Reviews/Suppliers

Dovestone: a review

Even as the UK is basking in a bit of long-overdue summer, I have been taking a sneaky peek into Autumn and the new shades for Autumn/Winter 2016 available from Baa Ram Ewe.

 

I was lucky enough to be sent a sample or two of their lovely new additions to the Dovestone range and of course I couldn't resist getting it on the needles - heatwave or no heatwave.

The Dovestone DK yarn has been a firm favourite for some time and now there is an aran weight yarn in the range too. Dovestone Natural Aran is the same blend of Bluefaced Leicester with Wensleydale and Masham. Careful blending has been used to create 5 natural shades which work well either together in a gradient palette or singly.

I couldn't resist casting on the No. 2 Shade BREDNA02 and to me, it was begging to be something warm and squishy in my beloved garter stitch.

Dovestone Natural Aran Shade 02

Dovestone Natural Aran Shade 02

On 5mm needles, the yarn produced a very pleasing, soft squishy fabric which would work brilliantly for hats, gloves, cowls or sweaters. Beautifully soft, with no hint of a tickle this is just perfect for all sorts of winter accessories.

If natural shades aren't your 'thing', the colour palette in the DK range has also been expanded, with the addition of 3 new shades. The vibrant orange 'Viking' is my particular favourite but the really rich purple shade 'Bishopthorpe' is also really striking.

Dovestone DK: new shades for A/W 2016

Dovestone DK: new shades for A/W 2016

I can really see me using some of these yarns for some cosy winter accessories - just as soon as the temperatures cool down a little.

More self-stripe love from The Knitting Swede

I first met Tanja aka the Knitting Swede at Fibre East in 2015 when my two young boys spent a lively 5 (or 25)  minutes arguing over exactly which pair of stripy socks they would like me to knit for them. A decision was finally reached after much wrangling - although obviously - the actual knitting of them took much longer.

Tanja has a great eye for colour and I love that she pairs colours together that you might not have ordin arily thought of as working together.

I particularly love the fact that Tanja has a series of precise options for her self stripe - with 2-stripe, 3-stripe and 4-stripe options in a wonderful array of colours.

One of her best sellers is the 2-stripe Robin Red breast colourway and I knitted up a pair of these for DH quite recently. They are now a firm favourite of his - and really quite a bold choice for him. He normally steers away from brighter colours but the dark russet red against the steel grey really appealed to him and I was really pleased with how they turned out. A 3x1 rib on the foot and rib gave a great fit without breaking up the bold lines of stripes and I am happy to report that they are holding up well to repeated washing and wearing.

Tanja is often to be found at the main UK shows where you can get the chance to see her fabulous range in person. She also has a website and great online service. Her Etsy shop is updated regularly although if there is something you particularly have your eye on you need to be quick as she can sell out rapidly.

 

Purveyors of Self Striping Delights: The Knitting Goddess

As a recent newbie to the world of knitting, Joy of the Knitting Goddess was one of the first indie dyers I discovered online. The first was the lovely Amanda of the sadly missed Natural Dye Studio.

But like Amanda I was struck by Joy's subtle use of colour, the depth of tone she managed to achieve on her sock yarn bases and her fabulous attention to detail.

The Knitting Goddess' online shop is a veritable treasure trove of hand-dyed goodness and if you ever get the chance to visit her in person at one the many shows she does in the UK, they are even better when seen (and squished) in person.

Thismonth I am devoting the blog to my love of self stripe yarn and Joy has some amazing offerings in this category.

Better than a sweetie shop: a selection of Joy's hand-dyed self stripe yarns.

Better than a sweetie shop: a selection of Joy's hand-dyed self stripe yarns.

Her Britsock self-stripe is a particular favourite and was one of my first adventures into bold self-striping yarn and I haven't looked back. Britsock is a great blend of 40% British Falkland Polwarth, 20% British Wensleydale, 20% British Alpaca and 20% nylon, and it manages to be warm, luxurious, hard wearing all at once. The colours are arranged in thick stripes and I love that you can see subtle variations in the tone as you are knitting with it - one of the many joys of hand dyed yarn.

My first self-stripe: the 'Wimbledon' colourway from The Knitting Goddess

My first self-stripe: the 'Wimbledon' colourway from The Knitting Goddess

A self-striping option is also available on Joy's other, very popular  wool/nylon sock base and is well worth a look.

As well as a brilliantly stocked online shop, there is always the Knitting Goddess group on Ravelry. This is one of my favourite Ravelry haunts - a really vibrant and friendly group who love to share ideas and projects for KG yarns. If you've ever found Ravelry to be a little bit daunting - this is a great place to dip your toe into the water.