Archive for January, 2016

The British Are Coming

Monday, January 25th, 2016

This time around its the pitter patter of tiny hooves, as the best in British sheep and alpaca breeds, spun into rich heritage wools make their arrival known in Canada.  A very welcome and exclusive addition to our line up for 2016, Diamond Yarn introduces two exciting new qualities from Baa Ram Ewe, a boutique business based in the heart of Yorkshire surrounded by lush rolling countryside dotted with grazing sheep.

Get your needles clicking this winter with these two British homegrown beauties –

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Dovestone is a full-bodied blend of three locally-sourced British wools.  With a hearty base of Bluefaced Leicester, and a well-balanced ratio of Wensleydale for its beautiful drape and the springy consistency of Dark Brown Masham, this double knitting yarn features a Shetland-style spin in a warm palette of thirteen rustic shades.

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Titus pays tribute to the past, named after Sir Titus Salt, the founder of the first alpaca mill in Yorkshire during the early 1880’s.   This sport weight yarn combines a robust base of Wensleydale and Bluefaced Leicester with a splash of British Alpaca for silky sheen.  Look for thirteen shades rich in vintage spirit accompanied by a full selection of inspiring patterns by some of your favorite indie designers.

Colours Of 2016

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

For the very first time, Pantone, the well-known authority on colour announced not one but two shades have made their way into the top spot for 2016.  A blending of two paler shades, Rose Quartz and Serenity, set the pulse of the current trends in lifestyle and fashion.  “As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent. Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.”  

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A little inspiration goes a long way in knitting and we have a few picks from our latest collections to showcase the beauty of this year’s top colour trends-

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Practice the art of lounging this winter in a cabled sweater that looks chic and comfortable at the same time.  Knit in Katia’s Catena Merino, a chunky yarn that is actually much lighter and loftier than it looks at first glance.  Col. 210 (shown above). Free pattern to download here.

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Layering is an essential part of staying chill-free.  Start with a good base layer that wicks away moisture and top it off with a cosy merino vest.  This sporty design from the Mirasol design team is knit in ultralight Ushya Suya delicately-dyed in a range of striking tonal shades including Sunny Skies (shown above).

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Head off into the casual zone with a no-fuss v neck pullover that adds a playful vibe to any outfit.  This one is knit in Mirage, a shimmery blend of wool and silk in a subtle transitional colourway that embodies both of this year’s latest colour trends. Col. 193 (shown above).

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Make a bold fashion statement with this gorgeous whisper-soft design knit in luxurious Pure Superkid Mohair. Watermelon Man (shown above).

Spring Tradition

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

The shine is barely off the new year apple and here we are already turning our thoughts to what’s new in spring yarns.  This one in particular has been creating knit-worthy buzz after recently showing up on store shelves.  Not only does it add a welcome ray of sunshine on a dull winter day it poses quite a dilemma when it comes to choosing just one shade.  So queue up your favorite patterns for cosy cardigans and pullovers, sporty vests, baby wear, gradient-coloured blankets, and whatever awesome accessories you have been hoping to knit up this season because this yarn is ready for action-

 

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Introducing T R A D I T I O N from Diamond Luxury Collection, a true worsted weight quality that fills the void between double knitting and chunky weight yarns in a blend of wool and acrylic spun with a sturdy dose of nylon.  This is a yarn that plays hard yet remains soft and supple next to the skin and comes in a fabulous range of more than forty shades.

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A fun mix of texture shows off the crisp stitch definition that Tradition provides and puts a modern spin on this Gansey-style pulloverLobster (shown above).

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This is a sweater with ‘great bones’ that will take you from the depths of winter into the refreshing days of spring with ease.  A timeless design with a comfortable fit, this design showcases the smooth even finish of Tradition.   Apple (shown above).

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Cropped is the keyword in spring fashion and this lace pullover puts its best stitch forward with two stylish options to choose from in one pattern.  Cover the bases from weekend to office wear with Tradition, a yarn that keeps you feeling cosy in the winter and cool in the spring.  Lilac and Mist (shown above).

Top Ten Knitting Trends Of 2015

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

Ten years ago, who could have predicted the incredible upsurge that has taken place in the knitting universe?  Its a whirling twirling force of nature propelled by PinterestRavelry, Facebook and other forms of social media, opening up the doors and windows to create a welcoming community readily available 24-7, encouraging and inspiring knitters to share projects, and sometimes offering a few uplifting words that could mean the world to someone faraway.

Its been a year of inter-knit sensations that captivated our hearts with everything from mermaid tails to baa-ble hats, and it has also been a time of unforeseen events and global disasters far beyond our control.  The common element that draws knitters together is the age-old practice of intertwining stitches on two needles, a form of relaxation that not only creates something tangible and handmade, but also shields us from the noise and lets us continue to believe that everything will be alright.

Top Ten Knitting Trends of 2015-

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1. Going dotty!  Out of the shadows and straight onto our needles, speckled yarns have won over the masses with their fun freckled appearance and yarn dyers are geared up to keep the trend rolling well into spring and summer.  Big Merino Tweedy (shown above) by Katia.

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2. Two peas in a pod!  Just in the St. Nick of time for holiday gifting, Knitter’s Pride merged the comfort and warmth of wooden needles together with the slick speed of metal tips in the Royal Interchangeable Needles Set.  This stylish boxed collection had hearts thumping, fingers twitching and yarn shops all in a fluster trying to keep up with demand.

DebbieBliss-Delphi3. Ribbon riot!  Not since the era of Flashdance and over-moussed hairdos have we seen such an appealing array of twisty-twirly tape yarns dyed in solids, ombres, prints or stripes.  Summer was their season to shine in the sun with an easy breezy pattern selection of cotton tees, tunics, cowls, shawls, and cardigans.  Delphi (shown above) by Debbie Bliss.

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4. Out of the box!  Knitwear designs took on a more relaxed vibe during 2015, with boxy tops gaining ground as the must-knit style.  The symmetrical shape and comfy over-sized fit created a versatile top layer over leggings, jeans or capris. Domino Top  (shown above) knit in Mali by Katia.

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5. A caped affair!  As soon as the first layer of frost hit the ground, cold shoulders were covered and cloaked in styles inspired by the Inverness Cape made famous by Sherlock Holmes.  See more of our favorite capes here.

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6. The cat’s meow!  No animals were harmed in the making of these mega-popular scarves, which appeared in kits with pre-knit faces and dangling appendages ready to attach.  Look for more critters coming soon to your lys, including a plush teddy bear scarf kit and a two-tone puppy dog accessory kit.  Katia Cat Scarf Kit (shown above).

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7. Hats off to tradition!  The ‘toque’ took the top spot in head gear, a nostalgic nod to winter and the great outdoors.  This classic style complete with pom pom was made famous by hockey legend, Jacques Plante, the first goalie to wear a mask on the ice and also well-known for knitting his own collection of warm wool toques.  Nordic Hat (shown above) knit in Mirasol Yaya.

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8. The stitch of the year!  Sounding more like a fresh-baked pastry in a Parisian cafe, the word ‘brioche’ rolled off our tongues with ease and knitters wanted more of this fascinating slip stitch technique characterized by a plump and squishy texture.  Along came the two colour version which mesmerized us with its reversible appearance.  That is just the tip of the iceberg, as designers continue to bedazzle us this year with more innovative ways to use this fabulous stitch.  See instructions here.

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9. The shawl is the thing!  Yes, shawls are the most-knit accessory of 2015 with over forty thousand patterns to drool over at any time of the day or night on Ravelry.  There is a magical quality about shawls, they can swirl around a neckline and dress up an outfit in a flash, or sit snugly across the shoulders showing off their intricate beauty.  Our newest design Cloud Cover (shown above).  Warning: Shawl knitting may become habit-forming.

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10. Knit-Alongs!  That is the buzzword of 2015 which has inspired knitters all around the world to pick up their needles and join in the fun.  Social media created the ideal platform for this new breed of knitting activity, offering easy access and an instant community of followers.  In the fall of 2015, Sirdar came out with a Noah’s Ark knit-along (shown above) featuring one free knitting pattern released every two weeks with the finish line well-timed for holiday gifting.  A series of six adorable animal pairs are available here to download.