Thursday, 11 September 2014

New From Artesano

In recent months, more and more Artesano yarns have been sneaking their way onto our shelves. We now have a nice big family of them, with more on their way! I thought I’d introduce you to some of our lovely newcomers, in case you didn’t notice them on their way in.

Artesano Alpaca Silk 4 Ply

Alpaca Silk 4 Ply in shade 4133 Signal Blue

Silk and alpaca: two luxurious fibres that have been spun into a yarn that is warm and cuddly, with a soft shine in its appearance. Artesano’s new Alpaca Silk 4 Ply has a slight fluffy halo- just enough to make it even softer while managing not to shed fuzz all over your clothes and furniture. There are 16 tempting colourways, and a collection of lovely, contemporary patterns to accompany the yarn.

Artesano Alpaca Silk Lace

Alpaca Silk Lace in shade 2083 Aubergine

This beautiful 2 ply lace weight yarn has a soft handle and a wonderful sheen to it. The silk fibres make it very strong, despite its delicate appearance, and the alpaca lends it its excellent insulating properties. This richly coloured yarn is also fantastic value with an impressive 400m per 50g skein.

Artesano Definition Sock Yarn

Definition Sock in shade 4908 Perky

A classic sock blend with 75% merino wool and 25% polyamide. Artesano seem to have a real knack for choosing gorgeous yarn shades, and Definition Sock is no exception- there are plenty of bright, vivid shades as well as a good range of more subtle and neutral colourways.

I’ve just cast on a pair of Azure socks (from the Definition Sock Yarn Booklet) in shade 6705 Azure and the yarn is thus far proving excellent to knit with: hard wearing and resistant to splitting, with a good bounce to it.

Manos del Uruguay Merino Tops

Manos del Uruguay Merino Tops in shade 7292 Stellar

Spinners and felters are also catered for with these beautiful hand dyed merino tops. These combed tops are hand painted by women’s cooperatives in Uruguay and are distributed in Europe by Artesano in accordance with WFTO (World Fair Trade Organisation) requirements. I love the idea of supporting these women by buying fibre, especially when it’s as soft and colourful as this!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

New Sirdar Divine

Sirdar Divine is a colourful brushed yarn which has a glittery thread through it.  The wool comes out in a stripey effect in varying thicknesses.   

I knitted the wrist warmers from Sirdar Booklet 466 in shade Francesca 62 using just one ball and 4mm needles.  It’s certainly a quick and easy project for a first time knitter.  There’s also no need for a row counter, as each row depends on the thickness of the wool.  As a complete addict to my row counter, I found this a little challenging but both wrist warmers have come out to the same length!   


I have to say that the wool looks much nicer knitted up than it does on the ball and is very effective.  I think Sirdar Divine will be a hit with young and old alike and there is an assortment of cardigans and jumpers in the Booklet for women and girls from 4 years to adult.

Post by Susan H in our Edinburgh shop

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Rowan Magazine 56

Rowan Magazine 56 arrived last week and, true to form, it is chock full of inspiring and beautiful designs. There are two main design stories, Wilderness and Craftwork, featuring cables, colourwork and interesting shapes, as well as a collection of more straightforward pieces in Essentials.


Wilderness has a strong Scottish vibe, with Celtic and Norwegian influences. The collection features beautiful patterns which emphasise bold colourwork and thick textures. All of these patterns have a high level of attention to detail, so they’ll keep accomplished knitters interested but are not be for the faint hearted! These designs are photographed against the dramatic backdrop of Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands and the rich colours of the landscape really bring out the rugged appeal of these designs. 

BirgitIsolde WrapFranziskaTanja
Craftwork is an elegant collection featuring luxurious fluffy fibres (such as Kidsilk Haze, Felted Tweed and the forthcoming Mohair Haze) and patterns for lightweight layers. These pieces will be perfect for giving warmth without bulk and many are knit using intriguing combinations of several different Rowan yarns.

Essentials focuses on easy-to-wear garments, and present an inviting contrast to the complexities of the other two collections. The focus here is on shape, with simple stitch patterns and plain colours (which also makes them a more economical option). There are many designs in Fine Lace and Pure Wool 4 Ply and it's nice to see these yarns receiving more pattern support. And don't worry- although they are lightweight, they will still keep you toasty warm this winter.