North Light Fibers Atlantic Yarn

© Knit Purl

North Light Fibers Atlantic is a 3-ply worsted-weight yarn made out of Falkland Islands Superfine Merino Wool. Atlantic comes in an variety of solid colors, with sea-inspired names like Bull Kelp, and Teal Inlet. The yarn surely has an interesting story to tell, journeying from island to island as it is transformed from fleece to yarn. 

North Light Fibers, who we featured on the blog last year, is located on picturesque Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island. The micro mill focuses on manufacturing minimally processed yarns. The wool for Atlantic originates from The Falkland Islands, a place quite famous for wool. 

Atlantic is soft, yet also feels quite sturdy. It doesn't feel as susceptible to pilling like a typical superfine Merino. Atlantic is a yarn that will wear well in both accessories and garments, for pieces that will hold up to the wear and tear of everyday life. It seems perfectly suited to creating fluid expanses of stockinette stitch, as well as for something with a little more texture. 

The colors are pretty. Atlantic is offered in neutrals along with some jewel tones to brighten up the palette. The colors probably mirror what is seen on a regular basis on Block Island. Teal Inlet is probably my favorite of the bunch. It's the perfect teal that strikes a nice balance between blue and green. I am also fond of Sea Lion. A gray with slightly brown undertones, a great neutral. 

Pattern suggestions:

Our Roku hat kit comes with one skein of the Atlantic in Teal Inlet. Knit in a 1x1 rib, the Roku Hat is a great match for the Atlantic yarn. The stitches are well-defined, and the yarn has a nice drape, making a good slouchy hat fabric.

Here are some other pattern ideas for the North Light Fibers Atlantic Yarn:

© Brooklyn Tweed

The Romney Kerchief by Brooklyn Tweed is a cute little kerchief pattern that would show off Atlantic's stitch definition and drape. 

 

© Carrie Bostick Hoge

The Shore Cardigan, designed by Carrie Bostick Hoge, would be a great garment for this yarn. It would result in a warm and soft cardigan that would be an excellent addition to any wardrobe. Scots Thistle, a pretty purple, would be a wonderful color for it. 

 

November 07, 2016 by Oleya Pearsall

Knit Purl Minis

© Knit Purl

Have you ever wanted to experience new yarn without committing to an entire skein? There are so many beautiful yarns out in the world, and not enough time to try them all. I wish all of us were able to spend our days surrounded by yarn and get the opportunity to test and play with new yarns all the time. As much as I would love to spend my days lounging in a pile of fluffy yarn, I’m sadly unable to.

I do spend most of my working day in front of a computer or my iPhone, and this is how I get introduced to new yarn. I would say 90% of the time I’m introduced to new yarn, it’s because of a great photo on Instagram. The first thought I have when I see new yarn is, “I wonder what the yarn feels like?”, followed by wishing I could sample the yarn. Being able to try out yarn without having to commit to an entire skein has been something I’ve dreamt of. Knit Purl Minis came out earlier this year, and my dream became a reality.

For those that are new to Knit Purl Minis, they are a way to experience new yarn without commitments. Be warned though — our Minis include yarn you will want to purchase in bulk. Our first edition of Knit Purl Minis included North Light Fibers Water Street, which is some of the softest cashmere/merino yarn. I’ve committed multiple times to Water Street and don’t plan on ever stopping. We are now onto our second edition of Knit Purl Minis which includes the following:

How can one collect Knit Purl Minis? Well, you can either purchase them for $8, or we will gift them to you with any order $75 or more (while supplies last). I know it’s a little early to bring up, but the holidays are already on my mind. For those that are in need of gift ideas, Knit Purl Minis will make a great stocking stuffer!

November 04, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin
Tags: Kits New Yarns

My Design Inspiration: Illimani Yarn

ILLIMANI began its journey in the textile world back in 2004, with a collection of clothing knitted with alpaca and llama yarns, mostly by artisans in Bolivia and Peru.  We have worked for many years with knitters, crocheters and weavers from the Andes region, where some continue to use ancient traditional techniques.

It all began when I received a parcel with samples of an alpaca yarn spun in Bolivia that claimed to have similar softness as fine cashmere. I was very impressed with the quality and softness when comparing it to the more widely available pure Baby Alpaca from Peru that we were using as main material for our clothing.  It was then that I decided to switch the focus of the company, and to offer unique yarns for hand knitters that can truly understand and value an exceptional yarn when they see one. In a few months we were importing our first and most beloved yarn, “ROYAL I”. No wonder why Knit Purl has chosen this yarn to introduce it to knitters in Portland.

The secret behind this beautiful yarn is not only that we use the best selection of alpaca. It is also the de-hairing process that is also used in the Baby Llama which is simply taking away all the coarse hairs and leaving just the very fine ones using a new technology. The llama yarn that goes through this de-hairing process is now as fine as the finest baby alpaca. This is certainly changing the llama yarn industry in Bolivia making the baby llama (de-haired) one of the finest fibers in the world.

Take a close look at the label of ROYAL I. It is the same alpaca that we use along with our ILLIMANI logo: 

 

 

Royal I is the knitters dream come true.
The very best selection of alpaca, with 18.5 – 19.5 microns (1% of the alpaca wool production), you have a yarn as soft as cashmere plus all the treats of alpaca to make your knits not just incredible soft and luxurious but more durable and resistant.

Our heathered greys are the best sellers, and probably our signature colors.  These are melanges with natural undyed color and black. Blues and other jewel colors are also quite popular.

I was told by knitters all over the world that Royal I is an addiction. Once you knit with it, it is hard to go back to the other regular yarns. The good news is the price. The cost is significantly lower than any other comparable yarn.

There is no better place to launch this yarn in Portland than in Knit Purl.

- Alvaro Echazú

September 19, 2016 by Guest Blogger

Shibui Knits: Staccato

© Knit Purl


Shibui Knits never ceases to amaze me. They produce some of my favorite yarns that always keep me coming back for more. Staccato happens to be next in line for me to try out. I’ve been hoarding about 20 skeins of it in my yarn stash and finally plan to do a few swatches with it. Staccato is an alluring blend of merino and silk fibers, that is smooth and soft to the touch. It has an elegant sheen that causes the vibrant colors to truly pop.

© Knitbot

I have a couple of ideas about what I would like to make with the Staccato I currently have stored away. I have an in-your-face, firey orange/red that I really want to squeeze a dress out of. I need to do a swatch and see what my options are. I also have a rusty copper that I was going to make a loose tee out of, but now I have new plans for a cropped cardigan. I purchased Home & Away recently, and I have been eyeing the Hancock cardigan ever since. The Hancock (shown above) does happen to take up much more yarn than I have, so I will need to do a little math to see if I can make it work.

Here are a few end of summer knitting projects on my list:

© Juju Vail

Michelada: A little summer pullover full of texture, that will transition effortlessly into fall.

 

© Knitscene / Harper Point Photography

Hanshi Wrap Kit: A simple wrap in ivory with short rows that mimic beautiful brush strokes in black.

© Knit Purl

 Tembetari Cowl Kit: Someone please teach me how to crochet so I can make pretty cowls like the Tembetari. I want to wrap myself in a pretty honeycomb pattern.

August 26, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

Woolfolk Sno

© Knit Purl

I'm pretty smitten with Sno. It's probably one of my favorite yarns. I am slowly working on Julie Hoover's Elmont pattern in color 1/15, with just the sleeves and yoke left to go. I started it before I hurt my wrists last year, and recently brought it back out after I recovered.

As much as I love that sweater and can't wait to finish it before the fall, I must say that got a little distracted when I saw the new Sno colors from Woolfolk.

© Knit Purl

The new colors are all great additions to the lineup: 1/11, a striking cream/navy, 12/15, an alluring maroon/black, and 1/17, a classic cream and mink.

One of the reasons why I love knitting with Sno is because of how amazing it feels. Sno is quite pleasing to knit with, and it makes a downy, soft fabric that you can't resist touching. I know it's been said before, but it really does feel comparable to cashmere. In addition how nice it feels, I cannot get enough of the marled colorways. The barber-poled strands add interest to any knitting project, and ultimately create a kaleidoscopic, mesmerizing fabric. 

© Knit Purl

The new colors are all equally amazing, but the one I want to start with immediately with is color 12/15, the maroon-black. There’s just something so intriguing about this color. It’s dark, but also interesting. My plans? League by Veronik Avery, with 12/15 as the main color, color 12 in Tynd for the saddles, and color 15 in Tynd for the sleeves. I love the idea of combining the marl with the solid colors it's derived from. 

 © Brooklyn Tweed

 

Here are some other ideas for using this beautiful marled yarn:

 

© Interweave Knits

Douillet Sweater by Noriko Ho. I love a good striped pullover, and I enjoy the visual patterning effect of using two different striped marls. 

© Melanie Berg

Mirkfallon by Melanie Berg. This shawl makes good use of the subtler marls, like color 1/2. The marl adds a bit of texture and depth to this beautiful piece, while allowing the lace to shine through.

© Woolfolk Yarn

Tryk Scarf, also by Melanie Berg. I would love to play with different colors in this scarf, perhaps using different colors of Sno for the blocks of contrast color, and Tynd for the main color. This scarf is a great combination of simple and challenging: it's mainly composed of mindless garter, with bits of intarsia to keep you on your toes. 

The splendid array of colors and irresistible softness make Sno a brilliant selection for your next project. 

 

August 15, 2016 by Oleya Pearsall

ITO Kouki

© Knit Purl

What fibers come to mind when thinking of knitting new summer creations? I go straight for linen. I forget that there are so many other options out there that are also suitable for the warm summer days, like nice, breathable cotton or cooling silk. What about paper? Did you know paper textiles have a long tradition in Japan, and they are very much like silk in that they're cooling in summer, and warming in winter? I was unaware of this until I introduced myself to Urugami by ITO. ITO has another yarn that makes a great summer companion.

Kouki by ITO is a lustrous ramie and silk blend yarn. Ramie is a great fiber for those hot days that are still visiting us. Ramie is known for its ability to hold shape, reduce wrinkling, and introduce a silky sheen to the fabric appearance. The silk gives Kouki durability, making Kouki garment-friendly and ready to wear.

Here are a few pattern ideas for these gleaming yarn cones of Kouki:
© Knit Purl
A Hint of Summer: Light weight tee. Classic stripes and a fantastic drape make this tee a summer staple. Choose your own colors or grab a kit and start knitting.
© Jana Huck
Kouki-Hearts: Wrapped in love. This pretty striped wrap is embossed with hearts. The luster of Kouki really highlights the hearts in this pattern.
© Assemblage
Hane: 1 top, 6 options. A top with asymmetric drape, side shaping, and unique sleeve detail. The options are endless with this top. Short sleeves, no sleeves, ruffled sleeves, or a blend. Hane will look pretty in Penguin.
August 12, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

Shibui Knits Pebble

© Knit Purl

The last yarn pick for the Month of Lace is Pebble by Shibui Knits. Pebble is a mix of a few of my favorite fibers: cashmere, silk, and merino. The yarn is soft and airy, with tweed flecks that add another layer of complexity to Shibui Knits’ bold colorways. Pebble is easily held double or triple on its own or with another yarn, making it very versatile.


I used Pebble for the first time when I decided to knit a pint size Veronika pullover. There was a sample in the store that I couldn’t take my eyes off of, and I had to make one for myself. I had just returned from the Painted Hills and I was really inspired by the rust and cobalt color palette out in the desert. The yarn color choices I was trying to pick between reflected the desert essence I was still coming down from. After about an hour of trying to decide between Poppy and Blueprint, I gave up and Keli picked for me. Five months later I had my Blueprint Veronika completed, and I haven’t taken it off since. The yarn allows for the garment to be a great layering piece. I’ve worn my Veronika over dresses, tanks, and as a beach cover-up. Besides Pebble being a complete pleasure to work with, I love the added dimension the tweed flecks give the fabric without muting the vibrant Shibui Knit colorways.


Here are a few fun patterns for first-time Pebble users and those that can’t get enough Pebble in their yarn life:

© CityPurl

Sugar Cane: Free Pattern. A sophisticated slouchy hat with a rolled brim. Sugar Cane is knit in contrasting yarns to create a frosted-effect fabric. Combine two Pebble colors for unique marled fabric or combine Pebble with Silk Cloud for a softer look.

© Julie Hoover

Hart: A light, summer cardigan that will transition nicely into early fall. Hart is a simple cardigan with a subtle lace panel on the back.

© orianalk

Veronika: This was the first project I used Pebble on, and I happen to wear it all the time. Veronika is a cross between a pullover and a poncho. The fabric possibilities are also endless. I only used Pebble for my project, but it can also be combined with Silk Cloud for one super soft pullover.

© Knit Purl

Lorelei Rectangular Shawl: Kit. A classic rectangular wrap with expanding geometric shapes.This will be a fun project to watch grow on your needles.

July 22, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

Risoni by The Loom

© Knit Purl

Next up on our Month of Lace yarn pick is Risoni by The Loom. The Loom has over 40 years in the silk yarn and fabric industry. They wanted to share their knowledge and passion by creating unique yarns for all to use. Risoni is one of the special yarns they came up with for weavers, knitters, and crocheters. Risoni is a thick-and-thin silk yarn, with slubs that add instant texture to the simplest of projects.


One of my pastimes is admiring projects on Ravelry to see the creative ideas other users concoct. During one of my daily doses, I found a woven scarf that incorporated Risoni in the design. The placement of the yarn allows the slubs to give the scarf a muted amount of texture that draws your eyes in. Another intriguing project I found used Risoni in the pattern Color Affection, by Veera Välimäki. This project gave me the idea of using Risoni in a pattern with stripes, but to only use it as one of the contrasting colors, to give the project a little extra flair.


Sometimes I forget that experimenting with yarn is an enjoyable part of the creative process. I tend to stick in my comfort zone and work on projects that I can foretell the results. Risoni reminded me to step out of my comfort zone and start to play around with yarn more, to relish the process and worry less about the product. I'm going to knit a few swatches holding Risoni double with different weights and fibers of yarn to see what kind of results it produces.


Here are a few free patterns that showcase Risoni:

© Knit Purl

Risoni Bias Scarf: A Knit Purl design. This chic, open knit scarf shows off Risoni in all its slubby glory. Using three balls of Risoni silk yarn, just knit until you run out!


Risoni Triangle Scarf: A simple asymmetrical wrap that is the perfect backdrop for Risoni. The pattern is written using two skeins, but you can effortlessly use more to make a larger wrap.

© RYN Yarn

Shifting Silk Scarf: This scarf includes two other Loom yarns. Each yarn is used in a section giving it the look of shifting from one yarn to another.

If you have any fun and creative ideas for Risoni, please do share. I love reading about what everyone else is working on.

July 15, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

Silk Cloud

I’m relieved to say that most of my experiences with yarn have been great ones. That being said, I did have one experience early on as a newbie knitter that left me jaded to a certain fiber. I had this grandiose idea to knit what I had hoped to be the softest pullover ever. I’m not sure what went wrong. The sweater was a mix of mohair and angora. As I was knitting my sweater, the yarn was starting to feel a little scratchy, but I thought it must be normal. After a month of being blinded by the fluff that was escaping from my yarn and having pokey things stab me in the fingers, I finally had a completed sweater. To this day, I’m not quite sure why I thought blocking the sweater would turn it from a prickly thistle to a chinchilla, but it didn’t. I was so upset with myself for knitting a sweater I couldn’t get close to without it causing me harm. From that day on I swore off mohair and would side-eye any yarn that even looked like it had mohair in it.

After time went by I realized that it wasn’t the fibers' fault for my ineptitude for picking out a nice yarn, and I decided to give mohair another shot. I have the Kristina Wrap to thank for this. When I saw this pattern I decided that it was time to rethink swearing off mohair. Another huge factor was I really wanted to touch Shibui Knits Silk Cloud. I had gone years without going near yarn that looked like it could contain mohair and Silk Cloud was luring me with its bright colors and enticing soft look.

It was earlier this year that I finally gave into the temptation and ran to our stock of Silk Cloud. I can now say I know what mohair should feel like, and it's something truly delightful. If you are looking for a soft and versatile yarn look no further - Silk Cloud is great when worked alone, held double, or mixed with another Shibui Knits yarn. Here are some of my favorite kits and patterns that really showcase Silk Cloud:

 

Kits:

Image of Non Troppo Wrap© Knit Purl


Non Troppo: Currently one of my favorite samples in the store. Non Troppo is a wrap with asymmetrical stripes mixed with playful texture. The pairing of Silk Cloud and Cima make this the perfect wrap for cool summer evenings.

© Shibui Knits

Spectrum Shawl: The mixture of Rain and Silk Cloud gives this large wrap the illusion of shifting rays. One of our customers knit Spectrum in Blueprint and it’s breathtaking.

 

Patterns:

 

© Amirisu

Keshi: A tank knit with Shibui Linen and Silk Cloud. The back panel is knit in Linen and the front panel is knit with Linen and Silk Cloud held together, giving Keshi an interesting texture and drape.

 © Amirisu


100 Diamonds: A triangular shawl in simple stockinette stitch with a section of lace pattern diamonds. The original design is jeweled with Swarovski beads, making this mohair beauty truly divine. I’ve been following Sachiko on Ravelry since I joined the site and I’m always impressed by her beautiful lace projects and designs she comes up with.

July 08, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

Glow Lace

Image of Knit Purl Glow Lace Yarn© Knit Purl

It’s July, which means it’s the Month of Lace here at Knit Purl. All month the blog will be dedicated to all things lace, starting off with Glow Lace, a limited edition Knit Purl yarn. Glow Lace is an opulent merino and mulberry silk lace weight yarn that comes in 12 radiant colors. The combination of silk and merino makes this yarn irresistible to knit with. The merino is soft to the touch, while the silk gives Glow Lace a beautiful shimmer that will tempt knitters away from all their other knitting projects.

The colorways are everything you want in a summer yarn, vibrant and neutral. Two of my favorite colorways are Dawn and Firefly. I can’t help but to gravitate towards bright colors, and these two colorways are reminiscent of summery fruit like honeydew and papaya. Now to figure out how to combine them together in a knitting project. Before I start mentioning a few pretty patterns that will pair nicely with Glow Lace, we have a little gift for all our fans of lace. During the Month of Lace (July), all lace weight yarn and kits will be 10% off by entering the code LACE2016.

Patterns:

Image of Sea Salt Cowl Knitting Pattern by Keli Hansen© Knit Purl

Sea Salt Cowl: This cowl might ring a few bells for some since it was featured during our Month of Lace in 2014. The Sea Salt Cowl is a lightweight cowl that is perfect for the warmer months. It features a geometric motif of diamonds that grow and shrink like salt crystals, and it was designed by one of our very own Knit Purl staff members, Keli Hansen. The Sea Salt Cowl was my first excursion into the realm of lace knitting and I’m so glad I gave lace knitting a shot, because the results were amazing.

Image of Twinleaf Shawl Pattern © Kelbourne Woolens + Amanda Stevenson Lupke

Twinleaf: With summer comes traveling, and the Twinleaf wrap is a great pattern to take on a trip or to the park. The use of garter stitch and short rows make this an easy knitting project, and the use of stripes gives it a clean chic look.

Image of Dawn Shawl by Grace Anna Farrow© Grace Anna Farrow

Volt: Chevrons, colorwork, and a jagged edge, oh my! I love knitting kits and this is going to be a fun one. Volt is a super intriguing wrap that will captivate lookers and I can’t wait to start knitting this project. I thought about gifting the Volt kit to my mom, but I really want to knit this so I’m going to gift my mom the completed wrap. Win, win.  

July 01, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin