Florence at any time of the year is a treat, but in winter during Pitti Filati it really is special. People watching is inspiring because the city is overrun with designers, but not just any designers they are the knitwear creators of most of our most coveted brands. Pitti filati is the ‘go to’ yarn show for all respectable design houses in Europe and much further afield. It is a particular favourite of the Americans. It is the only place to see all the notable spinners mainly European, and predominantly Italian yarn mills, showcasing the finest qualities under one roof. It is two floors of glorious stands of theatrical displays of knitwear, swatches and yarns.Read More
There are so many beautiful yarns out there at the moment, my stash is a little obscene (don’t tell my husband, but thank goodness for Ikea storage!)
I’ve just picked up a fabulous yarn called Alpaca chunky from Rowan which is an Alpaca blend and is for chunky 10mm needles – right up my street. It’s a chainette yarn which I can’t wait to swatch up and staple it in my sketch book. I used to drool over yarn like this at Pitti Filati (yarn trade show in Florence) when I was designing for the American market. They were usually too expensive for retailers though.
With my own collection and without the worry of how I’m going to manufacture it, I can work with what I love which is nice. Naturally though some of my finds are too difficult for all knitters to find and I’m now working hard to try to find alternatives. I blogged a little while ago about a design called ‘Kelly’ which started life in chunky Italian cashmere (swoon!) I’ve been struggling to find a worthy match and started the search with Rowans Pure life wool but the end result just wasn’t what I was looking for, however I think ’alpaca chunky’ will do the trick, so on with the development. I think it would be great to hear from other knitters what their favourite yarns are at the moment and I can take some of the guess work out of my research.
Here are some of the swatches I worked up in Alpaca Chunky for the ‘Kelly’ design.
I have an obsessive, compulsive habit and I feel the need to off load it. Don’t worry it’s all clean and legal, read on......
I can’t stop hoarding yarn. I have baskets within boxes within great big cupboards and it’s spilled out of my home studio and into my husband’s office. I’ve bags under beds, in the loft and even in the car! Shocking right? It feels good to confess. I recently started to give it away. It wasn’t easy and I still miss it, although the recipient was thrilled!
But enough is enough, my son needs the storage for his obsessive compulsive habit of hoarding transformer toys (mmm sounds familiar?) And so I’ve decided to use it for small scale runs of limited edition accessories and sell them to probably buy more yarn.
Some of the emails I've received from people who have read the Knitting Magazine article have asked whether it's possible to use alternative yarns to those suggested in the patterns and on the product pages on the website.
The team has now added the tensions to the product details for each pattern so you can consider whether there is a different yarn that would be suitable. We'd always encourage you to knit a tension square before starting the full pattern, as not all yarns will give a like for like result.
As I work on the new patterns, I'll be selecting a wider range of yarns and indicating on the website what would be suitable alternatives to the main yarn listed.