get acquainted with Spring’s current ‘ombre’ hues.  Dipped, dyed, and dripping with colour graduating from light to dark tones, just like an oversized paint strip.  Ombre-essence is creating quite a buzz in fashion and home decor, showing up in everything from shower curtains, nail polish, celebrity locks, to flowing frocks.  The trend that reportedly started it all………. wedding cakes, thats right, those tall tiers of rolled fondant and buttery whipped frosting are now enhanced artistically with monochromatic colouring and in high demand for brides-to-be.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this Spring’s selection of edible and wearable ombres-

Purple Ombre Wedding Cake

From Maggie Austin Cake, freshly picked lilacs add texture and fragrance to the crowning layer of this exquisite design.

Katia Book no 61

Welcome the arrival of Spring with this stylish wide-collar vest knit in Katia Degrade.  Pattern available in Katia Book no 61‘Mauve’ (shown above).

Peach Ombre Wedding Cake

Petals of pastry perfection decorate an irresistible three tier design from Martha Stewart Weddings.

Katia Book no 53

Peachy keen, and all geared up for afternoon play dates!  Glam up a plain white T with a frill trimmed bolero, knit in Katia Degrade , sizes ranging from two to ten years.  Pattern available in Katia Book no 53‘Pumpkin’ (shown above).

Pink Ombre Cake

Surprise!  Did you know ombre cakes have graduated stripes on the inside too?  A rosette swirl design from Gloria’s Treats, baked with five layers of deliciousness.

Katia Book no 69

Bring on the breezy days of summer, in a softly gathered tank knit in Katia Degrade and edged with a border in pure white linen.  Pattern available in Katia Book no. 69‘Rose’ (shown above).

Yellow Ombre Wedding Cake

A yummy tower of sunshine yellow sweetness from Martha Stewart Weddings.

Katia Children's Book no 53

Zesty citrus shading makes this bell-shaped suntop look especially cool and comfortable, knit in Katia Degrade.  Pattern available in Katia Book no 53, sized for tykes from two to ten.  ‘Lime’ (shown above).

Tickled Pink for Spring

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Louisa Harding ushers in Spring with a dreamy palette of sugary pastel tints, iced with sparkly sprinkles, and her particular fondness for avant-garde designs accented with the flowy essence of feminine styling.  Each season, Louisa chooses a kick-off point for her inspiration which leads to her choice of yarns and colour scheme, as well as the mood for the photography (the man behind the lens is her talented husband, Stephen). 

This Spring is no exception to the rule with her latest collections inspired by her very own flower garden, Aster, Marguerite, Dahlia, and Delphine-  

Eletta in Mulberry Silk

A powdery pink vision of loveliness knit in Mulberry Silk, an ultrasoft silk highlighted in the Aster Collection.

Blanche in Nerissa and Sari Ribbon

A frothy milkshake delight, knit in Nerissa, cosy cotton chenille, and Sari Ribbon, returning after a long hiatus, both scrumptious yarns featured in the Dahlia Collection

Evie in Ondine

Strawberry fields forever, knit in Ondine, a pure cotton enhanced with a subtle tweed effect from the Marguerite Collection

Hilda in Delphine

Radiant in rose, knit in Delphine, an all-new cotton tape introduced for Spring in the Delphine Collection.  

Edith in Delphine

Bubblegum pink rocks this fringed tunic top, knit in Delphine, with ten ombre shades to choose from, in the Delphine Collection.